Quest for Glory Omnipedia

Quest for Glory III: Shadows of Darkness tease at the end of Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire.

Quest for Glory III: Shadows of Darkness was originally going to be the sequel to Quest For Glory II: Trial by Fire before plans were changed. It started in early development around 1989 to Fall 1990[1], before they decided to add a new game to the series instead.


Quest for Glory III: Shadows of Darkness was originally intended to be the third game in the Quest for Glory series (the name taken from the original planned game Hero's Quest III: Shadows of Darkness).

It has been stated by the creators Lori and Corey Cole that the series was always supposed to only consist of four games. The locations visited within the tetralogy were to correspond with various other symbolic cycles of four, such as the 4 classical elements, the 4 seasons, and the 4 cardinal directions. These icons are not merely design inspirations for each game, however - they are also allegory for the Hero's own personal maturation and the honing of skills, a cyclical representation of his own "coming-of-age" story. This is best explained in several statements given by the Coles in the past:

“The concept of seasons in the games represents the maturation of the Hero as he moves from story to story. It's a critical component in a series that - from the very beginning - was designed to be a defined quartet of stories, representing an overall saga with a distinct beginning, middle, and end.

“One of the unifying themes,” explained Corey, “is the growth of your character, going from being an adolescent Hero in the first game to being a young man in the second. You're strong and confident...”

“The third game,” continued Lory, “was to show you as a master of your profession, with the fourth depicting you at the mature peek of your powers.”

The title for this orignal game's design is teased at the end of Quest for Glory II, in the teaser, the Hero leaves Shapeir out into the desert at night with his new saurus. He watches the moon cross above, and wonders where the road will take him. The screen shows a close up the moon, with the text below it saying Quest for Glory III: Shadows of Darkness. The moon begins to turn red, as if blood is oozing over the face of it, this blood changes into the face of a vampiric skull. This was foreshadowing that he was heading towards Mordavia, where the next game took place.

In terms of the role-playing aspects, Shadows of Darkness was going to be a very difficult game. The player would have very tough opposition from the very beginning of the game. Also, the player would be very much alone. In Trial by Fire the player had a lot of friends to help them. The player always had a place to go back to to rest. The player always had a place of safety until the very end of the game. Once a player got into Shadows of Darkness, the player was not going to have any sanctuary. The player wouldn't be able to trust anyone, because nobody will trust them.

Following the release of Trial by Fire (released as Quest for Glory), John Williams discussed the development of Quest for Glory III in Fall 1990:

Lori and Corey Cole are also going to work hard to get the third installment of their fantasy roleplaying trilogy out in 91. I can't believe I have the title right though. I've heard that they plan to call it The Shadow of Darkness????
“Somewhere between finishing Trial by Fire and cranking up the design process for Shadows of Darkness, the husband-and-wife team realized a fifth chapter would have to be added to bridge the games. That chapter became Wages of War...If all the reasons Lori and Corey found for creating a bridge between Trial by Fire and Shadows of Darkenss. the most compelling was the feeling that the Hero character simply hadn't matured enough to face the very grim challenges awaiting him... “Wages of War is the bridge,” she continues. “You start with people you know to help you along in the beginning. But when push comes to shove, you're the one who's on his own, who has to solve the ultimate mystery.” As you go along, just when you think you're all alone, your allies come back to you, but you have to face the final challenge by yourself.” -Lori & Corey Cole

Quest For Glory III: Wages of War was created instead after it was decided that the Hero was not ready for the dangers of Mordavia. The basic ideas for Shadows of Darkness would be pushed back for Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness, the fourth game in the series.

Blackwine: "My question is about the world of Gloriana in general. I knew each game was supposed to correspond to a place on a compass (like North, South, East, West) and a season. For example, Spielburg was North, and the season was Spring. Shapeir-South, Summer. Where was Tarna located? Mordavia was Fall, and Silmaria will be winter, but where are they located?'"
Lori C: "Tarna broke the rules. It was in Fricana, which is Africa. We added Wages of War to the series because the game called for it. So we broke our own metaphor" -Lori (Chat Room)

Behind the scenes[]

This was originally going to be known as Hero's Quest III: Shadows of Darkness, and was to be followed by Hero's Quest IV: King's Crown (aka Quest for Glory IV: King's Crown) in the four game concept. However, it was determined that the Hero wouldn't be ready to face the dark themes in Mordavia.

With the decision to change the four game series into a five games series, the new idea for Quest for Glory III retconned the ending of Trial by Fire. Instead of leaving Shapeir to travel the roads to his next destination in Mordavia, he decides to stay there as the prince for three months in the palace of his adopted father Harun Al-Rashid, the Sultan of Shapeir. While visiting Aziza he learns that Ad Avis had disappeared, his body not found, and that his death had caused problems in Rakeesh's home in Tarna. This leads the hero to take a magical portal to Tarna.

In the unofficial fan remake of, the teaser was changed to reflect the actual release order of the series.

See also[]


  1. Sierra News Magazine, Fall 1990