(This is part of my journey going checking out Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
My gradual street wanderings leads me to a short alleyway, at the end of which is a purple door with a giant eye on it. When I knock, I’m asked a series of questions that culminates in a not-too-hard riddle. Access granted!
This is the home of Aziza the Enchantress. Very peaceful and aquatic-themed, made more so when she offers to share some tea. Other than sipping my tea and wishing hard for coffee, there’s not much that I can really do here. Thanks for the break, ma’am!
Day three’s evening entertainment is Omar the poet, who is actually more of an oracle that talks about the need for me to save the land from the elementals. It’s not very good poetry and it makes me miss Shema’s dancing all the more.
I return to Dinarzad looking for a little thieving work. One of the fun aspects of adventure games with text parsers is experimenting with different commands to see what little responses the developers put in there for you. The above thought comes when I type “eat Dinarzad,” and I cannot decide if the response is creepy or coy. Coyly creepy?
For some reason, she’s not giving me a job yet, so I guess I’ll slink back to the inn and feel like a total failure. Why can’t I even get work as a thief?
Day four begins with word that there’s been a “strange fire” outside in the plaza. Sure enough, Alichica’s stall has been burnt to a crisp, although that hasn’t deterred this merchant from figuring out a new way to make money. Got to give him credit for ingenuity here!
The astrologer does not have encouraging words when I return to his clubhouse. Mostly it’s darkness and doom and cryptic phrases, plus a hint that I should abandon the hero lifestyle. But accountant wasn’t an option on the character creation screen! Trust me, I would have taken it.
Without much else to do, I spend some time working on my thief skills — namely sneaking and lockpicking. Sneaking is easy — you just type /sneak and your character minces about in broad daylight while your skill goes up a bit. Lockpicking requires one of Shapier’s many locked doors. I spent a good 20 minutes doing nothing but entering “pick lock” over and over again.
Then this happened:
That’s right, folks: I killed myself by lockpicking so, so hard. It’s so ridiculous that I can’t even fault the game for offing me. As long as I got a laugh out of it.
The strange fire from day four becomes a full-blown emergency by day five. At breakfast, Abdulla tells me that there’s a fire elemental stalking the plazas and will certainly burn the city to the ground if I don’t do something.
I kind of like how there’s a timeline to this game — it takes away the feeling of “sameness” to your activities. Instead of going through a linear, movie-like tale, you’re being asked to inhabit the daily life of the town while still progressing the story. I think the game takes place over 30 days, with significant events coming on a fixed time table. Cool!