(This is part of my journey going playing through 1993’s Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
A new year, a new retro gaming playthrough here on Bio Break! Ever since stalling out on Quest for Glory III, I wanted to get back to the series at least to tackle the fan-acclaimed fourth installment. As with the previous three games, Quest for Glory IV is connected in themes and even character progression (as you can import your previous game’s character into this to continue his journey). Also like the previous titles, this game hews to a particular theme. First there was European fantasy (Quest for Glory I), Arabian Nights fantasy (II), and Egyptian/African fantasy (III) — and now with IV, it’s all about Transylvania and dark fantasy!
Kind of really excited about it. The rock music of the main theme and those dastardly drop shadows in the title text only serve to heighten my hunger… for adventure/RPG hybrid gaming!
Unfortunately, since I never beat III, I don’t have a save game to import. That’s OK, as I want to try a different class this time around — specifically, the magic-using Wizard. I pumped in extra points to magic and intelligence and called it a day.
The game starts off in a bizarrely dark place, as if I was dropped right down the throat of H.R. Giger. The dry wit of the (voiced) narrator tells me that I have no idea where I am, how I got here, or where all my stuff is. Why feature continuity, after all!
Fun fact: The narrator is Indiana Jones/Lord of the Rings actor John Rhys-Davies! That’s so cool.
Wherever I am, it’s obvious that the first objective is to find my way out. And so I go through many doorways that the narrator oh-so-helpfully labels as “sphincters.” I can’t decide if that’s on purpose or not.
As you might recall, the Quest for Glory games are famous for their replay value due to each class (Fighter, Thief, Wizard) being treated to a different experience. So for example, as a Wizard I’m too weak to use the rope to shimmy across this gap, so instead I use a sheet, catch some wind, and use a levitate spell to fly to the other side. Dumbledore ain’t got nothing on me!
I escape into the night air and quickly bump into one of the residents of Mordavia (for that is where I am, apparently). Her name’s Katrina, and she’s suspiciously bubbly for a resident out on a nighttime stroll that she claims is under peril. She points me to the nearby town and skips off.
Another fun fact: Katrina is voiced by Jennifer Hale. Yes, THAT Jennifer Hale. Apparently it was her very first video game appearance. I’m going to pretend that Katrina is Femshep in disguise.
From there I wander generally northward, looking for the town while avoiding a swamp full of zombie hands emerging to grab and grasp. That’s when I met this charming ghoulish fellow who was serving as a gatekeeper for a Dracula-looking castle down the road. I’d love to look that creepy when I’m old.
The actual town was about two screens over and doesn’t look nearly as cheery or inviting as Quest for Glory I’s Spielburg. It’s definitely got a Halloween/autumnal theme going on. Well, time to go rock these inhabitants’ world!