Quest for Glory - So you want to be a hero?


Title		Quest for Glory - So you want to be a hero?
Game Type       Adventure
Company         Sierra
Players         1
HD Installable  Yes
Compatibillity  All (Although a numeric keypad is really useful)
Submission      Joachim Froholt Profiled Reviewer

Review
First some info to avoid misunderstandings: This game was originally
called Hero's Quest, but Sierra renamed it because of a role-playing game
called Heros Quest which was being converted to computers by Gremlin.

This game is about a young hero who somehow find himself in the germanic
Valley of Spielburg. It turns out that the inhabitants of this valley are
in need of a hero to defend them against a band of brigands. This is
basically what you start with. Although nobody ask for your help, a note
in the Adventurers guild shows that there is a reward available if
somebody captures or kills the brigand leader.

Quest for Glory is a mix between adventure and rpg, and it features a
text/ graphic interface much like the one found in older Kings Quest
games. You can choose to play with the keyboard alone, but it is best to
also use a mouse. With the keyboard you type what you want your hero to do
(Eg. ASK ABOUT BARON, CLIMB TREE and so on). You can use your mouse to
control your hero's movement (but you can also use the cursor keys), and
if you click the right button, you'll get a description of what is located
under the mouse pointer. Also, you can use pull-down menues to access some
common commands (like FIGHT, ASK ABOUT and LOOK AT). Some commands also
have hotkeys to make things easier for those who don't like to type things.

One of the things which make QfG stand out among adventure games is that a
lot depends on the hero's skill. There are several skill types, ranging
from Magic to Climbing and Stealth. As in real life, you'll improve skills
with practice. There are also three special attributes: Magic, Stamina and
Health. If you get hit by a monster or something else that is harmful,
your health will go down. When it reaches 0, you're dead. Stamina is spent
whenever you fight, run or do anything which may exhaust you. The magic
points also work like this: When you cast spells, you'll lose some points
(depending on which spell you cast). Of course there are several ways to
replenish these points. First of all you can rest or sleep. There are also
several potions to drink, and fresh water also work well (together with
resting).

In Quest for Glory you can choose between three classes: Fighter, Magic
User and Thief. The game will be slightly different depending on which
hero type you choose. Personally, I like to play as a thief, as the thief
can use magic and fight almost as well as the others, while he also has
interesting skills of his own.

Fighting is an important part of QfG. When you meet an opponent, you'll be
sent to the fighting screen. Here you stand face to face with your
opponent, and fight him using the arrow keys. Note that it is really
useful to have a numeric keypad, so A600 owners will have some problems
here. The fights themselves feel quite dramatic, but they may be a bit
simple. To make it more interesting, there are a few magic spells which
can be useful during fights. If you feel that you might lose, typing
ESCAPE can help, but if your opponent runs faster than you, this will only
buy you some time (unless you're really clever).

Death comes quickly if you're careless. Most of the time you will be
warned if you enter a dangerous situation, but not always. So, it is very
useful to save often and not overwrite recent saves.

Ok, then. Now you probably have some kind of idea of how the game works.
Is it any good, then? Yes. I'll try to explain why. I know a lot of people
will not like the fact that they will have to type the commands by hand.
In my opinion, this is not so bad. Today, it seems that adventure games
are getting simpler and simpler. While this is ok, I feel that it is very
important to have some control over your character. Put it like this: I'd
like him/her to climb a tree because I told him/her to climb that tree,
not because it automatically happened when I clicked on the tree. Then it
would be MY idea to climb the tree, and I can take credit if there is
something valuable in the tree. But I understand that there are a lot of
people who just don't like typing. If you are one of them, then you'll
probably not like this game (at least not initially).

Of course, in a game controlled by text input, the parser (the part of the
program which reads your input and tries to tell the game what you
actually want to do) is very important. It might recognize too few words,
or it might be very simple and limiting. Fortunately, in Quest for Glory,
the parser is rather advanced, and it also recognizes enough words.

One of the best things about this game is the conversations. You can ask
any character about whatever you like (there are no preset alternatives),
and often you'll learn about other things to ask about when he/she
answers. Because of this, it is very important to pay attention when in a
conversation.

In general, this game is very cool. The game environment is limited to the
valley of Spielburg, but this isn't bad, because there are plenty of
things to see in this valley. As in a rpg, you also need to provide food
and sleep for your character. While getting food is rather easy, finding a
safe spot to sleep isn't. The village closes its gates at night, and there
are different (and more dangerous) monsters outside. Fortunately, there
are some safe spots, but getting there can be quite difficult sometimes.

There are few traditional puzzles in this game. Most of the time the
solutions to puzzles are rather obvious, while the thing that matters is
if you are skilled enough to actually execute what you think is the
solution. Money plays a big part in QfG. You can go straight for the
brigands headquarters, but you'll probably die quickly, because you
haven't got the extra equipment or potions which are needed to get an
advantage. You can get money by killing monsters (and search their
bodies), completing quests, sell stuff or work as a helper in the baron's
stables.

As you might understand, this game is very non-linear. You are given a lot
of freedom to do as you like, but not too much. The fact that you're in a
rather small valley works nicely to prevent the game from getting too big.
If you like games which works like this, then I'm almost certain that
you'll like QfG.

The gfx in this game is ok. The backgrounds are well drawn, and the monsters
look scary enough. The animation is smooth (not in the fights, but you won't
care, as there are more important things to worry about then).
The only drawback is that there is only 16 colors on screen (the game was
converted from the PC). The gfx artists have made clever use of dithering,
so the low amount of color isn't a real problem. If you like fancy 3d gfx,
then this game might not be for you, though.

The sound effects work really well. Most of the time there are atmospheric
samples playing in the background. In the village, you can hear the
villagers working, and there are plenty of bird noises in the forest. The
sound is particulary atmospheric at night time when the gfx also changes.
The music is ok too, although not as good as in most recent adventures.

Finally, I must mention that at the end of the game, you can save your
character to use him in Quest for Glory II - Trial by fire. This is really
great, because if you like QfG enough to actually finish it, then you're
bound to like it's sequel too.





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