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Game 90: Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero (VGA Remake, 1992) - Introduction

Written by TBD.

Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero is a remake of the 1989 game Hero's Quest: So You Want To Be A Hero. If you want to know why the name was changed to Quest for Glory, check out The Trickster's introduction post for the original Hero's Quest.

STAB DRAGON IN THIGH?

Unlike many fans of old Adventure Games, I'm not a fan of the Quest for Glory series. Don't get me wrong, I'm not NOT a fan either. I've just never actually played them. I own them since I bought them a few years ago, but haven't yet given them a go. I originally thought I'd tried this game once, but seeing as Steam's telling me I've played a total of 18 minutes of the series, and that was after I loaded it up to take some screenshots for this Introduction and download the manual, I was probably mistaken.

I likely first heard about the series once I got access to the internet in the mid-late 90s and I know I heard good things, but I was in the mindset of not going out of my way to find Sierra games, having played some of them and not thinking them any better than 'okay games'. If digital distribution were around then, I might have given them a go earlier, but here we are now – a Quest for Glory newbie wading into the waters with the VGA remake of the first Quest For Glory – it seems appropriate, or interesting, or apt, or... something.

I considered re-reading Trickster's posts on the previous games, but felt it would be more interesting to avoid them and see a brand-new-to-the-series person's take on the remake. So here goes...

Like the other Sierra VGA remakes (apart from King's Quest) as well as updating the graphics and sound, this game replaces the text parser with a mouse-driven point and click interface. This makes me happy, as I get frustrated when I try to play with a text parser these days. And I thought you were supposed to get more patient with age

Quest for Glory I was the last of the Sierra games remade in this manner, largely because they weren't as cheap to produce as Sierra had hoped, and didn't make enough money to be worth it.

Having said that, from what I've read this is the only one of the remakes to actually make a profit, so perhaps Sierra axed the remakes too soon.

The Coles

Once again with the Quest for Glory series, chief amongst the developers of this game were 'The Coles” which is apparently a term. They're currently hard at work on the Quest for Glory spiritual successor, Hero-U!

And this title comes with a fortune in gold and a beautiful princess, yes?

The manual continuously uses the pronoun 'he' when referring to my character, so I'm guessing playing as a female won't be an option.

WHO SHOULD I BE?

The big question before starting is, Who Should I Be?

Fighter, Magic User or Thief?

Once again, I'm leaving the choice up to you. For the next six days there'll be a little poll at the top left of our page where you can choose who I play as. I can be a fighter, magic user or thief. If you really want to read about the differences in puzzle solutions, feel free to choose the 'play as all three' option. Seeing as I have no idea how different the characters play, I'll leave my future in your capable hands. I'll definitely play at least the first section as all three characters for comparison's sake (and so I can start the game before the poll is completed)

The manual recommends I play as a Fighter during my first Quest for Glory adventure, which naturally makes me prefer one of the other archetypes - don't try to tell me what to do, game manual - I'm a free-thinking individual (who only makes choices based on the opinion of the majority! - Ed)

Here's what the manual says about the different characters:
  • The Fighter's weapon is his sword and his best defense is his shield.
  • The Magic User relies on intelligence and casting spells and his best defense is avoiding close combat.
  • The Thief uses skills, stealth and agility. His weapon is the dagger and he prefers throwing it from a distance. His best defense in combat is dodging.

Based on the manual's descriptions, being a jack-of-all-trades isn't really an option, as it will cost 15 skill points to learn the minimum 5 points of an unknown skill (like lock-picking for a fighter)

The abilities and skills are as follows:

ABILITIES
  • STRENGTH is important in performing physical activites, especially combat. The Fighter must be strong to be effective.
  • INTELLIGENCE will enable the Magic User to successfully learn and cast spells, and will benefit all characters when engaged in mental activities, such as out-thinking opponents in combat.
  • AGILITY is important during combat and vital to lock-picking and stealth. The Thief cannot prosper without agility.
  • VITALITY determines how much damage a character can sustain and how quickly he will recover from damage and strenous physical activity. High vitality is particularly useful to the Fighter.
  • LUCK can aid you in many subtle and mysterious ways, and is especially important to the Thief.
  • MAGIC is the basic skill required to learn and cast magic spells.

SKILLS:
  • WEAPON USE – ability to hit in combat
  • PARRY – ability to block using weapon or shield
  • DODGE – ability to avoid a blow by moving out of the way
  • STEALTH – ability to hide from sight
  • PICK LOCKS – a lock-pick or Thief's tool kit is needed to use this skill
  • THROWING – accurately hitting a target with a small object
  • CLIMB – ability to... climb things.

AUTOMATICALLY SET SKILLS
  • HEALTH – how much damage you can take before dying
  • STAMINA – your energy level – you fight better when stamina is high
  • MAGIC – how much magic you have available to cast spells

So, it seems the skills should be assigned as follows...
  • Fighter will want STRENGTH, VITALITY, WEAPON USE and PARRY
  • Thief will use AGILITY, LUCK, DODGE, STEALTH, PICK LOCKS, THROWING AND CLIMB
  • Magic User should take INTELLIGENCE and MAGIC.

Seems a bit lop-sided, making a Magic-User easiest to plan for and Thief hardest, but I could be extremely wrong in my interpretations, particularly as the manual suggests a Fighter will be the easiest for new players.

I also note that skills and abilities improve with practice as long as I have at least 5 points assigned to them.

Seems a little daunting, but I'm sure a Sierra game won't let me get into an unwinnable situation by making a decision based on limited information

The manual makes a point of telling me to play the game as my character would, and that my character selection also determines much about the sorts of obstacles I'll encounter and how I'll overcome them. I'm very excited to see how this concept works out in practice.

Feel free to get me to play the 'hardest' character, or the 'easiest' character, or even the 'funniest' or 'stupidest' character.

As for which skills I choose, I'll just choose the ones that seem most useful or fun. I'm not too concerned if I make a 'bad' character. I'm happy to make mistakes that make the game harder. 

Though, as always, if I've completely dead-ended myself by incorrect skill choices or in-game choices or oversights, let me know with coded hints so I don't spend hours searching for a solution that doesn't exist.

As always in the introduction post, you get the chance to bet on a puzzle I'll need help solving (I've needed help in every game I've played so far except one – thank you for being ridiculously easy, Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2!)

And of course, get your score guesses in. The original Hero's Quest was for a time the top game on this blog, and still sits proudly at number 5 with 68. The sequel received a 66, and we'll be playing the third game in the near future. Will this remake do better or worse than the original? Will my lack of nostalgia help or harm my opinion of the game? Will I finish the game without asking for assistance? Will I give my character a silly name? These questions and many more will be answered over the next few weeks/months/years/decades.

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There's a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no CAPs will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. As this is an introduction post, it's an opportunity for readers to bet 10 CAPs (only if they already have them) that I won't be able to solve a puzzle without putting in an official Request for Assistance: remember to use ROT13 for betting. If you get it right, you will be rewarded with 50 CAPs in return. It's also your chance to predict what the final rating will be for the game. Voters can predict whatever score they want, regardless of whether someone else has already chosen it. All correct (or nearest) votes will go into a draw.

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