Mailbag - September/October 1987

Dear Sirs,

I have just purchased Thexder for my Apple IIGS and I am extremely pleased with your product.

My Apple IIGS system uses the Universal Disk Controller from Central Point Software. I have had enormous problems running GS software from other companies, such as Electronic Arts and Activision, because their copy protection schemes prevent programs from running with the UDC card. Since I am an avid game player, I was delighted to find a GS game that actually works on my system.

And what a fantastic game it is! Thexder is simply terrific. The graphics, the sound effects and the music are all great. Except for the keyboard controls, which are slightly uncomfortable, everything about Thexder is outstanding. The people at Synergistic Software and Sierra On-Line should be extremely proud of the job they did on that program.

I'd also like to thank you for making Thexder reasonably priced. Other companies are charging outrageous prices for their GS games. They rationalize their high prices by claiming they're necessary to make up the development cost. Thexder probably cost more to develop than any other GS game on the market, yet you all decided to price it the same as a typical Apple II game. It's good to know that there's a company that wants to sell good software without gouging prices.

What more can I say? Thexder is a wonderful game that is moderately priced and it works perfectly with my UDC card. I am eagerly awaiting more products from Sierra On-Line to use with my Apple IIGS system.

Most Sincerely,
Anthony Chiang

Hey guys and gals at Sierra,

I just want to thank all the people at Sierra On-Line for making me spend hours, days and even weeks on my IBM solving your graphic adventure games.

I have completed King's Quest I, II, III, Space Quest, and now Leisure Suit Larry.

When I sit down to play one of your games, nothing else in this world matters anymore, except to gather more inventory and score more points. You have really made my evenings and weekends a thrill.

Once again I would like to thank all you crazy guys and gals at Sierra for making my life more enjoyable to live in.

Bryan S. Lidsky

Dear Dennis,

I received my "new" copy of 3-D Helicopter Simulator yesterday. The program now runs perfectly on my PCjr with Racore Drive-Two Plus. I just wanted to thank all of you at Sierra for the cooperation you gave in getting the program to run on my specific hardware. I don't know if you had other customers with the same problems, but it's not often in the business world these days that a company is willing to give that kind of attention to a single customer. I appreciate the help you gave me. A special "thank you" to Pat for his help over the phone.

LuAnn Holmes
Elgin, Illinois


First of all, thanks for providing such an excellent accounting system for personal computers. This is not meant as a testimonial, but I've been through the Home Accountant, Manage Your Money, and Dollars and Sense on my IIe, and none hold a candle to Smart Money.

I'm impressed with the program and more than a little surprised that there is not more popular use of the system. Your documentation is excellent and, except for the icons (which are a little nitsy), the screen presentation, thorough cross-filing, speed, and simplicity are outstanding. Please keep me informed about other Sierra products or upgrades of Smart Money.

I have had no success (after saying all the above) with automated principal and loan interest calculations as outlined on page 44 of the manual (CTRL-L function). The program seems to accept the command, thinks about it for a spell, then comes back with an instruction to make whichever entry I'm on. Any thoughts or instructions you have on this would be appreciated

Roger G. Knight
Fort Worth, Texas

//Dear Roger,

If the automatic loan calculation is not working, you may have done one of two things. You need to have a "Loan Liability" regular account and an "interest expense" regular account in the distribution area of the transaction. If you don't have both types of accounts, the loan won't calculate. The other thing is you may have omitted the interest rate in the loan liability account. You'll need to go back and review the account to correct these items.//

Dear Sierra,

This is a love letter, pure and simple. I love your newsletter! I have enjoyed your games for over a year now, and have often wondered about your staff.

To have created such wonderful graphics and animation is in itself an exciting accomplishment — and they get better with every new game. I like the inclusion of the arcade sequences in the adventure games. It took me forever to cross the rocky desert in Space Quest, but I enjoyed getting frustrated and ending with my head in the sand.

I do not fit the typical profile for adventure gamers. I am a 45 year old woman, who works for LL Bean as a telephone order representative part of the year and travels with her husband the rest of the time. I use the computer in my work for LL Bean. I write (free lance) when I travel, using my home computer primarily for word processing. I love adventure games. Like Roberta Williams, I have always been an ardent reader. I enjoy Shakespeare and Agatha Christie equally well.

What I have discovered is that adventure gaming has no age barriers. I have young friends of 12 years and older friends in their twenties and even older friends in their retirement years who love your games. My files hold their Save game disks from month to month for whenever they can visit to continue the game they like best. Sharing is almost as much fun as playing.

I am addicted. There seems to be no known cure. I hope no one ever finds one. Please continue to create forever. I can hardly wait for King's Quest IV and Space Quest II. In the meantime, I will try (with certain unsureness about whether I will enjoy them as much) Leisure Suit Larry and Police Quest. It is the tongue in cheek humor of the other games that keeps me laughing and punching keys even when I would like to poison the goat or drown the mermaid. Both impulses have smitten me in weaker moments in my Quests. But I remained strong, trusting that there was a better way.

I enjoyed the crossword puzzle in your newsletter. The articles are well written and informative. I found the continuation of the Letters column on page 19 instead of 20 and did not find the rest of the continued letter there. This is a small problem compared to the quality of the publication otherwise.

Thanks for everything, especially giving me an opportunity to say how much I love you.

Forever yours,
Elizabeth Hood

Dear Sierra On-Line team,

Hi, my name is Vincent Blouin. I am one of your many fans here in Canada. I have a 256K IBM PCjr. I succeeded at King's Quest I and King's Quest II.

Last week I bought King's Quest III and Space Quest, but there is one problem. Space Quest doesn't work, it "bugs". Here's what I do. I load the MS-DOS, I enter date and time, I enter Space Quest, I type "SIERRA" and it loads. After a few seconds, it writes on the screen "PLEASE ENTER ORIGINAL DISK AND PRESS ENTER". I pres enter, then it writes "PLEASE ENTER PLAY DISK ONE THEN PRESS ENTER". I pres enter and this is what it does:


I don't know if it is me, the computer, or the game, but please send me some information or something that could help me get this game started.

I tried it on a PC XT and it works.

Congratulations! Sierra On-Line is one of the best (if not the best) companies in computer entertainment.

Thank you for your time.

Vincent Blouin
Rock Forest, Quebec

//Dear Vincent,

In these two versions of our games, you need to use a virgin DOS to boot up the program on the PCjr. The last file on the DOS directory should be BASICA. Our programs are designed to access your extended memory for you.

Another possibility is that you may have an old version of Space Quest. If you run a directory of disk one, there should be 19 files. If there are 18 files, send your disk in and we will exchange it for you.//


A couple of weeks ago I received in the mail Volume One No. 1 of the Sierra Newsletter and I want to thank you for including me on your mailing list. I'm a great fan of the Sierra "quest" series and I'm certainly interested in the kind of information contained in your first issue. I'll be looking forward to receiving future issues.

Now I'd like to give you a little "feedback" that I've been planning to send you for some time, but haven't found the time to peck out. (As in "hunt and peck".)

I'm a 65 year old "dirty old man," retired and have been a computer "buff" since 1982 when I purchased an Atari 1200. I have no upgraded to an Atari 520ST. (Also upgraded to 1 meg.) I use the computer for word processing (because I can't spell and my handwriting is illegible), spreadsheet work (because I like mathematics and the challenge of problem solving), and for home finance/budget keeping (because I like to keep records and statistics).


I've never been ashamed to purchase a game now and then. They can be fun and challenging and, being retired, I have the time for them. However, I find that my reflexes aren't what they once were and that I'm no match for my grandson when it comes to the "arcade" type games, so that makes me a perfect candidate for the much slower paced, interactive, role-playing games that are in great abundance for both the 8 bit computers as well as the 16 bitters. However, it took nearly four years and the crazy bunch at Sierra On-Line to teach me that lesson.

I purchased three such games for my 8 bit. One was all text, one showed a still scene above the text and the other simulated movement of the character by scrolling the scenery from a "through the eyes of the character" viewpoint. All three games were rather interesting from a story standpoint and they were certainly intellectually challenging, but I never was able to work up enough enthusiasm in them to more than scratch the surface of what the game had to offer.

Then, about a year ago, I purchased my ST. Since I had absolutely nothing to run on it and did not yet know which word processor or spreadsheet would best suit my needs, I purchased two text/still picture adventure games in the hopes that the improved graphics would provide the incentive to stick to it until I got past the opening movies. Well, it didn't work!

Then sometime early this year I purchased King's Quest II. I'm really not sure why I purchased it. Curiosity, perhaps. Never the less, King Graham and his 3-D adventure land started a whole new chapter in my "life with a home computer." I not only found that I was able to sustain my interest in the game, I found that I really couldn't let go until I saw the end of the "quest."

It's little wonder that I purchased King's Quest III shortly after finishing KQ II (not yet with the highest score possible, but I hope to go back and find those missing points). But now comes the "rub." I had hardly gotten started on KQ III when Sierra came out with Space Quest. I purchased it with the intention of tackling it as soon as I finished KQ III. And that brings me to my only "gripe" with the people at Sierra.

I had to boot up Space Quest to make sure I hadn't received a bad copy, right? Well, once I saw the plight of that poor space janitor, I couldn't let it go! I worked on that story every chance I got, and a lot of times when I should have been doing something else. I can't tell you the number of hours I worked on that thing at the computer or how many nights I spent lying in bed planning my next moves, but I've never enjoyed anything more in my life. Space Quest is funny, and I like that. It's story line is challenging, but I found that all the pieces came together much easier than in KQ II. I finished the game in what, for me, was record time. (Am I becoming more skilled, or do I just relate to the future better than I do to the past?)

Now back to KQ III? Well, that was the plan until I walked into my favorite computer store for some hardware and walked out with Leisure Suit Larry. You people should be arrested for "distributing addictive software!" I purchased the program on October 5th and didn't boot it up until the 7th. It was like a drug. I couldn't leave it alone. I sent for the hint book the same day I sent in my registration card (about the 7th or 8th of October). I finished the game on the 20th of October and my hint book arrived the next day. (No, I won't be returning the book. I had to see the rest of those jokes the man in the bar was telling!) Two hours, eight minutes and fifty seconds according to the "game's" record. Is that good?

I certainly hope that I'm getting better and that the games are not getting easier. I struggled with KQ II and I was no "ball of fire" with the little I got done on KQ III. If you people at Sierra will just "let up" for awhile, I'd really like to get back to KQ III and try out my new found skills.

Yes, I'm aware of Police Quest. Frankly, I don't believe I'll be purchasing that one. I may be a "dirty old man" who enjoys a little "bedroom" humor such as found in Leisure Suit Larry, but "cops," drugs and crime turn me off. Just hold off a bit on Space Quest II and Leisure Suit Larry II. You've made me a Sierra "junkie!" Now give me time to come down off the "high."

I could go on raving about these games for many more pages, but this letter is probably already in the wastebasket. Your games are the greatest and I'll continue to purchase them as long as my social security check will permit. (Or, junkie that I am, beyond!) It must be the unique ability to move the principal character about and to direct his actions in relation to other moving characters, beasts and evil creatures that may (or may not), appear around every turn and in any scene that makes Sierra interactive games o appealing. I believe your animated games will eventually revive my interest in the more static games which are now gathering dust on a shelf.

Keep up the good work, and don't let the desire to get new games to market affect the high quality and planning that has gone into your products to date.

Louis Kuhl
Louisville, Kentucky

To the creators of the one and only Sierra animated adventure games,

My name is Dredrik Larsson and live outside of Stockholm, Sweden. I am a lucky owner of two of your games - King's Quest II and The Black Cauldron. I have solved them both, and also other games (King's Quest, King's Quest III, Space Quest).

I am writing this letter to thank you for having the fantasy, intelligence, capability, and inspiration to make these extraordinary games. The hours I've enjoyed playing these games are endless. I am fascinated at your ability to make each game most unlike the other and still keep the intense feeling of mysteriousness and making one stay prepared for the unexpected, and still relate to their predecessors. None of the games is better than the other, even though I might be a little more of a fan of the first one, King's Quest, since it was, after all, a very revolutionary game at its time. I think it's great that your games are still the only ones of their kind. I haven't seen any games like them. Yes, I've seen animated adventure, but not moving animated adventure. I am very impressed. Since I own an IBM Enhanced Color Display I highly enjoyed the graphics on King's Quest III and Space Quest. Keep up that good work.

Now I have a couple of questions. Will there be a King's Quest IV, Space Quest II, Police Quest, and another quest taken from a Disney film and when? I would really hope so. Your adventure games are the only games that are really worth the time and disk space as they require. They push one's fantasy to the maximum and for me, it also helps me learn the language a little better.

I hope you still have the inspiration to make these games and I thank you very much for the games you have provided us adventure solvers with so far.

Your fascinated admirer,
Fredrik Larsson
Kungsangen, Sweden

//Dear Fredrik,

Sierra is now shipping Police Quest and Space Quest II. We also have a new children's 3-D animated adventure game, entitled "Mixed-up Mother Goose." King's Quest IV will be released late next summer.

We have no plans presently to make another game based on a Disney film.//

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