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

aka: QFG1
Moby ID: 16075

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 82% (based on 9 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 52 ratings with 8 reviews)

Heroic Hybrid

The Good
It looks like an adventure, it feels like an adventure, and to a certain extent it also plays like an adventure - but there is more. Created by Lori Ann Cole and her husband, Quest for Glory was conceived at a time when Sierra had supreme dominance in the genre. Its several "quest" series were flourishing, and the company was at one of the peaks of its creative power. The designers took everything that made Sierra adventures work and expanded it by masterfully injecting the familiar formula with delightfully fulfilling light role-playing elements.

Even as a pure adventure, the game would still work. The high interactivity level allows performing any action on any available object, and more often than not you'll get an interesting or funny remark. Try taking women, talking to walls, pushing houses. Those were the days: you weren't restricted to a stupid cursor that figured out all the actions for you, and the interactivity wasn't limited to a couple of carefully highlighted objects sticking out of the backgrounds. The puzzles are not too taxing, but there are a few tricky tasks that require actual thinking on your part - not in the least because the RPG element adds another layer to puzzle-solving.

Indeed, Quest for Glory treats role-playing in its own original way, strengthening and deepening pure adventure gameplay. There is no excessive dungeon crawling, frustrating unbeatable enemies, overdoses of mechanical repetition, or high mathematical equations to solve in order to build the optimal party. The adventure core remains intact - you are acting solo, and individually designed locations with developed characters have precedence. And yet, RPG traits are an inseparable part of the game's structure, brilliantly integrated into adventuring gameplay.

There is a standard choice of classes in the beginning: Fighter, Thief, or Mage. Unlike most pure RPGs, where these choices may greatly affect combat but leave the actual game progression intact, in Quest for Glory those classes are treated as yet another variable pertaining to the solution of the game. In other words, many tasks and events will be quite different depending on the class you choose. The puzzles will offer alternate solutions, you'll have to meet other people, visit other locations, pick other items, etc. Not to mention the standard class gameplay differences that are also quite fun - spend the game as a brute who knows nothing but wielding a sword, as a cunning, stealthy lock-picking fellow, or as a powerful magician that unleashes his wrath on innocent goblins and ogres.

The RPG system is an example of greatness disguised as simplicity: your hero has attributes mixed with skills, such as strength, stamina, throwing, climbing, honor, etc. This pretty much sums it up - and it's extremely fun and rewarding to increase those stats and make your hero to what you want him to be. Everything you do in the game world affects your skills. Practice tree-climbing and you'll see that in the end of the game you'll be able to climb over a wall. Work out a lot and tackle obstacles the most direct way if you are tired of thinking. No need to wait for levels and count experience points - there you are, you are doing something, and effects are immediate: practice makes perfect. Meet a robber and throw a stone at him - if you are good at throwing, you'll nail him down, if not... maybe there is another way? This is the kind of role-playing you'll enjoy in this game.

The combat is simple and effective. Attack and parry - this is all you need to know, if you are a fighter. As a mage, there is of course a variety of spells to cast on your foes. The more you use a certain type of magic, the better magician you become; the more you fight, the stronger you get; the more you get hurt, the higher is your stamina, etc. Combat doesn't depend only on your manual dexterity. A weak fighter cannot handle the ogre who protects the way to his cave. You'll have to train or fight more in order to be able to defeat that brute. Or look for sneakier solutions as a thief if that is your preferred style of playing.

The world of Quest for Glory is lively and atmospheric. There is a day and night cycle and internal clock, like in Ultima games. You'll make appointments, and they will actually mean something - you'll have to check out the game's time and be not only in the right place, but also at the right moment. You feel how Spielburg really lives its life, how things change depending on the time of the day. The surrounding forest is reasonably large but not maze-like, with interesting places to discover - and there is little that restricts your exploration.

And of course, there is plenty of Sierra's typically mild and sweet humor. There is a little bit of everything - silly or sophisticated puns, ironic attitude to the main character ("overworked, underpaid, no direction in life", according to the hero himself), hilarious death scenes, cameo appearances and references to other games ("I want to be a pirate!"), and so on. The characters are talkative and appealing. There is a lot of dialogue in the game, a lot of stuff to ask about, things to buy, enemies to encounter, quests to take, etc.

In the early 90-ies, Sierra published a series of remakes of their classic "quest" titles featured wonderful hand-drawn 256-color VGA graphics and a comfortable icon-based interface (instead of the old text input). This is one of those updated versions. Gone are the 16-color world and the tiresome text interface. The necessity of an updated interface is more evident here than in other Sierra remakes. Quest for Glory has an extended dialogue system: you must talk to people you encounter about various topics in order to gain important information. In the original, you had to think of and type the conversation topics all by yourself. That was interesting, yet at times frustrating. In the remake the conversations topics are all presented in a nice dialogue menu. And of course, manipulating action icons and clicking on stuff is much more comfortable than typing commands.

The graphics also got a tremendous boost in the remake. Quest for Glory undeniably belongs to the most beautiful games of early nineties. The characters and the backgrounds, with their claymation-like look, are simply fabulous. The magical atmosphere of a fairy-tale world envelops the player completely (check out, for example, Erana's Peace location, or the road to the castle). The graphics haven't lost their appeal, and don't seem outdated to this day.

The Bad
The ever-present "Sierra Dead End Syndrome" (TM) is still here. You do something that doesn't lead to an immediate death, peacefully continue the game, and later (sometimes much later) discover, to your horror, that the damage you have done is irreversible and you must restore a saved file from earlier (sometimes much earlier). That happened to me, for example, with the reagent lady, from whom I carelessly stole something and who caught me while I was doing the evil deed. Later, she wouldn't give me a plot item without which it was impossible to finish the game. Of course it is good that the game punishes needless stealing from innocent ladies, but I wish the punishment would come sooner.

Quest for Glory is a bit too short. You can fool around with things and there is room for exploration; but once you are set to go through the tasks that take you to the end of the game, you'll discover there isn't a whole lot required from you. There are several characters you can meet and chat with, but few are truly memorable. Later installments of the series would have more elaborate plots and feature more interesting characters - but we mustn't forget that the foundation stone was laid here.

The VGA remake, like many of its contemporaries, has a few bugs and very annoying game-breaking speed issues that can sometimes only be resolved by disabling internal cache in your computer's BIOS - or playing the game on a machine of roughly the same speed it was programmed for when it first came out.

The Bottom Line
Quest for Glory gives us everything there is to love in Sierra adventures: generous interactivity, well-written text, reasonable challenge, and endearing humor. On top of that, it adds an elegantly designed light role-playing system graciously complementing and enhancing pure adventure gameplay like never before or after. Savor it and its sequels, because games like this are not being made anymore.

DOS · by Unicorn Lynx (181769) · 2015

A fun "light" RPG that will take you an afternoon or two to beat.

The Good
Like most of the adventure games that Sierra made during the time period of 1991-1992, it shares the same sort of graphical style that can be found in RH: Conquests of the Longbow and King's Quest V. Since those games (and this one, as a matter of fact) have a very classic and distinct look, it sort of rubs off here as well and gives the setting of Spielburg Valley a distinctly fairy tale look that is sort of absent from the rest of the series. This is probably a good thing, as I can’t imagine the same look working in QfG 2 and 3. It works here though.

The Bad
It's REALLY short. It took me only a few short hours to complete the game. And I got close to the maximum score (492 pts.) as well. Other than that, I can't really complain.

Well, I could mention that the puzzles are a bit easy and that choosing your class doesn't really affect the plot or what you can do in the game. I played as a Thief/Magic User and I was able to accomplish just about everything that both classes can do in the game with only a minimal amount of fuss. And, as I stated earlier, I wish that there were two separate panels in combat (one focused on conventional combat and one for spell casting), instead of having to switch between the two.

But I shan't hold these problems against the game, as it's far too enjoyable to do so.

The Bottom Line
If you can find a copy of this available somewhere, I would get it. You may need to get a DOS Emulator (like the excellent and free DOSBox program) to run it properly on Windows XP, though.

DOS · by Longwalker (723) · 2007

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.

DOS · by Salim Farhat (69) · 2011

The start of an great adventure series

The Good
A remake of the original Quest for Glory, this game features improved graphics, a point and click interface, and easier combat. The storyline remains the same as the original game, and features one of Sierra's best musical scores, rivaling the King's Quest series. The character and world graphics are amazingly detailed for their time, and the land of Spielburg has a wide array of different environments to show them off. The point and click interface allows for easier interaction with objects in the world, the inventory menu, and dialogue options. Combat has been changed from keyboard commands to an action bar in the corner that allows you to click on your desired action, making it much easier for someone to just open up the game and start playing.

The Bad
Purists of the original game might find the new combat system a bit watered down from the original. Also, with the new engine came new problems. An occasional graphical glitch can occur for most users, causing the graphics to remain glitched until the user exits the game. Players may also find themselves not knowing what to do next in the game, due to some lack of instruction on where to go or what to do next.

The Bottom Line
The Quest for Glory series is an epic story that spans 5 games, and this is the one that started it all. It is a game that has wonderful storytelling, a diverse character ensemble, and quite a bit of humor that will want you playing the sequel immediately after beating it. If you have a few hours you can just sit down and spend with a game, I would highly recommend this title to any fan of fantasy or adventure games.

DOS · by Aaron Cole (7) · 2009

The village of Spielburg needs a hero

The Good
The Coles did an excellent job remaking Quest for glory 1, but let's talk about the game itself, the combination of RPG and adventure elements it's great, a shame it has been used so much. Some of the music pieces in the game are brilliant, i really like the Erana's Peace theme, it's very emotive and calming. The combat system is real good, very efficient and easy to get used to it.

The Bad
The quests in my opinion are very short and don't give enough sense of adventure, the only one i liked was the Brigand's one, that's a quest in my opinion. Something very silly and atmosphere-killing was the freaky magic-room by the end, i hated it, and if you are running your game in Windows you will hate it even more (you know about those timing problems in most sierra games) Also, being a remake, the Coles could have worked some more in making the game longer and adding some more new elements, it would have done the game a big favour.

The Bottom Line
The birth of a great saga, not my favourite of the 5 sequels but it's ok, if you would like to get into RPG's this game is a great starting point.

DOS · by Depth Lord (934) · 2005

Yes, sir, I want to be a hero

The Good
The last of the remakes Sierra produced, Quest for Glory is an adventure/RPG hybrid made by the same people that brought us the original game. An unnamed hero enters the town of Spielburg overrun by brigands, and discovers a curse placed on the Baron's daughter by the witch Baba Yaga. And it is up to the hero to find someway to break the curse, even if it takes him days to do so.

I already covered the game mechanics in my review of the original, so I won't go into detail into those here. What I didn't say in that review is that each of the classes offer different solutions to puzzles, but all of them require a certain trait to be built up. For instance, you are supposed to climb a tree so you can collect the Healer's ring from a bird nest. If you try to climb up the tree, you will fail. If you do it often enough, you will be able to climb up in the end.

Being a remake, the game benefits from running on Sierra's newer SCI engine. You direct the character through a point-and-click interface, rather than typing commands. There are actually two icon interfaces. The main one is found by pointing the cursor to the top of the screen, and if you played other Sierra games, you know what that looks like. The secondary icon interface can be found by clicking an icon in the main one, and it is there you can make your character walk, run, sneak, choose to rest for a period of time, or check your statistics out. Both icon interfaces are well designed and I could easily tell what each one does just by looking at the pictures on them.

The hand-painted backgrounds are wonderful, and the animation of each of the characters is smooth. The character portraits were done with clay models, but I didn't like some of them. Baba Yaga looks like the Joker's wife. I love the monster fights. The monsters themselves are drawn and animated nicely. I almost felt sorry for having to kill them.

I enjoyed listening to the game's soundtracks, especially when you go into combat mode. The soundtrack itself blends in with what you are doing. Now, I know I said this in my original QFG reviews as well as my others, but I'll say it again: If you happen to have a Roland MT-32 sound module, you get to hear the soundtrack with real instruments rather than MIDI.

As I said earlier, the game offers different solutions to most of the puzzles, depending on what class you have selected, so it's well worth replaying the game again and taking a different approach. I have the strategy guide, which contains a brief walkthrough and there are specific instructions for each of the classes. There is enough interesting information that already made me play the game at some point.

The Bad
In the original version, when you were in combat mode, you could still type commands in that allowed you to escape or to cast spells at the monsters, among other actions. The remake has none of this. In the remake, however, it has been replaced by eight icons, four which are hidden from you unless you click on the big shield in the middle. I still can't get used to this system, and found out typing commands are much easier for me. Also, when you try to escape, the monster which you are escaping from reappears right next to you, making it hard to run to the next screen. This becomes so annoying if you are escaping because you don't have the health/stamina to kill them. For this reason, you are forced to restore a game and then try again.

Not a lot of effort was put into the ending. It is even worse than the one from the VGA remake of Police Quest. There is no background music, and there is only one closing scene, then there are the credit.

The Bottom Line
If you haven't played the original Quest for Glory, you're not missing out on much. The remake boasts wonderful graphics and a soundtrack. The point-and-click interface may have replaced the text parser, but that's Sierra remakes for you. Any QFG fan should at least try the remake to see whether they like it or not. For me, it's just the new combat system that I found tedious.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43087) · 2015

The best adventure game EVER!!

The Good
The story, character development, replayability, music, graphics (great for its time; still not bad though)

The Bad
This game kept me from dating for years. I'm still trying to recover.

The Bottom Line
A must play for anyone who enjoys and adventure game or rpg. There is no way that you won't enjoy this one.

DOS · by Shawn Michaels (1) · 2005

A dream come true.

The Good
This is probably the only Sierra sequel game I continued playing, and if your a Hero's Quest fan, you definitely know why.

Everything in this game is great, although climbing those trees can be pretty ridiculous. What I have to say is this game has great music, masterpieces that bring the best of memories for a long time to come... The ending gives you the feel that everything in life was worth it...

The Bad
Uh, sorry when I played this one couldn't find one.

The Bottom Line
A classic masterpiece.

DOS · by Indra was here (20752) · 2005

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Kayburt, Scaryfun, Alsy, Patrick Bregger, Víctor Martínez, EonFear, Gonchi.