From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett wrote Crapshoot, a column about rolling the cube to carry random obscure video games again into the sunshine. This week… with followers like these, who wants enemies?
Quest for Glory is one in every of my favorite collection of all time, a mixture of traditional journey and RPG in a world filled with dreadful puns, hidden secrets and techniques, and beautiful surroundings that stretched from the primary recreation’s European forests to the awful horrors of Transylvanian Mordavia. Quest for Glory 4 specifically is a masterpiece; a recreation that not solely assumes you might have the intelligence to easily roll with its Slavic setting and rogues, however which which options one in every of my favorite villains/not fairly villains of all time. The entire collection is offered on GOG and Steam, and I urge you to test it out with a lot haste.
After which… after which there’s Quest for Glory 4 1/2: So You Thought You Have been A Hero, a fan-made interquel that returns to the primary recreation to see what occurred after you left. It is lengthy. It is robust. And it is so controversial, no less than one fan-forum has banned even mentioning it. Uh. Gulp?
Comes a hero from the East
Free the person throughout the beast
Convey the kid from out the band
Drive the curser from the land
To rapidly set the scene, Quest for Glory 1: So You Need To Be A Hero is the story of a recent graduate from a heroism correspondence course, trying to make his title within the small city of Spielburg. The Baron’s son and daughter have each vanished in mysterious circumstances, evil witch Baba Yaga has moved into the valley, and a small military of brigands and goblins is terrorising the already harmful forest. Into this you step with little greater than desires of heroism, the cloak in your again, and the flexibility to signal your title with a flourish. It is a pretty small-scale risk, however you are solely a rookie. Thus far.
There is a ton I may say about Quest for Glory 1, nearly all of it optimistic, particularly in its VGA remake. A couple of ‘useless man strolling’ moments apart, it is an ideal journey in a spectacularly wealthy world—not merely in providing a number of methods to unravel many puzzles, however taking part in with the instruments it offers you. Take the lockpick. Apply it to your self. “Click on” comes a message, as you efficiently decide your nostril. Alternatively, in case you’re a magic consumer, you find yourself with an entire sack filled with spells that are not simply restricted to fight. They will not essentially work to unravel a selected puzzle, however no less than you may attempt to be informed precisely why you failed. And normally get a humorous line or loss of life message out of it.
(It is a Sierra journey. There’s a number of methods to die.)
The one actually bizarre factor is the character selections. Fighter goes with out saying, as does Magic Person—a full-on Wizard must know extra spells. Thief then again is a bit unusual, since you’re inspired to fund your quest by robbing harmless folks and fencing their stuff on the Thieves’ Guild. I am simply unsure you may name your self a ‘hero’ whenever you raised your beginning funds by breaking into an previous woman’s home and shovelling every little thing down your hero pants. However, hey. Wants of the various, proper?
In contrast to later video games within the collection, there’s not a number of story to spoil in Quest for Glory, so I am going to simply say what occurs. It is vital for what’s to return, as Quest for Glory 4.5 is a direct sequel that returns to Spielburg particularly to see what’s modified because you left. I am going to solely hit a very powerful bits although, leaving the small print imprecise and saving as a lot cool stuff to search out in the principle recreation as doable.
In brief, having arrived on the town and finished a couple of errands, you uncover the Baron’s son has been morphed right into a bear, and his daughter is at the moment brainwashed and truly commanding the brigands from their secret base. With braveness and a useful Dispel Potion, you restore each of them to their previous selves and switch your consideration to Baba Yaga, besting this way more highly effective magic consumer and booting her and her chicken-footed hut out of city. Everybody goes “Yay!”, declares you Hero of Spielburg, and off you head to your subsequent, extra epic journey. That is about it. As I stated, not a lot story.
Quest for Glory 4.5 kicks off later, with the Hero attending the 10-year reunion for his… correspondence college course? I am unsure if that is meant to be a joke, or simply the creator having no thought what these phrases imply, by no means thoughts the best way to put them right into a sentence. Listening to the occasion speaker describe his heroism as “a shoddy job of heroing that left that poor valley worse off than it was earlier than” although, he slinks again to complete what he began. Cue recreation! And making an attempt to not suppose too laborious about canon!
To offer Quest for Glory 4.5 some credit score, it tries surprisingly laborious. The graphics are a horrible mish-mash of sources, with many of the backgrounds and characters stolen from different Sierra video games, and the code is buggy, damaged, and barely held along with spit and sellotape, nevertheless it units out to be a correct QFG-style recreation. You get to decide on a category, and every has distinctive stuff to do. There is a fight interface that is about as a lot enjoyable as root canal surgical procedure… however then, the unique wasn’t nice both. The world is big, and does even have correct puzzles to unravel. It is an precise journey, not only a joke recreation, like (sigh) “Quest for Orgy”. In one other life, it’d even have been spectacular. So what went flawed?
Oh, y’know. A couple of issues. Right here and there.
Arriving again within the valley of Spielburg, now not reduce off from the remainder of the world, the Hero is instantly greeted by the previous Baronet, now full-fat Baron Barnard von Spielburg.
“We’re now not in want of your providers,” he sneers, fairly true to character. “In contrast to my father, I can care for the valley myself. If I see you round once more, you may be arrested.”
Effectively, along with his voice saying “no”, however his eyes saying “no, actually”, by no means thoughts. Nonetheless, the city of Spielburg is simply down the street, and it will appear a disgrace to not name in and meet up with some previous mates earlier than heading off to depart this completely saved valley as saved because it so clearly is.
At first look, issues appear to be OK. Positive, the as soon as homely however comfy Hero’s Story Inn is now the “Respectable Businessman’s Social Membership”, however Zara’s Magic Store is far because it was, and the Adventurer’s Guild is positively bustling. It even has Robin Hood from Conquests of the Longbow as its new resident hero, Sir Richard—and he should be busy, since one other model of Robin Hood from Conquests of the Longbow is sitting exterior the city promoting trinkets, as if the author of this recreation did not have many portraits to attract from. Very very like it no less than. Actually, what’s the issue right here?
Yeah. Put merely, Quest for Glory 4 1/2 is a really humourous recreation. Within the sense that in historic medication, the 4 humors have been thought-about to be blood, black and yellow bile, and phlegm.
However by no means thoughts. A hero is usually a hero within the darkest of conditions, so a merely dumb one needs to be no drawback. Like several Quest for Glory recreation, you begin by fixing a couple of small issues to search out out what the true drawback is, package up and cope with it because it deserves. On this case, the issues are misogyny, homophobia, rest room humour, and bugs, and the answer is to uninstall the sport.
As a Magic Person although, one of the best ways to start out is to interrupt it. There’s an encounter within the woods, considerably inevitably involving the forged of Conquests of the Longbow, that you would be able to entry proper firstly. By speaking to them for a couple of minutes, you get a free spell referred to as “Leprechaun’s Gold” that creates faux cash. It does not work within the Magic Store or financial institution, however in any other case—economic system damaged!
Wandering round, there is a distinct lack of main issues to type out. Going as much as the fort will get you thrown into the dungeon from King’s Quest 5 for no obvious purpose, however everybody within the city is fairly pleasant. The largest drawback within the Adventurer’s Guild is that one of many members needs to air out his member by changing into a nudist, and even the Undoubtedly Not Mafia Goons within the Respectable Businessman’s Social Membership are fairly amiable. They nearly actually did not even kill the previous Sheriff, as a result of they are saying they did not, and why would they lie about one thing so severe?
So clearly, the very first thing to do is attempt to get a date. There are two choices—a barmaid in Coyote Ugly who needs you to select a battle with the Mafia by rescuing a butcher from the jail, and a bashful centaur apple vendor whose enterprise is in hassle after the loss of life of her father, and who urgently wants a powerful hero to hoe her woman backyard. What? There’s completely nothing sexual about that at—
Having fairly actually made the beast with two backs, in a scene that probably took no less than 4 months of hardcore analysis to carry to life, and with no apparent leads on the Mafia sub-plot past the truth that mooks at the moment outnumber the remainder of the inhabitants by about three-to-one and the Baron appears fairly blissful to hold the butcher of their place, it is time to head out and see what else is occurring.
Not a lot is occurring. An ice large, Brauggi, returns from the primary recreation to supply an identical problem as final time—barter or battle. The one distinction is that whereas the primary recreation he wanted meals, this time he needs to “Hasten to free thee of gay clothes,” which makes even much less sense than many of the typo-ridden dialogue on this recreation. “Although twas a present from a relative, Yon that from whence got here they saggy, fruity pants,” he continues. “And Fruitiness of pants has overshadowed, With flaming leather-based mini-vest. Many a foe excite in slander, With flames equivalent to Ice Gay.”
Good grief. Out of the blue I really feel nostalgic for The Eye of Argon.
Swapping garments for a magic ring—particularly, The Ring That Instructions Water from Conquests of the Longbow, although on this recreation it really works on ice—heading out reveals a couple of extra acquainted, principally unemployed faces, and a lot more the writer apparently put in as a result of he had sprites for them. The closest any of them get to an actual joke is that an ogre you beat up within the first recreation has referred to as a lawyer, who calls for 200 gold to not press fees. He accepts Leprechaun Gold. Cool quest, bro.
Anyway, subsequent comes one of many quests that the majority aggravated followers—a second encounter with a dryad, who examined your devotion to nature within the unique recreation and now needs you to show your self once more… by murdering some filthy hippies and stealing their filthy bong. Heroic, no?
Quest for Conservatism continues with the invention that the previous Brigand fortress is now a redneck-themed bar and grill and and laundry for some purpose, which you’ll be able to solely get into by sporting a Accomplice flag for a cape.
Evidently, it has no relation to something by any means, except you need to play the crashiest poker recreation ever added to a recreation, save the hilarity of… regardless of the joke is. I spent a while inspecting it fastidiously, and got here to the conclusion that it is humorous as a result of a redneck bar is not the type of factor you’d count on to see in a fantasy kingdom. That truth alone makes it hilarious as a result of that is how comedy works. Image a bowling ball in a fridge. Genius!
With the sport greater than half over and nonetheless no thought of simply what the hell the purpose of it’s, it is time to head out of the acquainted Quest for Glory territory and down the move that was closed off within the first recreation (performed right here by random screens from King’s Quest 5, although the type roughly matches Quest for Glory 1) in the hunt for solutions exterior the valley.
Spoiler: There are not any, except you depend stumbling on the rationale I feel we are able to assume is the principle purpose this fan-game was made within the first place.
Cue a spectacularly un-sexy dialogue mini-game the place you get to present orders to one in every of two intercourse workders, photos little question pinched from some random web site. “You inform me what you need me to do, and I do it, okay?” says both “Crimson” or “Betty” (essentially the most erotic of all of the names!), with choices together with issues like “Take Off Gown” and “Really feel Breasts”, however oddly not “Focus on Aristotle”, “Debate the sociopolitical implications of the intercourse trade within the context of a feudal society based mostly on an inherently patriarchal system providing little in the way in which of social mobility,” or “Poop on this glass desk.”
“Comes a hero from the East” certainly…
Aside from being the rationale this recreation was made, it is a pretty pointless location—in sensible phrases, providing nothing however an advert for male ballerinas that you just give to a literal large fairy. You see the joke there? In a imprecise try and stability that with one thing barely much less dumb, it is value noting that it is round now that you just additionally bump right into a would-be evil overlord sort who’s pretty generic as a personality, however is no less than vaguely humorous. A simple gag, positive, however credit score the place it is due and all that.
Returning to city, the plot of the sport lastly will get began when the beautiful Bella seems to warn that the gangsters are… wait, who’s Bella? (checks) Oh. A woman who appeared within the Respectable Businessmen’s Social Membership, however whom you by no means had a lot as a dialog with. This ensures that you just’re actually, actually unhappy when she instantly turns up useless. Oh, Bella. We hardly knew ye. No, actually.
Fortunately, you conveniently have a potion able to resurrecting the useless from serving to another person out, with the one side-effect being that it turns her evil. Helpfully evil although, telling you the place to search out proof that the Baron is working with the Mafia. Extra proof than the phrase “Duuuuuuh….” no less than, particularly as she provides that everybody is already nicely conscious of this truth. A fast little bit of infiltration later although and also you no less than have strong proof, and it is time to carry justice as soon as once more, to march as much as the fort gates, demand an viewers, insist the Baron surrender his dastardly methods, and—
Escaping from the dungeon from King’s Quest 5 with the assistance of some furry critters, it is the work of a fast jaunt to the Baron’s chambers to search out some laborious proof in opposition to him. For some purpose he writes down all of his evil plans in his diary, and indicators every entry simply to make completely positive everybody is aware of it was him confessing to having kidnapped his sister Elsa and locked her far-off in some ice caves in order that he will get to… uh… run the valley, like he would anyway, as a result of that is kinda how patriarchal feudalism works, even when Elsa is infinitely extra succesful than her conceited shit of a brother.
A minimum of, usually she’s infinitely extra succesful. This being Quest For Glory 4.5, it acknowledges the truth that she’s a former brigand chief and terror of the valley, however nonetheless has her resolve that one of the best ways of taking again her father’s fort is… hiding till the Hero kinds every little thing out on her behalf.
Yeah. That is not Elsa.
The plot continues to “no matter” its approach in the direction of the climax with one of many dumbest scenes ever. The Baron’s enforcer, Lord Richard, seems to entice the hero on the opposite facet of a mighty ravine by eradicating the lasso he used to cross it. “I’ve your rope!” he chortles. “You have got two choices at this level. One, you may freeze to loss of life over there… or two you may freeze to loss of life! Hahahaha!”
At this level, you’d suppose it would be time to go raid the fort, cease the Baron, kick some arse and all that. This being Quest for Glory 4.5 although, you first should go on an extended sea voyage to get well an amulet you don’t have any approach of understanding you want and will not even be talked about till you discover it.
Nonetheless, to present it credit score, no less than the previous couple of scenes of Quest for Glory 4.5 have not been too dangerous. It is tried drama with issues like Bella’s loss of life and rebirth, and is able to transfer the plot alongside by letting you filter the mafia by exhibiting the fitting particular person on the town the proof that may get them crushed and kicked out of city. You may even say that issues are lastly coming collectively in some type of ‘quest’.
Sure. From humble beginnings doing already outdated Coyote Ugly jokes, it is as if the sport has really grown and matured in entrance of our eyes, growing into one thing that—whereas unquestionably buggy, flawed and poorly written—may completely be seen as a correct, respectable fan-game as a substitute of—
Escaping the dreaded Gay Pirates (no relation to the Arse Bandits, and sure, I apologise), you get to return to Spielburg with the amulet, which helps you to open up a secret passage into the fort for the ultimate reckoning with the Baron. It begins… poorly. Apparently he is nicely conscious of that secret passage, and has been ready there for the previous couple of days within the hope that you’re going to use it.
“Effectively, that is it for you, courageous hero,” he sneers. “Now, the query is, ought to I offer you a fast loss of life? Or make it final for all to get pleasure from. Do you might have something which may tempt me to kill you rapidly?”
Effectively… you’re carrying a seductive wanting treasure map…
Badoom-tssh. With Barnard now formally out of the way in which, Elsa lastly will get off her arse and reveals as much as assist, having assembled your complete recreation’s inhabitants to… stand exterior and do nothing. “You served my father, and earned your self the title of Hero of Spielburg,” she publicizes. “And once more you might have helped my household, however this time you served me. And for that I bestow upon you the title of my good friend.”
Little bit of a disgrace that does not actually apply as of Quest for Glory 5, actually.
So, that is Quest for Glory 4 1/2, one of the controversial, despised fan-games of all time. Is it actually as dangerous as folks say it’s; an journey whose mere existence is a blight on the world?
It is not a great recreation. Puzzles are poorly defined, many of the recreation is imprecise, it is extremely buggy, and the graphics not merely stolen from different Sierra adventures are hideous past phrases. On the similar time although, it really does really feel like a Quest for Glory. It might not maintain a candle to the precise collection, however that should not be a shock for a one-person fan undertaking. For what it’s, and the primitive model of Journey Recreation Studio it was constructed with, it really will get fairly shut, from bothering with the completely different lessons (to no less than some extent, like giving the Thief locations to interrupt into and the Fighter a sub-quest involving a homicide sufferer that solely he’s probably to have the ability to deal with) to implementing the magic system and QFG1 fight engine. It might be a technical mess, nevertheless it’s extra profitable than you’d suppose.
Sadly, every little thing it does nicely is stabbed proper by way of the face by the dreadful, dreadful humour. It is not merely that it does intercourse, homosexual, rest room and different vaguely-controversial-but-mostly-just-sad jokes, however that it does them so spectacularly poorly. Particular person scenes just like the gratuitous intercourse bits or the Coyote Ugly joke completely overshadow and destroy any goodwill in the direction of the principle recreation, and are not helped by the final angle. Far an excessive amount of of it’s mean-spirited or simply plain insulting, with the hero ending up a con-artist assassin fairly than a hero in a recreation that does not play issues free sufficient for laughs.
The factor is that the fundamental thought—returning to Spielburg to search out the job not but finished—is not a foul one. At occasions, it nearly looks like the author regretted doing it as a parody and stored transferring in the direction of simply doing a plain fan-sequel. That might have been value seeing, and rather more warmly remembered even when it was nonetheless technically damaged and riddled with fundamental journey design errors.
As for the originals, as stated, I extremely advocate them. The third is a little bit of a filler recreation, the fifth stumbles with its 3D world and extra arcade type motion, however all of them have their charms—and it is value taking part in simply to benefit from the completely great Quest For Glory 4: Shadows of Darkness. Play them so as, and you may even take the identical character by way of the entire collection—exporting and importing your character for every new journey. Not often have RPGs had such heat to them, a lot character, or so many hidden issues to find even years later. It is a collection that oddly by no means acquired the celebrity of a lot of Sierra’s traditional franchises, however was completely probably the greatest.
This one although? Yeah. Skip this one. Even when it is not as dangerous as folks say.