Matt Chat 47: Quest for Glory

Matt Barton's picture

This week's episode is dedicated to Lori Ann Cole's Quest for Glory. One of a few truly successful "hybrid" adventure/RPGs, QFG is widely admired even today, with a huge fanbase and plenty of homebrew remakes and patches to enhance the experience on modern computers. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Chris Kennedy
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Joined: 08/31/2008
Yes!

Awesome, Matt! Just awesome. This is just...man... Matt Chat fits so well with the term Armchair Arcade. I could seriously grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and watch a video of what else but just awesome games.

I am a pretty big Quest for Glory fan. Of course, I played most all of Sierra's main adventure games back then. I played through the original QFG as Hero's Quest. I believe that the original EGA version was re-released with the name change prior to the VGA remake, so I think there are at least three boxes of the first game not counting any of the collections. I remember bumping into the box for the VGA remake in a store while on vacation, buying it, and reading the manuals during the time I was back at the hotel. Haha. I was so excited to replay the same game over again with those glorious, 256 color VGA graphics. Ahh man. So much nostalgia for this series.

My trivia knowledge for QFG has dwindled over the years. It seems like I used to be able to spout off differences between the original and the remake as well as mention little easter eggs and various other tidbits of info for the other games. Alas, that knowledge has subsided. Regardless, I am going to let the nostalgia swell a bit.

The hybrid RPG/Adventure concept was just awesome. I will admit that the combat was a bit simplistic. There was one area in the first game where you could just fight all of these goblins. They would just keep coming! Once you got to the battle screen, several goblins would stand on the battle screen. When you defeated a goblin, one of the standbys would step in to fight you. That only meant another goblin would jump into the background frame. You could sit there and just fight goblin after goblin. I believe the number you fought depended on your level. After finishing them all off, your character would actually take a bow while facing the gamer. Meanwhile, goblin bodies were just scattered all over the place. It was fun.

I think you could type "pick nose" in the first and/or second game and increase your lock picking skills

If I remember correctly, the second game was quite a bit more challenging than the first game. It seems like I got stuck in that one quite a bit. I may have reached a point where I even dialed up a local BBS to read a walkthrough. That says a lot since I am pretty paranoid when it comes to not cheating! The second game was entertaining. The Arabian theme was nice. The game didn't seem as cozy as the first one, but it was still fun. I wish it had been remade like the first one - just to experience it from a different approach - but the VGA remakes didn't do so hot for Sierra. I have to say that I was all over them. I wanted the better graphics. That said, the later SCI engine (VGA w/ point and click) did seem to reduce your freedom of exploration and puzzle solving. That brings us to -

The third game - Wages of War. In contrast to the second game, the third game was EXTREMELY easy. I err...."borrowed" it from a friend back when it came out. I want to say I completed it in 2 days. Moving through it was like turning pages in a book. It was pretty easy. I can't remember much about the game because it went by so fast. I think it was supposed to be connected to the fourth game, but the two were split because it would have been too big (and probably because Sierra would much rather people pay twice for a game rather than once). I am not sure if having the two paired would have helped the experience since QFG3 was so short. In fact, it probably wouldn't have. It wasn't just about length. It was about puzzle-solving. The third one had none of this...

The fourth game - Shadows of Darkness - added a bit more of a spooky atmosphere, but was DEFINITELY buggy. I think i had to consult hint manuals just to get through puzzles because the game would error out or some odd glitch would force me to restore. I may have had to start the game over once or twice just because I didn't do everything in the perfect order. I will tell you one thing about this game that was quite awesome - it was narrated by John Rhys-Davies. Heh. The best line he had was when you viewed a shrub that looked like it had two eyes. John says, "There is something strange about this bush... Maybe it's the EYES?? Oh! Forget it..." Classic.

Dragon Fire was a great swan song. King's Quest pretty much died with its 8th edition. Space Quest took a bit of a turn as the 6th and final game seemed to be a curve ball from what the series had been establishing since SQIV. QFGV: Dragon Fire actually tied up some loose ends, brought back a lot of old characters, and even gave you the option to choose one of like four or five girls to date. It was awesome! Haha.

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Thanks for this Matt Chat, Matt. I only wish you had an interview with Lori Cole. As a matter of fact, I wish you had interviews with Ken & Roberta Williams, Lori Cole, Jane Jensen, Mark Crowe, Scott Murphy, Al Lowe and goodness knows who else that was a major part of Sierra's golden years. I would be tempted to fly out and meet them if you ever had them in the same room.

Okay. I will end the small novel here. Thanks again, Matt.

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Hammer
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Joined: 03/23/2008
One of my favorites

Another great Matt Chat. I have a few comments:

1) You do know that you can change the animation speed, right? Your character was shuffling around like an old man! :)
2) Another tip, you can hit F3 to repeat the last command instead of typing "Throw rock" 50 times.
3) When I watch these videos, I always find myself staring at your bookshelves, trying to see what you have on there and what has changed since the last video. Has anyone else ever told you that?

Keep up the good work.

Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
EGA Glory

Matt, great? show as always! This game has an absolutely amazing intro sequence! Excellent 16 color graphics in full EGA glory!
I played the EGA game back in the day. Sweet!

PS3: MarkVergeer | Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Wow, Chris, you must have

Wow, Chris, you must have been really inspired by this game!

I suffered as a kid not having any of the great Sierra games except Police Quest. I wasn't ever able to finish even that one, but I did spend many days exploring the game and having a great time being a cop. I'm certain I would have cherished all of them. They were, of course, much more difficult to complete than the Lucasfilm games, which are solvable (for the most part, anyway) without walkthroughs.

I did greatly enjoy the Gabriel Knight series and will probably do a Matt Chat on them soon. They are a beast to get working on Vista, though (at least the second one, which is my favorite).

@hammer: I occasionally shuffle things around. I have some great stuff up there, but of course there is still so much room for more.

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Chris Kennedy
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Joined: 08/31/2008
Responses composed of small novels...
Matt Barton wrote:

Wow, Chris, you must have been really inspired by this game!

Haha. I really liked Sierra games, but really - I am just amplified when it comes to writing and talking about the things I enjoy. You've probably noticed this from my lengthy responses over the last year or so.

Quote:

I suffered as a kid not having any of the great Sierra games except Police Quest. I wasn't ever able to finish even that one, but I did spend many days exploring the game and having a great time being a cop. I'm certain I would have cherished all of them. They were, of course, much more difficult to complete than the Lucasfilm games, which are solvable (for the most part, anyway) without walkthroughs.

Ahh man. I assume you have played most of them (Sierra ones) by this point, though. The Lucasfilm games seemed a lot more fluid, responsive, and polished than the Sierra adventure games. The SCUMM engine just worked a lot better. Many of the VGA Sierra (later SCI) games seemed quite buggy, regardless of puzzle difficulty. That said, there were plenty of Sierra puzzles that really caused me to scratch my head AFTER having looked up how to solve something I was stuck on for some time. I remember getting about 75% through Police Quest III and having to start completely over because I didn't do something. I didn't do something that was totally up to me to find and do. It was hard for them to give you complete freedom of adventure while still requiring you to do certain things. If you have freedom, you need multiple ways to solve the same puzzle. It helps keep the game fresh, caters to those that think along different lines, and also guards against possible bugs that arise simply because the player didn't play the game through the same way the developers did.

Quote:

I did greatly enjoy the Gabriel Knight series and will probably do a Matt Chat on them soon. They are a beast to get working on Vista, though (at least the second one, which is my favorite).

A gaping hole in my Sierra fandom. I have never played that series of games. I remember getting issues of Sierra's Interaction magazine and reading over it though. The first game seemed to have a great cast of voice actors.

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Faerytale (not verified)
Thanks for a great Matt Chat!

Please never ever stop doing these Matt Chats´s. Great work and so much enjoyment and nostalgia!
Loved this game so much. Played it on my Amiga500 with 14inch fat tv. Those were the days :)
I will definitely try the VGA remake.

Im looking forward(in my dreams :)) to see a "Matt chat" on MicroIllusions "Faery Tale Adventure" and a interview with "Talion" aka David Joiner.
Amiga version was great but the Sega megadrive version was smoother without disk loading.

Regards from sweden!
/Faerytale

Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
I could never get into the

I could never get into the Sierra games much, as they were exercises in punishing the player. Though we did get some funny videos out of it:

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Sierra - Don't have too much fun!
Catatonic wrote:

I could never get into the Sierra games much, as they were exercises in punishing the player. Though we did get some funny videos out of it:

I agree 100% with that. I think that's why I prefer the Lucas adventures to the Sierra adventures. The Lucas adventures encouraged experimentation for the most part, while the Sierra games punished the player. I will say that Sierra did have fun with some of the death circumstances and animations and I wonder if they weren't inspired just a bit by Dragon's Lair...

That video death montage is awesome. That would be perfect for our documentary, since we talk about that very thing!

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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