Gloriana (aka Earth) is the fantasy world that the affairs and events of the entire Quest for Glory series revolve around. Not much is known about Gloriana, although from the geographic regions and cultural societies encountered throughout the series, as well as hints from dialog by in-game characters, it is loosely based off of our own world and is infact more of an alternate creational history for our world (see Reimagined Earth concept) rather than a 'parallel world' (though there may be hints of that in QFG2 see Dimension).
Despite the outward semblance to historical Earth, and the heavy borrowing of fantasy elements from well-known works of fiction, Gloriana is unique in that the societies and cultures represent similar cultures that once existed in Earth history (from ancient Egyptians, Romans, Medieval, to Victorian) each co-existing in the same world. This intermingling of technological periods has spurred various anachronisms throughout Gloriana, and both the worlds of science and magic appear to co-exist, albeit uneasily. There are actually several 'alternate Dimensions' of Gloriana/Earth each represented by the various character classes, and other events/choices in the games themselves (though these are not directly 'connected' in any way).
A major event which separates Gloriana from normal Earth history is the Change, an event which made animals sentient at some point in the past. Despite this 'alternate history' to 'historical' earth (it is not an a parallel earth) but simply an alternate past history for Earth (replacing Earth completely), see Reimagined Earth concept.
In QFG5 there are many examples where the world is described as being the 'earth' by its inhabitants, and in particular the scientists, such as using the term 'Earthquake'. Similar descriptions appear in previous games but to lesser extent (while the term 'earth' is mentioned quite a bit in QFG2, it is primarily used in context of elements and soil). QFG4 has almost as many references to the planet being called earth as QFG5 in descriptions (going as far as showing an image of Earth to represent the element).
Besides both "Earth" and "Gloriana" being used for the name of the world, many of its lands may go by both anglicized naming (using common names from Earth), as well as Gloriana's universe's more alternate naming conventions. I.E. Africa and Fricana both being used, Shapeir/Arabia/Middle East, Mediterranean/Med Sea, Helena/Greece, Mordavia/Transylvania, etc. This maybe similar to how on Earth places often go by more than one name, either by different languages or by local or outsider naming conventions.
Even within the games some places may show two different names using Gloriana's alternate naming conventions for example Mariana vs. Marete or Albion vs. Isle of Gramarye (although in this example one is more a reference to England, and the other a reference to the entire British Island).
Alternatively these may be additional regional/land names, or even 'crossover' references between both worlds showing some kind of connection between both "Earth Prime", and Gloriana.
Ultimately this 'past' history leads into the 'future' (Earth's present c. 20th century) as foreshadowed in commentary by the narrator, and linked to and shown in the Dr. Brain series.)
These are the regions visited in the games or in spin-off literature.
- Hometown (Willowsby, Lucasville, Coarsegold & Oakhurst)
- Barony of Spielburg (Spielburg Pass (Prologue), Spielburg Valley, Spielburg Town, Dryad's Wood) (QFG1)
- Shapeir Desert (Shapeir, Raseir, & Forbidden City) (QFG2)
- East Fricana (Tarna & Lost City) (QFG3)
- Mordavia (Mordavia Town) (QFG4)
- Silmaria & Mariana (Marete, Atlantis & other assorted islands) (QFG5)
There are various other places that have been mentioned by narrator, in-game characters or the Correspondence Course manuals packaged with each installment of the series. Some are injokes or homages to locations in the real world or other fiction. Contrary to popular belief the Quest for Glory games didn't always mask place names behind puns, anagrams or archaic place names. Many of the early games tended to use specific modern place names for areas outside of the visited region. Even QFG4 made a few modern place references, as did QFG5. QFG5 probably makes the most references to places outside of visited regions than any previous game (but some of these references give alternate names or places that exist together with places previously mentioned in other games). To name a few:
- Eastern Woods
- Inja & Punjabi
- Isle of Gramarye
- Gaul (France)
- Helena (Greece)
- Fricana (Africa)
- Danesmark & Finelandia
- Hesperia (Italy)
- Shangri La
- New York
- Roman Empire
Villages, Towns and Cities
- Nova Roma
- Notre Dame
- Rio D
- East L.A.
- San Francisco
- Antwerp (creatures are named after this city)
Continents & major regions
- Fricana (Africa)
- Vespuciland (South Vespuciland)
- Middle East
- Middle Earth
Seas & Rivers
- Azure Sea
- Med Sea (Mediterranean) - the location of Mariana and the island of Marete.
- Hippocrene Stream
- Mto Kubwa
- Mkubwa River
- Southern Seas
- Limpopo River
- Dead Sea
- Red Sea
- Half Moons Bay
- Mount Tarna
- Dragon Smoke mountains.
- Wolf's Bane Mountains and Wolf's Bane Peaks.
- Aphotic Alps
- Carnegie Hall
- Pendragon (castle)
- Sierra On-line
- Boulder Dam
- Yosemite National Park
- Leyendecker Museum
- Pebble Beach
- Castle of Dr. Brain
- Pillar of Hercules
Its worth noting that travel around the world is usually only described in relation to the four cardinal directions of east, west, north and south. There are very rare references to other directions made by characters. This seems to cause some geographical confusion in case of some locations in relation to others (and in comparison to their real world counterparts).
For example Shapeir is almost always said to lie 'south' of Spielburg. Shapeir is generally represents the "south" (though Tarna is 'farther south'). Mordavia and Spielburg are treated as "north" of Silmaria a few times. Spielburg often seems to represent 'north' in general, and Mordavia generally represents the 'east'. Silmaria was to represent 'west' but almost always south of everything else, and 'north' of Spielburg.
In QFG2 and QFG Authorized Guide the flying carpet is said to fly south to the 'southern desert', there is no indication of traveling in any other directions. Surprisingly there is no mention of them flying any major bodies of water. See Introduction before the Games.
However, landmarks within a land will often be described by other directions such as 'northeast', 'northwest', 'southeast', 'southwest' when related by characters and sometimes the narrator. QFG2 can be somewhat confusing as crossing the 'desert' flips the perspective of the directions after a certain point.
Behind the scenes
Gloriana was a fairy queen, and a nickame for Elizabeth the First, the world she knew could be referred to as the World of Gloriana. Gloriana: In Service to the Crown (aka Gloriana: Elizabeth I) was a 1995/1996 PC strategy game by Ascaron.
The series as a whole has a tendency to use names for locations both modern and archaic or hidden behind anagrams or puns. Other references maybe utilized as in-jokes or references to pop culture.
Sometimes more than one term will be used that could refer to the exact same place. For example the Isle of Gramarye and Albion could refer to the same region. One term appears in QFG2 and the other appears in QFG5. In yet another example, Mariana, Marete, and Silmeria seem to all refer to the same region depending on the game the references are made. Mariana is mentioned in QFG3, Marete appears in QFG5, and the use of Silmeria appears throughout most of the series in varying ways. Yet another example Greece and Helena are both used in QFG5, and seem to roughly represent same general area. India is mentioned in QFG1VGA, and Inja is mentioned in QFG5.
Some place names on this wiki originate from development articles in Sierra Magazone/InterAction, early interviews from the time, and do not appear in the game’s but are included for completeness. These places include Hispania, Tyrol, Lucasville, Transylvania, and a few others.
The name 'Gloriana' is created from a combination of Glory and Lori-Ann, the co-creator of the series. Gloriana was a world that was originally used by the Coles for their tabletop RPG campaigns. Corey has said that Gloriana is an 'alternate Earth' (or more of an alternate history for Earth), and that it's more so a fantasy reimagining of Earth rather than a parallel world. The Coles have stated that the regions of Gloriana visited in the series (save for Tarna, which is exempt from the originally intended tetralogy) each corresponded with one of the four classic elements, as well as other symbolic tetrads, such as the cardinal directions and the four seasons. According to Lori Cole, Wages of War broke the analogy, having become a bridge story between the first half and the second half of the Hero's adventures.
Gloriana was adapted for use in the Cole's School for Heroes online rpg. The world has evolved further for its repurposing for How To Be A Hero, School for Heroes and ultimately Hero-U materials (which take place in an alternate universe influenced by the Force wave concept and Convergence concept) with 'historical Earth' being a parallel world split from earth during antiquity each evolving seperate histories. According to Corey Cole, the original name of the world in Quest For Glory is Gloriana as stated in QFGV, rather than Glorianna (although How to Be a Hero used Glorianna primarily, and School for Heroes used both).
Note: In expanded alternate canon of the Hero-U universe and earlier related materials many of these lands may have even more additional names beyond those mentioned in QFG series proper. However, this article discusses the QFG series original canon (I.E. references made within the games, manuals, guides and hint books). The version of the world described within Quest for Glory series and works published by Sierra On-line is considered canon.
- "According to legends, all streams and rivers that run into the earth flow all the way down to Hades." , "Seven Pillars bind the Darkness to the bowels of the earth.", "What is an Earthquake?... 2. A shaking of the earth that is volcanic or tectonic in nature.", "Paean Unto Hades. All waters that flow in the earth, flow to Hades.", "These boulders are the bones of the earth.", "It looks like the water of this stream flows directly into the center of the earth from here.", "You pour the waters down into the depths of the earth, to the very waters of Hades.", "The stream is flowing the remains into the pit of the earth.", "All waters that flow on the earth flow to Hades.", "This looks like it was formed by a giant taffy pull between the sky and the bowels of the earth.", "This huge caldera looks like it leads to the center of the earth."
- Narrator (QFG1VGA):"They either lead to large underground caverns, or they are all connected under the earth.", Narrator (QFG3):"Aardvarks are real sensitive about tremors, you know. Comes of being close to the earth, and all"
- "Now you feel like climbing something even higher... like Mount Tarna."
- Corey ColeApril 8, 2018 at 1:34 PM "Loosely based on" Earth is fairly accurate. Country locations match Earth countries - for example, "East Fricana" is East Africa, roughly Kenya, and we drew from languages and cultures in each area. Beyond that, the games are fantasy - made-up Kingdoms and tribes, Heroes having disproportionate influence over events, magic, and monsters. Time periods are also ambiguous. So I'd say Quest for Glory games are a fantasy reimagining of Earth rather than a parallel world. Gloriana is the name we used for this alternate Earth in our tabletop role-playing games and in some auxiliary materials for Quest for Glory. We also had a parallel world (accessible through spells and magical portals) named "Coriann" after our names. That one actually saw more tabletop gaming and is definitely *not* an Earth-cognate world. http://crpgaddict.blogspot.com/2018/04/game-285-quest-for-glory-iii-wages-of.html
- "Our main objection to the Spiese book is that the Quest for Glory hero is supposed to be a reflection of the player. When Paula named her hero as Devon Aidendale, that became canon. We would have preferred he remain simply The Hero. But that's a trivial quibble."-Corey Cole