Quest for Glory I: So You Want to Be a Hero is a lighthearted adventure-RPG hybrid published by Sierra. It was originally released in the EGA format (with a text parser instead of mouse icons) as Hero's Quest: So You Want to Be a Hero, but the name was changed due to a copyright conflict with the Milton Bradley board game Hero Quest. The game series was retitled "Quest for Glory".
Three years later, the game was remade as Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero with a newer version of Sierra's SCI game system, featuring improved 256-color VGA graphics, as well as the point-and-click GUI that had become standard for newer Sierra adventure games.
In this first installment of the Quest for Glory series, the player takes on the role of a nameless adventurer who has just set out on his own after graduating from the Famous Adventurer's Correspondence School for Heroes. In the opening sequence of the game, the hero arrives in the Germanic town of Spielburg (literally translated: "game town"), lured there by a notice in his hometown that the Baron of Spielburg was looking for a hero--no experience necessary. He soon learns that the valley has been put under a curse, and that a prophecy foretells a hero breaking the spell:
Come a hero from the East
Free the man within the beast
Bring the child from out the band
Drive the curser from the land
From a humble beginning raking horse manure and fetching lost items, the hero eventually fulfills the prophecy, encountering various characters and creatures, saving Spielburg and becoming a hero. There's an evil ogress, and the lands are plagued by monsters and a pack of brigands. The game is very open ended and several side quests are entirely optional. Eventually you're able to restore prosperity to the valley and claim the title of "Hero of Spielburg".
During the credit sequence, the hero is whisked away on a flying carpet with friends Shameen, Shema, and Abdulla Doo to their homeland of Shapeir, where Quest for Glory II: Trial By Fire takes place.
As a true adventure-RPG hybrid, Quest for Glory I combines classic graphic adventure gameplay with RPG elements such as statistics, a combat system, a day-night cycle, and classes. Before starting the game, the player chooses from playing as a Fighter, Magic User, or Thief. Hybrid classes are possible in that it's possible for a Thief or Fighter to use magic, or a Fighter or Magic User to sneak, if points are given to that stat at the beginning; other than having a slight difference in what points are awarded for what action (for example, the Fighter gets points for killing certain monsters while the Thief gets points for stealing), the classes mostly encourage the player to truly roleplay by thinking about how their character would solve a problem. The Fighter starts the game with a sword and generally uses brute force to get things done; this straightforward class is recommended for beginners. The Magic User, on the other hand, uses his wits to solve problems, casting spells to open passages or fetch objects more often than casting fireballs in battle. The Thief solves problems through stealth and cunning, and the use of special tools such as the lockpick to get by obstacles. The Thief can also break into the homes of citizens at night to steal valuables to fund being a hero.
Especially in the beginning, the player must deal with some of the mundaneness of being a hero: he must eat at least once a day and sleep for several hours each night or face exhaustion. The hero starts off with little money and must work to earn gold since even the weakest monsters are tough to beat at first. However, starting the hero off raking horse manure and ending with becoming a hero and honored by the entire town makes for a game that truly feels like a journey.
The game is mostly nonlinear in that many tasks can be performed in any order, and although the game keeps track of the number of days the quest takes, there is no set time limit. The game can be beaten without "driving the curser from the land", for example, though not without sacrificing points.
The EGA release is played using a text parser to look at things, speak to people, and interact with the world, using commands such as "ask about Baron" or "take mushrooms". This interface is widely criticized as being unintuitive and occasionally frustrating as the exact wording must be used to successfully complete a puzzle; if the player has the right idea but the wrong wording, it can take much longer to figure out the proper solution. The VGA remake of the game did away with the text parser and utilized the graphical interface with context icons that represented various ways of interacting (using the mouth icon to talk to people, the eye to look at things, etc.) by then familiar to adventure game fans.
One of the great innovations of the game was to include an option at the end of the game to export your character for use in the sequel. When importing the player could receive a slight advantage, especially if they went through the trouble of maxing all of their hero's stats. Playing through the entire series of five games and bringing the same character through all of them is an epic journey indeed.
List of Magic Spells
This is the original list of spells that all future Quest for Glory games build upon.
Zap: This spell is cast upon a weapon in order to charge it with magical power and increase attack. The Magic User starts the game with this spell.
Open: Can be used to open locked doors, chests, or other closed objects that the hero might otherwise not be able to open.
Fetch: Brings a faraway object to the caster, though it is limited to small objects.
Flame Dart: The caster shoots a small ball of fire at the target. A spell used in battle, or to light fires.
Detect Magic: A spell used to reveal enchantments.
Trigger: This spell activates magical traps and other enchantments, allowing the caster to avoid damage from traps or find hidden objects.
Calm: Casting this spell makes the area into a peaceful place, preventing many monsters from attacking. This spell should always be used outside of battle; if cast while engaging a monster, it will cause the monster to become clear-headed and slaughter you easily.
Dazzle: Short for Erasmus's Razzle Dazzle, this spell can temporarily blind an opponent and can be used in combat to prevent the enemy from attacking for a short period of time.
"Hero's Quest: So you Want to Be a Hero?" is the first game in what would later become the Quest for Glory series. It was created and designed by Lori Ann Cole and Corey Cole. The games combine the adventure genre with fantasy role-playing and action elements into a unique experience. Due to the name being to similar to the trademarked board game Hero Quest by Milton Bradley, the series title was changed from Hero's Quest to Quest for Glory.
The original game uses the Sierra SCI game interpreter engine and features 16-color EGA graphics and a text-based parser interface. In 1992 a remake was released with improved 256-color VGA graphics and a the parser interface was replaced by a point and click interface. Excluding a few minor details the games are essentially the same.
The game features different character classes to increase replayability. The chosen class does not only affect your stats and abilities, but can also change minor plot events and solutions to puzzles. After completing the game a completion save game file can be saved and used to migrate your character to other Quest for Glory games.
The initial design plan was to have different races instead of classes, but because of the amount of animation required the scope was narrowed to simply three character classes. The original planned races were Gnome (Thief), Centaur (Archer), Elf (Magic user), and Ogre (Fighter).
The Fighter is a pretty straightforward character, relying on brute strength to solve puzzles and using his superior fighting skills to handle the threats of the valley.
Weapon Use: 20
You begin the game equipped with only a weak zap spell, but with time and practice the Magic user will become a master of the arcane arts.
Weapon Use: 10
Using stealth and guile the thief is a interesting character to play.
Weapon Use: 10