So, you want to be a hero?
Back in the 80s and throughout the 90s, Sierra was big in adventures. We had King's Quest, Police Quest, Space Quest and everything you could stick a "Quest" to (and a couple of other ones). What most of these have in common, though, was that they used variants on the same engine and thus had the same game play, first using the parser ("get item") then using a more "traditional" (for adventures) point and click interface. The final game in the series saw a Genre Shift to Action RPG, and removed most of the adventure and puzzle elements replacing them with combat missions.
One series that differed a bit from this formula, however, was the Quest for Glory series (originally called Hero's Quest, before trademark issues with Milton Bradley resulted in them changing the name), which instead used a Mix and Match of Adventure and RPG. Quest for Glory stood out both in this unique mix and how it contributed to significantly more logical and fair gameplay than the other Sierra adventure games. But that was not everything; the games also were a brilliant (and hilarious) Affectionate Parody of the adventure genre and had a very strong continuity despite being spread out over the course of nine years.
Planned originally as a quartet of games, Quest for Glory follows the adventures of an unnamed hero, from his very first trials to the point where he finally becomes a true hero - and beyond. The series is well remembered by fans for its ability to seamlessly combine epic fantasy stories often of surprising complexities with unique and colorful locations and surreal humor worthy of a Lucasarts game into one strong package.
The games are, in chronological order:
- Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero? (1989)
- Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire (1990)
- Quest for Glory III: Wages Of War (1992)
- Quest for Glory IV: Shadows Of Darkness (1994)
- Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire (1998)
Quest for Glory was created and designed by husband-wife couple Lori Ann Cole and Corey Cole. They have tried to buy the rights to the series from Sierra (now owned by Activision), though to no avail. The entire series can be purchased at GOG.com. The second game has a VGA fan remake that is compatible with modern computers.
Fans of the series might want to check out Heroine's Quest, an homage fan-made game available free of charge on Steam; Quest For Infamy, an Affectionate Parody game in which you play as a suave villain; and Hero-U, a Spiritual Successor made by the original creators of the series about a thief learning to become a rogue at a hero academy.
Provides Examples of:
- Action Mom: Uhura (No, not that one)
- Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Importing your character from the first game to the second means that you get to bring along all of your hard-earned money with you. Unfortunately, you then have to convert the money to the local currency, and at a percentage fee directly proportional to the amount exchanged: 10% of 50 gold, 20% of 100 gold, etc. You can downplay this trope by only exchanging 50 gold at a time.
- Adventure Guild: Shows up in most of the games in one form or another. A Running Gag is how the hero always signs his name in the logbook with a flourish.
- And the Adventure Continues: The endings to the first and fourth games are this, and you can choose for the fifth to be this.
- Anti-Hero: The Thief character can do some pretty dickish things in his sidequests. Despite all this, the Thief is ultimately a good person, as he will still save the realm in each game. It's sometimes funny when your friends introduce you to others as an acrobat or spy, mostly because they're too embarrassed to admit you're a criminal. (Although the Thief can learn acrobatics in the Tarna marketplace, which helps out greatly at the climaxes of both the third and fourth games.)
- Armor and Magic Don't Mix: Played with. In the first 4 games, wearing a chainmail doesn't affect your ability to cast spells. In the fifth however, it will lower your magic attribute, making your spells weaker. On the other hand, because of the game mechanics, having a low attribute means it will raise quicker when you use it. This makes armor perfect for Stat Grinding magic. However, with the odd exception of the fourth game, it is outright impossible to cast spells while wearing a shield.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The Hero's summon staff spell. In both the third and fourth installment, all spells you cast with the staff don't cost any mana points and do double damage. The downside is that none of your spells will improve in skill. Worse, the staff can't be used in close combat and walking will cause it to disappear.
- Mildly averted in the fifth game when you can finally equip it as a weapon in close combat. It no longer has unlimited casting, you have to recast it when it is emptied, and the "Summon Staff" spell costs a lot, BUT all in all, it easily multiplies your usable mana point pool. In addition, casting the "Lightning Ball" spell with the staff makes a lightning bolt, that does a great deal of damage to the target (but also damages the hero, if he's too close), to shoot out instead.
- Bag of Spilling: Played with; from 1 to 2, you carry over your money, weapons, armor, thieves' tools, and (in the QFG 2 remake) undead unguent if you have it, but not any other items you might have. From 2 to 3 you carry over your daggers, pills, and Sapphire Pin but nothing else. From 3 to 4 you don't carry over anything, as a result of a botched teleportation spell. From 4 to 5, if you're a Thief, you carry over the fake Blackbird. The rest of your starting inventory in each of those games consists of your default items, whether you imported the character or not. 5 also has Rakeesh give you one of the items you lost in the transition from 3 to 4, depending on your character class (although, again, he'll give it to you whether you imported the character or not).
- For thieves, this actually makes Dragon Fire a bit easier: you can swap the fake Blackbird for the real one in order to steal it from Ferrari. If you don't transfer, the only way to get a false Blackbird is by showing the real one to Wolfie before you hand it over to Ferrari.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Several examples from the games, but most notably the Katta and the Liontaurs.
- Battle Theme Music: In all the games, though how it is done varies. Some games simply have the same tune in all battles, or have one or two variants (ie. easy and hard combat). The fourth game has individual themes for every foe, some of which may qualify as Awesome Music, due to the Power of Rock.
- Beast Man: So very many... The setting favors these over the traditional Elves and Dwarves of Tolkien/D&D style fantasy.
- Jackalmen, race of nocturnal bandits in the second game. Attack in groups.
- Crocs, Lizard Folk who are enemies in the third game.
- Various humanoid dog folk, in the third and fifth games. Usually played up for laughs.
- Boarmen and Goremen in the fifth game, a barbaric Pig Man race. Just random enemies.
- Bearmen and Cougarmen in the fifth game, also random enemies. Similar to the pig men, though somewhat tougher and usually encountered at night.
- Salamanders in the fifth game, Lizardfolk, who are random enemies. Only encountered underwater. (But not in Atlantis or under the town docks.)
- Belly Dancer: The profession of the slinky and seductive Nawar, one of the possible love interests for the Hero. The zaftig bar tender/former harem girl Budar also does this in the fifth game, as does the Hero himself (the comedic male version of the trope). In the second game, the Hero's Katta friend Shema dances in the inn owned by her and her husband.
- Bilingual Bonus: Simple phrases of various foreign languages are used throughout the games, generally appropriate to the country in which they take place. If you don't know the languages, the FACS booklets translate a few of the phrases.
- Although Spielburg is supposed to be Germanic, not much German is actually used apart from the names of various characters and some places (such as Zauberberg / Magic Mountain / Mont Magie); but the guildmaster does say "Ja" occasionally.
- Elsa, who hails from Spielburg, does speak with a German accent in the fifth game. She'll also sometimes use German greetings to the hero, when speaking to her at the arena.
- Many of the townsfolk of Shapeir speak Arabic, and the street names are also mostly Arabic (and untranslated except in the remake); also, Suleiman bin Daoud is Arabic for Solomon, son of David.
- The residents of Tarna mostly speak Arabic, while the Simbani speak Swahili.
- As with Spielburg, not much Russian is used in Mordavia, other than the occasional "Da" and various mythological creatures such as the Domovoi. "Chernovy" is a very rare dialect form of "black" (cf. Chernobog). Many surnames are South Slavic rather than Russian, and there's at least one Hungarian name as well.
- Most Silmarians speak Greek, a merchant from Punjabi in Inja speaks Hindi, and Shakra speaks Swahili.
- Bloodier and Gorier: In Quest for Glory III, many death animations show the hero melting, (if poisoned,) impaled by a spear, or turning into a food product such as a hamburger or (in a famous easter egg) a pizza. (When eaten. And no, it is not as graphic as you think.) While it is not overly bloody, it is certainly more so than the first two games. This is surprisingly Inverted in the fourth and darkest game, in which some deaths just show (vegetarian!) food products if the hero is eaten, and most deaths just show the hero falling. Only few examples avert this.
- Boring, but Practical: Rock throwing is surprisingly effective, at least in QFG3 and QFG4. You can snipe monsters with tons of rocks before they can get to melee range.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The series does this often to varying degrees, Sierra's wry brand of humor being part and parcel. This is done more often earlier in the series, but is present all the way through.
- The second game certainly bends the fourth wall, at the very least: If you ask the guard directions to something in the desert, he gives you the distance in "skareens", which he defines, if you ask him, as "the distance from here to there", meaning the distance from any one point to the corresponding point on the next screen.
- The VGA remake of the first game doesn't allow you to rob the sheriff's safe twice or you will be arrested for "blatant power-gaming."
- You can literally do this by trying to attack Julanar in the second, with spells or projectiles.
- The fan-remake of the second game adds another one: if you request Katrina as your sponsor for the WIT exams, the wizards are so incensed that they teleport you to the Mordavian swamps, with your Have a Nice Death message informing you that you aren't strong enough to survive because you skipped a game. It even comments on how the third game was originally going to take place there.
- Brick Joke: The QFG3 documentation lists "Thermonuclear Blast" as a possible spell. It only appears at the end if the demon succeeds in opening the gate for the Greater-Scope Villain to pass through. In QFG5, someone finds a scroll enabling the player character to learn the spell, which could be used to defeat the dragon in the final battle (though this results in death, as the spell makes the hero blow himself up).
- Cap: Statistics are capped at 100 times the game number (100 for the first game, 200 for the second, and so forth), with two specific exceptions listed below. If you raise a skill above the cap via cheating, it will drop back down to the cap as soon as you train it again.
- Near the end of the second game, you get a legitimate opportunity to raise two stats of your choice by 50 each, giving you a potential maximum score of 250 in those two stats.
- In the fifth game, each class has two favored skills (such as Intelligence and Magic for Wizards) that cap at 550 rather than 500. Certain pieces of equipment can also break the cap by giving a flat stat bonus.
- Cat Folk:
- Katta, catlike humanoids. A major species that crops up in all the games except the fourth one; they're about half the size of an average human being and look like a bipedal cat.
- Liontaurs, another major species, a sort of leonine version of a centaur. A warrior race, of whom the famous paladin hero Rakeesh is one.
- Cheetaur, a black panther version of a centaur. A feral menace in the first game.
- Leopardmen, a tribe of magic users who transform themselves into leopards as part of their ritual magic.
- The Cougarmen, hostile catlike humanoids that only attack at night.
- Character Development: Both internal to the games and part of the series as a whole. In each game, you start off as relatively weak, and then get stronger over the course of the game until the things that challenged you at the beginning are no longer as much of a threat. In the series as a whole, you start the series as a no-name adventurer with no practical experience, and it takes little effort on the part of the world to end you. By the end of the fifth game, you've defeated demons, gods, armies, and at least one Eldritch Abomination, and you're powerful enough that it takes a lot of effort to kill you.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: In QFG 3, Kreesha will warn a Wizard character never to cast the Trigger spell on their staff, since it will activate all the spells stored within at once and explode in spectacular fashion. During the final battle the Demon Wizard will use Fetch to steal your staff, which lets you One-Hit Kill him by casting Trigger; the trick comes back in QFG 5 where you have to face Centaur Wizards who have their own staves, and it's just as effective against them.
- Chekhov's Gun: Bruno's poisoned daggers in the first game.
- Chekhov's Skill: An odd example: Towards the middle of Quest for Glory III, fighters and paladins learn to throw javelins in order to be initiated into the warrior tribe. Fighters use this skill at the end of the game to beat the Big Bad. Then, at the end of Quest for Glory IV, a fighter or paladin defeats the villain by throwing a javelin at him.
- Cherry Tapping: You can pick up an infinite number of rocks from the ground and throw them. Normally, the reason for this is either to knock down an item that's in a high place, or to build up the Throwing skill. They can also be thrown at enemies, but they do only a tiny sliver of damage. If you have enough time on your hands, you can avoid combat and defeat many enemies by throwing rocks at them. Lots and LOTS of rocks. Oh, and rocks have weight, so you'll have to keep picking them up as you run away. Have fun!
- Compilation Rerelease: All five official games, including both the original and enhanced versions of the QFG1.
- Concealing Canvas: Common, especially for the Thief.
- Copy Protection: Conspicuously absent, considering Sierra's penchant for manual-based copy protection at the time. The only game with copy protection is the fourth game (both disc and CD versions). All five games have a lot of really useful information in the manualsnote , but none of it is strictly necessary.
- The VGA remake of QFG1 claims that the manual is necessary to complete the game, but there's nothing vital in there that you couldn't figure out on your own.
- QFG2 came out with a map of Shapeir. Per Word of God, the streets were deliberately twisted to make the game unplayable without a map. Still, it is possible to play — just find currency exchange (not an easy feat) and buy an in-game map. Or just explore and draw the map.
- A far more manageable alternative was to fight brigands in the desert and gain the first dinars you needed to buy the aforementioned map.
- IV plays it straight, as you need it before you can do any business with the mad scientist. One potion you need to complete the story, and it is also the only place you can buy poison cures which makes the game extremely annoying without.
- Correspondence Course: The Famous Adventurer's Correspondence School, of course!
- Cosmic Horror: The Dark One of QFG4
- Critical Encumbrance Failure: You're totally fine until the narration says "You're carrying so much that you can hardly move", at which point (depending on the game), you're either slowed down significantly, or you start to lose stamina simply by walking. Or both.
- Critical Existence Failure: As long as you have one health point remaining, you're fine. In an interesting variation, if you're in battle and run out of stamina in the VGA remake of Quest for Glory I, you'll be too exhausted to continue fighting and promptly get killed. If you escape from battle and run out of stamina while running, however, you'll be fine (you'll lose health for running without stamina though, and you can run yourself to death).
- Crossover Cosmology: Baba Yaga, Djinns and more exist within the same universe, depending on the place.
- Cut and Paste Environments: The wilderness areas: forests, deserts, jungles, undersea and so forth.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: The Dragon of Doom in the fifth game is so powerful, it can only be sealed, never killed. The hero is powerful enough to kill the dragon - IF the one remaining dragon pillar nearby is set back upright. It's also said that the dragon cannot be defeated unless someone willingly sacrifices their life in the process. While this does make the fight quicker, by depleting half of the dragon's health, it's really not required.
- Developer's Foresight:
- Certain commands produce amusing results; the most famous is "pick nose", which has you use your lockpick on yourself, either killing you or opening your nose depending on how skilled you are. Trial by Fire has a few of its own, such as "put down lamp" making your character verbally abuse the item, "drop lamp" makes you break up with it, and "give Ferrari the bird" has... well... the obvious result.
- The stated reason fighters cannot use magic in combat (until the fourth game) is that you need a free hand to make magical gestures. In the EGA versions of the first two games you can simply drop your shield. Nothing in the games suggests this possibility, but the games have complete combat animations for fighters with a sword and no shield, and they can cast magic during combat.
- Dispel Magic: Three of the five games feature potions with this ability, and they're used to dispel different magical effects in each game: Brainwashed and Crazy in I, Forced Transformation in II, and Voluntary Shapeshifting and Demonic Possession in III.
- The Dragon: Several, but Khaveen from Trial by Fire is probably the most archetypical.
- The brigand wizard from QFG1 turns out not to be what he seems. QFG3's Big Bad is trying to summon a Greater-Scope Villain so might be considered one, QFG4 has Ad Avis, who also qualifies as The Starscream. QFG5 has a literal dragon, but it's more of a Sealed Evil in a Can, that the Big Bad will unleash to take you out after he kills himself.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: If the game doesn't like what you're doing, it sometimes kills you out of spite, often breaking the fourth wall when doing so.
- Examples include:
- Attacking Julanar in QFG2 in any way breaks your monitor.
- Not helping Yesufu and losing in QFG3 gets you a chewing out and a game over because at this point the game would be made unwinnable anyway.
- In QFG4 killing the old man in his house makes him rise as a ghost, and it gets you a death message. Most likely the ghost literally screamed murder on you, alerting the Burgomeister.
- In QFG1 you could even die randomly from... a memory fragmentation bug after playing the game for hours on end. Really hope you saved your game.Memory fragmented: Suddenly, the deadly poison Fragmentation Bug leaps out of a crack in the system, and injects you with its poison. Alas, there is no cure, save to . . . Restore, Restart, Quit
- Rendered harmless in QFG2, where they probably improved the engine:You thought for a moment that you saw a deadly Fragmentation Bug, but then realize that it is actually the harmless Southern variety. You squash it under your boot, and it vanishes.
- Examples include:
- Does Not Like Shoes: Katrina seems to go barefoot most of the time. As do the harem girls in Shapeir, the innkeeper in Tarna, and the Simbaini and Leopardmen.
- Easter Egg: Boy howdy.
- One of the most famous examples is in QFG2, where using X-ray glasses at a certain time allows you to see pixelated sixteen-color boobies.
- Another appears at the alchemist's in QFG3: you can smoke the opium pipe, but if you do it three times there, you wind up as a homeless addict on the streets.
- Elemental Powers: From the second game forward, references are made to the classical elements. The second game itself contains Elementals, monsters composed entirely of an element, that the Hero must deal with over the course of his time in Shapeir.
- Bizarro Elements: A joke in the documentation of the second game mentions a fifth element: Pizza. This joke graduates to in-universe starting in the fourth game, as chemical formulas are based around the five elements. The Fan Remake of the second game also includes the Pizza Elemental as a Bonus Boss.
- Ethnic Magician: Aziza, Al Scurva, and Ad Avis in the second game (technically white, but not European) and the Leopardmen in the third game (African).
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Your character is rarely referred to by name. The first and fourth game, you're called "Hero", the second one "Effendi", and the third and fifth games "Prince of Shapeir." This is understandable in the last two games, as they are fully voiced. Though an interesting scenario from the very beginning of the first game. When the sheriff asks for your name, if you leave the box blank he'll call you "Unknown Hero"
- Also the "Famous Adventurer™" Yes, the trademark is part of his name.
- The Fair Folk: The fairies of the first game are adorable pixies with a childish demeanour who will happily provide you with fairy dust if you dance with them... and screw with them, walk into their fairy circle at night, or even just not give them a straight answer, and they will dance you to death.
- In Shadows of Darkness, the fair folk are portrayed as still somewhat capricious, but more elfin. Erana, one potential love interest, is part fairy, albeit not at all capricious.
- Though the wisp-like fairies, and humanoid fairies co-existing isn't too far-fetching. As it's especially notable in a certain other game series.
- In Shadows of Darkness, the fair folk are portrayed as still somewhat capricious, but more elfin. Erana, one potential love interest, is part fairy, albeit not at all capricious.
- Fan Sequel: Heroine's Quest has the title character have Hera's Ring in her inventory if you name her after one of the love interests here; suggesting she's a descendant.
- Fantastic Racism: The Liontaur-run city of Tarna is an example. A lot of liontaurs make no secret out of the fact that they consider humans an inferior species. Humans and most liontaurs live segregated in Tarna, with humans being forbidden to enter the liontaur section of the city. Liontaurs are the only ruling class and humans have to live on the lower plateaus of the city, so liontaurs literally look down on them.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Justified, since Gloriana (the world of Quest for Glory) is an alternate Earth.
- Fast-Forward Mechanic: The games allow you to rest your Hero in intervals from 10-60 game minutes, or "sleep until morning". In some areas the latter may trigger Have a Nice Death on the assumption that some monster killed you while you slept.
- This leads to very funny deaths if you try stealing from someone's house and they find you upon waking up.
- Feelies: The DOS games came with "The Famous Adventurer's Correspondence School" books.
- Quest for Glory II came with a nice watercolor-looking map of Shapeir.
- Fetch Quest: Naturally, some of the quests fall into this category. The adventure game/RPG hybrid nature helps here though, and lots of times you need to think on how to restore the soul of a woman turned into a tree, how to build a flying machine, or how to capture a baby antwerp, rather than simply ferrying raw materials to some guy who'll do the thinking for you.
- Fictional Document: Included with the documentation for each game was a correspondence course from Famous Adventurer's Correspondence School. This course gave insight into the lore of Gloriana as well as also (sometimes hidden) tips that would prove useful later on during the actual gameplay.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three classes your character can be, and used to be the page image. A fourth class, Paladin, can later be unlocked.
- Find the Cure: In the first three games, you have to find the ingredients for a dispel potion. In the fourth game, you have to find the formula for a cure for dehydration. In the fifth, you need to find a cure for the black lotus poison.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: A lot of the Scientists believe there is no such thing as magic... in spite of there being plenty of mages whose magic is easy to verify empirically that it does indeed work. In the last game, some went so far as to try and murder a few of them. It turns out that they consider all magic that does work to be "the crime of altering reality".
- Flaming Sword:
- It's the Paladin's weapon of choice. It does a bit more damage than the non-flaming variety (affected by your Honor rating), and can defeat Earth Elementals to boot. As a Paladin in the fourth game, you won't have one until you earn the sword of a long-dead Paladin.
- Rakeesh, as a Paladin, has his own flaming sword, named Soulforge. In QFG2, he lends it to the fighter to defeat the Earth Elemental. It's also a Secret Test of Character: trying to keep the sword, or otherwise having to be reminded to return it, disqualifies you as a Paladin.
- He gives this to you if you are judged worthy to become a Paladin at the end of the second game, or as a fighter at the climax of the third game. He recovers it when you've been involuntarily teleported at the end of the third game. Since you will inevitably get another flaming sword in the fourth game (in the same place as one of the plot-critical Rituals, to be exact), Rakeesh will keep Soulforge when you meet him again in the fifth game.
- Food as Bribe: Pretty common, especially in the first game.
- In the first game, you need to get past a bear without killing him, and the best way to do that is by giving him one of your food rations.note You also have to barter with a Frost Giant, who specifically wants a couple of "handfuls" of fruit. And the first time you encounter Baba Yaga, you need to convince her not to eat you by offering her something "better" to eat instead.
- In the second game, a sidequest to dispel a transformed creature requires you to pluck some of its hairs, but first you need to placate it with some food and/or water.
- In the third game, the only way to gain Harami's trust is by offering him food. (He won't accept money, because nobody will sell anything to him.)
- In the fourth game, you need to bait a trap to catch an Antwerp, give a Hexapod some food so that it doesn't eat you, and go on another Fetch Quest for some more food for Baba Yaga, again with the threat of eating you if you don't deliver.
- In the fifth game, the only way to gain the trust of the scientists Pretorius and Mobius is by offering them their respective favorite pizzas. Later, you can either fight your way past Cerberus to enter the Underworld, or bribe him with food.
- Food Porn: Anything made by Shema, Sloree, Scoree, or Marrak. Subverted to the point of Nausea Fuel by Gnome Ann's cooks.
- Foreign Queasine: The meals served at the Welcome Inn in Tarna are all described as looking strange, even though they smell delicious. (Even a simple plate of fruit and rice...)
- Foreshadowing: The Blackbird statuette in the Brigand leader's office in Quest for Glory 1. If you're a thief, you spend the next four games hunting it down.
- Even better, that particular one is the real one.
- Friend to All Living Things: Erana. She objects to being given flowers as a gift, because it kills the flowers...
- Though she does appreciate them anyway for the pollen/seeds to plant more flowers.
- Alternatively, the hero can give her a set of magic seeds acquired from Julanar; which will please Erana greatly.
- Furry Confusion: Katta and Liontaurs exist alongside housecats and lions. Of course, following the Word of God, the situation may be something similar to how humans view apes.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Averted at times, played straight at others. You can't accomplish certain actions without having a sufficiently high corresponding stat (the swamp in Mordavia comes to mind: if you have a high enough strength stat, you can slog through it slowly, otherwise you slog through it slowly and it sucks your stamina faster than anything else in the game). In other cases, your stats have no bearing on the outcome whatsoever, though these are mostly puzzles (there's no way to take into account the hero's intelligence score without screwing with the player).
- Gargle Blaster: Dragon's Breath, which appears in the first game and is instantly fatal. It turns up again as a Drink of the Day in the fifth, and by that point you're strong enough to take it (though you still turn red and bounce around like a Looney Tunes character). Some of the other alcoholic drinks in the series, like Troll Sweat and Djinn Slings, could also qualify.
- In the fifth game, you can give Dragon's Breath to the barmaids, who simply drink it without difficulty. Only the hero has trouble drinking it.
- Notably, any time you can have an alcoholic drink, you're usually better served by declining (or choosing something else to drink). Alcohol is either a waste of money, or makes things harder in the short term.
- Give Me a Sword: In QFG2, the hero needs to fight the Earth Elemental with flame. Rakeesh will lend the fighter his flaming sword either on his own initiative or at the fighter's request. (If the magic user or thief requests it, Rakeesh says, "I will keep my sword.") There's also a test: if the fighter doesn't return the sword before being reminded, this dishonorable act disqualifies him from becoming a Paladin at the end.
- Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Baba Yaga's skull guards (with one exception, which you remedy in the first game). In the fourth game, it's revealed that they can shoot lasers.
- Godiva Hair: The Rusalka in Shadows of Darkness, who is nude except for her very long hair covering her naughty bits.
- Gold–Silver–Copper Standard: The first four games overall follow this trope, though each individual game only has two types of coins: The first game has 10 silver to one gold, and the next three games have 100 brass or copper to one gold. The fifth game has Cheap Gold Coins instead.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: The end of QFG3. Also, the end of QFG5.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Erana and Zara, half human, half faerie folk. Yorick is also commented on seemingly "having Gnomish blood in him". Also, Goons are considered half-human, half-ogre.
- Handshake Substitute: The Thief Sign, which is incredibly silly on purpose, so that non-Thieves will just write it off as a seizure or something.To identify yourself as a Thief, you must make the proper 'Thief Sign'. This consists of placing your thumb upon your nose with the hand held perpendicular to the face and the fingers outspread. You then wiggle your fingers while focusing your eyes on your thumb and patting your belly with the other hand.
- Have a Nice Death, as with all Sierra games of the age.
- Healing Magic Is the Hardest: Brewing a healing potion appears to be no more complicated than brewing a stamina or mana potion, and Paladins can gain a healing ability fairly quickly, but the archmage Erana is the only wizard who knows how to cast healing spells. (She'll teach you, of course, if you resurrected her in the fifth game.)
- Heroic Mime: From the third game on, whenever you "speak", a dialogue box says something like: "you tell the people about your exploits". He has said a few things in the earlier games, mainly to Aziza and to himself, as well as have the narration box quote you.
- Heroic RRoD: The hero can deplete his stamina and overexert himself to death.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Katrina in the fourth game. Gort, Toro, Erana, and possibly the protagonist when facing the Dragon. All of the above are intentional, and the first is perhaps the best example, as if the player is engaged to Erana, and tells her that he will sacrifice himself, after her protest (and, as I recall, declaration that she'd rather she die than the player), Gort instead offers to sacrifice himself so that the couple can be together. Points are awarded for averting this as it's considerably more difficult: the sacrifice cuts the dragon's health in half.
- In QFG5, while in Hades when asked which love interest to choose, the Protagonist must give up part of his own life in order to bring one of them back from the dead. This means you lose half your Vitality score, which you can earn back by grinding on the treadmill at the Adventurers' Guild.
- Erana in the backstory.
- Toby also from the fourth game.
- Rakeesh tried to do that, but it didn't work out so well.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: One is present at the end of Quest for Glory III. As the Hero and his newly-arrived allies make their way into the Lost City in search of the World Gate allowing Demons access to the world of Glorianna, they must each fight an Evil Twin of themselves. It doesn't matter how high your character's stats are, what abilities or spells you have, or how good you are with the combat system, the player cannot defeat his doppelganger. As the fight drags on and the Hero is close to being defeated, Harami, who at first refused to fight, arrives and Backstabs the Hero's double, distracting it long enough for the Hero to escape the fight and head for the final confrontation with the Big Bad.
- Humble Hero: Omar and Rakeesh consider humility an important quality for Paladins in particular: "He works not just for glory, and he does it not for gain..."
- 100% Heroism Rating
- Hurricane of Puns: So many puns.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Recurring villainess Baba Yaga is on the "sapients eating other sapients" corollary of this trope, as she is an Ogre, not a human.
- Improv: In the fourth game, the voice actors of the three farmers in the inn actually abandoned their own scripts and improvised their lines based loosely on the actual ones, resulting in hilarious dialog that's only captured in the voice friendly version of the game.
- Informed Equipment: Played straight in the first 4 games. When the hero wears a chainmail, it doesn't change his appearance. Averted in the fifth where any worn armor will show up on the hero.
- It Only Works Once: The Ultimate Joke. Also, the thermonuclear blast spell, albeit for different reasons.
- Jack of All Trades: It is easy to make the Hero into one of these, especially if you start with the first game and import your character to the others - it's relatively cheap to buy new skills in the first game, and gets progressively more expensive in the later games. So yes, you can be a Fighter or Thief who can cast a few spells, or a Magic User who can throw rocks and climb trees like a pro.
- It's even easier considering that stats are leveled by performing associated actions instead of with XP. As long as you have some points in a skill, you can increase it by using it. It's possible to start out with very low stats in just about everything and then eventually max them all out (although it makes the early game a lot harder.)
- The game does use Experience Points, however, as a Cap. So no matter how hard you try in the first two games, you will eventually reach a plateau that requires more adventuring before your training can continue at a reasonable pace (you can grind it if you really want to). From the third game on, this cap is removed, presumably because repeating actions became slightly more time-consuming with the point-and-click interface.
- Karma Meter: Honor, but only barely. It only matters if you want to be a Paladin, or already are (allowing you to unlock new skills). Wizards who want to marry Erana also need sufficiently high honor.
- Keet: Wolfie and Kalb are a pair of energetic, excitable dog merchants from III and V, with a bit of a penchant for being Extreme Doormats (Wolfie is more impressed than he should be at getting pickpocketed, and Kalb can be haggled down to being given a single common for his wares without complaint.)
- King Incognito: Harun al-Rashid and the Dark Master, the rulers of Shapeir and Mordavia respectively, sometimes go about their respective lands disguised as commoners.
- Knight Errant: Let's face it, the capacity for evil of all classes of Hero are limited, but the Paladin is the exemplar of the Knight Errant. Rakeesh also meets the criteria for a Knight Errant. He's somewhat past his prime by the time he and the Hero meet, but that doesn't stop him from getting around.
- Lady of War: Elsa von Spielburg.
- Large Ham: Baba Yaga.
- Leitmotif: The Hero's March, which is featured in some capacity in all five games. Including a Triumphant Reprise at the Grand Finale.
- Life Energy: All living beings have life energy; magic users tend to have more than non-magic users, as they exercise it to cast their spells.
- As Aziza mentions at the beginning of QFG3, Ad Avis' death released his life energy and caused such a big magical flare that wizards all over the world could sense it. It also disrupted the balance enough to allow demons to return to Tarna.
- The demons themselves feed off of the life energy of any living being, as well as using magic to power the Gate Orb that keeps the portal to their own dimension open.
- In the backstory of QFG4, Erana had used up her life energy to power a Dying Curse against the Dark One. Because her life energy was expended deliberately, it didn't cause the same type of magical flare that Ad Avis' death caused, so no wizards sensed the moment of her death.
- Lizard Folk: The Crocs of Tarna.
- MacGuffin Blindness: There's a thief-specific subplot running through the series regarding the search for a legendary blackbird statue, a Shout-Out to The Maltese Falcon. In the second, third, and fourth games you can find a fake blackbird, and in the fifth you finally find the real one. However, the real bird also appears in the first game, but you can't pick it up because your character doesn't know what it is yet (and is busy eluding the Brigands anyway).
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Cranium in the fourth game, and Drs. Pretorius and Mobius in the fifth. Unifying themes with all of them include obsessive love of pizza and obstinate disbelief (even in the face of the obvious) in all magic.
- Magic Antidote
- Magic Knight: Play a Fighter. Take Magic skill. Profit!
- Also, the Paladin. Or a Paladin with the Magic Skill.
- A bug in the third and fourth games had the Paladin's "Heal" ability classified as a spell, even though it used stamina instead of magic power. However, because it showed up in the magic spell section, the game naturally assumed that you had some degree of magical power. If you didn't (Magic skill = zero), then it gave you magical power (magic skill = 5, the absolute minimum). You could then go around collecting a good number of the spells available in the game and building up your magic power.
- Also, the Paladin. Or a Paladin with the Magic Skill.
- Magic Versus Science: The scientists are all portrayed as Flat Earth Atheists to a man. Some go so far as to try and assassinate several of the mages.
- Meaningful Name: There are tons of these in the series, from the baron's son Barnard (bear) and Elsa (noble) in the first game, and the money changer Dinarzad ("Child of Gold Coins") in the second game all the way up to the final game's Kokeeno Pookameeso ("Red Shirt").
- The translation for Dinarzad comes from the translations included in some versions of "Arabian Nights: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night", which also include other translations such as "Ducat-born", 'child of gold pieces", "freed by gold pieces', or 'one who has no need of gold pieces'
- The Mentor: There are a few in the series:
- Rakeesh Sah Tarna is the most archetypical mentor. He's an aged hero you come across in the second game, and he will be around for the third and fifth as well. While he is most directly a mentor for fighters and paladins, he will be there to dispense advice regardless of your class.
- Erasmus can be considered the Eccentric Mentor, particularly for Wizards. He'll sponsor your entry into the Wizards' Institute of Technocery.
- Other minor potential mentors include the spirit of Piotyr in the fourth game, and the Famous Adventurer in the fifth game, the latter of whom wrote all the Famous Adventurer's Correspondence School books.
- Merlin and Nimue: Surprisingly averted in 2, as Aziza never really becomes a magic mentor. 4, on the other hand, has an evil version with Katrina and Ad Avis.
- Mind over Matter: The Fetch spell. The Open spell could be considered a specialized form of this as well.
- MockGuffin: The thief's storyline, in an obvious homage to The Maltese Falcon, has you run into several fake versions of "The Black Bird", though only the one in the second game really fits this trope; as you have to steal it for Signor Ferrari, who then realizes it's a fake. The fakes you find in the third and fourth games are mostly Easter Eggs, and in the fifth game you can finally get the real Black Bird, which finally serves as a proper MacGuffin (though you can still make a fake to give to Ferrari and pocket the real one yourself).
- You couldn't interact with it, but you can see the Blackbird in the first game in the Bandit's Cave. You're busy with Elsa, though. Dialogue reveals this is the same one in the fifth game, as Elsa brought it with her.
- Money for Nothing: Present in a few games. Thieves tend to run across this problem, although one might suggest that the journey and the collecting of cash is its own reward. Probably the most prominent in the fourth game, as you can buy everything you need for the entire game in the first visit to the General Store with the cash you picked up in the first screen of the game.
- III has the same problem as the fourth game, only you're given all the money you need right from the start. There are two factors to make it harder, though: items from the apothecary are prohibitively expensive compared to the previous game, and getting money after you start the game, is actually pretty hard, since there's nothing to collect reward money on, and only three enemies in the game drop money, and in pretty small amounts. If you manage to use up your initial stockpile of cash and need to buy more rations or healing items, you're going to be hurting for a while.
- II has a variation. You have to buy a lot of equipment to defeat the elementals, but if you wait until it's necessary, the Katta will give you the necessary item for free. Other than the fighter, who wants to buy a better sword and armor, you'll spend very little money. Though the thief and wizard do spend a lot respectively on the rope and spells.
- The remake of II tried to fix it by letting you buy a lot of useless stuff to decorate your room in the inn in Shapeir.
- Money Spider: Subverted. Only humanoid, sentient enemies (Goblins, Leopardmen, Mercenaries, etc.) carry money on their person. If you kill a wild Purple Saurus or a feral Necrotaur, you get bupkis.
- Motifs: The series was intentionally designed with each game representing a cardinal direction, season, element, and specific mythos. Some of it is a bit arbitrary.
- So You Want To Be A Hero: North, Spring, Earth, Germanic. Spielburg is north of the other places you journey. The game takes place in early spring, plus this is the beginning of the Hero's journey. Earth could be reflecting the mountain terrain. However, the protagonist is consistently called "hero from the east".
- Trial By Fire: South, Summer, Fire, Middle Eastern. Shapeir, being an expy of the Middle East, is far to the south. Not only is it summer now, but the hero has proven himself and is surrounded by friends and admirers. While all four (five?) elements are present in the elementals, the scorching desert clearly represents fire.
- Shadows of Darkness: East, Autumn, Air, Slavic. Mordavia, again, is situated in the east. Autumn is particularly appropriate here. Not only is it that time of year, but the land is losing itself, like the trees that lose their leaves. Similarly, the hero is stripped of his equipment, allies, and even his fame. Air relates to the big bad's plot to darken the sky.
- Dragon Fire: West, Winter, Water, Greek. Oddly, despite being an expy of Greece, Silmaria is apparently to the west. Water is very appropriate, as your quests take you from one island to another. Winter reflects the hero, growing a bit weary of his long travels is looking for a place to rest. Silmaria itself has extremely mild winters, so it's not terribly obvious that it's winter at all, but from the graphics it would seem like this game is spring and the first one is winter.
- Wages of War doesn't match up with the motif because it was added later, as detailed elsewhere on this page; the Coles admitted that they broke their own metaphor. However, the mythology is clearly African. There's also the fifth element — pizza.
- Multiple Endings: Present in some games.
- Quest for Glory I: Basically a Standard Ending where you did not do everything the counter-curse required, and therefore you leave the land with a Hero title, but the Baron is still cursed (Mentioned in the Fan Remake of Quest for Glory II if you import a character that did not drive away Baba Yaga). Canon otherwise always assumes the Hero nailed the Good Ending.
- Quest for Glory II: During the Awesome Moment of Crowning where the Sultan makes you his son and a Prince, if you shot for the Paladin Prestige Class, and get every character you met to be a witness to your heroic deeds, you get what amounts to a Golden Ending. Otherwise a plain Good Ending.
- Quest for Glory V: You can pick which one you want: become king and/or marry a Love Interest, or turn into a Knight Errant. Regardless of that choice, what could count as the Golden Ending has the Hero save Rakeesh and Ugarte from the assassin, cure Erasmus and Shakra of the sleeping drug, and kill the Dragon without anyone on the Hero's side being sacrificed.
- Negative Space Wedgie: The world of Glorianna was created when a strange space anomaly hit the Earth in prehistoric era. This created a second Earth where magic flourished, animals evolved into sentience and so forth.
- Non-Combat EXP: Experience points in the series can be earned via combat, but also through various other actions.
- Downplayed in that they serve mostly as a secondary score (apart from Puzzle Points) and are not tied to gaining experience levels. With regards to the player's stats, these are improved by performing them, which again can be done outside of combat in many cases.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Manu the monkey in the third game, for the Hero. Some NPC wizards also have familiars, most notably Fenrus (the rat familiar of Erasmus). Frequently misspelled as Fenris in the fifth game.
- No Such Thing as Dehydration: While running out of food rations can cause death in any of the games, in 4 out of the 5 games there is no corresponding need to keep track of water (or any other beverage) while traveling in the monster infested wilderness. Only the second game, which takes place in an "Arabian Nights" Days setting and features plenty of treks out into the desert, requires you to actually keep your own water supply or to explicitly drink water at any time.
- Old Save Bonus: Upon completion of an entry, you can save a file that can be loaded in the next instalment that will pick up where that particular playthrough left off, keeping stats, equipment, and potentially Prestige Class from the previous game.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: Centaurs which are perfectly civilized, but it also features cheetaurs, an all black feline with a humanoid torso topped with feline head, which are quite feral. They later added liontaur, which were much like the cheetaur but with lions, though they were actually civilized, ruling a very Egypt-inspired city.
- Our Gnomes Are Weirder: There's a gnome (or someone of gnomish ancestry) in every game except the third. They're mostly known for their practical jokes.
- Our Kobolds Are Different: You encounter a kobold as part of your general quest to save the kingdom. He's hiding a cave guarded by a bear in a collar and will attack you via Teleport Spam when you approach him. The key to beating him is to first blind him, either with Erasmus's Razzle Dazzle spell or a sudden flashbomb depending on your player class, then attack. Defeating him is crucial as he holds the key to unlocking the bear's collar, transforming it back into the Baronet you're trying to save... unless of course you killed the bear first.
- Our Minotaurs Are Different: Traditional minotaur, except not quite as bloodthirsty as in mythology.
- Although since we only see two in the entire series, and the second one (Minos' bodyguard) seems to be quite bloodthirsty, it's hard to say which one is the typical example.
- Point of No Return: Each game has at least one.
- After you rescue Elsa in the first game, you cannot visit the castle, as it will trigger the Standard End sequence with Baba Yaga not driven out of the valley.
- After you take the caravan to Raseir on day 17 in the second game, you can't go back to Shapeir.
- After the Peace Conference in the third game, you can't visit Tarna, the Simbani village, or the Leopardmen's village. note
- After exiting the Dark One's Cave at the beginning of the fourth game, you can't go back in. After getting Geased by Katrina, you must find the rituals and come back to the castle within three days. And once you do that, you can't leave the Dark One's Cave again.
- After Erasmus is drugged in the fifth game, you can't go back up to his house unless you're a Wizard, and only once if you are. After Shakra is drugged, you can't enter his shop or buy anything he sells.
- Pacifist Run: Not counting a Big Bad or two, very few kills are mandatory for a Wizard or Thief until the 5th game. Most threats can be bypassed with non-lethal magic (calm, fetch) or stealth.
- Permanently Missable Content: Depending on your character type, you may forfeit any chance of becoming a Paladin. It's easy for a Wizard to become a Paladin: do what comes naturally, because virtually all of his choices are the honorable ones. A Thief becomes a Paladin by avoiding doing what comes naturally: stealing anything except the bellows to capture the Air Elemental disqualifies him. The Fighter has to pass various tests, which in retrospect are obvious; failing any one of these automatically disqualifies the Fighter. Certain other conduct may disqualify a player.
- To become a Paladin, one must attain a certain amount of Honor. Killing the griffon reduces one's honor score to make becoming a Paladin impossible.note
- The Fighter gets a second chance to legitimately become a Paladin in the third game, which is somewhat harder to screw up. It actually makes the Fighter lost instead. It's quite easy to accidentally complete all the requirements of becoming a Paladin, even if you didn't want to. And it doesn't give you a choice either. It may make the difference if the character asks to enter Uhura's hut before entering, once. Flirting with the innkeeper is also believed to disqualify the player, as doing this enough times will eventually reveal her to be a married woman.
- If you choose to modify an imported character to have magic power starting in the third game that didn't have it before, you started the new game with every spell previously made available, just like a wizard... except the Zap spell, which could only be learned again in the fifth game.
- Prestige Class: Paladin
- Psycho Knife Nut:
- Bruno in the first game and fifth game, as the assassin.
- The Chief of The Thief Guild in the first game also qualifies. Any hostile action towards him or Bruno in the first game invariably results in a throwing dagger through the heart. Heck, just walking in front of him while he's practicing his knife throwing can kill you.
- Public Domain Soundtrack
- In II, Sitar (the snake charmer in the Gate Plaza) plays a very slow rendition of "Streets of Old Cairo."
- In IV, "Anitra's Dance," by Grieg, plays in the Inn. Dr.Cranium's lab music has Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor's intro.
- Redemption Equals Death: See Heroic Sacrifice above.
- Replaced with Replica: In V, the a Thief Hero has to give the real Blackbird statue to Ferrari to progress the story. If they want to win the Chief Thief competition, they then have to steal it back while replacing it with a fakenote so he won't suspect anything up until the end of the contest.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something:
- In the first game the Baron's daughter Elsa turns out to be the leader of the brigands and literally impossible to defeat in combat. Although in that case her skill could be explained by magical enhancements, she returns in the fifth game and is still kicking ass in her own right.
- Sultan Harun Al-Rashid (May He Reign Forever!) is not the fighter or ass-kicking variety, but nonetheless proactive in his decisions and in knowing his own people.
- Technically, the Hero after the second game when he has been made Prince of Shapeir.
- When Rakeesh was the king of Tarna, he personally fought and slew a powerful demon that was threatening his people. After driving the rest of the demons out of his kingdom he refused to let them become someone else's problem and abdicated the throne to be able to pursue the matter by himself.
- Finally, in the fifth game the Hero can become the king of Silmaria, or if he turns it down, Elsa takes the throne instead.
- Running Gag: There's a stuffed moose head in every adventurer's guild in four of the five games (QfG3 has it in the bazaar). This was first seen all the way back in King's Quest III, and is also found in Police Quest and Leisure Suit Larry games.
- In some instances it's referred to as being courtesy of the Recycled Prop Department of Sierra On-line.
- In the manuals going back to the very first game, dragons are listed as a possible creature to fight, with the advice always being "run away" or some shade thereof. The culmination of the series? Killing a dragon. Finally.
- At least most of the games have cameos by various comedians. The first had the Three Stooges as part of the Brigands, the second had the Marx brothers (Groucho Marx as a used saurus salesman, Chico Marx as a junk salesman outside the inn, and Harpo Marx as a random encounter in the Shapierian alleyways), the third had Sanford and Son as the Junk Dealers and Laurel and Hardy in a rare random encounter in the savannah, and while there wasn't a direct cameo in the fourth game, the VA of one of the Mordavian townspeople is clearly doing a Rodney Dangerfield impression.
- From the third game on, the player's inability to get a "normal" meal. In 3, most of the food looks very strange (though all the meals are described as actually very tasty, just weird and sometimes a bit horrifying looking to the characters' eye). In the 4th game, Mordavians put garlic in everything, including meals that shouldn't traditionally include garlic (except for the gypsies; who serve the hero "a rich spicy stew - with no garlic"). In the 5th games, each meal is the result of a catastrophe in the kitchen of Gnome Ann's inn (usually due to the cooks fighting among themselves).
- Ruritania: Spielberg, Mordavia and Silmaria. The first is a German-style country, the second an Eastern European-style one, and the third a Greek-style island one.
- Schizo Tech: Justified by Word of God saying a global cataclysm caused time to advance differently in different parts of the world, explaining why (for example) one part of the world is set in "Arabian Nights" Days while another has a Mad Scientist playing Frankenstein.
- Science Is Wrong: Scientists tend not to be portrayed positively, being either obstinate, foolish, or even malicious, and they fanatically cling to their belief in a purely scientific reality in a world where people can literally shoot lightning from their hands. Meanwhile, homeopathy is a legitimate means of curing things (though most likely involves the judicious use of magic).
- In fact, the roles of Mages and Scientists are the opposite of Real Life. Wizards are the ones who are actually studying the world, while scientists are deluded fools.
- That's scientists. Science itself can actually be quite useful, particularly when your Hero crafts his own hot air balloon without a drop of magic needed in its construction.
- Screw Destiny: In the fifth game, a prophecy says it will take a willing sacrifice to seal the dragon. Or you can just be powerful and badass enough to outright kill the thing!
- This seems to happen in the second game as well, but Big Bad Ad Avis had the wrong version of the prophecy. He Who Waits Behind had the proper one.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Paladins do what is right, not what is lawful. This is most obvious in QFG3, when the Paladin helps (or is supposed to help) a convicted thief whom nobody else even acknowledges. (The sentence for theft is to be called "Honorless," and nobody in Tarna will even talk to an honorless person or acknowledge his existence. The thief plans to leave with the next caravan, and find a place where the only punishment for theft is cutting off a hand.) On the other hand, there is no law explicitly forbidding you from helping the honorless, either. Non-paladin heroes are supposed to help the poor guy as well, because he's needed in the endgame.
- It's possible in Tarna that the law mandating that one "behave with honor" includes never recognizing an honorless person. The hero never gets arrested for talking to the thief, though. It may be that in talking to the thief, one is not talking to anyone. Alternatively, it may simply be that the bazaar is empty at the time.
- An example in the manual for QFG4 explains that a law that is not right can be ignored by a Paladin, because law and order mean little if they are used to oppress. The Hero occasionally gets to indulge in this behavior as well.
- The Poet Omar lampshades this in Quest for Glory II:He won't always follow orders, for he dares to answer, "Why?"
And unless he likes the reason, he refuses to comply.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: A bit of an archetype for the series is the Hero preventing the release of one of these, starting with the second game.
- Trial By Fire has the Djinni Iblis.
- Wages of War has the Demon Lord.
- Shadows of Darkness has the Dark One, Avoozl.
- Dragon Fire has the Dragon of Doom, and the only one in which you fail to prevent its awakening. Fortunately, after five games, you're finally able to go toe to toe with one of these monstrosities.
- Shadowland: Mordavia is the dark mirror of Spielburg. They're both largely forested European valleys, but the surface similarities just emphasize how different they are. While Spielburg is not safe by any means, it's not actively out to kill you unless you do something stupid. Much of the local magic is neutral or even helpful, the Adventurer's Guild is functional even if it's seen better days, and while the Baron's family is facing a curse, it's a local issue rather than a threat to the world. Mordavia, by contrast, is defined by the evil within it. The dead walk the land to menace the living, the local fae and magic are deadly by nature, and the Adventurer's Guild is abandoned. The valley contains an Eldritch Abomination and multiple evil wizards, and even the town isn't really safe. And Mordavia's closest equivalent to the Baron's family isn't facing a curse; they're the cause of most of the curses in Mordavia.
- Strangely enough, there is one point on which Mordavia is less "cursed" than Spielburg is: The ghosts in their respective graveyards. In Spielburg, the graveyard at night is impossible to navigate without brushing up against the many ghosts that haunt the place, requiring the use of an undead-repelling unguent to survive. In Mordavia, however, there are only one or two ghosts haunting the graveyard at night namely Ligeia Poe and, if you're a Paladin, Janos, and while they are as deadly as any Wraith and require similar undead-repelling magic to survive, they won't bother you unless you go out of your way to bother them first.
- Shout-Out: So very many. Just to begin with, each game features a nod to a famous comedian or comedy troupe, including the Three Stooges in QFG1, the Marx Brothers in QFG2, Sanford & Son and Laurel & Hardy in QFG3, and Rodney Dangerfield in QFG4 (sadly, Dragon Fire lacked such a reference).
- Almost every game has some sort of reference to other Sierra games.
- At the lake in Quest for Glory I, in the original game you sometimes see a submarine from Codename: ICEMAN. In the remake, Delphinius sometimes comes up, looking for Adam. In Erasmus' house, you can see a suit of armor from the Dijon mansion and a carving from the Rosella stone (in the original) and a sarcophagus tied with a "Laura Bow" (in the remake).
- In the magic shop in Quest for Glory II, there is a hand puppet resembling Rosella, and some Orats-on-a-Stick. In the WIT, you are quick to note Erana's resemblance to Genesta as well, and to note that Merlin looks much different. The astrologer has a model of a planetary system from Space Quest, and apparently King Arthur (King Graham in the fan remake) died of thirst in the desert (though that turns out to be just a mirage).
- The weapon seller in Quest for Glory III sells "Conquest-style" arrows, which are specifically designed for the longbow, and he'll give you a special discount on a bow from the Lara tribe and a dagger from the Amanra tribe.
- Combined with Product Placement in QFG4. Dr. Cranium's descendant is Dr. Brain, whose castle is the castle in the game.
- The entire series has a running gag reference to The Maltese Falcon in the form of the Blackbird statue. For most classes it's just a Shout-Out, but to Thieves it becomes a running subplot that pays off in Dragon Fire.
- Signor Ferrari and Ugarte are two characters important to Thieves.
- Almost every game has some sort of reference to other Sierra games.
- Smash Mook: The ogre and trolls in the first game. The goons in the fifth game.
- Speed, Smarts and Strength: The series makes use of this in combination with Fighter, Mage, Thief. While each class can Stat Grind all of their abilities and skills to the maximum level for that game, each class has one main stat that gets focused on, and is easier to level up, than the others. For the Fighter and Paladin it's Strength, the Thief has Agility, and the Magic User has Intelligence. This is also reflected in the gameplay for the solution to many puzzles: The Fighter and Paladin primarily use brute force and feats of strength, the Thief relies on his speed and agility, and the Magic User a clever application of spells, (for example to break into the Brigand Fortress in the first game, the Fighter simply bashes the door down, the Thief climbs over the wall, and the Magic User casts a spell) with many of the solutions set specifically based on class.note
- Spider-Sense: Paladins can "sense danger or evil intentions." Though QFG4 plays with it, allowing the Paladin to sense danger and general feelings or thoughts associated with said danger. It almost falls into mind-reading territory at times. However, the "danger sense" only activates during events that are associated with non-obvious danger.
- Spiritual Successor: Aside from Hero-U, Heroine's Quest follows in the series' footsteps.
- The ending of QFG3 spoils QFG4. Ad Avis's return would be more shocking if you didn't see him summoning you at the end of the previous game..
- To be fair, it's not exactly a big secret considering Aziza's recap at the start of the game explicitly mentions both that Ad Avis called out to his master before death and, more importantly, that they Never Found the Body.
- On the other hand, Ad Avis's magic was supposed to have been released, and felt by mages the world over.
- Well, he DID die. And he spent the next few months in a land saturated by dark magic, so he could have regained whatever he had lost (and then some).
- For Sierra fans who periodically received InterAction magazines, the Holiday 1993 issue revealed all the characters' names of QFG4 along with a short description, which include the names of the antagonists.
- The opening movie in QFG5 spoils the identity of the Big Bad.
- The ending of QFG3 spoils QFG4. Ad Avis's return would be more shocking if you didn't see him summoning you at the end of the previous game..
- Start X to Stop X: Quest for Glory II, III, and IV all have this. In IV, for example, the only way to drive the Dark One away from Mordavia is by completing the rituals to summon it TO Mordavia (in order to also free the spirit of Erana who was also trapped with the Dark One, so she could complete her spell of banishment).
- Statistically Speaking: Subverted.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Several characters in QFG5 make disparaging remarks about Elsa's fighting ability, even though she is the strongest NPC warrior in the game, and strong enough in QFG1 to One-Hit Kill the hero.
- Supernatural Sensitivity:
- It requires conscious effort and a nominal expenditure of mana, but the Detect Magic spell is pretty much this.
- Your character contains a limited version of this even without Detect Magic. Your character will notice the emotions or intent of areas particularly infused with magic energy. (The monastery of Avoozl, pretty much anywhere Erana went, etc.)
- The Paladin's "Sense Danger" ability, as its name implies, alerts the Paladin to dangerous situations or nearby objects, which can range anywhere from a minor niggling, (i.e, an otherwise innocuous character who is dangerous, yet not actively threatening the Hero at the moment) to screaming alarms when a lethal threat is imminent. However it also plays like general extrasensory empathy, such as detecting a feeling of curiosity from Katrina when they meet outside the town gates. And while he detects something "off" about her whenever she appears, he notes no immediate threat from her, either.
- Talking Animal: Fenrus the rat, the familiar of Erasmus (also a Pungeon Master), a fox who gives you some advice in the first game, and Manu the monkey in the third.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Well, it sorta will. If you attack Julanar in the second game, the attack will rebound straight towards you (the player). Fortunately, the glass of your monitor stops it. Unfortunately, it's treated as a death as you have to go get a new monitor.
- The Many Deaths of You: This series is well known for the numerous and often hilarious ways you can die.
- Thieves' Guild: A staple in the series for Thief characters. There are active guilds in the first and fifth games. The fourth has a guild that's mostly abandoned.
- Tightrope Walking: The thief gets a chance to demonstrate his balance on numerous occasions: from the humble beginnings of shuffling over a tree branch, to creeping around on tightropes twenty feet above the head of a demon wizard.
- To Be Lawful or Good: Paladins in the QFG universe lean HEAVILY towards the Good side of the spectrum, honoring laws insofar as they contribute to the good of society. Just for any newcomers to the series, the game manuals will often have an in-character advice section explicitly stating the above.
- Too Dumb to Live: A character can train his lockpicking skill by typing "Pick Nose". If your skill is too low, you jam the lockpick in your nose and kill yourself.
- And if you succeed, you get the congratulatory message "Success! Your nose is now open." As mentioned, this trains your lockpicking skill, and is probably the safest way to do so once you can do it without dying.
- Any fight that you're obviously losing and don't run away from. You idiot.
- Asking the sheriff of Spielburg where you might find the Thieves Guild. You moron.
- Every one of the games allow you to use the thieves' sign. If the person isn't a thief, they just think you're having a fit of some kind and get a little worried. This is why it's the preferred method to contact other thieves.
- The sheer number of stupid ways for you to die in the first game is impressive. You can shoot yourself with your own spells, throw rocks and daggers into your own face, and you can decide to sleep in the middle of a hostile forest. You get better as time progresses and things that would kill you in the first game merely hurt later on (try out the Dragon's Breath in the fifth game, it's surprisingly non-fatal).
- Took a Level in Badass: The Hero, over the course of the series. In particular, there are three different parts of the first game where you can make a choice that leads to Have a Nice Death (drinking Dragon's Breath, fighting Elsa, and doing something to provoke Bruno into throwing a poisoned dagger). In the fifth game you can survive these.
- Unexplained Recovery: In QFG1, the fighter has to fight Toro apparently to the death, although the game never confirms that he is dead. Toro is then seen alive (with his arm in a sling) when the credits roll, and is seen again in QFG5.
- The Unfought: Pizza Elemental is frequently mentioned through QFG2, which looks like foreshadowing. Fortunately, it never appears.
- Then it was added to the remake as an optional boss — it missed the city and went in the wrong direction, and you need to search for it some 20 screens away. It is far stronger than any other enemy.
- Unintentionally Unwinnable:
- Attacking Tanya or Toby in Quest for Glory IV doesn't immediately kill you; Toby will just force you out of the room. But it makes the game unwinnable, as Tanya will charm and bite you if you go back into her room after that.
- A mild example if you let Igor die but let the gypsy escape. You can never again set foot in town during day, because it will set off an automatic sequence where the Burgomeister will try to arrest you for freeing the gypsy, and you'll escape the town only to get turned by a vampire that night.
- In the earlier games you can drop critical plot items, never to be recovered. You can even eat the Magic Acorn in the first game (which, as the Dryad specifically told you a few seconds before you got it, you need to create the plot-critical Dispel Potion).
- Unwinnable by Design: Mostly averted. While there are instances of this (it is a Sierra series after all), most of the deaths are either the result of the hero not being strong enough, not being careful enough, or just a case of Violation of Common Sense like dropping your own sword before combat.
- One particular case: Mages who qualify as Paladins for the third game (after being imported from the second one) MUST acquire the throwing skill, either by wishing for it from the Djinn at the end of the 2nd game or by buying it (at severe cost) at character creation. Taking part in a throwing event is necessary for the plot to advance in the third game (The leopardman prisoner only appears after you compete against Uhura at the targets. You don't have to win, but you do have to accept the challenge.), and if the new paladin starts the game without the skill, he will never get the chance to learn it, let alone take part in the needed challenge, making the game unwinnable from the start! The equivalent plot-advancement quest for mages (acquiring a staff, which causes the game to make the prisoner appear) is not available to Paladins, even if the paladin is a former mage, he cannot make the plot move forward at all.
- Another instance is burning down the evil monastery before getting everything you need. Yes, this is possible, and no, you can't win the game if you do so.
- If you steal from the Healer in the first game, she will refuse to deal with you once she notices the theft. If you steal from her before she's made the dispel potion, you're screwed.
- You can also screw yourself by entering the brigands' hideout without collecting the dispel potion from the healer, as there's no other way to deal with Elsa.
- Forgetting to bring a mystic magnet during the Rite of Conquest (it's automatically placed in your inventory before you ever start the Rite, but you *can* drop it into storage at the inn). Now how are you supposed to return to Silmaria?
- Leaving your balloon on an unreachable island by sea, then use the mystic magnet to return to Silmaria. You still need the balloon to finish the game, silly.note
- Unwitting Pawn: The Hero accomplishes the villain's goals approximately 3 times out of 5. And still manages to out-gambit the villain each time. Usually by being the Right Man in the Wrong Place, or just a plain old Indy Ploy. The Hero is, starting with the second game, directly responsible for the bad things that happen in every game, and then directly responsible for making things right afterwards. Sometimes there's a prophecy about it. Most times the hero just says Screw Destiny.
- Useless Useful Spell: Later in the series, particularly in Quest for Glory V, there is a gradual increase on the emphasis of combat magic, and many of the utility spells become much less important, if not outright useless.
- The Paladin's danger sense really offers nothing of value to the player. Usually when it triggers the player is already aware they are in a dangerous situation without it (as being a Sierra game, this amounts to about 90% of the game screens), and the warning is only a vague or undefined sense of trouble. When there is something specific triggering it, it's blindingly obvious even without the danger sense. This is especially egregious with the Random Encounters in Quest for Glory III, when the player is told their Paladin senses are alerting them to danger after they have already been dropped from the map screen and the monster is bearing down on them.
- Utility Magic: A significant portion of the Magic User's spells set consists of this, especially in early games. Fetch, Open, Detect Magic, Trigger, and even Levitate can all be considered spells with mundane uses. The trick comes when the more clever puzzles require the Hero to use these spells in unique ways. In later games, more flashy offense and defense spells get thrown on top of the heap, but these spells rarely lose their efficacy.
- Vapor Wear: Uhura of the Simbani wears only a large tribal necklace as a top in the third game, and in the remake of the second. Justified as it's the standard garb of a Simbani warrior.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Despite the protagonist's supposedly noble demeanor, you can get away with a staggering amount of cold-blooded butchery without a game over: Killing a helpless talking fox, killing the baronet of Spielburg, and killing the Chief Thief in Mordavia, just to name a few.
- The games do draw a line, though: in Quest for Glory IV, if you break into Nikolai's house and kill him, for example, you get an immediate game over for being an asshole. Same if you try to kill Manu in Quest for Glory III.
- You also get a game over for attacking Julanar in Quest for Glory II.
- This may also be a matter of perspective in many cases. The Baronet has been turned into a bear and is trying to kill you (it takes extra work to rescue him). Killing the fox may be a newbie blunder. The Chief Thief is the chief thief, beyond the fact that he killed and possibly consumed the other thieves in his guild.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Despite the above, going out of your way to be a complete psychopath can get you killed off by the game for being an asshole. In one memorable event in Quest for Glory II, attacking aforementioned helpless tree-girl will break your monitor.
- The first game has the Dryad. Indulging in any violence against nature (attacking the stag or killing the spitting spore plants) will instantly gain her wrath, and a Forced Transformation spell for the hero, the moment you return to her.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Both the Leopardmen and the Gypsies are capable of it.
- Weird Trade Union: The Adventurers' Guild and the Thieves' Guild. Sometimes the attendant jokes are dropped, such as "Local ###" or regarding union dues.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: So subverted with the fifth elemental, Pizza, in the remake of Trial By Fire.
- Also, the Calm spell is very useful for avoiding combat. There are even a few bosses you can skip with it, like Toro the Minotaur in QFG1 and Khaveen in QFG2.
- Of course, don't bother using Calm in combat. All it will do is make the monster/enemy calmly kill you. Whoops!
- Using it right before combat begins (When the enemy is still approaching you) is quite effective, though.
- Also, the Calm spell is very useful for avoiding combat. There are even a few bosses you can skip with it, like Toro the Minotaur in QFG1 and Khaveen in QFG2.
- Wizard Needs Food Badly: You die of starvation if you go too long without eating and can dehydrate without drinking in the second game.
- Due to a design oversight, it's not possible to die of starvation in either version of the first game, as was found out when someone put together a series of videos showing the ways to die in the series.
- Prolonged lack of sleep makes you lose stamina and health and may kill you. However sleeping from "It's not yet dawn" to morning is considered long enough. On the other hand, some nightmares you get near Erana's staff in game IV do not count as sleep.
- Wandering the savannah in III for a while with no food may have the player encounter the Awful Waffle Walker, a giant sentient waffle that constantly chases them and won't leave until it's eaten.
- Note that the Hero's nutritional needs vary from game to game; in the second game, Shema only serves breakfast and dinner, but the Hero must also eat lunch (which can be bought from Sloree and Scoree). In the fourth game, although Bella also serves only breakfast and dinner, the Hero can live on that alone.
- Wizards Live Longer: Erasmus is implied to be over 100 years old (having built his house on Zauberberg a century ago), while Ad Avis first met the Dark Master 70 years ago and was presumably already an adult at the time, making him roughly 90 years old. Most other wizards' ages are justified one way or another.
- Yet Another Stupid Death: See Too Dumb to Live, above.
- You Shouldn't Know This Already: In the VGA versions of Quest for Glory I and II, you must first ask the local apothecaries what "components" they're interested in before you can loot the appropriate items. In the original EGA versions of those games, you must specifically "get" the parts that the apothecaries asked for rather than just "search body".