That would be quite an undertaking, but the answer seems to be "yes".
The big unknown is the text processing. It's not overly hard to do,
but from what I understand there's a lot of text replies. And
as unlikely as it sounds the text can take up a lot of space,
even when compressed.
In addition, I am using compressed bitmaps rather than AGI-like
graphics for the backgrounds. These are about 3k each
(and I only have 22k available once the game engine is running).
So there will have to be a lot
of loading from disk which complicates things, especially if we run
out of room on disk and have to have multiple floppies. [You might ask,
don't I have an AGI-like engine already for VGI-Myst? Yes,
but it doesn't support patterned flood-fill, and Peasant's Quest
has lots of complex curved and pointy scenery which would
really need that.]
Q. Was it hard to write this?
Q. So how did you draw the graphics?
Took screencaptures from the ruffle/flash version on the website,
did the best I could with the GIMP.
Q. Did you decompile the Flash version of the game?
Q. Is there any hack you're particularly fond of?
There wasn't room for both sound files, but the second is just a
looping subset of the first, so the code self-modifies
the song in RAM to convert the one to the other.
Q. Shouldn't someone have done this earlier?
I find it extremely distressing that the time from when
the Apple IIe platinum (the computer I recordes thid on)
was released in 1987 to the release of Peasant's Quest in
2004 is the same amount of time between when Peasant's
Quest was released and I got around to making this.
Q. What's your favorite response to this so far?
People possibly realizing that the distinctive
Apple II disk drive noise on startup is real and
not something the Brother Chaps made up for humorous effect.
Q. Aren't manual-based copy protection checks anachronistic
for a game from 1982?
Yes, Strong Bad himself pointed this out.
These weren't common until the late 80s/early 90s.
However if anachronisms bother you, you probably shouldn't
be playing Peasant's Quest.
Q. Wouldn't this look better in double-hires?
Yes, an Apple IIe with 128k of RAM can do a double-hires
mode with 16 colors that would probably be a bit closer
to the original (it's also the mode things like the Apple II
Kings Quest games used). However if you thought getting
good graphics going on HGR was bad, it's possibly exponentially
worse with DHGR.
Also, I like running my games on older machines like the II+.
It's an extra challenge, and also I can avoid comparisons
from the Commodore 64 people.
Q. For Trogdor's speech why aren't you using S.A.M.?
The original game does use S.A.M. speech.
On the Apple II to use this you need to have an S.A.M.
card (which I don't have) and also load a 9kB driver
into RAM. This driver is the primary problem, it's relatively
large, and also there are copyright issues with including
There are hacked versions of S.A.M. that will play to the
Apple II speaker instead of needing a card, but the sound
quality of that isn't great (think Blubbo's Whale quality).
Strong Bad Endorsement
Or at least I think it's an endorsement, a bit hard to tell.
2 August 2022
Started looking into finishing things. Have moved to ZX02 compression
from LZSA and it has freed up some space which will help.
15 January 2022 -- Version 0.84
A long adventure trying to get two-drive support working. The "seek" that
came with qboot ended up not working if you switched active disks, and then
somehow after using the PRORWTS seek instead it turned up a possible
long-standing bug in qboot when loading partial tracks. Finally though
you can run things in two-drive mode w/o swapping disks (I was mostly doing
this so internet archive support) but I made the code the mess and I should
take some time to straighten it out.
7 January 2022 -- Version 0.83
I should have had some interim releases here, I don't remember all
the changes. Most of the remaining text was hooked up, but the
cave with the keepers still isn't. The final scene with Trogdor
is more complete, including full speech. Initial animations for
the Kerrek, and various background animations are hooked up.
End credits music should be working again.
5 December 2021 -- Version 0.82
Can now catch yourself on fire, so all three tasks can be completed.
This includes all of the inn-at-night dialog.
28 November 2021 -- Version 0.81
Can now get the robe. This includes all of the baby nonsense.
So you can now get all the inventory items from peasantry.
Also some minor work getting the last backgrounds in better shape.
21 November 2021 -- Version 0.80
Finally have the whole way through the end of the Kerrek battle
implemented (no animations still though). Also added a 256 byte
word dictionary used to compress the text, this helps a lot with
the uncompressed text size and makes things fit again.
12 November 2021 -- Version 0.79
Was hoping to get more done before the Demosplash talk, but guess I
should make a release. I really wanted to get up to the Kerrek battle
but not quite there. You can now get and view the map and there's
a barebones stub for the archery minigame. I'm going to have to optimize
the text printing a bit, the peasant1 file (the top row of the map)
is now just slightly too big to fit in the 7.5k available, mostly due
to adding Kerrek related text that wasn't in the wiki. There are a few
things I can do to help with this.
1 November 2021 -- Version 0.78
Have hooked up a lot more of the plot-driven events.
You can now in theory get 50 out of the 150 points, and hit
game over 5 different ways. Added a random number generator
for random events, and enhanced the text parser in the Well level
so you can have more complex sentances (such as
PUT PEBBLES IN WELL).
24 October 2021 -- Version 0.77
Have hooked up a lot of the text parsing for the overworld.
You do need 64k of RAM now to hold all the text.
Still working on the more complex interactions and animations though
so the best score you can currently get is 4.
13 October 2021 -- Version 0.76
All peasantry backgrounds now have priorities (can walk behind things).
Much more text hooked up (though only common things, nothing room
specific yet). Added animated GAME OVER screen.
3 October 2021 -- Version 0.75
Working on a lot of minor things. Got load/save game support going.
Added initial cliff background (though need to work on colors).
Added electric-duet version of the title if you don't have a Mockingboard
(still not 100% satisfied with the quality, also it can't do the
flame animation while it's playing music).
Added some more priority backgrounds.
Moved Mockingboard sound support to Language Card (upper 16k) to free
up some desperately needed RAM.
Added proper Mockingboard/Language-card/SSI detection code.
17 September 2021 -- Version 0.7
Got the full end sequence more or less going. Though not the
demoscene-esque multilevel panning that Videlectrix put in.
This took a while, partly because there was a sidequest where
I was learning how to use the SSI-263 speech chip.
4 September 2021 -- Version 0.6
Have the inventory screen more or less working. It's just over 3k, even
though I used fairly tiny item sprites. It's hard getting recognizable
items in 14x16 sprite form, especially with the weird hi-res color issues.
Couldn't really come up with a good way to grey-out lost items, so xor-ed
a delete char instead which is not ideal.
24 August 2021 -- Version 0.5
Added AGI-style priority mapping. You can add collision areas and depth
to the scenery so you can walk behind things. So far only have this
for the lady's cottage. We store the priority info in the LORES page
so it's sort of granular, but this saves 7k of valuable RAM which we're
going to need as we add text parsing.
23 August 2021 -- Version 0.4
You can walk around most of Peasantry now.
15 August 2021 -- Version 0.3
You can walk around more of the map now.
14 August 2021 -- Version 0.2
Cleaned up the code. Added the start of gameplay, you can sort of walk
around a bit and also enter commands.
13 August 2021 -- Version 0.1
Finally got the intro done! The sprites look horrible but that possibly
can't be helped. Sound turned out better than I hoped.
12 August 2021
This was a crazy undertaking but I did want to play around more with
Apple II Hi-res. Have most of the graphics done, as well as the intro
animation. Need to get sprites going.
9 August 2021
Somehow the idea for this project got into my head and I started working on