Posted in Retro Gaming

Quest for Glory IV: Werewolves love hunchbacks

(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.)

You know what you get when you drink from strange baby fountains in the middle of the night in this cursed land? Elves. You get preachy elves that dream-lecture you about your potential. I swear these things have a union or something.

Actually, so much keeps happening to me in my dreams in this game. In another, I’m floating around in magic and then dying somehow. And in yet another, two voices spy on me from afar and talk about manipulating me, about wanting me to do something specific for them. I’m going out on a limb to say that these are the Bad Guys.

On Day Four, I walk out of the inn and find that the weird trio of farmers are all abuzz because Igor the gravedigger has gone missing. Naturally, they blame a wandering gypsy, but nobody’s really out there looking for him, either. Some friends. All I know is that apparently it has something to do with a werewolf? I guess?

Werewolf? Not quite. Igor apparently got careless while digging a grave and a tombstone fell on top of him, trapping him. I use the open spell to get him out, and I am once again a HERO.

One evening, the inn has a strange new guest — a gnome comedian. And not just any gnome comedian, but one who tells the most unfunny of jokes because, as he tells me, the Baba Yaga cursed him. Yes, THAT Baba Yaga — the one from the very first game. Looks like it’s chicken house hunting time.

ACK! A killer bunny! Okay, I’ll admit that I chuckled a bit. And I’m sure this whole joke was funnier more two decades ago than in the meme-riddled now.

Speaking of callbacks to the first game, Bonehead shows up around Baba Yaga’s hut and chats a bit with me. He’s still got a sense of humor and is far more humorous than the gnome.

The Quest for Glory games’ hybridization is both a blessing and a curse. I love a lot about the mish-mash of genres, and if I wasn’t trying to actually finish the game but was playing it back when I was a kid and trying to get my money’s worth, I wouldn’t mind all of the random exploration and grinding. But as I’m going through this game, I’m finding it really frustrating at times. It’s like there are a whole bunch of quests that need to be done but there’s no journal system and many depend on various triggers and days to happen.

For example, there’s this old man who’s looking for his wife Anna. I can only find her at night in one patch of the woods, and it takes numerous conversations to get her to realize she’s a ghost. Then I have to fast-forward time to day to get back in town, tell the old man, and send him off to his death to join her. You know, because I’m a hero. Then I rest some more to advance time, get back to night, find that the pair have reunited in the afterlife (aww) and then get a hat from the dead guy. Which turns out to be a vital quest object that I need for something else, and I’m tearing my hair out here.

At least the gypsies love me now that I saved one of their own, who actually did turn out to be a werewolf of sorts. They throw me a really disturbing party and I think my character makes out with a girl wolf at one point, although that was hard to tell.

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