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

Developer/Publisher:  Sierra
Year Released:  1992

Review by Helen Hancock (November, 1996)
qg1.jpgA long time ago now, I was introduced to 'adventuring' with the game 'King's Quest V', given as a gift, and also, no doubt, to convince me that computers were for having fun and not just for work -- as was my way of thinking in those days.

After finally managing to complete that game, I was hooked on adventuring and so set out to find another which ultimately led me to Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero. This title was originally released as Hero's Quest but then re-released with the new title, great VGA graphics and sound card support rather than just using the PC's internal speaker. In the meantime the Quest for Glory saga has continued with three more titles and, a new one, Dragon Fire, that is about to be released due to its overwhelming popularity.

Choice of occupations
As I have since found with all the Quest for Glory games, they are of excellent value as they can be played several times over with you as a different character each time. You can choose to be a fighter, a magician or a thief and, as such, each character must use a different strategy for solving puzzles. For example, the magician can use spells to overcome obstacles but might not survive a pitched battle with a monster. The thief will need to be crafty whereas the fighter can use the direct approach but, ultimately, all have the same goal, to be named Hero of Spielburg. At the end of each game you are given the option to save your character -- at a distinct advantage -- to be imported into the next part of the saga.

In Quest for Glory I the story begins when you arrive at the town of Spielburg and see a notice on a tree that a 'hero' is urgently needed. Let's apply! Firstly, you need to check out the town carefully, talk to everyone to learn why a hero is required and, depending on which character you have chosen, buy items that will aid you in your quest. Then it's time to venture out into the woods to fight some goblins (they're easy to defeat) to start improving your fighting, magical or thieving skills and to generally get the lay of the land. You soon learn what it is you are supposed to do and this is where the fun begins.

Roleplaying features
As this game has some roleplaying elements it includes both combat and limited character statistics which you must allocate on the character generation screen at the beginning of the game according to which character you choose. During the course of your adventure you must be sure to eat and you will also need to sleep as well. Generally, there are two things you have to check regularly, your statistics and the time of day. Amongst other things your statistics sheet displays your state of health and if you become too weak, you may not survive a monster's attack. Although you do have the option of 'running away, to fight another day'. The time of day (or night) is equally important as there are more difficult monsters in the woods during the night, and until you have achieved a high skill level of fighting you will not be able to defeat them. Also, knowing 'when' you are as well as 'where' you are is very handy because there are tasks which can only be accomplished at a certain time.

Whilst normally I don't play games that require you to constantly fight, in this one it is fun and part of the overall storyline. Besides, if I can defeat the cheetaurs, mantrays, goblins, trolls, etc, it must be obvious that you don't have to carry around a bazooka and act like Rambo. Anyway, fighting is not the only thing you will be doing as there are lots of adventuring problems as well. For instance, you will need to find ingredients for a magic potion, prove that you are a friend of the forest, fetch something for the wicked witch, and work out how to gain entrance to the bandits hideout.

Fun and games
I took absolute, unadulterated delight in playing this game with its fairytale innocence. I loved some of the amusing scenes like dancing for the fairies in the ring of mushrooms (our budding hero is a great dancer), playing the 'magic maze' with the wizard, trying to outwit three very familiar faces (were they Curly, Larry and Moe?) and receiving a mushy kiss from the healer. All, in my opinion at least, leaving far behind many of the interactive games of today that feel more like you are watching a video rather than playing a computer game.

The new and improved Quest for Glory I has an easy to use point and click interface and includes text captions for all the story information and dialogue. It is pure fairytale fantasy, is fun for both children and adults alike and highly recommended for those new to computer gaming. Although you may still find this title in the stores as a stand alone game, it has recently been released as part of the Quest for Glory Anthology. If you haven't played it I cannot think of a better buy to guarantee you hours of fun and to prepare yourself for the next title in the series. rating:  

Copyright © Helen Hancock 1996. All rights reserved.

System requirements:
286 or better, 640K, VGA-256 or EGA-16, hard drive, sound card and mouse recommended.