Corey and Lori's Quest Log

Corey and Lori’s Quest Log

Women of Glory 3 – Warrior Women of Tarna

“I have caught a story. It is all a lie. It is all the truth. Listen and learn.” – Simbani Storyteller

Wages of WarQuest for Glory 3:Wages of War was not part of our original plans for the series. After ‘Trial by Fire’ was released, Corey and I moved on to educational games – Castle of Dr. Brain and Mixed-Up Fairy Tales. This meant that our next Quest for Glory game would not be released until two years after Trial, a long time to wait for the next chapter of a saga.

We knew that ‘Shadows of Darkness’ would be dark and grim compared to the other games. If we were going to have new fans playing the game, we didn’t want them to think that the series was about Vampires, Werewolves, and the end of the world as we know it.

So when our friend Ellen Guon (Beeman) mentioned that we should tell Rakeesh the Paladin Liontaur and Uhura the warrior’s story, we said, “That’s a great idea!”

Glorious Glory

“Trial by Fire” was one of the last 16 color, typing-interfaced games that Sierra published. It was also created under the most stressful, unpleasant working conditions we experienced at Sierra On-Line. “Wages of War,” on the other hand, was completely different. Now we were full color and we had a dream team of talented artists under the direction of Andy Hoyos. Sierra had mellowed from the authoritarian administration and was treating employees like people again.

QfG3 is one of the most beautiful games in the series. Tarna is a magnificent city that might have been built if Babylonians and Egyptians joined together to build a home for the majestic Liontaurs. The jungle scenes are lush and open. The Heart of the World is a tree of huge scale and majesty. The character portraits were realistic and showed off each character’s personality. You could easily feel like you were not so much playing a computer game as exploring the veldts and jungles of Africa.

Fricana Females

KreeshaYour character goes to the land of Fricana out of friendship for Rakeesh and for Uhura. In Tarna, you meet Rakeesh’s wife, Kreesha. You learn that Fricana is martialing for war after an attack upon a peace treaty mission. Worse, Rakeesh’s daughter was a leader of that mission and she never returned.

Liontaur society is based on that of the lion. The leader of the city is Rajah, the brother of Rakeesh. However, all of the ruling council members are female. Most of the Liontaurs you meet in the game are female. In lion society, the women do all of the work. The males sit around and have lovely female courtesans feeding them zebras.

Corey is considering a race change to Liontaur.

Simbani Beauties

From Tarna, you journey to the Simbani village. This society was based around the Masai people of Africa. Here Uhura is your friend and advisor. She is once again both a Warrior and a mother. Uhura refused to give up one role for the other. She wanted to live her life as she chose, not as her society chose for her. She had to leave the Simbani for that choice.

But now Uhura has returned to her home, and the Simbani tribe have welcomed her and her son back.

In the Simbani village, you also meet Johari. She is a Leopardman who was captured by the Simbani as she attempted to recover her tribe’s Drum of Magic.

JohariIt’s true that Johari needa rescuing from her cage. It’s also true that she haa no say one way or another about becoming the Hero’s bride once he pays the bride price for her. But Johari isn’t your typical damsel in distress (“DiD”). And while Simbani custom might say that Johari has been sold into marriage, Johari refuses to accept what the Simbani dictated. She runs away from the village as soon as the opportunity arose.

However, she doesn’t run away from the Hero – or at least not for very long. Nor has she given up on the idea of returning the Drum of Magic to her people. Johari wants the Hero to help her get the Drum back and stop the war between her people and the Simbani.

In many ways, Johari is the most heroic of all the women in the QfG series. She’s willing to put aside her differences with the Hero and the Simbani and actively work to bring peace. She is willing to work with her people’s enemies, the Liontaurs and the Simbani, to help the Hero stop the war and prevent the demons from invading Fricana.

Johari even gives the Hero his first kiss. Unless, of course, you count Amelia the healer in Spielburg. But most people try to forget that one.

Liontaur Lady

ReeshakaThere is another female who needs rescuing in this game, but she’s not your typical “DiD” either. Reeshaka is the daughter of Rakeesh and Kreesha. Once you break the demon’s possession of her body, she’s ready to fight at your side. Like her father, Reeshaka is a great warrior.

In the battle against the Demons, Uhura, Johari, and Reeshaka help save the day with Kreesha’s magical assistance. Of the four friends that stand with the hero in the final battle, two are female and one is… a monkey.

Clearly, the hero has a way with women. He attracts the strong, brave ones.

Women’s Wages

Wages of War has the strongest and most dynamic female characters of the series, other than Elsa von Spielburg. They all play their part to save the world rather than waiting for the hero to do all the dirty work.

In QfG3: Wages of War, the Hero stops a war between the Liontaurs, Simbani, and the Leopardmen caused by the deceitful Demons. He sends an apothecary off on a journey to find the love of his life and restore her humanity. He cures the enchantments that hold two women – Johari and Reeshaka – in bondage. He learns how to make friends and influence people. He stops the demons from spreading war across all of Fricana.

But he never could have succeeded without the help of the women he met along the way.

Sigh – but it still had a sexist harem scene. What can I say? Some people have a thing about sexy cat-women.

Slave Girls of Tarna


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  1. Lori Says:

    Actually, Dragon Fire had a very complex combat system designed by John Harris. Every key on the keypad was mapped for a type of action. It was so complex, I couldn’t play the game. I insisted that they have an alternate mouse interface for people like me. I really enjoyed playing Dragon Fire because it was much more of a ‘sandbox’ world than any of the rest of the series.

    What we did not get to see of the Simbani culture in ‘Wages of War’ is the strong sense of tribal belonging. Simba may not have his biological father to raise him, but he will have the wisdom of the Elders, the enthusiasm of the Warriors, the companionship of the youths, and the love of everyone in the tribe.

    At Hero-U (if we get to make more games in the series), you will meet someone else who grows up in the Simbani culture – Captain Mombera MacGillicuddy, the Warrior instructor. His father, an explorer and adventurer, fell in love with a Simbani woman. So Mombera grew up in Fricana. After his parents were killed, his grandfather, Angus MacGillicuddy, introduced Mombera to his Highland heritage. Hero-U will be just as rich in story and characterization as the Quest for Glory series was.

  2. Elven Says:

    I love all QFG games . Too hard to select a fav . But I think I like Dragon Fire a tad bit more than the others . I loved the graphics . Although it didn’t have too much of a combat system , it still looked cool when the foes go down with a couple of slashes from the hero . Made him look heroic and like an expert swordsman who didn’t have to do elaborate moves on every noob of a monster that turns up . Silmaria also had a lot of cool things to do . The duels Ferrari conducted , the dagger game at the inn , the competition and thrills and chills of taking part in a tournament etc .

    As for interface , I like the ‘parser/point & click’ hybrid option in the AGDI QFG2 remake . Takes away the frustration while maintaining the freedom to talk about anything .

    In QFG3 I was surprised at all the lot of different dialogues you could have . Rakeesh talks about his son in Silmaria once . That really adds a lot of depth . And once Simba babbles something about his father I think (Or did I imagine that?) I was kind of sad that Simba’ll have to grow up without his dad .

  3. Christopher Says:

    Three is my least favorite. I always thought it was the overhead map, as the games that have the valley feel 1,4 are my favorites, but I think it is the incompleteness of the game. It was such an awesome world, and I just would have loved to seen more of it or a slower paced game also.

    While as a kid I loved hanging out in the Simbani Village and playing the mini games all day, I think the game lacks the personal feel of the others. I would have liked to had more to do around Tarna or the heart of the world. Maybe, have to spent more time in the Leopard men village.
    A slower “Romance” with Johari, or a slower peace process with the chief.

    Etc… I do understand the time constraints and bad politics of the industry…But what was up with that trippy Combat screen. LOL

    Still QFG3 was awesome in its own way, and Even though I rush through it to get to four., my fav, I am always glad that it happened. Its presence makes the rest of the series’s entries that much more powerful somehow. It feel like a necessary part of the story arch

  4. Lori Says:

    The Liontaur line was an editorial comment made by Corey. It came straight from the Lion’s mouth.

  5. Sameer Says:

    “Corey is considering a race change to Liontaur.”

    Haha this made me laugh out loud! Enjoying your articles Lori, and looking forward to reading your thoughts on Katrina and Erana. :)

  6. Lori Says:

    Great to hear from you again, Aztec! I’m working on the article in my mind right now and plan on writing it tomorrow. The game was my favorite, so I’m happy to write about it.

  7. AztecMonkeyGod Says:

    I eagerly await the “Women of Glory” article for Shadows of Darkness. Katrina has always been a favorite of mine.

  8. Lori Says:

    Chad – you got it right that games used to be a one-shot deal. You worked overtime for a year to four years never knowing if what you were making was fun or going to sell. There was no way to tell if QfG3 was going to feel smaller or shorter than the previous games until it was too late to do anything about it. Sierra was always more concerned with getting the game on the market than it was about Quality Assurance.

    Now, welcome to the new world of games. We’re using Kickstarter because we want to be able to say when a game is ready to ship. Bugs are one thing – games should never be shipped until it has been thoroughly tested and fumigated. However, We want to be able to test the game after the bugs are crushed to see if there are parts that seem rushed or too tedious, and fix them. We’ll have a core team of guinea pigs… er… volunteer beta testers to let us know if things need tweaking.

    And if something nasty turns up after we ship, you can download the patch as soon as we eradicate it.

    There’s more risk, work, and responsibility for us by using Kickstarter. We’re not likely to make much money from Kickstarter that won’t just go into making the game. But at least we can make games that we are proud of when they ship.

  9. Chad Says:

    I loved the “rumor” Kalb discovered about the Cubs winning the World Series. Sadly, it is still true…and funny. Oh, those poor Cubs! (At least they aren’t the Cardinals.)

    The thing I found most fascinating about reading “Hackers” was reading about the very early years of Sierra in a time before I started playing their games (which started around 1985). In the book, I believe it was even briefly mentioned about a new project Sierra was doing for the PC jr. I believe that would become KQ1. I still have an old Sierra Newsletter from 1988 which shows some of the employees on a rafting trip. It sounds like there were some fun times at the company, but it also sounds like things eventually became more down to business.

    Unfortunately, within just the first hour of playing QFG4, I ran into both of the most notorious bugs/crashes in that game (47 and 52). Fortunately, with the NewRisingSun patch and DOSBox, QFG4 plays wonderfully now! QFG3 has a couple of bugs still, though — I think one thing is that the max number of points doesn’t always add up to 500 for all characters. From the points list I’ve seen, the thief maxes out at 471 points. Unless there are 29 points other people are missing….hmmm….

    Whether for good or bad, games seem like a one-shot deal. It’s done and out the door. Fortunately, with the internet, it is much easier to patch a game.

  10. Talog Says:

    Quite an interesting article. I must admit that QfG3 never was my favourite. In fact, the point-and-click-the-watchamacallit interface never got me feel as involved into the game as the parser interface games did. Therefore I just did a quick run through QfG3, not really paying close attention to the characters. Maybe I should have been a little more open-minded.

  11. James StarRunner Says:

    “The legless Liontaur in the Tarna throne room always bothered me, too.”

    Whew! I thought that was just me looking at it wrong. Even still, the art quality overall in the game was amazing.

  12. Lori Says:

    The legless Liontaur in the Tarna throne room always bothered me, too. I guess the artist thought that Rajah had an Affirmative Action program to hire the handicapped.

  13. Lori Says:

    I was reading comments on the about Kalb and had to laugh. Sounds like everyone bargained him down to almost nothing – But they felt guilty about it.

    If I could re-write QfG3, I would have definitely given Kalb a bigger part. As it was, he was the only one kind enough to disobey the laws of Tarna and feed the thief.

  14. Lori Says:

    Precisely, James! I never had the patience to fight with the interface of a parser game.

  15. Lori Says:

    We came to Sierra after the Sierra part of the “Hackers” book was written. However, the parts written about Ken Williams were clearly accurate.

    Each game was created under tight deadlines and even then they pushed over the marks. For QG3, It was supposed to ship end of August and it just started Quality Assurance testing. We went off on a vacation over Labor Day, and Sierra tried to sign it off and get it into production while we were gone. Fortunately, the one QA person they kept on the game found a crashing bug and kept them from shipping it.

    It didn’t ship until much later as all the other bugs surfaced.

    QG3 would have shipped as buggy as QG4 if that one crashing bug hadn’t been found. We were not pleased that the management tried to ship it behind our backs.

    However, if the QG3 game had been any bigger, it would have taken longer and been much buggier. We might not have gotten the chance to make the next game as a result. We were definitely at odds with our producer who wanted to shovel the game out.

    We were getting the reputation for being unreasonable people.

    All the Quest for Glory games pushed the limits of Sierra’s teams. When we got to QG4, we broke the limits. Sadly, the Shadows of Darkness paid the price for our trying to do too much.

  16. Chad Says:

    The thing which bothered me about the liontaur harem, is the liontaur on the right. Her body looks like a blob with no legs! That always seemed odd and disturbing.

  17. Chad Says:

    From what I’ve read due to the “stressful conditions” of working on QFG2, led to certain influences and names in the game, such as Raseir being an anagram of Sierra, and I believe that Ad Avis was derived from Creative Director Bill Davis’ name.

    I recently read the third part of Steven Levy’s book “Hackers”, which chronicles the very early years of Sierra. There was an early Sierra employee named Bob Davis, who last mentioned, was imprisioned on drug charges. I had to double check if it was the same person as who worked on QFG2. Close! Bob Davis vs. Bill Davis.

    Three days ago, I completed QFG3 (again). What made this special this time was I have (for the first time that I can recall) played through all 5 QFG games in a 12 month span.

    Like many fans, QFG3 was my least favorite of the series, but a lot of this likely stems from the shortness of the game. The first 250 points of the game is decent, but then the final portion of the game flies by far, far too quickly. Considering that Wages of War was not originally intended to be part of the 4-part series, I feel better if I consider QFG3 to be an expansion to the series. As an expansion, it does quite well, but as a full fledged QFG game, it wasn’t flushed out enough.

    I would love to see QFG3 get a remake like AGDI did with QFG2. Probably won’t ever happen, but it would be great to see QFG3 to be flushed out further and get extra polish to really make it shine.

  18. Joseph Austin Says:

    There are some things about the parser interface I like, because it always tends to make me feel more involved. Especially when its in conversations, because you don’t just click down a list but actually come up with discussion topics yourself. But I do understand that it overwhelms a lot of people though. Maybe I am mostly just nostalgic.

    It seems to me that an adventure game could easily have an optional parser mode. From a programmer’s standpoint, every GUI interface action you do translates to some internal command anyway. So if you manage actions by strings, parser mode would be done automatically.

    (Ex: you click ‘use’ icon on dead parrot, triggers “use” and “dead parrot”, which is handled by the message “That was you hitting him!”.)

    It’s something I’ve been mulling over, because I personally would like to be able to play (or make) a new adventure game with that kind of interface someday. Dunno if I’m a market of one though.

  19. Jeremy Murdoch Says:

    Inja sounds fascinating. I hope we get to see it, and other lands in that vast world, some day.

    Kalb is hilarious, and I always felt like I was cheating when I would get his dirt cheap prices. He is easily one of the most lovable characters in the series.

    Honestly, when we first met Rakeesh and Uhura in Trial by Fire, I immediately assumed that we would visit their land in the next game. It was a very natural progression. It’s very interesting to hear about the inspiration behind Wages of War, like the Tarzan, Masai, Egyptian, and Babylonian references.

  20. James StarRunner Says:

    It would be awesome to go see the doggies! …err canines.

    As far as the text parsers go, there will always be Zork. I think it was a good switch for the series as well.

    ‘Go in door’
    >The door is closed
    ‘Open door’
    >The door is locked
    ‘Unlock door’
    >How are you going to unlock it?
    ‘Use key’
    >Use key on what?
    ‘Use key on door’
    >You tap the key on the door
    ‘Unlock door with key’
    >Which key will you use?
    ‘Unlock door with the broze key’
    >You unlock the door
    ‘Open door’
    >The door is stuck and can’t be opened
    >I do not understand that command

  21. Roy Martin Says:

    I love reading these posts about the women of QfG.

    I spent a lot of time on this game, and loved every minute of it. There was just something about Tarna, the Simbani, the war between the tribes and the characters that resonated with me. Especially when the characters came together in the end to help the hero, if you helped them. I spent so much time talking to all the characters throughout the game, there’s a LOT of dialogue here. And Aziza taught me well, I always greeted and said goodbye to everyone.

    And I still find myself whistling the Simbani village tune :)

  22. Rodrigo Says:

    Quest for Glory 3 is by far my favourite game of the serie and one of my favourite game of all time… I really love it, and the characters where one of the reasons. I can´t wait to see women in QFG5 cause i really loved when the hero get married with erana

  23. Lori Says:

    If we ever make more QfG games, we’ll eventually get to Inja, land of the Doggies (or Canines, as they prefer to be called) just as Shapeir was the homeland of the Katta. Kalb and Wolfie were the only Doggies in the series. Unlike the quiet, calm Katta, Doggies are exuberant and affectionate.

    I was rereading some of the dialog that Kalb has when he tries to sell the player meat in Tarna. I couldn’t help but hear the voice of Dug from the movie, Up. They are very much alike.

  24. Lori Says:

    Many fans were disappointed by Wages of War. If you first started playing the Sierra Adventure games with the typed interface, the point-and-click one made the games seem much easier. So they would breeze through this game in no time at all. After all, with the old adventure games, players were used to spending hours just trying to figure out what he could talk about with a character.

    I’m not a fan of the parser interface. It’s far too frustrating. I wanted the player to be immersed in the game world and never think about the interface.

    Wages of War was a combination of ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ (books I read and loved as I grew up) and the National Geographic specials on Africa that I used to watch as a kid. The Masai culture in Africa is a fascinating one. I wanted to bring it to life for the player.

    Raseir was a totalitarian dictatorship that combined Orwell’s depressing writing met the Evil Overlord. Tarna was a Lawful republic where the humans were the second-class citizens. Tarna was not a terrible place to live. People thrived as long as they followed the rules. But as Harami found out – you don’t want to break the rules and get caught. Thieves and Magic-users were not welcome.

  25. Jeremy Murdoch Says:

    Don’t forget Aziza helping our hero to communicate with Kreesha in the first place. That was some valuable help.

    I loved this game, and thought that the women were very well represented. The harem scene was not out of place in Rajah’s chambers, and took nothing away from the other strong female characters in the game.

    Johari is by far one of my favourite characters in the series. The Leopardmen are all fantastic. One day, maybe you should do a series about all of the cats and cat-people in these Quest for Glory games!

  26. James StarRunner Says:

    This one is actually my favorite in the series! The art was amazing, Me and my brother hummed the memorable tunes while doing chores, there was a veil of mystery over the land, and the women were strong and proud (and, quite desirable)!

    The fight before the demon wizard was perhaps the most memorable battle in all my gaming history. Not just for the fight, but the way everyone came together despite the (very vast) differences. That game inspired me on so many levels, you have no idea…

    As for the harem… Well, there will always be ‘bad girls’. But, I loved the idea of the council and how each brought something different to it. Things weren’t black and white in Fricana. There was clearly more than one form of strength. Issues were sometimes quite complicated. The choices in the temple were hard (do you choose the life of your daughter over the healer who could help others or split the potion on both and possibly lose both). Even the Paladin learned that laws that gave ‘order’ were not quite what was needed to do what was right.

    I love this game! I really do. And the women really got to shine. You should be proud!

    Oh… And little note. In many other games I play, if I have the option to name a town (or world in the case of Master of Orion), I more often than not call it Tarna now. :3

  27. Joseph Austin Says:

    It actually felt like a natural follow up after Rakeesh had mentioned his homeland in QFG2, similar to Shameen and Abdulla mentioning Shapeir in QFG1.

    I would say though, don’t worry about harem scenes too much. You portrayed a particular culture; not all aspects of that culture are going to be good or acceptable by today’s standards. A perfectly gender-positive, politically correct world in a high fantasy setting would be a little odd, if you think about it. The story I’m working on is kind of about that, actually. But you get what I mean. The cultures in QFG were always believable.

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