Quest For Glory II: Trial By Fire sees our hero (that's you) arrive in the desert land of Shapier, along with your friends, Shema, Shameen, and Abdulla. You have travelled far, after already proving yourself a hero in Spielburg, and you are looking forward to a bit of relaxation. Shameen and Shema quickly set up an inn (Katta's Tail Inn), and offer you free board and meals whenever you want it.
Did I say relaxation? There's no time for a hero like you to relax! This town is in trouble, and only YOU can save it. Four Elementals (Fire, Air, Earth, Water) are loose, and they are determined to destroy Shapier. Townspeople are afraid, and they look to you for guidance. You are the only one that can save this town. So you must learn as much about the Elementals as you can, and discover how to defeat them. The townspeople are counting on you. Can you prove yourself a hero once again?
But that's only part of the story - a hero's work is never done! Shapier's twin town, Raseir also needs your help. The Emir of Raseir has mysteriously vanished, and his evil brother is acting as ruler. Rasier is a very different place from the luxurious Shapier. It is a place ruled by fear and violence. Once again, you must set things right. You vow to find the rightful Emir, and restore him to power. The fate of not one, but two cities lie in your hands!
Quest For Glory II: Trial By Fire Remake was created by AGD Interactive, and released on 24 August 2008. It took 7 years of development, and is very much a labour of love. The game is very faithful to the original, but with some tweaks and surprises here and there. As you start the game, you get to choose between 3 different classes - Thief, Magic User, or Fighter - and then assign various stats to him, as well as naming him. Different classes provide different challenges, giving the game a lot a replayability. Customisable options allow you to play the game just as you want. You can choose to play the game with Text Parser, or Point & Click controls, or even a combination of both. Alleyway layout can be Classic (just like the original) or simplified (less twists and turns).
As I said before, AGD Interactive have 'Revamped' the game, tweaking it here and there. One of the tweaks that I'm not so keen on is the combat system. It is a bit different from the original version. Several new moves have been added, which allows you to step forward, jump back, or dodge left and right. Enemies are a lot tougher to beat, and have their own moves, such as throwing daggers at you. It's not just a case of 'stab as fast as you can' anymore. You can set it to 'Auto', which helps with some of the more complicated moves, but still leaves you to do a lot of the fighting. I had my skill level set down to 'Easiest', so the enemies didn't have any nasty surprises for me, but I still found the combat tricky. The whole thing just seems a bit overly-complicated to me, but those of you who enjoy your combat will probably be thrilled with this revamp!
Regardless of which style of game you chose (text parser or point & click), there are icons at top of screen to help you control your character. You are able to Talk, Pick Up, Look At, etc, as well as being able to Save or Quit your game at any time. As with the original, you can also check time of day, rest for an hour, and even run or sneak.
This remake has gorgeous hand-drawn backgrounds, and uses VGA graphics, which enhance the look and feel of the game immensely. The Arabian style from the original version is still here, but everything has been lovingly recreated to enhance the colours, making it richer. When someone is talking, you can see a close-up portrait of that person as they speak. You can even see their mouth moving and eyes blinking. Day \\\\ Night cycles are used with great effect. When evening comes, the town grows dark, and stall owners pack up for the night. Facial expressions that Issur makes when challenging you to arm wrestling are just amazing. Elementals are wonderfully animated, as are monsters in the desert. There is just so much detail everywhere you look, it's hard to find fault.
One of the biggest improvements are the alleyways! No longer will you be scrolling through endless corridors that all look the same. AGD have taken great pains to make their alleyways seem a lot more unique, so it's easier to find your way through them. Some streets have rubble lying around, some have trees and plants on the walls, some have crates abandoned in the corner, some houses have shutters on the window etc. I loved the various types of doors you can find. Some alleys even have washing hanging outside, which really made me laugh for some reason.
MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS
AGD have done a fantastic job here, and there is so many nice sound effects that you will enjoy hearing. Everything from the pleasant 'Ding' when you gain points, to the clinks and clanks of combat, to the roar of monsters in the desert will delight you. The 'Gronk' sounds of your saurus are just adorable, and I loved how each spell (for magic users) has it's own sound. The 'Uh' that is uttered when your character gets hurt is very effective, and screeches from monsters in the desert are really quite sinister. All the music from the original (and more) is here, and it has been enhanced. I especially like the tribal music you can hear, when training in the Training Area with Uhura.
Quest For Glory II: Trial By Fire Remake is a wonderful game, that I can highly recommend. The story has stayed faithful to the original, but has a few extra treats added in. You can play as 3 different characters, each character giving you different challenges. This gives the game a lot of replay value. The game itself is customisable, so you can choose how you want to play. Do you like the traditional text parser, or do you prefer a point & click system? Graphically, the game is absolutely gorgeous. AGD have redrawn the backgrounds, using VGA graphics. I love everyones close-up portrait when they speak, as there is a lot of detail in their faces. Alleyways are a vast improvement over the original, and it's easier to find your way through them now. Music and sound effects are wonderful to hear. All the music from the original is present, as well as some new music. AGD have put a lot of love into the game, and it shows in so many ways. My only gripe is the combat system, as it seems over-complicated to me. But I'm sure a lot of you will love it. All in all, a lovely game that any adventure fan will love.
The official soundtrack can be found here - http://queststudios.com/quest/qfg2vga/qfg2vga.html
You can download the entire soundtrack as one zip file (125 MB), or you can download individual tracks. You can also print out cd cover (front and back) from this page. What more could you want?
Review by: Frodo