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Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire (1990)

And so the Hero of Spielburg journeyed with his new friends to the desert land of Shapeir for a well-deserved rest and change of scenery. But dark clouds are brewing in the kingdom of the ... See full summary »

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And so the Hero of Spielburg journeyed with his new friends to the desert land of Shapeir for a well-deserved rest and change of scenery. But dark clouds are brewing in the kingdom of the desert. The Sultan has locked himself in the palace, rarely seeing the people of his kingdom. Strange things have begun to appear in the desert. And Raseir, Shapeir's sister city far to the south, has had its Emir overthrown and its beauty lost. What sinister forces are behind this terrible evil? What evil magic has spawned the four Elementals to attack Shapier? Once again, the hero must spring into action, and discover the truth, before the evil that is slowly consuming the land takes him as well. Written by Anonymous

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1990 (USA)  »

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Trivia

The leftmost portrait in the Wizard's Institute of Technocery is of Harry Houdini. The rightmost portrait is of Merlin. The other portraits are of wizards who appear in the game series: Aziza, Ad Avis, Zara, Erasmus and Erana. See more »

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References Ghostbusters (1984) See more »

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Solid entry in the series
30 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

Out of the five "Quest for Glory" games, I'd put "Trial by Fire" right in the middle of the pack. It's very good indeed, but not a par with the superior first and fourth games. The action takes place in the land of Shapier, a compelling Arabian-nights type setting.

Let me get the game's few weak points out of the way. My main problem with "Trial by Fire" is that it's a little too linear. Certain key events take place at set times, and players will often be left waiting around for them to happen. The other Quest for Glory games had looser structures, that left players greater freedom to proceed at their own paces.

The other major problem is that the game is a little ugly. As of right now, it's the only "Quest for Glory" that's rendered only in EGA graphics, instead of the more sophisticated VGA style (a fan-made VGA version is nearly complete, however.) As a result, the color palette is a little limited, and some of the "detail" in the screens resembles ugly cross-hatching (or maybe hounds-tooth-patterned coats!) Even by 1990 standards, it wasn't exactly pretty.

However, the game more than compensates for these deficiencies in other areas. Script-wise, it's very strong. The mythology of Shapier is very well-developed, and many of the characters are extremely memorable. And some of the puzzles - like helping Julanar, the plant-woman - have an unusually high level of human interest, which is a major plus.

Another high point is that the game contains a lot of fun pop culture references. The Marx Brothers all have cameo appearances, as do a variety of characters from "Casablanca." (It's a shame that they didn't draw Ferrari to look like Sydney Greenstreet, though!) If I'm not mistaken, the main villain could be patterned after the Master from "Doctor Who" - but, then again, I try to find Doctor Who references everywhere!

On another positive note, the game has a very strong and exciting climax, followed by a very satisfying "wrap-up" sequence when the hero is praised and rewarded for his good deeds. The effective ending goes a long way toward making this game a mini-classic that's unusually sophisticated, both for its own time and even (most especially?) by the standards of modern computer games.


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