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Page 1:
Introduction
Quest for Glory I: So You Want to Be a Hero

Page 2:
Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire
Quest for Glory III: Wages of War

Page 3:
Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness
Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire

Page 4:
Interview with Corey Cole

Back to the Index


Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire - IBM PC, Amiga, Windows (1991)

Cover

Fan Remake Promo Art

Quest for Glory II, using the SCI0 engine, begins with our hero riding a magic carpet to the land of Shapier, a desert land straight out of the Arabian Nights. All seems well for a few days, until the city comes under attack by a variety of troublesome elementals, whom are based on earth, fire, wind and water, per RPG standards. After taking care of them, the hero will ride off to the crime ridden Raseir, Shapier's evil doppelganger city, which appears to be permanently devoid of light. Here, he must foil the plans of Ad Avis, who wishes to call the usual evil demons to rule the world.

The atmosphere in Shapier is completely different from its predecessor. When you first get to the city, you change into an appropriate outfit, ditching your old suit and cape. The music is appropriately Arabic flavored, although like many earlier adventure games, it's silent for a majority of the game. It's also structured quite a bit differently. Rather having a small town and a huge world to explore, Quest for Glory II flips that around, by having one gigantic town and a fairly small world. Shapier is an enormous city, filled with a labrynth of streets that connect each of the city's five plazas. Whenever you enter one, the viewpoint switches behind the back of your hero, which can get extremely disorienting when you change directions. It also doesn't help that your hero will keep walking forward until you hit a button to stop, making it difficult to walk through side doors. This is pretty standard for Sierra titles, but it definitely works against the game's favor here. Using the mouse doesn't really help much either.

One of your first tasks to accomplish is to find the money changer so you can purchase some items. Of course, said money changer is also hidden in the depths of these winding roads. The idea is that you're supposed to look at the map that came bundled with the software, read the names of the streets, and carefully navigate to your destination. This is, naturally, pretty difficult, and it wouldn't be surprising if many less devoted gamers simply gave up right here. Thankfully, once you get your cash, you can buy both a map and a compass from one of the vendors, which allows you to instantly warp to any previously visited locations. Once you've found all of the major centers, there are only a couple of times you'll ever need to break out the physical map and wade through the tunnels.

The city itself is full of interesting characters. Two of the merchants bear suspicious resemblance to the Marx Brothers (and make sure you buy a Saurus within the first day or two, or the game will cryptically kill you, for reasons which will sorta make sense by the end of the game.) The resident magician is a wacky little floating gnome, with a penchant for terrible puns and a room full of weird objects, including a Rosella dool, a Cookie Monster puppet, a squid with wings on it (Narrator's description: "You don't want to know."), and an object so baffling that the game's only description if you try to look at it is a single question mark. Most of the residents include the cat-like Katta, and you spend most of your time at the inn run by your friend Shameen. On certain nights, you can even watch his wife seductivlely dance, which is a bit discomforting, given these are anthropomorphic cats. You can also find a helpful but ill-tempered fortuneteller in the depths of the city, who's vital to your quest but will have no problems tossing you on your behind if you insult her.

The country of Shapeir is worlds apart from Spielburg.

Each class also has a unique optional quest to accomplish during the game. The Fighter can join the Eternal Order of Fighters, and the Magician can join the Wizard Institude of Technology (WIT), both accomplished by surviving through harsh tests. The Thief can hunt down the local guild and run specific quests for even more cash. Also new to Quest for Glory II are the Paladin quests, and along with it, the Honor statistic. If you act in accordance with the laws of the Paladin (which mostly amounts to "don't be a jerk"), you can eventually be promoted to the powerful class. However, this doesn't actually happen until the end of the game, so you don't actually get to use any of these skills. The idea is that you can import them into Quest for Glory III as a Paladin, but as it turns out, that game lets you choose to become a Paladin regardless of the deeds you accomplish here.

Outside of the walls of Shapier lies a vast desert. It stretches infinitely to the east and west, but there are only about five screens that separate the north and south borders of the game world. Compared to the Forest of Speilburg in the first Quest for Glory, you won't spend nearly as much time navigating the desert - there are only a few locations to visit, and once you memorize the exact directions, they're never more than a few screens away. In addition to food, you'll also need a good supply to water to survive in the blistering weat, so make sure you fill your waterskins at every possible chance.

There are plenty of enemies roaming the desert, of course, although not nearly as many as the first game. The combat has changed to an isometric viewpoint, similar to what was used in the Quest for Glory I remake. However, there are many more combat options. While the rest of the games only give you two attack options - slash and thrust - there are numerous types of high, mid and low level attacks, in addition to parrying and dodging manuevers. All of this is controlled by the numeric keypad. (Just make sure to turn Num Lock off!) While this should add depth to the fighting, it's still too based heavily on your statistics, as attacks rarely seem to connect when they should, and it's really just easier to either button mash, or just run away.

The biggest change from the previous game is that all of the events run on a very tight schedule. After the first days in town, one of the elementals will appear - if you don't kill it within a couple of days, it'll destroy the city. Once all four are defeated, over the course of sixteen days, you'll automatically be taken to the city of Rasier, where time ceases to be much of an issue as the rest of the game plays out. Given how much freedom you have in all of the other games, it's a bit aggravating to conquer the quests as the game demands, when the game demands it. Also new is the Communication stat, which can be used to bargain with merchants. It's all too easy to just continue to bargain with merchants until your skill is high enough to convince them. (At least, for most of the characters.)

To beat the final battle, you need to use a classic Monty Python tactic – run away!

There are more clever bits of humor too, including a cinematic sequence that begins with a homage to Lawrence of Arabia, which switches to an intermission (complete with popcorn and soda graphics) as you come under attack, only to end up defeating all of them singlehandledly for reasons that aren't entirely clear. Also, in a brilliant fourth wall shattering move, if you try to throw a rock at a certain tree, it'll bounce off and "crack" your computer monitor, complete with an electric hum and a Game Over message lamenting the fact that you'll need to buy a new one. In another slightly amusing easter egg, you can by a pair of X-Ray Glasses from the magician's shop. These may seem useless, but you can use them to spy on one of the female characters when they're changing clothes. It's not particularly detailed, even compared to, say, Leisure Suit Larry III, but hey! Stuff like this is awesome when you're thirteen. There's even a cryptic "Silly Clowns" option in the menu bar, which causes some rather goofy stuff to happen through the game, like finding a Harpo Marx-a-like running through the streets of Shapier, or a doomed golfer permanently stuck in the desert sands.

Just one word of warning - the Quest for Glory games are usually pretty good about not sticking you in unwinnable situations. But after you beat all of the elementals, make sure to talk to all of the citizens, because one of them will give you a vital item for later in the game. If you forget to get it - and it's something very easy to overlook - then you'll be completely stuck once you get to Raseir.

Despite a few of the aforemention aggravating issues, which you'll mostly learn to avoid through multiple playthroughs, Quest for Glory II is a damn fine game. Although Sierra never released a VGA upgrade for Quest for Glory II, an awesome software development studio named AGD Interactive released their own remake in 2008 for Windows. The interface is pretty much the same one as Quest for Glory III, even using the same font. All of the writing is intact, all of the locations are beautifully duplicated with 256 color backgrounds, and all of the major (and most of the minor) characters have portraits when talking. Although a majority of the interface is mouse drive, you have the option to enter text during the dialogue screens, in addition from choosing from multiple selections. The streets of Shapier are now much brighter and less dingy, with street names helpfully popping up as you highlight them. There's even an option to simplify the layout, which is still confusing, but much easier to navigate than the numerous twists and turns of the original game. All of the music has been redone too.

The developers at AGI also took the opportunity to expand upon a lot of dialogue, including some notes from the Coles of things that had been left on the cutting room floor, and several additional easter eggs. It also ties in together with the later games, allowing you to ask Rakeesh more about his life in Tarna, or talk about Mordavia from Quest for Glory IV. There are a couple of new enemies, too - in Quest for Glory IV, the mad scientest talks about a hidden fifth "pizza" element. In this remake, there's actually a hidden fifth pizza elemental you can fight, if you go through the right steps.

The battle system has been tweaked a bit as well. The screen no longer fades to black during combat. You can now advance or retreat around the screen, allowing for a greater scope of movement. You also regain a bit of stamina as long as you're not attacking. If you want to forego most of this, there's an auto-battle option too, which you can manually tweak. It's still a bit hard to deal with, and fights tend to take longer than normal, but it's also a huge improvement over the original. Since the remake was released as freeware with permission from Vivendi Universal (the rights holders to Sierra's licenses), it's definitely worth downloading, and might even be preferable to the original, as long as you don't have any nostalgic attachment to it.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Designer:

  • Corey Cole
    Lori Cole

Genre:

Themes:


Quest for Glory II (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory II (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory II (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory II (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory II (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory II (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory II (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory II (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory II (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory II (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory II Remake (Windows)

Quest for Glory II Remake (Windows)


Additional Screenshots


Comparison Screenshots


Quest for Glory III: Wages of War - IBM PC (1992)

Cover

The developers originally intended to continue the Quest for Glory series with Shadows of Darkness, which would've taken place in the Translyvania-esque village of Mordavia. They put these plans on hold though, with the release of Wages of War. (Apparently the Coles once again ran into copyright issues, and had planned to re-release the game under the subtitle "Seekers of the Lost City".) This time, our hero visits the land of Tarna, the homeland of Uhura and Rakeesh, the residents of the Adventurer's Guild in Quest for Glory II. Tarna is much like Africa, although it is ruled primarily by lion-like creatures Liontaurs. As you and Rakeesh return, you learn of a mounting war between the human Simbani tribe and the apparently evil Leopardman. Obviously, things aren't as they seem, and it's to you, as the hero, to find a way to avoid a bloody and unnecessary conflict.

Quest for Glory III uses the same SCI1 interface as the Quest for Glory I remake, which mostly identical commands, although the graphics are a bit better. However, it feels much smaller than either of the previous games. The bargaining interface is now a bit more advanced, allowing you to give specific offers to merchants, and you can now click the mouth icon on yourself for more dialogue options, including greeting characters and telling themselves about your adventures. There's also a handy autosave, too.

Outside the city of Tarna lies a huge savannah on the west side, and a jungle on the east side, making up the land of Fricana. Travel is accomplished via an overhead map, complete with Indiana Jones-style dotted lines that traces your hero's steps. The game world is only four screens long, but time passes quickly as you travel. To make up for this, you can now camp anywhere in the savannah, as long as you have a source of fire (either the slame dart spell for magicians, or a tinderbox for any other class.) Outside of the first couple of days, the game does not run under any schedule a la Trial By Fire, so you're free to take your time on your quest. The music takes on a tribal African feel. It works some of the time, but it's usually just pretty grating, particularly because the prevalent use of percussion just doesn't sound right on most MIDI outputs. There are a variety of combat themes, but none of them are particularly good.

The hero spends much of the time interacting with the residents of the Simbani tribe.

Battles still occur randomly on the world map, but you're given the opportunity to run away before conflict. The fighting is pretty terrible too, arguably the worst since the original EGA Quest for Glory. The viewpoint is similar to battle scenes from the Quest for Glory I remake, but the camera has been positioned at waist level behind the hero, giving a more dramatic look on the action. But neither yourself nor your enemies seem to react whenever they get hit, and there aren't any sound effects at all to indicate damage, so it makes you both look like you're flailing randomly at air, all while the HP and stamina meters mysteriously start dropping. Like most of the other games, you can still win just by spamming the attack commands, and at least you regain a bit of stamina if you hold off attacking.

For a good portion of the game your quest feels pretty aimless. Most of the game revoles around extremely simple fetch quests, none of which require any real effort or ingenuity. You can't really advance any events in the game until the Simbani capture a Leopardman. The problem is, this event is triggered by completely unrelated tasks, leaving you to stumble around until the game finally decides you can move on. But once that happens, you're basically entering the second half of the game. Quest for Glory III is fairly short, and the resolution of the plot isn't particularly interesting either. It doesn't help that there doesn't seem like there's a whole lot to do. There's a ritual initiation for the Fighter, and a staff building quest for the Magician, but there's almost nothing for the Thief. In fact, there's no Thief Guild, no houses to break into, and only a few cases where your skills are of any use.

If you've imported a character from a previous game, you can also choose to be a Paladin from the outset. The Paladin is more or less the same as the Fighter, but there are a few extra quests that grant additional abilities, like a flaming sword to deal extra damage, or healing magic to cure wounds. You also need to act properly in order to increase your Honor and Paladin statistics, and run various subquests. Some of these are interesting - at the beginning of the game, you help catch a thief, whose "honor" is stripped away as a punishment. In Tarna, however, this basically means that a person is more or less nonexistent, so the thief can no longer talk to anyone, much less find food. You can offer to help him, which in turn breaks the rules of the land, but this is required to fulfill the duties of a Paladin. Others, however, are more lame. There's a Simbani tribesman that you repeatedly need to challenge in a dull minigame. After doing this for days on end, you can eventually become his "friend" and gain another skill. It's a bit disappointing that after all of the hype that went into building up the character in Quest for Glory II, it really just amounts to a few skills and minor story segments - some more moral quandries like the honorless thief would've worked much better.

The fighting scenes in this game are, sadly, reprehensible.

In general the game feels kind of empty. There are a couple of interesting characters - most notably, the Sanford and Son-esque duo in the Tarna bazaar, and the super hippie at the Apothecary - and there are a few amusing scenes, like the fake death message you get if you fail to put out a campfire, or the Awful Waffle Walker, a strange, edible being you'll find wandering through the jungle, but only if you're nearing starvation. If you're lucky, youfll also happen upon Laurel and Hardy (dressed as French Legion soldiers) and a weird creature called Andy the Aardvark (who dishes out useful hints). But touches like these are uncommon, and neither the plot, nor the characters, nor the writing is as engaging as any of the other titles. So while the setting is unique amongst adventure games, Quest for Glory III just feels lacking in too many areas.

Also, it's a minor point of contention, but from this game onward, the hero just wears a generic brown and white outfit, instead of donning some of the local garb, a la the Arabian outfit from Quest for Glory II. Oh well.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Designer:

  • Corey Cole
    Lori Cole

Genre:

Themes:


Quest for Glory III (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory III (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory III (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory III (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory III (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory III (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory III (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory III (IBM PC)

Quest for Glory III (IBM PC)


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Introduction
Quest for Glory I: So You Want to Be a Hero

Page 2:
Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire
Quest for Glory III: Wages of War

Page 3:
Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness
Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire

Page 4:
Interview with Corey Cole

Back to the Index