Sunday, March 24, 2013

Quest For Glory 1: So You Want to be a Hero - So You Want to be a Magic User

As a kid I came across the Quest For Glory Collection Series among my dad's games. The collection included games 1, 2, 3, 4, and a demo of 5. Although I never could get that demo to work (for the best from what I've heard), I enjoyed the others immensely even if I never completed them. My memories of the games are all jumbled together. I continuously mix up parts of the fourth with this one. The second game was very distinct in mind for being the only one that required the text parser to play, and I hated it as a kid. For whatever reason, I could manage Zork, Quest, and other text adventures, but as soon as a parser is mixed with graphics my interest shuts down. As for the third game, I have no memories of it... I'm not sure why.
Magic User!
My plan is to now join Trickster and Chet through each game (although I have a feeling Chet will fall behind as the gaps are greater between games). For this first one I chose to go with a Magic User since Trickster went with a fighter and Chet picked thief. I'm a little late to this review because I didn't want to break up the Star Saga One posts, but I played this at the same time. I just hope I can recall what my notes mean. Like Star Saga, and other games to come, I want to explore the games as much as possible, so I'll follow this up with fighter and thief.
I'm off to become a Wizard...
Without further ado, we start, like all adventurers, by entering the town of Spielburg. Here the Sheriff Schultz Meistersson greets us.

I gathered some information about the town and made note of the Guild Hall, Inn, and Magic Shop as points of interest. I also learned there's a brigand problem in these parts.

The Guild Hall offered up some quests, and one leaped out from my recollection, the Healer's ring. I remember it clearly from as an example in a game design book where it was praised for alternative avenues for resolution.

Spoiled with the solution I headed over to the Magic Shop and found the mystical Zara with her familiar Damiano. There are some spells on offer: Open, Fire Dart, and Fetch (which I pick up). There are also some potions, which are cheaper at the Healer's hut.
Come to me my pretty.
Fetch in hand, I headed out to the bird's nest and deprived it of its home by plucking my prize and unceremoniously tossing the twigs aside. With the ring in the Healer's hands, and a gold coin in mine, I headed back to the Zara and purchased Fire Dart. That should make combat a bit easier.

My prior knowledge depleted I finished my round of the town, then headed for the castle. At the castle I worked the stables for a meager wage, and did so in the mornings to follow. Not too far from town I came across a mushroom ring, and collected a few for the Healer who mentioned a need for them.
I think I'm doing this wrong,
Deep in the forest I found some strange creatures popping out of the ground. "My first real puzzle," I thought to myself, "how can I get them out?" I tried to pry them, I tried to burn them, I did everything I could except talk with them. Maybe I don't have the right magic?

Simply talking to the green one when he pops up is all that's necessary. Not much of a puzzle, but I'm happy with my new spell, Detect Magic.
Who's dropping magic scrolls in the woods?
I found some plants spitting a seed around next. A perfect opportunity to practice my fetch spell. This time though I found I wasn't quite up to the task of snatching a seed from midair.
I found later that the Open spell works just as well.
Well, the game definitely has the grinding aspect of RPGs down. I spent a good bit of time trying to fetch the seed before I felt the need to move on. It was getting dark and I needed a place to rest my head. At some later time I did manage to fetch the seed, but I didn't note when.

I stayed the night at the inn, and woke feeling partially refreshed. Another day of stable work, selling the mushrooms, and some goblin gold allowed me to pick the Open spell. I made good use of it by opening a stone slab at Erana's Peace.
Look how far it went... seems I've lost track of it.
I gingerly toke the Calm spell, which doesn't seem to help too much with wandering monsters, but I'm sure it has its use. The fruit looked appetizing, so I tried to cut some down with my dagger, which the game interpretted as, "throw dagger..." my only weapon.

Spending the night at Erana's Peace fully refreshed me. A new day, and a new direction. I found a fruit loving frost giant and a wizard's tower, which I left alone for the time being.
Ah! A talking fox!
I ran across a fox on my way back to town. Helping him out of his bind allowed me to hear what was on his mind. I ignored the absurdity of a talking fox and listened to word of a Dryad in need of help.

I picked up another dagger from the supply store in town before I made my way towards more unexplored parts of the forest. I found the Dryad, and was told the recipe for a dispel potion (I must of retrieved the seed by this point).

Green fur sounded familiar, I remembered the bit about flying water, and fairy dust from the mushroom ring fairies (unlikely I could get some from Zara). I quickly collected the first two, but needed to wait for nightfall before I retrieved the last
I said CALM!!
Passing some time I tried my new spells out in my attempt to enter the cave near the waterfall. While I could open the cave door, the man inside couldn't see me. I needed to climb up the slippery slope. With no climb ability I figured there was another way.

I tried all my spells until I hit upon a magical solution. I saw a ladder briefly with Detect Magic. Burning the location in my mind I climbed up and was greeted by 'Enry the 'Ermit. 'E speaks of 'is friend Erasmus, and offered me the Trigger spell that was passed on to 'im.

I track back towards Erana's Peace for some fruit, but found I was still full. Nearby was an ogre that looked far too menacing the first time I saw him, but with little else to do I tried my luck. Flame Dart and my practiced magic rating were high enough now to take him on with ease. I opened the chest and was rewarded with some extra money.
Is that a bear in a hula skirt?
Inside the cave I calmed the guard bear and found a kobold mage deeper still. Unfortunately, he only seemed to respond well to death and I was forced to introduce him to a few well placed Fire Darts. This combat is notable for not taking place in the usual separate screen.

It took a few tries: I ran out of magic points once and during another I decided Detect Magic might help. It didn't for the fight, but it did reveal a chest. Using Open triggered a trap, but I still collected the gold in addition to the key from the dead kobold. The key unlocked the bear's chains and dispelled his curse.

It turned out this was the missing Baronet. The claw marks on his horse now made sense. With his haughty attitude I was tempted to put the chain back on as he obviously hadn't learned his lesson yet. I didn't get the chance to before he teleported back to the castle.

I collected the reward and spent a lavish night at the castle celebrating this small victory. Of course, it was then morning again and I had even more time to kill before I could collect that fairy dust. Since I was now drowning in money, I stopped by the Healer's shop and picked up an undead ungent in addition to a selection of magic and stamina potions. I also bought some apples for the frost giant, and delivered them before stopping by to see Erasmus.
You were kind of slow... I even consulted the manual.
For beating Erasmus I got a spell that stuns enemies called Erasmus' Razzle Dazzle (shortened to Dazzle). It was still light out, so I explored a bit more and found an Antwerp and the Brigand's camp. I couldn't do much with them though.

As dusk approached I made my way to the mushroom ring once again and encountered the fairies. They were very welcoming and asked me to dance for them. I think any value of agility would succeed, but I wonder if a lower value would see me stumble.
At least Mikey doesn't have much of an appetite.
With a bottle full of fairy dust, I left the safety of the ring and wandered into the night. I discovered the graveyard where I promptly joined the undead floating around. I used the ungent on my reload and pulled the mandrake at midnight. With little else to do, I visited Erana's Peace to rest. On the way I was accosted by a Cheetaur, but he was quickly dispatched.

The next day, with all parts collected I dropped by the Healer's. The dispel potion was ready on the following morning. Using charm and guile I avoided the Antwerp and opened a side passage in the mountain.
I was surprised to find a troll on the other side waiting for me, and with no way out of it I faced off with him. After a few reloads I was successful and quaffed a couple of potions before moving on. Right outside this troll cave was a minotaur. Not confident in a second difficult fight, I used a calm and dazzle spell to stun the beast before opening the door to the fortress.
Poor Yorick, I knew him well... not really.
I had some trouble crossing the trapped courtyard, and even more getting the timing correct for the dinning hall tumble with the three stooges. Really, how was I supposed to know I needed to jump on the table to cut the chandelier. Only by luck of a random click did I manage this feat. In any case, I found Yorick in the next room, but he unhelpfully threw things at me even after I explained my purpose, so I scared him off with a Calm spell (I think any spell would do).

Yorick's maze wasn't much of a challenge. Once through the door, I was confronted by the brigand leader. The dispel potion flew from my hand and destroyed the enchantment on Elsa. She thanked me and bade me back to the castle for my reward. Before we get to that though, there's the final task of dealing with Baba Yaga.
Hut of brown now sit down!
Unhelpfully, I found I could be locked out of this quest if I gave the skull his glowing eyes before learning the pass phrase for the hut. In the VGA version, there's no parser to enter the command. I was fortunate to have saved prior to this discovery, and was able to enter the hut.

Inside I met Baba Yaga who quickly turned me into a frog without a chance to react with the dragon mirror I retrieved from the brigand leader's quarters. It seemed this first meeting was too scripted. Baba Yaga requested I gather a mandrake should she deign to let me go. I already had the root on me, but it seems "too scripted" is a running theme for this part.
Just showing her own reflection should be enough to drive her off.
So, I found myself outside her hut once more. I quickly re-entered, gave her the mandrake root, and again found myself whisked outside before I could react. On my third visit I finally pulled my mirror out and reflected the frog curse. Boy was Baba Yaga hopping mad. She flew away in her bird hut and left the valley in peace.

With all quests completed the ending played without any further chance to explore. I reloaded to see what else I may have missed. I don't remember much more happening, although I did stop by Erasmus' place again to challenge him, and I found some more points.
I'm sorry you're so bad at your own game.
The ending shows a quick scene with the full cast of characters, including the creators. I also received notice that I was now the Hero of Spielburg before being swept up in another adventure.
Corey Cole sporting a dragon head codpiece.
With his treasure recovered, Abdulla Doo, a merchant I had missed during my first playthrough took me back to his homeland. In tow are the Kattas (Shema and Shameen) who ran the inn. We'll see more of them in the next game.
I will show you the world~~
In addition to points hunting I spent a number of days improving my individual spell skills for the next game. I'm going to export each character to play through the subsequent games, so I want them to have every advantage. I tested out my first completion of the game, and noted I had one more spell than the default mage, but all of my stats were abysmally lower (some by more than half). I just couldn't live with that.
The last two shots are before I replayed, here's my final score.
Up next I'll play as a fighter and follow in the footsteps of Trickster. I'll also give the EGA version a go and see how much harder the parser is to deal with.

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