While the main Quest for Glory series does not generally make direct references to real world religions (other than some holidays such as Christmas, and more obvious reference to classical era Greek, and Egyptian religions/afterlives/gods) some allusions do appear in the series sometimes as jokes or puns, and in serious contexts.
Religion refers to collective beliefs of certain groups found throughout Gloriana, often it includes the belief in a higher power, God or the gods and deities of ancient myth.
It is highly recommended that Thiefs should take up religion, in order to avoid/disable magical traps.
The specific term Christianity (or "Christian") does not appear during the series (the closest related term to appear is Christmas). However there are only, albeit many, direct or indirect references to the religion ranging from vague and specific references to tradition and religious practices, culture and history. Of most of the religions discussed in this topic it probably actually has the most references altogether through the combined series, but never in cohesive detail or explanation, but rather short references (without full context) to practices that originated or were influenced by Christianity over the centuries. This is likely to do with Christianity's heavy influence on 'western society' and culture, beliefs, and phrases.
There is a generic reference to the monotheistic God mentioned by Ali Fakir in QFG2, though this may be more of a reference towards other Abrahamic traditions such as Islam or Judaism, see below. The original saying "God's country" is a reference to the Christian God.
The mild influence of Christianity appears largely in Spielburg and Mordavia Medievial or VIctorian era style countries, and exactly where people would likely expect Christianity to exist historically. It may also exist in Shapeir as an influence, Shapeir exists in a more Islamic world, Islam came after Christianity (taking ideas from both Judaism and Christianity).
Holidays and Rest Days
There is a reference to Christmas (aka Christ's Mass) in QFG1VGA. This is the holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ, but is also secularized as well. Christ being the Son of God. Christ and God being two parts of the Godhead, along with the Holy Spirit, that make up trinitarian beliefs. The use of the classic historical terms such as BC as seen in Quest for Glory, is also a reference to the period "Before Christ". Christmas is an important holiday in Germany, and technically would not be out of place for a Bavarian town such as Spielburg and/or Willowsby. It is also acknowledged in a couple of other QFG games as well sometimes called Xmas. In the Greek language and alphabet, the letter that looks like an X is the Greek letter chi / Χ (pronounced 'kye' - it rhymes with 'eye') which is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Christos, which in English is Christ. The "-mas" part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass.
Tinsel is a common decoration for Christmas, and can be found in the magic shop in Spielburg. It is mentioned to have been left over from the previous Christmas, and that there is 250 shopping days left until the next Christmas.
Santa Claus or "Saint Claus" a character associated with Christmas, comes from the shortened name from Nicholas a famous Christian saint made into holiday character.
Halloween a hybrid Christian/Pagan holiday is mentioned in QFG2 as brief mention to 'Halloween candy'. In early Christian and pagan traditions it was considered the night when the Veil between worlds of life and death was at its thinnest and spirits could cross over from the beyond.
Sundays is the day of rest and worship for most Christian denominations. An Easter Egg in QFG2 states that you won't get food on Sundays this a reference to this practice.
The Monastery in QFG4 is vaguely Catholic or Greek or Eastern Orthodox in style, but obviously been warped by the followers of Avoozl, an H.P. Lovecraft inspired religion (as well as some Egyptian style motifs), see below. That being said due to other cultural symbolism and references the people of Mordavia were more likely to have been Christians before the cult of Avoozle took over.
Religious and Mortuary Symbols
RIP ("Rest in Peace) on tombstones and in the saying "...may you rest in peace.", and said by Igor. (QFG4), and the spell of the same name RIP. (Latin: Requiescat in pace (Classical Latin: [re.kʷiˈeːs.kat ɪn ˈpaːke], Ecclesiastical Latin: [re.kwiˈɛs.kat in ˈpa.tʃe])) is a phrase sometimes used in traditional Christian services and prayers, such as in the Lutheran, Methodist, and Roman Catholic denominations, sometimes to wish the soul of a decedent eternal rest and peace in Christ. It is also used on headstones, often abbreviated RIP. The term has entered widespread common parlance within Western culture as a term used to acknowledge someone's death. The phrase was not found on tombstones before the eighth century. It became ubiquitous on the tombs of Christians in the 18th century, and for High Church Anglicans, Methodists, as well as Roman Catholics in particular, it was a prayerful request that their soul should find peace in the afterlife. When the phrase became conventional, the absence of a reference to the soul led people to suppose that it was the physical body that was enjoined to lie peacefully in the grave. This is associated with the Christian doctrine of the particular judgment; that is, that the soul is parted from the body upon death, but that the soul and body will be reunited on Judgment Day.
Crosses appear throughout hte series, while not exclusively a Christian symbol, is a common symbol of Christ’s crucifixion.
Tradtional crosses with the longer arm at the bottom can be seen on a crown at the top of Piotyr’s coat of arms as it appears on his armor/uniform, which would seem to indicate the traditional beliefs of his family. Another cross can be seen on top of the crown on the Borgov family crest. Another similar Christian cross can be seen in the distance near Hero's gravestone in a death scene in QFG4. In Erasmus house in QFG1 you can see a number of different runic mystical sigils and religious symbols carved into the arches along the back wall of his living room. If you look closely one of the symbols is a crucifix.
A slightly modified Christian cross (nearly a crux ansata/ankh/Coptic cross with rounded top above the cross arms) and Crusader/Templar cross (Cross pattée) appears in the Graveyard of Spielberg showing obvious local religious affiliation to Christianity which would be common for Germanic village of the period portrayed in the game.
Another cross can be seen on a shield in the blacksmith's shop QFG2, but there is no context related to it. More crosses this time + (Greek cross) can be seen in decorations/artwork throughout Spielburg in Hero's Quest/QFG1EGA including the Old Lady's house, and the Inn. With arms of equal length. One of the most common Christian forms, in common use by the 4th century.
Crosses can also be seen on the coins on the coin cards in the tarot deck. The Deck is a scan of an actual Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg (though Tarot itself is has occult connections rather than religious).
A woodcarving of Hero's hometown (Willowsby) in the QFG1VGA manual may have a cross on top of a steeple on one of the buildings in the city.
The introduction for QFG1 remake has image of Christian angel with halo around its head. There is a reference to angels blowing trumpets in QFG5. Los Angeles (L.A.) as mentioned in FE handbook is literally the city of Angels.
On the QFG4 character select screen is an praying angel on a headstone. In the original Hero's Quest/QFG 1 EGA there is only a small shadowy angel in foreground on top a slab style tombstone. Angels found in the cemetery are a symbol of spirituality. They guard the tomb and are thought to be messengers between God and man.
The angel, or "messenger of God," may appear in many different poses, each with its own individual meaning. An angel with open wings is thought to represent the flight of the soul to heaven. Angels may also be shown carrying the deceased in their arms, as if taking or escorting them to heaven. A weeping angel symbolizes grief, especially mourning an untimely death. An angel blowing a trumpet may depict the day of judgement. Two specific angels can often be identified by the instruments they carry - Michael by his sword and Gabriel by his horn.
Decorative stone urns as seen on some of the tombs in QFG4. As burial became a more common-practice, the urn continued to be closely associated with death. The urn is commonly believed to testify to the death of the body and the dust into which the dead body will change, while the spirit of the departed eternally rests with God.
The Grim Reaper is based on the medieval Christian interpretation on the personification of death. Death portrayed as the Grim Reaper (with Scythe) appears in several statue figures in QFG 4 within the Boyar Crypt. Death can also be seen on the Tarot Death Card.
The fleur-de-lis/fleur-de-lys (plural: fleurs-de-lis)[pron 1] or flower-de-luce is a stylized lily (in French, fleur means "flower", and lis means "lily") that is used as a decorative design or symbol. It appears on Paladin symbol for Holy Shield (Honor Shield) as well in the Authoriced Guide to denote section breaks. Many of the saints are often depicted with a lily, most prominently St. Joseph. Since France is a historically Catholic nation, the Fleur de lis became commonly used "at one and the same time, religious, political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic", especially in French heraldry.
In the Middle Ages, the symbols of lily and fleur-de-lis overlapped considerably in Christian religious art. It was until about 1300 they were found in depictions of Jesus, but gradually they took on Marian symbolism and were associated with the Song of Solomon's "lily among thorns" (lilium inter spinas), understood as a reference to Mary. Other scripture and religious literature in which the lily symbolizes purity and chastity also helped establish the flower as an iconographic attribute of the Virgin. It was also believed that the fleur-de-lis represented the Holy Trinity.
A Gryphon with a halo appears in QFG1's credits screens. This is yet another Christian religious symbol. Being a union of an aerial bird and a terrestrial beast, Griffons seen in Christendom to be a symbol of Jesus, who was both human and divine. As such it can be found sculpted on some churches. The concept of Gryphons themselves goes back much earlier Iranian and Egyptian art. But it was highly influential in Medieval European artwork as well.
Likewise, the lion is a common charge in heraldry sometimes referring to Christ. It traditionally symbolizes courage, nobility, royalty, strength, stateliness and valour, because historically it has been regarded as the "king of beasts". Lion refers also to a Judeo-Christian symbolism. The Lion of Judah stands in the coat of arms of Jerusalem. Similar looking lion can be found e.g. in the coat of arms of the Swedish royal House of Bjelbo, from there in turn derived into the coat of arms of Finland, formerly belonging to Sweden, and many others examples for similar historical reasons.
European dragons are usually depicted as malevolent under Christianity, and associated with the Devil. In QFG this is the general case with dragons appearing or alluded to as top-tier monsters in QFG1 and QFG5; pre-Christian dragons, such as Y Ddraig Goch, the Red Dragon of Wales (associated with King Arthur and his father), are seen as benevolent. Banners of the Late Roman Empire frequently figured Dragons, possibly due to the fact that Marcus Aurelius took over 8,000 Sarmatian soldiers into the Roman army, for whom the Dragon was a part of their military insignia. The double-headed dragon banner thus came to represent the division between Western and Eastern Roman Empires. It has been suggested that the Welsh legendary name Pendragon came from the word "head of the dragons", the name of the commander of the Sarmatians situated in sub-Roman Ribchester. Pagan sacred sites and springs, supposedly associated with Dragons, were often later associated with churches of Saint Michael or Saint George. A reference to St. George appears in QFG5, see below under terminology.
The symbol of Garlic to ward of Vampires, Demons, Ghosts and Werewolves also can be traced to Christian/Pagan hybrid myths. In the legends of St. Andrew (tamer of creatures and wolves) he was the one who introduced Garlic to the Slavic countries and the rest of the world. It was with its divine properties Garlic was used strung up as decorations or worn as decorations on the Night of the Poltergeists (St. Andrews Day) to ward off evil.
Tarot decks originally started out as a playing card game, but later used for divining. The decks are filled with Christian and occult symbolism. The deck that appears in QFG4 is the St. Petersburg Tarot deck, and thus has a Russian influence to the artwork. A lot of this art is hard to make out in the game due to lower resolution scans. But from Crosses on the Coin Cards, to possibly Holy Grail influences on the Cups card, and Christian Devil. Several cards hav quite a bit of iconography. The Hierophant and High Priestess cards for example shows Russian Orthodox church bishop style fineries, he holds a staff in one hand that has the Orthodox/Russian cross at the top, while she has a crucifix around her neck. The Falling Tower also shows crosses falling from the tower. This cannot be seen in the game as the card scans are too low resolution.
The Quest for Glory: The Authorized Strategy Guide and certain references of Quest for Glory V, make reference to a more traditional Christian inspired Hell, as one of the afterlives in the universe. It is a realm of demons, and contains an area known as the Abyss. At least some of the influence taken from Greek Mythology as well. The Hero prevents demons from escaping from there. Mild curse words associated with 'hell' appear throughout the QFG series. The term 'damn' can be found in QFG2, and QFG5 as an mild curse word. 'Darn' appear sin QFG1, 3,4, and 5. Drat ('God rot it') appears in QFG5 and Hoyle 3. 'Heck' appears in QFG1EGA/QFG1VGA, QFG2, and QFG5.
Asmodeus (/ˌæzməˈdiːəs/; Greek: Ασμοδαίος, Asmodaios) or Ashmedai (/ˈæʃmɪˌdaɪ/; Hebrew: אַשְמְדּאָי, ʾAšmədʾāy; see below for other variations) is mentioned as a major demon of the Netherworld. In Christian lore he is a king of demons mostly known from the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit, in which he is the primary antagonist. He was supposed by some Renaissance Christians to be the King of the Nine Hells. Asmodeus also is referred to as one of the seven princes of Hell. In Binsfeld's classification of demons, each one of these princes represents one of the seven deadly sins (Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride). Asmodeus is the demon of lust and is therefore responsible for twisting people's sexual desires, as seen in the book of Tobias especially. He is also said to be here on Earth after millions of years in hell.
There are also generic references to "Heaven/Heavens" throughout the series. Which is generally portrayed as the place God and Angels are located.
In Catholic theology, Limbo (Latin limbus, edge or boundary, referring to the "edge" of Hell) is a speculative idea about the afterlife condition of those who die in original sin without being assigned to the Hell of the Damned. Medieval theologians of western Europe described the underworld ("hell", "hades", "infernum") as divided into four distinct parts: Hell of the Damned, Purgatory, Limbo of the Fathers or Patriarchs, and Limbo of the Infants. However, Limbo of the Infants is not an official doctrine of the Catholic Church. Also, Purgatory is better classified as part of heaven, as official Church doctrine states that all souls in the state of purgation or cleansing (often referred to as "in Purgatory") are to be fully welcomed into eternal life after becoming fully purified.
Inquisitions, Trials and Holy Wars
In the VGA version of QFG1 is a reference to the Crusades and Tangier (inspired by actual Crusade event 1437) in which some of the people of Spielberg were involved. The Crusades refer to a series of holy wars between Christianity and Islam during the Medieval period.
Another reference made in the guide is that in Willowsby magic is considered 'wicked'. The fear and hatred of magic generally something that is attributed to Christianity in the Bible, where it is viewed as consorting with the Devil Satan, or other evil angels/demons. The idea that paganism is wicked is not limited to Christianity but is largely unique to other Abrahamic religions including Judaism and Islam. "Careful it floats, it could be a witch..." This phrase as it appears in the games is a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but it also a reference to medieval practice by Christians (largely Protestant sects) of dunking a person to see if they are a witch. If they floated, they would then be tried and burned at the stake. The idea of witches being old hags, and riding brooms is largely attributed to Medieval Christian views of Witchcraft. During this period Gypsies were associated with Witchcraft as well and burned at the stake as well. Mordavia shares this very similar Christian-like superstitions of magic, and gypsies.
Similarly... the werewolf (rather than the concept of shape-shifters in general) is a widespread concept in European folklore, existing in many variants, which are related by a common development of a Christian interpretation of underlying European folklore developed during the medieval period. The werewolf folklore found in Europe harks back to a common development during the Middle Ages, arising in the context of Christianization, and the associated interpretation of pre-Christian mythology in Christian terms. Their underlying common origin can be traced back to Proto-Indo-European mythology, where lycanthropy is reconstructed as an aspect of the initiation of the warrior class. This is reflected in Iron Age Europe in the Tierkrieger depictions from the Germanic sphere, among others. Such transformations of "men into wolves" in pagan cult were associated with the devil from the early medieval perspective. This also lead to attempted witch/wolf hunts to kill suspected werewolves.
Geez, Gee, Gosh, Golly, Sheesh, Gadzooks, Ods Bodkins, Dagnabit (Dag-nab-it), and Egad are all mild epitaphs or curses that reference Jesus and God. Gadzooks is God's Hooks, the nails which held Christ on the cross, and Ods Bodkins is God's Body, as in the body of Christ. Dagnabit (Dag-nab-it) means "God damn it", in reference to both God and damning a soul to 'hell'.
The term Holy, is largely a Christian term meaning sacred, and used to describe God and the Divinity in Christianity. Such as the Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit. It is use din minced oaths such as "holy cow", which is actually a euphemism Holy God/Jesus, although it also alludes to 'sacred cows' as well (both biblical false gods or in hindu). In QFG this gets used in funny ways such as Holy Hungry Hexapods, and 'holy tantalizing tentacles'. Holy is sometimes used for Paladin abilities as well. 'Holy Mackerel!' (QFG1EGA) is actually a minced oath in referenced to 'holy Mary, mother of God'.
The Holy Grail which is referenced in QFG1, and possibly QFG3, represents the cup which Christ drank from at the last supper.
Holy Strength and Holy Shield are abilities in QFG5 (Holy Shield is an alternative name for Honor Shield). The symbol of Holy Strength is a Christian cross on a golden shield. Holy Strength is symbolized by Fleur De Lis, another Christian symbol.
Notre Dame is a famous Catholic cathedral in France. The name means "Our Lady" as in the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ, important in Catholicism.
The concept of 'sin' is mentioned both QFG2 and QFG5. While broader concept of commiting 'bad', 'wicked' or 'evil' deeds can be found in multiple religions, the term itself is English, and more properly attributed to Christian translations of the Bible originally (meaning "offense against God"). But the essential concept applies across all the Abrahamic religions.
The one use of the term prayers appears in QFG4 in the one game that has European culture follow Christian tradition of prayers, and has other Christian symbolism hidden about the game. “Even a man who is pure in heart... And says his prayers by night...” which is a reference to Christian practice if saying prayers before going to bed.
A touch of Catholicism is nodded to with the line in QFG2: "Nuns are often in the habit of wearing these with their habit." This is seen when looking at a cornette hat on a shelf in the magic shop.
The cornette was retained as a distinctive piece of clothing into modern times by the Daughters of Charity, a Roman Catholic society of apostolic life founded by St. Vincent de Paul in the mid-17th century. The founder wanted to have the sisters of this new type of religious congregation of women, that tended to the sick poor and were not required to remain in their cloister, resemble ordinary middle-class women as much as possible in their clothing, including the wearing of the cornette.
After the cornette generally fell into disuse, it became a distinctive feature of the Daughters of Charity, making theirs one of the most widely recognised religious habits. Because of the cornette, they were known in Ireland as the "butterfly nuns". They abandoned the cornette on 20 September 1964. The modern nurses' cap or bonnet was created following the cornette's appearance and it depicts the humanitarianism of Daughters of Charity in nursing.
This particular cornette's distinctive shape comes from the old TV show The Flying Nun.
Ten Commandments, Bible Verses and Other Stories
The Thieves' Guild motto is 'Thou shalt not steal HERE.', this is a play on the 'Thou shalt not steal' (Exodus 20:15) one of the Ten Commandments of the Bible, in particular the English translation of the Christian versions of the bible (both Catholic and Protestant bibles). One of the Tarna laws is very similar in style, and likely influenced by biblical Ten Commandments wording.
"Thou shalt not kill, or so it's said, Unless you wish to wind up dead." The first line is yet another example of one of the "Ten Commandments" ( Exodus 20:13) in particular the Christian English translations (in Jewish translations it is closer to "Thou shalt not murder", as both self defense, and war is allowed).
"...not a person whose name to use in vain." This is another reference adapted from one of the Ten Commandments, but in this case the person they are referring to is Ad Avis rather than 'God' (Exodus 20:7), but the language itself is specifically a saying introduced in the Bible.
"Do unto others as they do to you, If they don't attack, then neither should you!" The first half of this comment, is a quote bible verses which are known as the Golden Rule (Mathew 7:12; Luke 6:31)
"It's a pillar of salt." (QFG5) is a reference the Biblical story of Lot's Wife turning into a pillar of salt from the Old Testament.
The Adam's Apple as mentioned in QFG4 is protrusion found on humans necks especially pronounce on men. It is named for the first Human "Adam" in Biblical Genesis/Creation story and the forbidden fruit he ate, making him lose the Garden of Eden.
The 'Red Sea' is mentioned and rhymed against "Dead Sea" both locations are important locations in the Bible in stories. Red Sea was the site where Moses divided the waters, and where Pharaoh was killed by the waters returned. The latter is the site of 'Dead Sea scrolls" which were used to help check translations of the bible (see Judaism below for more details).
While the Abyss is associated with Hades in QFG5, the term itself has more to do with Christian and biblical lore and tradition related to Hell or death.
Judaism is first of the three primary Abrahamic traditions which include the second Christianity and the later came Islam.
References to it or its believers/members are perhaps a bit more, obscure in the series...
The Dead Sea scrolls are mentioned. These are important find near the Dead Sea that included many of the books of the Bible in ancient Hebrew text. This was important to later translators both Jewish and Christian. Likewise the Red Sea is associated with Moses and the story is shared by Christians as well.
Asmodeus is mentioned in some Talmudic legends; for instance, in the story of the construction of the Temple of Solomon. In Jewish and Islamic lore he is the king of the demons (Shedim/Jinn).
Other possible references are the Star of David (Magen David "Shield of David") used in Ad Avis magic. The symbol was later adopted by Islam, and even Christianity, and in medieval mysticism it was known as the hexagram. Often used to 'bind spirits'... The symbol predates Abrahamic religions including Judaism, however in middle ages was adopted and came to be known as the symbol of the Jews. The two intersecting triangles may represent the delicate balance between man and God. Hexagrams appear in other scenes as well including the tables at the Katta's Tail and Blue Parrot Inns.
Another potential reference is Ali Fakir's makes a reference to God (calling Shapeir "God's country", and then saying he (God) can have it, he is ready to move on), now the reference itself is originally a reference to the "Christian" interpretation of God (but the same God is more or less shared among Abrahamic religions with various differences).
The term itself,, may have several meanings (and often completely opposite in nature)... Urban Dictionary amusingly suggests God's country is "Land so far out in the middle of nowhere that even the most basic artifacts of civilization are hard to come by." However Webster's gives several competing definitions;
- :a place conceived of as especially favored by God: such as
- a : an area of civilization (as a city) away from the frontier music heard long before … in God's country in the East — Springfield (Massachusetts) Republican
- b : a place away from a city; especially : the open country out of the slums into God's country
- c : one's native or home state or region
- boosters go so much to the other extreme, talking about God's country — Sinclair Lewis
Fakir's use of the term indicates that he knows of God (in monotheistic sense), and may believe in him on some level.
The Marx Brothers were prominent actors of Jewish heritage known for their slapstick humor, as well by many for what was viewed as courageous activism during WW2 against Nazi regime via the satire of their films (much like Charlie Chaplain, and Three Stooges as well).
Alichica and Ali Fakir are both portrayed as stereotypical swindlers (and cheaters) of Jewish heritage (being depictions of prominent Jewish actors). They are also depicted with exaggerated 'large noses'... this imagery actually hearkens back to anti-Semitic medieval stereotypical portrayals of Jews as cheats and swindlers. Bringing to mind Shakespear's own portrayal of "Shylock" from The Merchant of Venice.
Even the name "Fakir" which can mean 'Faker', 'Charlatan', 'Swindler', etc appears to be a nod to this stereotype.
Webster's thesaurus defines Fakir as;
- a dishonest person who uses clever means to cheat others out of something of value a traveling carnival that was run by fakirs preying on small-town rubes
- one who makes false claims of identity or expertise a fakir peddling patent medicines that were mostly liquor and sugar.
And the dictionary defines it as (and the second meaning has more relevance) as "Swindler":
- \fə-ˈkir, fä-, fa-; ˈfā-kər\
- a : a Muslim mendicant : dervish
- b : an itinerant Hindu ascetic or wonder-worker
- \ˈfā-kər\ : impostor; especially : swindler
The name Ali Fakir however itself is more Arabic fitting into the Arabic/Persian theme of the series.
Some view the Marx Bros. movie Duck Soup (which QFG makes a reference to) as both an anti-war film and anti-government (including anti-Nazi). However their most direct anti-Nazi film was A Night in Casablanca.
While there were no deliberately pro-Nazi films before the war, many execs were afraid to produce deliberately anti-fascist films at the time, as it cut into their distribution into German controlled regions. Not everyone one Hollywood was brave enough offend their patrons at the time, and considering some of Hollywood's allegedly supportive of Hitler before the war, and had restricted the production of anything even inadvertently anti-fascist)
There might be somewhat of a sub context an anti-fascist message and possible reference to the Holocaust in that Ad Avis regime is known to have forced all the Katta, and many of the local people to flee Raseir, or has imprisoned them or killed them, and has his eyes set on Shapir as well. Ad Avis and his commander Khaveen are portrayed as highly xenophobic and hateful of non-humans or even humans that do not meet his standards.
In Arabic language and Islamic cultures Allah is the name for the "God" of Abrahamic traditions (although certain aspects of this God vary by religion, such that for example, in Islam, Christ is another prophet (a mere man), rather than the Son of God, and Allah has no son, and there is no 'trinity'). In QFG2, the concept of a mono-theistic "God" in beliefs of Shapeir, is mentioned at least once, specifically by Ali Fakir (but this is perhaps the limits to understanding Shapeir's religious culture within the game).
There are a number of things mentioned in Quest For Glory II and Quest for Glory III that are taken from or inspired by Islamic ideas. These include the Houris of Paradise, the idea of 'Infidels' (unbelievers, those who do not follow Islam), certain aspects of the backstory of Julanar (concerning the treatment of women in her time), and some of the characters in QFG2 are inspired by the names of famous leaders of Islamic caliphates, emirates, and sultanates. The evil Marid Iblis takes its name from, and is more or less inspired by Islam's version of the Devil/Satan (though in QFG, Iblis and Shaitan treated as seperate entities).
Many of the rules for women that Ad Avis instituted in Raseir such as "forbidding a man to speak to a woman unless she is his mother, daughter, or wife" or "mother, wife, or slave" are based on Islamic Sharia practices.
Suleiman bin Daoud is the name of the Jewish-Israeli King Solomon ben David, in the Bible and the Qur'an. It means 'Solomon, son of David' (another Biblical and Qur'anic king). According to apocryphal, rabbinical and magical literature and legends, Suleiman had power over good and evil spirits. These occult traditions of course are not compatible with the Bible, but the Qur'an mentions that he had power over the djinn.
Djinn are somewhat equivalent to angels and demons Islamic traditions.
Harun al-Rashid was the name of an Islamic caliph that was a leader during the Islamic Golden Age.
The Seal of Solomon (Star of David in Jewish tradition) appears in QFG2 as the magic star with the candles used to summon Iblis by Ad Avis in the game's ending. However it has more in common with the Star of David in that it lacks the circle around the star as it portrayed on the Seal of Solomon. It function is more like the 'hexagram' used in the occult magic. In Christian tradition it can also be called the 'star of creation' where it was often found in Orthodox Christian Churches and Roman Catholic Churches in the Balkans.
The phrase "May Peace Be Always With Him" appears to be based on "PBUH" (Peace Be Upon Him) which is an Arabic honorific often applies to the prophets, especially to Muhammad.
Buddhism, Hindu & Other Eastern Philosophies
Extremely minor reference to Buddha and the sacred fig tree, 'Bodhi Tree' in QFG1VGA, when randomly looking at trees. There are reference to Zen (as from Mahayana Buddhism in references in QFG1VGA, and QFG3.)
There is book in Salim's collection called "The Om and I". "Om" is a sacred sound and a spiritual icon in Hindu religion. It is also a mantra in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. "OM' is part of the iconography found in ancient and medieval era manuscripts, temples, monasteries and spiritual retreats in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
Reincarnation is referenced in QFG3 as well. Enlightment/enlightened is mentioned in QFG3 and QFG5 and a few other games.
Yin-Yang symbol from Taoist belief system appears in Sekhmet's trial as a choice.
Chi, Karma, I Ching, Mandela, Tae Kwon Do (black belt)
The wood element form Chinese lore appears is mentioned in an off hand remark in QFG2. The only element missing form Chinese lore is 'Metal'. Although plant of metal is mentioned throughout the series.
Wood (or "Tree") is one of five classical elements in Chinese Wu Xing. Tree (Chinese: 木; pinyin: mù), traditionally translated as Wood, is the growing of the matter, or the matter's growing stage. Tree is the first stage of Wu Xing. Tree is yang in character. It stands for springtime, the east, the planet Jupiter, the color green, wind, and Qing Long in Four Symbols. The Wu Xing are chiefly an ancient mnemonic device for systems with 5 stages; hence the preferred translation of "tree" over "wood".
In Chinese thought, Wood attributes are considered to be strength and flexibility, as with bamboo. It is also associated with qualities of warmth, generosity, co-operation and idealism. The Wood person will be expansive, outgoing and socially conscious. The wood element is one that seeks always to grow and expand. Wood heralds the beginning of life, springtime and buds, sensuality and fecundity. Wood needs moisture to thrive.
In Chinese medicine, wood is associated with negative feelings of anger, and positive feelings of patience and altruism. Organs associated with this element are the liver (yin) and the gall bladder (yang), the eyes and the tendons.
In Chinese astrology wood is included in the 10 heavenly stems (the five elements in their yin and yang forms), which combine with the 12 earthly branches (or Chinese signs of the zodiac), to form the 60 year cycle. Yang wood years end in 4 (eg 1974), while Yin years end in 5 (eg 1975). Wood governs the Chinese zodiac signs Tiger, Rabbit and Dragon.
In the regenerative cycle of the Wu Xing, Water engenders Wood, as rain or dew makes plant life flourish; and Wood begets Fire as fire is generated by rubbing together two pieces of wood. In the conquest cycle, Wood overcomes Earth by binding it together with the roots of trees; and Metal overcomes Wood, as the metal axe can make even the largest trees fall.
New Age ideas mixed with 1960's Hippy subculture are represented by the character Salim Nafs. A number of his books make reference to New Age concepts, and a mix of Eastern religion, see also Buddhism above. These include such things as astral-projection and cosmic consciousness.
Represented by Anubis and Sekhmet, and the Ka, and Egyptian afterlife of Tu-at. There are references to pyramids, and general Egyptian symbols appear all over Liontaur's buildings. The Ankh symbol appears in Sekhmet's test as on option.
Mummification is a process for preserving the dead for the afterlife.
General reference to a pantheon of gods and Greek heroes. Hades, Poiseidon, Hera, and Hercules and others are mentioned.
However, most of these Heroes and deities are mentioned in past tense. And evidence of their great kingdoms are only ruins by the time of the story. It seems that their time has come and gone and their memory is slowly fading from the world. With exception of Hades much of their universe is gone or in a ruined state.
Lovecraftian concepts appear in QFG4 with the Cult of Dark Ones, and Avoozl. The cultists mutating into sea creatures (Chernovy) is similar to the Deep Ones in The Shadow Over Innsmouth who turn fish-like over time due to their connection and worship of Dagon. General concept of cults and strange monasteries and temples such as in stories The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Temple, In the Mountains of Madness and Dagon. It is probably closest to the cult 'Esoteric Order of Dagon' from The Shadow Over Innsmouth and its Masonic hall according to Derleth's writings. But there are many such cults in Lovecrafts and other authors' extended Cthulhu Mythos.
The name October Derleth mentioned in Hero's Journal is a reference to August Derleth one of the authors of the extended Cthulhu Mythos.
Calendar & Astronomy
The universe uses more or less the same modern Gregorian calendar much like the real world.
The current Calendar system has strong Christian influences in Earth's history. However the names of the days of the week are taken from mythology and the gods, primarily Norse traditions.
Many of the months names originate from Roman influence (they originally only had a 10 month calendar, this became thirteen later, and under Julius Caesar the 12 we have today). They were given names of the gods such as Janus, Aphrodite, Mars, Juno, Maia, or festival (Februa), or important Caesars (Julius, Augustus), or Roman Latin numerals (Sept 7, Oct 8, Nov 9, Dec 10), etc...
Octember is mentioned in QFG1 however this is probably a joke, and the original reference is to Dr. Seuss to a month that does not exist, and therefore will never come.
The choice of seven day week itself can be traced back to Babylonians and also had significance to the Jews.
Several of Earth's planets are mentioned and these share Roman or Greek historical influence. Mars, Jupiter, etc.
Zodiac symbols for Sagittarius, Pisces, Libra, and Taurus appear on the magic spells in QFG1,QFG3, and QFG4. Plus a unidentified symbol.
A reference in QFG4, inside of a book on thieves and traps. It states "In the section on surviving magical traps, the book suggests taking up religion."
A halo (from Greek ἅλως, halōs; also known as a nimbus, aureole, glory, or gloriole) is a crown of light rays, circle or disk of light that surrounds a person in art. They have been used in the iconography of many religions to indicate holy or sacred figures, and have at various periods also been used in images of rulers or heroes. In the sacred art of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity, among other religions, sacred persons may be depicted with a halo in the form of a circular glow, or flames in Asian art, around the head or around the whole body—this last one is often called a mandorla. Halos may be shown as almost any colour or combination of colours, but are most often depicted as golden, yellow or white when representing light or red when representing flames.
The mystic five-armed pentacle/pentagram appears in QFG3 as a symbol in Sekhmet's test. For early Christians, the five pointed star, or pentagram represented the five wounds of Christ. But it also has strong cult/pagan traditions as well.
A cup possibly representing the 'holy grail' appears in QFG3 as a symbol in Sekhmet's test.
In Sekhmet's temple is a reference to "..smites you for this blasphemy!" Generally speaking the concept of Blasphemy not only being a term that appeared in the Middle-ages; "the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God " which has more Christian influence in its relationship to the language. It is actually something more related to all Abrahamic religions including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. However, ancient Egyptians did actually punish for blasphemy even if they may not have used the same term. Cultic (blasphemy, stealing from temple offerings or offerings to the dead, defiling the purity of a sacred place)
- ↑ https://www.openbible.info/topics/magic
- ↑ https://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/gadzooks-the-truth-behind-not-so-innocent-phrases
- ↑ http://www.lutins.org/lists/minced_oaths.html
- ↑ https://www.etymonline.com/word/holy
- ↑ Ali Fakir (QFG2): The Saurus. That's where you look for synonyms. And speaking of sin, when it comes to sauruses, well, let's just keep your personal preferences a secret, shall we?
- ↑ Narrator (QFG5):"While trying to steal on a whim, You fought a guy named Abdim, While this isn't to big a sin, The least you could do is to win."
- ↑ Narrator (QFG4):
- ↑ http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/magen-david
- ↑ https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/God%27s%20country
- ↑ http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2013/6/17/the-marx-brothers-and-jewish-identity
- ↑ http://www.popmatters.com/article/with-humor-as-their-weapon-the-three-stooges-took-on-hitler/
- ↑ http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/shylock
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotypes_of_Jews
- ↑ https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/faker
- ↑ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comedy/comedians/groucho-marx-profile-things-you-might-not-know/
- ↑ https://studentobiter.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/law-and-order-in-ancient-egypt/