Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire uses the classic parser interface used for many of Sierra's older adventure games and combines the dialogue and puzzles traditional in the adventure genre with RPG-style character statistics and real-time combat. The result is an intricately multi-pathed game in which the methods available to surmount obstacles vary according the player's choice of class (Fighter, Magic User, or Thief) and choice of which skills to possess and to improve. Quest for Glory II continues the series tradition of allowing the import and export of character statistics and inventory, allowing you to import a hero from Quest for Glory I and to export your hero once more at the end of the game for use in the next Quest for Glory.
Quest for Glory II is set in the land of Shapeir, loosely themed around the Arabian Nights. Consisting largely of long stretches of desert, anyone journeying outside the confines of its two cities would be advised to bring water, a mount, and protection. Within the cities reside a great number of both humans and Katta, a cat-like people who have long called the region home.
The city of Shapeir is built around its lifeblood, a magically endless spring of water that supports a bustling metropolis despite the harsh clime. The palace of the Sultan Harun al Rashid is located in Shapeir, and it is rumored that the entrance to the Wizard's Institute of Technology is somewhere within the city bounds.
Raseir is the twin city of Shapeir and lies on the opposite side of a vast stretch of desert. The city is also centered on a magical fountain, and holds the palace of its governor, the Emir Arus Al-Din. There has been disquieting new lately from Raseir, including the disappearance of the Emir.
Following the conclusion of Quest for Glory I, the hero travels with Shameen, Sheema and Abdulla Doo to their home city of Shapeir. The city soon comes under attack by four elementals: Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. After saving the city, the hero must then cross the desert to investigate Shapeir's dark mirror image, Raseir, a city which has fallen under the thrall of an evil wizard named Ad Avis.
Quest for Glory II builds on the previous game, increasing the class differentiation including a greater variety of class- and skill-specific sidequests. It features an alleyway system that constructs procedural streets for the cities in the game. This allows the cities to be far larger than the town from the first game, and also creates an environment for random encounters to take place within the city. Much of the plot of Trial by Fire occurs at specific points on the game clock. This means that the player does not control the flow of events to nearly the same extent as the first game, and a few quests can result in the player's death simply because they were not solved within the few game days provided to address them. However, throughout most of the game, the four elemental attacks on Shapeir are the only time-critical quests that can result in death through inaction, and the player is given ample warning before each elemental destroys the city and ends the game.
Not much has changed for fighters since the first game; they still hit things with swords. In Quest for Glory II, fighters have a more complex combat system to master and have the chance to partake in sparring sessions with Uhura and Rakeesh in the Adventurer's Guild. Fighters can also join the Eternal Order of Fighters, a secret fraternity.
The magic user possesses any spells they learned in the first game and has the opportunity to learn several new ones. New spells include Levitate, Reversal, and Force Bolt, a ricocheting energy blast which has implications for both combat and puzzle-solving. In Quest for Glory II, magic users have the opportunity to join the Wizard's Institute of Technocery (W.I.T.), if they are able to solve a series of magic-related puzzles.
In addition to their usual tactics of stealth and breaking-and-entering, thieves are introduced to a handful of new game mechanics, including the use of oil to ease lock-picking and silence squeaky hinges. Thieves also obtain a magical rope that allows them to reach otherwise inaccessible locations.
The player character can not be a paladin during the game, but through their actions, they may earn the title upon successfully completing the game and carry it into Quest for Glory III, the first game in which the Paladin is a playable class.
In order to earn the title, the player must accrue a high Honor score and earn a hidden stat known as "Paladin Points" for performing selfless deeds. Further, there are a few karma checks in the game that may completely disqualify the character: for example, killing unarmed opponents or unlawfully trespassing in certain locations. Any class can become a paladin, but their sword-and-board combat style works best for fighters. Thieves in particular will have difficulty using their class skills while upholding the paladin's moral code.
- The creators and designers of the series, Lori Ann Cole and Corey Cole, have a cameo as the Katta food merchants Sloree and Scoree.
- All three of the Marx brothers appear, although Harpo, appropriately, does not have a speaking role - only a brief appearance.
- "Raseir" is, intentionally, an anagram of Sierra.
While Sierra never remade the game as a point-and-click style as it did Quest for Glory I, a free remake with 32-bit graphics and a point-and-click interface was developed by Anonymous Game Developers Interactive. The game was released on August 24th 2008 after several years in development, and is free to download from the developers website.
The remake uses a different implementation of city streets, including the option to use a simplified map to make navigation of Shapeir easier. It also features a more complex combat system and a redesigned dialogue interface that allows the player to use the mouse, the text parser or a combination of both. The remake supports importing the player character from Quest for Glory I and exporting to later games in the series.
Running the Game Today
While it may be possible to run the game directly, modern Windows systems may have problems with speed or sound. These issues can be easily solved by using DOSBox to run the game.