Video Game / Quest for Glory III

Quest for Glory III: Wages Of War (1992) is the third game in the Quest for Glory series. After saving Shapeir and being adopted as the Prince of Shapeir, a title which he is subsequently identified by, the Hero follows the paladin Rakeesh back to his Liontaur homeland of Tarna, a land inspired by ancient Egyptian and African myth.

The area is home to 3 different civilizations: the city-state of Tarna, a city built by humans now ruled and dominated by the Liontaurs, (and whose king is Rakeesh's younger brother Rajah) where all other races are effectively 2nd class citizens, their allies the Simbani, a tribe of humans who live on the savannah and migrate with their herds depending on the season, and the Leopardmen, shapeshifting magic users that dwell in the jungle and are the traditional enemies of the Simbani, who fear and distrust magic.

In recent days war has been brewing between the Simbani and the Leopardmen, and adding to the tension is the fact that Tarna sent a delegation to gets the sides to agree to a truce, only for the delegation to be mysteriously slaughtered. Only a single human from the delegation manages to make it back to Tarna, and his claw wounds lead nearly everybody to suspect the Leopardmen of being at fault. Meanwhile, the leader of the delegation, Rakeesh's daughter, is missing.

With the seemingly inevitable conflict looming, the hero will have to act quickly to familiarize himself with the opposing sides, the beautiful and dangerous land he finds himself in, and to investigate Rakeesh's suspicions that an old and dangerous foe is secretly pulling the strings and manipulating all sides into war.

This game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abdicate the Throne: We find out that Rakeesh has done this before the events of the second game, leaving his brother Rajah in his place.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The Apothecary charges much more than the one in the previous game, forcing you to buy one pill for about the same price you could've gotten three or more before. Fortunately, the pills you buy in the second game carry over when you import your character, so you can always stock up on as many as you can buy before you leave Shapeir.
  • Anachronism Stew: The Junk Dealers flat out admit that the stuff they're selling acts as this in their sales pitch (while offering to sell you a WWI-era gas mask.)
  • As You Know: Used word-for-word by Aziza in the intro. Which is especially silly since she's telling the hero about all the things he did in the second game as if he didn't experience them himself. Furthermore, this intro does a Retcon of the QFG2 ending.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Giant ants that will attack you in the savannah.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Deaths (both the enemies and the player's) are a little more graphic than before.
  • Character Focus: The Fighter class gets the most focus in this game, thanks to the Simbani Rite of Manhood. Wizards get to make a magic staff, while Thieves get it worst since there's no Guild and only two houses to rob (the Simbani Laibon's and the Leopardman Chief's), both of which are plot-required. Paladins, naturally, get the Fighter's quests plus very tiny extra bits here and there.
  • Cherry Tapping: You can pick up rocks at any time when you're outside and hurl them for minimal damage. Naturally, this means it's possible (but very difficult) to kill even a dinosaur by pelting it with enough rocks.
  • The Commandments: Tarna's legal system. They're pretty basic, though. Don't steal. Don't hurt anyone. Don't use magic. Act with honornote .
  • Continuity Nod: When you talk to Salim Naffs, the Apothecarist, you have the option to tell about your exploits in Shapeir, leading him to become the one that frees Julanar, the woman that got trapped in a tree by a Djinn, as his dreams were telling him to.
    • Before you leave Shapeir in the second game, Shema gives the player a letter to give to her nephew Shallah if he ever meets him. Sure enough, Shallah can be found selling wood carvings at the bazaar in Tarna, and giving him the letter has him give you a wood carving of a leopard for free.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Rakeesh points out fairly early in the game that Paladins, the Liontaurs of Tarna, and the Simbani have different definitions of "honor." Most notably, helping Harami is contrary to the Liontaurs' definition of honor, but not helping him is contrary to the Paladins' definition of honor. For the purpose of the game's stats, "Honor" focuses on the Paladin vision of honor.
    • Rakeesh's own background illustrates this: Stepping down from the throne to become a Paladin to oppose the demon sorcerer is an act that many younger Liontaurs don't understand because it does not fit the Liontaur version of honor. As does Rakeesh's insistence to look for a peaceful end to the conflict. Two city guards will argue about this, with the older supportive of Rakeesh's action and the younger seeing him as a coward.
    • Becoming initiated into the Simbani tribe requires recognizing a key difference in values. To a western, particularly American person, it's natural to value individuality, and competitions are won by proving oneself to be the best performer. If you pay attention to the Simbani stories told during your stay in the village, however, you'll notice a consistent theme where the highest values are cooperation within the tribe and putting the needs of the tribe first. The Simbani, after all, are trying to survive in a difficult and often hostile environment and need to know they can rely on each other no matter what. So while it may seem natural to pass Yesufu during the situation listed under Dudley Do-Right Stops to Help and expect to be rewarded for performing better than he did, to the Simbani it's an act of unconscionable selfishness or a sign of amorality, and will make them want to have nothing to do with someone who'd throw a fellow tribesman under the bus for his own desire. Hence the Non-Standard Game Over if you don't help Yesufu.
  • Demonic Possession: The demons can do this to any host, as it seems.
  • Dimension Lord: Although details on him are sparse, the Demon Lord appears to be this, ruling the hell dimension that the demons come from. The instant it emerges into the mortal world, it destroys all of Tarna.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Uhura notes that's one of the things to watch out for when boys and girls spar each other on the Wrestling Bridge. Doesn't help that the sparring involves a lot of bouncing.
  • Dream Sequence: Happens in the Temple of Sekhmet in Tarna. It's a test of character and a prophetic vision rolled into one, unless of course you fail the test.
  • Drugs Are Bad: If the hero uses the bong too many times In The Stoner's shop, the hero becomes a homeless burned-out drug addict and dies.
  • Dudley Do-Right Stops to Help: The Fighter/Paladin has to become a member of the local tribe in order to advance the plot. However, your friend Yesufu is also participating in the Initiation Ceremony, and there's only room for one. At a pre-scripted point in the race, Yesufu is hurt and the proper response is to help him up. As it's later revealed that the entire point of the ceremony is to teach a lesson about supporting your friends and tribe, not stopping to help just gets you chewed out and a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • Easter Egg: Lots.
    • If you set up camp near the mountains, there's a chance you'll encounter Arne Saknoosen the "earth pig" (a Shout-Out to Cerebus the Aardvark) in the middle of the night.
    • If you wander around out in the savannah without food for long enough, you'll eventually be assaulted by the Awful Waffle Walker, a giant waffle that won't leave you alone until you eat it.
    • The player can actually smoke the hookah pipe in the apothecary by using the tinderbox on it. Doing so three times triggers a Non-Standard Game Over.
    • Very rarely, when you use the dispel potion on the captive leopardmannote , the hero will do an Eye Pop during the cutscene. This almost sounds like an Urban Legend of Zelda to get people to keep pointlessly reloading saves over and over. Except it's not. And its split-second suddenness will probably terrify you.
  • Evil Gloating: If you're a Paladin, you get a demoralizing speech at the very end. None of the other classes get the same consideration.
  • Extreme Doormat: Kalb the meat merchant; he'll accept any price you offer for his wares, no matter what your Communication skill is, and will never complain. There's no reason not to take advantage of his spinelessness; it doesn't even count against you on the Karma Meter.
  • Everything's Worse with Dinosaurs: The natives call it Running Death.
  • False Flag Operation: Rakeesh and Kreesha suspect that demons are trying to incite war between the Simbani and Leopardman. This comes to a head when one of them possesses the Leopardman Chief at the peace conference and murders the Laibon.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Liontaurs engage in this towards almost everyone. It's actually not as bad as it used to be, and it's commented that recently significant rights have been granted to humans and other non-Liontaurs in Tarna, (thanks in large part to a few advocates like Rakeesh's wife) but even so the city and its laws are under the absolute control of the Liontaurs, and there are large sections of the city reserved solely for the Liontaurs. A human wandering into those areas would be in very significant danger.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Of Africa, savanna and jungle varieties alike.
  • Fission Mailed: Light a fire, then walk away from it. Only YOU can prevent savanna fires!
  • Frazetta Man: The inhabitants of the Lost City.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Several. Not as bad as the next game, but still annoying at times.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: The Demon Wizard trying to summon his master into the world is understandable, but why he has to start a war between the Simbani and Leopardman is rather thin and only explained by a throwaway line at the very end of the game. The deaths caused by the war will somehow power up the MacGuffin that will allow his master to cross over. Even though the MacGuffin had to be used and drained of power as part of his schemes to start the war in the first place... oh, and to get revenge on Rakeesh, of course.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Janna Jamir's (the Welcome Woman at the inn) dialog when you flirt with her, holy crap! She rivals Nawar with the spiciness of some of her innuendo.
    Janna: It is not just the room you warm with your sunshine, oh prince of passion. Your words inflame my cheeks, and other places.
  • Greater Scope Villain: The Big Bad you face off against in the end is just The Dragon trying to unleash his Sealed Evil in a Can Demonlord master.
  • Have a Nice Death: Par for the course, but Bloodier and Gorier than in other installments. Compiled here and there.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • When you start winning the Wizard Duel, the Leopardman Shaman will invoke a Demon; if you cure him with a Dispel Potion rather than killing him, he thanks you for saving him from his own rash stupidity.
    • As a Wizard, overpowering the Demon Wizard will make him steal your magic staff right from your hands. It seems like a good move on his part... until you remember the spell that Kreesha warned you to never cast on the staff.
  • Hollywood Darkness: The game uses your standard day-for-night technique to depict nighttime (with a few exceptions, like the inside of the inn.)
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The hero can't beat his evil counterpart in the mirror fight. Harami the thief takes up his place.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The As You Know at the beginning of this game tells you how to complete the previous game.
  • Lost Forever: As a Fighter/Paladin, the leopardman prisoner show up in the cage if your strength stat improved enough. However, if this happens too quickly you'll miss out some game points such as making friends with Yesufu and listening to the Storyteller.
  • Lost World: The lost city beyond the waterfall. It's inhabited by apemen and demons.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Happens when the Wizard triggers his staff at the end, blasting the Demon Wizard to smithereens. His decapitated head even rolls near the hero, who kicks it for fun.
  • Magic Staff: Wizards get the opportunity to create one. A case of Awesome, but Impractical, since it feels awesome to finally have your own unlimited supply of Mana, but it is not usable in close combat and you can only pelt so much spells at distance. Plus, the Demon Wizard steals it from you, forcing you to destroy it via Dangerous Forbidden Technique: casting Trigger and releasing all the Mana in it in one very pretty explosion.
  • Mighty Whitey: If you are a fighter, you must win the contest to become a Simbani warrior, and naturally you quickly surpass any of the Simbani in the skills they respect (except running). Justified in that many of these skills were ones that had already helped you become a famous hero. Also, you, the human player will need good hand-eye coordination.
    • Wizards do the same with the Leopardmen, demonstrating superior magic and/or cunning to that of their most powerful mage, the Shaman.
  • Mini-Game:
    • Bridge wrestling. If you set the difficulty to higher, you must control your hero's moves while a lower difficult let the computer handle the moves for you.
    • Spear throwing.
    • Playing Awari.
  • Mirror Match: An area in the Lost City summons evil counterparts to you and your friends.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Winged Cobras!
    • There's also the Meerbats.
  • Money for Nothing: Zig-zagged. You're given more than enough money at the start of the game to buy everything you need for the rest of the game. If, however, you do run out of money (probably from needing to buy more of the game's prohibitively-expensive potions) then you're in some serious trouble because only three enemies types in the entire game drop money and it's in very piddling amounts.
  • Mystery Meat: The Meat Seller sells mystery meat as rations.
  • National Geographic Nudity
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: The apothecary.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Women in Uhura's tribe have to choose between being a warrior and being a mother. Good thing she decided to Take a Third Option. Specifically, leaving the tribe, finding a decent man outside, and coming back with the baby, but still being unmarried, so no one can claim her as a wife in her tribe.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Kind of. "Wages of War" was not supposed to exist and was inserted for storyline and character reasons, as the creators felt the hero was not strong enough yet for the events of "Shadows of Darkness". You can see evidence of this in the original version of Trial By Fire, which ends with the sequel hook for Shadows of Darkness, which ultimately ended up being the fourth game.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: When Yesufu expresses interest in marrying the Leopard Lady, his father sets the bride price prohibitively high (for a Simbani) specifically to prevent this.
  • Petting Zoo People: The Leopard People. There's also the Crocmen who wander the savannah, but they're borderline Petting Zoo People on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism.
  • Player Personality Quiz: During the aforementioned Dream Sequence, you have to answer three multiple-choice questions. Each question has a straightforward answer, a compassionate answer, a devious (but still heroic) answer, an intelligent answer, and an evil/joke answer (in that order). You will be judged either according to which type of answer you chose most often or, if you selected three different types of answers, according to the personality that you didn't choose.
  • Point-and-Click Map: Along with the obligatory Random Encounter.
  • Point of No Return: The main one is the failed peace conference, after which you can no longer visit Tarna, the Simbani Village or the Leopardman Village.
  • Pop Culture Pun Episode Title: After the initial release, Sierra was informed that another video game developer had already trademarked the title Wages of War. A re-release was developed with the new subtitle Seekers of the Lost City (a nod to Indiana Jones), but before it actually shipped the other company went out of business and Sierra no longer needed to address the trademark issue. However, the About text in Shadows of Darkness does refer to the previous game as Seekers of the Lost City.
  • Prop Recycling: Parodied with one of the items at the Junk Dealers' tent.
    "You see a genuine, imitation paper-mache moose head, courtesy of the Recycled Prop Department of Sierra On-Line."
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The crocs and the flying cobras.
  • Revenge Before Reason - Rakeesh says that going to war over revenge is irrational and will only end in lots of death. He's right, as the people they are fighting turn out to be demons.
  • Retcon: Rakeesh was said to have killed the Demon that wounded his leg in Quest For Glory II, here it's stated that the Demon Sorcerer was the one that wounded him.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Demon Lord.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Rakeesh is reflective and prudent, but he's considered a meek coward by his hot-blooded brother Rajah.
  • Sole Survivor: The only survivor of the peace mission, who has suffered terrible wounds and dies soon after making it back to Tarna.
  • Stealth Insult: Rakeesh, of all people, makes one if the Hero decides to act like a buffoon during an audience with King Rajah.
    Rajah: Rakeesh, how can you endure such an idiot?
    Rakeesh: There are many fools in this world, Rajah, and most have no clue when they behave foolishly.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The dinosaurs that roam the savannah are pretty hard to shake off.
    • Unless you cheat and jack your movement speed all the way up.
  • Take Your Time: The Hero is trying to prevent a brewing war between peoples that are on the brink of it and the game keeps track of the days, but there is not time limit for the quest. A relaxation from the events of QFG2, a big Timed Mission.
  • Talking Animal: Manu the monkey.
  • The Tease: Janna Jamir, the woman running the inn, and whom the Hero can flirt with. Some of her dialog is downright saucy, though nothing ever happens between you (for one, she's married. Not that it stops her from being an instigator...) She'll even strike a sexy pose for you when she walks away after you've flirted with her!
    • Eventually she will inform you that your words no longer have any effect on her, at which point the innuendo-laced dialogue will also stop.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Lampshaded by Uhura when you meet her at the spear-throwing range; the Simbani use spears rather than swords because spears can be thrown. Still played straight by the Paladin, who must throw his sword at the Demon Wizard at the end of the game.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: The Deliberate Values Dissonance between Liontaurs (Lawful) and Paladins (Good) results in this dilemma after Harami is deemed honorless. Oddly enough, even the chief goddess of the Liontaurs encourages you to be Good, as her prophecy mentions "One thou hast brought low then helped to rise again."
  • Troll: In the soul weighing questions, the last answers are always the worst - and funniest.
  • Un-Person: Anyone deemed "Without Honor" in Tarna effectively becomes this. Nobody will talk to them or acknowledge their existence, and they can either join a departing caravan or starve to death. Unfortunately, a war tends to shut down the caravans, leaving Harami to starve to death. If the hero apprehends Harami by using magic or throwing a dagger, then the hero is later exonerated of assault because it turns out he harmed "no one".
  • The Voice: The Demon Lord is this for paladins. Other classes get to eavesdrop on a conversation between him and the Demon Wizard, but a paladin's only contact with the Demon Lord is as a voice of temptation in his head (which you don't even hear if you seal the gate quickly enough).
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Leopardmen.
  • Wizard Duel:
    • The Wizard has a formal one with the Leopardmen Shaman. It's deliberately stacked against you: you're not allowed to attack him directly, but he can attack you all he wants. The point isn't to kill the Shaman, but to endure his attacks with your utility spells until he loses his temper and summons a demon to possess him and kill you for your "arrogance".
    • A similar duel is possible against the Demon Wizard, where he will fire spells at you that can be countered. It only buys some time; you must quickly do something that puts him on the defensive.
  • World Tree: The tree in the heart of the world.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: You finally get the two tribes together, and Tarna is willing to stand in as a mediator. So far so good. Too bad that demons then make the two leaders kill each other.

Alternative Title(s): Quest For Glory III