Monday, July 14, 2014

Game 154: Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire (1990)

Note my little party sailing into the game in the lower-left.

Just the other day, I was praising Stuart Smith for setting his games in Arabia, ancient Greece, and Mesopotamia, in an era where generic high fantasy was the norm. The Coles and their colleagues deserve the same kind of credit. The five Quest for Glory titles explore, in order, themes from Bavaria, Persia/Arabia, Africa, Hungary/Romania, and Greece. The first, fourth, and fifth come the closest to skirting the edges of standard high fantasy, but all the games do a great job of establishing settings that are familiar from television and films yet very unusual in RPGs.

Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire takes place in the city of Shapeir, which exists in the imagination somewhere between Marrakesh and Baghdad. The game establishes the setting from the opening screen, when the main "hero" theme from the first game is re-cast into the minor modal style that signals "eastern" music. (Judging by this interview with Corey Cole, that was Chris Brayman's contribution, though Mark Seibert is also credited.) The Hero and his friends, the merchant Abdulla Doo and the Kattas Shameen and Shema, are shown arriving in Shapeir on the magic carpet they used to leave Spielburg at the end of Quest for Glory.

An unspecified time later, the hero is sitting on a cushion in Abdulla, Shameen, and Shema's newly-established Katta's Tail Inn. Outside the inn, a series of winding, maze-like streets connect various plazas and bazaars where turban- and thawb-clad denizens wander about, peddlers hawk rugs, pottery, and falafels, snake charmers play their pungi, and guards patrol with scimitars.

One of the few games of the era to offer generic wandering background NPCs, like the citizen in the lower-right and the guard in the lower-left. Most of the time, they claim not to understand your language, but occasionally you can talk to them.

Trickster over at The Adventure Gamer is playing Quest for Glory II at the same time as I am. In his first post, he asked for advice about whether to create a new character or to import his successful hero from Quest for Glory, the issue being that imported characters may be overpowered. I understand his concern. A newly-created mage has 480 total attribute and skill points and starts with 150 gold coins, whereas my imported Chester has 810 attribute and skill points and 222 gold coins. And I didn't even grind very much in the first game. My imported character also started with a suit of chain mail and all the first game's spells, while a newly-created one starts with leather and must go purchase "Dazzle." Nonetheless, since I just replayed Quest for Glory specifically so I'd have a mage to import, I decided to live with the game being perhaps a little too easy in the opening stages.

The class-selection screen has a great series of animations where the fighter bursts through the wall, the mage apparates in front of it, and the thief leaps down from the top of it.

There are a few attributes new to Quest for Glory II, including an "Honor" statistic, which started for me at 50. I assume it's something like a karma meter. Instead of just a "score," we now have both "Puzzle Points" and "Experience" (the latter started at 5,000). There's a new "Communications" skill that seems to increase every time I talk to someone.

Gameplay is essentially the same as Hero's Quest. You can walk with the arrow keys or keypad or by clicking the left mouse button, and the right mouse button operates the "look" command. Most other commands are entered via text (BUY MEAT, PICK LOCK, CLIMB, ASK ABOUT SHAPEIR), though there are shortcuts for common commands: CTRL-I does the same thing as typing INVENTORY and CTRL-A automatically populates the text box with ASK ABOUT, for instance. There are probably new commands available; I don't know for sure, since part of the challenge of the two games is that the player doesn't have an exhaustive list of verbs and nouns. In some games, this would be annoying, but the programmers of Quest for Glory did a fantastic job anticipating all of the various ways a player would try something, starting with the first move, when STAND and GET UP both work.

Before vacating the pillow, however (a command that, regrettably, does not work; I would have been very impressed), I spent a lot of time talking with both Abdulla and Shameen. What I like about the original Hero's Quest and this game is that they don't spoon-feed you dialogue. Just as in the Ultima games, you have to figure out the keywords you want to use in conversation. They may come from the same character's dialogue, from another character's hint, from general information about the setting, and from the environment. Abdulla, for instance, had responses to SHAPEIR, SPIELBURG, and BANDITS from the game's general back story; ELEMENTALS, DJINNS, and DESERT from his own dialogue; INN, SHAMEEN, and KATTA from the environment; and words like FOUNTAIN and RASEIR after I'd discovered their importance from other NPCs. I love it when games make you take notes like this, and this is probably one of the last games that does.

A response to SPIELBURG.

The manual sets up a little about the game by noting the history of Shapeir and its sister city, Raseir. Both were built around magical fountains that never run dry. The Sultan of Shapeir is the ultimate ruler of both cities, although an Emir governs Raseir. The Emir has lately disappeared, and the city has been seized in a kind of coup d'etat that has resulted in a totalitarian government.

The hero's role in all of this is left mysterious, and there's no hint of a main quest when the game starts in the Katta's Tail Inn. I spent some time talking with Abdulla and Shameen about current events, then got up and headed out the door to look for adventure.

This guy has something funny to say every time you pass through.

Right outside the inn, a loud and funny vendor named Alichica (based on Chico Marx) hawks maps, compasses, souvenirs, and other items that he frequently claims to have but then cannot find when you try to buy them. (All purchases are accompanied by him saying "lemme see if I got one" and a cute animation as he tosses his own shop looking for it.) A map was my first priority. The game manual comes with a basic one, but purchasing one in-game allows you to type USE MAP and fast-travel to key locations. Until you have one, you're stuck walking down the maze of streets and frequently getting lost.

Is this the first game to allow "fast travel" on the automap to places already visited? I can't think of any others. Ultima VI, maybe, but that wasn't quite the same mechanism.
   
Unfortunately, Alichica didn't want any of my gold coins from Spielburg, so my first task was to visit the money changer for local golden dinars. Alichica's instructions to the money changer's shop mirrored every experience I've had trying to get directions somewhere from my mother. ("Please, mom, for the love of god, just tell me the address. Google Maps will tell me where to turn. I don't need to know about the big red barn or the small white house where they never mow the grass.")

  
Fortunately, a nearby guard told me that the money changer was at the "end of Dinar Tarik," which was a few streets away according to my map. I did get turned around a bit trying to find it, but eventually I made my way and received 176 dinars for my 222 gold coins.

Dinarzad wasn't interested in more social exchanges.
  
Back at the Gate Plaza (the one outside the inn), I bought a map and compass from Alichica. I then decided to check in at the Adventurer's Guild and find the list of active quests. Outside the guild was an NPC that I remembered from the third game but not this one: a "liontaur" paladin named Rakeesh, summoned to aid the city but hampered by a leg wound he'd received fighting a demon.

I have a feeling we're going to be friends.

The guild was run by a female warrior named Uhura, of the Simbani people. The name is a Star Trek reference, of course, but it also means "freedom" in Swahili. She has a baby boy named Simba, a pre-Lion King reference to the fact that "simba" means "lion" in Swahili. I signed my name into the adventurer's book and took a look at the quest board.


There were five notices, but only three had anything to do with quests. They were:

  • A reward for restoring Emir Arus Al-Din to his rightful place in the palace of Raseir
  • The apothecary, Harik Attar, is looking for spell components from the desert
  • The magic shop owner, Keapon Laffin (ugh) needs someone to collect "the whirling part of a dervish"

One other notice said that the "way of the paladin" was "to seek, to learn, to do," and another was a generic note from the Sultan that those who do service to the land shall know rewards. A separate note on the wall concerned the benefits of joining the Eternal Order of Fighters. This reminded me that there's a wizard's college around here somewhere that I have to ask about.

Uhura's take on the fighter's guild.

Uhura offered free training in a room off to the side, and there was a funny animation as baby Simba clapped in the background. I'll have more on combat in a later post.

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I just hit you.

I paid a visit to the apothecary, got details on his quest (he wants a scorpion's venom and the claws of a ghoul), and bought a couple of pills, including a poison antidote. Pills generally replace potions from the previous game, although the apothecary says he'll whip up a "Dispel" potion.


My next stop was at the magic shop, where I encountered Keapon Laffin, perhaps the most annoying NPC of all time. I suffered through his idiotic banter (I know, I know: I have no sense of humor) long enough to purchase the two new spells offered by Quest for Glory II: "Force Bolt" and "Levitate." He also mentioned Aziza, a local enchantress, and offered a magic rope for sale. On a whim, I asked him about Yorick from Spielburg, and he claimed that Yorick was his cousin. When I asked about becoming a wizard, he mentioned a school called WIT (Wizard's Institute of Technocery) hidden somewhere in the city, and I'd need magic to find it.

Can I kill him? Erana didn't cast a spell around Shapeir, right?

I finished off the day with a visit to Aziza, who asked me a few riddles before she let me in. We had a nice cup of tea and she had dialogue options about the land and many of the NPCs, but I didn't learn anything uniquely valuable.

Everyone seems to agree that the Sultan is a cool guy.

I think I'll stop here for now, before I get too far ahead of Trickster. I'll post again once he's leapfrogged me in content.

From just messing about the city, Chester had some nice stat increases.

A lot of miscellaneous notes from the first session:

  • The denizens of Shapeir have heard of my exploits in Spielburg, and I get hailed as "Hero of the North" all over the place. It's a fun change of pace from the typical game where you don't get any respect.
  • The adventurer's guild, just like the one in Spielburg, features a moose head on the wall. I guess every Sierra game features one as a running gag. It doesn't bother me or anything, but I don't get it.


  • Shameen claims that he and Shema specifically went to Spielburg to find and return with a hero. This contradicts the first game, in which he said he and Shema came to Spielburg hoping to make a profit on their trading caravan.
  • There seem to be more time-sensitive elements in this game than its predecessor. NPCs appear in different combinations at different times of day. For instance, sometimes Rakeesh is in the Adventurer's Guild with Uhura; sometimes, he's out front by himself; and sometimes, he's out front babysitting Simba. A tightrope walker pops up in front of the Adventurer's Guild at various times and wagers 5 to 1 that the hero won't be able to cross. 

I have not yet been successful.

  • There is a menu selection called "Silly Clowns" with settings for "Off," "On," and "Auto." I'm not sure I even want to know.
  • Although I continue to like the musical leitmotifs of the series, the ambient sound is sometimes awful. The scratchy cacophony that accompanies the central fountain vies for fingernails on a chalkboard as one of the most annoying sounds I've ever heard.
  • Some evenings at the inn, you can sit down and watch Shema do a belly dance. In the first game, Shema remarks that her name means "dancer" and she loves to dance, but that she won't dance again until she returns to Shapeir.


Well, this is vaguely uncomfortable.

  • "Puzzle points" are awarded for certain actions. I got them from buying a map and compass, signining into the adventurer's guild, and a few other things. Unlike the first game, you don't appear to get them by simply talking to key NPCs. I think you have to ask about particular keywords.
  • There are many more shops in this game than the first one. So far, I've run across a plant seller, a basket merchant, a pottery store, a souvenir shop, the apothecary, the magic shop, a lamp seller, a flower girl, a stall selling meat and dates, a weapon shop, a jewelry merchant, and a carpet seller. I don't know how many of these items will turn out to be necessary to the game.


  • Right-clicking on objects is the same as typing LOOK AT them. The game has descriptions for almost all unique items on the screen--particularly notable in some of the shops, where dozens of objects spill off of the shelves. The game takes lots of opportunity for puns and jokes in these descriptions.

A reference to perhaps my least-favorite songwriter of the 20th century. Looking at the urns produces "Last week's urnings," and looking at the alcove full of censers produces the note that "the next game will be uncensered."

Even though I played and won Quest for Glory II back in the 1990s, I don't remember a single thing about it except that I liked it and had fun. That's a great position to be in. I can only hope the same thing happens by the time I get back to Baldur's Gate or Morrowind.

Let's see if we can finish Fallthru, shall we?


74 comments:

  1. How did the import character (from QfG1) process go? I remember one detail about it which could potentially be a spoiler, but my memory is fuzzy.

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    1. Quick and seamless. I can't imagine what would have been spoiler-ish about it.

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    2. At least QfG3 and QfG4 allow you to import your game as a class other than Rogue/Mage/Fighter. I don't remember if you can do the same on QfG2 OR if it's related to something that happens midgame.

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    3. Pedro, that is a subplot in this game carried into the next. There are no import spoilers into this game that I know of.

      Spoiler for those that know this game: Lbh pna orpbzr n Cnynqva va guvf tnzr sebz nal bs gur guerr pynffrf (V qvq nf n zntr), ohg tnzrcynl jvfr vg vf zber nccebcevngr nf n svtugre naq fbzr bs gur sberfunqbjvat vf svtugre-bayl, fhpu nf orvat noyr gb obeebj gur Cnynqva'f synzvat fjbeq. Gurer vf nyfb n oht jvgu cnynqva-zntrf va gur arkg tnzr. Purg jvyy cebonoyl abg trg vg, rkprcg ol nppvqrag qrcraqvat ba ubj ur vf cynlvat.

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    4. Now I'm curious, how do I read these spoilers? :D

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    5. These are ROT13. Lots of plugins can do it, or you can go to http://www.rot13.com/

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    6. There's more or less just one reason why you can import as something other than what you were in the following games.

      It's possible with the right approach / skill set to have the game detect the wrong class between games, as the nature of 'hybrid characters' means you could acheive the Mage's puzzle end game as a Fighter, for instance. As the following game immediately recaps your method of winning in this one, there's probably some flag that distinguished as such (though Corey Cole has been positively rambunctious in speaking about the game over on Trickster's blog, which could well give a better impression of the reasoning.)

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    7. We had a couple of bugs with the "save character" feature. One was a misunderstanding of code I had written with bit masks for various information. Another programmer modified it, saw that it used values of 1, 2, and 4, and thought that meant 3 was available. As a bit mask, that actually duplicated the 1 and 2, making it impossible to tell which flags were actually saved.

      The other bug involved an arithmetic overflow, I think with Experience Points. If the number was too large, it corrupted my scheme for lightly-encrypting the file, and caused later information (which might have included the character class) to come out wrong. I think it had something to do with signed and unsigned arithmetic.

      Along those lines, an adaptation of the SCI interpreter to the Macintosh crashed on a certain date with a divide by zero error. It is very hard to test for "time bombs" like that which won't have an effect until years after the game ships.

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    8. The only problem I had was that QFG1 remake saved games sometimes (or not at all?) couldn't be imported to QFG2.

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    9. No, the remake save imports just fine. That's what I just did.

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    10. Urgh... NOW I remember what the problem is. The start of the Hard Disk era and having to remember the path name of the saved game if you changed it from the default. Most game makers love to make the default pathway as "C:/[company name]" whereas I would classify them in categories instead of the publisher's.

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    11. Oh, I did have some issue with that. I just copied the saved game directly to the directory of the new game and it picked it up fine.

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    12. Well, this explains why both of my imported characters (a mage and thief) were assumed to be fighters...that's a shame. :/

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  2. Looks like our rules have been updated. Please follow these two rules. Three, three rules. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three.

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    1. I added a rule asking people to stop commenting anonymously and just choose the "Name/URL" option and not enter a URL. This is functionally anonymous, but it allows people respond to specific names, to figure out who's who in a thread, and me to refer to comments without constantly saying "an anonymous commenter." It takes an extra two seconds, but this guy decided to be a dick about it.

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    2. heh, I always signed "--Francois424" at the end because I didnt know of the trick you just wrote. Now that I registered, it doesn't matter anymore, but it is good to know.

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    3. Singing a name to the end of an anonymous comment would be fine, too (although sometimes harder to pick out). I'm just trying to avoid threads in which there are six "Anonymous" posts, and you can't tell if it's a single commenter or six of them.

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  3. What do you have against Jimmy Webb?

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    1. I honestly have to justify not liking the guy responsible for "MacArthur Park"? That song is so bad it's hard to believe it wasn't deliberately written to be bad, as a big joke on audiences.

      Overall, the guy wrote bland, sappy songs about staggeringly wimpy male protagonists. Take the song referenced here, where he has to sneak off in the middle of the night because he doesn't have the balls to break up with his girlfriend in person.

      "Galveston" has moments, but nothing makes up for leaving the cake out in the rain.

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    2. The Isaac Hayes cover was great though.

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    3. I will forgive every excess in Webb's inventory in exchange for the wonder that is "If These Walls Could Speak".

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    4. You can gain a new appreciation for MacArthur Park by listening to Weird Al's Jurassic Park parody of it. As for the original song, it actually has a deeper meaning. It's about a beautiful park in Los Angeles that was taken over by gangs and drug addicts. The song (strange, and sometimes sappy, as the lyrics may be) laments the loss. The metaphor is the park as a lovely cake that has been destroyed by neglect.

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    5. Totally agree re: Jurassic Park

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    6. Just joking or repeating bad intel?

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  4. Re: automaps - dunno about CRPGs but there was some precedent at Sierra; the third King's Quest had a magic map that gradually filled in as you went, and could return you to any square - though irritatingly this did not include your home at the top of a treacherous mountain, and so map or not, you always had to take the long, pixel-dodging climb. No doubt this was to maintain tension (the game had a clock and bad things happened if the wizard beat you home) but I do like the QFG II approach better.

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    1. I still have nightmares about the walk up and down that mountain.

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    2. That's because the mountain home was shielded with a spell that only allows the wizard Manamannan to enter via teleportation.

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  5. Such a happy morning to wake up and see that you have broken your clockwork schedule to put out a QfG post! I've just played through this game as a Magic-User and a Thief, and I may go and do a Fighter run-through soon. It is one of my all time favorite games, though it does have some flaws as I am sure you will point out.

    Even more than the previous game, most puzzles have alternate solutions based on class, and each class has a unique subplot, such as the wizard's college that you allude to. A few subquests can be completed by anyone, but puzzle points are awarded differently (or not at all) depending on the class. There are some great walkthroughs for you to read after the game is over because you cannot get the whole experience in one playthrough.

    A few notes:

    I did not get the acrobat on my magic-user playthrough, only as a thief. It could be that he only shows up with you have a high enough agility score. Spoiler for thief: Gur gvtugebcr jnyxvat fxvyy vf erdhverq sbe gur guvrs fbyhgvba.

    When I did the acrobat, I found that it was difficult to tell whether I needed to lean left or right. Although it is much slower, I could cross if I used the "back" arrow every time I was slipping to steady myself instead of trying to lean out of the fall.

    The money changer violates economic principles. You get a better exchange rate if you trade in lower amounts than higher ones.

    "Silly clowns" turns on even more puns and adds some useless NPCs. Off disables them, auto seems to cause hem to show up once in a while, and on causes them to show up more. No gameplay effect. For example, with them on you can occasionally find Bob Hope golfing in the desert or a mirage of a Crusader (from Sierra's "Conquest of Camelot", I believe). It also adds some "back talk" in certain NPC interactions, such as one case where you ask a NPC for "Just the facts, ma'am." that I found suspension-breaking. Your character (almost?) never speaks, and to have the only thing you ever say be quips like that to key NPCs? No thank you.

    Tiny spoiler for a verb you can use in the shops (it's in the manual, but easy to miss): Hfr "onetnva" vafgrnq bs "ohl". Vg znxrf n purpx ntnvafg lbhe pbzzhavpngvba fpber gb trg n orggre cevpr.

    Happy playing!

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  6. The way that NPCs do different things at different times is a neat feature. I don't recall many games that do that, but I think it helps make the game's world feel more alive and give minor characters a bit of added depth since they go to different places for different reasons.

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  7. If you think Keapon Laffin is annoying I'd hate to see your face when you encounter Punny Bones in QFG4. I found the back-and-forth between Punny Bones and the three Inn patrons pretty funny and patrons have their own hilarious dialogue by themselves. The voice actors' deliveries on the characters is just so perfect.

    QFG4 really hit it out of the park with music & sound.

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  8. Quick reminder with respect to honor:

    The parser recognizes politeness; and it has a benefit (especially after long conversations).

    There is a fan-made remake of Quest For Glory 2, that attempts to mirror the VGA level graphics and interface of the sequels. Apparently they also did some minor gameplay changes (like the hidden Pizza Elemental, calling back to something from the 4th game).

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    1. And making combat roughly eighteen times more difficult. I thought I would like a VGA remake of my favorite game of all time, but I didn't like the game at all. I'm sure I'm in the minority on this one.

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    2. And isn't that a little spoilerish?

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    3. A little, but it's something the game alerts you to early on with respect to Aziza.

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  9. Ref Silly Clowns: That was based on an idea from Brian K. Hughes, one of the QG2 programmers. Back in the beginning of the personal computer age, it was harder to patch software. Some productivity programs such as VisiCalc came out with some greyed-out menu options for features that hadn't been implemented in time for the first release. These served as "hooks" for the feature to be added in a later patch or add-on program.

    In other words, there were menu items that did absolutely nothing in many programs. "Silly Clowns" was initially going to be a greyed-out menu that did absolutely nothing.

    Unfortunately, a meddling game designer (me) ruined the purity of the idea by having the Silly Clowns menu actually do something. There is at least one NPC who is only in the game if the option is turned on. Also some death messages are sillier with the Silly Clowns option.

    I don't recall the difference between "Auto" and "On".

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    1. Could have made it a Silly Clowns DLC instead. XD

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    2. Kenny, I think you mean a Silly Clowns Expansion Pack, as the devil hadn't invented DLC yet back in 1990.

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    3. I'm so glad you opted to put this in! It allows for the stodgier gamers to turn the funny parts off, while more normal Sierra gamers can bask in classic QfG goofiness.

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  10. When Shameen says that "We journeyed to Spielburg to bring back a Hero", I interpret it that the end result was that they brought back a hero, not that their initial intention was to do so (of course I could be wrong).

    Keapon admittedly manages to be even more annoying than Erasmus. Do all mage NPCs continue that trend later in the series? (I haven't played the other games, I'm just wondering).

    About the sound of the fountain, I assume that you have selected the SoundBlaster as sound device. Do yourself a favor and select the Roland MT32, but before that, be sure to download the Munt emulator and the MT32_Control and MT32_PCM ROMs. Also, make sure that the MT32 Synth Emulator is selected as MIDI output device in the Control Panel.

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    1. Is it actually Shameen who comments in QG1 about trying to make a profit? That sounds like an Abdulla Doo line, and would have been correct for him. If Shameen said it, it was a cover story for his real mission, although that mission was sidetracked by the troubles in Spielburg - They had no good way to get out of the Valley, let alone return to Shapeir.

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    2. Well, what Shameen says is, "I hoped to return to my homeland with the profits Abdulla, Shema, and I would make from the caravan." I read this as his primary mission, but I suppose if you read "with" as "using," it leaves open the possibility that he was in Spielburg for other reasons and just hoped the caravan would provide a mechanism home.

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    3. I also just remembered that in QfG1, Shameen and Shema say they've been in Spielburg for several years, while in QfG2, the troubles have only been happening for a year. If they indeed left to find a hero, it was awfully prescient of them.

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  11. In QFG1, there's a Dagger Throwing game and the Mage's Maze game. In QFG2, there's an Arm Wrestling (on Trickster's blog), a Tightrope Walking (on yours) and a Wizard-In-Training game (in my memory).

    I dunno if I'm wrong here but I can't find any other preceding RPGs that have such minigames with the following exeptions:

    Hillsfar - But not actually a real RPG with any serious plot other than being a series of minigames.

    Keef the Thief - Only Lockpicking as a minigame.

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    1. You're referring specifically to minigames that increase skills?

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    2. Yes. But I think XP increment also counts, since your skills increase automatically if you hit a level.

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    3. There have been lots of mini-games, of course. Gambling, mostly, but also plot-related such as Space Rogue's arcade-game-within-a-game and Ultima's tie fighter battle. The only one I can think of that increases skills is the one in Legacy of the Ancients, but I suspect there were others. The QfG series does do them particularly well.

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    4. Actually, it goes back to Questron which makes sense, since it was done by the same crew as Legacy of the Ancients.

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    5. Questron had skill-based mini-games? I thought it was just the gambling ones.

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    6. There was a trap/skeet shoot game that would raise your skills. you had to play it at the church I beleive.

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    7. Interesting. I don't remember that. I'll look forward to replaying it next year.

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    8. In _Wasteland_, Gambling was a skill just like Swimming; every time you used it, there was chance that your skill level would go up. But (a) gambling was never plot-related, and (b) gambling can't really be called a minigame (IIRC it was just "place a wager, and the game tells you if you won or lost").

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  12. This is one of my favourite games ever, Just under QfG4, and a jewel of game design (aside from minor problems). I am still shocked that it was written so many years ago and really only few other rpgs can claim to have better reactivity and open-endedness in how they present their milieux and lore, up to today.

    Keapon Laffin - as a young greek, this was my introduction to punnery, if you'd believe it. I remember thinking "people who are determined to do this in real life must be really annoying". Oh, the wisdom of children.

    I won't be giving you hints on what to do in this game, I doubt you'll be stuck anywhere. You're a very hardened adventurer that has completed games that were nowhere near as reasonable as those in the QfG series. If anything what needs to be noted is how much side stuff you can miss in this game. I've finished it so many times and I still find new bits and pieces in my playthroughs. I sincerely urge anyone who is playing along to try the game as a thief and a fighter as well. The moneychanger, for example, is a much more invovled interaction if you're a different class of character.

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    1. "Hardened adventurer" is going on my c.v.

      Depending on how long it takes, I may consider playing it with different characters. I still have the save file from my thief when I played Hero's Quest.

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    2. Playing through a second time does not take that long and you can turn up the animation speed to make the walking and such go by faster. I beat a second character in less than six hours. I am considering starting a third tonight.

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    3. Yes, replayability doesn't come at a high cost for this game by virtue that it's an adventure hybrid. Imagine the cost of replaying this game if, for example, you ran into Wizardry-esque combat every couple of steps in the city maze.

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    4. I pretty much loved all QfG games. Although the 3rd and 4th ones are my favorites (music in 4 is incredible, especially Errana's Garden). I must admit that QFG2 was pretty good, if only because I had played 3 first and knew about Ad Avis. I tried to have him sponsor me as a mage, funny times.

      Playing as Rogue was the most delicious in QFG3. It's a must play class in that one imho.

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    5. Are you being sarcastic? QFG3 is usually talked about as a non-thief-friendly game, so I'm curious as to why you think a QFG3 thief is "must-play."

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  13. Is "apparates" a general term, or was that specifically a Harry Potter reference?

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    1. I've never seen it outside Harry Potter.

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    2. Its possible the word is some sort of derivation or bastardization of 'apport', which is somewhat related.

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    3. Or the Latin 'apparite' (root of apparition) meaning: to appear.

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    4. Oh, I'm sure I got it from Harry Potter. I didn't really like the series, but some things just stick with you.

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  14. The hardest thing about playing games at the same time as Chet is that I can't read his posts in case I get spoilers. I look forward to coming back once I've finished and seeing how his journey differed from mine. Quite a bit I imagine!

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    1. I was just noting the same problem with yours. My strategy has been to quickly scan the screenshots in your entries to see if I recognize them. If I do, I know I can move on.

      FYI, my next post will be almost entirely about stuff specific to the mage class (e.g., solving the Wizard's Institute of Technology), so you can probably read that one without fear. You probably should, 'cause I'm going to talk some smack about you.

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    2. Ha! Like Trix has any shortage of that from his readers! Er... Not from me though.

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  15. Such a great game! I remember when it came out, I must have been in Jr High, and I took the city bus to the local mall to buy it from Software Ect. I had such a hard time with it, ended up going back for the hint book before too much time had passed. I recently played QfG1 and would start playing this one again now, but after reading some older posts here I got into Pool of Radiance and just have to get through the 4 gold box games before I start any others. Well, at least the first 2.

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  16. For the five people who care:

    "Apparate" is barbarous dog Latin, I'm afraid.  The real Latin verb, "apparere", is second-declension, even though the principal parts look like they come from the third.  So ending it in "-ate" as if it were first-declension is ... I should be polite because this is a family-friendly blog, so I'll just say that nobody should depend on Rowling's Latin for any reason ever.

    If the Latin must be Anglicized (instead of just leaving "appear" alone), then it has to be "apparete" with an E -- except that it looks horrible that way.  So, if one wants to say "appear in a BAMF-like manner" without using "appear", "materialize" or "teleport in" are fine.  But "apparate" makes baby Cicero cry.

    "Apport" is completely unrelated; it refers to fetching stuff.

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    1. When I said "declension", I really meant "conjugation". Just adding that in case any smart-ass wants to pick on it.

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  17. Rule #3 was precipitated (I suspect) in large part by me, just like #2 was by William (definitely), and #1 was by Canageek (mostly). We three should get together for gimlets.

    Speaking of dickishness, everybody knows that Chet strongly dislikes Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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    1. And that multiplies that dick by... okay, more like exponentially increasing it. So, it becomes a dick squared.

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    2. Jesus, Gaguum. How long have you been commenting anonymously that you remember CG's GOG-spam?

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    3. Lurking for over two years, but commenting for less than a month. I started with that bit about RuneQuest/HeroQuest, only because I was certain that nobody else here knew about it. That started a flurry of trolling, including the stuff on battle spam. I assume that all this tipped the balance with Rule #3. But any earlier anons definitely weren't me.

      One of these days I'll backtrack and comment on the older articles. I just bet y'all can't wait!

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    4. @Kenny: Yes, and you know what they say about square pegs in round holes. ;-)

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