Cookiemonger has been replaying the Quest for Glory series, and just yesterday completed the second title with her legacy character, Schmendrick the wizard. Funny how today’s games still don’t seem to get the “continue character from previous game” thing, whereas Quest for Glory makes it the norm. Don’t talk to me about Mass Effect.

You know one of the things Quest for Glory has, that aged better than its graphics? Charm. I never played the series, never saw any of them before CM showed me, and so without benefit of the nostalgia filter, I can see how quickly NPCs are characterized and given unique and endearing personalities. You can care about the blobby pixels.

I didn’t catch much of the first game, but you know one of the things I noticed straightaway? The NPCs are nice to you. They say things like “please” and “thank you,” and they compliment you (as the character). They go to great pains to remind you of how much they are in your debt in new and inventive ways.

The closest experience I have to adventure games like Quest for Glory from my childhood were Sierra’s Black Cauldron and Lucas Art’s Curse of Monkey Island. My brother and I also played Torin’s Passage, but after Curse, it didn’t really present the same kind of hair-pulling, obscenity-screaming challenge. Oh, and Myst.

I wasn’t the kind of kid who appreciated puzzle games. That was something I only cultivated after years of playing and failing to master reflex-based games. I was angry and impatient, and I wanted the story to move forward as soon as I’d gotten tired or bored of trying to solve whatever the current puzzle was. Not much has changed.

Makes me all nostalgic now. Oh, and there was Alien Logic of course. That was a great example of a weird puzzle-adventure game that I had growing up. It was almost entirely based on exploration, with extremely limited interaction with other characters. Mostly you explored the world and various ruins, looting them for crystals and stuff to sell.

That was probably more influential than any of the others, come to think of it. I mean, Monkey Island had some great humor, and I know it warped our young minds, but Alien Logic lacked the immediacy of NPCs demanding progress, and even advancing the plot wasn’t predicated on Solving the Soup Cans.

I think it mostly reinforced exploring the world and plundering ruins. *snerk*