Do you want to be a hero? If so, then there is a good job waiting for you! Here is the little town of Spielburg, populated mostly by beer-drinking humans and some centaurs who like working in the field. Spielburg is surrounded by forests and mountains, where all kinds of weird creatures dwell: ogres, goblins, talking foxes, stupid magicians, and others. Lately, Spielburg has been assaulted by brigands; besides, the witch Baba Yaga is not to be trusted. The town has everything it needs, even a Thieves Guild, except a strong, brave hero that would protect it. Are you interested?
Hero's Quest: So You Want To Be A Hero is an adventure/RPG hybrid. Visually very similar to other Sierra's "quest" titles (Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, and others), but the gameplay, beside the usual exploration, conversations with characters, and solving an occasional puzzle, involves real-time combat and character development. You can play the game as either a fighter, a mage, or a thief. The choice of class will influence not only the combat, but also many other events in the game. You develop your skills by fighting, practicing, climbing, throwing, etc. Many of those activities are necessary to successfully complete the game. You interact with the game world by typing commands or conversation topics.
Quest For Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero is a lovely adventure game written by Sierra in 1989. It is the first of the Quest For Glory games, and in my opinion, it is the best.
You have just arrived in the town of Spielburg, eager to prove yourself a hero. Well luckily for you, Spielburg is in great need of a hero. There are many problems here that need a hero's touch. First of all, the Baron's children (his son and his daughter) are missing, and so the Baron is moping in his castle. He refuses to see anyone until his children are found, and returned to him. There is also a gang of brigands in town, and they are terrorizing everyone. Wouldn't it be good if someone could make the brigands leave town? And let's not forget about the evil witch Baba Yaga. Can you deal with all that, and become Hero of Spielberg?
Before the game starts, you have to create your character - choose from either Fighter, Magic User, or Thief. Different characters provide different puzzles and different challenges. Now you must name your character, and assign various statistics to him.
The game uses a simple text parser. Just type in commands to control your character - for example, Eat Food or Climb Tree. There are also menus at the top of the screen to change various aspects of the game - turning sound on or off, checking the time of day, saving or loading the game, etc. Move your character by using the arrow keys, and change the walking speed by pressing '+' or '-' keys. When in combat, you can dodge by using the Left and Right arrow keys, and attack by using the Up arrow key. As with many games of the time, there are limited 'Save' game slots. However, this is not a problem. When you have used all your slots, simply 'Replace' a previous saved game.
The game is tricky at times, as you have to pay very close attention to what people are telling you. You never know what is an important clue that you must 'Ask About' in more detail. You must also remember to eat every day, and sleep at night. You had better keep a supply of rations with you, just in case. As you progress through the game, your skill levels will increase.
I was very impressed by the graphics in this game. The characters can wander around, getting on with their own lives. They respond when you talk to them, and then get back to doing their own thing. Things like the centaur raking his field, and the Healer mixing her potions are lovely to see.
The Spitting Flowers are very impressive, and it is fun watching them spit their seed to one another. The animation of you raking out the stables is amusing to watch. I also thought the Mirror Lake was lovely, as you could see your reflection in it. The eye above The Magic Shop was a nice touch, as it watched you where ever you went. Erana's Peace is an incredible place, and I loved how fruit twinkled in the tree. Characters move very smoothly. They stop and talk to you when you approach, making the game seem a lot more real - as if Spielburg is a real town.
Another thing I love is the Day Night cycles. When night time comes, the town grows dark, and everyone goes to bed for the night.
MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS
There is not much music or sound in this game, just some clips here are there. However, considering that the game was made in 1989, I think it is very impressive. Flames above the Magic Shop burst into life every so often, and there is a wonderful creaking noise as the Castle gates are raised. Music at the Goblin's Camp is very effective, and you can really imagine the goblins sneaking around. My favourite is the music at Erana's Peace - it is just beautiful to listen to.
There are some brilliant characters in this game. Shema and Shameen are very friendly, and always have a good meal for you. 'Enry the 'Ermit is very interesting as he won't stop talking, but as least he will offer you a bed for the night, should you need it. The Meeps are my favourite. I just love how they squeak to each other before talking to you. I also thought Baba Yaga was funny, as she kept talking to her pet bat and pet spider.
This is a superb adventure game, and I highly recommend it. The story is well written, with lots of funny dialogue. I love how you can play as 3 different characters. This gives the game a lot of replay value, as each character has his own way of dealing with problems, and overcoming obstacles. The text parser can be quite tricky, as sometimes you are not sure exactly what to 'Ask About', but it is well worth persevering. The graphics are impressive, especially for the time that the game was made, and the animation is very smooth. I love how the characters can lead their own lives when you are not talking to them, it makes Spielburg seem a lot more real somehow.
People who downloaded Hero's Quest (aka Quest for Glory I) have also downloaded:
Quest for Glory 2: Trial by Fire, Quest for Glory 4: Shadows of Darkness, Quest for Glory 3: Wages of War, Quest for Glory 1: So You want to be a Hero (remake), Quest for Glory 5: Dragon Fire, King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown VGA, King's Quest 4: The Perils of Rosella, King's Quest 7: The Princeless Bride
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