Showcase PC Game – Quest for Glory Series

A recent bout of nostalgia has led me to dig up an old PC game to play, and after reading the online reviews and walkthroughs on the other games in the series, I was sufficiently inspired to acquire the rest of the games so that I can play the entire complete series, for the fun of it.

The “Quest for Glory” series is a combination of role-playing and adventure games published by Sierra. In each of the QFG games, you are a character who works his way towards his dream of becoming a hero, and usually the process involves trying to solve almost everybody’s problems, learning clues about the greater issues happening through talking with other characters, and of course from the clues piece together the solutions and therefore become the hero by the end of each game. You can choose for your hero one out of the three career paths available: The fighter, the magic user, and the thief. Some tasks may only be exclusive to certain career paths, and quite often each career path has its own special way of solving the tasks in the games. As the hero progresses through the game, he also trains and builds up his abilities and skills to designated levels in order to perform his tasks.

A typical scene from the QFG games, the hero walks around the screen interacting with other characters.

There are five games in the QFG series:
#1 – Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero (1989; A VGA remake was released in 1991)
#2 – Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire (1990; A VGA remake was released in 2008)
#3 – Quest for Glory III: Wages of War (1992)
#4 – Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness (1994)
#5 – Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire (1998)

In QFG I, the hero arrives at the Valley of Spielburg, which is in need of a hero to break a curse that had befallen on the land. Following QFG I, in QFG II the hero travels to the desert city of Shapeir, where the hero needs to save the city from threats by magical elements. In QFG III, the jungle country of Fricana is on the brink of war between the different tribes, and the hero needs to settle the disputes and expose the actual cause of the conflict. The hero is then mysteriously transported to the distant land of Mordavia in QFG IV, where a dark cult had caused gloom and misery amongst its people. The hero needs to uncover the true reasons why he was brought there, and bring about a resolution to the darkness over the land, at the same time meeting an old enemy from the past. In QFG V, the hero goes to the Kingdom of Silmaria, whose King had recently been assassinated, and the Kingdom is in conflict with the different factions surrounding it. The hero meets familar faces from previous games as he tries to expose the conspiracy behind the King’s assassination.

Comparison between a scene from QFG II between the EGA original (left) and its VGA remake (right).

Both QFG I & II were originally released in EGA (16-colour) versions, and QFG I was remade with improved graphics in VGA (256-colour) by Sierra in 1991, with its (by now) archaic text-based interface replaced by a considerably more user-friendly point-and-click system. Sierra did not get around to remake QFG II before it got shut down, and the VGA remake for QFG II was done by another company (whose designers are probably fans of the original game), and made available as a free download in 2008.

  If you weren’t already too busy finding clues and trying to solve everybody’s problems in the game, you would typically be engaged in mortal combat with some random monster you might encounter in the wilderness, as seen in the above screencap. Scary.

So, over the past few weeks I had been replaying QFG IV, after digging out the old game from my storeroom. I came across a Let’s Play Archive walkthrough of QFG, and got inspired by the site’s rather humourous presentation of the games, and therefore decided to check out for myself the various possible playing paths, some of which I might had missed when I first played the game years ago. These include hidden easter eggs, losing paths, and more macabrely the stupid ways of dying (QFG games have a knack of making snide comments whenever the hero ends up dead, especially if you did it on purpose.).

Yes! My package of “Quest for Glory Collection Series” has arrived! It is a collection of the first four QFG games all bundled into one, and I’ve gotten around to play QFG I as well! Still waiting for my order of “QFG V: Dragon Fire” to arrive though.

UPDATE: Hah! Much better now, my “Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire” has arrived. GAME ON!

UPDATE: What the heck. I’ll just picture all my “Quest for Glory” games together.  At the centre is “Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness”.

The “Quest for Glory” games allow for players who had completed a game to import his character into subsequent games, retaining the character’s abilities and level of skills, and sometimes even collected items, such that it is essentially the same person who is moving onto the next game. This was apparently a common feature in past adventure games, something that had sadly declined in recent years (Expansion packs don’t count). A new career path (the Paladin), which comes with its own exclusive missions, becomes available from QFG III onwards, but only for imported characters.

Here are some links that I’ve found with regards to “Quest for Glory”:

Let’s Play Archive walkthrough of QFG – A humourous take on a walkthrough for all five QFG games.

Quest for More Glory website – Information on the QFG games and characters, includes a discussion forum.

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