Thursday, 10 May 2018

Quest for Glory III: Wages of War - With A Little Help From My Friends - WON!

By Alex


Please note that the above bit of artwork is an unused asset from Quest for Glory III, but it’s such a good picture that’s so representative of the game’s end sequence that I had to put it in.

But let’s back up a bit. When we left off, war had broken out between the Simbani and the Leopardmen, thanks to demonic influence at the peace conference that I helped set up.

Dead bodies . . . dead bodies everywhere.

Exiled from Tarna, unwelcome by the Simbani, there is only one thing for a hero to do: track down the demons at the Lost City across the waterfall and stop them somehow.

In other words, all in a days work.

Oh come on! It’s not like I killed the Laibon or anything!
 Monkey Village


Hanging out with Manu at the entrance to Monkey Village

With nowhere else to go, I head to the jungle, hoping to find a way across the waterfall and into the Lost City where Kreesha is convinced the demons dwell. No sooner had I crossed over from the savannah into the jungle, then I run into none other than Manu the monkey! You remember Manu, don’t you? The little talking monkey I rescued from a trap during my first expedition into the jungle?

Well, Manu is psyched to see me--and I mean, who wouldn’t be?--and invites me to Monkey Village, where I can presumably sit in the trees and eat bananas all day with him like I’m some kind of British rock band or something.

“In man’s evolution, he has created the cities and the motor traffic rumble . . .”

Finding Manu in the jungle.

I agree to follow Manu, and trek over to the east-most jungle screen where the monkeys have their bustling metropolis hidden away near the waterfall.


The entrance to Monkey Village is a big tree. The problem is, being an honorable paladin and not a sneaky thief, I don’t have any climbing skill. Nor do I have any magic, which would let me levitate up the tree. Instead, I had to tell Manu that I need a swingline, but it’s like pulling teeth getting Manu there. Eventually, he lowers a rope ladder, and I’m able to ascend into the lofty heights of Monkey Village.

Hanging out in Monkey Village.

Look at this place! It’s great! It’s even more Endor-like than the Leopardman’s village! (Forgive the repetition of the Star Wars reference. Like many of you, I am suffering from late-stage Star Wars fatigue. But I figure it’s a common enough cultural touchstone that you all will know what I mean by “Endor-like.”)

I would love to stay up here, eat some bananas, play some monkey games, and swing from the trees like a regular simian, but duty calls. There are demons to banish! Plus, I’ve got to clear my name--everybody’s blaming me for this whole mix-up of “who killed who’s chief” and “who’s responsible for all-out war.”

SPOILER: It’s this guy.

Anyway, I’m able to extract some intel from Manu about the Lost City, all the bad things and bad people that live there, and how the monkeys used to live there until the demons and ape men came and forced them to be slave labor. Even more interesting, the monkeys have a secret pass they use to cross the waterfall.

Secret pass, you say?

Utilizing my superior communication skill to its fullest extent.

Honestly, I feel bad cajoling Manu to take me to the Lost City despite his near overwhelming fear. But the little guy does’t have to come in to the Lost City with me; he just has to get me there.

And he does. Becasue he likes me. And you know what? I like the little guy too.

Big Rockwater That Falls Down

At the waterfall. Do you like the floating meat?

Here’s where Chet got in his last post. Now, I don’t want to spoil his wizard’s solution, but as a paladin with no magic or climbing skills, I need to find a way across that uses my brawn. Jumping like the monkeys do is out of the question, since the game informs me I don’t have the ups to do this. So I need to improvise.

Here’s where looking around helps. I have flashbacks to the initiation rite and the trial of the Twisted Tree because I find a vine nearby and add it to my vine collection. I guess I could have used the vine I already had, or the rope I bought at the bazaar, but it doesn’t really matter since I’m able to give it to Manu and tell him to tie it to a rock across the chasm so I can cross hand-over-hand in my inimitable, manly, and very heroic way.

I’m crossing a massive waterfall via vine en route to a demon-infested Lost City with my buddy, a talking monkey. Read that sentence again and savor it like a perfectly done steak.
Whew! Nothing left to do now but mosey over to the Lost City and . . .

Wait come back my little talking monkey friends!

You don’t say!

. . . oh. Some monster or other wants to waylay us? What is it, another flying cobra or something? Bring it on!

Ah. That’s different.

A demon worm burrows through the ground and tries to eat me. And while cool-looking, it proves to be no match for my mighty flaming paladin’s sword.

Eat flaming blue justice!

*buffs fingernails on shirt*

The demon worm is fast and hits pretty hard, but my strikes do a lot of damage. I don’t know if it’s because of my strength stat or my flaming sword, but it only takes four five hits to dispatch the beast. Now, landing those blows was a different story--with the difficult cranked to max, combat in Wages of War is pretty hectic; no spamming attack here. But I persevere and emerge victorious.

With the threat removed and my monkey crew back together again (I have a monkey crew; I cannot get enough of this), we continue our triumphant march to the Lost City.

The Lost City

An apeman patrols the Lost City.

More like the Found City, am I right? Anyone? Anyone? No? Ah well.

Manu is not happy about being here, and urges me to go. I tell the little fella about honor, and he assures me that while he has plenty of honor, he really just doesn’t want to get eaten by the various monkey-eating denizens of the Lost City. He also tells me about the secret entrance into the city. It turns out that there’s a man with a jackal’s head in which I have to put an “eye that glows.” The eye “comes from head, fits in head.”

A jackal-headed man sounds like Anubis. This is what I find on the next screen.

A picture of Anubis on the wall, and a statue of a jackal on a pedestal.

You don’t say . . .

An apeman guard walks by as I descend into the heart of the Lost City. Here, I see the jackal-headed man Manu talked about on a wall, as well as a statue of a jackal. This eye is supposed to go from the head, to the head, but there’s no eye in either statue or picture.


When I look at the statue, the game tells me it’s missing the gems which once formed its eyes. It’s a good thing I got this weird fire opal from saving the small meerbat back on the savannah; otherwise I’d be totally stuck.

The fire opal goes here.

This is a weird puzzle, at least from a paladin/fighter perspective. Presumably, the fire opal would be in the statue’s head if I were playing as a wizard or a thief, and I’d have to use the Fetch or Levitate spell, or climb up the statue in order to retrieve it. Here, a random meerbat I just so happen to save many miles away has the fire opal, and gives it to me as a gift. Couldn’t the non-magical, non-climbing solution have been to throw rocks at the fire opal to dislodge it, or use a jungle vine or something that makes a little more sense?

Anyway, it’s a minor point, but it sticks out because it’s the first really illogical puzzle in the game thus far. I get through the secret door all the same, and into a place being guarded by two really dumb demons.

I never would have figured this out without my amazing paladin ability to sense danger . . .


These guys are called Frik and Frak, and they are bored. They are also guarding a door. Now, if demons are guarding a door, it seems axiomatic that there’s something important behind it. Of course, being as stealthy as the average goon, they hear me, and after determining that it’s neither a mouse nor the prisoner (wait--a prisoner?), decide to examine further.

Lucky me. Frik tells Frak to go get “the guys,” staying behind to fight me himself.

Bad move, ugly. Bad move.

Before.

During.

After.

It was a difficult fight, but I--

Oh, who am I kidding. It was an easy fight. For some reason, Frik started with a good-sized chunk of his health already depleted, and it kept draining throughout the fight. I only landed two blows before the demon went down. Was this a glitch? Was it a result of my honor shield ability? I really don’t know--this is the only fight in the game where this has happened, but I’ll take it. And I’m looking forward to reading about Chet’s experience in this fight as well (if he indeed does fight the demons.)

Through the door, I find a liontaur lying on the floor. It’s none other than Reshaaka, Rakeesh and Kreesha’s missing daughter, last seen leading the ill-fated peace mission to the Leopardmen.


She’s alive, for some reason--maybe the demons kept her alive as bait, hoping Rakeesh would fall into their clutches? Well, they got more than they bargained for with this little gambit. They got me.

Reeshaka appears to be ready for action. She tells me that the World Gate is atop the tower, and offers to accompany me up. But before we can get anywhere, a demon possesses her body, bragging that in killing him, I will kill Reeshaka.


A foolproof plan, except for the fact that I have a little something in my bag of tricks that could help me out of this jam.

My secret weapon.

I limber up my throwing arm and pitch a dispel potion fastball right at the possessed Reeshaka, driving out the demon while leaving her safe from bodily harm (I can’t speak about psychological harm). Now, I’m no demonologist, but I’m a bit confused as to how this works. When a demon possessed my father-in-law, the chief of the Leopardmen, it didn’t change his shape; it just seemed like they were controlling him. Here, as when the Leopardmen’s shaman was possessed in Chet’s playthrough, the victim of possession becomes a demon in appearance. All I care about is that I saved Reeshaka. Rakeesh will be so happy!


And look, there he is! With all my friends: Uhura, Yesufu, Johari, and Harami!


Rakeesh heals his daughter, then proceeds to explain how Kreesha was finally able to locate me and open this portal. Rakeesh got a prophecy from the Temple of Sekhmet, apparently the same or similar to the one I got, and gathered all the people who are supposed to help me battle the Demon Wizard and turn back the darkness:

This Prophecy Thing


Let go through this line-by-line:

“Thou has unleashed the Darkness. And the Darkness now encircles thee. Ye must walk a narrow path to bring back the light.”

Clearly, this refers to me supposedly causing the war between the Simbani and the Leopardmen. Like it’s my fault that little thing happened at the peace conference . . .

“Let the first part of thy path be guided by friendship. Thy feet already walk upon this path. Two thou hast known before. Three thou shalt free. One thou hast brought low, then helped to rise again. One shall stand thy rival and thy friend.”

The two I hast--I mean have--known before are clearly Rakeesh and Uhura. “Three thou shalt free” are Johari, Reeshaka, and Manu. The one I brought low, then helped to rise is obviously Harami. And my “rival and friend” is none other than Yesufu.

So according to the prophecy, I’m supposed to stand with seven friends. Yet I only see six here.


Make that five, as Harami has no intention of helping us fight the demons. Oh well. He can stay behind with Rakeesh and Uhura--who are going to be holding off the demons anyway, while the rest of us get to saving the world.

“The Sword shall cross thy path, and bonds shall be cut asunder. Seek thou the least of guides to lead thee to the depths of darkness.”

This must refer to Manu--he’s a little monkey who took me to the Lost City.

“Now thou art Opener of the Way and all thy heart has called shall draw near to thee. Two shall stand and five shall follow to face their greatest foe in a battle they cannot win. For thou must walk alone to free them all.”

“Two shall stand.” Well, Rakeesh and Uhura said they’d hold off the demons. “Five shall follow,” which I guess is Reeshaka, Johari, Yesufu, and me. Which makes four because Harami is a wuss.

Seek ye now the highest tower to find the Door of Darkness. Living stone shall block thy way then bridge thee to thy foe. Thou must lose thy greatest treasure ‘ere thou canst drive the darkness through the Door.”

This will all come next, I guess, which brings us to . . .

“This is that which might yet be. Thy path is thine own now to follow or not. Go forth now, bringer of the light.”

. . . generic closing! We’ll see if this story has a happy ending after all, although we’re one brave warrior short.

But what’s this? Manu the little monkey climbs into the scene, offering to fight with us in place of Harami!


So he’s not only a talking monkey, he’s a fighting monkey as well! I’ll bet Harami feels pretty bad about himself, being outshined in the bravery department by a flea-bitten, poo-flinging monkey. But what do you expect from an honorless thief?

Rakeesh is somehow able to remove the blocking in front of the staircase, and the five of us head upwards to our destiny.

Mirror, Mirror


The next room contains a weird set of five mirrors. Each of us is drawn to one, where our reflections turn demonic, and then come out and attack us! It’s an all-out scrum of hero-versus-doppelganger, and the worst part is that that these demonic reflections seem to be unstoppable!

This is a pretty badass scene.

My double is strong, fast, hard to hit, and barely takes any damage. Things are looking grim and I’m about to die, when from the shadows comes an unlikely ally: Harami!


The supposedly honorless thief comes through in the clutch, giving me some pills he “borrowed” and exhorting me to “make like a hero,” so I run off to the tower--”the highest tower” of prophecy, where “the Door of Darkness” awaits.

Well, I kind of just saunter up to the tower, to be fair.

The Final Showdown



Atop the tower is the Demon Wizard, standing in front of the World Gate, the Gate Orb nearby, presumably waiting for the tide of bloodshed from the coming Simbani-Leopardman war to release enough energy and allow him to bring his master to Tarna.

The Demon Wizard is none too happy to see me, and brings a chunk of stone to life (“Living stone shall block thy way . . .”), turning it into a gargoyle and giving me flashbacks to fighting Ad Avis in Raseir at the end of Quest for Glory II, except instead of just running away from this gargoyle . . . I fight it.



This is, without a doubt, the most difficult fight in the game. But I go all out and am able to defeat the gargoyle . . .


. . . blocking a few of the Demon Wizard’s spells with my magic shield before using said shield to knock the now-stone gargoyle over the gap--hey, it is supposed to bridge me to my foe, right?


Except the Demon Wizard casts a spell, making the seemingly dead gargoyle grab me by the ankle. Now the Demon Wizard can cook up some nasty spell and fry me. Unless I lose my “greatest treasure” so I can “drive the darkness through the Door.”

My greatest treasure? The only thing I can think of in this inventory of mine is Soulforge. So away it goes. Hey, throwing swords always works, doesn’t it?


It totally does. The Demon Wizard catches Soulforge, which acts like a lightning rod for some reason, stunning ol’ greenskin and making the gargoyle loosen its grip on me. Nothing left to do but use my trusty shield to drive the Gate Orb into the World Gate as Kreesha suggested so long ago . . .


. . . which also drives the Demon Wizard back (while leaving my sword behind), closing the portal, and saving the day!

Picking up Soulforge, I head back down to my friends and the celebration that’s sure to ensure.

The End (?)

Everyone is happy, I get congratulated, Johari tells me she’ll name her and Yesufu’s first son after me (wait, what?), and I get a sense of impending doom. Whee!


Wait, I defeated the Demon Wizard! I saved Tarna! What could possibly go wrong now?

A lot.

A whole lot.

Some dark magic takes a hold of me, and I’m in the clutches of . . . oh hell no, is that Ad Avis, my arch nemesis from the previous game? And who’s that with him? The “Dark Master” he alluded to as he died? I guess we’ll have to find out what happens in the real Shadows of Darkness!

Let me tell you, this ending blew my mind when I was a kid. It was a cliffhanger! This wasn’t supposed to happen in adventure games! I had to wait a long, grueling year to learn the fate of my hero, and man was that rough.

Sure, the end sequence of Wages of War is linear, or “on rails,” if you prefer. But it works from a dramatic narrative perspective, adding tension and a real sense of an impending climax. It’s a satisfying conclusion that acts as the perfect bridge to Shadows of Darkness, and I for one am glad that Lori and Corey Cole decided to take the hero on an excursion to Tarna before depositing him in the dark and unfriendly land of Mordavia.

I’ll see you in a little bit for the final rating; I’m excited to see how Wages of War fares! Until next time . . .

Session Time: 45 minutes
Total Play Time: 9 hours, 55 minutes

Puzzle Points: 470
Paladin Points: 103
Paladin Abilities: Flaming sword, healing, danger sense, honor shield

Inventory: It doesn’t matter, because all you take into the next game is your money pouch and your armor

19 comments:

  1. Great playthrough! I wish we were starting QfG4 next week. You have given me a much greater appreciation for a game that I have wrongly given short shrift to.

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    1. Thanks Joe. And same here. QfG III and IV are very fun played back-to-back.

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  2. Congrats on winning!

    I said during the intro post that I was going to play along with this game, but let's face it - that was a tangled web of lies.

    I still plan on playing this game when I get some time and on the bright side, not trying to play along means I'll try QFG2 beforehand

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    1. Thanks TBD. I highly recommend giving all the games a shot in order so you’re ready for Shadows of Darkness when the site gets there.

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  3. Good job Alex! Your love of the game and of the whole series comes through so clearly in what you have written.

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    1. Thank you Ilmari. It’s true, and obvious, that I have a soft spot for this game. However, I shall strive to be as fair and unbiased in my final rating.

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  4. "Forgive the repetition of the Star Wars reference"

    There are two ways out of this trap. The first is to eschew SW references completely -- but that's the easy way out! The second is to diversify with deeper cuts, ie describe the second forest village as akin to the canopy settlements of Kashyyyk.

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    1. Dang Rowan! Where were you when I needed you!

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  5. Congratulations!

    I'm slightly behind you (only just about to get married), but hopefully will have things wrapped up during the weekend.

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    1. I think marriage can wait. This is Quest for Glory III we’re taking about here.

      Seriously though: CONGRATULATIONS!

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    2. Not sure the in-game marriage to the leopardwoman who kinda hates me warrants such congratulations, but thanks anyway :)

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    3. Holy crap I misread that thinking you were legit getting married. Is my face red...

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    4. I thought the same thing actually! At least I managed to save my congratulations for another time.

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  6. We'll be waiting awhile to find out which city your luggage arrived in, sadly. QFG4 is an absolute blast to play. The atmosphere practically drips out of your monitor.

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  7. Hey, Alex. During the endgame, did you get the message that went: "You have done well so far, paladin. Now free me and I shall be your servant"? I wasn't really sure who was talking here.

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    1. Hi Chet,

      I don’t remember seeing that message in this playthrough, but I do recall seeing that before in previous playthrough. Quite who is doing the talking (Soulforge? The Demon Lord tempting the Hero?) I’m not sure.

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  8. >Hanging out in Monkey Village.

    I love the hero's attitude in that screen. To me he looks subtly uncomfortable, averting his gaze, as if thinking "I'm hanging out with monkeys, what the heck am I doing with my life?"

    Harami's decision to help is yet another overused trope.

    When the hero is writhing under the effect of the spell at the very end, I interpreted that at first as a victory dance (I was a wizard).

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  9. Thanks for your awesome posts on this underrated game! I've been replaying it myself lately, as I do every few years.

    Minor point - I think the prophecy referring to the Hero unleashing three darkness actually refers to him slaying Ad Avis, not the peace conference.

    Thanks for the nostalgia fix! :)

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    1. Dan,

      You’re more than welcome—glad you enjoyed them! And second, what a great point! I think you’re right abkit that. Defeating Ad Avis unleashed greater evils. We see that in QfG III, and arguably also in the next game.

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