After talking with Erasmus and being provided a few more clues, I’m off to see the wicked witch of the valley – Baba Yaga. Well, more specifically an ogress, but she’s ugly nonetheless.
When I first get to her gate, I have to make a deal with the skull at the door. Apparently he’s jealous that the other skulls have eyes. Off I head around trying to find this eye. Finally meeting up, and trading with, a frost giant, I’m one glowing gem richer. Skull’s happy, I’m happy and now I get to go into the hut.
After 20 years, I still remember the rhyme to get that hut down.
Once inside I get to meet this wicked witch – who immediately turns me into a frog. What fun. The old hag (what an affectionate term) sends me on a quest to collect a mandrake root at midnight, in the middle of a graveyard. Oddly enough, this was a simple task compared to the other ones so far.
After leaving her hut I keep wandering around and find a Dryad, who thankfully instructs me on how to concoct a dispel potion. A few mini quests later (green fur from meeps, a magic acorn, flying water from a waterfall and dancing fairies) I get the healer to make me a nice potion. Getting ready for the end! Now I just need to figure out where this brigand leader is.
And for that I visit the local thieves. A quick snoop later, I get the password to the secret tunnel and the key from a corpse. Of interest in this portion, if I don’t take a particular path across the map, I die. Which I do repeatedly. Games like QfG practically forced you to save continuously to avoid constant death.
On to the final chapter. Meeting up with the secret cave, I give the password which shoos away the local troll. A bit further in, I get to meet Toro, the local minotaur guard. For some reason, my sneaking ability fails again and again (even though it’s at max) and I have to fight this poor bugger. A few daggers and fireballs later, he goes down and I go in over the wall.
The next portion is a trap filled death zone which takes a few tries to get through. Nothing to serious but the arrows hit me in the knee a few times. I then enter the eating hall. Or as I like to call it, the room of eternal failure. There are 5 distinct actions that have to be taken here and all within a specific timeframe. Each one too soon, or too late, causes death. I do end up clearing it but it takes me a solid 15 minutes for what amounts to 30 seconds of actual gameplay.
The next zone has me meeting the warlock, or Yorrick to his pals. This was the jester that followed the baroness to make sure she was ok. Given that he couldn’t break Baba Yaga’s curse, he just stuck around to protect her. He devised this massive trap zone to isolate her from the rest of the brigands. Getting through the funhouse is as challenging as it is colorful. Finally through that, I meet the brigand leader, throw the dispel potion and poof, baroness!
She informs me that her magic mirror can reflect spells (why she didn’t use this before is a good question) so I pick that up and we both skedaddle. Mirror in hand, I decide to pay the ogress one final visit. A zap and a half later, Baba is now a baby frog and I’m a free man. The game takes over now and I’m sent to the Baron’s castle for a victory feast, with all the cast and crew (along with Corey and Lori Anne Cole). I save my game afterwards to get eventually started on Quest for Glory 2 – Trial by Fire.
I played the EGA version of this game about 50 times when I was younger and tend to replay the VGA one every year since. It has not lost it’s charm. The art style still holds up, as it never really went for realism in the first place. The text is still as good/corny as it was before. The puzzles are still well thought out and have multiple paths for success. One of the best parts of the game, and the series, is that you can start in QfG1 and continue to play the same character all the way through QfG5. And it did this 15 years before Mass Effect.
Man I love this game.