So on to the second game in the Quest for Glory series: Quest for Glory II: Trail by Fire.
Trial by fire starts right after the end of Quest for Glory I: So You Want to be a Hero. Having become the Hero of Spielburg you hop on a carpet with the Kattas and Abdullah and head of to their homeland of Shapier a very “Arabic” setting. Shapier is a city state in the desert run by a Sultan but there are disturbing rumours about its sister city, Rasier.
During your quest you will battle Elementals, fight off wolfmen and giant scorpions, tangle with dark wizards, attempt to stop a deadly Djinn called Iblis and just do general, everyday hero stuff.
The first half of the game finds you in Shapier where things go from bad to worse once you arrive. As you try to uncover the dastardly plot you have to fight the four elementals. These aren’t just embodiments of the elements you can hack with a sword or blast with magic to defeat. Each elemental can only be countered by an opposing element and has to be trapped in different objects. The solutions to the puzzles aren’t as obvious as one might think. The fire elemental for example can be trapped in one of two ways, the obvious way being much harder and more likely to result in your death than the slightly more obscure yet easier way.
The second half of the game takes you to Rasier. The city layout is exactly the same as Shapier though only certain streets are open and your map of Shapier cannot be activated or viewed while in Rasier. Movement is also restricted by the curfews which have been imposed by the mysterious new ruler Ad Avis. This half of the game contains a thousand and one references to the Humphrey Bogart classics “Casablanca” and “The Maltese Falcon”. It is in Rasier where you finally confront and defeat the games villain.
You will once again be helped and hindered by a stunning array of characters each with their own distinct personalities and agendas. From the proud liontaur Rakeesh, to the whimsical magic shop owner Keapon Laffin and the dubious Senor Ferrari, each character is unique and helps to weave a wonderful tapestry of intrigue throughout the game.
As before the game uses the text parser interface. This allows a certain amount of freedom in questioning and actions but is still limited to commands such as “Buy Saurus”, “Cast Levitate” and “Pick Nose” (yes that is a real command and does grant the thief some increase in stats but be careful not to do it too much or you might shove that lockpick straight into that heroic skull of yours). The EGA graphics again set the mood brilliantly and is slightly updated from the graphics in the first game. While Sierra never released a VGA remake of this game as they did with the first game in the series, some dedicated fans have made a VGA remake using the same system as the remake of the first game. It is available for free download and it is 100% true to the original game.
The stats sheet remains much the same as the first game as do the character choices. Character choice in Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire plays a slightly more important role than in its predecessor as especially the Magic User side quest (finding the magical university and becoming a Wizard) has more bearing on the game than before so be sure to do the side quests of the Fighter and Magic user before leaving Shapier. The thief’s side quest only occurs in Rasier and sets off a quest that continues right up until Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire, namely finding the legendary Blackbird.
The new character select screen
If you have a character saved from the end of Quest for Glory I: So You Want to be a Hero, you can import it into Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire when you start the game allowing you to continue playing with your studly-do-right character from the first game.
Monsters, intrigue, danger and laughter make this game well worth the time it takes to battle your way through it.