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Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero (DOS)

80
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Terry Callahan (67)
Written on  :  Nov 26, 2011
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars

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Summary

Almost completely superior... almost

The Good

What's there not to like about the game? The hand painted graphics still hold up almost two decades after the game's original release, the claymation monsters and models would never really get old, and the overall story would be best dubbed a classic.

Compared to the EGA version, the land of Spielburg (contrary to popular myth, is not named after Steven Spielburg, but is a pun: Spielburg means 'game town' in German), is much more alive and easier to explore, with the added benefit of a few new easter eggs (such as finding Earl Sinclair from Dinosaurs) that were more from the early 90's than the late 80's. the level of detail and quality of the artwork is better than the original as well. This wasn't surprising, since Quest for Glory was the last major 'quest' series to be launched by Sierra (though not the very last, EcoQuest held that title, but it wasn't nearly as big as any of the rest), and when they got about to making the remakes, it was the very last game to be remade. For that, I'm wiling to assume that the artists had had enough experience with graphic design to make this game the best looking of the original EGA and VGA remakes.

The interface was also quite good, with the icons looking better than most early sierra VGA games actually. What really was improved dramatically I believe I was the combat. Beyond better graphics, I believe that the game play, while not perfect (The series was never that good on combat mechanics), was much better than the original EGA, which for the life of me, I never quite got. Also the tie-ins from other QFG games and sierra series never fail to put a smile on my face. The dialogue trees were also some of the best in the entire series, if overtly simplistic (but that could be excused by the fact that they are not tied to any in-game event, and as such are available in their entirety from the start). And in my own opinion, the inventory interface is still the best in the series.

The Bad

(Please note that these might contain some spoilers. You have been warned)

I mentioned in my title that I called it 'almost' completely superior. Are there problems? Yes there are, and sadly, many of them are so glaring that they seriously detract from the game play and immersion.

Firstly, in the bad old days of pre-DosBox, there was the Sword Master problem... in the game, as a fighter, you had to beat the sword master to get full points, and since the game ran on it's own clock, if you manage to get the game running without dosbox, it meant that he would move at lightening speed and defeat you before you were able to press the first attack button. Though this has been solved by DosBox, it still annoyed me for years on end before then, and I still resent it quite greatly (while other games had clock issues, none of them had problems of this magnitude).

The other big problems were the potions and goblins 'training' looting bugs. When buying potions of the from the healer, you had to open and close your inventory twice after every purchase to make sure you got it. What I mean is, if you buy two stamina potions in a row, but don't check your invention after every purchase, you will only end up with one potion. Same thing applies to looting the dead goblins you fight in the goblin training grounds screen. If you search one and don't double check your invention, you will only get the money from the latest one you searched. Though this isn't a gamebreaker, this issue makes it rather tedious to perform what is a routine game function.

Another bug (again solved by DosBox, but still annoying) is that Yorick does not leave the maze room even after you explain your purpose there, and unless you adjust the game cycles he would continue to throw things at you to hinder your progress through the maze. In the original game, after telling him/ why you were there, he would leave you alone. It was another notable error.

The graphics issue that almost everyone has experienced... well I suppose I could give it a notable mention, but to be honest I was never bothered by it as a kid, and as an adult, I just like to think it's the effect of the mushrooms that the hero would use to get his mind of the fact that every monster in the forest wants him dead.

But to me, the single biggest problem in the entire game is the dagger bug. In every iteration of QFG, before combat, you could throw daggers at your enemy, and then after combat you could pick them up. This includes QFG EGA, but in the VGA remake, if you throw a dagger at your enemy and then enter combat, that dagger is gone forever. You could avert it by throwing a dagger and then picking it up before combat, but that still does not excuse the original issue.

The Bottom Line

Have you ever wished you could leave the world and all it's problem and embark on a great adventure? Well this is it, and it gives a brilliant and colorful start to a great series of adventure games.

That being said, the game really was an overall great improvement and if it wasn't for the annoying bugs, it would have been a 100% improvement over the original in every way.