No Experience Necessary.
Visit Beautiful Spielburg
Fight Monsters, Defeat Brigands.
Reward and Title "Hero of Spielburg"
to the Successful Applicant.
I usually don’t like Sierra games that much, although I’ve played a few because they are such classics. This however, is one of my all time favorite games ever. I’ve played this baby through at least six times, and probably more. I also praise this game for my English skills, I played this just about the age I began to learn English, and it made the process fun. So all you Atari enthusiasts who by now have kids; give them this! All in all, there are five games in the series, I’ve played all but the last, and the first one (this one) is the best.
All big hit Sierra games are named “something quest”, right? Police Quest, Space Quest, King’s Quest and so on. So, logically, this game was called Hero’s Quest. Then comes Gremlin, with this license thing from MB Games. MG Games had just created a nice board game called Hero Quest (in which you are four champions killing monsters). Gremlin says, you can’t have that name, sorry. Sierra graciously abided, renaming the game Quest for Glory, but the Atari version is called Hero’s Quest.
Just for the curious, Hero Quest the board game, was later completely overhauled by Games Workshop and released as Advanced Heroquest. Which is also a nice game, but with rules so complex you may want to play a real RPG instead. End of history lesson.
Graphics aren’t stunning, but they are pretty good. The feeling and atmosphere of the game come through very clear, and there is never any doubt as to what happens. Locations are most diverse, except for the forest of course, and overall it feels good to come and enjoy the scenery of a new place.
The sound isn’t that good. There are somewhere about one sound effect, and a few bad tunes. When combat kicks in, there is a tune clearly designed to raise the tension, but I only feel frustrated. Switching the game to mute is a good idea, then you can fill the silence with some music of your own.
Being an early Sierra game, this piece of art is driven by a parser. This means that everything you do, you type. This may feel a bit uncomfortable for us Atari people, who are used to having graphical interfaces instead of clumsy command prompts (that includes Linux users as well as DOS users). However, I very much like the prompt idea, it’s efficient and speedy. This game also has one of the best parsers out there, rivaled only by Quest for Glory 2.
The game is an adventure/RPG breed. Puzzles are somewhat simpler (read, more logical) than your average Sierra game. Say for example that you wish to climb a tree, then a skill check is made for climbing, and you will also gain more skills as you progress, just by practicing, there is no level system. If you begin with 0 in a skill, you can’t train it. Combined with this are RPG elements such as combat, health and skill levels, which make for a very rich game.
The beauty of having three different character types, is that each “puzzle” can usually be solved in three different ways, giving more freedom. When faced with a closed chest, the fighter can PRY it OPEN, the magic user can CAST an OPEN spell on it, and the thief can PICK the LOCK. Also, if you choose fighter, and add points to magic, you can use magic as an additional source when overcoming obstacles.
Combat is an important part of the game. When in combat, you use the arrow keys to doge, parry and attack. Combat is more strategic than reflex based; you wait for the monster to swing his club, then you parry in the right moment and hit back. After a while, you learn to see the pattern of the different monsters, and thus you know how to kill them. Patterns are varied though, so there’s little boredom.
This game has it all I think, freedom of exploration, stats, combat, puzzles to solve and a main quest. It also has little side details such as tasks you don’t need to solve in order to beat the game, you can even apply for a job at the stables. The feeling is superb, you totally get the “I’m there” experience. You really are a hero wannabe out in the big world. This isn’t a game you just barge through, take your time, enjoy, explore the forest and talk to the townspeople to know what’s going on. Do the little extra things, or don’t do them. The world is yours, enjoy it.
Unless you are an enemy of both genres, you must try this one out. The only bad side is that the Atari version is very slow (when searching for parser responses), and has much disk access, a solution to this *cough*, is to play *cough cough* the PC version *cough cough dies*, which plays exactly the same as the Atari version. A good way is to try and find the Quest for Glory Anthology, which features the first four games.
Classic vs Remake
The game was remade in 1991, with 256 colours for the PC. The parser is gone, instead we get the well known Sierra point and click interface instead. Personally, I enjoyed the parser more. The graphics … eh, they have become smooched, pastel colours instead of the clear crisp graphics of old. (ok, so 256 colours just look better, can’t argue with that, what am I supposed to say to save the glory of old-school? I try my best!)
The combat interface also got a face lift, but the operator must have slipped with the knife. I can say with a clear conscience that the new combat interface is purely inferiour. It absolutely sucks, and has plagued the excellent Quest for Glory series for two sequels, the forth game has yet another bad combat interface. Anyway, in the classic, you had to plan your moves and anticipate your opponent, now, you just click the attack button, fast as hell. It makes little difference whether your character is skilled in weapon use or not. All challenge is gone. The classic is to prefer before the remake, no doubt.
Graphics : 8
Sound : 2
Gameplay : 9
Overall : 10