Guile Hero: Particuarly in the thief palythroughs, but applies for all three: the final baddy (and mini-bosses leading up to it) are almost inevitably outsmarted rather than outfought. For most of the games, the magic-user and thief don't even have to fight anyone in order to win.
Silent Protagonist: Not literally, as the character is able to communicate with others, but the Hero will almost never say anything directly, instead having the gist of his speech relayed by the narrator. There are several exceptions, in the first two games. Clicking the mouth on him in the VGA remake in QFG1 will yield "Overworked... underpaid... no control over my life". QFG2 has him talking to Aziza when talking about Julanar, with "Yes ma'am", "Only the facts ma'am", and "What's a pomegranate?". He also babytalks to Simba, who shuts him up pretty good.
Mighty Whitey: In the third game. Your character will pick up spear throwing and wrestling on the wooden bridge of the Simbani. Within a week or so of training he'll be able to defeat Simbani warriors who trained at this all their lives. Can be considered Justified since he's a skilled adventurer who's had to do more than his fair share of throwing and balancing in the past, and fighting if you use that playstyle.
Culminates in the final game, when the Big Bad of the game, the Dragon of Doom, is outright stated to be unkillable, and can only be sealed. But the hero is so badass at this point that he can safely ignore that and kill it.
ErasmusA powerful and pun-loving wizard who lives in Spielberg with a summer home in Silmaria. He and his familiar, the smart aleck rat Fenrus, help the hero out directly in games So You Want to Be a Hero? and Dragon Fire as well as mentoring him at the Wizards' Institute of Technocery in game Trial By Fire (and making a cameo at the end of Shadows of Darkness).
A Spot Of Tea: Sips from a magically-refilling cup of tea during your visits to Zauberberg in So You Want to Be a Hero.
EranaA mysterious half-Faerie Folk archmage whose presence is seen throughout the series even though she herself isn't. She is known for creating magical gardens of incredible peace and safety. She is presumed dead because her attempts to prevent the Dark One from coming into the world resulted in her being trapped between worlds, until the hero's actions in banishing Avoozl release her spirit and finally allow her to pass on to the afterlife. In Dragon Fire, the player can choose to rescue her from Hades, which allows a romance with her; she's the best match for Paladins, but honorable Wizards can also woo her.
Heroic Self-Deprecation, or even Broken Bird: Surprisingly, one can learn in the fifth game that in spite of all her power and good deeds, her half-human status has led to an inferiority complex that she never managed to overcome. Since humans was not welcome among elves and elves was not welcome among humans, she grew up being unwelcome everywhere. Her dialogue strongly implies that this is what put her on the path of peacemaking magic in the first place.
Rakeesh Sah TarnaA Liontaur Paladin, Rakeesh was the king of Tarna until he abdicated power to his brother Rajah in order to pursue the demons that threatened the land. In his travels he became a Paladin and suffered a Game Breaking Injury that keeps him out of action. The hero meets him in Shapeir, and Rakeesh rapidly becomes his mentor and father figure (even more so if the player chooses to become a Paladin himself). In Dragon Fire he Takes The Poison Dagger for the hero, and will die if one fails to give him an antidote and locate the source of the poison.
Baba YagaAn ogress witch with a taste for human flesh and a mean streak a mile wide. She serves as the Big Bad for the original game, her curse being the reason everything bad is happening in Spielburg. After you break the curse and get rid of her, she returns in game 4, hanging out in Mordavia because of the dark energy given off by the Dark One's cave. She isn't fully antagonistic in this game, despite her desire for revenge (which can be bought off), but you still have to deal with her to win.
Genre Savvy: When she shows up again in Shadows of Darkness, she'd certainly like revenge but realizes that antagonizing you is a bad idea; instead she gives you Fetch Quests. However, if you tick her off sufficiently or fail to honor your end of the bargain, she will kill and eat you.
Extreme Omnivore: In addition to mandrake mousse and elderberry pie (and humans, of course), she is also partial to bones, the secretions of an Eldritch Abomination, and garlic. She'll also go into explicit details about the "wyvern waffles" she had for breakfast, if you dare to ask...
Ad AvisThe Big Bad of Trial By Fireand debatably Shadows of Darkness. An evil wizard who rules over the land of Raseir with an iron fist while attempting to release the demon Iblis. Because the prophecy says he needs a hero to recover the status in which Iblis is sealed, he engineers events to get the hero to Raseir and hypnotizes him, but this ultimately causes his downfall, as he cries out to his master. Shadows of Darkness reveals that the "master" is Katrina, who bit Ad Avis seventy years ago, causing him to rise as a vampire after his death. He resents Katrina and seeks revenge against her and the hero, succeeding in killing Katrina but causing his own death because of it.
Never Found the Body: Well, the first time around. And technically, he was either sucked into Erana's staff or devoured by the Dark One the second time around, so you never found the body then either.
Older Than They Look: He's served the Dark Master for either 50 or 70 years, depending on whom you ask, but he doesn't look a day over 40.
The Plan: His actions in Trial By Fire are part of a larger one.
Politically Incorrect Villain: He hates women or maybe just one in particular, though he still enjoys making life miserable for every woman in Raseir.
Shema and ShameenA married couple of Katta (a race of anthropomorphic cats), Shameen and Shema came to Spielburg in order to find a hero to help solve the crisis in Raseir, but were trapped by the avalanche that sealed off the valley. They quickly landed on their feet and set up the Hero's Tale Inn, which is where the hero first meets them. After dealing with Baba Yaga, he travels along with them back to Shapeir, where they open the Katta's Tale Inn and provide the hero with free room and board for the duration of Trial By Fire.
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Averted in Trial By Fire. Since you helped Shameen and Shema get out of Spielburg by getting their flying carpet back from the brigands, they give you free room & board at their inn in Shapeir.
Elsa von SpielburgThe missing daughter of Baron Spielburg, whose rescue is one of the central goals of So You Want To Be A Hero?It eventually turns out that she was given amnesia and delivered to the brigands, who raised her as their own. She eventually rose through the ranks and became their leader, which the hero must undo with a Dispel Potion. Elsa returns in Dragon Fire, having chaffed under her brother's Stay in the Kitchen attitude and striking out as an adventurer herself (thanks to her retained knowledge and experience from her time with the brigands). She's also a potential bride for the hero, available to all character classes.
UhuraA member of the Simbani tribe from Tarna, Uhura left her homeland in order to get around the restrictions placed on women. She took up residence in Shapeir, becoming the head of the Fighters' Guild and having a son, Simba, by one of the palace guards. She helps the hero with information and sparring, then returns to Tarna along with him and Rakeesh. Back home, Uhura again helps the hero by showing him the Rite of Passage for Simbani warriors and trying to convince the Laibon (chief) to seek peace with the Leopardmen.
Take a Third Option: The Simbani let their women be mothers OR warriors, so Uhura left, had Simba out of wedlock with a Shaperian palace guard, and returned home as both. The storykeeper of her tribe will point out how much of a break in tradition this is, in an attempt to get the Simbani to change their ways.
Training Boss: Uhura loves a good fight and you can spar with her in the Adventurers' Guild in Shapeir anytime you want. The rules are melee only, and no magic allowed. It's a very good way to increase your combat skills without risking death out in the desert, and Uhura and Rakeesh will teach you new moves.
Vapor Wear: In the third game, and retroactively in the Fan Remake of the second game, Uhura wears a large necklace instead of a top.
KatrinaA mysterious and beautiful young woman who is the first person the hero meets in Shadows of Darkness. She only appears by night, never in Mordavia proper, and has brief conversations with the hero. As it turns out, however, she is the Dark Master, a powerful sorceress and vampire who is attempting to bring the Eldritch Abomination Avoozl into the world, casting eternal night over the land. She developed feelings for the hero, which would prove to be her undoing as Ad Avis threatened the hero, leading to a fatal Taking the Bullet. In Dragon Fire, the hero can choose to rescue her from Hades, restoring her humanity and opening up the potential for a romance. That can end in marriage unless you're a Paladin or Thief.
Femme Fatale: Even from a very early age, Katrina was more than willing to use her looks to get what she wanted, and eventually it turned into a survival mechanism as well.
Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: She doesn't seem to have any real malice towards the people of Mordavia; it's just that her idea of good and evil is very... weird. For example, she thought that she was doing Tanya a huge favor by turning her into a vampire, and that the Hero condemned Tanya to a fate worse than death by bringing her back to life. And she taught Tanya to read and write.
I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Katrina was not happy when the previous Dark Master turned her. She eventually used a hero to rid herself of him, and took his place as Dark Master herself. Rather ironic when you consider what Ad Avis had in mind...
Love Redeems: When the Hero flirts with her, and particularly if he attempts to touch or kiss her, Katrina shyly remarks just how interested she is and wants to do it, but fears she would not be able to control herself with him and would let things go to far. At the time it comes across as her playing demure and hard to get. And then you learn what she really is, and those comments suddenly sound a lot like she might not be able to resist biting you. This becomes especially poignant when Katrina comments in other dialog she doesn't want you to be a puppet, and wishes for you to love her by your own free will.
The Master: Kind of subverted, since she has an actual name, but most people know her only as "the Master" or "the Dark Master."
Our Vampires Are Different: Initially, Katrina almost seems to come across as the stereotypical vampire. Then you start to learn just how complicated and lonely she is, and despite her actions she never loses the player's sympathy. Quest For Glory IV was released in 1994, long before the concept of the Friendly Neighborhood Vampire entered mainstream popular culture.
She hired Boris as daytime gatekeeper of Castle Borgov after he had a falling out with his wife and ran away into the woods. Considering that he was still in the woods when night fell, she may have saved his life by finding him before any other undead did.
She sent Toby to comfort and befriend Tanya when Tanya didn't have any other friends and really needed the comfort. (Yuri's and Bella's treatment of Tanya at this time could charitably be described as harsh, or uncharitably be described as abusive.) Especially if you tell her why you resurrected Tanya, it is pretty clear that she really thought she was doing the right thing: "You think it was wrong of me to take her from her parents? They ignored her! They never gave her anything! I gave her everything!"
Katrina's whole "plunge the land into darkness" plan ends up sounding a lot less evil when it's explained that she thought this was literal. While it's intensely stupid to summon an Eldritch Abomination and expect to use it as a dimmer switch for the sun, but she wasn't actually intending to directly hurt anyone on purpose. She really did think she could control it. She was, in short, what Magda would call a "powerful fool" who thought she could control the Dark One, not knowing that it was too powerful for anyone to control.
Signor FerrariA "legitimate businessman" in Raseir, Ferrari is the player's main contact in the final act of the game. He informs the hero about the particulars of Kaveen and Ad Avis' rule over the city. Thief characters go one step further, stealing a rather familiar statue from Kaveen for him. When Kaveen has the hero arrested, Ferrari seems to abandon him, but he returns in Dragon Fire as the head of the Dead Parrot Inn, trying once more to win the hero's trust. He's in the running to become Silmaria's Chief Thief, as well as effectively blackmailing Gnome Ann out of her inn. All classes can help Ann, but the Thief can go a step further, getting Ferrari the real Blackbird and then stealing it right back from under his nose — but Ferrari can screw you right back by getting you removed as king via blackmail if you do things wrong.
Blackmail: He'll blackmail a Thief character off the throne in Dragon Fire by revealing your "night job" - but it is possible to prevent this.
Insistent Terminology: Not necessarily by him, but in the second game, Ugarte will take offense if you refer to him by anything but Signor Ferrari. This softens in Dragon Fire, as the two of you are considered close enough to be more familiar. Of course, Ferrari is more than likely toadying to the Hero at this point, being the man of greater influence and prestige.
UgarteFerrari's right-hand man; like the hero, he seems to be something of an unwilling accomplice (more so as the game progresses). In Trial By Fire, he smuggles water in Raseir, a capital crime which sees him dragged off supposedly for execution. However, Ugarte returns in Dragon Fire, having been freed thanks to the hero's actions and much more grateful than Ferrari, serving as the Thief's source of info in the underground dealings of Silmaria. In the Thief playthrough, Ugarte gets poisoned just before revealing the identity of King Justinian's assassin, and like Rakeesh will die unless the player takes the proper steps.
Smug Snake: He isn't as fond of Ferrari as one would initially suspect.
Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero
BrunoA member of the brigands, Bruno conspired with his friend Brutus to overthrow their leader and take over. He can usually be found hanging out at the town gate and will give the hero (false) information about the goings-on in the valley... for a price. He suddenly returns in Dragon Fire as the assassin of King Justinian and attempts to exact revenge on Elsa and the hero for their part in the dissolution of the brigands.
The Mole: He appears to be a normal (if untrustworthy) thief at first, but it turns out he's a brigand who's joined the thief guild to act as a spy within the town.
Baronet Barnard von SpielburgBaron Stephan von Spielburg's son, who disappeared while on a hunting trip several years before QFG1. The hero finds him captured by the Kobold, transformed into a bear and bound by an enchanted shackle. His rescue restores hope to the despondent baron.
BrauggiA frost giant from Jotunheim, he comes to Spielburg to fill his food stores with the local fruit. He is willing to barter a glowing gem (one the hero needs for his quest) in exchange for fifty apples, after which he leaves satisfied.
AzizaThe resident spellcaster of Shapeir, Aziza is a powerful water-attuned sorceress with a focus on divination and mind for manners. She serves as the hero's magical contact in Trial By Fire and instructs him in how to defeat the elementals and help Julanar.
Ms. Exposition: Tells you all you need about the elementals and Julanar and Iblis in the 2nd game. In the third game she gives the player a recap of the end of the second game, and sets up the plot of the third.
Poet Omar/Sultan Harun al-RashidA fabled poet of Shapeir, Omar's poems clue the player as to what is going on with the plot. Poet Omar is also The Sultan of Shapeir in disguise. In the end of the game he adopts the player as his son.
JulanarA long time ago, a Shaperian woman went against the sexist rules of society and became a healer. Unfortunately, one day a bandit tricked her into coming to his camp. As she tried to escape from the bandits, she cried out for help and was transformed into a tree by a passing djinn. In Trial By Fire, Aziza relates this story to the hero and tells him how to restore Julanar's sense of self in order to obtain the Fruit of Compassion he needs for a Dispel Potion. In between games, Salim ventures to Shapeir and restores Julanar's humanity, the pair falling in love and marrying before moving to Silmaria, where they meet their friend the hero once more.
The Medic: In Dragon Fire, all you have to do is walk into the Apothecary while injured and boom, she'll instantly heal you.
NawarOne of the many harem girls in Raseir's palace, Nawar's first introduction is a voice making lots (and we do mean lots) of innuendo when the hero sneaks through the harem on his way to battle Ad Avis. She returns in Dragon Fire, having been uncomfortable with the peace and going with Ferrari to Silmaria. At the Dead Parrot Inn she serves as a dancer and the manager of the inn's games of chance. She's also a potential love interest for the hero (and the most obvious), being best suited to Thieves but available to all classes.
Ascended Extra: In Quest for Glory II, she is just one of many harem girls, not even having a distinct sprite. The only thing that makes her noticeable is that she is more flirty than the others. In Quest For Glory V she's a full blown love interest.
YesufuSon of the leader (Laibon) of the Simbani. Less eager for war than his father, he is divided by his father and people's wishes, and the hero and Uhura's words for peace. Yesufu is soon to enter his rite of passage, in which he will compete against The Hero if he is a fighter or paladin. Despite this rivalry, he forms a strong friendship with the hero, and eagerly comes to his aid at the end of the game.
Rajah Sah TarnaRakeesh's younger brother, and current king of Tarna. Eager to send Tarna to war, and comes off as a bit of a General Ripper, but not without reasons. A bit of an ego.
General Ripper: Subverted, in that he does give Rakeesh's peace solution a chance and...
Papa Wolf: The main reason he is so eager for war: He sent Rakeesh's daughter as an envoy to the Leopardman. She was like a daughter to him, and when her peace mission was attacked, Rajah wants nothing more than to avenge her. He even questions Rakeesh's reluctance to go to war over his own daughter.
Salim NafsThe resident apothecary in Tarna, as well as an out-and-out tree-hugging hippie. Salim is eager to help out the hero because of his auspicious aura, and in return learns that his dreams of a tree becoming a beautiful woman are real. While the hero is in Mordavia, Salim heads to Shapeir and restores Julanar's humanity; the couple then moves to Silmaria and opens up an apothecary, where they once more encounter their friend the hero and help him save those poisoned by the assassin.
Cloudcuckoolander: He rambles about Colonel Mustard following the murders and poisonings in Dragon Fire, only for Julanar to remind him that mustard is just a seed.
Erudite Stoner: He doesn't actually light up in-series, but he has a hookah in Wages of Warnote Smoke it three times to turn into a stoner yourself! Also a game over, and Julanar mentions his dipping into their "celebration stock" when they make the antidote in Dragon Fire.
Kreesha Mar AshaRakeesh's wife, a rare Liontaur magic-user and a member of Tarna's ruling council. Along with her husband, Kreesha helps the hero's attempts to bring peace to Tarna, as well as serving as a mentor for Wizard characters and helping them create their magic staff.
Manu The MonkeyA talking monkey the hero frees from a trap. Manu quickly declares the hero to be his friend, willing to invite him to the Monkey Village and make him an honorary monkey. Manu is one of the few who know where the lost city is.
JohariDaughter of the Leopardmen's chief, she is captured by the Simbani in their efforts to discover the location of her village. Upon being revealed as an attractive woman, the hero pays the Simbani bride price to release her and discover her peoples' intentions.
The Medic: Cranium is the only consistent source of healing and poison cure potions in the game.
They Called Me Mad!: "Mad? Mad?! They ALL call me mad, but what do they know of madness? I am not mad! A bit perturbed about the world situation and how I get so little respect, perhaps. But certainly not mad!"
Also: "Some call me mad, but I much prefer 'Dr. Cranium'."
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The doctor's Rehydration Solution, when you finally get it, is described as "If you didn't know any better, you'd think this was just an ordinary bottle of water".)
TanyaThe daughter of Yuri and Bella Markarov, the innkeepers in Mordavia. When things got bad in the valley, her parents tried to keep her safely locked up, but a large furry creature named Toby befriended her by visiting her secretly at night. When he gave her a doll, her parents got even more worried, and Toby took her away to Castle Borgov, where Katrina turned her into a vampire. She does miss her parents, but is convinced they hate her and would be scared of her now that she's a "Bad Thing". The hero can restore Tanya, but it requires "the sacrifice of life for love" - which Toby willingly gives, to Tanya's horror.
Beware the Nice Ones She's really nice as long as you're friendly to her, but if you try to attack her, she'll hypnotize and then bite you.
IgorMordavia's gravedigger, he is...um, well, he's the standard Igor type. The biggest departure is his generally chipper attitude and love of graveyard humor. The first major event of the game is Igor's disappearance, which leads to the villagers capturing a gypsy in their paranoia. The hero finds Igor trapped in a grave at the graveyard and rescues him, earning him the friendship of both Igor and the gypsies.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: If you ask him about Rumors, he'll say something like "Igor not hear rumors. Igor not hear [Insert rumor here]. Igor not know [Insert another rumor here]... Igor not hear many things."
Womb Level: The Dark One's cave is Avoozl partially summoned into Glorianna.
Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire
Magnum OpusA Hesperian hero who came to Silmaria to participate in the Rites of Rulership. He has a reputation for heroism, but unfortunately not one for his massive ego. He is the second sacrifice made to destroy the Dragon Pillars that bind the Dragon of Doom.
GortA frankenstein-esque creation of Dr. Pretorius and Dr. Mobius, the scientists of the Silmaria Academy of Science, he was created purposely to enter the Rites of Rulership. So that his masters could use him to win, proving the superiority of science over magic (And ruling the island with Gort as their puppet). For most of the game, Gort appears as little more than a mindless, silent servant of his masters... But there's more to him.
Hidden Depths: Despite by all appearances being a mindless puppet of his amoral masters, it is possible to find out during the ending that Gort is everything but... He's actually fully sentient, and even a noble, heroic individual, joining the final boss fight against the Dragon Of Doom of his own volition because it's the right thing to do, and in some circumstances He will offer himself as sacrifice to weaken the dragon.
MinosThe patron of Elsa who paid her entry into the rites of rulership. Minos is an adviser or the former king, and a Silmarian noble who owns his own fleet and army of mercenary which he wants to use to help Elsa win - she will have none of it. In centuries past, his family used to rule Silmaria. He's the Big Bad, having sponsored the murder of King Justinian and that of a few others via Bruno, he's also the one behind the return of the Dragon.
Horrible Judge of Character: He picked Elsa for the rites as his candidate figuring she had the skills to win, but being a woman (whom he thinks of poorly), would be easily manipulated and controlled... Not realizing Elsa left Spielburg SPECIFICALLY to avoid the exact same controlling attitudes from her own brother. And if she'd not put up with him, why would she put up with Minos?
Obviously Evil: No one likes or trusts him. Toro distrusts him, Elsa dislikes being around him. No one has anything nice to say about him. He's also a Jerkass when talked to, and rather misogynistic towards Elsa. Consider that the villain had to be able to afford assassinating a king, hiring a mercenary army to invade Silmaria & afford the entry fee to the rites of rulership... It becomes fairly obvious who the only possible candidate for Big Bad really is.
Taking You with Me: Resorts to this when exposed, using his death as the final sacrifice to release the Dragon of Doom - if he can't rule Silmaria, he'd rather have it follow him in death.