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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 savannah 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 Shapier.
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.
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 The Liontaur version of honor and the paladin version of honor don't always gel, and sometimes Tarna's "act with honor" comes off very strange. If, for example, you break one of the first three laws, you'll be in trouble. If you deny breaking the law when you're obviously guilty, your sentence is much harsher than if you had repented.
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 Shapier 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 (which you only get if you imported your character) 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hollywood Darkness: The game uses your standard day-for-night technique to depict nighttime (with a few exceptions, like the inside of the inn.)
Lost World - The lost city beyond the waterfall. It's inhabited by apemen and demons.
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.
Mirror Match - An area in the Lost City summons evil counterparts to you and your friends.
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 - 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.
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 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. A more subtle one is releasing the Leopardman held prisoner by the Simbani. They won't be terribly happy with you if you return to the village without completing the next part of the plot.
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."
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.
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!
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.
Unperson - 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.
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).
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.