When Sierra Online released the first Quest for Glory game in 1988, they began what would become one of the most entertaining and innovative series in the history of computer gaming. Now, with the release of Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire, designer Lori Cole puts the finishing touches on the series with a rousing and thoroughly enjoyable finale.
Dragon Fire picks up where its predecessor, Shadows of Darkness, left off. Having freed the land of Mordavia from its dark curse, the hero is transported to the island nation of Silmaria, where he will compete in the Seven Rites of Rulership to become the troubled land's new king. Along the way, he'll uncover a dangerous plot to sabotage the Rites and release a mighty dragon from its centuries-old resting-place in the heart of Silmaria's largest mountain.
Blending the skill-building techniques of traditional role-playing games with the detailed story and tricky puzzles of a classic adventure game, Dragon Fire reaches new heights in the hybrid genre its predecessors created. To start the game, you may choose to import a saved character from any of the four previous installments or start from scratch with one of four character types: Fighter, Thief, Magic User or Paladin. The type of character you play influences much of the story within the game itself. This unique story-telling method provides excellent replay value because the situations and puzzles you encounter as one character are entirely different as another. This has been a feature of the previous games but, unlike past installments, Dragon Fire offers each character-type equally enjoyable quests within the overall quest.
Dragon Fire was created with the knowledge that it would be the last in the series and it's obvious those involved left nothing behind. Characters from all four previous adventures play important roles in this story and that in itself provides a welcome sense of nostalgia for longtime fans. New gamers will also enjoy the depth that each of these characters brings and none will ever feel lost from having missed playing an earlier game. All of the relationships are clearly established in the conversations between characters but never to the point where it seems to be forced. The dialogue is rich and valuable to the story itself.
Conversations play a significant role in the story's outcome. Your attitude toward other characters influences the sort of information they'll impart and that information is pivotal to the way the story progresses. Be sure to talk to everyone again and again, especially after you've learned or done something new. You never know who might be able to help you next.
The conversations are rarely tedious and, in fact, are often very amusing. The series' penchant for bad puns and tongue-in-cheek humor didn't end with Shadows of Darkness and, actually, Dragon Fire may be the funniest game in the series since the original. Amazingly, the offbeat jokes (and there are hundreds of them) do not interfere with the tension and drama that the fate-of-the-world type quest seeks to create.
Dragon Fire's graphics are excellent, too. Before its release, some gamers expressed concern that its lack of 3D acceleration would make it look clunky and outdated. Fear not. The backgrounds are stunning and the characters themselves are more than passable. The game's appearance is actually an improvement over many 3D games now available (c.1998).
Dragon Fire also offers an extremely easy interface and combat system. Manipulating characters and objects is as easy as clicking the mouse. The same goes for fighting: simply point, click and slay. While the fights aren't necessarily easy, you won't have to worry about losing because you couldn't figure out which button to press. Depending on your particular skills and character-type, you'll have a vast selection of magic spells and items from which to choose. They're all neatly done, so don't be afraid to use them in battle. It's a good way to build up all your skills for the final conflict (and believe me, you'll need all the help you can get).
The graphics, game play and dialogue are all top-notch. So, what about the music? Enter Chance Thomas, composer of the game's entire musical score. It has an epic feel to it that will have you humming the Quest For Glory theme long after you've completed the game.
If you're looking for a fun, engrossing adventure, Dragon Fire is your game. If you want an interesting twist on the classic RPG format, it's your game, too. And if you just want some really great bad jokes, then this is definitely for you. What are you waiting for? Pick up Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire and become the hero you always knew you could be.
Graphics: Beautifully rendered 3D environments, even without the 3D acceleration.
Sound: Great music with an epic feel.
Enjoyment: Both dark and funny. A winning combination. Sierra held nothing back when they made this one. As good a game as you'll find all year.
Replay Value: An excellent blend of versatility and linear story telling.
People who downloaded Quest for Glory 5: Dragon Fire have also downloaded:
Quest for Glory 4: Shadows of Darkness, Quest for Glory 3: Wages of War, Quest for Glory 2: Trial by Fire, Quest for Glory 1: So You want to be a Hero (remake), Hero's Quest (aka Quest for Glory I), Police Quest: SWAT, Outcast, Star Trek: Generations
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