Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness
Description official descriptions
Shadows of Darkness is the fourth Quest for Glory game. It is a journey into the land of Mordavia - a setting influenced by Eastern Europe, particularly its Slavic areal. The hero had just begun to enjoy his victory in Tarna, when a spell zapped him into parts unknown, without a weapon, items, or even a source of light. Shortly after finding his way out of the dark cave, the hero meets a mysterious woman named Katrina. He traverses the swamps in the dark forest and finally reaches the town. However, the town is also engulfed by a foreboding atmosphere, and the hero cannot allow himself to relax. He must find out what is going on, why the town inhabitants are so hesitant and reluctant to help him, and what horrors are lurking outside of its walls. Life has never been quite so dangerous for our hero. He'll discover his quest soon enough - that is, if he lives.
Like the previous Quest For Glory titles, the game is a combination of puzzle-solving adventure and role-playing. The player character can be a fighter, a thief, a magician, or a paladin. Importing a character from a preceding installment of the series is also possible. Once again the hero improves his skills by repeatedly using them (like throwing stones at a tree to improve the throwing ability, which might be needed to solve a puzzle).
Combat system in this installment has undergone a major change. Battles are viewed from a side-scrolling perspective and are action-oriented. The protagonist is able to move freely, jump, and execute attacks and defensive moves, similarly to fighting games. The CD version of the game adds voice-overs to conversations as well as narrator's voice to text descriptions.
- הרצון לעוצמה 4: צללי החשכה - Hebrew spelling
- 英雄傳奇4：魔障 - Traditional Chinese spelling
- 영웅의 길 IV: 어둠의 그림자 - Korean spelling
Credits (DOS version)
71 People (64 developers, 7 thanks) · View all
|Interpreter / Development System|
|Graphics / Artwork|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 78% (based on 17 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 155 ratings with 10 reviews)
Wow,what is there not to like?? This was the first PC game I ever bought, mainly because of the great box design: graves, tentacled monsters, witches and skulls, when I saw it I fell in love. Added to this all the booklets, full of gothic puns and spooky stories I thought it couldn't get better.
This game is mostly an adventure game combined with RPG elements which make it really decision-open. You can go anything you like, click at everything and read something clever, talk to anyone and actually do anything you can think of, almost.
The graphics were superb for 1994 with very nicely drawn surroundings and some of the most distinctive faces ever made for a game (ahh... Rusalka...). The sound effects and music add very much to the eerie atmosphere and a cozy feeling of old horror stories featuring ghosts and curses in little towns were the townsfolk bolt their houses at night (for example the inn features a midi sample of Grieg's Annitra's Dance, magnificent!).
The gameplay is a bit on the easy side, with most adventuring riddles being solved with a combination of using the right item on the right place, conversing with everyone and advancing the right skills to overcome obstacles. There is so much to be done though, and the feeling of adventuring is always there so its not so much of a hindrance that the various objectives are mainly easy. There is also a bit of fighting which adds an extra flavor, although it was very badly implemented in this game .
In the end the best aspect of this game is its concept, imagery and spooky feeling. It is a combination of all the classical horror themes (vampires, werewolves, mad scientists, ghosts, graveyards, Slavic mythology along with a Poeish and Lovecraftian touch). The master aspect of all these is that they never feel out of place or disjointed like in other horror games of that time (waxworks etc), but completed each side of the story of one of the best RPG adventures ever made.
Well there were some bugs, but I didn't care at the time.
The really hideous part of the game is one that was advertised on the box.. combat. It was badly programmed and not entertaining. There was even an option that the character's fighting was carried out by the PC on autopilot which was very awkward at first, but really logical after the first few lame battles. Also the sound effects after a victorious battle were so kitsch and out of place.. a common feature of all Sierra games. Sierra could never really criticize their games effectively and cut some stupid art or effects out of them, but hey they had just come out of the 80's eh?
The game these days can be seen as a little retro. It hasn't aged very well as most of Sierra's games unfortunately. A bit childish in some aspects too.
The Bottom Line
This is the perfect blend of a mixture of gothic horror and comedy in a PC game adventure/RPG. You have to try it out if you like graveyards, superstitious folk, vampires, bloodthirsty bunnies and early 90's gaming. Actually there hasn't been one single game to be compared to it since then.
My dream one day, is not to see the wars end and earth be a better place, but some gaming company make another game that could compete this one in gothic horror feeling , mixing traditional spookiness and a bit of comic humor and make an equally open actioned game with more clever puzzles. Is it so hard???
My only hope right now for something a bit close to this, is "A vampyre's tale" an adventure made by Autumn moon entertainment, although its more on the cute graphics , leaving a bit of horror aside.. but since its supposed to be made from the creators of the perfect Monkey Island 3 its ok I guess.
So still Shadows of darkness is as close as it gets to the perfect gothic horror themed RPG/adventure. There is always Ghost 'n Goblins of course and Castlevania but these are arcade platformers and another story.
DOS · by Frankenfed (32) · 2008
The paladin version of the game was by far the most rewarding, as you got to see everything in the game, especially if you were a thief/mage paladin like I was. The characters were more memorable than the third and first one, and actually had personality. The vampire girl I remember was sweet, but her appearance gave me nightmares. The story got more complex, and the puzzles got more fun. I enjoyed this game thoroughly as a paladin....
....but I hated the game as the other classes. The thief had no impact on the game whatsoever, unlike the first and second game. There was no profit at all. Instead the focus came unto the paladin, who had more things to do. The battle system just fell flat on its face, and battles became a breeze to those with magic abilities and the real-life ability to hold down the magic button and let go at the the right time and an exercise in frustration to those who had to trudge through hand to hand fighting. The storyline, while the best in the series, took itself way too seriously and almost wiped out my impression of the light-heartedness of the earlier games and had no place in this series.
The Bottom Line
Buy this game so you can hate the third but appreciate the second game.
DOS · by SebastianLi (52) · 2000
I really think QG4 had the chance to be the best in the series. There are lots of things to love about it. I find Mordavia to be a very cool setting. There's quite a bit to discover in this game (especially if you're a Paladin), and the character design is good. Mordavia's citizens are fun to interact with, and you can watch their attitudes toward you change as you begin to make a name for yourself in the town. The fighting system was totally redesigned for QG4 (as it was for every game in the series). In this game, instead of seeing the action from behind your hero, all of the action happens in a side-view. This gives the fights a more arcade-like feel. You can also fight in a "strategy mode", but I doubt that many people use it since the fights are so easy. QG4 has very nice graphics. The beautiful portraits of the game's characters are also a nice touch. There's also a great soundtrack; probably the best in the series up to that point. Those of you with wavetable soundcards will be especially pleased - this game was one of the first which treated the gamer without a Roland MT-32 to high quality MIDI. The voice acting is pretty well done. You'll probably recognize the voice of John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) as the narrator. Everything is fairly solid, and mostly recorded well. There's one scene which I found especially funny; you'll have to play the game to find out, but let's just say that the townsfolk in the Inn at night take some pretty huge liberties with the script. :) So. In the good points, I've mentioned the story, the characters, the fighting system, the graphics, the music, and the acting. Sounds like a game you should just rush out and buy, right? Well...
You may have heard that the game has a few bugs. Well, let's put it this way: I've bought the game twice, and tried three times to win it since 1993. In fact, the most recent time was just a few weeks ago (with the game's most recent version), and I still haven't beaten it. THAT'S buggy. I'll explain...
First of all, version 1.0 of the game had literally hundreds of bugs. This was, of course, back when Sierra made adventure games, and new games found their way to my house almost right away. I played as far as I could, before the bugs stopped me in my tracks. By then a patch had been released, so once it arrived in the mail (this is how we got our patches in the old days, unless we wanted to spend a couple of hours calling long-distance on our 2400 baud modems :) ), I installed it. I was now playing version 1.1, I believe. I was, ahem, thrilled to find out that I now had to restart the game because my saved games were no longer compatible with the new interpreter. I played the game again, but I was again stopped by the bugs. My patience had run out by then, so the disks got thrown back in the box.
Fast forward to 1999. I've just purchased the Quest for Glory Collection Series, looking forward to playing the CD-ROM version of QG4 for the first time - and finally finishing it. Unfortunately, rather than finally fixing the bugs in QG4 (and the few that hamper gameplay in QG3), Sierra decided to leave it as-is, and provide pages and pages of absolutely pathetic walkarounds for the many bugs that they didn't feel the need to fix. As you can probably tell, this doesn't make Sierra look too great in my eyes. It's actually BUGGIER in 1999 than it was in 1995 (I believe) when the CD-ROM version first came out. The reason is that the speed of many events in the game is dependant on the speed of your CPU. I can't understand why Sierra would do this. Their AGI and 16-color SCI games were coded so well, that they run at exactly the same speed on my Pentium as they would on an XT or AT. That's solid. You'd think that by QG4, Sierra would know that faster computers would come along, and that many people would still be playing their older games. Or, you'd think that they'd at least alter the programming of QG4 slightly, realizing that most people aren't running 486's anymore.
Don't try a software slowdown utility to get around the speed-based bugs. It won't work. If you're running a Pentium/75 mhz or faster, you'll probably need to go into your BIOS setup and disable your internal cache. If you don't know how to do that, I'm afraid it's not likely that the game will run on your computer.
So you've disabled the cache, and played the game happily since then. And you've saved your game every five minutes (because it can still crash without warning, due to problems with the 32-bit DOS extender). You're now on the game's day 40, and nothing new has happened in forever! Why could this be?
Ah, you've discovered my next big problem with QG4. It suffers from a little something known as the 'Dead End Fallacy'. You have to meet a certain someone, in a certain location, on Day 5 or 6. Not before, or after. And if you don't, you can't win the game and you won't figure that out until later. You're led down the long path to a dead-end, and you'll have to restart the game.
I have other, smaller, problems with QG4. But these are the main things. They make the game very difficult to enjoy.
The Bottom Line
I want to love this game. I want to reccommend it to everybody. It had all the potential to be a really great adventure game, but it failed.
If you're willing to perform all kinds of tricks to make QG4 run, and you understand the fact that you'll have to read some of the hints before you even start playing (if you don't want to risk the dead-end), then pick this one up, by all means. If you're the more impatient type and flawed execution bugs you a lot, move on.
DOS · by Eurythmic (2666) · 1999
|Some more non-bug problems||Nowhere Girl (8679)||Aug 2nd, 2016|
|My bug collection||Nowhere Girl (8679)||May 12th, 2013|
|Bugs? Like dialog progressing too quickly||Nowhere Girl (8679)||Aug 15th, 2012|
Quest for Glory 4: Shadows of Darkness was also released on CD-ROM, which was a part of the Quest for Glory collector´s edition. This CD version of the game featured full speech, although it was similar to the earlier disk release. The earlier parts of this series (unfortunately) only had disk versions.
There is a Domovoi (in fact two of them, one with a large role who has blue fur, and the other with a small role who has discolored brown fur) in Quest for Glory IV. In medieval Russian folk tales, when the good housewife heard the house making creaking noises, these were supposed to be the sounds made by the mommy Domovoi's little tiny children. It was said to be a good idea for the housewife to throw down a heavy cloth on top of the place where the housewife heard the noises. The mommy Domovoi would then not be able to hear where her little children were, because the cries would be muffled. In exchange for telling the mommy Domovoi where her children were, it was said that the medieval Russian housewife could ask the mommy Domovoi any question at all, and would be able to count on getting a magically correct and complete answer.
Fun things to try
Here are some interesting things to do while you play the game. Be warned, the first ones will get you killed, so save before you try them:
- Break into the Burgomeister's office and stay until morning
- Break into Nikolai's house and stab him with the knife
- Die from exhaustion (no health or stamina)
- Read the necrophilicon
- As a thief, touch the statue in the monastery basement
Now for a few less-fatal ones...
- Cast calm while fighting the pit horror and touch it
- Try giving money and candy to various townsfolk
- Burn down the monastery while Igor is outside, and talk to him afterwards
- Try to fence items with Lorre Petrovich (Chief Thief)
- Walk up the slippery path just outside the Dark One's cave
- Talk to the townsfolk (Hans, Ivan and Franz) in the Inn during the evening
During the installation of the disk version (which takes a while because it came on 9 disks) the player gets to read all kinds of amusing anecdotes from the customer department. The installation program also compliments you for the quality of the poetry found in your word processor directory, and at the end of the installation process it apologizes for not mentioning earlier that you've got some parsley stuck between your teeth.
The name of the song played in the Hotel Mordavia is called "Anitra's Dance", and it was composed by Edvard Grieg.
John Rhys-Davies, who played Sallah in Raiders of the Lost Arc and Gimli in Lord of the Rings, provides the voice of the narrator on the CD version of the game.
- The enigmatic Moose Head and 'Maltese Falcon' appear in this game, as they do in every game in the Quest For Glory series. (Courtesy of the prop department, of course.) The rare Mordavian Moose in the adventurer's guild has fangs (funny little thing that amused me when I first noticed it).
- Baba Yaga (a major villain in the first QFG1) makes a re-appearance in this Quest for Glory game.
- The book in the monastery basement is named 'Necrophilicon', which was probably inspired by a book called 'Necronomicon', which appears in several of H.P. Lovecraft's stories. This "Necrophilicon" has references to a mad monk named Amon Tillado (which in turn is a pun on the mad Arab named Abdul Al-Hazred, also mentioned by Lovecraft). And the name "P.H. Craftlove" is featured in the game's manual too ;)
- Just to further elaborate, the name "Amon Tillado", besides being a play on Lovcraft's Mad Arab, is also taken from E.A. Poe's story 'The Cast of Amontillado.' And yes, students of old greek, the name "Necrophilicon" does roughly work out to "The book of sex with the dead." (a rather raunchy joke by the standards of the series; probably assumed anyone who "got it" wouldn't be offended.)
- In the Adventurer's Guild, a pamphlet contains Dr. Cranium talking about "The castle of Dr. Brain", which is a reference to the educational Sierra game Castle of Dr. Brain.
- The vorpal bunny is based on the rabbit from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
- The Chief Thief, Lorre Petrovich, is Peter Lorre backwards and with "Peter" in Russian. The Chief Thief does look quite a bit like Peter Lorre, too! Peter Lorre is an actor who has been in a number of horror movies, but is probably best known for his role as Ugarte in the classic film Casablanca. Of course, Quest for Glory 2 fans will remember Ugarte from Raseir.
The voice actors of Hans, Franz, and Ivan at the Inn had some particularly humorous ad-libs that were not in the townsfolk's scripted lines. They say a number of funny things, so if you are one of the people who read what the script says and doesn't listen to the full speech, I advise you to stop and listen to the townsfolk.
Related Sites +
Quest for Glory 4 Walkthrough
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Game added by Eurythmic.
Game added May 16th, 1999. Last modified November 17th, 2023.