Monday, 11 December 2017

Quest for Glory I - Smokey and the Bandits

Written by TBD.

Once again I spent most of my playtime as one character. Last time it was as Martak the Magic-User. This time it was Frodo the Fighter. There's a lot to get to, so let's get to it...


Frodo the Fighter Journal Entry #3: As they say, "we've a long way to go and a short time to get there." I've become a much better fighter since I last wrote in this journal. I was able to dispatch many goblins in a row, a large number of bandits and even a cheetaur or two. I'm also rich and have upgraded my armor! Things are certainly looking up for my adventuring career.







The first 'quest' I wanted to solve in this section, was getting into the hermit's cottage next to the waterfall. I'd been there as the magic-user by casting my 'Open' spell. My thief had gotten there by using his 'Climbing' skill, but I had neither of those as a fighter. I do have some 'Throwing' skill though. I thought I'd try throwing rocks at his door to see if that gets his attention.

What light from yonder window breaks?

It is the east, and 'Enry the 'Ermit is the sun.


'Enry triggers the ladder to appear and I climb up to talk to him. I get no different information than I got as a thief, but I now have a place to spend the night in exchange for some rations.

I leave the cave and decide I need to improve my skills. I wander around looking for fights, I throw stones at the archery target south of town, and I go to the place I found earlier with a goblin hiding in a bush. I fight and kill the goblin, looting him afterwards. When I 'look' at the place, I'm told that it's the “Goblin Central Combat Training Zone”.

If I leave that screen and come back, the same thing happens but this time I fight 2 goblins.

Double the goblins means double the experience!

The second goblin waits until the first dies before trying to fight me, which is rather sporting of him. I silently thank him as I rifle through his goblin pants for 4 silvers, then leave as it's become dark and I'm still scared to wander around at night.

I sleep at Erana's peace, then decide to see if I can do anything about the spitting spirea without killing them. I figure if I can't come up with a good solution. To recap, the plants take turns spitting the seed at each other. My backup solution will be to try to kill one of them just as it receives the seed so I don't lose four times as many points by killing them all.

Before going to my backup solution, I decide to try throwing a rock at the seed while it's in between plants. I line up and throw, and nothing happens apart from a slight increase to my throwing skill. I keep trying – even if this isn't the solution I'll increase one of my skills, so why not spend a bit of time.

Somewhere on this screen is my rock, hurtling towards the glowing seed that's about to land in the open spirea plant.

I eventually hit the seed, making the spirea plants dormant, then pick up the seed without harming the plants – thumbs up for fauna conservation!

Feeling confident, I go back to the goblin training ground and collapse from exhaustion while fighting the third goblin in a row. I'll keep working on that. I'm now regularly taking 60 minute rests during my day instead of waiting until I can sleep for a whole night. This strategy makes fights a lot easier as my stamina and hit points increase enough by an hour rest that I can usually survive at least one more fight.

I do more fighting, occasionally taking on the goblins again. Each time I fight them the fight consists of one more goblin. I also do more resting and dying/reloading, and my skills are slowly but surely increasing.

Five dead goblins – definitely time to take a bow

I take the spirea seed back to the dryad, then take all the ingredients for the 'Dispel' potion back to the healer, apart from the fairy dust that I still don't have.

After all the fighting (and plant picking, but that doesn't sound nearly as heroic) I go back to town and attempt to buy some chain armor. I expect the chain armor might help me survive the hail of arrows I'll hit when I go back to the bandit lair. Unfortunately I'm still a long way short of the 500 silvers I'll need, having only 12 gold and 133 silver. Just so the trip isn't wasted, I buy a dagger for 20 silver and head to the castle to make more money. I clean the stables a few times, then meet the sword master. He gives me largely useless fighting tips.

This tip is somewhat useful, but is very hard to do in the field as often as soon as I attack the bandit pops his shield back up.

As I'm a fighter, I'm able to train with him for 1 gold. I give him the cash, and we fight for a short time.

For that price, they'd better have increased by a lot!

Much like the magic-user I can't enter the barracks or castle yet, so I leave and spend another day or two practicing my fight/rest/die/reload/sleep/fight routine.

Six dead goblins, laying on the floor, and if one dead goblin should accidentally fall...

Feeling confident in my fighting abilities, I go back to the ogre/bear/kobold cave and fight the ogre instead of walking past him.

Come on ogre, work through the pain. Two more situps and you can have take a break.

Next to the ogre's body is his treasure chest with a heavy lid and strong lock. I force the chest open with my sword and find 1 gold and 43 silver.

This can be interpreted in multiple ways – I prefer to interpret it in the violent way.

I enter the cave and attempt to fight the bear but lose. Thinking that fighting the bear probably isn't the best way to go on anyway, I give it an apple, and go ahead to try to fight the kobold.

I throw a rock at him, which only seems to wake him up. I can keep throwing rocks at him which just makes him teleport from one ledge to another. I find I can also try using my sword to fight him which brings up the fighting interface to the bottom right of the screen, but no health/stamina/magic bar for either me or the kobold. I keep hitting him with my sword, which again makes him teleport. When he shoots a lightning bolt, I sometimes hit the 'Parry' button but I'm not sure if it does any good.

Eventually I'll be hit with a lightning bolt and die. For some reason I decide to persevere, not knowing if it's even possible to defeat the kobold this way. After many deaths, I eventually do kill him by by using this strategy. He drops a glowing key, which I take. I also take his food (mushrooms?).

Taking advantage of information I gained when my magic-user cast 'Detect Spell' in this area, I walk to where the invisible chest is.

Thank you, those of you who suggested I play as all three characters

The chest is locked, but I open it with my sword. I also knew the chest was trapped from my magic-user playthrough, but was willing to take the risk. I'm sure I took damage from the explosion, but I survived so took the 10 gold and sixty silver coins and moved on. Back in the bear's section, I tried the kobold's key on the bear's chain, hoping he'll leave but help me in some manner in the future, when he transforms into...

Manimal?

It seems that without knowing I was doing it, I'd just rescued the Baron's son, Barnard. He's not a very appreciative rescued victim, but that's royalty for you.

Um... what about us? Remember? King's Quest V???

Good point, insect royalty. Sorry for lumping you all in the same basket. It won't happen again.

Anyway, now that it's night, I go back to the mushroom ring and try to do something about the fairies. I dance for them...

When your dancing impresses the fairies, that's when you know you've got what it takes!

A few posts ago I danced for the fairies and they made me dance to death. I hadn't come up with a plan for this encounter but it turns out I didn't need to. Last time I'd died after encroaching inside their mushroom ring. This time I simply didn't do that. After dancing for them I could speak to them.

One of the things I can ask them about is 'Fairy Dust'. When I do so, they argue about it for awhile, and eventually, Mikey the Fairy, who'll touch anything, is roped into giving me some dust


Having sorted out another of my quests, I decided to see what I could do about the troll cave next to the antwerp. I went there, figuring that as I was strong enough to open chests I'd also be strong enough to force open the rock door. I wasn't. Or if what I suspect is true, I'll need to find a key to unlock the door before forcing it open. It's still possible I can force it open with more strength, but the failure message of “Despite your mightiest efforts, the rock does not move” doesn't fill me with confidence that I can force it open without a key.

Once again I do some more fighting/resting/dying/reloading, including killing 7 goblins in a row! I come up with an error...

The black message in the middle is unreadable, but when I get it at daytime it says “Invalid Palette”

I've noticed that with both this error and the weird colour glitch that occasionally happens when the game transitions from night to day, I can avoid it by reloading the game to before it happens, then quitting and restarting the game and loading my save – it's probably some kind of memory leak or something. It does remain on saved games so quitting before it happens seems to be the best solution. I expect the ScummVM version doesn't have this problem, as well as allowing more than 20 saves, so I'd recommend that for anyone who wants to play the game purely for fun.

After getting back into the game and reloading my save I decide to spend the night at 'Enry the 'Ermit's house. This time I don't need to throw rocks. Once I know there's an invisible ladder there I can climb it even without having the climbing skill.

It turns out 'Enry's house isn't the best place to sleep.

For some reason I also sleep in a really weird position when in 'Enry's house – it's actually the same as part of the 'climbing' animation.

I left 'Enry's 'ouse (sorry, house) in the morning, and went straight to the healer's now that I had the last ingredient for the 'Dispel' potion. I give her the fairy dust

I wonder if 'later' refers to actual time or will take place when I've passed a particular plot point.

I then go to the castle to collect my reward for rescuing Bernard the Bear Baronet from the Kobold Wizard.

The castle guards also play in a jazz band on Friday nights.

Good – because I was counting on you expressing your gratitude with lots and lots of gold

I ask the Baron the usual questions. One thing he says piques my interest. He mentions that Yorick was the court jester, and the one who went off to find his daughter. I may have heard this information before, but now was becoming more certain of where his daughter and the jester are. The Bandit Wizard has been described as someone who laughs a lot and uses sneezing powder – seems like a jestery thing to do, and the Bandit Leader has been described as having a high-pitched voice, perhaps a woman as opposed to the child I'd previously expected – or possibly both as I'm not sure how old his daughter is.

He also mentions that apart from the ambush the bandits have set up for any who approach, there is rumoured to be another way into their fortress. This gets my mind thinking as well. Perhaps the troll cave near the antwerp leads to the bandit hideout and is a better entrance than the ambush I'd been killed at before. As a fighter though I wasn't (yet?) able to open the door to the troll cave so it might be worth taking the front entrance if I can work out how to avoid the arrows.

I also talk to the Baronet

I think I'm starting to side with the kobold wizard on this one

I spend the night in the castle then take my 50 gold reward back to town in the morning, picking up my now-ready Dispel potion from the healer on the way.

The 50 gold is exactly what I need in order to buy the chain armor.

Kaspar wears a fez. Fez's are cool.

Let's see how that chain armor helps me with some of the places I've failed at before. First stop, the Frost Giant cave...

Perhaps a hint that there's a potion of embiggening or something, or just a hint that fighting isn't as good a solution as buying 50 apples.

While exploring I also see a sea monster in what appears to be an Easter Egg

I don't remember this from our Conquests of the Longbow posts – Alex! Sexy Robin! Anyone!?!

Speaking of people who are good with a longbow, I go back to the bandit ambush to see if I can come up with a solution (Going somewhere without a plan has worked twice so far this post, can we make it a third?)

This time I feel that perhaps my new chain armor will have arrows bounce harmlessly off it. Do you care to take a guess as to whether or not I succeed?

If at first you don't succeed, reload reload again

I continue with my plan of just walking through the arrows Neo-style. This time, when I reach the log barring my way, I click the hand icon it it, and watch as my character valiantly vaults over it ready for battle

I hope you bought tickets for both the archery AND the hurdle events!

After my athletic showing, I find myself in a battle with four bandits (possibly three – it's hard to tell based on my screenshots.) They're too much for me.

This was the last bandit – I was so close

I tried a few more times, but kept failing. Time for some more grinding.

I wandered around again, and killed my fair share of bandits, goblins and sauruses, including a full 8 goblins at their training ground. My skills had improved quite a bit so I had another unsuccessful attempt at Brauggi the Frost Giant. I take another lesson with the castle's Weapon Master. I even killed a cheetaur...

Noooo. Not the face. Anywhere but the face!

With all this extra fighting experience under my belt, I felt confident enough to take on the bandits, and this time I did. After defeating the four (three, sir?) or three bandits, I was at a gate guarded by a minotaur.

This seems like a clue, but I'm not sure it's relevant to my fighter

I fight the minotaur, but I expect a thief would be able to sneak past him instead. Inside the dead minotaur's flail are 50 silver pieces, which I pocket.

The door has a bell next to it, so naturally I ring it...

… and naturally, I'm mudered for my politeness

I come up with what I feel is a clever solution. I hide behind a bush and throw stones at the bell, hoping that a bandit will open the gate to see who's there when nobody is visible to shoot with arrows. It doesn't work. It's possible that this is a possible solution and my throwing skill just needs to be higher, but after a bunch of unsuccessful tries I have another, more brute force idea.

Because smashing stuff won't attract the bandit archers for some reason

I breathe in heavily then run at the gate as fast as I can. I flatten myself on the gate before comically sliding down. The gate then casually swings open anticlimactically

I'm brought to another room, where a myriad of traps remain.

How many traps can you find in this picture?

Let's go through the traps in this room...
  • Directly ahead is a pit trap under the fur rug
  • The bridge to the right has a sign on it that reads “Step Here” an obvious trap, so I use the other bridge
The bridge is unstable and wobbles as soon as I step on it, dropping me into a pit full of dead heroes
  • Going around the barricades to the right shows a tripwire trap that pops up a jester head – this doesn't seem to kill me so that's okay.
  • After passing the barricades the archers start shooting and will get me if I travel in a straight line, forcing me to switch to 'run' mode
  • The second tripwire trap summons an antwerp that jumps on me after I trip on it.

After unsuccessfully trying to climb the barrels or wagon, I notice that 'look'ing at the wiretraps gives me the message of “Now that you know it's there, you can easily avoid it by stepping over it.”

The successful solution consists of the following steps, all taken quickly to avoid dying...
  • 'Look' at both tripwires.
  • Walk past the barricades to the right
  • Take the right-hand bridge
  • Switch to run mode and move erratically to avoid arrows but not too erratically to avoid falling down the chasm
  • Take the door to the north
Avoiding all those traps takes me to the next room, where I have to similarly work out what to do in a situation where failure means death.

Another fun room of multiple puzzles to be solved in order

The first thing to do is close and bar the door on the approaching bandits, but only after they actually approach, as doing so too early makes them appear from the western door.

Then you must put the chair over the right-hand door.

Then you have to... oh, damn.

Maybe you don't need to be so passive-aggressive about it after I've died, death-screen.

The death screen contains an obvious hint. This time I wait until the bandits leave the southern door before barring the eastern door.

I also push over the candelabra, purely because I can, before the three stooges enter the room.

Remind me to kill you later

They come at me and kill me, but again the death-screen gives me a hint. It tells me that they figured out to go around the cable beFORE they ran all the way up to the fallen candelabra. I try again, this time not pushing the candelabra until they were almost upon me.

It takes a few more attempts, but eventually I time it all correctly so that I topple the candelabra not-too-early and not-too-late then climb the table at the right time and grab the chandelier rope at the right time.

This all results in my kicking the stooges over, then dropping the chandelier on them, trapping them indefinitely.

I've made a lot of noise - I think the fake shemp on the table must be dead.

I have to leave the room immediately or more bandits arrive, so take the north by northwest door out of here.

In the next room I find the bandit wizard, who I'd only recently surmised is also Yorick, the court jester.

Did anyone think a joke like this was NOT forthcoming as soon as we heard the name Yorick?

He tells me that Elsa, the Baron's daughter, is indeed the Bandit Leader, and that she's been ensorcelled. I have to break her from the spell before they leave the valley when the snow clears or she'll never be disenchanted. I doubt timing will be a problem but I wonder if anyone's tried playing the game for 365 days just to see if the seasons change.

Anyway, I also find out that it was ten years ago that Yorick went looking for Elsa, and after two years he found her, posing as her warlock since then to keep her safe. Toro, the minotaur, has been Elsa's only other friend in this band of bandits – I'm now more confident that there's a way to spare the minotaur, but I'll leave that to the thief or magic-user to work out.

For now, I have to work out his warlock's maze. I try all the doors, press all buttons and pull all chains I can find, but haven't found a solution yet. Each door just leads to another door Scooby Doo style. I'm sure there's a solution, but I'll find it next time... I hope.

Looking at my stats at the start and end of this section, I'm pleased to see the significant improvement. Now I have to work on doing the same for the magic-user and thief, but I've taken enough time and will leave it here for now.


A significant improvement in all fighter-relevant stats. I'm quite pleased!
TREVOR: But now we don't have time to see what I've been up to... AGAIN!
FRODO: Don't worry. You can have a turn next time.
TREVOR: And your title doesn't even make sense.
FRODO: I was going to refer to the bear as 'Smokey' so the movie title reference works, but when I didn't it was too late to change the title, so...
MARTAK: You're seriously breaking the fourth wall, now.
TREVOR: At least let me tell you how I got access to the Thieves' Guild password
FRODO: Probably the same way I did. By using your hand on the thief that sometimes hangs out just outside the town gate
TREVOR: Why did you even think of doing that?
FRODO: I use my hand on everything.
MARTAK: Me too. I'm using my hand right now.
TREVOR: Okay. Stop. I don't want to hear any more. Let's finish up and continue later.
MARTAK: Agreed.
Session time: 5 hours 20 minutes
Total time:  17 hours 35 minutes

13 comments:

  1. why do the 3 stooges appear in this game ? that's so weird ! haha nice work as usual.

    Also, I want to ask something off topic, what does it mean "borderline" in the list of future games to be played ?

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    1. There's a certain silly nature to the humour in the Quest for Glory games (or the Sierra games in general), and they love to put in a few tv/film references.

      Also those "borderline" games are ones that don't quite reach the standard for whatever we might consider an adventure game, but are still on the list as they can be purchased (using the CAPs that people earn for reviewing/commenting/etc.) before that year starts.

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    2. I think it has been a Quest for Glory tradition that there's one set of famous comedians in every game. QFG 2 had Marx Brothers and so on.

      Andy explained the "borderline" -condition quite well. Essentially, we use three criteria for determining whether the game gets on the official list of games. If all three are fulfilled, the game is Accepted, if two, it will be Borderline, if only one, it will be Disregarded. Accepted get automatically on the list, Borderline requires additional 100 CAPs and Disregarded 200 CAPs.

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    3. As for the stooges, yeah, this game has lots of 20th century Earth references in it. I've drawn attention to a few of them, but they're all over the game, which I enjoy.

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  2. I usually prefer to use ScummVM and I never gotten that glitch, but on the other hand I somehow made it impossible for me to see my stats. Although I guess it was my doing of... "tweaking" the stats in the beginning to either dump a stat in order to get rid of grinding stats at all or either get access to all stats and therefore a maxed out character after long terms of grinds. Not fun in the long run.

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    1. I prefer ScummVM too.

      Because I'm a compulsive saver, I HATE the 20 save game limit on this game.

      I accept it in games of this time as it used to be a technical limitation but I LOVE that people like the ScummVM team have gone to the effort of making retro gaming more convenient!

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    2. The 20 save limit can be easily circumvented by creating/selecting another directory. Still one of my least favourite Sierra quirks. I guess it dates from the time when floppy disks were more commonly used to store save games, but with today's HDD sizes that's hardly a concern.

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    3. Good point, I didn't think of that, but yeah - the lack of a disk space issue makes copying the entire game folder just as easy as creating a new directory.

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  3. When you started this, I admit that I didn't quite like having your three new friends have so much... personality. But you have nailed their voices. I love it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. I wasn't terribly happy with my first post myself so very glad to hear my attempts to improve seem to be working.

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  4. Free classic adventure game alert!

    Grim Fandango Remastered is free on GOG for the next day or two, and they also have a sale on their other stuff...

    https://www.gog.com/

    https://www.gog.com/game/grim_fandango_remastered

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  5. this is great! by the way, what was this game about? because I don't quite understand it.

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    Replies
    1. Great game! Lots of skills, combat and adventure. Actually pretty quick but good humour and replayability

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