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 Post subject: What's the QFG2 "era"?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:10 pm 
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Ever since I first played it I've noticed several odd things about the "history" of the QFG2 world. If it was just a generic pseudo-mediaeval Arabian Nights setting there would be no problem, but because the game uses actual historical figures it complicates things.

What, exactly, is the game's time period? It's pretty obvious from our hero's first adventure that Spielburg is on an Eastern trade route in Renaissance Germany, prior to the Protestant Reformation, and before the early use of gunpowder beginning in the mid 15th century. So for sake of argument, let's say that the QFG1 is set in Germany, circa 1430: swords and armour, caravans to the Orient, German beer, etc., etc.

Of course, this means that Shapeir and Raseir are part of the Ottoman Empire, whose leaders styled themselves "Sultans". Initially, that seems perfectly OK. QFG2 is set in the time of Sultan Murad II who reigned from 1421 to 1451, minus a brief interregnum, and led a long and bloody war against the Christian states in the Balkans. The problems, however, become clear when considering the real, historical characters in the game.

Most obvious is the "Sultan of Shapeir". Harun al-Rashid (هارون الرشيد; Aaron the Upright or Upstanding) was a real person; he was the fifth, and most famous, Abbasid Caliph (not Sultan) who lived in Baghdad and ruled all of Islam from 786 to 809. So what does this mean? Did our hero's magic carpet ride from Spielburg also transport him back in time some 540 years? I always assumed that Shapeir and Raseir were somewhere on the Arabian peninsula because of the desert. Maybe I was wrong. Regardless, the leader of the city shouldn't be called "Sultan" since the Ottoman empire only ever had three capitals, none of which was in Arabia (or Persia). At the time of Murad II it was Edirne, now in western Turkey.

The final inconsistency involves the the prophecy that drives the game's main plot. We're told that the events in the game take place exactly 1001 years after the mytho-historical King Solomon imprisoned Iblis, the devil, within an idol. (I'm pretty sure he never did anything like that in the Qur'an, but never mind.) Solomon ruled the Hebrew people for 40 years, bringing them great wealth and splendour, and is a fitting character for such an act. Since it's impossible to date an event that almost certainly never happened, let's just assume that Solomon imprisoned Iblis when he was 25. That would be around 995 BCE. 1001 years after this would be in the very early 1st century of the Common Era, contemporary with Christ, at the height of the Roman Empire's power and long before the foundation of Islam or the Ottoman Empire.

So what's the time period of QFG2? The Renaissance Ottoman Empire? The height of the Abbasid Caliphate? The era of two powerful pre-Islamic city states? Food for thought.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:41 pm 
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Well you took only two gamea. But there is also QFG3, which is, obviously, set even before Christ (rise of Egypt.) And Mordavia, which looks as 18th century Poland or other Slavic country. You can't really define a mutual era for all the QFG games. It's a fantasy world, and I believe it has it's own map. But you have an interesting point.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:44 pm 
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I'm afraid you've already put more thought into the matter of real-life crossover than Sierra has. The QfG2 names shouldn't be taken for the real life people with the same name. Many fantasy authors, and game designers, use certain names just because they fit the atmosphere. For instance, Manannan is a Celtic god of the sea, not a cruel bearded wizard of any kind. Brauggi is from Nordic mythology. Erasmus is a Dutch philosopher from the 14th (iirc) century, who was not a wizard and did not live in Germany. QfGV takes place in ancient Greece which would be 300 BC or thereabouts. Etc.

I'm not sure about the Qur'an, but Suleiman Bin Daoud (aka Solomon) in mythology is certainly famous for his actions in binding and governing jinn. Ah yes, here we go,
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Wikipedia: Solomon
The Gnostic Apocalypse of Adam which may date to the 1st or 2nd century refers to a legend in which Solomon sends out an army of demons to seek a virgin who had fled from him, perhaps the earliest suviving mention of the later common tale that Solomon controlled demons and made them his slaves. This tradition of Solomon's control over demons appears fully elaborated in the early Christian work called the "Testament of Solomon" with its elaborate and grotesque demonology.

Solomon's mastery of demons is a common element in later Jewish and Arabic legends, and is often attributed to possession of a magic ring called the "Seal of Solomon".

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 12:14 am 
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Khaveen wrote:
Well you took only two gamea. But there is also QFG3, which is, obviously, set even before Christ (rise of Egypt.) And Mordavia, which looks as 18th century Poland or other Slavic country. You can't really define a mutual era for all the QFG games. It's a fantasy world, and I believe it has it's own map. But you have an interesting point.


I considered mentioning the other games, but didn't want to make my post too long. Of course, considering the worlds of the first two games, it's utterly absurd that QFG3 should take place in the time of the pharaohs. Even the last pharaonic dynasty, the Ptolemys, ended in the 1st century BCE.

I'd have thought that QFG4 was set in the Renaissance, not the Enlightenment. I suppose I'll have to read up on the history of the Boyars and the Slavic aristocracy in eastern Europe.

Radiant wrote:
I'm afraid you've already put more thought into the matter of real-life crossover than Sierra has. The QfG2 names shouldn't be taken for the real life people with the same name. Many fantasy authors, and game designers, use certain names just because they fit the atmosphere. For instance, Manannan is a Celtic god of the sea, not a cruel bearded wizard of any kind. Brauggi is from Nordic mythology. Erasmus is a Dutch philosopher from the 14th (iirc) century, who was not a wizard and did not live in Germany. QfGV takes place in ancient Greece which would be 300 BC or thereabouts. Etc.

I'm not sure about the Qur'an, but Suleiman Bin Daoud (aka Solomon) in mythology is certainly famous for his actions in binding and governing jinn.


I am probably over-thinking this a tad, but as I said, some of these things irked me ever since I first played QFG2. And about the legendary King Solomon: I know that he was purportedly able to command the Jinn and bend them to his will, sometimes to aid in his many construction projects in Jerusalem. I've just never read a story in which he was able to overcome the Devil and bind him to a statue. The nearest I could find is a tale from the Thousand and One Nights in which a disobedient jinni is brought before him for refusing to proclaim his faith in God. When he won't recant his position, Solomon imprisons him in a jar and throws it into the ocean.

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Last edited by Charlemagne on Sun Feb 06, 2005 12:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 12:28 am 
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I'd have thought that QFG4 was set in the Renaissance, not the Enlightenment. I suppose I'll have to read up on the history of the Boyars and the Slavic aristocracy in eastern Europe.

Well you should also consider that the Boyars had existed for quite a lot of time before QFG4, and their clan almost died by that time. Also, be sure to remember that if Peter the Great wouldn't make a sudden turn to Europe, the Boyars could have exist even in 19th century. Besides, just look at the townspeople's costumes. It's not Renaissance, no doubt.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:18 am 
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It should be easy to find the time period of QfG2: during what time did terrorsauri, jackalmen and ghouls roam the desert?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 4:09 am 
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I know, the world of QFG isn't supposed to be the "real world" and doesn't necessarily have the same historical figures. Still, it does seem to possess elements of real world history. So why use such renowned names if that's not who they're meant to be? Suleiman ibn Daud (Shlomo ben David) is famous in both Islamic and Jewish tradition, and Harun al-Rashid is probably the most famous early Caliph. Why not just pick other appropriately "Eastern" sounding names? As far as I can tell, Arus al-Din is entirely fictional.

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Last edited by Charlemagne on Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the QFG2 "era"?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 4:50 am 
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Charlemagne wrote:
Most obvious is the "Sultan of Shapeir". Harun al-Rashid (هارون الرشيد; Aaron the Upright or Upstanding) was a real person; he was the fifth, and most famous, Abbasid Caliph (not Sultan) who lived in Baghdad and ruled all of Islam from 786 to 809.




Man this was the clue on final Jeopardy last night.  Should have posted this topic sooner!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:33 am 
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I'm sorry to have deprived you of whatever amount of fake money you wagered on the question. :D

Also, I just noticed that I counted in the wrong direction in my original post. If Solomon had imprisoned Iblis when he was 25 it would have been around 945 BCE not 995. Either way, it still means that QFG2 takes place in the 1st century CE, following that line of reasoning.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:08 am 
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Well, like they said, the QFG world most definitely is not our world. It doesn't even try to be or make any allusion that it is. This is quite blatantly another world other than our own. There are some similarities, but only in style. Like they said, the idea was not behind historical accuracy. They didn't want you to be like, "if I had a time machine, I could travel back to where this game takes place and truly interact in it." It's a romanticized version of each individual culture.

When you think of the Germanic Norse regions, what comes to mind? The way Spielburg is. When you think of the Middle East, what comes to mind? Sultans, Emirs, Djinn, caravans, Arabian Nights kind of stuff that was in QFG2. The only thing that was missing was Sinbad. Certainly when I think of vampires and Transylvania I think rural Romania in the early-late 1700s-1800s, which was beautifully rendered in QFG4. The same goes for tribal Africa and Greece. When was the last time Greece was a superpower? The time of Aristotle. Since then, there's been nothing out of them, and their lasting mark in the world was what they taught back then. So, would it not be wise to present that bit of culture? Justinian was a real Roman emperor who ruled from AD 527-565. He was clearly not the Justinian in Dragon Fire. It's artistic license.

I wrote a play once where a very religious man's name was Paul. It's inspiration, pure and simple. Those names bring along certain connotations, and thus their effect is honored. It ALMOST makes it jump to life that much more, like a bas relief in a wall. It works and I love it.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:41 pm 
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OK everybody, to paraphrase MST3K, just repeat to yourself.

"It's just a game, I should really just relax"

If the phrase does not work the first time, continue repeating until you realize that it really is just a game, and you really should just relax.  I doubt that even the designers took time to think about stuff like that...


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:10 pm 
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That's the great think about fantasy.  You can put anyone you want in there, real or imagined, in anytime you want and tell everyone else to piss off.

Why?  Because you just did.

There are no real rules to fantasy, though the research behind all of this has been interesting!

Bt

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 2:33 am 
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Re-reading this thread, I just noticed that Khaveen said the world of QFG has its own map. Is that true? If so, does anyone know where I can find it?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:32 am 
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I've seen it around somewhere. It's basically a world map with slightly different landmass and the countries are divided completely differently.

*does some digging*

Here. That seems to be a good start in the right direction. I believe this was what I was thinking about.

Also, here's some good speculation on the geography of Gloriana. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 5:38 am 
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Thanks Kurdt. I didn't realise that people had put so much time and effort into figuring out the geography of QFG. At the risk of starting up this debate again, I'm going to say that I disagree with M. De Kock in one part of his article. He states that "The Eastern Lands" are "similar to Transylvania/Moldavia". I think that's too far east. Romanians tend to have Latinate names; the legacy of the Roman invasion of ancient Dacia, whence the country's name. Most of the characters in QFG4 have Slavic names. So let's look at Mordavia a little closer.

Mordavia is a country of Slavic people who use the Latin (not Cyrillic) alphabet, and are close enough to Germanic influences that a town has a Bürgermeister, not a мэр (mer). Considering the character's costumes, I have to concur with Khaveen; Mordavia is based on XVIII century Poland, not Romania. One of the Polish terms for "mayor" is burmistrz, certainly close enough to "burgomeister" for my tastes. By contrast, the Romanian equivalent is primar; at a guess, I'd assume derived from the Latin primoris, meaning "first" or "foremost", not a Slavic term. Also, I believe that the Boyar aristocracy did extend as far as eastern Poland during the reign of Casimir the Great (Casimir III).

For those like Blackthorne who might decry my discussion of history's relevance to QFG with statements like "Dude, it's fantasy!!! Swords and armor and monsters and history=fuc**** bull****!!!!!!" let me just say that I know it's not supposed to be the "real world"; it's only "based on" it. I'm just speculating on what part of the "real world" QFG4 might be based. So let my summation be this: QFG4 is probably based on a romanticised version of small town life in eastern Poland, and the supernatural and demonic problems thereof, in the mid-to-late XVIII century.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 5:50 am 
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Charlemagne wrote:
And for those like Blackthorne who might decry my discussion of history's relevance to QFG with statements like "Dude, it's fantasy!!! Swords and armor and monsters and history=fuc**** bull****!!!!!!" let me just say that I know it's not supposed to be the "real world"; it's only "based on" it. I'm just speculating on what part of the "real world" QFG4 might be based. So let my summation be this: QFG4 is probably based on a romanticised version of small town life in eastern Poland, and the supernatural and demonic problems thereof, in the mid-to-late XVIII century.


Oh, Charlemagne, I think you read me wrong.  I like the research and debate.  I just don't like it when people get all "comic book guy" or "extreme geek" and say that it ruins the game for them.  To those, I say get a life.

To those doing research and education, I say party on, dudes.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 7:36 am 
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I stand corrected, then, and I'm sorry for my previous assumption.

Also, I note that the interactive fiction luminary, Dr. Graham Nelson, has already created the perfect term for the world of Quest For Glory: lazy medieval. This is a genre of such amazing fecundity that most adventure games of the "high fantasy" milieu easily fit within its paradigm. However, it is also, unfortunately, often true that "lazy medieval" adventure games are produced to the detriment of plot and mimesis, as I've already expounded upon in another thread.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:46 am 
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Lazy medieval is still wrong. It sounds like using history and being too ignorant or lazy to do research. In fact I find it the opposite.

If I want to make a quick game I'll go on the net, grab a few things from some site with pics of a specific time period and country and throw them together.

I believe it is much more work to create an original world and still make it interesting enough to attract players.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:11 am 
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I disagree. For the average Western reader (and gamer), "antiquity" and "the old world" are vast cultural milieus of the two-thousand-or-so years prior to the widespread use of gunpowder in Europe, from ancient Greece to the high medieval, with some pieces of history replaced by Dungeons & Dragons sensibilities. "Using history", as you put it, is exactly what games in this genre, like the QFG series, are all about. Real research is secondary.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:39 pm 
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Actually no. Take QfG2. They've decided: let's take the hero to a desert this time. Hmmm... we already have a katta that we've created in HQ1, and that Abdul guy, so obviously the desert would have an arab culture and mix with this katta race. What can we add next? Hmmm... what desert stories are very poplar.....

It was never based on any historical event... historical events and thingies were added to spice it up after the basic plot was written.


Take Westerns: "Even the Wild West wasn't the Wild West."  It's a very nice example as well. There were a handful of gun slingers and after many years people made this 'fantasy world' out of it. No historical fact justifies any western (book or movie) out there. (That's probably why Freddy Pharkas was such a great game... it kinda joked about this strange obsession people have with a period in time that never truelly existed).


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 1:01 am 
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Since I saw some strange assumptions about QfG4 (burmistrz?) I thought I'd give some info about what I know...


Burgomeister is from German (Burgermeister)
Baba Yaga - Slavic folk tale
Dmitri - Russianish name (Russianish because it is also used in neighbouring countries, of course)
Most other names - Also Russianish
Chernovy - Russianish surname (maybe the Coles didn't like someone with that last name :p )
Domovoi - Slavic folk tale
Boyar - Russian nobility
Leshy - Slavic folk tale (so connected to Russia)
Rusalka - Slavic folk tale


Overall, it is safe to assume that Mordavia is connected to a Slavic country, and the fact it is ruled over by a Boyar points to Russia.

But, just to settle things in a non-thinking-to-much way...

[19:58:15] kimba: Corey:I was wondering Where exackly was Mordavia?It seem to me that it was somewhere near Russia or perhaps a slavic speaking nation. I saw one of those 3 guys(in inn) said "Da" which means yes in russian and when I got the voice in QFG4 on Anthology Mordavia is pronouce like russians would say it.
[20:01:15] corey: Corey: Mordavia == Transylvania.
[20:03:04] kimba: Corey:I don't know to much about translavania but isn't that near russian or perhaps they spoke slavic or russian?
[20:06:55] corey: Kimba -- Yes, Transylvania is in/near Romania, very near Russia.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:28 am 
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In what way are my assumptions strange? I simply explained why I believed Mordavia was based on Poland and not Romania: it has Slavic and partially Germanic, not Latinate influences. If I made any factual errors, please don't hesitate to mention them.

But it seems I was wrong; they meant it to be based on Romania after all. So in that case, I disagree with their characterisation. I still like the game, though. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:07 am 
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Well, you were saying about the burmistrz stuff, even though you had already mentioned Burgermeister is German. Connecting the Burgomeister to another word that is nothing alike was just strange, considering you already knew where the word came from.

Anyway, you really need to stop overthinking things. This isn't Earth. This is Gloriana. They can steal fairy tales from anywhere they like. It isn't meant to be historically accurate


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:30 pm 
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The reason I mentioned that is because languages often incorporate words from other languages spoken in close proximity. Many (possibly most) English words are, in fact, borrowed or derived from French, the legacy of the French Norman invasion of Britain a  millenium ago. Spanish had incorporated thousands of words from Arabic by the time the Moors were expelled in the 15th century.

Similarly, because Germany and Poland are geographically close, I assume that burmistrz is a German loan-word that was incorporated into Polish. It's also at least conceivable that German-speaking Poles might refer to a town's mayor as Bürgermeister. You don't think the two words sound similar?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:58 am 
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They may be similar, and it might be derived from it. But it seems pretty obvious that the Coles in no way took that word into consideration while making the game. Since you were trying to discover the true region the game took place in, using facts the Coles never considered doesn't really make sense since they set the region.


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