Corey and Lori's Quest Log


Corey and Lori’s Quest Log

‘Trial by Fire’ Reborn

Two days ago, AGDInteractive released the full-color, completely re-coded version of Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire. After eight years of development, they have a right to celebrate right now. They got to experience all the wonders of the ‘Endless Sisyphean Nightmare Warren’ and they didn’t even get paid to do so! This was a labor of love, and they offer it free to everyone who wants to experience or remember this classic Adventure-Role-playing game.

Quest for Glory II

Once upon a time many, many moons ago, when we were young and innocent, Corey and I designed and developed Trial by Fire for Sierra On-Line. Fresh with the success of “So You Want to Be a Hero,” we were ready to take our players to a new world of role-playing. We wanted to created a fantasy game based on the Arabian Nights tales. It would have all of the tropes and archetypes of the Persian stories and a strong elemental theme of Summer and fire. We subtitled it, “Trial by Fire.” We had no idea the name would be prophetic.

Trial by Fire

Fast-forward ten years. A group of Sierra adventure game fans calling themselves the “Anonymous Game Developers” decided that perhaps they could do what Sierra had chosen not to do. They decided to use an open-source adventure game development system to recreate a few of the classic 16-color Sierra games – starting with King’s Quest 1 and 2 – with 256-color VGA graphics. Quest for Glory 2: Trial by Fire was next on their list and they started in on the project with great energy in 2001. After several iterations and a long journey through the Sisyphean nightmare warren of game development, AGDI has now (August 2008) released the finished product. You can read more about the history of QG2 VGA on the AGDI web site.

Amazingly, the AGDI team was able to get a limited license from Sierra allowing them to distribute the game with its original name and characters as long as they give it away free and nobody distributes it for a profit. Knowing how much work went into the Quest for Glory 1 VGA conversion, our hats are off to this incredible team for creating QG2 VGA as a labor of love. Incidentally, we had no say on the license, since Sierra/Vivendi owns all the rights to our games, but we are fully behind the AGDI team and the QG2 VGA project.

Trial by Fire HeroesSo how is the game? Well, actually, it’s so new, we haven’t played much of it yet. Corey has spent a few hours trying out the thief and fighter characters. The 256-color graphics are beautiful, although you will find them much different from today’s 3D graphics environments. The game play seems very faithful to the original with several new features. AGDI adapted the menu and point-and-click systems from Quest for Glory 3 to give Trial by Fire much the same feel. They also give you a choice of a fully menu-based conversation system, the original parsed system (type in the keyword about which you want to ask), or a hybrid system that allows both options. I really like the hybrid system as it allows me to skip directly to a particular topic without having to follow the menus.

I found inventory use a little cumbersome at first, although that’s probably mostly because I didn’t remember how we did in in Quest for Glory 3! You use the hidden menu to access your inventory and select an item. The right mouse button toggles between possible actions (walk, use or attack, talk, or the chosen inventory item), then clicking the left button on a person or object tries to apply that action.

Compared to today’s no-brain interface (right-click on something to do whatever the game designer or programmer decided you should do with that person or object), it takes more thought and more time to take an action, but it also really opens up the user’s choices. If you’re lazy, you probably won’t like it. Playing QG2 VGA reminded me that adventure games used to be much more complex and difficult than today’s games.

By the way, Save your game early and often! Corey didn’t and was pretty embarrassed when he died in his first combat and had no saved game to which to restore. There does not appear to be an automatic save feature in QG2 VGA, as there almost certainly was none in the original version. So far, Corey has been unable to defeat any enemy in combat. He managed to get a brigand down to 50% of his health before the main character succumbed. A serious arcade gamer might have an easier time with the combat, but this could be a problem in an adventure RPG. Perhaps AGDI will release a patch later with an “easy mode” combat option for gamers who were already mature when QG2 first appeared.

Not only did ADGI include many of the fun Easter Eggs of the game like the Silly clown option with Harpo Marx running down the alleyways, but they brought back the Saurus Repair Shop that had to be cut from the release version of the game because it wouldn’t fit on the disk. I’m told they even added an Easter Egg or two. That just goes to show how much care and ‘professionalism beyond the call of duty’ ADGI has – they really went out of their way to add to the fun of the game.

Our recommendation: Visit AGDI’s web site and download your free copy of Quest for Glory 2: Trial by Fire. Make sure you read the included documentation before you start the game so that you’ll have an easier time with the interface and combat than Corey managed. Then let us and AGDI both know how you like the game… and if you love it, write to Vivendi and request they release a new edition of the rest of the Quest for Glory series. For some reason we can’t quite comprehend, Vivendi has rereleased King’s Quest, Space Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry, but has not repackaged the Quest for Glory series.

Two huge thumbs-up to AGDI for a fabulous piece of (an incredible amount of) work, the brand new Quest for Glory 2: Trial by Fire VGA remake!

Carpet Ride to Adventure

The Heroes and the Carpet illustrations were based off the original sketches from the Trial by Fire manual drawn by Ernie Chan.

Similar Posts:

Tags: ,

Tweet Me!Share on Twitter

Comments

  1. Dane Says:

    This is a quest for glory lore question. All was well in game 1 and 2, but why did it seem to me the hero was being heavely looked down upon, made fun of in game 3? Did you guys sort of fall out of love with the man? I always liked the hero, the dude had heart, and I am a quest for glory junkie. Its more of a vibe I got from the 3rd game and always wondered about, call me crazy if you like. I wondered how you guys felt about the hero? Then and now.
    Also why in game 5 was he a red head? I will never understand that anymore than that ooc guy playing gabe in gabe knight 2.

  2. jenables Says:

    I heartily concur. And I’m playing qfg v right now!

  3. Corey Says:

    Sorry, we haven’t seen Space Quest: Incinerations. I think it’s good that fans are learning game design and development by extending previous game franchise, as long as they move on from there to create completely original projects.

  4. jenables Says:

    Although this is an old post, and this is totally off topic, I’m curious as to whether you guys have played space quest:incinerations, another fan made game released last year. I ask because I just finished it and I was quite honestly blown away by it, in no small part due to the fact it was largely the effort of one person over several years. I know you are probably very busy, but curiosity always gets the best of me. Best wishes, Jen

  5. jenables Says:

    I played this and absolutely loved it. I can remember playing qfg4 on our 386 (I think!) When i was younger, but I didn’t finish it. I downloaded qfg 1-5 from gog and I’ve played them all now…technically I’m still playing 5 but finished the rest.my most sincere thanks to you two for making such awesome games. I’ve spent the last eight months getting re-acquainted with the adventure games I loved as a kid. I’m thirty three now and they just don’t get old. So thank you scoree and sloree from the bottom of my magical thief paladin (not because I earned it, I was a thief.. so it felt like I stole the title at the beginning of 3) heart. And thank you agd for your adaptation so I can lazily navigate with a mouse.. after all, it’s not 1989 anymore, is it? Shit, maybe it is..

  6. jarod Says:

    I’d been keeping my eye on this remake with baited breath for years – so often there are “amateur” developments that look great and never come to fruition. To see it done… WOW! Its great, I love the refined additions – the combat system is tricky but its making me have a much more vested interest in my playstyle. I’d mastered QFG (and especially 2, which was always my favourite of the series, it always felt it had the most “guts” for each class) and could race through it, grinding the skills up so quickly I didn’t need to read the text or spend more than 5 seconds in a fight.

    Its a whole new experience that I’m nostalgic-ly living :) One impressive thing they have managed to do, is make you really play and experience the game as that character class and I don’t see much advantage to the full-stat maxed out hybrid character in this game (that always started as a Thief in HQ!).

    Thanks Coles for the best games and growing up memories. I was hooked on Hero’s Quest original (when I was 8 or 9), and counted down the years, months and days of each sequel- always trying to guess what was coming next with the teasers at the end of each game. I even enjoyed QFG5, but it always felt unfinished (I believe an expansion was planned?) and certain elements didn’t have the trademark feel.

    A fun/ironic part of the QFG games was the latest edition was usually the least fun to replay because you didn’t have the next game to take port your superstar over to so you loose that element of needing a reason to max yourself.

    Super happy to see this excellent AGD remake.

  7. Alan Luckachina Says:

    Greetings Corey and Lori!

    Longtime fan of Sierra and your work! I’m glad to see that y’all are still very active in the biz. Lori, I noticed you mentioned in a comment that you plan on blogging about Katrina. A friend and I are in the midst of working on a fanfic of sorts about Katrina, that starts pre-shadows. Would you be interested, if you have the time, to read some of our ideas?

  8. Shaminar the Blue Dragon Says:

    Come on Vivendi!!! Release the entire Quest for Glory series again!!

    This Dragon is getting Impaitent!

    So release it, or else I’ll hit you with my tail!

  9. Sami Says:

    I been waiting for this vga relese for so long that i almost started to think that i would never happen. When I was a kid playing the original Trial by fire i was a bit disappointed with that it was hard to play and a bit ugly. So I almost quit playing Quest for Glory. Only years later I found my old Heros quest and Trial by fire and I thought what the he**, i liked this game, so I started to play the serie again to see what amazing things and great games I missed out on. But a long story short…
    I really liked this remake, the new combat system is great and easy to use. Going to miss the extra moves when I play Wages… and Shadow. Great job to the guys and gals at AGDI for doing this game and sharing it with all of us Quest for glory heroes.
    Thanx keep up the great work.

  10. Tyler Says:

    I’m happy to see that the love for such classic games has culminated in wonderful fan remakes. One of the first adventure games I’d ever played was QFG III, and it’s still my favorite. You (along with Al Lowe and the Two Guys from Andromeda) had inspired me to become a developer. I currently work as a lead software engineer and graphic artist, but I dabble in game development in my spare time.

    Just wanted to thank you for all the hard work you guys put into those games that made them so fun for me play (and replay.)

  11. Burn Says:

    Hi. I’d just like to say that you guys are some of MY heroes from the Golden Age of video gaming from your Quest for Glory series alone. I rank you and your work up there with the likes of my other favorites such as Richard A. Saada (Castle of the Winds series) and Seth Able Robinson (Dink Smallwood, Legend of the Red Dragon).

    I remember the thrill of playing “Hero’s Quest” for the first time and, after finishing it, searching frantically for the next in the series at a computer show while I was visiting family in Hawaii, only to find QFG 3 instead of QFG 2. It had just been released, and there was only one copy left, so I snatched it up. It wasn’t until purchasing the Anthology a hundred years later that I finally got to play QFG 2 for the first time, at which point I had already played through 1, 3, and 4 at least a dozen times as each class.

    The original version of Quest for Glory 2 quickly became my second favorite in the series, next to QFG 4 for its characters, atmosphere, music, etc. which still particularly appeals to me even to this day. I have just recently discovered this AGDI remake of QFG 2, and I have fallen in love with the series all over again for what is now probably the umpteenth time. Great work all-around, and I’m very happy that you, the Coles, wholeheartedly endorse it.

    Cheers.

  12. Tifas Revenge Says:

    Hey all,

    I’m honored to be here and stuff. Last month or so, I did a complete “Let’s Play” of Quest for Glory 2 VGA Remake by AGDI. I am now currently working on a second “Let’s Play” of the game, this time as a thief. I tell ya though, it was pretty difficult to get through the first time around, but not impossible.

    I did my Let’s Play because I am so glad that AGDI put the time and effort into this project. I just wish Youtube had better quality than it does, although I upgraded both hardware and software on my computer just to get better quality than some of my past Let’s Plays, including King’s Quests 1-3.

    Check out the Links:

    Fighter Playthrough (done):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbhMxl-4IsA&feature=PlayList&p=B51FAB186ADA303B&index=0&playnext=1

    (Same link as on the AGDI Forum)

    Ways to DIE! (done):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D–DOgxjVec&feature=PlayList&p=CBCF12B8E2271B15&index=0&playnext=1

    Thief Playthrough (in progress as of this post):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMJukdMrrKM&feature=PlayList&p=8E45B03CF873DDA8&index=0&playnext=1

    Enjoy, all! And nice to know Lori and Corey are still alive and kicking!

    – Tifas Revenge

  13. Ian Watson Says:

    Kimmo: All the information I have was on the old website: http://lostcontinents.vr1.com. Try plugging that in to http://archive.org and seeing what you can pull up. (:

    Lori: <3 Fantastic. If there’s anything I can do to be a part of this, please let me know.

  14. Lori Says:

    Avatar:
    The Backstory and retelling of the Quest for Glory stories will be part of this website and blog. Katrina’s story will definitely be told at a future blog.

    In terms of the story world of The School for Heroes, Katrina is alive and well. However, unlike the games where the player had to make a choice between rescuing Katrina or rescuing Erana from Hades, in the world of Glorianna, both are alive. The Queen of Silmaria is none other than Elsa von Spielburg. And all of these women are quite happy with the love of their lives at the time when the school opens.

    So there shall be much more revealing of the past and of the present. The story of the Quest for Glory has not yet come to the final chapter.

  15. Binder Says:

    Hi,

    Thanks Coles for creating such an incredible world. Qfg is my favorite game/series since the first moment I put my eyes on it (QFG1 Remake).

    Thanks AGDI for remembering all of us that the magic still goes on. After so many years I am playing again all the games (Thanks DosBox!!!) because of your work of love.

  16. Kimmo Says:

    Ian,

    Do you know anything more about how other players were supposed to interact with you (or the game world) in Lost Continents?

    MMOs seem to be the critical step that risk breaking the teams that are trying to push content-heavy designs. MMOs that rely on new content appearing regularly are putting a hard burden on themselves from the get-go. That’s why we see so many of them fail. Even though I don’t know anything about Lost Continents, I’m willing to bet this contributed to their failure as well.

    Being a part of a small team, I’m trying to think of ways to avoid costly stuff, so ideas like evolving the game world based on the collaborative actions of all players are very intriguing. For example, an MMO where any given day (or moment) you’d be able to take a role of a hunter-gatherer, soldier or politician. Hunter-gatherers are food providers, soldiers guard and expand your territory (safety zone) and politicians attempt to affect people’s choice of action and roles. You would have NPCs as the “meat” of the simulation; they would essentially be workers who act based on what’s made available by the players. Finally, you would have competing societies.

    In short, MMOs need to take a more holistic approach to interaction to be viable: player affecting other players affecting the world affecting the player. As cool as great epic story-scenes are, the larger the game production the more important it is to just leave the one-off content to Hollywood.

  17. Kimmo Says:

    Corey,

    As with anything creative, people will always find a meaning beyond the original intention. You pour all of your relevant knowledge and experience into a creative work sometimes knowingly, sometimes by intuition. You end up with something that people find compelling and then the same people are suddenly trying to figure out what it is that draws them. What they find is probably highly subjective, often so far-fetched to be silly and yet quite useful. It’s great, because it attempts to formulate and pass on what once was just one person’s intuition.

    Sorry if this is straying further off-topic, but I actually think game developers focus far too little on design in game postmortems. If they wrote more about what they attempted to achieve, by what means and how well they thought they succeeded, it would give a great starting point for the analyses and discussions I mentioned above.

    It’s curious how the benchmark regarding difficulty and putting up with stuff has moved over the years. I too believe the alleyways of QFG2 would be a showstopper for quite a few more players nowadays than they were back then. Game design principles have matured and sophisticated, and most of it is for the best. However, now that game designers are getting a hang of it and can make games that are zone-inducing, rewarding and all that, would it be time for more people to start experimenting with evoking certain emotions and feelings through game mechanics? Deliberately making people feel frustrated, angry, lost, sick or regretful. Jason Rohrer’s Game Design Sketchbook over at Escapist Magazine has a few attempts at that. It would be sort of like getting back to the roots, but this time on purpose.

    I agree on World of Warcraft. The idea of having different world views for each player is pretty interesting and I can see it working for the most part if you’re out there on your own, but what about groups/clans? You’d have to somehow deal with the problems of players not being in sync with each other regarding some NPCs or just accept the fact that some people can do stuff others can’t. I started thinking about dividing human players into separate worlds as well, based on their *local* world view (global is likely to rule out too many people), but like you said, it easily gets out of hand.

  18. Avatar Says:

    Dear Corey,

    Quote “Lori developed a detailed back story and character background for her”

    Wow… is it still available, somewhere? :)

    I think QFG fans would freak out if you were to include this as a prize or something for your upcoming launch.

    Rgds

Leave a Reply

Follow these comments with the RSS 2.0 feed.