Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire is the second video game in Sierra's Quest for Glory series, and the sequel to Hero's Quest: So You Want to Be a Hero (following the renaming of the series over trademark issues).
The game follows the path of its predecessor, although there are distinctions in gameplay. Trial by Fire operates on a restricted time frame; the entire plot is concluded in 30 days. Many of the puzzles in the game do not appear or cannot be solved until certain days. This keeps gameplay on a tight, linear narrative. At some moments in the plot, such as the three days spent in Raseir, this slows down gameplay and can seem ponderous.
The player has the opportunity to advance his character and explore interesting side-quests. For example, a magic-user can earn the title of "Wizard" with the sponsorship of the wizard Erasmus, if he can overcome a series of magical challenges and graduate from the Wizards' Institute of Technocery. A fighter may earn a membership in the Eternal Order of Fighters. A thief may perform several thefts, including the running gag of stealing the Maltese Falcon. One of the unique features of this game, however, is that the character is not locked out of different side quests depending on class. If the character is a fighter with some magical ability (a magic user imported from Quest for Glory 1 playing as a fighter) this cross-training can be utilised to complete other quests. It is possible for the character to become a Wizard, complete every theft in the game, and join the Eternal Order of Fighters.
This is also the first game of the series where the hero may be awarded the title of Paladin. To achieve this status, the hero must act honorably throughout the game and Rakeesh, the liontaur (lion-centaur) will present to you his Paladin sword, Soulforge. Since the title of the Paladin is given at the end of the game, the Paladin abilities and Soulforge are only usable with characters that are imported into Quest for Glory III: Wages of War and later games.
Quest for Glory II takes place in the fictional land of Shapeir, in the world of Gloriana. Directly following from the events of the first game, the newly-proclaimed Hero of Spielburg travels by flying carpet with his friends Abdulla Doo, Shameen and Shema to the desert city of Shapeir. The city is threatened by magical elementals, while the Emir Arus al-Din of Shapeir's sister city Raseir is missing and his city fallen under tyranny.
After defeating the four elementals that threaten Shapeir, the Hero travels to the city of Raseir. There, he is imprisoned by Khaveen and under hypnosis helps the evil tyrannical wizard Ad Avis to resurrect the evil genie Iblis. In the final fight, the Hero attacks the palace and battles with Ad Avis, who falls to his presumed death begging for assistance from his Dark Master. As thanks for the Hero's success in liberating Raseir and restoring its lost splendor, the Sultan of Shapeir, Harun al-Rashid, rewards the Hero by adopting him as his son.