#14595 closed defect (wontfix)

KQ4: Copy protection quiz can ask for information left out of later King's Quest collections

Reported by: eriktorbjorn Owned by: bluegr
Priority: normal Component: Engine: SCI
Version: Keywords:
Cc: Game: King's Quest 4

Description (last modified by eriktorbjorn)

I believe this applies to all known SCI versions of the game. I don't think the AGI version was ever included in any collection?

To start King's Quest IV, you have to type in a word from the manual. The game picks a question at random from a pool of 79. For details, see here:

https://github.com/sluicebox/sci-scripts/blob/f0cb18048d49dafbde8dd36310e8ebdf7cb7f2ca/kq4-dos-1.006.004/src/copyProtect.sc#L29

In later releases (e.g. the one currently on GOG, but also - I believe - various King's Quest collections), the format of the manual changed so instead Sierra provided a table of the answers. But when double-checking that, there were three questions I couldn't find any answer to in the table:

Question 8: On page 3, what is the seventh word in the third paragraph?
Question 22: On page 6, what is the fifth word in the first paragraph?
Question 64: In the section TIPS FOR NEW ADVENTURE PLAYERS, what is the last word of tip #1 (HOW TO MOVE AROUND)?

Should ScummVM work around this by ensuring that none of these questions are ever picked, or should we just accept it? In my experience, Sierra were notoriously sloppy with the copy protection information in their re-releases. But in this case it may actually be possible to do something about it.

Change History (8)

comment:1 by eriktorbjorn, 11 months ago

Description: modified (diff)

comment:2 by m-kiewitz, 11 months ago

I think we shouldn't touch copy protection, unless it was disabled in some release by Sierra via interpreter (to my knowledge that never happened) or we ask the rights holder (Activision?), otherwise we set us up for potential legal trouble.

You can load saved games from ScummVM menu before even starting the game, so in reality you only have to get through copy protection once.

We can of course document this on a wiki, I don't know. The problem is also that we don't know if the user bought a version with a bad manual, or not. I can check my own copies.

comment:3 by eriktorbjorn, 11 months ago

I wasn't suggesting disabling the copy protection entirely, only the 3 (out of 79) questions that don't have an answer in the manual GOG (and probably other King's Quest collections) includes.

comment:4 by m-kiewitz, 11 months ago

Yes, I understood that, but it's still modifying copy protection in some shape and doing so is critical.

of course regarding GOG, we could simply contact GOG about that and tell them, they will surely fix that issue with the GOG version. I can and will check my King's Quest collections, I own several.

in reply to:  4 comment:5 by eriktorbjorn, 11 months ago

Replying to m-kiewitz:

of course regarding GOG, we could simply contact GOG about that and tell them, they will surely fix that issue with the GOG version. I can and will check my King's Quest collections, I own several.

I also have a couple of printed manuals (though not always the accompanying box). I've just checked two King's Quest collections and the Roberta Williams Anthology manual, and I couldn't find the answers in any of them. But I do find those tables a bit hard to read, so it would be great if you could double-check.

You could ask GOG, but from my admittedly limited experience, they will tell you that they've informed the Products team but that they only have the rights to distribute what they were given by the developers, whoever they are. (The only exception I've seen was the newspaper from Prisoner of Ice. They were able to use the copy I scanned for them.)

That extends even to broken games. I've been trying several times to get them to fix the cracked copy of Maniac Mansion they're selling, or at the very least bundle it with a newer version of ScummVM, where the crack is detected and removed. (I reluctantly made that fix when my bug reports went unheeded.) They did eventually fix their broken version of Phantasmagoria 2, after telling me several times that they wouldn't. (I still don't know if it's a coincidence that they fixed it shortly after I referred to that bug in a different feature request.)

Finally, just to make sure, I've started the game enough times to see at least question 22 appear. Imagine the egg on my face if this was something that had already been fixed! :-)

Last edited 11 months ago by eriktorbjorn (previous) (diff)

comment:6 by AndywinXp, 11 months ago

Although slightly OT, I'm curious: what does GOG respond whenever asked to update the version of ScummVM?

comment:7 by eriktorbjorn, 11 months ago

Although slightly OT, I'm curious: what does GOG respond whenever asked to update the version of ScummVM?

I only mentioned in passing in my latest GOG bug report that ScummVM 2.5.0 works around the Maniac Mansion problem, and let them draw their own conclusions. Their initial response was that I was using an unsupported Linux distribution, but that my feedback had been passed on to "the appropriate team".

When I pointed out that the problem didn't depend on operating system (I had even included DOSBox savegames), they responded that "only the developers/publishers of the game might be able to address this" and that "the game has been provided to us by the developers as it is", again reiterating that the information had been forwarded. When I asked how to contact the developers, I was told that "the only direct contact with the developers would be through the publishers themselves".

Anyway, back to this bug report, I have no strong feelings for or against. I just wanted to raise the issue to see if anyone else did. If I had known enough about the SCI engine, I would have made a pull request to ask for feedback instead. At least this is one of the rare cases where something (probably) could be done, whether or not it should be.

Last edited 11 months ago by eriktorbjorn (previous) (diff)

comment:8 by bluegr, 10 months ago

Owner: set to bluegr
Resolution: wontfix
Status: newclosed

We prefer to avoid changing anything that has to do with copy protection. We should avoid touching that part of the game, unless we have explicit permission to do so (e.g. like we had from Wyrmkeep).

Closing as wontfix

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