Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire

aka: HQ2, Hero's Quest 2: Trial By Fire, QFG2
Moby ID: 169
DOS Specs
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Description official description

Trial by Fire is the sequel to Hero's Quest: So You Want To Be A Hero. It takes place in the town Shapeir and the desert surrounding it, in a Middle East-like environment. It seems that the powerful elemental spirits have been troubling the Shapeir folk recently. Something, or someone, is behind those troubles. It is the hero's task to find out what is going on, get acquainted with the many inhabitants of Shapeir, and prove once more that he is worthy of his heroic title.

Like its predecessor, Trial by Fire is a hybrid game that incorporates elements from adventure and role-playing genres. It has a text-based interface, puzzles to solve, inventory items, characters to talk to, as well as pure RPG elements such as character growth system and battles. Player character can be either a fighter, a thief, or a wizard, and can also become a paladin during the course of the game if he follows a strict moral code.

Real-time combat is presented on separate screens and offers more options than the previous title. There are several types of high, mid-level, and low attacks, as well as parrying and dodging. The hero raises his combat proficiency and other skills by fighting enemies, training, and performing various actions that influence the corresponding parameters.

Spellings

  • 영웅의 길 II: 매서운 시련 - Korean spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 71% (based on 21 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 100 ratings with 7 reviews)

One Thousand and One Details

The Good
After Hero's Quest introduced the wonderful blend of quality Sierra-style adventure with light role-playing, Trial by Fire takes the same concept and transplants it into a Middle Eastern setting reminiscent of nostalgically cheesy recreations of popular stories from the Arabian Nights.

Trial by Fire expands upon the ideas of the first game. It is generally more challenging; and while some of the difficulty lies in figuring out rather vague clues and spending some time studying the world's layout, those are by no means the focus of the game. There are simply more things to do. As an adventure game, the sequel offers tougher puzzles and cleverer ways to overcome obstacles; as an RPG, it is somewhat more demanding in combat. There are fewer battles and generally fewer "shortcuts" to absolute dominance; but the fights themselves are more interesting, with a wider array of options and moves.

Of all Quest for Glory games, Trial by Fire probably has the highest replay value. The differences between the three classes are implemented most consistently. In particular, the Thief truly flourishes in this installment, having several unique options available only at his disposal, and generally turning sneaking and breaking into people's houses into a goal in itself. In addition, a fourth class (Paladin) opens up if you have performed enough good deeds, which are monitored by your new Honor attribute. But even within a same-class playthrough, there is an abundance of little side quests and secrets to discover. You'll be able to appreciate this game more if you dedicate enough time to exploration and trying out various actions at every location.

The first game had a small city and a large wilderness area around it. The sequel works just the opposite way. I actually prefer the world design of its predecessor, but it cannot be denied that the city of Shapeir is a great place. It is huge and remarkably lively, with colorful, vividly portrayed characters, and loads of things to do. Talk to anyone about anything, wander through tricky mazes, visit magic shops and other exotic spots, buy souvenirs, watch cool Oriental dancing, or just go back to the inn and sleep. While the desert is much less exciting, the contrast between its unfriendly, ominous repetitiveness and the cozy colors of Shapeir does add to the atmosphere.

Storytelling and characterization is where an improvement over the first game becomes clearly noticeable. The plot is more complex, has darker undertones, and involves more characters occupying important roles in it. The denizens of Shapeir are more interesting overall, many of them having developed background stories that flesh out the setting considerably. The side stories of the game are well done, with one particular quest standing out as one of the most moving events in the entire series. This emotional intensity doesn't in the least reduce the game's humorous elements, which are perhaps even more plentiful than in the opening title.

The Bad
Every major location in Trial by Fire is built like a maze. I know this sounds extremely off-putting, but I must say I enjoyed deciphering the twisted layout of Shapeir. Also, you can buy a map that will make navigation much easier. Unfortunately, there is no map available for the desert; while you'll spend significantly less time there, you'll still have to visit it to fight enemies and complete a few quests, submitting yourself to aimless wandering and becoming prone to death by dehydration.

The city of Shapeir is huge - but in the end, it's just one city. The desert is mostly bland and cannot compete with the individually designed forest locations in the previous game. The second city, Raseir, is disappointingly similar to the first one, and you don't have that much to do in it anyway. Also, you cannot visit it before you have completed all your Shapeir quests, which occupy the by far larger portion of the game.

There are other slightly annoying elements in Trial by Fire. You can get irrevocably stuck in the game if you don't rather counter-intuitively talk to all the citizens of the first city one more time before departing to Raseir, acquiring a vital item needed to complete the game. Some of the tasks are obscure, and a few puzzles depend on timing and can get a bit too hard to figure out.

The interface begins to show its age in Trial by Fire. In general, I think Quest for Glory games were the ones benefiting most from the switch to icon-based interaction. Pure adventure games owe their existence to text parser; but RPG elements add many more variables, making figuring out the correct sentences needlessly difficult. Conversations are a good example of this: since topics have to be entered manually, I found myself stuck in the game without having talked to person A about topic Y, simply because it never occurred to me that topic might be of any importance for that particular person.

The Bottom Line
Even though Trial by Fire can get mildly frustrating, creaking under the load of an outdated interface and favoring mazes a bit too much, it is a beautiful, rewarding game with a wealth of options and gameplay depth. Many people name it as their favorite Quest for Glory, and I can certainly see why.

DOS · by Unicorn Lynx (181780) · 2014

I appear to be the only idiot who loathes this game...

The Good
(Long overdue review...my original was only 2-3 paragraphs long)

The fact that Hero's Quest had a sequel was thrill enough. QFG 2 may faired better for people unfamiliar with Hero's Quest or at least those who created a new character.

One of the features I enjoyed most about the game was some familiarity of old characters from Hero's Quest. Graphics were upgraded a bit, combat was fairly better though not noticeable. The city atmosphere was considerably more "alive" though, compared to Spielburg, the city in Hero's Quest. More people, more interaction, more colors, more animations. The most of them are merely graphical and not really interactable.

Regardless, I never could quite figure out why this game won an award...

The Bad
Well, if you've noticed, I'm the only scumbag that doesn't appreciate this game. Which is quite odd really since this is the only QFG game I loath. Why do I despise this game so much? The fun starts here...

The first fault was probably mine...mine being a hardcore QFG...uh...Hero's Quest fan. My first fault for being a fan was IMPORTING my old hero into this game. My old hero that perfect stats which was way higher than the stats you get when you start with a new character in the game. This mistake was probably seriously overlooked by the developers back then.

What makes the Hero's Quest series so "addictive" is the relentless process of turning a geek into a hero. Seeing those stats increase is one of the most exciting features in any RPG game...character development which balances game difficulty. When I started the game with an imported character, my character didn't start as a geek. He was somewhere between "geek" and "hero", so I lost around half of the game play that required character development...and this shows when I played the game.

The monsters I met in the desert weren't difficult to kill, if not incredibly easy. Although I would like to commend my veteran combat skills cough, that had nothing to do in this case. My stats were just too high for me to "appreciate" the difficulty and pains of character development. Remember the guy that walks on the rope on the city square. I succeeded in walking the rope in a couple of tries (or a little bit more). There goes the challenge.

Since character development was rudely taken away from me, all that was left is the crumbs of "gameplay". That didn't fare well either from where I was standing.

Yep. I hate mazes. Damn got lost in the city at the beginning of the game so many times, I virtually had to give up (try walking through the city without a map). Got over that eventually...then they had to create this dead hunk of mass called: A DESERT.

If there's one thing I hate more than getting lost in a middle of a crazed city is getting lost in a desert. Hey, if you didn't die of thirst every so often, maybe it wasn't so bad. But noooo....you had to die. I remember the same irritating feature in King's Quest V. I hate deserts...and a reminder to any developer who dares create a scene with deserts, I will personally THUMP you!

I was expecting a more vast area in QFG 2 in comparison to HQ 1. In HQ 1, you knew your territory. Spielburg was like your backyard. You knew every rock, tree, grass and so on. Here it's just sand...sand...sand and more yellow stuff. The desert feature somewhat killed the "leisure" of adventuring that I experienced in Hero's Quest. You can't have leisure in the desert when half the time your trying to find that freaking oasis (since you don't have much landmarks in the desert) and trying to find that freaking Saurus that loves to abandon you during battle.

Oh well, I had my hopes up when somewhere in the game you discover the existence of a 2nd city. When you mention a 2nd city, I expected to totally new city like the first city. Complete with new puzzles, new people and (hopefully) more possibilities of character development. To my disappointment, it was a small shack with crumbled black walls. I figured as much.

There is also one thing that I really hate about this particular version of the game. This QFG game is the first that introduced the "Paladin Class". A class to my opinion that is DESTROYS THE BALANCE of the other 3 classes. It's like the ultimate class, which I tried to avoid. I never played the Paladin class, since it appeared to have more advantages (especially in later series) compared to other class. I could be wrong, but I was not amused by the introduction of this class. Anyway, it kinda killed the "Fighter Class", since both of those classes can use the sword.

The Bottom Line
This game wasn't worth an award. It was good to see Erasmus and Fenrus (or was it Fenris?) again though...

DOS · by Indra was here (20756) · 2001

Maynap sierras finest hour

The Good
Everything is perfectly and neatly presented, I'm not going to blabber a lot, GET THIS GAME even if you're not into rpg. Adventuring, you will be, after a few minutes time, and oh, don't even try solving the maze with the instructions you get from the person in the stand outside when you try to go to the money changer, type "look" in the corridors to get the name of the tarik, if i remember correctly, you need to get from centime taric to dirar taric to get to the moneychanger.

The Bad
Maybe the maze put people off at start, but when it gets going, it's the greatest joyride youll ever live.

The Bottom Line
People, this is the finest sierra adventure game,ever. Better that gabriel knight, better that QFG4, get it, oh, and buy the silly glasses from the Air elementalist, when the princess asks for your clothes towards the end of the game, put them on and look at her,you're in for a surprise! Sierra nudity!!! I could sue them for a lot of money for graphical explicity!

DOS · by helm lehm (13) · 2000

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Remake now available! Donatello (466) Aug 25, 2008

Trivia

Anagram

Raseir is an anagram for Sierra.

Bogart Fan

Obviously, somebody's a big Bogart fan. While in Raseir, references to 'Casablanca' and 'The Maltese Falcon' abound.

The Dead Parrot

The Dead Parrot Inn, complete with dead parrot, is in Raseir. A dead parrot was featured in a Monty Python skit known as "The Dead Parrot Sketch".

Guest cameos

King Arthur--from Cindy Marx's game, Conquests of Camelot--sometimes makes an appearance in the desert. He is dead and lying on the ground. If you walk near him, the body will fade as if it were an illusion. If you right-click on the body before it disappears, it will say something about how he should have visited a Camelot before going into the desert.

All of the Marx brothers make cameo appearances. Lori and Corey Cole (The creators of the QFG series) make cameo appearances as Katta. There is also the Persian Golfer, who makes occasional appearances in the desert as well.

Katta

The Katta are humanoid cats - but what kind of cats? All details confirm that they must have been based on lynxes - they have very short tails and (as a close-up on Shema and Shameen in the final scene shows) also other features typical for lynxes: ear tufts and cheek mane. Curiously, the Eurasian lynx rather doesn't appear in the Arabic lands on which Shapeir is based. This part of the world is rather home to the caracal, also known as "desert lynx" (though not directly related to lynxes) - however, caracals only have lynx-like ear tufts and not the other lynx-like features.

Name change

At the very end of Quest for Glory 2 it says that the next chapter in the series would be called "Shadows of Darkness". The third chapter, however, was called "Wages of War" and "Shadows of Darkness" was the title of the fourth game.

New class

Quest for Glory 2 was the first game to introduce the fourth character class of Paladin to the series.

New vs. imported characters

Quest for Glory 2: Trial By Fire was meant for newly made characters. If you import your 'perfect' character from Hero's Quest: So You Want To Be A Hero? one will notice how incredibly easy and virtually unchallengeable the game becomes. This is due to the fact that newly made characters start with lower stats than imported characters - provided that your imported character has full stats, of course.

Sierra SCI 0.5 Interpreter

QFG2 is the only Sierra game that used the Sierra SCI 0.5 interpreter.

SCI0 was the interpreter used for QFG1, LL2 and 3, and other EGA Sierra games, while SCI1 was used for the VGA point and click games.

The only obvious difference is that if you right-click on things, it is the same as typing "look thing". Another added bonus is the fact that you can use the MT-32 emulation of the SBAWE32 on it, which you couldn't on SCI0 games.

Awards

  • Enchanted Realms
    • July 1991 (Issue #7) – Distinctive Adventure Award

Information also contributed by Indra was here, Nowhere Girl, WONDERなパン, Eurythmic, Narushima, Ryan Prendiville, Swordmaster, OceansDaughter, and PsOmA

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  • MobyGames ID: 169
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Eurythmic.

Amiga added by POMAH.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Indra was here, OceansDaughter, Jeanne, Shoddyan, Pseudo_Intellectual, lee jun ho, Narushima.

Game added July 18, 1999. Last modified March 29, 2024.