The Colonel's Bequest was originally released in 1989 on the following platforms: IBM PC DOS, Atari ST and Commodore Amiga. Although the game interpreter that The Colonel's Bequest uses was ported to Apple Macintosh platform, Sierra never released the game for this platform.
There was only one released version of The Colonel's Bequest, the game was never updated. This public version was v1.000.046. This version was also used on the various re-releases over the years. Unlike some other Sierra text-parser based games, like Leisure Suit Larry 1, Police Quest 1 and Quest for Glory 1, The Colonel's Bequest was never updated to a VGA 256-color, icon-driven interface.
On most platforms SCI0 supported a variety of videocards and optional peripherals, like soundcards and external MIDI-modules. See the following list for specific features of all platforms.
The original version came in a box containing the game disks (different for the various platforms, see below), a Misty Acres Plantation map, magnifying glass, Tulane University notepad, Laura Bow pencil, the game manual and Sierra's 10th anniversary product catalog.
When booting the game, a fingerprint is displayed on the screen, that the user should match with the fingerprints which are printed on the Misty Acres Plantation map. The fingerprints are printed unreadable on the map and the supplied magnify glass is neccessary to "reveal"e; the fingerprints. This was used for additional copy-protection, as the fingerprints can not easily be copied using a normal copier.
IBM PC DOS - Original release (1989)
Atari ST - Original release (1990)
Commodore Amiga - Original release (1990)
The Colonel's Bequest was re-released various times over the years. As noted, those releases are exactly the same version as the 1989/1990 version. Most of the times the manual/documentation/additions was simplified though, i.e. backstory and pictures removed. Also the additions like the map, magnifying glass, pencil and notebook were removed and the copy protection simply consisted of a sheet of paper or page in the manual with the fingerprints.
In Europe the game was re-released in various countries under the KIXX name. If anyone knows more about those releases and can provide us with pictures of the box, manuals and list of platforms these were released on, etc. then please contact us.
The Colonel's Bequest appeared on two DOS/Windows CD-ROM compilations that were both released in 1997 on CD-ROM. To this date, this is the last time The Colonel's Bequest was released.
Bizarrely, The Colonel's Bequest was removed from the many King's Quest compilations that were released after 1997.
In the late 80's, Sierra did not create demonstration versions of most of their games, so Sierra never released a demonstration version of The Colonel's Bequest.