Safe you say? Let's not get too carried away just yet!
It’s rare that I spend more time playing a game than I do writing about it. Obviously it’s due to Quest for Glory II’s RPG elements that this is occurring here, and more specifically the grinding aspect. It took me close to two hours to go from capturing the Air Elemental to confronting the Earth Elemental, and while that amount of time would normally fill two pure adventure game posts (if not more), it will likely result in a fairly short one here. Let’s get on with it...
...it's about time I checked out the Shapeir night life!
After my last post finished with me sucking the Air Elemental into the bellows I received from Issur in the Weapon Shop, I decided it was time to experience after-dark in the desert of Shapeir for the first time. It didn’t take me long to be confronted by a creature I hadn’t seen thus far, being a Ghoul. I hoped that all my training would be enough to take on a creature of the night, and it turned out to be well and truly the case. The thing didn’t stand a chance, going down in just a few seconds! (3 points) I recalled that Harik would pay for Ghoul’s claws the same way he did Scorpion’s tails, so I picked some up before leaving. (5 points) I made my way to the Oasis to visit the Dervish, since Keapon Laffin had informed me the long-bearded hermit needed someone to hunt a beast for him. When I asked him about it, he had the following to say: “It is said that man is like a caged beast. And a beast is like a rumor – it is best to dispel it early. Harik knows the way, and I know the where.” The word dispel seemed a real clue here, since Harik had offered to make me a dispel potion if I could bring him the feather of a Griffin and the Fruit of Compassion. Clearly the potion would play a role in transforming whatever this beast was back into a man.
It's a shame the undead couldn't put up more of a fight really.
You'd think if he actually wanted help he'd be a little less cryptic.
So Harik’s dispel potion was likely to be the “how”, but I hadn’t a clue about “where” this beast might be. I typed “ask about where”, and Dervish gave me pretty clear directions: “The where is five skareen lengths to the west of Shapeir, and but two skareen lengths north of here.” I marked that spot on my map, noting that it wasn’t one I’d previously visited. I set off in that direction, but before I reached it, got into a scuffle with another new creature! It was a Jackalman, but despite Uhura warning me that they like to travel in packs, this one was on its own. Like the Ghoul, the Jackalman went down very easily, not even requiring an attempt to dodge or parry. (3 points) Searching the body surprisingly turned up some coin, with 4 Dinars and 16 Centimes being added to my growing treasury. I ran into no further creatures on my way to the screen Dervish had told me about, nor did I run into any when I reached it. It appeared just as the majority of other desert screens...empty! Perhaps this beast would only appear once I had the dispel potion? I figured there was nothing I would be able to do without the potion anyway, so made my way back to the inn in Shapeir to sleep the rest of the night away.
I see no pack, nor am I particularly injured, so this Jackalman isn't one of the smart ones.
I awoke on the morning of Day 10, with little on my to-do list. One thing I hadn’t done in a while is visit the Apothecary to unload some of my Scorpion Tails and Ghoul Claws. My three sets of claws and two tails fetched me no less than 100 dinars! I now had 182 dinars to spend, so had a think about what I might be able to spend it on. Keapon Laffin had tried to sell me a Magic Rope for 125 dinars every time I’d visited him, so despite not having any pressing reason to have one, I paid him a visit and bought it. Thankfully he gave me some instructions on how I might use it come the time: “If you are inclined to climb, a Magic Rope can give you hope. To make it rise, close your eyes, raise your arms high, and watch it fly.” I spent the rest of the day training, only popping out to the desert to see if the beast would appear at the designated location during the day. It didn’t.
I probably should have waited to see whether I needed this, but all the money was burning a hole in my pocket!
Day 11 started more promisingly, with Shameen telling me that “the poet has personally asked that you be present tonight, for he wishes to speak with you after his reading”. Well at least I had something to look forward to, but how would I utilise the rest of the day? I decided to spend the morning training, determined to increase my Parry skill to a level that might be useful if I was ever confronted by something that could still do me damage. Outside the Guild Hall the acrobat had set up his tightrope. I hadn’t seen him for quite a few days, and had even begun to wonder whether I’d missed my opportunity to pass his little test. I bet him a dinar that I could cross the rope, and then climbed up to give it a shot. I have to admit that I saved my game before having a go, and was grateful I did soon afterwards. Whenever Tricky lost his balance to one side, I had a tendency to overcorrect him, causing him to fall off the other side. After a couple of restores I got the hang of it, and made it across. I received no points for the feat, but collected my 5 dinars happily. After a couple of training runs, I visited all the major characters in Shapeir (such as Dinarzad the Money Changer, Abu al-Hjun the Astrologer etc.) to see if anything new would be revealed. I got nothing out of any of them, and eventually was forced to use up more time training while I waited for evening to come.
If I was going to fall, this wouldn't be the worst time to do it. Incoming!!!
When evening finally came, I entered the inn to find Omar and his assistant already sitting at the table. I approached him, at which point he made a little presentation. “If it would please the Hero so, then there is that which he should know. A simple prize from Sultan wise, for deeds of Air, the land does owe.” His assistant rattled off another one of his unnecessary translations: “From the Sultan Harun Al-Rashid (May He Reign Forever!), we present thee with this purse for thy services most brave and daring against the Elemental of Air.” My reward was another 50 dinars!!! (3 points) Once this transaction was complete, Omar took to the stage to recite his latest poem about my exploits.
Came a Hero drawing near
to our land of fair Shapeir,
The Katta called and carried that one here.
I shall tell an allegory
‘bout a Quest for Love and Glory
Which I shall relate if you will lend an ear.
The Hero first faced fire
Which was making matters dire,
For the flames he fought were flitting ever higher.
With the water first he fought it
and into a lamp he caught it
‘Ere our city of Shapeir became our pyre.
The next he faced was Air,
Which I’m sure that you’re aware,
Was blustering and blowing here and there.
Before the Winds became our band
as a fearsome hurricane,
With a bellows then he caught it fair and square.
So let us raise a cheer for the Hero of Shapeir,
And remember that our praise is quite sincere,
For in the Quest for Glory as related by this story,
Is a Hero who has saved us from our fear,
Is a Hero who’s a Hero without peer!”
I wonder when I'll get the honor of meeting this Sultan.
"Without peer!" You reading this Chet? Without peer!!!
I gained no further information from the poet Omar, so went to bed. In the morning, the third Elemental was causing havoc in the city! The shopkeepers all suggested that an Earth Elemental was attacking people in the streets, rather than in a plaza as had been the case with the Fire and Air Elementals. Before even considering going hunting for it, I looked through my screenshots to see what Aziza had taught me about Earth Elementals. “The essence of Earth is strength. It must be worn away before it can be captured and it is only vulnerable to flame. It might be best contained in the type of cloth sack used to haul sand in this city.” I just so happened to have bought a cloth sack off one of the Kattas earlier in the game, but what flame might I be able to use to defeat it? It didn’t seem sensible to use the Fire Elemental I had in my Magic Lamp, but perhaps there was a way to do so without simply replacing one Elemental with another. I figured I’d give it a shot, but chose to drop in at the Magic Shop and the Apothecary first to see what Keapon and Harik had to say on the matter.
Wha! This is like Groundhog Day!
Oh don't be so harsh on yourself! Your butt's not THAT big!
Keapon told me that “there is no better way to arouse a rock’s ire, than to fight with a light and to smite him with fire”, which emphasised the need to use fire against the Earth Elemental. Harik was a little more forthcoming: “The Elemental of Earth is a thing of vast destructive capabilities. In my studies, I have found that to master something, you must understand it. What is Earth? That is what you need to know.” When I asked him about the nature of Earth, Harik gave me another demonstration, showing how dirt is completely consumed by fire. “I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learned from this, although I don’t quite know what that might be.” (3 points) Since everyone seemed to be telling me the same thing in different ways, I wandered through the streets of Shapeir in search of my enemy. It didn’t take long to find it, and the huge Elemental stomped towards me slowly while I tried to figure out what to do. Using the lamp didn’t seem to work, leaving me with no choice but to go into combat mode! I managed to hit the Earth Elemental, but caused no damage in the process. I figured I was done for, but before long my foe shrank away into a blob and was gone.
Harikberg frickin' loves chemistry!
Yes, I even tried rubbing the lamp!
I knew that I hadn’t defeated it, so was left to ponder how I could utilise fire to do so. Was I supposed to light my sword on fire?! As soon as this thought entered my mind, I believed it to be true! I also had a fair idea where I might be able to find a flame to achieve my goal, so used my map to take myself off to the Weapon Shop. Attempting to put my sword in the flame of Issur’s furnace didn’t work, nor did putting oil on it first, which I thought had been a pretty good idea. I was a bit stumped, so decided to visit a few more Shapeir inhabitants in the hope that one of them might reveal something useful. As it so happened, I was right near the Fighter’s Guild, so wandered in to chat with Rakeesh and Uhura. The Liontaur spoke to me as soon as I entered, suggesting that only I could stop the Elemental from destroying the city. It was Uhura’s response to this comment that gave me hope: “If your leg had not failed you this morning, Rakeesh, the elemental would be gone. Hero, you should have seen how Rakeesh fought it! His sword burning brightly as he fought that monster. Rakeesh be a great warrior still!”
At least in this game, the player knows it's not just the parser messing with them. If it doesn't understand you, you're probably trying to do something that isn't right.
I may be a hero, but I could never be this cool!
This "Rocky" won't be getting back up!
*sigh* I really need an assistant. Perhaps even an secretary!
I might not reach Andy_Panthro's goal of 200 for all attributes, but all the important ones are getting up there.
Session Time: 2 hours 00 minutes
Total Time: 11 hours 00 minutes
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!