The Secret of Monkey Island
My thoughts on Quest For Glory
PixParticipantPodcasterAugust 29, 2017 at 12:23 pm #643
Hi. I love the idea of the podcast and thought I should join in this month. A let’s play would be far too much effort but I’ve gone back and played some of the Quest For Glory games over the bank holiday and can share some brief thoughts here. I can’t give an unbiased review as I played 1 & 2 quite a bit back in the 90’s and have way too much nostalgia for them.
I went for the EGA version of Quest For Glory as the other one doesn’t allow character import to QFG2 if I recall correctly. The graphics still look servicable to me but I probably just play too many old games. Provided you are using the MT-32 for sound, the music is excellent when it’s there. Quite a lot of the game is still played with just ambient background noise though.
QFG is a really unusual adventure/RPG hybrid. I can’t think of any games that play quite like this series. It’s no doubt a result of shoehorning in RPG elements to the SCI engine which was never intended for them. Somehow it works far better than it ought to. I liked the raising stats by using them and there not being any concept of levels as such. It stops everything being centered around combat. I did find myself spending large amounts of time grinding certain actions in every QFG I’ve played in order to raise those stats though. The first in the series was the least guilty in this aspect.
The storyline was really thin. There were a couple of “surprises” along the way but it didn’t amount to a lot more than attempting to complete the quests on the noticeboard in the adventurers guild. There is tons of character to the world and it’s inhabitants to make up for this and there is always something to be aiming towards so I can’t say it bothered me. I love the sense of humour in these games and that nothing is taken too seriously. It keeps everything fun rather than the deadly serious worlds of your typical fantasy rpg.
I played a fighter through all these games which may not have been the best choice. I can’t say that the combat is QFG’s strongest point. There is the concept of dodging and parrying yet I can’t say I ever found a need to use them and always went for all out attack. This does make things quick and easy at least which is a plus point for me. I’d far rather have this than the likes of Ultima 5 where I was moving a party of 8 characters around one tile at a time.
The QFG games really encourage you to explore the world which is an aspect of RPG’s I enjoy. You basically get dumped into the Spielberg area and if you don’t wander around every screen finding where things are, you won’t get anywhere. You need to take the same sort of approach to talking to all the characters to discover what you need to do in the game. Provided you put this effort in, none of the puzzles seemed too hard and many had multiple approaches. It seems to me to be a lot fairer than some of Sierra’s other adventures in this aspect.
I defintely enjoyed playing QFG1 again and would recommend it to anyone with my only reservation being the amount of grinding required. I hadn’t intended to play more than just the first game when I started and am curently on #4 so it got me hooked again at any rate.
Not sure if you are covering the rest of the series or not? QFG2 is more plot heavy and probably a better game overall but suffered from having a set timeline for events to occur. I spent most of the first part of the game in the bed in the inn passing time. I’d maxed out all my relevant stats within the first couple of days. QFG2 has a 3D maze section for walking around the city streets which was pretty tedious even using the map that came with the documentation. I could definitely have lived without that part.
QFG3 moved to VGA and certainly looks pretty. Surprisingly, it appears to be considerably smaller than the first 2 games and only took a few hours to beat (most of which was spent grinding stats). As a new player, it was certainly accessible and was fun while it lasted. I’d probably be disappointed if I’d paid full price when it was new. It’s also not the game that was advertised when you beat QFG3 which is odd.
As for QFG4, it looks to be the best of the bunch so far. The graphics are some of the nicest I’ve seen from Sierra with particularly nice full screen character art for everyone you meet. The soundtrack is a big step up from QFG3 and lends a strong atmosphere. I’m also liking the full speech with narration from John Rhys Davies who seems to pop up in loads of 90’s PC games. I’m only 60 minutes in so it’s early days but it looks like it could be one of the best Sierra games from the era. Not sure why I didn’t play it 20 years back really.
A bit of QFG trivia to finish off. I remember reading around the time of QFG2 that it was going to be a 4 part series with each locale representing the four seasons. We got Spring and Summer in 1 and 2. Shadows of Darkness was going to be Autumn in the third game but ended up being pushed back for reasons unknown to me. I’ve yet to play part 5 and have no idea whether it’s wintry or not.
rnlfKeymasterPodcasterAugust 29, 2017 at 12:47 pm #646
welcome to the club!
We’re probably going to touch on QfG2 and later games, too, in the podcast, though the focus will be on the first game.
I can’t say very much about the rest you wrote, because I’m not done with the game yet 🙂
toastyParticipantPodcasterAugust 29, 2017 at 2:17 pm #648
Hey Pix, welcome!
Great post – I can see you have a lot of QfG experience! 🙂 I think the intention was to at least play QfG1, but the option was there to explore the rest. I don’t think the other episodes are planned, though personally I’d be happy to give them a play at some point.
I agree that the combat is one of the less perfect parts of the game (also in the VGA version). I’ve been playing as a (slightly magical) thief and have actually found the dodging/parrying/running away to be essential for my survival (mostly the running away actually). Apparently I’ll get better as time goes on though ^^.
TijnKeymasterPodcasterAugust 29, 2017 at 2:23 pm #649
Hey, super cool you’ve decided to join us, Pix! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it’s really nice you’ve touched on all of the DOS games in the series!
It would be great having you on the podcast, is that something you would be interested in?
PixParticipantPodcasterAugust 29, 2017 at 4:57 pm #652
Thanks for the welcome. I don’t know about having a lot of QFG experience. I certainly played QFG2 loads when it first came out and went back and finished the first a couple of years later. Having reached #4, I’d really like to see the series through at long last. I’ve had all 5 of them sat in a bookcase for a shameful number of years waiting to be played.
As far as being on the podcast goes, I’ve nothing against the idea in principle although I doubt I’d be the most natural of podcasters. As long as I can make the time, I’d be up for giving it a go.
TijnKeymasterPodcasterAugust 29, 2017 at 8:00 pm #653
Oh yeah, that reminds me: there’s a super nice remake of Quest for Glory 2 made by fans that’s really worth checking out. You can get it completely for free and it’s super impressive. Also fully compatible with the character import/export stuff, which is pretty impressive if you ask me.
The same people made a King’s Quest 3 remake which I’ve also massively enjoyed. Really top notch stuff!
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