KING'S QUEST II:  ROMANCING THE STONES
The Music of KQII+




presented by Quest Studios

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KING'S QUEST II: AN OVERVIEW

When composing Music for "KQII:RTS", I felt it was important to capture the 'feel' of the entire King's Quest genre. Though there's been several composers who've scored music for the various King's Quest games, they've all contributed key elements that have become easily recognizable to the series. My goal was to present elements that would still hold true to the spirit of the series, while moving into new directions with the music. Hopefully, this goal has been realized in the KQ2:RTS soundtrack.

If you don't already know, King's Quest II: Romancing The Stones is available with two versions of the musical soundtrack: a General MIDI (GM) version, and an Enhanced Digital version. The GM version will play by default and is included with the game's download. The digital version is an optional do
wnload that must be installed into the game's directory. So what's the difference? Plenty! Keep reading...


A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON:
KING'S QUEST GAME MUSIC -- The very first AGI King's Quest soundtracks were written and performed for PC speaker output, by Al Lowe. Though these were nothing more than beeps and boops, the melodies were wonderful, and the Title Themes managed to convey a majestic feel. Starting in 1988, the King's Quest series began supporting MIDI; in particular, the Roland MT-32 Sound Module -- a MIDI device capable of a wide range of sounds and effects. Various Sierra musicians created numerous "enhanced" sounds (patches) that could be uploaded into the MT-32's memory, thus providing a totally original experience in quality sound output. The only other options for MIDI support at the time were the tinny sounds of FM Synthesis.

Several years later, Roland Corporation introduced the General MIDI standard and Sierra chose the Roland Sound Canvas SC-55 as their 'instrument of choice' for General MIDI composing and compatibility. The SC-55 was (and still is) considered the defacto standard for General MIDI music. A couple of years later, Creative Labs released the Sound Blaster AWE32, a good sounding card, though it didn't exactly comply with Roland's General MIDI standard. Therefore, Sierra's General MIDI soundtracks didn't play properly through the AWE32. The only way to really hear Sierra's game soundtracks properly was by using either the MT-32, or the SC-55. The cost of either of these devices was a bit steep for many, but some felt it was well worth the investment.

Because of the relatively low cost of the Sound Blaster line of sound cards, their popularity grew to eventually dominate the sound card market...even though the Sound Blaster has never been completely General MIDI compliant. At present, most of those who will be playing this game using the General MIDI soundtrack for output will be doing so through a Sound Blaster Live! or Sound Blaster Audigy sound card. But to be true to the spirit of Sierra's original MIDI support, the MIDI soundtrack created for KQ2:RTS was designed for optimal MIDI playback through a 100% General MIDI compliant sound card, of which there are many.


COMPOSING A SOUNDTRACK:
There's a LOT of music in KQ2:RTS; nearly two-hours worth! I began working with AGD Interactive on the soundtrack in September 2001. One year later, in September of 2002, the soundtrack was finally completed. Along the way, many changes and additions occurred. But it all started with the "Introduction Music" you hear during the 10-minute opening sequence. (Coincidentally, the "Title Theme" for the game was one of the last songs composed.)

I used a variety of MIDI devices while working on the soundtrack, but the majority of the songs rely strongly on the Roland Sound Canvas ED SC-8820 Sound Module. Almost every song also includes tracks from the Roland MT-32 Sound Module as well. And in several instances throughout the soundtrack, the powerful French horns and other instruments of the Yamaha SW60XG sound card can also be heard. MIDI input was primarily provided by a Roland HP3000 digital piano.

Each song was recorded to WAV format, then encoded using the Ogg Vorbis digital compression scheme, at 80 kbps, 44.1 kHz. (MP3 files were considered, but their larger file sizes and lessor quality persuaded us to opt for the Ogg format.) After every song was encoded, we placed them all within a single "VOX" sound file, which can be installed to the game's directory for a much higher quality listening experience.


CHOOSING A SOUNDTRACK FORMAT:
There are pros and cons to each of the two music formats created for KQ2:RTS. With the General MIDI soundtrack, you need not download any additional files to hear the music. It's relatively small, and easy to include right in the game. On the other hand, the digital soundtrack weighs in at about 61 MB's, which can be a pretty hefty download for dialup connected modems.

However, the digital soundtrack provides a much more realistic and enjoyable atmosphere for the game. The limitations associated with the MIDI output of a single sound card are no longer present. Those who are seeking the best source for music and sound should definitely take the necessary time required to download the digital version of the soundtrack!

Not sure if you want to download the digital soundtrack? Try a few sample song files on for size! The Ogg Vorbis Sample Soundtrack files posted below can be downloaded right to your KQ2:RTS game directory, where they will play just as if they're a part of the complete digital soundtrack! Instead of the MIDI version of the song, a high-quality digital song file will be heard. You won't need any additional 'playback software' to use these sample song files from within the game, since KQ2:RTS includes its own 'Ogg player.' And don't worry, your MIDI soundtrack songs will not be overwritten by the addition of these "ogg" files; just remove the "ogg" files from your KQ2:RTS game directory if you no longer want them to play. (Incidentally, the sample files below are of a higher quality than those included with the downloadable digital soundtrack.)

MIDI RECOMMENDATIONS: 
Any sound card bearing the General MIDI logo is capable of playing the default MIDI soundtrack included with KQ2:RTS. If your sound card is not 100% General MIDI compliant, you may have the option of loading a soundfont or soundbank that is GM compliant. Check your sound card documentation for support information and instructions for using sound banks.

GENERAL MIDI LOGO

If your sound card supports DLS (Downloadable Sounds), the best DLS bank for use with the KQ2:RTS soundtrack is the Microsoft/Roland General MIDI DLS bank.

Download the Microsoft DLS bank


TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS:

The minimum requirements for digital sound output with KQ2:RTS is a 16-bit multimedia sound card. Any card that functions under Windows95/98/Me/2000/XP will work with KQ2:RTS. However, occasionally, some users may experience a problem.

For instance, upon loading KQ2:RTS you may encounter the message, "Unable to initialize your audio hardware." The most common reason for experiencing this error message is caused by another software program running simultaneously which is using the sound card's resources. It is highly recommended that you exit all other programs before loading KQ2:RTS. If after doing so, you still see this message, reboot your system (hard boot) and disable any startup programs that make use of your sound card.

KNOWN ISSUES:
Some Sound Blaster Live! and Audigy sound cards may experience a problem with decreased MIDI volume levels during gameplay. This is an internal AGS MIDI playback issue that only seems to affect certain Sound Blaster models. At present, the AGS MIDI playback utility has not been updated to correct the problem. A solution may be to uninstall the Sound Blaster "AudioHQ" utility and reinstall only the actual sound card drivers. (Though this remedy has not been verified.)

REPORTING PROBLEMS:
If you experience any problems with either the MIDI or the optional digital soundtrack, or the game locks-up when a sound effect is played, please let us know! You can contact us by email at:   


Or, you can discuss your problems, post comments, or talk about
other game-related issues by visiting the KQ2 Support Forum at:

www.AGDInteractive.com


Tierra Entertainment

HIGH QUALITY
SOUNDTRACK SAMPLES



The digital audio files below are encoded in the Ogg Vorbis format. You will
need decoding software capable of reading the Vorbis format to play them.

May we suggest....

WinAmp



DID YOU KNOW.....??
If you place these digital music files in your KQ2:RTS game directory, the game will play the digital versions instead of their MIDI equivalents! Now go tell your friends!


Click to download...
click the fish!


150 kbps
44.1 kHz
1:03 mins.
KING'S QUEST II: ROMANCING THE STONES

"King's Quest II Title Theme"
by Tom Lewandowski
You can't have a game without a title theme. This is it. The Title Theme was one of the last few songs written for the game.

Click to download...
click the fish!

150 kbps
44.1 kHz
1:23 mins.
KING'S QUEST II: ROMANCING THE STONES

"Kolyma"
by Tom Lewandowski
A lot is going on behind the scenes in beautiful downtown Kolyma! Problem is, you first have to figure out how to get behind the scenes...

Click to download...
click the fish!

170 kbps
44.1 kHz
0:23 mins.
KING'S QUEST II: ROMANCING THE STONES

"The Enchanter"
by Tom Lewandowski
This mage just won't leave me alone! There has to be some way of preventing his turning me into whatever he wishes...

Click to download...
click the fish!

150 kbps
44.1 kHz
0:44 mins.
KING'S QUEST II: ROMANCING THE STONES

"The Dwarf"
by Tom Lewandowski
It seems there's one of these guys in every game! And they always have just one thing on their little mind's: to steal everything you've worked so hard to get!

Click to download...
click the fish!

151 kbps
44.1 kHz
1:11 mins.
KING'S QUEST II: ROMANCING THE STONES

"The Mermaid"
by Tom Lewandowski
Is Graham getting sidetracked on his quest? Or, is this temptress there to help? As long as you're careful not to frighten her away, this could be the beginning of a wonderful adventure!.

Click to download...
click the fish!

146 kbps
44.1 kHz
1:18 mins.
KING'S QUEST II: ROMANCING THE STONES

"Mysterious Creature..."
by Tom Lewandowski
I don't want to spoil the scene by posting the correct song title, so I won't elaborate on 'where' this mysterious creature is hiding. Needless to say, you'll want to help 'it' out when you're able.

Click to download...
click the fish!

160 kbps
44.1 kHz
0:18 mins.
KING'S QUEST II: ROMANCING THE STONES

"Possum At Day"
by Tom Lewandowski
One of three themes played for Possum. The other two can only be heard after you've completed the first two 'Gem Quests'.

Want more? Click here...

Visit AGD Interactive for your free download of King's Quest 1 and King's Quest II!
Quest Studios
www.QuestStudios.com
Tierra Entertainment
Copyright ©2002,2004 Quest Studios. All rights reserved.
In association with AGD Interactive. All rights reserved.

KING'S QUEST is a registered trademark of Vivendi Universal.

No portion of the KING'S QUEST II: ROMANCING THE STONES soundtrack may
be sold or
distributed without the express written permission of Quest Studios.