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Written by  :  Jeanne (76455)
Written on  :  May 21, 2002
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars

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So you want to be a hero … again?

The Good

Sierra’s Quest For Glory series is the closest some adventure players ever want to get to the role-playing genre. In all of the QFG games, adventurers can experience the exploration, conversations and puzzle solving they’re accustomed to as well as get a taste of some of the basic elements of role-playing games - combat, stealth and spellcasting. Essential activities include resting, eating and collecting money, armour, weapons and spells. Choose to play as one of three character classes (Fighter, Thief, Magic User or Paladin), and skills improve with practice. You can also choose from several combat difficulty settings for your level of skill.

In this 5th installment of the series, your character will find a large group of quests to complete during the Rites of Rulership, which could earn him the title of “king”, should he desire to accept it. During those quests, he’ll be fighting, numerous soldiers and woodland animals, skeletons and other undead in Hades, a multi-headed Hydra, as well as the deadly Dragon, to name a few. To solve the multitude of puzzles, he’ll find himself collecting feathers from the illusive Pegusus mountain, assembling parts of a flying machine, collecting plants to heal a friend, as well as swimming underwater.

I loved the sprinkling of romance that Sierra added into the picture so the future king could have a queen. There are four lovely women in the game and one is the perfect match for each of the character types. You just have to figure out which one to woe, stay attentive and faithful (as your chosen one could become jealous) and she will be yours.

The most noticeable difference between Dragon Fire and the previous games is the modernized interface. Fighting and spellcasting have been made much easier with the newer point-and-click interface. The graphics are beautifully rendered in 3D, although they loaded more slowly than expected sometimes. (I blamed this on my graphics card.) The music is wonderfully appealing and atmospheric with appropriate sound effects added in for realism.

I was pleased to see that there was more for my thief to do in this game than the earlier games. Honing you thief’s acrobatic skills makes it possible to perform true martial arts techniques in combat! They even devised a specialized quest so you can become “Chief Thief” involving more sleuthful sneaking and pilfering than ever before. You can even rob a bank! Picking specially locked treasure chests is quite a challenge in this game, too, no matter what character class you have chosen.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the evolving story and the puzzles, which were in keeping with the series and Sierra adventure games as a whole. The endings are different for each character class, too, giving the game even more replay value.

You can import your character from previous Quest for Glory games, but I found that this tends to confuse the game. For instance, if your fighter knows magic, some of the non-player characters may ask him strange questions about your other ability. I think picking a “pure” character type is the best way to play this game.

The Bad

Graphics glitches (mentioned briefly above) were my biggest problem, some of which were cured by applying the patch. But even with that done, the final dragon conflict was so graphically intense that my system slowed to a crawl. Otherwise I loved everything else about the game.

The Bottom Line

If you have been afraid to try a true role-playing game, this will give you a tiny taste of what they are like without sacrificing the wonderful adventure elements you are used to. The story is interesting and unfolds gradually as the game goes along. Puzzles are in keeping with Sierra’s adventures and similar to the other games in the Quest For Glory series as a whole. All in all a great adventure and “role-playing want-to-be”, I highly recommend it.