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The 1994-published fourth, though unnumbered entry in this series by Sierra is another RPG-meets-point'n'clicker where the action takes place in essentially Transylvania, except with Russian folklore mixed in. The protagonist must prevent a disaster when an evil sorcerer and sorceress team up to summon a terrible cosmic horror thing, which is not to be allowed lest there be no more sequels. In the traditional QfG style, you actually have skill points allocation which is the first part of routing a successful speedrun. The game also has an arcadey fighting system and - if you got the CD version - spoken dialogue.

QuestForGlory4   QuestForGlory4

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With Thief: 0:32:40 by Paul 'The Reverend' Miller

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Author's comments:

For details about the particulars about the game, check my opening comments on the Fighter run. Suffice to say, the CD version runs slower (though not much slower) than the diskette version. However, the diskette version is not supported any longer and GOG.com only carries the CD version.

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After working through the Fighter, the Wizard and an Imported Thief, I figured things were going to go about the same for the Thief plus a few mandiatory extra steps. I did not expect a route change that was as drastic as it was. For one thing, while the Special Attack of the Thief is devastating, the Strategy Combat setting is inconsistent with finishing an opponent off with it. While I would normally take out the Wraith guarding the Ritual Scroll on the very first night, it was impossible without some godlike fortune (in other words, I was never able to do it). The meant postponing it until later in the run in favor of a strategy I found to be, oddly enough, 100% consistent and wasting almost no time to do.

The Thief has some major differences, as I stated, in the route. For one, you have to go to the Adventurers' Guild, you must go to the Thieves' Guild, and all of the doors inside the castle are strangely locked. There is also a chance of running into Katrina another time which is inconsistent, but is easy enough to get through by buying Oil. This run never encounters that, so it ends up as a moot point (see Castle section).

I will be moving on to "Quest for Glory I: So You Want to be a Hero" and subsequently working my way through the series from there in order now that my favorite game in the series has runs for all the characters.

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COMMENTARY ON THE RUN:

Opening Scene-
I have to check TWO skeletons in this room to have enough money at the General Store. Just checking the first skeleton for the Dagger only gives you enough for six rations, which is not enough to finish the game with. Since I already have the Flint in hand, I decide to use that to light the torches instead of Flame Dart.

Run to Town-
We need the Bonsai Bush to solve Leshy riddles. Run must be reset at the exit of the cave. I grab the Bones from the Swamp on way rather than getting them later.

General Store-
I buy the Oil just incase there is a encounter in the Castle with Katrina. I end up not needing it.

Old Man Nikolai and Dr. Cranium-
Talk to Nikolai. Antwerp puzzle went about as flawless as I could expect. Visit Dr. Cranium, get four flasks (one for the Pie, second for Baba Yaga, third for Dr. Cranium, fourth for Will-o-Wisps). Get the Glide spell. Get the Adventurers' Guild Key from the Burgomeister.

Adventurers' Guild and Thieves' Guild-
I use the Key to enter, grab the Grapnel, and read the HERO Brochure (for Leshy) and Creative Casting (for 25 extra Magic stat points, which helps in every fight). I do the hook puzzle in the least number of moves to get into the Thieves' Guild. This is a room which you do not see in any other class. I grab the Guild Membership Card and open the sliding doors. I read the books which teaches me about Trap Disarming, head down and grab the safe dial, and spell out "FILCH" on the safe (which is the worst possible safe combination ever, considering it is the name of the company that produces the safe). I then search for traps on the desk, and pick the lock to get the Lockpick Kit. If I did not search for traps, you become poisoned, and I am not strong enough to do the battles and Erana's Garden is out of the way at this point (you can drink the water there to eliminate poison). I feel this is faster anyway. After that, I leave. There is a secret passage behind the Chief Thief, which would be faster, but you can only exit that way when you have cured his "condition." The other benefit of going through this room is that I now have NINE daggers, and the Thief will throw them in battle frequently. They do significant damage, and you always collect up your thrown daggers after the fight.

Swamp, Slime Column and Ghost-
I finish the AVOOZL puzzle quickly, but take my time to avoid having to do it a second time. I get the Flasks of Goo, and cast Glide and head south until I reach the Tomb. The Thief has only ONE Chernovy wizard to kill, so I land and Special Attack/Dagger/Magic. The fight ends quickly. I get the Ritual Scroll and head back north and finish the night by talking with the Ghost. There is an encounter with Badders which I stop by going to the Wraith north of the ghost. After I learn her name I climb over the gate and sleep.

Town-
I tell Nikolai about his lost wife (the ghost) in the forest, and he SLOOOOWLY walks off screen. Second, I visit Dr. Cranium.

Elderberries, Leshy, Ghosts, Wraith-
I head south and get the Elderberries, and luckily only take one hit. Then I head to Erana's Garden and plant the Bonsai Bush. I then head up and do the Leshy riddles to learn the Magic Pharse. Resting until night refills my Health, which is VERY important. I also rest where the Wraith appears just incase I get a bad random encounter right away. I will not be closed off from the Wraith so I can kill the chase if it happened that way. I get the Hat from the ghosts. After this, I fight the Wraith for the Ritual Scroll. By setting Attack, Magic and Special Attack to the max, the Thief will start with the Special Attack, and end with throwing Daggers and Casting spells. In other words, he didn't stand a chance. I did quite a bit of testing and did not find a scenario that by this point would end with me killed. I head off to Baba Yaga.

Baba Yaga and heading back to Town-
Baba Yaga is about as vanilla as always. My route back to town was clean, except for one encounter with a Chernovy wizard. I have to escape twice to get away, because he blocks the path I plan on using. I was not about to let this ruin the run, though, because up to this point things had been going smoothly. I sleep in the Inn, rather than the Garden, because it gets past an annoying glitch that would kill the Thief run. (See Saving Igor section.)

Dr. Cranium, Monastery, Gnome, Domovoi-
See my Fighter run comments for the general specifics. I rest to make it past Igor to skip his complaint animations and get into the Monastery. Everything here is as fast as possible barring better click control.

Day Four-
This day is useless. You do not need it. I sleep through the Inn.

Saving Igor and the Gypsy Camp-
By sleeping at the Inn a certain number of times, I can avoid the glitch that happens where the Gypsy event doesn't fire in front of the Burgomeister's Office. Everything goes great. I needed the Grapnel here to free Igor, because I do not have the Open spell, and I would not have enough Strength like the Fighter would. I head back to hear from Dmitri (at the window) that the Gypsy was freed, and get the Crypt Key from Igor. The Crypt door requires a very high Lockpick skill (350, I think) which I do not intend to train up and waste time to get.

Castle and Up to the Dark One's Cave-
The Gypsy camp is the same as any run.

I get the Key from the BORGOV puzzle and enter the Castle. When heading up the stairs, there is a chance (it may be related to the time of day) that Katrina and Ad Avis will be arguing. Entering or Listening while they are there ends the game... unless you have Oil, in which case you can oil the hinges, listen in, and then go through the room. Luckily, this does not happen to me, and you never see it. I wastes quite a bit of time and can kill the run. All the doors in the Castle (expect for two) are locked, and require picking the lock as a Thief. This is why you need to enter the Thieves' Guild at the beginning of the game.

Getting Tanya goes smoothly. I skip Day 6 and go to Day 7 when the note appears. I sleep over and over until it is night when I am supposed to meet Ad Avis. Ad Avis to the Dark One's Cave is all the same, except for a strange glitch that happened in the dungeons where I couldn't enter the Iron Maiden. It luckily quit doing it, and I suspect it has to do with changing your movement type to Run while activating the door. More strange glitches in this game.

Rope Cavern, Bone Chamber, Blood Chamber, Breath Chamber, Sense Chamber-
Climbing down and up is slow but necessary, but the fight with the last Boyar goes fine.

Bone Chamber is pretty standard. Blood Chamber uses Acrobatics to get out faster than other classes. Breath Chamber forces you to take a little bit of damage when you hit the fourth wall, but you can climb off immediately. The Sense Chamber goes fast and safe because of the Grapnel. I did have one run happen where I almost made it to the end and died to the sparks, and I wanted to cry. Luckily, this didn't happen, and it almost looks like I intentionally took a damage boost here.

End Game-
The final game is straight forward, with a final time of 32 minutes and change. I left my final stats up this time. As I said, this is the last of the runs I intend to do for this game unless someone beats the times I set. I plan on moving on to Quest for Glory I (EGA) and setting those times next for all three classes. I will then move through the rest of the games in order, with my ultimate goal being a speed run of all five games with one character.

Here's hoping that happens. :)

New Game+ with Thief: 0:29:42 by Paul 'The Reverend' Miller

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Author's comments:

For details about the particulars about the game, check my opening comments on the Fighter run. Suffice to say, the CD version runs slower (though not much slower) than the diskette version. However, the diskette version is not supported any longer and GOG.com only carries the CD version.

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Quest for Glory allows you to carry your character from Quest for Glory 1 all the way through Quest for Glory 5 through the Import option on the opening screen. This allows for some overpowered characters by the time you reach Quest for Glory 3, and even more so by the time you reach the last game.

Normally, the benefit of having an imported character is to grant access to the Import exclusive Paladin class, which is a Fighter with some additional firepower and a kind of Spidey-sense which the narrator tells you that you are in danger. There are some additional quests for the Paladin, none of which are required in this game even if I were to run Paladin, which would be almost identical to the Fighter.

For speed's sake, I use the Thief in my Import games, one major reason: Special Attack. It is a Thief only skill, and destroys any and all monsters in mere seconds when done on Strategy combat. Barring that, a Fighter could be used and times would be similar, but the Thief should always win out.

Having an Import character gives you all of the spells from previous games as well, which means all the short-cuts available to the Wizard through Open and Trigger are available. And there are many times that certain skills make events go faster. If Climbing is faster than Levitate, I use Climbing. If Levitate is faster than Climbing, I use Levitate. It allows for total optimization.

I also do not require going out of my way for every spell like the Wizard needs to, nor do I have to deal with the Faeries. All of this leads to a sub-30 minute run when executed. I am never in any danger at any time in the run, and a full-power Import character should never be in danger of dying at anytime because of his overpowered stats. Acrobatics makes certain areas go faster, which I will elaborate on in the specific run comments.

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Opening Scene, Altar Room, Tight-Rope, Run to Town-

This is pretty straight forward. Get the Dagger. No fight with the Badders like the Fighter must, and we are out and gone in a few moments. You can ignore the Bonsai Bush, because we never encounter the Leshy. Run must be reset at the exit of the cave, but we do not need the Bonsai bush either or to click for any additional items in the central chamber of the cave.

General Store-
I go down to less than one crown. Cutting it close, but again, never in danger.

Old Man Nikolai and Dr. Cranium-
This Antwerp Trap cycle is the most complicated of any class, but it's not a big deal. Visit Dr. Cranium, get four flasks (only needed three, but a 1/10 of a second is not worth a restart at this point.) Get the Glide spell.

Swamp, Slime Column and Ghost-
First thing I do is grab the bones. I finish the AVOOZL puzzle quickly, but take my time to avoid having to do it a second time. I get the Flasks of Goo, and cast Glide and head south until I reach the Tomb. The Thief has only ONE Chernovy wizard to kill, so I land and you can finally see the Special Attack. The fight ends quickly. I get the Ritual Scroll and head back north and finish the night by talking with the Ghost. The random encounter here is just frustrating because the Chernovy wizard comes from the north which is where I would run to kill the chase. I try to cut back through to kill the run which doesn't work fast enough because of the tree there that only appears at night (to make it look more spooky). Eventually, I kill the chase and only lose a few seconds. I climb over the gate and sleep.

Town-
I tell Nikolai about his lost wife (the ghost) in the forest, and he SLOOOOWLY walks off screen. Second, I visit Dr. Cranium. I again talk to Dmitri to trigger another dialog requirement (this may not seem important, but it is absolutely VITAL.)

Ghosts, Elderberries, Wraith-
I get the hat from the ghosts and head directly south to get the Elderberries from the plant. After this, I fight the Wraith for the Ritual Scroll. It takes a bit of tweaking to get the Special Attack to fire on this one, but he goes down quickly.

Baba Yaga and heading back to Town-
For specifics, see my comments under the Fighter run. My route back to town was clean, except for one encounter with the Badders. I use the Wraith on the eastern screen to kill the chase, and head north. This was about as fast as I could ever expect.

Dr. Cranium, Monastery, Gnome, Domovoi-
See my Fighter run comments for the general specifics. I rest to make it past Igor to skip his complaint animations and get into the Monastery. I could have skipped buying the garlic and just cast Calm to get past the Hexapod, but it might only save a second or two, at best.

Day Four-
This day is useless. You do not need it. I sleep through the Inn.

Saving Igor and the Gypsy Camp-
My actions here may seem strange to anyone not familiar with this game, so I am copying them from the Wizard file. The run with the Wizard runs similarly. There is a major problem here with the game mechanics. For some reason unknown to me, there is a glitch that makes the Saving Igor plotline not appear. To make the trigger fire, I enter Dmitri's office and leave which initiates it... but that is not all: *if you go and save Igor and come back, Dmitri will not be in the window. This is run ending. Read my Fighter comments for specifics.* I found a clever work around that involves sleeping until night, casting Open on the window, Open again on the cell and going straight to the Gypsy Camp.

The funny (and morbid) part of this is that I never actually save Igor. If you run into Dmitri at anytime after this, and you have not saved Igor, its game over because Dmitri burns you at the stake because there "was a witness." Igor, the gravedigger, is buried alive... until he appears in the last scene auto-magically.

I sleep here instead of heading out at night, which skips a Katrina scene and learning Frostbite.

Castle-
The Gypsy camp is the same as any run.

You cannot cast Open on the door inside of the Crypt for the Castle passage. You need the key, so I get it. I go to the Castle and take the route through the Badders. I cast Calm in the room with the Badders which speeds up progress through the Castle, and do not have to rest there at all because it is already night.

The important change here is that you cannot encounter Dmitri after saving Tanya because it results in a game over. I sleep over and over until it is night when I am supposed to meet Ad Avis. Ad Avis to the Final Dungeon is all the same.

Rope Cavern, Bone Chamber, Blood Chamber, Breath Chamber, Sense Chamber-
I instinctively cast Calm from my Wizard runs, which does nothing but burn a second. Much faster to use Levitate here rather than Climb down.

Bone Chamber is pretty standard. Blood Chamber does not adjust Speed unless you jump to the top platform, and then you can use Acrobatics to get out even faster. Breath Chamber forces you to take a little bit of damage when you hit the fourth wall, but you can climb off immediately. The Sense Chamber goes fast and safe because of the Grapnel.

End Game-
The final game is straight forward, with a final time of under 30 minutes. I am happy with that, and it is almost four to five full minutes faster than the other characters.

With Wizard: 0:33:24 by Paul 'The Reverend' Miller

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Author's comments:

For details about the particulars about the game, check my opening comments on the Fighter run. Suffice to say, the CD version runs slower (though not much slower) than the diskette version. However, the diskette version is not supported any longer and GOG.com only carries the CD version.

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For years I was stuck on the details about the Wizard run. Wizards were my least familiar class, which caused problems. I had a feeling it may be the fastest of the classes, but could not prove it thanks to a mistake on my part: I would reach what I believed was an unwinnable glitch from actually going TOO fast, and could not find the trigger that caused a certain event to fire. Four years later, and after finishing a New Game Fighter run, I went back to the drawing board. I took my time and watched for the particulars, and kept going back to check the particular location each time I acquired each seemingly useless item, reloading until I figured out the sequence of what was required.

It took some time, but I found my mistake.

For those of you that are ever stuck in a Wizard run like I was, you need to remember that you need ALL the magic spells, even the useless ones like Hide/Invisibility. They are all required to trigger the second vision of the Faeries. Once I realized this... I knew my original route from four years ago was useless, and it would need to be reworked.

Because of this event, more than any other character, the Wizard requires the most route consideration of all the classes. Fighter and Thief practically merge tactics before night of Day One. Wizards never merge at all, really. Wizards also have more dialog trees, but at the same time have the spells to get around annoying and pesky locked doors. A particular example of difference between the Wizard and other characters is the amount of items needed; all other New Game modes require going to Adventurers' Guild for some reason or another. The Wizard never has to go here, which saves WELL over a minute of time. The Wizard also has to deal with only one fight in the entire game, which saves even more time. Also, this fight is actually FASTER in "Arcade" combat, which allows for even MORE time saving.

That being said, it wouldn't be a Quest for Glory game without game-breaking glitches. When I played as fast as I could on Wizard, new problems appeared that I needed to find work-arounds for including a BRAND NEW GLITCH I had never seen before this. This is a CD version exclusive glitch, I believe, because it also occurs in my Import game runs and I believe has to do with the CD version route; my Diskette version runs from years ago never suffered this. Fortunately, the work-arounds also allow for a few terrible but funny glitches, but perhaps shed some light on some other time-saving opportunities in an Imported run (For particulars about these glitches, see the Saving Igor section).

Another major difference here is that while most of the danger for other classes is within the first few minutes of the run (Wraith fight, in particular), most of the danger for the Wizard is not until the very last screens. I am literally not safe until I am on the last screen. There are ways to die which killed several runs that required finding new safe ways to survive in single-segment (see Frostbite section). There are also more new glitches (which killed several runs).

I am happy it is done, and am thrilled with the product. The route is about as optimized as it can ever be, with the only time saving that will occur involving better luck with random encounters and better mouse skill optimization. All allocation points in character creation are pooled into Magic for the purpose of higher damage spell casting... which may or may not actually work. Realistically, I do not believe I need allocation points at all, but you might as well use them.

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Opening Scene, Altar Room, Tight-Rope, Run to Town-

This is pretty straight forward. No fight with the Badders like the Fighter must, and we are out and gone in a few moments. You can ignore the Bonsai Bush, because we never encounter the Leshy. We have spells to reach Baba Yaga the other classes do not have. Sleep on the way one time to make it day and run into Dmitri (Dmitri is SO important in the Wizard run in ways you would not expect.)

General Store-
Money is a bit more important in this run, and I end the game with only a few Kopeks left. I purchase 12 Rations, 1 Pie Pan, 1 Candy and 1 Garlic, which leaves me with one remaining crown to purchase my room at the inn.

Old Man Nikolai and Dr. Cranium-
We need Nikolai's Hat, but you have to say hello to him here otherwise you have to backtrack a screen later on to learn that he is "looking for Anna." The questions asked for the Antwerp Trap are different for each class. I feel this one is a bit faster than the Fighters'. Only time that could be saved would be a better Antwerp Maze, but this is not bad at all. I get the Glide spell and FOUR empty flasks. This is the only run where I need an additional Flask of Goo. See Baba Yaga for details.

Swamp, Slime Column and Ghost-
First thing I do is grab the bones. This works better because the Wizard has less fighting to do, which will be up in a second. I finish the AVOOZL puzzle quickly (two tries; a third would have resulted in a restart). I get FOUR Flasks of Goo, and cast Glide and head south until I reach the Tomb. Order of events is important here. I land and engage the Chernovy Wizard on the tomb, and hold down the "X" key which continually spams high-powered Flame Dart spells which dispatches the enemy. I then Glide over to the tomb again, and Flame Dart the other Wizard 13 times to kill him off, rather than entering combat again and having to cast Glide another time. I get the Ritual Scroll and head back north and finish the night by talking with the Ghost. The random encounter is killed off by running into the Wraith to the north, and I finish out the Ghost sequence. Since the Wizard is able to get past the Town Gate at night, it is faster to Levitate over and sleep through the night rather than spamming Rests like in the Fighter run.

Town-
I tell Nikolai about his lost wife (the ghost) in the forest, and he SLOOOOWLY walks off screen. Second, I visit Dr. Cranium. It is on the third visit that you can get the Rehydration Solution, but you MUST wait a day inbetween each visit. I again talk to Dmitri to trigger another dialog requirement (this may not seem important, but it is absolutely VITAL.)

Ghosts, Elderberries, Faeries and Erana's Garden-
I get the hat from the ghosts and head directly south to get the Elderberries from the plant. I am in no danger here because I can cast Fetch to get the Berries rather than taking the damage like in a Fighter or Thief run. Normally, I would wait until after Baba Yaga to get the Magic Spell in Erana's Garden and then sleep through the night, but since the Badders were there this was a good a time as any. I am not even sure this costs any time. I come out, drink from the Faerie fountain. You need to encounter the Faeries three times (sequence 1, done). This is the only encounter that does not have requirements; it only needs to be night of day one. I head down to the Bush and cast the "Trigger" spell which opens the plant. Trigger takes about two seconds less than Open to make the bush disappear. I have no idea why, but Trigger always takes less time even though the animations are the same.

Baba Yaga-
For specifics, see my comments under the Fighter run. The only difference here is that I have to enter a third time to get a Magic Spell required to make the Faeries appear the second time. My route back to town could have been cleaner, but it was not that bad; I could have made it better by heading directly to the right into the Wraith, but risked having the controls freak out and run into that fight. There are about 3 seconds lost, which is not terrible given the random encounters that can happen.

Dr. Cranium, Monastery, Gnome, Domovoi, and Frostbite-
See my Fighter run comments for the specifics. The only difference in the sequence up to the Domovoi is that I purposefully grab the handle to the Gnomes door to take damage three times. If I do not, by the time I reach Katrina to learn the Frostbite spell, I have full health. If you are even slightly injured, Katrina gives you a potion of health that you will almost certainly need along with the Frostbite spell. It only costs 4 seconds, but guarantees my win in the Sense Ritual Chamber at the end of the game.

Day Four-
Is still non-existent. You do not need it. The only difference in this run is that I do not go back to the Inn, but sleep by the Staff.

Saving Igor and the Gypsy Camp-
There is a major problem here with the Wizard game mechanics. For some reason unknown to me, there is a glitch (that ALWAYS happens to the Wizard on this route) that makes the Saving Igor plotline not appear. To make the trigger fire, I enter Dmitri's office and leave which initiates it... but that is not all: *if you go and save Igor and come back, Dmitri will not be in the window. This is run ending. Read my Fighter comments for specifics.* I found a clever work around that involves sleeping until night, casting Open on the window, Open again on the cell and going straight to the Gypsy Camp.

The funny (and morbid) part of this is that I never actually save Igor. If you run into Dmitri at anytime after this, and you have not saved Igor, its game over because Dmitri burns you at the stake because there "was a witness." Igor, the gravedigger, is buried alive... until he appears in the last scene auto-magically.

Faeries and Castle-
The Gypsy camp is the same. Rather than going directly to the Castle, however, I now have everything I need to trigger the second Faerie encounter... This is the event I mentioned in my opening comments that killed running this for nearly five years.

After the Faeries, I go to the Castle and take a different route. I cast Calm in the room with the Badders which speeds up progress through the Castle, and do not have to rest there at all because it is already night.

The important change here is that you cannot encounter Dmitri after saving Tanya because it results in a game over. I sleep over and over until it is night when I am supposed to meet Ad Avis. Rather than running to Ad Avis, I have to go to the Faeries for the third encounter. While I am not in any danger during the fight, this does enough damage to me to make the final area very, very dangerous (hence why I took the time to get Healing Pills).

Ad Avis to the Final Dungeon is all the same.

Rope Cavern, Bone Chamber, Blood Chamber, Breath Chamber, Sense Chamber-
Nicest part is not having to fight that messy guy in the pit. Much faster to do it this way, but unfortunately it only works as a Wizard. In an Import Run with other classes, the narrator tells you that Calm basically does nothing. This is strange, that with all the glitches in the game, they took the time to work out THIS issue to prevent other classes from progressing in the fastest way. Strange.

Bone Chamber is pretty standard. Blood Chamber does not adjust Speed unless you jump to the top platform. Breath Chamber forces you to take a little bit of damage when you hit the fourth wall.

The Sense Chamber is, quite simply, the most dangerous place in the game. Every other class has a natural ability to dodge most of the shocky things after the Ritual Scroll is used. When you are low on Health to begin with, twice is all it takes to kill your character. And twice happens often. That is why I play it safe and waste three or four seconds casting Lightning Ball on the dendrites. Even then I get hit once. A second time would have ended the run. In a segmented run, I would go for broke, obviously.

There is one more glitch that can cause some problems for the Wizard. If, like me, you are used to running the other classes more often, you may decide to try and climb the center pillar. This causes a glitch where you cannot cast Levitate until you leave the room. If you leave and re-enter the chamber and try to Levitate, you cannot go to the final room. You also do not have the final Ritual Scroll anymore, so you cannot repeat the step. The result is an unwinnable glitch. The final word: do not do anything other than cast Levitate and go to the final room.

End Game-
The rest is history. While I thought I did, it did not record the final screen with the status and score screen for some reason. My final score, to my surprise, was 500, which is a perfect score... and I am not sure how. I have not done enough looking into the Scoring system, but I suspect I perform some tricks that give points to other classes that still give points to the Wizard also. This is far from a 100% run, and I know I have done the minimum (almost; Healing Pills) necessary to complete the game. That being said, I have also watched other players get less than 500 in the Wizard game. I obviously missed things; I'm not sure how failing in Saving Igor results in score perfection,.

Either way, I am content for now to call this an Any% because I do not have the final screen anyway. :)

I will probably rework routing the New Game Thief Any%, before moving on to the reworking of the Imported Character.

With Fighter: 0:33:45 by Paul 'The Reverend' Miller

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Author's comments:

I have been playing this game since around 1995 and memories of it have always stuck with me. I first began working on this run back in 2010, and I had posted a few runs of the diskette version of the game on Youtube at the same time. I might have continued more, but a full-time college workload, combined with fulfilling my role as a husband, father and Methodist minister put it on the back burner until late this year when my schedule cleared a little more.

What brought me out is when I noticed, just recently, that there is at least one other speedrunner of this game now. Competition got the better of me, so I began to work on a faster route, when I noticed some differences in the diskette version I used to run and the CD version which is used in this submission.

There are major internal game-timing differences between diskette runs done on DOSBox and the GOG.com retail CD version which is displayed here. If GOG.com had the diskette version available, that would have been the one I would have used, but you have to stick with what is available for retail with these older games. :D The reason the diskette version runs naturally faster is due to a few key reasons:

1. The CD version has voiceover for every single line (minus one) in the game, which requires an additional fraction of a second of loading time.
2. Timing fixes that slowed the game slightly to avoid certain Sierra-standard game-breaking glitches (coincidentally, making the game unwinnable) were patched into the CD version prior to its release. That being said, there are still PLENTY of these.
3. The time it takes to cross areas in the diskette version is slightly faster, due to a combination of #1 and #2. In a game that has you moving across screen constantly, this adds up quickly.
4. Some positive glitches work in the diskette version that do not work in the CD version because of patches.
5. Post-combat player-placement locations are different between the diskette and CD version. This is particularly annoying the swamp.

The difference is most pronounced during the beginning fade-in after pressing Start. The diskette version has a four second delay before user input can start. The CD version has about an eight second delay. To make matters worse, the diskette version is not affected by spamming the ESC key to cancel dialog. The CD version is, so this fade-in can take up to about 12 seconds if the ESC key is spammed to cut the announcer off.

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There are a few rules for speed running this game, which I would like to clear up ahead of time before individual comments.

1. Backtracking kills time, but because of random encounters it becomes necessary. Knowing where monsters can follow you and where they cannot is probably the most crucial, but knowing where monsters will be located if you run from them is a screen-to-screen matter that requires trail-and-error memorization.
2. "Strategy" computer-controlled combat will always beat "Arcade" user-controlled combat in terms of speed. "Arcade" combat allows the user to manage the fight, but spamming the attack and direction keys to move does not work. Trying to be precise with those key strokes does not work either, because if the enemy is performing certain moves your key-strokes will be completely ignored in favor of their attack. The computer-controlled "Strategy" mode will always be able to move across the screen and attack, dodge, and move with better precision. The only exception is with casting attack spells, which a character with lower Magic stats should not consider doing.
3. "Strategy" computer-controlled combat is frustrating and psuedo-random. It seems as though where you are on the screen when you enter combat affects some of the opening gambits your player will do. Luckily, you do not have to fight very often in the speed run, but when you do, it can kill your run. For particular details, check the first Wraith fight and check the Chernovy fight in the swamp for my comments there.
4. Only grab and buy what you need. Extra clicks almost always add time, but some save time. Check the General Store comments for specifics.
5. Your route can vary and still end with the same time. Do not feel the need to copy mine. I have three different routes, each designed to eliminate backtracking, which when recorded end within one to five seconds of one another. This is the fastest of them.
6. YOU NEED TO KNOW WHERE THE GLITCHES ARE OR YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A BAD TIME. This game is glitch-heavy, even with the patches they released to fix them. VERY glitch-heavy. And not the good kind of glitches like the Mega Man Zip Glitches. Most (95%) of the glitches in this game are ones that make the game unwinnable. Miss one dialog tree and you are done, because certain events only trigger because of certain dialog trees. See the section on saving the Gypsy for a prime example.

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COMMENTARY ON THE RUN:

Opening Scene-

Happy with this, and even a miss-click or two in here is not going to put you so far behind as to quit. First thing is to set the Game Speed up to max, the Detail to zero, and Skill to zero. Skill affects fights and puzzles and makes them easier. You only need to search the first corpse in front of you for the dagger, which is necessary to open the door. Because I put my opening ability points in Magic, I have the Flame Dart spell, allowing me to skip searching another corpse for Flint. After grabbing the torch, the game resets your character's movement to walking if you changed it to run. Runs that change the character movement to running first versus waiting to get the torch are virtually equal.

Altar Room-

Grab the Sword and Shield and then move to exit. Bats will always attack Fighters; Wizards and Thieves skip this fight. When combat starts, I spam the ESC key to exit combat and run away to the next room. That is an optimization I did not use in previous runs, and hacks plenty of seconds off.

Tight-Rope Room-

If your character movement is set to Walk, when you cross the tight-rope you will lose twice as much stamina for some reason. You can rest in this area, because when you exit the time of day will always be the same. If you exit the cave and then rest, it will advance to daytime. RESTING HERE IS IMPORTANT IF YOUR ROUTE FIGHTS THE WRAITH DURING THE OPENING NIGHT. See Wraith fight for details.

Cave Entrance-

Your movement is automatically set back to walking. I opt to change my movement speed after grabbing the Dark One's Symbol because it sets my cursor to Move so I can go to the next scene.

Slime Column-
After you slide down the walk-way, it is best to move closer to the rocks. Your spells aren't exactly slow, but if your spell has less distance to move between the casting and the targetted rocks then all the better. Force Bolt is great for this, and Fighters without Magic need to backtrack with Rocks and upgraded Throwing skill to get this necessary item. See the Leshy section for details.

Wraith Fight-
The route you take to the Wraith is important, because if you run to the right too early after leaving the swamp area you run into a different Wraith, which will bring up a dialog, and will drain just enough health to make the fight unwinnable in a New Game. Running directly into the Wraith is not advised, because he will continually drain you health and the Hero usually acts too slow to get to the Wraith in time. The fight is winnable, but just barely. It causes plenty of restarts, but it is early and I find this to be the fastest way. If you die later to the Wraith, it just means a later restart which is tedious. Using the hand on the Wraith Den makes the Hero and the Wraith act favorably in combat, making this fight winnable about 80% of the time. During the fight, I spam the "Z" key to cast the Zap spell, which makes my sword hit harder. After this fight, I check the Wraith Den to get the first Ritual Scroll. This also gives my Fighter the Axe weapon, which I am not convinced does much more damage but explains why I have a different weapon in the Swamp during the Chernovy fights.

Erana's Garden-
An old route I used to use involves sleeping here until morning. Morning is less than an hour away, but doing so refills health to max. Since max-health is not needed, I am only here to plant the Bonsai bush. I rest an hour to make it morning so that the town gate is not closed when I arrive. This is quite a few seconds faster, as it skips a cut-scene that occurs anytime you sleep in a place that is safe because of Erana's magic.

General Store-
I purchase 12 Rations, 1 Pie Pan, 1 Candy and 1 Garlic. Technically, you can win the game with 10 Rations, but by the end of the game a dialog comes up often to tell you that you are starving. It is faster just to but the extra two rations to avoid having press needless and unexpected ESC keys that can pop up when you least expect them. You can also buy an additional 1 Garlic to gift to Baba Yaga later, but it is unnecessary if you get four flasks from Dr. Cranium, which I find to be fractions of a second faster.

Dmitri-
Skip the second dialog tree by moving to the right and then coming directly back. You can then ask him for the Adventurers' Guild Key.

Old Man-
We need Nikolai's Hat, but you have to say hello to him here otherwise you have to backtrack a screen later on to learn that he is "looking for Anna." The sequence of the bells changes twice, but the three combinations you need to remember always change to the same thing. (The first time you enter the building, the code will ALWAYS be the same. The second time you enter the building, the code changes from the first code, but what it changes to will ALWAYS be the same second code. Same with the third.) Moving the Skill slider in the settings menu makes these codes comically easy.

Dr. Cranium's Hallway-
Open the door to let the Baby Antwerps out. Go to the Trap and answer its questions: Yes, No until it askes "Does it bounce?", Yes, No until done. Bait it with the ration. When the Baby Antwerp jumps out of the hole cannot be manipulated by any method I have found, so there is no time lost while waiting. You want to open the door at the same time the Baby Antwerp is caught to start the maze in the best time. If you open the door too early, you have to go through an extra dialog option which wastes about one second. The puzzle itself is annoying, in part because it can only be predicted on certain turns. This puzzle route is the fastest, with only one minor mistake that really did not take much time off. Next is the key puzzle, which is self explanitory. In both the maze and key puzzles, having the Skill slider turned down changes the puzzle.

Dr. Cranium's Lab-
You have to visit Dr. Cranium three times. I ask him about Magic, which gives me the Glide spell, and immediate move to the Science portion of the dialog tree, and ask for empty flasks four times.

Adventurers' Guild-
I got the key from Dmitri earlier, and unlock the door. I am in here to read three books and Strength train. Currently, my character is at 250 Strength. The three books I read are Climbing Skills to learn the Climbing ability which is needed only at the end of the game, Essential Exercise to add 20 points to my Strength (270 now), and HERO Magazine to learn about the answers for the Leshy puzzle. If you do not have the Climbing Skill, you will not be able to climb down to the final fight and the game is unwinnable. If you do not read HERO Magazine, the correct answers for the first Leshy puzzle are not displayed. If you do not read Essential Exercise, you have to train for two more days. Next, I do the Strength machine. You are only allowed to Strength train once a day, but it adds 10 points to your Strength each day (280 now). You need 300 Strength to save Igor on Day 5. Resting here also refills quite a bit of the health from the Wraith fight.

Leshy-
Now I move to finish the Leshy puzzle. The first answer is "Leshy," the second answer is "Rusulka." You only know these answers from reading the HERO Magazine in the Adventurer's Guild. If you do not plant the Bonsai Bush, the second riddle is a request for you to save the Bush, rather than the Rusulka riddle. The problem is that you must answer the Rusulka riddle to learn the Magic Phrase to get to Baba Yaga.

Ghost-
I rest until night and a little farther to regain some extra health for combat and to talk to this Ghost. I need to talk to her four times, and in about 80-90% of my runs there is a random encounter that causes problems. Here, the Badders come out and try to ruin me. By running directly north, there is a Wraith Den. The game only allows one monster encounter on the screen at a time, so the Wraith cancels out the Badders. I learn her name on the fourth encounter in her dialog tree.

Slime Column-
I use the Candy to get the Will-o-Wisps, and then use the Will-o-Wisps on the column which activates it. This puzzle has plagued QFG fans for years. Doing the puzzle correctly requires spelling out the name "AVOOZL," but that does not mean that the game recognizes that you have spelled it correctly. I have had probably a hundred runs completely killed by this glitch. Having it activate on the second try is not bad by any stretch. First try would be ideal, but second try is something for which I shoot. This is required for the second Ritual Scroll. I grab three flasks of Goo for (1) Elderberry Pie, (2) Baba Yaga's second required bribe and (3) to give to Dr. Cranium for the Rehydration Solution on Day 3.

Swamp-
Glide is almost a necessity in any game, but it is vital in a speed run. You can walk through the Swamp, but it isn't fun, and it certainly wouldn't be the fastest way in a speed run. The Fighter has TWO Chernovy wizards to fight, where the Thief has only have one. This is where the "Strategy" combat style is both necessary and also deadly for the run. The Fighter LOVES to jump slash in combat, which drains an insane amount of stamina for each jump. It is also completely unnecessary to kill them, and actually takes longer. The first fight was about as ideal as I could ever hope. The second fight showcases how dangerous the jump slash is. If your Stamina runs out, you cannot attack, and you need to wait a few seconds and PRAY the computer is not waiting for enough stamina to jump slash again. This has killed so many runs, probably at least as many as the "AVOOZL" glitch. This section ends by opening up the Tomb of Amon Tillado. For the record, I believe the correct answer for this puzzle involves just clicking the symbols in a circle starting at 1 O'Clock and moving clockwise. Or, you can just keep clicking the gray border of the puzzle and the game gives up the prize, saying that you spent hours trying every combination. This is actually not true, and time does not advance by any meaningful amount. I get the third Ritual Scroll, heading north and then to the right. Here, you can grab the bones which are necessary to make the Elderberry Pie and avoid a second Wraith fight and backtracking.

**There is a difference here that is key between the diskette version and the CD version. The diskette version allows you to fight while in Glide mode, and when you exit combat with the Chernovy you are still in Glide mode, meaning you can move immediately to the next fight. In the CD version, you are put on solid ground and need to cast Glide an additional two times. This adds about five seconds or so to the run.**

Forest-
A weird visual glitch happens that makes it look like it is day when it is still night. That is why I moved screens, but it is actually negilible in terms of time wasted. Rather than going to Erana's Garden and sleeping through the night, I make the decision to Rest 60 Minutes until morning comes. Going to the town is not an immediate option, because the gates are closed and my climbing skill is too low to make it over. The only place you can sleep until morning in the forest at this point in the game is at Erana's Garden, which is well out of the way, and involves a cutscene.

Town-
I tell Nikolai about his lost wife (the ghost) in the forest, and he SLOOOOWLY walks off screen. Second, I visit Dr. Cranium. It is on the third visit that you can get the Rehydration Solution, but you MUST wait a day inbetween each visit. I also visit the Adventurers' Guild to workout (Strength 292, 2 extra because of the Chernovy fights). I leave and head for the forest to reunite the lovers and rest until night.

Forest and the Ghosts and the Necrotaur-
I watch Anna and Nikolai reunited, and exit and come back to get the Hat. Because I now rested, as well, I have enough health to get the Elderberries from the walking bush a few screens to the south. Taking that second hit is annoying, but it is not a big deal and I am in no danger. That random encounter with the Necrotaur could not have been in a worse position. Engaging and escaping from combat is mostly of the time preferable, because you can just run to the next screen (like I did with the Badders earlier). This screen does not work that way. If you engage him and then escape combat on this screen, it positions him on the top of the screen and blocks the path I need to take. It is faster to run away and go around, because the only other option is fighting it. With my health, I'd probably lose, and even if I did win the fight would take too long and the winning animation combined would kill the run. About 4 seconds are lost running around to go the other way. I could run to Erana's Garden to kill the chase, but it is unnecessary as long as I run as fast as I can to the Magic Bush. No monsters can chase you to this screen, for some reason. It does not kill the chase, but it stops it for the time. If I were to exit north right away without going to see Baba Yaga, I would be chased again, but at least the Necrotaur cannot chase me here. Entering Baba Yaga's Hut area kills the chase.

Baba Yaga-
*MAJOR SEQUENCE BREAK HERE*
Normally, you learn of Baba Yaga's presence in Mordavia from either the Gnome or the Gypsies. You are also supposed to learn that the Gnome is suffering from Baba Yaga. Normally, you have Corn from the Town Gate area which you place on the ground which allows you to enter the hut to learn that she wants an Elderberry Pie. However, if you just make the Elderberry Pie, a specific script runs and you enter the hut automatically; no Corn is needed. To make it better, the program skips you to the second part of the conversation where you can ask for the cure for the Gnome. Notice, by this point, I haven't even met the Gnome yet. When I re-enter to give her the Flask of Goo, I am able to ask for the fourth Ritual Scroll. Normally, you are supposed to enter the Monastary and read the diary in the basement to find out that the Ritual Scroll was hidden in the tree outside. Baba Yaga found the Ritual Scroll sometime before the events of the game, so she has it. But, thanks to the miracle of sequence breaking, we do not need to do any of that crap. The whole Baba Yaga event takes about 1 minute and 30 seconds, and I never have to go back again.

Forest and ANOTHER Necrotaur-
I could have gone to Erana's Garden and Slept Until Morning, but that enacts a cut scene that is negated by just running up to town and resting until morning. The Necrotaur was just annoying. You hear the music from the attack coming before you see it, and and I made a gamble to go east to the Wraith's Den to kill the chase. Unfortunately, my gamble did not pay off, and I ran right into the fight. Luckily, escaping from combat allowed me to run north to the town gates which also kills the chase.

Dr. Cranium-
You have to go through the game's form of copyright protection. These codes (this one, ALKAZOTZ) are in the game manual with the original release... OR printed out next to me on a single sheet of a paper. There are 26 different codes, and each one starts with a different letter of the alphabet. If you get one in the very middle, like, QUIXOAT, it can be a little difficult to read in a list. Some of the codes are also complicated and a little frustrating to memorize as a result. This one, ALKAZOTZ, is right at the very top, and is easy. This was a VERY lucky draw, but ultimately only save about 2 seconds. I give him the last of my Flasks of Goo and get the Rehydration Solution.

Adventurers' Guild and the Monastery-
Do my last training (Strength 302). Rest until I know Igor is gone. His animations warning you about the Monastery door are time wasters. I use the Dark One's Sign to go in the Monastery, and rehydrate the Orange Domovoi. I head downstairs and tap the cask, watch the apocalypse and get the final Ritual Scroll. I also do not need to worry about the game-killing diskette-version glitch that would happen here during this animation, because this is the CD-version.

Inn-
I rest until night, and I knock on the door and FINALLY meet the Innkeeper. I head up to my room, and exit, which triggers the Gnome meeting. I then enter and exit my room again to knock on the Gnome's door. I exit and enter the Gnome's room which allows me to cure the Gnome's curse by Baba Yaga and sleep until I get a message about exhaustion. When that message occurs, it means that everyone is actually asleep. When I exit the Gnome's room, the Blue Domovoi is here. I have to ask it a question to get to the second dialog, and then enter my room and exit. By rehydrating the Orange Domovoi, I have proved myself as a hero to the Blue one and can now get Tanya's Doll from the cabinet. For the first time in three nights, the Hero gets to actually sleep.

*In the diskette version, you do not need to ask the Domovoi a first question. Once you save the Orange Domovoi, you can immediately grab Tanya's Doll and you do not have to say a word to him. This saves an additional two loading screens, and the CD-version costs us here about 5-10 seconds.*

Day Four-
Is non-existent. You do not need it. I exit the room to avoid the animation of climbing onto the bed, and rest twelve times to make it night. I then move to Day Five.

Saving Igor and the Gypsy Camp-
Because I have at least 300 Strength, I can go and immediately save Igor in the Graveyard. After saving him, I immediately run back to town to see Dmitri say he freed the Gypsy prisoner and talk to Igor to get the Crypt Key. Dmitri MUST tell you from his window that he set the Gypsy free. I then run to the Gypsy camp. Exit the wagon immediately, watch the cutscene, enter and exit and enter again to ask about the Destiny Spell which is a required Dialog Tree to save Tanya. After this, I sprint to the Graveyard and open the Crypt with the key (forcing it open requires 350 Strength and we are FAR short). When you enter the Crypt, you are set to Walking again so it needs to be reset. I get the key to the Castle and enter.

***I did one run attempt that went to the Adventurers' Guild to workout on Day 5 to hit the 300 requirement, and after resting while in the Guild I exited to find Dmitri is inside his home. I knew this was going to break the game, and even entering the house to hear that Dmitri freed the Gypsy does not work. When you arrive at the Camp, the wolves block your path as if you did not save him. YOU MUST HAVE DMITRI TELL YOU THAT THE GYPSY WAS FREED FROM HIS WINDOW OR THE GAME IS UNWINNABLE.

Castle and Day 8 and Ad Avis-
This place is frustrating, because each class has its benefits.

When I do a Thief run, all the doors in the Castle are locked and I need to either A) have imported my Thief from a previous game to have the Open spell to cast on almost every door, or B) go through the Thieves' Guild to get the Lockpicking Kit and pick almost every door. The plus side to the Thief is that you have less fights, and can use the "Special Attack" in combat which makes fights incredibly easy. Anytime saved is eaten up by going through the Thieves' Guild, which only takes at the very most one to two minutes when you know all of the puzzles. Importing and playing a Thief, I believe, is the fastest Import Game that can be done.

There is a faster route through this Castle if you are a Wizard or have an Imported Class with magic from a previous game. It cannot be done by the Fighter because the Badders will attack him, and the fight takes too much time, but in one staircase you can cast Calm and avoid the Badders with the Wizard or the Imported character, which skips about four rooms and a few dialogs.

I rest 12 times outside of Tanya's room, give her the doll, tell her about the Staff, and get out of the Castle. I move out of my room and completely skip the next day, and when I awake in the morning the false Katrina Note is there, signaling to me that the end game is in sight and there should be no further glitches.

I rest outside of the place where Ad Avis shows up, and run into him to trigger the scene change to the dungeon.

Dungeon-
When I finally break the chains, the movement type is set again to Walking so I change it to Running. Agree to Katrina's Geas, exit the Castle Gate, and re-enter because I already have all of the Ritual Scrolls. This takes us back to the Dark One's Cavern.

Dark One's Cavern-
I believe the game loads a completely different module for this area, because all unnecessary items are removed from your inventory and the Grapnel is added because you absolutely need to kill the monster and get the final ritual. Movement is AGAIN set to Walking, which I reset to Running, and make the SLOOOW climb down. This fight is usually not a problem, and here is no exception. I make the SLOOOW climb back up, set to Running AGAIN, and cross the rope and head back into the Bone Chamber.

Bone Chamber, Blood Chamber, Breath Chamber, Sense Chamber-
I need to set Running again, place the torch back in the holder for "enough light" and then do the ritual. When grabbing the torch, I need to set movement to Running again.

The Blood Chamber has an interesting mechanic of changing not just your movement to Walking at one point, but it lowers the game Speed in the settings and needs to be reset.

The Breath Chamber AGAIN resets your movement to Walking, but luckily this is the last time it happens. After performing the ritual, I make sure to click the tendril thing as fast as I can with the hand and slingshot out of this room WAY faster than any previous run I had done on the diskette version.

The Sense Chamber is straight forward and simple, but making sure to Grapnel your way out is a good idea. The Wizard has the worst run with this room, because of the electrical things. You see me get shocked here which does not affect the Fighter in any real meaningful way, but can utterly destroy the Wizard because of the low health his inevitably has by the end of a speed run.

End Game-
The rest of the game is standard practice, and nothing different can be done to save time. The entire Dark One's Cavern, once I fight the last Borgov in the pit, is pretty standard for the Fighter. I doubt I will find a way to make this faster.

I called time when Erana disappears when I submitted my run, but techincally speaking, your final game interaction is when you click the Staff to the Crystal. The rest is just skipping dialog. I'll go with whatever the community wants on time. :)

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All in all, it has been a pleasure to do this Fighter, New Game Any% run. Feel free to message me about the particulars of the game, or if something I do seems odd.

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