(This is part of my journey going checking out Quest for Glory III: Wages of War. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
One thing that slightly frustrates me about these early-era VGA adventure games is that it’s apparent how much the designers are in awe of their own graphics and really want everyone to spend as much time as possible admiring them. Hence, the land speed of characters like this game being measured in inches per hour. So… very… slow.
Down in the bazaar, which must take up more than half the footprint of this city, I find a lonely Katta hanging out, pining for Shapeir. I give him a note from his aunt and cough discreetly, looking for a tip. None was to be had. Actually, he does give me a free leopard carving when I try to buy it from him, so it’s all good.
Next to the Katta is this doggy fellow selling dried meat. This guy just cracks me up — he’s a panting, drooling, completely dumb dog who just so happens to walk on two legs and speak. He’s so stinking eager to sell to you that you can bargain his meat down to a single coin and he’ll be ecstatic with joy that you’re buying it at all. I do take small umbrage with being labeled as “ultra-liberal,” however.
I walk away with 70 hunks of dried meat. Gonna open up my own stand and sell this stuff at a profit!
Meet the local hippie of Tarna, who owns a drug store because of course he does. Talking to him is a trip, and not the good kind. When he mentions hugging trees, we get into a conversation about how he’s had these dreams of a woman who was turned into a tree. Hey, that sounds familiar! In another burst of series continuity, I tell him about Julanar the girl-tree from the second game and he vows to pack up and visit her in Shapeir.
It’s been a long, tiring, bewildering day, so I retire to the inn — another one of Quest for Glory’s staples. It’s a beautiful place that almost looks like a small palace. After a meal delivered by the beautiful owner, I retire for the night in my room (paid for by Kreesha, 10/10 highly recommended, would visit again). I love how the background changes from day to night and back into day again as time passes. And it’s so nice, for once, not to be under some sort of time pressure.
By the way, if you ever play these games — and you should, at some point — make sure you click on the description for everything. There are puns upon puns laying in wait, as well as funny observations. One of my favorites is how my character looks up at the chandolier with dozens of candles and then remarks how he’s so glad he isn’t the one tasked with replacing those every day. I always wondered who did such things in fantasy games.
And there are also in-jokes:
Haha! You had to be there, am I right?
On day two, I go poking around the town a bit more and come upon a temple room with a rather buxom statue in the middle. And the puns… oh the puns. So delicious and yet painful at the same time.
Side-note: I wonder if this game was localized for any other market, and if so, how they handled this English wordplay.
To my surprise, the statue comes to life and starts talking. She says that I bring either weal or woe to Tarna, and that there is a great darkness rising. With those cryptic statements floating in the air, I’m given a task: to find the Gem of the Guardian. So, could you give me directions to said gem? Any clues? Hints? A map? No? Okay… well, I guess I’m off then to look for a gem somewhere in the entire world.