How exactly are the old Sierra games supposed to work?

I am currently playing Space Quest 3, Larry 2 and Larry 3. But I am not completely sure how I am supposed to discover the names of the “interactable” objects. Because, when you type “look”, the game does not tell you the names of the important objects.

I discovered a trick: “look floor” and “look wall”. If you write this, often the game will tell you the name of objects. But not always.

So am I supposed to guess the name of an object just by the graphics? Or is there some other trick I am missing?

Nope you got it right. That´s the way it was. Well…except the playing three games simultanously part.



That’s how good I am. I can play several games simultaneously. (But don’t ask me how well)

AFAIR you can try to “examine” things.

sounds quite awful isn’t it? But somehow it was fun, back in the days it worked cause there was no internet to save you. It was very rewarding to ‘figure it out’ after countless of hours of frustration…


Yes, I can “examine” or “search” a thing X, but I need to know the name of X. This only shifts the problem. For example, in Larry 2 I need to examine the “shelf” to see the sunscreen. (and I also need to be in the right position). But the word “shelf” must come from me. I need to guess this word by looking at the graphics.

Similarly in Larry 2 I need to “examine wall” to discover there is a swimsuit.

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Remember that “look” and “look into” are two different actions :expressionless:

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In the Space Quest games I used to type ‘look around’ whenever I entered a new area. Quite useful.

Basically Sierra games will tell you what they want to tell you - the rest is for you to figure out :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you Kate :slight_smile:
AFAIU “look around” is like “look”, so does not tell you the name of that round blue object you see:

but if instead you type “look floor”, it tells you: (it’s just “round object” :slight_smile: )


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Ah yeah, this bit. It’s because part of the puzzle is to know what that is :slightly_smiling_face: you find out its significance elsewhere.

Yeah, I solved it. Nice puzzle. I haven’t solved the ladder though. Tricky. I had never seen a puzzle where you need to pick up something that isn’t visible.


I found as soon as you enter a screen you should type “look around” then in that description often there is a few pointers on what you should look at after, so “there is a dumpster in the alley it’s a grimy alley” then you should go to the dumpster and type “look in dumpster” etc etc

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I like that about Sierra games… I remember a criticism of the LucasArts games was that they sometimes felt a bit “empty”, like you would have a beautiful background but then you move the mouse around and there are only like 2-3 things that actually seem to exist and that you can interact with. Like the game was telling you, “eh, none of this other stuff is really there, it’s just some background art.”
With Sierra it often seemed more detailed and open, like you could look at all sorts of things and the game acknowledged that they were there. (Though I would happily swap that feature for removal of dead ends, haha.)

I agree. but in theory nothing prevents to have a Lucas style game with dozens of highlightable objects in each room, even if useless. Even if any interaction with them is doomed to fail. One game that does this is Dragonsphere. It works imho.

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Which in case of Sierra, has to be taken literally…
“LOOK AT painting.”
" Uh-oh! The brushstrokes used by the painter are so fierce to look at that they give you a stroke. Time to brush up on your art appreciation skills, Graham/Roger/Larry/…"
(Restore Restart Quit)


Could be okay-ish if “restore” didn’t depend on your personal save defense mechanism, I suppose.

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I think Al Lowe is sadist :slight_smile: