The 6 rarest Sierra games (and how much they’re worth)

Sierra On-Line is a classic example of the rise and fall of a gaming company. The 1980s and 90s were the golden years of adventure games, and few companies capitalized on that period more than Sierra. The company started as a modest tech startup in the suburbs of Los Angeles, and during its heyday was one of the two biggest names in the adventure gaming community.

Unfortunately, as storytelling has become more commonplace in other genres, adventure games have fallen in popularity, and Sierra has fallen with them. The company had become a husk of its former self in the early 2000s, and at this point “Sierra” is little more than a brand name used by other developers. Still, the company’s fans remember its games fondly, and collectors will pay good money for full boxes from the studio’s early back catalogue.

All prices taken from and were accurate at the time of publication.

6 Space Mission 3: The Pestulon Pirates ($140) space mission 3



complete in box




One thing Sierra loved to do in their adventure games was to put the word “Quest” in almost every title. The Space Quest series focused on Roger Wilco, a spaceship janitor who embarks on a series of increasingly outrageous adventures.

Space Quest was one of the company’s most successful series, in part because of the sense of humor and satire by lead designers, Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy, and in part because of the way each story directly builds on the other to create a single memorable journey. Space Quest 3: The Pirates of Pestulon immediately picks up where Space Quest 2 ends and features improved graphics, sound effects and a more intuitive text parser compared to the first two games. It won awards when it was released in 1989 and is still a popular collector’s item today.

5 Space Mission 2: Vohaul’s Revenge ($146) space mission 2



complete in box




Space Quest 2 was released in 1987, two years before Space Quest 3. It didn’t innovate as much or improve as many features as the third game, but it solidified the satirical tone of the Space Quest series and introduced new mechanics, puzzles, and parodies.

In Space Quest 2, Roger Wilco ends up as a janitor again, despite his heroics, and is also the target of Sludge Vohaul, who was secretly responsible for the crisis in the first game. Original copies of the game come with a short comic that explains what happens between the first and second games, making the complete box set especially valuable for collectors.

4 Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist (Sierra Originals) ($175) freddy pharkas



complete in box




In 1993, Al Lowe, who normally focused on the Leisure Suit Larry series, decided to create an Old West spoof along the lines of the movie Blazing Saddles. He and co-designer Josh Mandel ended up creating Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist.

Much like Leisure Suit Larry, Freddy Pharkas has an unusually adult sense of humor, although it might have helped that the game was released a year before the ESRB rating system even existed. Unlike Larry, Freddy would never get a sequel, but it was popular enough to get a CD-ROM version a year later, complete with voice acting for each character. Later editions on CD-ROM are particularly rare and valuable.

3 Quest for Glory 4: Shadows of Darkness ($405) quest for glory 4



complete in box




Sierra’s Quest for Glory series was an adventure RPG hybrid, an unusual sight in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The main character is an adventurer called a player who solves puzzles, fights monsters, and improves his skills through constant practice rather than gaining levels or skill points. The entire series was co-designed by couple Lori Ann and Corey Cole.

Fans often consider Quest for Glory 4 to be the best game in the series. It features what may be the strongest ensemble of characters and stories, is the first game in the series to feature voice acting (including narration by actor John Rhys-Davies, who portrayed Gimli in The Lord of the Rings trilogy), and has a dynamic, action-oriented combat system. It also didn’t go through the development difficulties of the last game in the series, Dragon Fire.

2 Space Mission 1: The Sarien Encounter ($520) space mission 1



complete in box




Space Quest 1 was released in 1986, a time when most graphic adventure games were more like text adventures with a few simple illustrations on top. The King’s Quest series predates Space Quest, but this title was the first Sierra game to feature the sense of humor that would become a staple of the company’s later releases.

Space Quest 1 would quickly become a new hit for Sierra, but it was something of a gamble when it first came out. Combine that fact with the game’s importance as a milestone for the company, and it’s no wonder that Space Quest 1 is one of Sierra’s rarest games.

1 Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers ($679) gabriel knight sins of the fathers



complete in box




Sierra has covered a variety of story genres with its various Quest series, from fantasy and science fiction to police procedurals. However, it wasn’t until 1993 that designer Jane Jensen convinced Sierra to let her create a supernatural murder mystery called Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. The story takes place in a detailed version of New Orleans and features an incredible soundtrack and a star-studded vocal cast that includes Tim Curry, Mark Hamill and Michael Dorn.

Gabriel Knight would only get two sequels, but only because Sierra’s fortunes were already in decline in the late 1990s. Like other Sierra games of the time, Gabriel Knight came out as a set of floppy disks with no voice acting and a CD-ROM multimedia edition with voice acting. The CD-ROM edition is prized by collectors due to the higher quality of the game, the comic prequel that came in the box, and the box itself, which had a triangular shape unique to the initial release.

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