Reasons You Should Play Quest for Glory

QFG4 Shadows of Darkness title screen

The entire Quest for Glory series is now available on GOG.com!! I didn’t think it would actually happen, to be honest, so this was a pretty awesome surprise to wake up to.

Anyway, people have had to listen to my raving about this series for literally years, so I thought I would list a few reasons why I love them so much, now that they’re actually available, and you can even play them without messing around with DOSBox.

  • Five of a Kind: QFG is the only series to combine the point-and-click adventure and RPG genres. You solve puzzles like in an adventure game, but there’s RPG combat, and you actually have to play a role by thinking like whichever class you picked. How would a Thief accomplish this? What would a wizard do here? This is how you solve the puzzles. And because of this, the series largely avoids the tedious pixel-hunting many adventure games fall prey to.
  • Great female characters: THERE ARE SO MANY OF THEM. Zara, the Healer, Erana, Aziza, Uhura, Katrina, Elsa… some major, some minor, but there are a bunch of them and they are all awesome in their own ways (… even though all their names end in “a”).
  • A different kind of fantasy: Yes, they are pseudo-medieval fantasy games… but they’re based far more on folklore and myth than typical fantasy tropes.
  • Unique settings: Setting is a Thing of mine since I started blogging about games. The world of Quest for Glory is like our own, but where our myths are real, and each region has its analogue. QFG1 takes place in a pretty typical pseudo-medieval European setting (specifically Germanic), but Trial By Fire takes you to an Arabian Nights inspired setting, and Wages of War takes place in an African savanna setting. The fourth title draws on the Lovecraftian, and the last delves into Greek myth. Each one draws upon the folklore of the area, giving each game a unique feel.
  • WIZARD DUELS. Some say Thief is the best class. I disagree.
  • JENNIFER HALE: Jennifer Hale is not only in the fully-voiced Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness, she plays one of the best antagonists in all of video games.
  • Replayability: Each class has unique content, making it a blast to play as each (fighter, magic user, thief, and later on, paladin).
  • Import Your Character: QFG was the first game series that allowed you to import your character from prior games in the series, a good twenty years before the Mass Effect series.
  • Awesomely Terrible Puns: QFG is the reason I love bad puns, and the lighthearted, slightly cheesy humor throughout the games keep the epic stories from taking themselves too seriously.
  • SERIOUSLY, JENNIFER HALE.

The games are definitely not un-problematic, although I believe they were ahead of their time. Still, if you are interested in classic adventure games, or the games that invented the RPG-adventure hybrid that has yet to be really repeated, they are definitely worth checking out. Denis posted some memories of playing the series over at GayGamer.

My playing GOG games on a Mac guide will help you out with playing QFG1-4 on Mac OS. Unfortunately, since Dragon Fire is a Windows game, it won’t work, and you’ll have to use Windows emulation, boot camp, or play with a friend. (Don’t listen to the people who hate on the fifth installment: it’s a bit different, but it’s still a fine game and a wonderful send-off for the series.)

If you’re unsure, you can check out AGD Interactive‘s QFG2 VGA remake, which is free, and plays just like the QFG1 VGA remake and QFG3 and 4.

And take my advice: when fairies ask you to dance with them? You’d better dance.

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2 thoughts on “Reasons You Should Play Quest for Glory

  1. I love the Quest for Glory series! I’ve certainly brought it up a fair number of times over the years myself. (For instance: whenever a friend talks about how unique Mass Effect’s character import is. 😉 )

    For me, it’s definitely the blending of adventure with RPG mechanics that sells it. And then combined with that, the uniqueness of each class’s approach to their problems. (The stories, characters, and humor are all pretty awesome too.) Take the climax from the second game for example (I’ll be vague to avoid spoilers): the fighter smashes in, demanding a duel of everyone that gets in his way and uses his strong constitution to shrug off the damage from any falls/traps he encounters. The magic user pacifies everyone in his way and goes through unchallenged, then uses magic to get around everything else without hurting himself. And the thief, meanwhile, takes a completely different route, circumventing all that. 🙂 Or maybe you’re a fighter with some spells, challenging all enemies in your way but removing the other obstacles with magic? Totally possible. And awesome.

    I started my gaming in adventure games and later on moved to RPGs, so for me it felt very constraining when my ability to interact meaningfully with the environment was taken away (not to mention turning the environment into completely lifeless eye candy). I really wish more RPGs would throw in adventure game elements because the two genres meshed so well in QfG,

    It’s also a pet peeve of mine that the only real differentiating factor for classes in most RPGs is how they kill stuff. “I’m a master of the arcane arts, but all I do is think up new ways to kill people. Too bad, because a LEVITATION SPELL SURE WOULD BE HANDY RIGHT ABOUT NOW.”

    Anyway, two was my introduction to the series (I’ve played it countless times) but four was probably my favorite. I loved the atmosphere, and there were a lot of really touching stories in that one. Still haven’t played the third one though. Ever since the AGD Interactive remake was released, I’ve been planning to do a full playthrough of all five games, but haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe now that I can get them all together from one place, in working order….

    • Definitely play them all! Going through the entire series is really a special experience. People consider Wages of War the weakest of the four main games, but it has a special place in my heart just because of the wizard duel.

      And, right?? I was so spoiled by this series, when every other RPG I played didn’t use magic for anything but various kinds of projectiles. Come on now. There are so many more uses for it! I’m still looking for a game where magic has interesting uses outside of combat…

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