The Story so far
At the end of Quest for Glory III: Wages of War, you stand triumphant after defeating the demon mage and closed the portal to his realm. Emerging from the ruins, you celebrate your victory with your friend, the liontaur paladin Rakeesh and his friends. However, dark magic springs forth and pulls you away from your friends and from Tarna and thrusts you into the dark lands of Mordavia. You wake up in a cave having lost all your equipment and thus begins Quest For Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness!
In Shadows of Darkness, the Hero has been summoned by unknown forces to Mordavia, and wakes up in a dark and ominous cave lined with the bones of a large monster and containing altars to the Dark One. When he escapes the cave, he is met by a young woman, Katrina, who gives him directions to the nearby town.
Although the purpose of the game at first is essentially to get out of Mordavia, as the Hero learns more about the area he is, hero-style, drawn into the struggle against evil in Mordavia.
It quickly becomes apparent that Mordavia is a strange and dangerous land, with undead creatures and many other beings from East European folklore skulking about. When the Hero reaches the town, he quickly gets the lay of the land. Mordavia is cut off from the outside world by mountains and a swamp newly created by heavy rainfall. The Hero is the first person to come to Mordavia for quite some time, and is effectively trapped. The townspeople are unwelcoming and unfriendly, are overly fond of garlic, and often beset by troubles. The innkeeper and his wife have lost their daughter, Tanya, who has disappeared mysteriously. The town also has an Adventurers' Guild like seen in most other games of the series, although this one has long been abandoned. In the city centre there is also a looming Gothic building radiating evil.
Around the countryside, there are, among many other things, a great castle looming over the town, a gypsy camp, the hut of Baba Yaga, and a peaceful area called Erana's Garden. The Hero has to help the townspeople, rescue Tanya, explore the countryside, delve into the castle and once again do battle against the nefarious Ad Avis.
Whilst the majority of the gameplay is unchanged from the previous game, there are numerous updates.
- The combat system is now 2D Fighter style, controlling your character directly with the arrow keys (Including up to jump), and abilities cast by clicking on a hotbar.
- Bigger differences between each character class. Each seperate character class now has many more unique quests/encounters for them.
- The first Quest For Glory game with full voice acting, including narration done by John Rhys-Davis.
Class and Skill System
Like the other games of the series, Quest for Glory IV includes four playable classes, which have different skill sets. However, since many skills are trainable in the game for classes who are not focused on them, it is possible to create hybrid characters during the course of the game. These hybrid characters will not get some class-specific abilities and events in the game even though they might have the requisite skill levels on their character sheets, however.
The fighter is your basic sword-and-shield class. His main attributes are Strength, Vitality, and Weapon Use, much like his brethren from other games. The fighter usually uses a brute force approach in the game, breaking open chests and doors when necessary.
The Magic User is your basic wizard-type character, who focuses on using spells to get himself out (and into) tight spots. His main attributes are Intelligence and Magic. Apart from fighting, he also uses spells to disarm traps, levitate, and opening locked chests.
The thief is the usual rogue character who uses daggers for combat, and stealth and acrobatics to keep out of it. Agility and Stealth are classic thief skills. The thief also uses lockpicks to get into locked places and climbing to get where he needs to go.
The paladin is a character class that becomes unlocked when you have finished one of the earlier Quest for Glory games and import the character to Shadows of Darkness. It is a class that is usually designed as a fighter with magic abilities, and that unlocks some quests that are otherwise impossible to access.
In Quest for Glory, there are no character levels, and after character creation, you are unable to distribute points to your character. Instead the character learns by doing, and skill stats increase by repeatedly doing an action, such as being in combat, exercising, climbing or throwing. This makes it possible to grind to get your character to peak condition, though due to the time limit on some quests, that might not always be advisable.
Cave of the Dark One
This is where the Hero wakes up after being summoned to Mordavia and the scene of the final confrontation. Many of its caverns are shaped as if they were inside the remains of a great monster, with bones forming the walls and doors that seem strangely organic. Altars of the Dark One erected by the Cult of the Dark One are spread throughout the caves.
Town of Mordavia
The town of Mordavia is one of the few places in the area that are truly safe. At the entrance, the staff of Erana, put there by the paladin Piotyr after Erana disappeared in the great battle when they wiped out the Cult of the Dark One. The town is led by the Burgomeister, Dmitri, and has all the needed accoutrements of a hero's base of operations; an inn, a shop, and the laboratory of a mad scientist.
Monastery of the Dark One
In the centre of town the Monastery of the Dark One looms. No one in town dares to enter it, and any member of the Cult of the Dark One that still remain does not dare to enter the town. It was built by the mad monk Amon Tillado, and is full of traps for the unwary, but also important information about the working of the Cult and the Dark One.
The Adventurers' Guild is, like in the other games, a help to the Hero. Here he can exercise, retrieve a weapon, and learn the history of the region and the adventures of Erana and Piotyr the paladin. There is also a hidden entrance to the Thieves' Guild of Mordavia. Both guilds are abandoned however, so it can be quite lonely.
This is the stronghold from where Mordavia used to be ruled by the Borgov boyars, but the last Borgov is long since dead. Now, according to the gatekeeper, it is inhabited by the "Master" and a foreigner, in actuality Katrina and Ad Avis.
Erana's Garden is one of the few safe places in Mordavia. The magical stream heals you from poisons, and if you sleep there you will see strange yet soothing visions.
The Gypsy Camp
The Gypsy Camp is full of traveling wagons, settled there because the swamp has made it impossible to leave Mordavia. At first the Hero is not welcomed there, but if you get into the gypsies' good graces, they will tell you many secrets of Mordavia and the battle against the Dark One.
Baba Yaga's Hut
At first impossible to reach until the Hero receives the magic phrase from the Leshy, Baba Yaga's Hut stands on chicken legs, surrounded by dead bodies and skeletons. The Hero met Baba Yaga in the first game, where he turned her into a frog. As such, Baba Yaga is not incredibly happy to see him. The path to her hut is guarded by a talking skull, who must be appeased before the Hero can go up to the hut.
Quest for Glory IV an action-adventure game which has more in common with point-and-click adventure games than today's action-focused action-adventure games, and with a great deal of inspiration from the RPG world.
The game is also somewhat time-sensitive, where the monsters are different depending on the time of day, and some quests can only be completed at different times of day. Unlike some of the other games in the series, Quest for Glory IV is not quite as strict with time limits, and only a few quests demand that you be on a certain location on a certain day to get a quest. There are, however, several quests where you are given a deadline, and failing that will mean game over.