|Quest for Glory is full of puns and pop culture references, like this Star Trek one|
- Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
- Developer: Sierra On-Line
- Publisher: Sierra On-Line
- Release Date: October 1989
- Time played: 9 hours 43 minutes (~3h per playthrough)
What is itEvery adventure gamer or gamer that played games in the 80s and 90s, would've heard of the company Sierra On-Line and if they played one of their "Quest" games during that period, they probably played one of the Quest for Glory games, hybrid RPG/adventure games developed by Lori and Corey Cole.
Most of the Quest for Glory games were actually released during the 1990s but the very first, originally known as Hero's Quest (but then changed to Quest for Glory to avoid a dispute with Milton Bradley's similar sounding “HeroQuest" board game) was released just before the 80s ended, in October 1989.
Unlike other Sierra adventures, the Coles brought a bit of their love of Dungeons & Dragons to the Quest for Glory series meaning they added some RPG elements to the game, such as different character classes, skill points and random combat encounters with monsters. Quest for Glory is set in a fantasy version of our own world called Gloriana. The first Quest for Glory is set in a valley with a very Germanic feel to it called Spielburg where you play the role of a wannabe hero and recent graduate from the Famous Adventurer's Correspondence School (F.A.C.S.). Your goal is to save the valley from the brigand menace and the ogress Baba Yaga. In doing so, you'll be bestowed the title of "Hero of Spielburg" by the local baron.
Unlike Sierra adventure games I've reviewed over the past few months, the Quest for Glory series started with the newer Sierra Creative Interpreter (SCI) engine instead of the Adventure Game Interpreter (AGI) engine which was used by earlier versions of King's Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest and Leisure Suit Larry. This meant the graphics and audio in the first instalment of Quest for Glory was superior to the first instalments of many other Sierra adventures but despite there being support for the mouse, there were still many commands that needed to be typed into a text parser.
The original EGA version of Quest for Glory 1 was well received by the gaming press of the day for its humour and graphics but found the puzzles in the game to be too easy compared to other adventure games. According to Corey Cole, the game was a commercial success, selling over 250,000 copies in the first few years since its release.
How I got itOut of all the old "Quest" games made by Sierra, the Quest for Glory series is my favourite (and this should be no surprise considering I backed the Coles with the Hero-U Kickstarter in 2012 and again with the Summer Daze at Hero-U Kickstarter last year).
It was inevitable that I would revisit the world of Gloriana at some stage and this was exactly my plan when I re-acquired the Quest for Glory anthology off GOG back in 2012.
The games sat dormant for a while until last year Choona suggested I revisit all the Sierra adventure games as part of my Pile of Shame Initiative. I've already reviewed quite a few Sierra adventures over the past year and after completing reviews for other SCI0 adventures (such as Police Quest II and Space Quest III) it was time to give the original Quest for Glory a go.
|Playing as different classes gives you access to different areas|
What I like:
Heart-warmingThere are plenty of games out there where you play the role of a hero but there aren't many that give you a warm and fuzzy feeling when helping others and the games in the Quest for Glory series manages to succeed in this regard. What I love best about the games in this series is that besides the truly heroic deeds (i.e. vanquishing evil) you get plenty of opportunities to be an everyday hero too whether it's buying a meal for a foreigner who has been robbed by brigands or helping a healer find her lost wedding ring.
Characters you care aboutMany of the characters are memorable in this game, and not just because they're recurring characters throughout the series but because they've been written as relatable and convincing characters, characters with their own worries and quirks, characters you actually end up caring about. It's a strength the Coles and their games have, which result in the adventures being so memorable and wholesome.
HumourMany Sierra adventures are renowned for their humour and Quest for Glory 1 is no different with plenty of puns, jokes (especially when you visit Erasmus's house) and pop culture references from yesteryear (e.g. the Three Stooges, Monty Python, etc.)
SoundtrackQuest for Glory's MIDI soundtrack might sound quite primitive when compared to the game soundtracks of today but there are plenty of memorable and beautiful themes in the game such as "Erana's Peace" which is still being covered more than 20 years later.
Different classes, different solutionsAs Quest for Glory 1 is a hybrid adventure/RPG, this means you can play as a different class and since you have different classes, there are different solutions to many of the quests in the game. Take entering the brigand fortress for example where you have to get past a minotaur guard: if you're a thief you could sneak past the guard and then climb over the wall. If you're a mage you can cast a calm spell on the guard and then cast an open spell to unlock the gate. Finally, as a fighter, you can just use brute force by fighting the guard and then bashing the gate down.
Different classes also have access to different areas of the game, such as only the thief being able to rob houses while mages are the only one that can participate in Erasmus's Maze game.
Can re-use your characterJust like the Mass Effect games, you're able to re-use your character for future games in the series, and there are five Quest for Glory games altogether! Players (including myself) tend to get quite attached to their characters in RPGs so being able to keep playing as the same one through the entire series is definitely a plus.
|Going through the front entrance is ill advised, especially with the way combat works in this game|
What I dislike:
It's still oldIt's not as dated as the AGI adventures of the early to mid 80s, but low-resolution graphics, a lack of colour depth and MIDI-quality music means that even indie adventure games of today seem like technological marvels when compared to Quest for Glory 1; although without games like Quest for Glory 1 to inspire the current generation of game developers, there'd probably be a whole lot less indie adventure games today, so I'm definitely glad it does exist.
It's also worth mentioning that Quest for Glory 1 was released over 30 years ago… that's a long time ago in the world of computing.
CombatCombat in the game usually involves spamming the attack key against weaker opponents and then fleeing from more difficult ones. In fact, playing as the thief epitomises the latter as I've found the safest (but cheesiest) way of taking out enemies is to throw daggers at an enemy until they close the distance for close quarters combat. When that happens, I choose to escape from the enemy, run a certain distance from them, throw daggers and the process will repeat itself until the enemy is a pin cushion of 10-15 daggers. It's time consuming but I'd rather take my chances from afar considering it's almost impossible to beat harder enemies in close quarters combat.
Passage of TimeOne annoying aspect of this game is the passage of time. You need to do certain events at certain times like pulling the mandrake root in the graveyard (as an errand for Baba Yaga) at midnight. This means waiting until the correct time to do something and you can't just force the game to wait until the correct time: the only way to quickly pass time is using up stamina and then resting (but only a limited number of times) or sleep (which only wakes you up when the sun begins to rise). It would be good if there was a wait command instead of grinding strenuous activities but that's how the game works, I suppose (although some would argue spending your time to grind skills is a more constructive use of time anyway).
Score – 8/10 (Recommended)I was worried that the EGA version of Quest for Glory 1 would be one of those games that didn't age well but thankfully I'm still convinced that this is a fun hybrid adventure/RPG to play even in 2020. Sure, the 80s graphics and audio might be a bit hard for younger gamers to swallow, the combat system could be better and the pacing of the game can seem a bit slow at times, but if you're looking for a heart-warming, funny, wholesome adventure/RPG which forms part of an epic five part series, this is it.
Is the game worth $16.19 AUD?: No. Although it really depends if you're an old fan (so you've probably already got a copy anyway) and what price you would put on retro games in general. The $16.19 is not only for Quest for Glory 1 (EGA) though; it also gets you all five Quest for Glory games as well as the VGA version of Quest for Glory 1, so when you think of it as about $3 per adventure, it's actually pretty good value overall.
If you like this game, you might like…
- Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok (2014)
- Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption (2018)
- Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements (2019)
[ LINK: Quest for Glory 1-5 @ GOG ]