It's October, which means it is time to play some Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness! I've played this game numerous times over the past 25 years, and I still occasionally find new things, but this year I decided something different by playing both the floppy disk and CD versions of the game. This game was initially released in 1993, but it was rushed out to make the holiday season and was notoriously buggy. The CD version of the game followed a year later which included voice acting, in addition to many bug fixes.
I played through both the floppy disk and CD versions to look for differences between the two, in addition to various bugs (what is this — a bug hunt?). I was able to get through most of the floppy disk version, but when I returned to the Dark One's cave, it got stuck and acted like the hero kept trying to leave the cave instead of entering it. Unfortunate, but close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades to compare these two versions of Quest for Glory 4.
- Logitech CyberMan 3D Controller support
- Igor pounding on the headstone in town makes no sound
- Magda's lips don't move while talking.
- When talking with Davy and Magda, when talking with Davy, it goes to his close up portrait instead of him talking in the view with himself and Magda.
- Playing this game under ScummVM seems to resolve a lot of the speed issues. Did not encounter Error 47 or 52. Had no issues with the game locking up after fighting a wraith. Battles move fairly normally, especially when fighting the Badders. The stamina does not fully reload like there has been with speed issues. The CD version under ScummVM (and the NewRisingSun patch) still moves too quickly.
- In this version, one can see Frankie wave between Dr. Cranium talking. In the CD version, it flips so quickly you can't see it.
- Nikolai's portrait as a ghost looks the same as when he is alive. In the CD version, his ghost portrait is bluish.
- When first talking with Boris, mentioned that Olga has the same last name and Boris says that it is an interesting coincidence. I wasn't able to get this dialog to appear in the CD version.
- Elderberry bush does not show eyes until it is hit.
- [BUG] Bug found after first talking with Baba Yaga, she sends the hero out (no animation), but the game does not act like they spoke about the pie. Talking to Bonehead gives no clues about how to make the pie.
- [BUG] A couple areas where it does not display the proper window when a person is talking. Instead it shows the narrator's window.
- [BUG] After finishing a fight, the victory chime gets cut off, except when I fought the Badders in the castle and the entire chime played there.
- [BUG] When opening Ligeia's tomb at night, it said that her ghost was coming out and was MAD, but no wraith battle happened. When opening the tomb again, the game acts like the wraith had already been vanquished.
- [BUG] After Katrina leaves near the castle, you can still click the Mouth icon on yourself and she will respond to the options.
- [BUG] When Katrina walked away near the castle, her sprite just slid backwards.
- [BUG] Upon entering the Dark One's cave again, it seems to be stuck as if the hero keeps trying to leave.
- [BUG] No animation when trying to climb the tree in the cemetery .
- Voice acting
- Bug fixes
- Opens with the Sierra splash logo and mountain animation
- No longer supports the Logitech CyberMan 3D Controller
- Looking at self does not mention the character's name. This small change might have been made in case there would be voice narration for that line (there wasn't).
- The CD version under ScummVM does not seem to play the battles at the "expected" speed, so there's still the stamina issue and the fights are faster than intended. This is one area where the floppy disk version was better.
- [BUG] No voice track when telling the magic bushes to grow and prosper.
- [BUG] When telling Bonehead about the gnome, the "fry guys" and "the Big B", there are three dialog messages with no voice dialog.
- [BUG] The second half of Dr. Cranium's "Report" dialog is voiced by John Rhys-Davies, but it does still show the portrait view.
- [BUG] One of the last lines the Gnome says when talking to him after his final performance are lines done by John Rhys-Davies instead of by Punny Bones.
- [BUG] It is possible to skip fighting the battle with the last Borgov (Priest Horror) to get the last rite. Even without the rite, the game will play properly.
- Noticed that one can oil their weapon and armor. It doesn't seem to do anything, but it is a nice touch.
- At least for the fighter, it is possible to force open the gate, fight the two Necrotaurs, then enter the castle from the front. This seems reminiscent of trying to enter the Brigands' hideout via the front door in Quest for Glory I (versus taking the secret path).
- Tried giving candy and flowers to everyone. Most people have a response to candy. Some people (such as Tanya and Katrina) might have multiple responses. Some characters also have interesting responses when given an avocado and garlic sandwich.
- [BUG] The axe icon does not display in the inventory.
- [BUG] The tombstone disappears from the graveyard at night.
- [BUG] There are a couple of description inconsistencies with what is seen on the screen versus what looking describes.
- [POSSIBLE BUG] As a fighter (floppy), it was possible to get the Black Bird in the monastery. In the CD version as Paladin, the Black Bird was not there. A bug or a difference between the Fighter and Paladin classes?
Going through these two versions of this game shows the importance of proper testing and how much effort goes into creating a game. While the floppy disk version was mostly playable until the end, it was interesting to come across areas which were buggy, missing animations, or were changed for the CD version. The update did clean up a number of issues, but even still there were a number of misses (such as missing or incorrect voice tracks). What wasn't expected several years after the game's release would be speed-related bugs that would plague many of the early 90s Sierra games. Fortunately modern utilities like DOSBox, ScummVM, and the NewRisingSun patch help immensely to curtail the worst of the issues and make this game a joy to experience over and over again.