(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.)
The pretense of laying low and hoping the bad guys don’t notice me is long over — I’m a wanted man in Shapeir, freshly escaped from Khaveen’s dungeons, and I don’t have a clue where to go or what to do. But I do have a mirror from an ex-brothel worker, so there’s that.
Without anything specific to do, I wander the streets for a while until my luck takes a turn for the worse. Worser. I am frozen in place and an incredibly creepy guy approaches me.
This is Ad Avis, and he is definitely up to no good. In a very long cutscene, he gradually hypnotizes my character into believing that he’s my friend and that I should help him recover this spell-shattering idol that’s somewhere out in the desert.
Taking control away from the player can be a frustrating event, and as such developers should only do this sparingly. But on rare occasion, it can be used to great effect, especially if you’re trying to drive home the feeling of helplessness. It’s maddening for the player to recognize the danger but have his or her character be oblivious to it.
I don’t know how, yet. I don’t know when, yet. But Avis — you are going to die. My wrath is mighty and boy have you stirred it.
Ad Avis takes me out to the ruins of the Forbidden City (I am SO lost in the plot right now) and gets increasingly frustrated that he can’t goosestep me through a portal to get the idol. He’s sure he has the prophecy right, but I guess he forgot to cross his Is or dot his Ts or something.
It is I, not Avis, who gets into the cave, thanks to a clever bit of work with the mirror. It’s dark in here, so good thing that I GOT LAMP earlier on in the game.
Anyone else have “Sweet Emotions” running through their head right now?
The cave definitely has an elemental theme going on. First there’s the obstacle of crossing a river, then you have to stop up a gust of wind blowing through, and now a room full of awesome deadly fire (lava). It definitely helps to pour water over yourself repeatedly here.
Treasure room at last! And if I know my Aladdin — and I do — I best not touch any of it. So I’m totally going to.
Lots and lots of fun ways to die here! Well, two, but still, I was entertained.
Getting to the end rewards me with failure — Ad Avis shows up and snatches the idol away while I am frozen. Forget Khaveen; it’s this sorcerer who is the game’s true villain. He’s been waiting 70 years to fulfill this prophecy and gain control over Iblis — whatever or whoever that is.
Ad Avis then causes a cave-in and leaves me to die in the dark. Did I mention how incredibly dead you’re about to be?
The prophecy works in my favor too, as a ring containing a wish-granting genie has been left behind all these centuries for my eventual discovery. It’s kind of a weak genie, as he can only grant three very specific wishes: to heal me, to make me strong, and to teleport me. The strength bit is great — I find my stat boosted to 155.
I’m starting to think that I got a first year of community college genie. He’s way too surprised when his spells work properly.