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Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero (PC) artwork

Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero (PC) review

"Quest for Glory I: So you want to be a hero? "

Quest for Glory I: So you want to be a hero?

When I was but a young pup, I always enjoyed playing the role of a hero whenever the chance presented itself. Who would defy the chance to be a knight in shining armour, the bastion of all that is righteous, and, of course, the guy who gets the girl in the end?

But reality would always ground me: being a hero is not an easy job. Broken bones, bruises, and a whole lot of pain in general await those who try. Which is why I recommended that you stay in your home and let some other miserable sod go through it all while you bask in the glory of his achievements.

That's where the Quest for Glory series come in, and what would be a better place to start your journey into this particular world of heroism, romance and dragon-slaying then at the very beginning. Here, you take the role of a young man who wants nothing more in his life then to become a hero, a man who wishes his name to be uttered in fear by all those that dabble in the dark arts, and with pride and awe by the common man.

The moment that you start the game you have an option of choosing the profession of the main character, showing you from the start the wide variety that Sierra wishes to offer its audience. There are three distinct classes that you can choose from:

The mighty fighter who needs not words to make his point but rather the very sharp end of his blade. If the direct approach of such a brawler is not your flavour of choice, perhaps you want to try the spell-caster, a man without the impressive physique of a warrior, but one who makes countless hours spent in a library worthwhile by employing magics and mana-castings. With just a single complex gesture, you might find yourself flying...literally! Should you prefer to play a character that takes a more...imaginative role towards fixing problems, then take the daring thief. You might lack the might of a warrior and the intellect of a wizard, but you will more then make up with it with your impressive acrobatic and social skills.

However, things are never set in stone completely. When you choose the default class of your characters, the next screen will show you a whole variety of skills into which you can invest points to make your avatar more proficient. That makes it possible to mix and match abilities and form a hybrid character to your liking.

For instance, say you desperately want to play a spell caster, but you would also like for him to be able to take care of himself in battle. Then do so! Invest points in your weapon of choice as well as the skills that will make him tougher in battle. Maybe a fighter that can cling to walls and climb trees as easily as a monkey holds your interest? Nothing to it! Just spend your stats on some mad climbing skill instead of blowing them on a fighter's more traditonal talents. Naturally, you will never be as good as a thief at climbing walls or picking locks, nor will you ever be able to take and dish out blows like a pure fighter, but the level of customisation offered is always welcome.

When you are finally satisfied with the choice of your character, the actual game begins in the town of Spielburg, a cosy little village surrounded by mountains and deep forests. The moment you enter, the friendly sheriff will tactfully inform you that he intends to keep an eye on you and that he doesn't want any trouble. Naturally, you being the synonym of all that is just will do your best to abide to the rules....or not. For instance, if you want to play a good character you will listen to the man's words, however, if you want to, and have the skills to, you could rob the german-looking swine when night falls, filling your pockets with his precious silver.

But don't expect not to be punished! Like in most Sierra games, here you can die when you do something wrong (like tackling a 9 feet tall ogre with nothing but a dagger for instance) in most humorous ways. Odds are, you'll die many times as you struggle onwards in an attempt to be recognised as the most famous hero of the land.

Although Quest for Glory is quite linear, there are still various paths you can take towards the same goal, that will depend mostly on the choice of your class. You will find optional quests you can choose to complete within the town's Adventurer's Guild, and, depending on the class and skills you took, the results will vary. For an example, one of the optional quests includes finding a ring for a sweet old healer. Said ring is situated on a tree branch outside of the crone's house. If you are a wizard you can retrieve the ring with one of your telekinetic spells, while a rogue or warrior will have to depend on their climbing skills. Even after securing your prize, your following actions depends on you. Will you return the ring to the healer, knowing that the smile on her face is reward enough for you? Or will you not only keep the ring for yourself to sell later on, but also pinch a healing potion or two from the senile old bat while she's not looking?

The choice is yours.

But behind the moralistic choices, what the games boils down to is a simple hybrid of a PC RPG and a more traditional Sierra-style point & click adventure game, and as such, tends to lack the non-linear approach of a true Role Play Game as well as the depth and story-driven allure of a pure adventure game. While Quest for Glory has its fair share of witty remarks, it also lacks the expected twists and turns of its genre and remains fairly straightforward no matter what class you choose at the beginning. The roads you follow will ultimately remain the same with only a few shallow variations that explore the variety of your differing character classes.

However for a game that was made at the end of the eighties (with a fantastic remake in the early nineties) this game was certainly one of those that were ahead of their time, and if you allow it, the world of Quest for Glory will draw you in, suckering you into a driving adventure romp that spans several sequels and eats many hours. Treat yourself to a forgotten gem that manages to retain its charm some fifteen years later


darketernal's avatar
Community review by darketernal (August 26, 2006)

Occasional reviewer of random stuff.

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