Quest for Glory III: Wages of War

aka: Hero's Quest 3: Wages Of War, QFG3, Quest for Glory III: Der Lohn des Krieges, Quest for Glory III: Seekers of the Lost City
Moby ID: 173
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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

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Credits (DOS version)

59 People (53 developers, 6 thanks) · View all



Average score: 76% (based on 11 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 74 ratings with 5 reviews)

Has the word "impressive" written all over it

The Good
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.

The Bad
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 (43087) · 2015

Atmosphere counts too, not just the gameplay

The Good
As usually, the game has very good graphics. The VGA version of "So You Want To Be a Hero" was made some time after the original, but now, with "Wages of War", the series moves into VGA region for good. While I really enjoy good EGA graphics, I got used to this game in its only version and I couldn't imagine it having different graphics, despite some minor drawbacks (see "The Bad").
In this game we re-encounter characters from the previous one, especially Uhura and Rakeesh. Now they get a bit more three-dimensional, we can learn more about their stories and personalities. While it would be too much to call the plot very rich and complex, it does become emotionally touching as we see Rakeesh following the Way of the Paladin in practice and doing what he can to prevent war. The words he says are wise and it really would be better if more people remembered messages like this "in real life"...
However, what I liked most was the game's setting. The game never says directly Tarna is in Africa (the whole land is rather called Fricana), but it seems definitely African. I think this continent hasn't been the setting of adventure games too often, as if game designers too regarded Africa an uninteresting, backward land. Nevertheless, the Quest for Glory game model works as well in an African setting as it did in a Germanic one or will do in an Eastern European one.
(If only the hero would wear more realistic clothes... In Shapeir he wore a nice outfit in a local style, now his clothes get very plain, though at least more comfortable than the cloak he wore in Spielburg... OK, actually white shirts with long sleeves are a good choice in deserts and other hot areas, especially for fair-skinned blondes and redheads like our hero, but with the waistcoat - the same outfit the hero will get to wear in Mordavia - the clothes just look too thick and warm.)
I discovered yet better how I liked the game's atmosphere when it was already gone - after I had moved on to "Shadows of Darkness". There it got so creepy, cold, sad, autumnal that I just missed all these sunny "Fricanian" landscapes... The difference between Spielburg and Shapeir may be as great, but here the change in atmosphere is most pronounced.

The Bad
"Trial by Fire" already had the disadvantage of often dragging on. If you were quick to beat every Elemental, later you could just wait for a few days doing nothing, just following a very "busy" routine: talk to someone, go practise at the Guild, go lookin' for some trouble in the desert and sleep the rest of the day off. It got yet worse in Raseir which was so seedy the hero just wouldn't rest there - I could only keep walking back and forth and (when replaying as a Thief) train my Sneaking skill a bit. While "Wages of War" doesn't drag on as much as the previous game, it takes some time to kick into gear. In the beginning you can also spend some time pretty much doing nothing, waiting for some new events to happen.
Landscapes which repeat themselves, especially the savanna, look rather boring. Dangers (monsters) are encountered in a rather random way and you move from the map view to close view after you encounter one. In the beginning it makes getting around somewhat awkward, you just have to get used to this system.
Some aspects of graphics aren't too well made. Human proportions often don't look completely believeable (for example too broad shoulders). This will get slightly better in the fourth game and the big closeups, unfortunately absent from "Wages of War", will be introduced.
At some points the designers seem to be trying to squeeze a bit too many ideas into one box. Maybe the best example is Salim the apothecary. Judging by his name, he could have come from Shapeir or somewhere nearby. Judging by his style, he is a hippie - one of many anachronistic details in Sierra games. Actually I like such details very much, it's funny to meet people resembling modern Americans in a timeless fantasy game ("Quest for Glory"), Batmobile in a medieval-like fantasy world ("King's Quest 2")... However, when yet another idea is added - Salim becoming fascinated with the story of Julanar, the woman turned into a tree in the desert of Shapeir - this seems a bit too much for this definitely secondary character, all these different facets just don't suit one another. Maybe the tragic story of Julanar seems just too serious for this "light" character, anyway the end result is to some degree incongruent.

The Bottom Line
The game isn't a masterpiece or the best game in the series. However I also don't consider it a failure as some people do. While it has its share of darkness - anyway, in the end the hero fights demons in the Lost City - it is a welcome break before the heavy and creepy mood of the fourth game. And despite some drawbacks of this game, I tend to remember its sunny atmosphere more than "worse" details such as the game moving on too slow.

DOS · by Nowhere Girl (8680) · 2013

Sierra in its better days

The Good
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.

The Bad
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

[ View all 5 player reviews ]


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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

Information also contributed by Boris Stovich, OceansDaughter, Rambutaan, Roedie, Tim Takalo, Unicorn Lynx and WizardX


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Eurythmic.

Additional contributors: Terok Nor, Roedie, Unicorn Lynx, Indra was here, Shoddyan, Crawly, Paulus18950, lee jun ho, Patrick Bregger.

Game added July 19, 1999. Last modified January 20, 2024.