Hero's Quest: So You Want to Be a Hero

aka: Hero's Quest I: So You Want To Be A Hero, Quest For Glory: So You Want To Be A Hero
Moby ID: 168

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 85% (based on 17 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 149 ratings with 13 reviews)

The best Sierra game, period.

The Good
Before the big push to make VGA the standard Sierra managed to really squeeze some great looking games out of the old 16 colour EGA card. King's Quest IV and this one being the best of their EGA efforts but beyond nice EGA graphics this game took the already fun Sierra adventure a step further by introducing some RPG elements: combat, character classes and players statistics.

You have the choice of playing three different classes: fighter, magic-user and thief. Each class gave the game enough puzzle differences to make it worth playing over again. The fighter was the most basic of the three, essentially it was like a regular Sierra game with combat added. The magic-user added of course magic, and had the challenge of competing in a tough magic contest later in the game. The thief was my favorite of the three, allowing you to join a thieve's guild ("thou shalt not steal... here") and you could break into homes at night to make some cash. After picking your class you'd assign some points to your attributes and skills, if you wanted to as a thief you had enough points to add the skills of the fighter and m-u and be able to access their parts of the game.

The plot revolved around your character being in an unhappy valley, ruled by the troubled Baron Stefen von Spielberg who not only has his children kidnapped but his court jester is missing too (alas poor Yorick!) all the while the valley is being raided by brigands.

While the game is not very hard it is a ton of fun. There are a lot of quests to do and places to explore with multiple solutions in some cases. The type-in interface is the best it ever was and the Sierra humour is good.

The Bad
The combat is a little sticky. As its a hybrid, the rpg aspects may not appeal to hardcore adventure gamers and those rpg aspects are too light for dedicated rpg players. I happen to like both genres so its perfect for me.

The Bottom Line
Hero's Quest is definatly the jewel in the crown of the early Sierra adventure before their fateful switch to the mouse and VGA graphics. If there is one Sierra game you should play its this one.

DOS · by woods01 (129) · 2001

A True Classic

The Good
Quest for Glory is one of the deepest games I've ever played.I've put over a hunderd hours into it,and I'm still playing and finding new things.It's graphics are excellent for this time and the animation's just as good.There's so many things you can do in the first surrounding the first town.There's a wizard,a bear,a band of thieves,a witch and many more people and things to see while you're just walking around looking for adventure.And,you can play as three different classes.A fighter,thief,or magician.All three of them are well balanced and have many things to see on their own.

The Bad
The fighting in this game is very hard.A lot of the creatures you fight are tough and seem they cannot be beaten.Plenty of skill must be had if you want to fight your way to the end in this game.Sometimes,the forest can get confusing but that's not really a negative at all.

The Bottom Line
The deepest game in the Quest for Glory series,it's better than the next four games for certain.If you're looking for a fun,long,and addictive adventure/RPG,play this one now.And don't play the remake,it takes away all the fun.

DOS · by SamandMax (75) · 2001

A solid opening for a great adventure/RPG

The Good
Hero's Quest tells about the first adventure of hero name your choosing. You set towards Spielburg, a town in a valley overrun by brigands, an ogress Baba Yaga and monsters. There's also a reward offered to anyone who can shed light in the case of two lost children of the local baron. So there's plenty to do and even a bit more depending on the character you choose to play with.

As in any RPG you can choose a character from three different classes: a thief, a fighter and a mage. You can also create a hybrid class, so if you know the game there's more ground to cover in a single game play this way.

Playing with fighter is the most straight forwarded thing to do. You choose brawn over brains the most of times, while mage and thief solve many puzzles a bit differently. Thief also has some side quest burglarizing houses and selling his loot at the thieves guild, while the mage (or any magic possessing character) has the possibility to play mage Erasmus's wizard duel.

On a side note, the score system gives points only if you solve puzzles in the way your character core class would even if you play a hybrid, so if you play as a thief/mage you should solve puzzles like a thief, not like a mage, despite that is possible to do.

Adventure/RPG is well balanced. You can spend time grinding your abilities, if you feel like it, but you can also just play the game through with out unnecessary buildup if you so choose. But the grinding is advised, as it does pay off in the sequels if you choose to export your character over to the later games.

The Bad
There's surprisingly little I don't like about the game. All the things I don't like are more like nitpicking, as the game is all around pretty solid.

There's very little music in the game and the sound effects are virtually non existing. The graphics are nice, but not necessarily as nice as in the other Sierra titles of the era. Also the plot is pretty basic, so it doesn't offer that many "whoa" elements.

The different classes also provide a different amount of missions and quest. The fighter is a class, that gets less quests, as if he doesn't know magic he can't duel with Erasmus and giving fighter a thieves properties is futile, as he doesn't get a lock pick or know how to identify as thief, so no guild entry for him.

But, as I said, the things I don't like are merely nitpicking.

The Bottom Line
Hero's Quest, or Quest for Glory as the series was later known, isn't among the most well known Sierra properties but it is among Sierras best properties.

As an adventure game it does much right, giving multiple ways to solve puzzles depending on your character class and the RPG elements give it more flavor, as you can do fighting in the middle of regular "look thing a from place b in order to achieve c" adventuring.

And as a bonus you can start a hero in the first game and export it in all other Quest for Glory games as well, so the feeling on continuity is always present.

DOS · by tomimt (397) · 2011

The first and quite possibly the best game I've ever played.

The Good
The game is great mix of RPG and adventure. Its well drawn and has good animation for its time. The Quest for Glory series is one of the funniest I have ever played and this is no exception. The combat system is simple and fun, and the story carries you along. With three uniques character options the game is very replayable.

The Bad
Beside a few moments when there was nothing going on in the story, as in most adventure games, I didn't dislike anything about it.

The Bottom Line
If you're looking for a good RPG or adventure game look no further, Quest for Glory is what you want. Hero's Quest: So You Want To Be A Hero? is the best place to start.

DOS · by Ryan Prendiville (689) · 2000

15yrs old and I still replay this once per year

The Good
Invented a totally new genre of gaming... the adventure RPG. I was never a fond of hardcore RPG, neither Dungeon & Dragons board games nor computer games. But I liked fantasy a lot so this game was perfect. It mixed my two favorite genres... drama & fantasy. The humor is perfect (not over the top, not too corny) the RPG elements are just right and the live action battle system is great.

The Bad
For it's time... virtually everything is perfect.

The Bottom Line
The gaming market is lacking to have forgotten titles like these. A true classic, possibly my favorite Sierra game series of ALL TIME.

DOS · by Travis Owens (6) · 2004

A succesfull hybrid genre is born

The Good
Everything was perfect for its time.The sci engine was at its peak, the animation was great and the story and plot characterazation was unique. The humour shines with originality as usual with sierra's first games.The spellcasting system borrows he best qualities from d&d modules of the time and the puzzles are simple, yet elegant.

The Bad
Nothing,really. Maybe if all battles where fought "third person" style, it could be better

The Bottom Line
A wonderful foray into "lite" rpg'ing, sierra parser style.

DOS · by helm lehm (13) · 2000

14 years old, but still fun to play.

The Good
There is something about a command line interface that is strangely enticing. For one, this is the game that shot my typing skills from 15 wpm to 50 wpm. I don't fully understand what so appeals to me about this game, but it and QFG 2 definitely had something the later sequels didn't. I am also quite fond of the character import feature through the rest of the sequels. Too bad it never caught on with mainstream rpg gaming.

The Bad
Despite ancient graphics, I can't think of anything I didn't like about this game.

The Bottom Line
A true classic -- definitely check this out if you enjoy old games.

DOS · by Gutter Snipe (21) · 2003

Yes, sir, I want to be a hero

The Good
While I was still growing up, there were two major game companies that people around at the time would have been familiar with: Sierra and Origin. The former focused on creating top-notch adventures, while the latter dealt with role-playing games. So when Sierra decided to create a game that mixes these two genres together, it was unheard of back then.

The player controls an unnamed character who enters the town of Spielburg which is overrun by brigands; and to make matters worse, a witch known as Baba Yaga has cast a spell on the baron's daughter which has transformed her into their leader. At the start of the game, you choose one of three character classes: Fighter, Magic User, and Thief, and assign different traits to him. You have limited points to do this, so the player needs to decide wisely.

What I like about Hero's Quest is the way you can fight certain types of enemies including monsters, goblins, and brigands; and the way you can search their fallen bodies for coins to spend on restring your health and magic points. And the more you fight these monster, the more easier you can win. There are two very useful commands when you deal with these monsters. The "escape" commands lets you get away from those monsters, if you don't want to reduce your health or stamina points; while the command "Run" is useful for running across the screen in two seconds, therefore bypassing any monster.

Each character class influence what you do and the locations you are able to visit. For instance, if you are a fighter, you can't duel with Erasmus nor can you break into houses . You can however, as one class, be able to develop traits from another class. This way you won't have to replay the game with another class.

The graphics are the most colorful in any Sierra game. There are forests that are worth exploring, and the monsters are well drawn. (The Cheetaur must be the scariest monster I've seen in the game!) The music blends in well with your surroundings, as well as any situations you are in. The sound effects are atmospheric as well.

When you die, you see the usual Sierra dialog box with the Restore, Restart, and Quit options, with hints on how to overcome the situation instead of the usual humorous message which appears in brief within the title bar. I like this, as it is an unusual take of the normal death dialog box.

There are funny things you can do in this game. For instance, picking up a lot of rocks on the ground will result in your character walking like an old man. Also, making him run and slowing the game down will result in jerky movement.

Other things that I enjoy about the game: You can spend as long as you like in the game and the same things happen each passing day (It's like Groundhog Day!). You can save your character stats at the end of the game, and use these in Quest For Glory II, so that you don't have to build your character up again. Actually, this is recommended since you have thirty days to complete the game.



The Bad
I didn't like the way sometimes when you need to be somewhere in the forest where you have to deal with monsters. You get close to where you need to go, only to face a monster, and you have to load up one of your saved games. I remember loading up my game about five times then having to face a Cheetaur.

The Bottom Line
Up until now, I refused to play any game in the QFG series because I thought that it would be very difficult to complete. A bit of adventuring and fighting monsters and searching them for treasure just appealed to me. Yes, it is an adventure/role-playing game hybrid, so you get to select a class and assign certain stats to him. What you are able to do in the game depends on the class you selected. The debut in the series contains amazing graphics and great sounds, and the game can be replayed with a different class. Those who like adventures and role-playing games and anyone who is a Sierra lover should play this game, even if it means spending more time on it than other games.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43087) · 2013

BEST DOS RPG/QUEST Game

The Good
The fact that you could build your character up, collect cash and buy potions, daggers and armor. The RPG aspect left the other sierra quests of the time in the dust.

Catchy sound track!!

best commands: cast flame throw dagger run! -> make sure you not to heavy else you run on the spot and get munched

I also enjoyed the fact that you could press ctrl-a to "ask about" and other such short cuts which made getting the info you require so much easier.

I spent hours and days just going into the forests taking out Goblins and Brigands to get their cash. The fact that there are three story lines with different paths makes it a game you can play over and over again.

The Bad
Nothing, it was the best game I had on my XT and looked awesome in monochrome, and cga emulation because of textures, almost a disappointment when I first saw it in 16 color ega :-)

The Bottom Line
If you enjoyed early quests games but want just a little bit more than just points. This game introduced RPG skills allowing you to name your character build up stats and then export them later. Also has a very interesting storyline that leads into the next quest which makes you want the sequel

DOS · by Thekwane Black (30) · 2009

The perfect meld of Sierra kitsch and roleplaying fantasy

The Good
"So you want to be a Hero" is Sierra (with co-creators Lorey and Corey Cole) at the top of their game. Within the valley of Spielburg you are given an impressive amount of freedom to wander, fight, chat, and quest; the lack of time limits and open structure make the game far more satisfying than, say, the linear Space Quest Series. The humor is fun, the characters delightful, and there's a certain "x-factor" at work which pushes it even further ahead of any competition.

The Bad
There are only two things in "So you want to be a Hero" to complain about, really more like one and a half. The first is that there are several important items/elements which can be missed and not retrieved. It's not fun to be on Day 20 and still wondering where "item x" is... The second is more personal. Some people simply don't like cheesy Sierra humor, and people who are turned off by bad jokes and smartaleck comments will be annoyed by parts of "So you want to be a Hero".

The Bottom Line
"So you want to be a Hero" is that rarest of games, one which doesn't need nostalgia to hold it up today. It's still one of the most enjoyable and perfect games ever made.

DOS · by Colin Rowsell (43) · 2002

Quest for Glory (formerly known as Hero's Quest)

The Good
The story is very immersive, the characters are interesting to talk with, the puzzles are fun to figure out (while building your stats for your particular player,) beautiful midi music/soundfx, beautiful artwork, and entertaining animations (even if they only have 16 colors). I enjoyed the full experience and having 3 player options to choose from makes it all the better.

The Bad
I don't know if this could be considered a bad thing, but typing words in short phrases to advance in the game was a joy for me. It was a challenge to figure out the parsing system, but I loved it. I'm guessing not too many people have the patience for this. The simplicity of the graphics may turn many off as well. The combat system was difficult at times. The game is short and very linear.

The Bottom Line
The fact that this was my first adventure/RPG, already creates a huge bias with nostalgia! It's my all-time-favorite adventure game. If you haven't played this game, you're really missing out!

DOS · by Powerful Hero · 2023

I agree with him, 14 years later and I still play this game sometimes

The Good
This game was great! I think I only have the EGA version of it but it was still a very fun game with great drawings and animation. Im not exactly sure what it is about this game but it just had a really cool atmosphere to it, like the king's quest series but with some action and some elements of an RPG like exp and HP. Unlike most of the Sierra-Quest games, I though this one had a higher replay value than any other one mainly because the class selection drastically changes the course of events.

The Bad
Any complaint I have about this game would be due to the technological limitations of the time.

The Bottom Line
I would describe this game as GOOD. A DARN GOOD GAME :) Its a classic, in a day such as ours, when GPU's are pushing 10 trillion polygons a second using 48 gillion colors, this game is still just as fun to play to me... and it only used 16 colors

DOS · by OlSkool_Gamer (88) · 2004

Great game

The Good
It has a great battle sequence which isn't that hard once you get used to it. The gameplay is fun and it is full of humor and the various ways to finish the game with different character classes increases the replay by a lot.

The Bad
I bought the game used and it didn't come with an instruction manual, it took me forever to figure out what to do.

The Bottom Line
It's a great game, far better than the next games. The first release is better than the re-release by far.

DOS · by fake (2) · 2002

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Jan Geerling, Jeanne, Scaryfun, Sun King, Tim Janssen, Martin Smith, S Olafsson, Jo ST, Terok Nor, Patrick Bregger, Martin Lindell.