Quest for Glory III: Wages of War
Description official description
Wages of War is the third game in the Quest for Glory series. It is set in the Africa-like world of Tarna, where the hero travels with paladin Rakeesh, his new Liontaur friend he has met in the previous game. Shortly after his arrival, the hero learns about the conflict between the human Simbani tribe and the seemingly malevolent neighboring Leopardmen. It is now time for our hero to become a skillful diplomat and prevent an upcoming war between the two nations.
The basic gameplay system is similar to that of the two preceding games. The game has an adventure-like structure and gameplay elements, including puzzles to solve, inventory items to use, and characters to talk to, as well as a role-playing system with combat and character development. As in the predecessors, the player character can be either a fighter, a thief, or a mage; in this installment, the paladin class is selectable from the beginning of the game (unlike the previous game, where the hero could only earn the title of a paladin during the course of the story). Saved characters from the previous game can be imported.
Like in the earlier Quest for Glory games, the main character's parameters increase directly after battles or by repeatedly performing various actions. New to the series is an overworld map on which the hero travels between locations. Hostile encounters may occur randomly while traversing the map. Combat system is similar to the predecessors, with real-time battles where the player selects various offensive and defensive options.
Graphics engine and interface in this installment are the same as in the remake of the first game: it has 256-color graphics and an icon-based interface which was used by Sierra for their contemporary adventure games.
- Quest for Glory III: הדרך למלחמה - Hebrew spelling
- 英雄傳奇3：戰爭的報酬 - Traditional Chinese spelling
- 영웅의 길 III: 전쟁의 응보 - Korean spelling
Credits (DOS version)
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Average score: 75% (based on 10 ratings)
Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 74 ratings with 5 reviews)
Quest for Glory III: Wages of War was released around the time when adventure games from Sierra were getting better and better. The game has the same mechanics as the previous games, but introduces a few nice features that I really like.
After the Prince of Shapeir dealt with the likes of Ad Avis, he and his friend Rakeesh the Liontaur, along with Uhura and her son, travel to Rakeesh's homeland to learn of a war between the Simbani and the Leopardmen, two tribes who are at war for taking a sacred relic from each other and refuse to give these relics back before the other one does. The Prince is sent on a mission to bring peace between the tribes, and thwart a demon who is loose upon the world. Ad Avis was going to be the villain again, but since Wages of War is designed to be introduced to new players, he is reserved for Shadows of Darkness. Having said that, it is nice that Lori Ann and Corey Cole decided to do a re-cap of the second game's ending within the introduction.
Inside the box, you have five 3.5” floppy disks and some advertisements. You also have a technical manual, which is not really technical at all, but just some information about the game mechanics (particularly the interface, classes, and the combat system). If you're new to the QFG series, you should read it. The “Famous Explorers' Correspondence Course” gives you information about the locations of Fricana, its people, and so on. Ironically, the user manual mentions an Amiga and Macintosh versions of the game, but no versions exist for the machines.
Wages of War delivers a same point-and-click interface, and this interface is the same as the remake of the first game. Besides the icons for “walk”, “touch”, “speak”, etc., you also have a secondary interface allowing you to sneak, run, rest, find out the time of day, and check your stats. When you talk to a character in a game, you have a list of topics you can talk about, as well as any supplementary ones.
There is a nice, new feature in the game. If you choose to import your character from one of the previous QFG games, the game detects the class you chose in the previous game and gives you the opportunity to select another one if you are not happy with it. I chose to play Wages of War as a Paladin, a class which you only earn by doing good deeds during the game. There are many benefits of becoming a Paladin in this game, most notably your sword will erupt in blue flame during combat and you can do greater damage to enemies.
Combat sequences are twice as good as the ones in the previous games. You get to fight apes, giant ants, and lizardmen, each one carrying a certain amount of health. A big difference is that you always know which one you will fight, even before they appear on screen. The music in these sequences are unique to the monster you're fighting, and you can use magic prior to fights, in an attempt to reduce their health and make it easier for you. Fighting monsters is a great way to pass the time.
Wages of War is the first game to introduce an overhead map. The map of Fricana (where Tarna and the Simbani village is in) spans a few screens. There are five locations you have to visit in the game, and the rest is only savannah and jungle, where you do combat with monsters. Just like the music when you do battle with a monster, the music is unique to each of the map screens. I like how you have an opportunity to play Awari (eg: Oware). It is a strategy game that is played throughout West Africa and the Caribbean. Your opponent explains how you play the game. It is not necessary to play it to win the game, but you boost your Intelligence skill by winning a game.
The hand-painted backgrounds look fantastic, especially when you are exploring the sights of Tarna and the savannah in general, and particularly, The Pool of Peace. The game introduces sprite scaling, where the characters became smaller as they walk away into the distance. I noticed this in Gold Rush!, and even then, I was amazed that Sierra could pull this off considering the engine they were using at the time was inferior. Anything coming from the south would scare the pants out of me, especially the giant ants.
The soundtrack is brilliant, and it really blends well with the African setting. My favorite is the Welcome Inn and the Apothecary. Intense soundtracks are reserved for much later in the game when you have to deal with the Leopardmen and the demon. The soundtrack is much better if you use General MIDI rather than Sound Blaster, since it gives it a more African feel.
As always, near the end of Wages of War, you are encouraged to play the game again with a different class, so that you experience different puzzles and solutions. Fighters/Paladins will have to undergo some test before they make the way to the Lost City, something that Magic Users and Thieves miss out on.
When the game automatically takes you to the savannah for a monster fight, you cannot run away from it and get back to the overhead map, even if you are standing near the border of the screen. Also, the red dotted line indicating your movements is pointless. I can understand if that line is shown in the savannah/jungle since it can be used to get your back to the map, but it's not.
The Bottom Line
Everyone has their favorite game in the QFG series; and for me, it's Wages of War. The Prince is sent on a quest to restore peace between the two tribes, and meets a lot of characters that are important, most of them friendly. The game packs a lot of features that the previous games do not have, and I ended up putting these features to good use. The graphics are fantastic, and the soundtrack is brilliant. If you are new to the series, the first two games is not a requirement. Just don't start on game number four.
DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2015
Wages of War is the first independent installment in the series that was made from scratch with Sierra's outstanding SCI engine. The previous game pushed the text parser interface to its limits, resulting in somewhat frustrating difficulty. Wages of War, on the other hand, aims for convenience and pleasantly flowing gameplay above all. While that is not always a good thing, this "QFG-lite" game can get surprisingly entertaining despite the overall reduction of complexity.
The overall user-friendliness is what you notice first when you fire up the game. In an attempt to soften the impression left by the rough Trial by Fire, the third installment eliminates its tedious aspects almost entirely. The game gently eases you into its world and remains a rather laid-back, consistently agreeable experience throughout. There are no mazes to map your way through, no countless repetitive desert screens where you can easily die of dehydration, and very few (if any) dead ends and contrived situations where you must perform obscure and unlikely actions to trigger events.
Most fans - myself included - didn't really like the simplification ensuing from these measures. That said, it is by far not as offensive as in Larry 5, mostly coming across as a reasonable decision to tone down the idiosyncrasies of the predecessor. This makes Wages of War a weaker, less rewarding Quest for Glory; but it doesn't make it idiot-proof. Compared to its two older sisters, this installment seems rather timid; but even this milder incarnation of the series offers plenty of things to try out and gameplay elements unseen in other games.
The base gameplay mechanics have been preserved, though their application is less expansive and varied than before. Like in the previous game, the Paladin class is accessible via performing good deeds; however, if you choose to import any saved character from an earlier installment, it will become available right in the beginning. The Paladin can acquire some powerful items and spells, which is a nice addition. Skill development remains unchanged, and the game retains such staple elements of the series such as day and night cycle, the necessity to eat and sleep, and fairly free-form gameplay with amusing secrets and optional stuff to do. The new world map is a step below the screen-by-screen exploration of the preceding games; but at least you can really move on it rather than jumping from dot to dot. Also, while it seems boring and uneventful at first, interesting locations do open up if you explore it thoroughly.
The icon-based interface was met with suspicion by some fans; personally, I found the necessity to type in commands the main cause for exhaustion in Trial by Fire. Quest for Glory games are already complex enough even without relying on a text parser for finding obscure solutions to problems. In particular, choosing a conversation topic from a menu is more intuitive than typing long lists of objects and characters - the games are anyway only designed to understand a limited amount of words. The game provides excellent descriptions if you look even at seemingly unimportant objects, enhancing the atmosphere.
The latter is probably the game's strongest suit. The Africa-like environment, populated by imaginative creatures such as liontaurs and leopardmen, is exotic and magically appealing, surpassing the dry Middle East that didn't really come to life in the previous installment due to graphical limitations. The relaxing adventure is accompanied by strong visuals, more music, and a good story involving a theme not treated in the series before: war. The hero must prove himself a skillful diplomat and prevent an armed conflict between two tribes. There is also a bit of romance in the game, and overall the plot moves along at a better pace than in the second iteration of the series. The trademark humor returns with even sillier puns and some truly hilarious characters: the hippie apothecary is one of my favorites in the entire series.
Some players would probably appreciate the simpler, more streamlined nature of Wages of War as opposed to the complexities of Trial by Fire. Personally, I'd rather endure some frustration for a more fulfilling, challenging adventure. It seems that, alongside with the interface quirks and the annoyances of the previous title, Wages of War also discarded quite a bit of gameplay content.
The game's main problem is its low difficulty level. Battles are generally noticeably easier than before, and with a bit of practice no foe will be able to withstand a few sword strikes from our hero. I could certainly live with that, since combat is hardly what I play Quest for Glory games for. Unfortunately, the puzzles were downgraded as well, reducing the game's value as an adventure. The game's most important tasks usually consist of locating an item and bringing it to somebody who needs it.
In general, Wages of War feels rushed. The environments are interesting, but the game's scope is somewhat smaller. I didn't quite like the overworld map; I'd prefer a continuous world with interconnected screens. The locations are also less busy than in the previous games, with fewer houses and less things to do. This particularly affects the thief character: with only a few puzzles being different for his route, the thief feels like a wasted opportunity.
The Bottom Line
Wages of War is considered the series' weakest installment by many fans. While I agree with this judgment, it's important to note that it only highlights the game's position vis-a-vis the other Quests for Glory. Even with its somewhat limited gameplay, Wages of War remains an enjoyable game full of charm and atmosphere.
DOS · by Unicorn Lynx (180476) · 2014
I have always been a fan of the Quest series (since this serie would have been called 'Hero Quest' if not for the already existing boardgame), and QFG is the best in that series. The mixture of RPG and Adventure works well, and the sublime setting enhances the sense of involvement. The game plays well, but is very hard at times. With the (as always) great VGA-graphics it stands out amongst all the other games created in its time. Many consider QFG 3 the best in the series, and I agree with that.
Throwing spears is hard and really takes a lot of practise. And the random battles in the desert.
The Bottom Line
This game is a monument to Sierra's best adventuring days. Long forgotten -- How we loved those games. This game has the feel of an epic fantasy adventure with the better features of Roleplaying games.
DOS · by Vohaul (19) · 1999
|Bypassing bugs with ScummVM, part 2||Nowhere Girl (8679)||Apr 11th, 2020|
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|The honorless man - is some in-game trigger missing?||Nowhere Girl (8679)||Oct 4th, 2015|
The game that you can play in the Simbani village called Awari is an actual game in real-life. Oware (as it is commonly known) is the national game of Ghana and is played by people in West Africa and the Carribean.
The game takes place on the continent of Fricana. Fricana is an anagram of the word 'African'.
Start a fire in the savannah, and don't put it out. You will be paid a visit by Smokey the Elephant.
If you venture too far into the savannah without food, you may be given a gift by the Awful Waffle Walker.
In Salim's Apothecary try lighting the bong with a tinderbox and smoking it three times in a row (save your game first!). You'll get an important lesson on the ramification of taking drugs.
The dog-like merchant Kalb is not named this way without reason: "kalb" is Arabic for "dog".
Kalb also boasts a good knowledge of English language; if you agree to buy something from him, he will describe you as "magnanimous, magnificent, beneficent, munificent, benevolent, malevolent, non-violent, ultra-violet friend of dogs".
The background music in the apothecary is White Rabbit, by Jefferson Airplane.
- Quest for Glory III has cameo appearances by Sanford & Son, and Laurel & Hardy.
- Corey Cole makes a cameo appearance as the apothecary Salim.
- The Sanford and Son weapon seller in Tarna sells things, mentioning the "Lara bow" and the "Amon Re" tribe. This is a reference to the Sierra adventure game Laura Bow in The Dagger of Amon Ra.
This game was added midway through the cycle. The original plan was to have four games, with a number of intentional metaphoric parallels built in. (four compass directions, four elements, etc) However, after finishing Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire, the Coles decided that the character of Hero wasn't developed enough to make Shadows of Darkness work, and invented this adventure to build his personality up a bit. (previously, the Hero was primarily a warrior. This game taught him to be a diplomat and peace-maker, virtues necessary in Shadows' This is the primary reason the game seems a bit short and less involved than the others.
After the initial release of Quest for Glory III: Wages of War Sierra discovered that another developer had trademarked the name Wages of War. Thus Sierra decided to change the game's title to Quest for Glory III: Seekers of the Lost City for planned further releases. However since the other game was never actually released the name change never took place. However, the title Quest for Glory III: Seekers of the Lost City is mentioned in (at least) the disk version of the fourth installment of the series.
- Power Play
- Issue 02/1993 – #3 Best Presentation in 1992
- MobyGames ID: 173
- Wikipedia (en)
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Game added by Eurythmic.
Game added July 19th, 1999. Last modified November 26th, 2023.