RETRO – For the fifth time a hero is needed in Sierra’s latest Adventure/RPG, to save Silmaria’s city from a wrathful dragon’s fire. The evil forces have hired an assassin to kill the king with a poisoned dagger. Our task is to figure out who is behind the assassination and to help the new King of Silmaria.
Quest for Glory was always a unique part of the Sierra adventure series, as the makers were always able to balance out the RPG and adventure elements in the games. While the story is reminiscent of the King’s Quest games, our characters could take on sidequests, and level up just like an RPG character.
A bit of Glory history
The first game was released in 1989 under the name of Hero’s Quest. For some reason, the developers did not like the initial title ( probably because a Gremlin RPG tabletop was released around the same time with this name), as the sequel was titled as Quest for Glory 2. While the game was made with an old engine, that used 16 colors, and we had to type in the proper commands (“walk to”, “talk” etc. ), in Quest for Glory 4 you roam around a Transylvania like a world filled with vampires, and werewolves. It was clear that the fourth game was the best, but it did not reach its intended success, as it took four years for a new Glory game to be made.
3D or not 3D?
The biggest change happened with the series is the graphics: as per the requirement of the era, and Sierra’s new trend Dragon Fire is now fully 3D. It is weird however that even though this was pre-planned, the game does not support 3D cards that much. There are no light effects. However, the characters and their environments are well designed.
True heroes never die…
Compared to the other Sierra adventure games, here in the Glory series, we do not control a pre-determined character, but a character that we create in the beginning. The fans of the series will be glad to see the three returning classes: fighter, thief, or mage. Those who are patient fanatics, and held onto their old character for four years from the previous game, will be glad to know that they can just import their saved hero. Although we cannot start a Paladin, if someone has a saved character like that, the player still can load it.
Skills level up as per old school RPG rules: battles, puzzles, and other actions ( stealing, magic use, bartering, charisma, etc.) will earn us experience points.
Our hero is damned into muteness during the different conversation options – we never hear him talk, but it we can talk about a lot of the various topics with various characters. This works pretty much just like in the previous episodes: if the NPC mentions a particular topic then with another menu, we can ask about the topic for further information.
Silmarian needs you!
According to the old traditions of Silmarian, there can only be a new king chosen if someone completes the “Ruling ritual”, in which many heroic deeds have to be completed to prove worthiness to the throne. Glory games were much more enjoyable compared to the other Sierra adventure titles is that the story is less linear. Luckily this did not change with the fifth game, and we’ll be able to complete many sidequests, which will allow us to gain unique items, weapons, spells, and gear.
While the developers did not implement a multiplayer mode, Sierra has promised us that as a form of an upgrade it will be added (interesting move in an adventure game). Maybe this way we’ll be able to take on the fierce red dragon with a few of our friends.
When I first tried out Dragon Fire’s demo, I was a bit disappointed by the rather Spartan graphics, and such bugs where the objects were floating above the ground (This ain’t no Space Quest) Oh well – I thought – King’s Quest 8 will be probably better. Then when I was massively disappointed in Mask of Eternity, I loaded Dragon Fire rather skeptically thinking I would get another third person action game, this time without any 3D acceleration.
Luckily I was surprised by the end product. Not only was the graphics fixed in the full game, but the bad bugs were also eliminated, and the developers made sure it would be the best: They stuck to their original style and did not try to create a Tomb Raider Clone. Although I was a bit sad at first that they did not use 3D acceleration, the background, and characters are so well drawn I did not feel it was necessary.
I would like to mention the beautiful music that took hold of me while installing the game; I was barely able to stop listening to it. The soundtrack was paced appropriately to situations and it is one of the best parts of the title.
I enjoyed that every item that we have is not just animated, but also has separate sound or music sections. The voice acting for the characters are professional and do not feel as if they are reading a text in a recording studio.
The game has two big issues. One is the use of modern objects (Frankenstein-rescue computers, and an amusement park, etc.) as humor diminishes the fantasy atmosphere. The other annoying part is the tiring battles featured in Quest for Gloy V – although this part was never a strength of the series.
Besides these issues however Dragon Fire is a superb game, and has all of the previous games good qualities: An amazingly well written story, with well-balanced adventure and RPG elements, and a great atmosphere. As the story can run through multiple threads – thanks to its RPG elements – it is worth playing through the game multiple times. There is no revolutionary changes in Quest for Glory V, but with all the 3D action marvels, it was great to revisit a game that provides a good amount of fun nostalgia.
+ Keeps with up the tradition well
+ Good mixture of RPG and adventure elements
+ Nostalgia in 1998
– Graphics were already outdated at that time
– The jokes are sometimes idiotic
– Combat is still rather bad here as well/strong>
Publisher: Sierra On-Line, Inc.
Developer: Yosemite Entertainment
Genres: RPG, adventure,