The Let's Play Archive

Quest for Glory 1-5

by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 25: For Once, the Asshole Isn’t the Paladin

Chapter 4: For Once, the Asshole Isn’t the Paladin

Either because talking takes up more time than I expected, or because my method of pausing the game didn’t actually pause it, evening has come to Shapier. Naturally, since the original had so few colors, it didn’t get the advantage of the “falling sunset” color deepening that later games in the series would have. Thus, nightfall is simply a matter of leaving the current region and discovering yourself in the dark. Looks like we should head back to the inn now.

Good evening, sir. I hope you enjoyed your first explorations of our town.
Yeah, actually, it was interesting. I hadn’t realized just how many Katta were merchants, though. How come you’re all in stalls, though, and not the shops?
All the better to reach our customers. I find that Katta are more at home in the desert sun than humans, as well.
I’ll say. I’ve been in cooler saunas, and at least those were nice and humid. Well, goodnight.

While just an image here, in the remake the hero’s room is interactive, although all it adds by doing so is the storage chest that later games would implement. Of course, with maxed Strength it’s hardly necessary, but it’s a nice touch. Also, as you might guess from the “Until Evening” option, Quest for Glory 2 allows you to go to sleep at any time, potentially sleeping away entire days. Keep in mind, though, that “Until Evening” wakes you at “the night is young,” and every shop, even Dinarzad, is closed at this time.

Oh…goody. I can finally see what I’ve been…missing.

This you gotta see! The ashtray of Shapier made from imported coconut shell, hand-carved by Katta natives into the face of the Sultan! You notta find this anywhere else!
Just don’t make eye contact, maybe he’ll leave you alone.

Now entering the Palace Plaza.

I am Tiram, and all my family makes the carpets.
That’s nice, but I don’t see what I’d need with a non-flying carpet.
Ah, you are living out of Sheema’s inn, aren’t you? May you go in peace, then.
Well that was kind of pointless.

And who are you, then?
I am called Sashanan, the “Diamond of the Desert.” I sell gems and necklaces of all kinds, but my specialty is to determine which item is best suited to each customer.
I suppose I could always use a little bling. What were you thinking of?
Here is a pin with a sapphire of exceeding clarity and color like that of your eyes, and a simple but elegant gold setting with the color like that of your hair. It would be a gift worthy of a sultan. The sapphire pin has a value of 500 dinars. Would you care to bargain?
Ouch, that is way out of my price range. I don’t particularly need it, either. Sorry. It is a nice pin, though.
Such a shame. It really is perfect for you.

No one enters the gates of the Palace of the Sultan Harun al-Rashid (May he reign forever!) unless ordered to do so.
Hey, no need to get excited, I’m just passing the time.
Very well.
Soooo…know any good places in town?
For what?
You know, drinks. Beer? Ale? Wine? I’m not picky.
Our religion forbids the consumption of alcohol.
What? But you get plenty of foreigners through here, right? Isn’t there a tavern for fellows like me?
By order of the Sultan Harun al-Rashid (May he reign forever!), no spirits may pass beyond the gate of the city.




*Pant, pant* Alright, settle down, Nike, you’re only stuck here for two weeks. Besides, you don’t need to go to taverns, you’ve already got a lead on an adventure. And you passed out and got robbed the last time you drank! So stop shaking like that!

Our last stop is North Plaza…no wait, that can’t be right.

Right, Fighter’s Plaza, just like I said. No other plazas in this town, no sir.

Cloth of the finest of weaves and the loveliest of colors, clothes that entice the touch, veils to reveal and conceal, all this have I and more! You can attest to how comfortable and conforming my wares are, for you wear them well!
Wait, what? I thought Shameen magicked this set onto me.
A special service I provide to a select few. My spell will replace your old clothes with something of my design. Katta magic may seem unusual to humans, but it is very useful in the right circumstances.
Hang on then, so what happened to my old clothes? The cape was a bit bulky, but I liked that leather jerkin. And these pointy shoes just feel weird.
Of course I would not have anything a client was wearing before the spell was cast! Shameen probably has it in a back room. I’d recommend you remain in your clothes for the time being, however; it would be prudent not to stand out any more than you already do.
Yeah, I see your point. What’s your name, anyway?
I am Kiram. You will likely need no spare set of clothes, but I do have a bag you may wish to keep your extra belongings in. The bags I have are woven so fine they can carry the sand and plaster used to repair the city walls, yet strong enough that they will not break under so much weight. They cost but fifty centimes.
No thanks. I think my current bag is big enough.

Leather, huh? That doesn’t look like the usual stuff.
The belts and boots I sell are made from dyed saurus skin. The very ones you wore came from my stand. I sell many other items made from leather, but the one thing I sell which every adventurer needs most in this land is a waterskin.
I suppose I could always use more of those.
The waterskin will hold enough water for a day’s journey in the desert. It can be refilled in the fountain. It is often the only thing between a traveler and certain death when one explores around the city. It will cost you but one dinar.
Let me grab three of those.

The leatherworker can be bartered down to half price, thus costing only 1.5 dinars.

So what’s your name, anyway?
I am Mirak.
Any relation to…
Merely a coincidence, I assure you.

I wonder who’s crazy enough to nail an actual bellows above his shop.

Name’s Issur, from the House of Usher, and this is my weapon shop. I make the best swords and daggers in town. What do you want?
Some polite conversation?
Then get the fuck out of my store.
Kidding, kidding. aw. So you sell swords and daggers, but what about all the other things on the walls here? The axe, the mace, plus that nice suit of chain mail?
They’re already taken. Now are you going to buy something, or just bore me to death?
What about those shields? Looks like one of them says you’re an arm wrestling champ.
Hell yeah I am. It takes real muscle to be good at arm wrestling. I’m the best. If you want to prove it, let me know and I’ll be glad to wrestle you.
I’m down. You?
How about we make this interesting? My dinar against yours that I beat you.
You’re on!

There’s no better example I can think of than the arm wrestling minigame to display the comparative difficulties between the original and the remake. Keep in mind that Nike the thief doesn’t even have maxed Strength for QfG1.

However, I beat Issur handily by holding down the left arrow key.

On the other hand, in the remake I’m using a fighter whose Strength I increased with bonus points to 115.

The match had barely gotten going before my arm strength gave out and Issur pounded it to the anvil.

Aw, don’t feel, bad, Issur, I am a certified adventurer.
Get the fuck out of my store.

I’ve got enough daggers, so I didn’t buy any (and the fighter doesn’t have near enough for the sword yet), but just so you know, Issur doesn’t bargain. At all. Not a dime.

I don’t think that this encounter is specific only to the thief, but it does seem to occur more often for him than for the others. Plus he’s the only one who gets points out of it.

Who will risk a dinar and his very life that he may gain five dinars in return? Is there no one of courage and daring among you? Will any take my challenge? You there, foreigner! Will you brave the high rope?
Hell yeah, my days of repetitively climbing a tree will all pay off today! I’ll take that wager!

Then give me a dinar and we shall test your skill.

Your turn.

Alright, this will be easy.

Whoa, WHOA!

Hey wait, all I need to do is hold my position when I feel off balance! This is easy!

Seriously, don’t even bother trying to correct left or right. It just makes things harder than they need to be. A basic starting character might have trouble crossing, but an imported character with just 100 Agility can cross without trouble; just don’t use any buttons except left and right.

My winnings, please.
You cannot get off so easily! Let us test the rope again, that I may regain my lost dinars.
Any time, any place.

You have the luck of the Katta, but you cannot win on luck alone. Come we shall again try our skills!

Hell yeah you do.

You are most welcome in Shapier. The sultan has been seeking a Hero since the forces of Dark Magic overwhelmed Rasier.
Who are you guys?
My name is Rasha Rakeesh SahTarna. I am called Rakeesh. I am of the Liontaur people. The Sultan summoned me to Shapier to aid against the Dark Magic which even now hovers near this city. I fear, though, that I am not the Hero I was once. Perhaps you will become the Hero they need.
I be Uhura of the Simbani people. Uhura means “freedom” in our language. I also be the guildmaster of the Adventurer’s Guild.
Really? Wow, it’s nice to finally meet some real adventurers. The last place I was at had a couple retirees, but no one active.
I would be happy to help you in any way you need.
What’s it like being a Hero? I only just got the gig myself. Do you have any cool adventures you’d like to tell?
Oh, I’ve been in quite the number of scrapes over the years. I suppose the one most memorable, and most important to the current situation, would be my first, and the reason I became a Paladin.
A Paladin? I’ve only heard stories about you guys. Is it true what they say about the flaming swords?
Sweet. But do go on.
Many years ago, I was the ruler of my people and my land, Tarna. But it was threatened by a wizard who wished to open a portal to the plane of demons. I knew that even my fellow liontaurs could not possibly defeat this foe alone, so I sought far and wide for help. Eventually, I came across a paladin, who showed me the power I needed to defeat the demons. Unfortunately, a paladin must be humble among other things, and I was faced with a choice: either give up my throne, or see my people destroyed. I believe I made the right choice, and I have no regrets about it.
Well, go on. Did you kill the demons?
I lead my people at the front of my army, flaming sword in hand. They had attacked us with fervor and abandon before, but now they were scared, and ran from my presence. I eventually found the wizard who caused the invasion, and discovered that he himself was a demon. He most likely sought to overrun the world with his kin. It was in that final battle that my leg was injured, and because of the Dark Magic involved, it never healed properly. It still acts up whenever a strong presence of Dark Magic is near, and it is why I cannot be nearly as much help as I wish I could be.
I get the impression that my two weeks vacation won’t be nearly as uneventful as I had hoped.
You are a hero, aren’t you? This is the sort of thing we live for.
Well, I’m a bit more of the…rakish variety, myself. But yeah, I guess I won’t get bored this way.
That’s the spirit.

So, Uhura, I suppose this is your kid?
That be my boy, Simba. His name mean “lion.”
He does roar like a lion when he’s hungry.
That be true. Are you needing anything from me?
Well, you seem a little…dark, even for the natives. Where are you from?
I be from the south, near Tarna. I be a warrior, but I want a child. Among my people, a woman can be a wife or a warrior, but not both. So I travel until I find a place where I could be wife and still a warrior, and have Simba. His father be a good, strong man in the palace guard, but I still think I be going back to my people when Simba be old enough to travel.

Interestingly, most of this backstory only showed up in the third game, where Uhura becomes more important. All they explain in the original is that she’s Simba’s mother, and his father is in the palace guard. In the remake, however, they include her whole history.

Odd distinction. Do either of you have any insight about the monsters in the desert? I was thinking of getting in some practice.
There are bandits, who often attack in groups. Jackalmen also attack in packs, but usually at night.
You must also beware the giant scorpion with the deadly poison. Watch the waggling of his tail before he strikes. There also be the ghoul, which only comes out at night. The more he hit, the slower you get, so beware his claws.
You should also watch out for the terrorsaurus, which is a great deal faster than its northern kin, and the occasional griffin, which is very good at attacking from the sky.
That be it for the most part, though. If you just be wanting to practice, I can help you in the next room.
Really? Great! Let me just sign in first.

Nike von Slartibartfast, Hero of Spielburg! I still get a kick out of that. Now, let’s check the billboard…

Yadda yadda…reward for ghoul claws and scorpion tails, heard that…“the whirling part of a dervish? Huh? Oh, Keapon, should’ve known...Ah, here we go, “There will be given to the one who restores the Emir Arus al-Din to his rightful place in the palace at Rasier the sum of… 1000 dinars?! By order of the Sultan Harun al-Rashid?! Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask, how come the sultan hasn’t done anything himself?
He do. When trouble start to happen in Rasier, he be going with his men there. Magic wind storm blew up and many men died. My man say the sultan be plenty brave, but could not stop magic.
Ah. Sorry. Hm. “The Way of the Paladin: To seek. To learn. To do.” Kinda vague if you ask me. “Those who do service to the city and land of Shapier shall know the rewards of goodness. By order of the Sultan Harun al-Rashid.” Standing rewards from the sultan? Nice. I might be able to laugh in Abdulla’s face yet. Come on, Uhura. Let’s get that practice underway.
That will be the place to see just how good a fighter you are. I get tired of not using spear and shield for so long a while. Maybe you and I will go check out skills there. No magic, though. I don’t do magic.

The original version’s combat system is, perhaps, the most robust in the series. Whereas the original game only uses the directional keys (slash was added to the remake), QfG2 moves over to the keypad, with 7, 8, and 9 as high slash, stab, and low slash; 4, 5, and 6 as high parry, middle parry, and low parry; and 1, 2, and 3 as dodge left, back, and right. Spells are, as usual, cast using the input field. On top of this, Uhura is the second toughest (possibly third, I always practice too much to tell) fight in the game, which makes it nice that she only drains stamina when attacking. She can stab high, middle, and low, block, and dodge, all in an unpredictable pattern. Most other monsters only have a couple different attack types, and you can be certain of killing any one of them if you manage to best Uhura, especially since she describes their attack patterns as you fight.

On the other hand, the remake’s combat system is a great deal more difficult, mainly since several different strategies and combat abilities have been added, throwing those of us who are familiar with the original system for a loop. Suddenly Uhura goes from being one of the most powerful opponents to one of the weakest, even though her attack actions haven’t changed at all. New actions include moving backward and forward, except you do a spinning dodge if you time it right and it might become a counterblow, all the spells have different hotkeys, you can parry with blade or shield, and so on. Another thing is that enemies in the remake are much more able to combo attacks on one another; while this happens occasionally in the original, you can usually dodge out of it, while all you can do in the remake is grimace. All your combos amount to is a double slash.

One thing I will say, however, is that combat can be somewhat customized to reduce player’s actions. Defense or offense can be automated, although a fully automated defense only amounts to the same kind of benefits that normally occur with high Luck, Agility, and Dodge. In nearly all of the normal games, having these stats high causes the hero to automatically dodge some attacks without interference, something that apparently has to be specified in the AGDI’s version.

Overall, I’d say I appreciate the effort, but I get the impression that the combat was playtested by the same people the entire time, and thus no one noticed the difficulty going up.

Hey there, little fella. Ah goo goo goo! Ah goo goo ga ga goo!
Poltergeists make up the principle types of spontaneous material manifestations.
Show off.

This will happen in both the original and the remake. For an added bonus, try talking to Simba in the practice arena, which you can only do in the remake. Apparently Simba's been reading up on Marx.