Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire (1998)
||Quest for Glory
A fantasy game of the dungeons-and-combat variety, Quest for Glory 5: Dragon Fire
allows players to customise a hero and send him to Silmaria, a country whose king has been murdered. In order to flush out the perpetrator, you must enter the race for the throne, completing seven Rites of Rulership. First, of course, you must earn the required entry fee, either by slaughtering monsters or competing in arena combat.
Sound all too drearily familiar? A few intriguing features do separate this game from all of its fantasy role-playing siblings. The greatest of these is a sense of continuity with the previous Quest for Glory games. Not only do characters from older stories re-emerge--sometimes newly married or better established in their careers--but you can import your old characters into Dragon Fire. Instead of starting anew, you can continue a long seamless adventure with a familiar hero. Other nice touches include a rarely seen haggling system, whereby you negotiate the prices of food, weapons and spells with their various vendors. The occasional treachery of seemingly trustworthy characters and a great sense of humour also add nice dimensions to the Quest for Glory universe.
Being tied to earlier games, though, gives this one less flexibility. You cannot play a non-human character, you cannot even play a female hero and players are restricted to a few very broad character classes. Character statistics and customisation options are also on the simple end of the spectrum, making the game seem older than it is. On the plus side, Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire has sharp graphics, some very tough dungeons and a streamlined, easy-to-use interface. Most of all, it tells a good story and allows long-term players of this series to retire their hero in style. --Alyx Dellamonica
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