Thursday, 4 January 2018

Quest for Glory I - WON!

Written by TBD.

When we last met our Quest for Glory characters before our Christmas detour, I'd asked for assistance.

I had help from Ilmari who told me that, as I had feared, I was dead-ended! Of the games I've played for the blog so far, I've hit a dead end in King's Quest V (which I got out of on my own after wasting an hour or so) and I've hit a dead end in Martian Memorandum (where I didn't pick up a newspaper buried in a jungle before going to Mars.) The only game I haven't been dead-ended in was the game with very few puzzles at all – Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2.

Corey Cole mentioned in the comments of my introduction post that there should be very few if any walking-dead situations. I should have known then that if there was a single dead-end situation, I'd find it and I'd be annoyed by it! It's kind of my thing - I'm the one who's bad at adventure games!

Anyway, with the bad news sinking in, I went back to the saved game that took place before I was dead-ended after finding out to my dismay that that saved game was in fact no longer on my save game list! The game allows only 20 saved games and all 20 of them were from after that point.

This is the moment the game becomes unfinishable. Seems innocuous enough.

Fortunately, my obsessive personality has me backing up my QFG folder every time I finish up my 20 allotted saves. So I reloaded a save from 4.5 hours earlier, and proceeded to continue the game. Phew!

Not wanting to mindlessly practice my skills for hours again, I at first followed a suggestion that I shouldn't need to grind skills much in this game. Unfortunately that turned out to be not quite the case as I definitely need high stats to pass certain parts of the game.

I came up with another solution. In order to practice my sneaking I could simply go into sneak mode in town and walk away from the computer for a time.

This wouldn't work with throwing or lockpicking though so I needed to come up with an alternate solution. I found a screen I could simply click on the same spot and could mindlessly keep clicking the mouse button to get multiple practices in, but this was still too boring for me, particularly considering this was the second time I'd done so. So I once again found assistance, this time not from the adventure gamer community, but from normal household objects.

I discovered that pressing the ENTER key instead of the mouse button achieves the same thing but keeping it pressed counts as multiple presses. Now all I needed was something that can keep the ENTER key pressed while I watch TV. This has my character do the practice as well as clicking out of the dialogue screen telling me what my character's done.

Thank you, empty coffee cup and six-sided die!

I used my coffee cup to constantly click on the tree to alternately climb up and down it. I also used the cup to pick up a few hundred rocks from the ground, then throw the rocks at something constantly. And again, to keep trying to pick the lock of the healer's house. Then I repeated the process if my stats weren't high enough for my liking. During this time I watched some TV shows I'd recorded.

To put it simply, I got back to a similar position I was in last time both puzzle-wise and statistic-wise but without the two stolen healing potions (which I didn't need anyway) and was ready to continue.

To recap, Trevor the Thief had not yet found his way into the bandit camp, Martak the Magic-user had gotten to the gate of the bandit camp, and Frodo the Fighter had gotten inside the bandit camp, solved a few puzzles and made his way to the Wizard's Maze to meet Yorick the wizard.

Now, let's see if we can get the thief and magic-user to the Wizard's Maze so they're all on the same page.

Martak the Magic-user Journal Entry #5: After improving my magic skills last time, I went back to the bandit camp and realised I didn't need to improve my magic skills at all. Anyway, being better at magic is kind of my thing so the time wasn't all wasted.






When we were last with Martak, he'd been unable to enter the gate because walking towards the gate after casting the 'Calm' spell on the minotaur woke the minotaur up and resulted in a fight.

After increasing many of my magic skills, I returned to the gate with a new idea, instead of attempting to open the gate which involved my character moving all the way to the gate and into the eyeline of the minotaur, I moved just a little bit out of the bushes instead. The rustling of the bushes still woke the minotaur, but his peripheral vision must be even worse than I thought.


The bandits would have won if their health-care plan included optometry!

Now that I was out of the noisy bushes, I 'Calm'ed the minotaur again, and went to the door to open it, and this time the minotaur didn't wake up. Had I wasted my time practicing my magic skills? Probably, but I solved the puzzle anyway so I'm not complaining.

I passed the next two areas the same way I did with my fighter. I'll give you a short visual reminder seeing as that was almost a month ago.










And with that, Martak the Magic-user is with the court jester who's masquerading as the bandit wizard.

Now let's get our thief to the same position...

Trevor the Thief Journal Entry #4: Remember those healing potions I stole from the healer? Let's pretend that didn't happen. I had all the ingredients needed for the dispel potion and just needed her to let me in so I could ask her to make me the potion to save her town.




WIth my coffee cup having gotten me back to where I was last time, I went to the healer's and got her to make me a Dispel potion.

This is the thing I couldn't get by stealing from the healer earlier.

Having the Dispel potion, I can now finish the game. I noted that when I gave the healer the final ingredient she told me to come back later as it would take time to prepare. I simply left her house and immediately re-entered, which was enough time for her to finish.

But before I can use the potion, I have to find an alternate entrance into the bandit hideout. My fighting skills aren't good enough to either pass the troll at the back entrance or fight the squad of bandits at the front entrance. Even before my request for assistance, where I asked if I needed to increase my fighting skills as a thief (I was told I wouldn't, which was good) I had an idea. I had a basic idea of where the bandit hideout was, and I had a high climbing skill. Perhaps I could climb the rocks to the north of the bandit camp instead of one of the other entrances.

Nope!

I get a similar message on all the screens that could lead to the bandit camp. So that wasn't the solution.

So what was the solution? Well, I already knew because of something I'd accidentally done as the fighter. After finishing the bandit section with the fighter, I miscounted the number of screens I'd traversed and accidentally appeared to the west of the archery target on my way to the castle. Two thieves were having a conversation. The conversation was of no use to the fighter, as he'd already finished with the bandit camp, but it was vital for my thief, so I attempted to get the same information as a thief.

I went there a few times hoping to hear the conversation, but it never happened. Each time I tried I made sure to leave and come back multiple times in case it was a random occurrence. That didn't work. I made sure to do all other quests first in case it was triggered by quest-solving, but still didn't see them. I wondered if perhaps it was related to time of day.



Yes! It happens at midday.

I'll note that, despite the seeming randomness and difficulty in finding this scene, there IS a clue, which I discovered after finishing the game and reading the ROT13 hints Ilmari had posted in the comments. If I go back to the tavern after finishing all other quests, a new scrap of paper appears under the stool.

Translation: 'as soon as possible' clearly means every day at midday.

If I hadn't coincidentally discovered the brigand meeting with my fighter, I would have eventually gone back to the tavern and gotten this clue. Anyway, back to the meeting...

I listen to their conversation. They're worried about their leader, and their leader is concerned about the 'hero' that's been solving people's problems around town.

She has a golden hat???

Don't mistake the bandit's concern for their leader. Their new plan is to take over from their leader while she's busy dealing with me. They talk about going into the back entrance instead of the ambush. And they talk about a password they need.


The password is “Hiden Goseke”. And they mention it four times during the conversation to make sure I grasp the importance of it.

I'll ignore the fact that I've seen the entire cave and it's just a “U” shape leading to the bandit camp gate.

After speaking the password the troll, Fred, is now gone from the cave so I can enter. At the gate, I easily sneak past the minotaur and climb the gate wall.

My coffee cup only got my climbing skill up to 81 by constantly climbing up and down a tree.

After a few more climbing attempts, my climbing skill got up to 83 and I was into the fortress. Once again, I pass the gauntlet and dining room and enter the wizard's maze.



Frodo the Fighter, Martak the Magic user and Trevor the Thief final journal entry: I solved the wizard's maze and rescued the Baron's daughter, saving the day and becoming 'Hero of Spielburg' . And now that I'm a hero and demand you address me as such!




THE WIZARD'S MAZE

The bandit wizard, or Yorick, or ME! As he likes to be called, makes me navigate through his maze.

Just like in an episode of Scooby Doo, the doors lead to other doors. After a bit of trial and error, the solution is fairly simple. First, attempt to walk to the right-hand door...


A trap-door opens and I fall down, then I fall through the upper right door, and keep rolling down the hall until I fall down the trap door again. This happens until I click the hand on myself to stop rolling.


I can then go through the doorway to the right, which has me appear above the BOX at the left. I can pull the chain up there, which opens the upper right door.


Going back (which, typically of Sierra's navigation, is mildly frustrating) gets me back to the right, and I can enter the upper right door, appearing in the open upper-left door.


If I click my hand on the blue door/wall in front of me, it wobbles, then a few seconds later it slams to the ground – if I'm under it I get squashed and have to try again, but if I move back to the left while it's wobbling, it slams to the ground and stays there, allowing me to enter the doorway.


Now that I've passed Yorick's funhouse maze, I appear in a room with the bandit leader, who walks from around her table to confront me.

For some reason the game refers to her as a 'he' even though I know it's the Baron's daughter by now.

I throw my 'Dispel' potion at the bandit.

Ah, one of those potions that also changes someone's clothes. Has she washed her bandit clothes at all? What does that mean about the cleanliness of her royal clothing? Am I thinking about the effects of transformation magic on laundry a bit too much?

She had been under the impression she was a brigand's child, but now knows she's a Baron's child and doesn't have to be a brigand any more. For some reason she really thinks she HAS to have the same job as her father, no matter what job her father has. That's a bit weird, but hey, it's not my problem.

Yorick enters, having gotten lost on the way, and Elsa and Yorick leave me alone in a hostile fortress because... reasons, I guess?

How about you take me and let Yorick make his own way there?

There are two healing potions and a magic mirror on the table. I take them and leave, which takes me back to the cave entrance where the Antwerp bounces around.

But first, I see an item that's a reference for a future game.

Armed with my magic mirror, I return to Baba Yaga's hut, and when she tries to turn me into a frog, I use the mirror to bounce her frog-transformation spell back at her.


She quickly transforms herself back, then teleports me back outside her hut, which promptly flies away.

What is the average airspeed of an unladen hut?

I then go back to the Baron's castle for my reward. He makes me a hero (NOTE: I mean he gives me the title of hero, NOT that he makes me a submarine sandwich.)

There's a party, and everyone's invited.

Good to see they invited Commander Riker. And... ummmm.... am I the only one who's noticed that some guy's hung himself at the top right? That's dark, Sierra. REALLY DARK!


And now, I, along with Abdulla Doo, Shema and Shameen ride a magic carpet to the sequel.

Why am I just seeing this magic carpet now? I could have flown into the bandit camp at the start of the game, Abdulla!

Already ahead of you, game. Consider it done!

The game offers to save my game for import into Quest for Glory II, but I couldn't get it to work.

With one of my other characters, I went to the Baron's castle before taking on Baba Yaga, hoping to have a conversation with Elsa and the Baron, like I was able to do when I rescued the Baronet. But I just go straight to the party, then the game tells me off.

I was planning to go to her hut right after the party, game. I didn't have time to both get rid of the witch, AND catch my magic carpet ride! I had to prioritize!!!

None of my characters had maximum points. Here's my final point tally.

  • Martak the Magic-user: 454 of 500
  • Frodo the Fighter: 373 of 500
  • Trevor the Thief: 433 of 500


The fighter was the character who didn't drive Baba Yaga out, which explains his particularly low score. As for the others, I noticed I got some points for giving the healer cheetaur claws. I also probably would get points for giving the healer a troll beard, but I don't know if any of my characters did that, as getting past the troll leads me to the endgame. If anyone knows where other points are scored, let me know.

MARTAK: So, now that we've finished our story, do you think we can concentrate on getting out of here.
TREVOR: Oh. Yeah, I opened the door days ago. I just wanted you all to hear the end of my story while you thought you couldn't leave.
FRODO: But, I have things to do...
MARTAK: No, you don't.
FRODO: Okay, I don't. But still...
TREVOR: Anyway, now that we're done, we'd better go. I've broken the mechanism so if the door ever closes again we're stuck here for good.
FRODO. Okay then. Let's leave. We've been stuck in here too long already.
MARTAK: Agreed.
TREVOR: Let's go.
Suddenly, the door crashes shut with a loud crash as an armored giant of a man enters their cave.
MAN: I'm Peter.
TREVOR: What have you done!?!?
MARTAK: Now we're stuck here. Again!
PETER: Well, as long as we're stuck, let me tell you the story of how I became the Hero of Shapeir, AND a Paladin!
MARTAK: Why did you close the door?
PETER: It was getting cold outside and it's been a long...
TREVOR: How did you not notice the lock was broken?
PETER: So that's why it was so hard to close the door. A mere fighter wouldn't have been able...
FRODO: What's a Paladin?!?
PETER: Let me tell you all about it. We seem to have time. It's a loooong story... … ...

And so I've finished the game. I had somewhat equal parts fun and frustration with the game. As for how it will fare in the Final Rating, as usual I'm not sure. I don't think it will score as high as people's guesses suggested, but we'll all find out next week. Thanks for reading.

Session time TBD: 4 hours
Session time Coffee Cup and D6: 2 hours 5 minutes
Total time: 33 hours 15 minutes

13 comments:

  1. This is the only Sierra long series that I never played, seems very complex, mixing the worst of King's Quest, with some random rpg shit.

    Good work !

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  2. "Why am I just seeing this magic carpet now?"

    Yes, it would have come in very handy in travelling anywhere you like in or around the valley, and doing a Ride of the Valkyries on the brigands. Unfortunately, as Abdulla tells you when you meet him drowning his sorrows every evening at the Katta's Tail, the carpet was also stolen by the brigands...

    Nice playthrough. I hope you don't hate the game too much after all this. ^^

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    1. Oops. Just looked at my first game post again and I even specifically took note of it...

      "Abdulla had a Magic Carpet among the stolen goods. I'm sure I could find a use for that item!"

      Delete
  3. "What is the average airspeed of an unladen hut?"

    What do you mean? African or European hut?

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  4. Great job, by the way! Although I guess some of the credit should go to the cup and die... Nevertheless, an amusing read

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    1. We should definitely hand out some CAPs to cup and die - 1 CAP for each hour?

      Delete
  5. The game suddenly ending when you return to the castle after rescuing the daughter irked me when I first played the EGA version several years ago. I had thought I could go defeat Baba Yaga afterwards!

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    1. I think it does that if you don't take the magic mirror from the brigand treasure. Since you have no way to defeat Baba Yaga at that point, the game jumps to the endgame.

      Delete
    2. I just reloaded and can confirm that the game jumps to the endgame even though I have the mirror in my inventory but haven't yet dealt with Baba.

      As a side note, when I played as a thief I was hoping to rescue the baronet last to see if I could speak to Elsa but I couldn't do that as the scene at the archery target won't take place until the baronet is already rescued.

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    3. I think I had the mirror at the time. I first went to the castle, figuring that there would be a cutscene similar to after rescuing the baronet, not the fricking end credits!

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  6. Ref the end-of-game "reward" picture, there are some pretty random things in it. Maybe the hanged person refers to Laura Bow? Most of the developers of both the EGA and VGA versions are in the picture. "Commander Riker" is actually Jerry Moore, one of the main artists and a huge Star Trek fan. Jerry is responsible for slipping the Starship Enterprise or another Star Trek reference into almost every game he worked on.

    Lori and I are in the picture - front row 6 or so characters from the right. Lori's in a belly dance costume and I'm in a vaguely Arabian outfit - magenta pants, blue vest with magenta trim, etc - both references to QG2.

    Sorry about the "walking dead" scenario. All of our games try to make a "living world" by having characters react to previous actions in the game. Normally they don't prevent game-essential actions as a result! But they are far too complex to fully test.

    We're dealing with a lot of similar issues during testing of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. The scripts in Hero-U are at least 10 times more complex than anything we did at Sierra because we want players to feel they're having real conversations with real people.

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    1. Excellent information. Thanks!

      I just found that I can 'look' at people on the party scene before the endgame starts and it tells me their names and does a small animation.

      Corey, you change your clothes slightly, while Lori does a little dance.

      The hanged person is Diana Wilson and her animation is to swing back and forth.

      Also, getting a personal apology from a game developer for a 'walking dead' scenario - wow, and apology accepted! :)

      I am looking forward to the release of Hero-U. Even more so now, after playing this game.

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  7. Aw, but running through the brigands canyon and fighting the gang at the end while stuck with a dozen arrows is the best part!

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