"Come a Hero from the East
Free the man from in the beast
Bring the child from out the band
Drive the Curser from the land."

Full Title: Quest For Glory I: So You Want To Be a Hero
Platforms: MS-DOS/Amiga
Genre: RPG/Adventure Game
Developer/Publisher: Sierra Online
Alternate Title: Hero's Quest1
Release Date: October 1989 (EGA version), 1992 (VGA version)

While Sierra published the games of other developers in numerous genres (such as Game Arts' Thexder and Origin's Ultima II), the games it made itself were still exclusively adventure games, of the same type they'd been making since the beginning of the decade. When Corey Cole was hired as a programmer, his wife Lori2, a diehard fan of pen-and-paper RPGs, suggested a game combining fantasy RPG elements with standard adventure game fare. The Williams presumably liked the idea, or at least thought it would be profitable, and thus Quest For Glory was born.

The Story

Having just graduated from the Famous Adventurers' Correspondence School, you travel west to the German barony of Spielburg, and immediatedly find yourself trapped there by snow blocking the mountain pass. You travel to the eponymous town, and learn of a curse placed on the Baron by the evil Ogress spellcaster, Baba Yaga, which robbed him of his son and daughter and brought ruin on Spielburg. A great organized camp of brigands runs rampant throughout the forest, discouraging merchants from coming to the barony, and the blocked pass and a dearth of good fighters has left the forest teeming with monsters. Well, you wanted to be a hero. Now's your chance.


Character creation in this game is rather unique, and I don't know of any other game (at least before QFG) that operated on the same system. (This may, of course, just be ignorance on my part; feel free to dispel it.) At the beginning, you can select from one of three classes: Fighter, Wizard3, or Thief. Each class starts with its own skills and starts with its own number of skill points applied to each attribute; e.g., Wizards start off with a great deal more Intelligence than Fighters do; Fighters have more Strength than the other two classes, etc. There are several passive attributes (simple characteristics of your character), such as Strength, Vitality, Intelligence, and so on; there are also active attributes (skills), such as Stealth, Magic, Parry, and Lockpicking. You can add a total of 50 points to various skills and attributes during character creation, as well as add skills not native to your class; e.g., give a Fighter Stealth, or a Thief skill in Magic. This is the only time you can do this. You cannot change classes during the game, and it is impossible to learn new skills - no matter how many times you try to practice, if you started with zero skill in something, it will stay at zero. (This is not entirely realistic, of course, but it does have the advantage of encouraging players to find different solutions based on their character's unique skills.) The character then has a set maximum of health and stamina (calculated by checking the values of several attributes such as Strength and Vitality); if a character has Magic skill, they will be assigned a maximum of Mana points as well (determined by a combination of Magic and Intelligence). Finally, unlike many RPGs, where you will usually gain experience points (eventually allowing you to "level up" and increase the value of your attributes), in QFG, attributes and skills are increased simply by using them; fighting will increase the value of skills and attributes associated with it (Strength, Weapon Use, Parry, Dodge, etc.), throwing knives or rocks will increase your Throwing skill, etc. The downside of this is that you may find yourself repeating the same actions many times in order to build up certain skills; however, in my view, this really isn't much different from the "level grinding" associated with many other RPGs.

QFG basically entails three different activities: Item-running (standard for adventure games), fighting battles, and practicing skills. There is also some puzzle solving, especially for Wizards, and plenty of conversation.

In the EGA version, the interface is text-driven, with the mouse used only to move the character around and as an alternate to the "look" command. The VGA version (which uses claymation4 for many of the animations) is mouse-driven; cycling through various icons, the player can walk, look at, touch, talk to, or use an inventory item on anything he chooses to click on. In terms of gameplay the two versions are nearly identical, with one major exception: the battle system. To be frank, the battle system in the original version is horrid; the main problem being that it is all-but-impossible to tell when or where the enemy is going to attack, which makes defending or dodging a complete guessing game. The VGA version's battle system is a simplified version of the one found in Quest For Glory II (which, in my opinion, had the best system of any of the games). It is much easier to use and much less frustrating, which is always a good thing. Combine this with the fact that it takes forever to regain Health in the EGA version5, and the simple fact that the later version looks, sounds, and plays better, and I'd say it's definitely better to play the VGA version. The only downside to this is that the VGA version, for whatever kooky reason, does not have an option to save your character's information at the end of the game, so you can't import it to the later games.

Getting the Game

The easiest way to get the game legally is by getting the Quest For Glory Anthology, which includes both versions, as well as QFG 2 thru 4. Unfortunately, Sierra no longer exists except as a brand name, and Vivendi Universal is intent on ignoring all 20th-century Sierra IP, unless they want to mangle it beyond recognition. So the only way to get that is through secondhand dealers. If you don't have any qualms about downloading abandonware, you can find it in some places; however, Vivendi cracks down pretty hard on such sites, so it may be difficult (though not as difficult as some of Sierra's less popular games, like Gold Rush!).

As a side note, you should know there are a few bugs in the VGA version of the game. Most of these are not game-breaking, but they are annoying. Thankfully, there are fan patches which will fix these. You can get them at either of these sites:

http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Arcade/7435/Goodies/Downloads.htm#Pat ches

For the benefit of... well, anybody who may want to play this game but has trouble finding one with a manual, I've provided a short list and description of the Spells and Monsters in the game.


Mana Points: 4

If you need to make a break for it, Calm will give you a few seconds headstart; this spell will temporarily cleanse an enemy of all thoughts of violence, causing them to stand around for a bit, momentarily confused. It does not work once you are already in combat, however; to quote the Advanced Adventurer's Manual of the Famous Adventurers' Correspondence School, "A calmed opponent will just calmly eat you." With higher skill levels, even inanimate objects can be affected by Calm.

Mana Points: 3

Erasmus' Razzle Dazzle is a scintillating little spell that will temporarily blind your opponent. This can be used either to avoid combat entirely, or to disorient your enemy, giving you a chance to get in a few free hits.

Detect Magic
Mana Points: 2

A very basic spell which allows you to use a "sixth sense", as it were, to ascertain what (if anything) is magical in a given area. This is most useful for detecting magical traps and the like.

Mana Points: 5

Lowenhard’s Lariat of Legerdemain will lasso the object you long for with laser-like precision. (Using it on yourself will make you the object of much derision.)

Flame Dart
Mana Points: 5

A ball of fire, used to toast enemies and marshmallows. The more skill you have in Magic and this particular spell, the more damage it will cause.

Mana Points: 2

As the name suggests, this handy little spell will push doors, unlock locks, and otherwise open up new possibilities. It has a few other uses as well which are not immediately obvious.

Mana Points: 3

R. Rogers’ Reactivating Ritual will cause any long-term spells in the area to activate. This is particularly useful for disarming magical traps (or rather, activating them without becoming a victim of them).

Mana Points: 3

Leyden’s Latent 'Lectrical Discharge will imbue magical energy onto your sword or dagger, giving the taste of steel just the extra "zing" it needs to triumph over your opponent.


Note: Difficulty is listed with Fighters in mind. For most Thieves and Wizards, increase the difficulty level by one; e.g., "Medium" becomes "Hard".

Difficulty: Medium
Not monsters in the conventional sense, of course, but they're not great fellows either. Brigands typically carry a spear and shield and use both with great skill. Besides distance combat (spells/throwing daggers), the best way to defeat a Brigand is to wait for him to draw back his spear and open up the area his shield is protecting, and quickly thrust. You have to be careful doing this, however, because this means he's preparing to attack, and if you don't hit him fast enough, he'll strike without giving you time to defend or dodge. Brigands usually carry between 10 and 25 silvers.

Difficulty: Hard
Like a Centaur, a Cheetaur's body consists of a normal cheetah's body, with another half-body with a head and extra set of limbs sitting upright on top of that. Unlike Centaurs, Cheetaurs are vicious animals that are only vaguely intelligent. Their great speed, strength, and terrible claws will make them your bane if you encounter one before you're ready. Luckily, they only come out at night. If you manage to defeat a Cheetaur, you can sell the claws to the Healer for a good price.

Difficulty: Easy
They're smart enough to make weapons and clothes, but apparently not smart enough to leave you alone. Goblins are weak little guys with almost no capacity for defense. No matter your class, they're not a big threat. Most Goblins carry no more than ten silvers; however, you will occasionally find up to 35 silvers on a Goblin in the Goblin Training Area.

Difficulty: Hard
There's only one of these in the game, but that's enough. The Kobold is a powerful magic user, but he can't leave his cave during the day. If you fight him you'll be bombarded with offensive spells; if you try to attack him with magic, he may use a Reversal spell to reflect the damage back to you. He can be defeated, but he's a tough little guy. Luckily, Wizards and Thieves do not necessarily have to fight him.

Difficulty: Medium
These magical creatures usually don't come out during the day. During the night, they'll remain invisible until an unwary adventurer stumbles upon them. Spells are virtually useless against them, and dodging or blocking their attacks can be difficult. Escape isn't a problem, though, since Mantarays will not leave their area.

Difficulty: Very Hard

The Minotaur Toro guards the gate the Brigand's hideout. Like all Minotaurs, he's exceedingly strong and a very skilled fighter. Don't engage him unless you're a Fighter, and even then you better be well-prepared. If you do manage to kill him6, you'll get a whole bunch of gold and silver... which will be effectively useless unless you're playing the EGA version, and thus can transfer the money to the next game.

Difficulty: Hard
Ogres are big, mean and plenty dumb. The only one in this game lives in front of the Kobold's cave, for some reason. Or maybe they're roommates. At any rate, think of him as a prelude to Toro. You don't necessarily have to fight him, but if you do (and win), a handful of gold and silver will be your reward.

Difficulty: Easy
Unless you're destined to be the next Hans Halfwitten, Sauruses (Saurii?) shouldn't be a problem for you. They're a little tougher than Goblins, but unlike Goblins, they don't leave anything of value behind. For that reason alone, it's worth avoiding them, but they're good practice.

Supersaurus Rex
Difficulty: Very Hard
Think of it as a miniature Tyrannosaurus. And by miniature, I mean it's "only" twice your height. You don't want to get on this thing's bad side, and it doesn't have a good side. The worst part is that, should you defeat one of these monstrosities, your only reward will be a tremendous backache. Best to avoid them.

Difficulty: Very Hard
Trolls only come out at night, though you may encounter them in caves as well. They are extremely tough fighters, using a great hammer to pound would-be Heroes. If you manage to kill one, you can sell its beard to the Healer.

Easter Eggs, References, and other Fun Facts

  • If you're a thief or otherwise have lockpicking ability, try using the lockpick on your nose. You may want to save before doing this.
  • The moose head in the Guild Hall is a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It reappears in every Quest For Glory game.
  • Try running on the ice near Brauggi's Cave.
  • Asking about or looking at the Antwerp trophy in the Guild Hall will bring up the "Two Guys from Andromeda". This is the pseudonym used by the two game designers behind the Space Quest series.
  • When stealing from the Old Lady or the Sheriff, do everything wrong. There's some pretty funny consequences. Don't forget to save beforehand, though.
  • Try showing the Sheriff some of your stolen goods.
  • In the VGA version, use the "eye" icon on trees and stones. It will bring up random messages, some of them quite humorous.
  • During dawn or evening, in the "path" area, you may see Earl Sinclair from the sitcom Dinosaurs walking to or from work.
  • In the VGA version, when approaching the gargoyle at the enterance to Erasmus' castle, try every possible wrong answer for humorous results. References include other Sierra games, Monty Python, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Monkey Island games, and (I believe) Pirates Gold.
  • In the VGA version, look at the patch of dirt outside the town gate. This used to be the site of a map seller's stand, which will later have a rather heated experience.
  • Try talking to the horse in the Baron's stables.
  • Eat some of the magic mushrooms you find in the faerie's circle. Careful not to overdose, though.
  • Look at the various things in Erasmus' house. They differ depending which version you're playing, but both have various references to other Sierra games.
  • Occasionally, water-related characters/objects from other Sierra games will appear at Mirror Lake. These include a sub periscope from Codename: Iceman and Delphnieus the dolphin from Eco Quest I.
  • Try attacking the Antwerp that's near the Brigand hideout. It will bounce up and off the screen. Now leave the screen and watch what happens. For added hilarity, hold up your weapon.
  • 'Enry the 'Ermit says he's the "8th in a long line of Hermits", all named Henry. This is probably a reference to the 60's song "I'm Henry The Eighth I Am" by the band Herman's Hermits.
  • Try doing everything wrong in the Brigand's hideout, especially in the Mess Hall. Don't forget to save beforehand.
  • The three Brigands that approach you in the Mess Hall are none other than the Three Stooges.
  • If you're a thief, one of the side quests will involve stealing the Maltese Falcon. This is, of course, a reference to the movie of the same name. This item recurs in most (if not all) of the other QFG games.

    That's about it. Go play the game already!

    1: QFG1 was initially released under this title, in order to connect it with Sierra's other popular franchises (King's Quest, Space Quest, etc.); however, it turned out that Milton Bradley owned the rights to a board game called "Hero Quest". In order to avoid legal problems, Sierra changed the series' title to "Quest For Glory". Frankly, I think that sounds better anyway.

    2: I seem to recall reading, quite a long time ago, that Corey and Lori Cole were brother and sister, not husband and wife. This doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense, though, since most siblings aren't that close; furthermore, it would make the characters of "Scoree and Sloree" in Quest For Glory II - obviously meant to portray the Coles - very odd, since they call themselves "lifemates" ("What you would call husband and wife").

    3: Throughout the QFG games, "Wizard" and "Magic User" are used interchangably. In point of fact, I believe the selection screen for the EGA QFG1 says the latter, whereas the VGA version uses the former. For our purposes, I'll just use "Wizard".

    4: A bit of trivia: I have a poster - a reprint of an ad that originally ran in a 1992 issue of Sierra's InterAction Magazine - which showcases the game's claymation with a screenshot of what would seem to be a cutscene showing a closeup of the Hero. This scene appears nowhere in the actual game.

    5: It seems to me that this may simply be an issue with the clock speed of your processor, in which case it may be a simple fix; just run DOSBox or another DOS emulator and set it to act like a 30Mhz processor.

    6: Even if you kill Toro, he will still be alive in Quest For Glory V; he becomes the Guild Master in Silmaria. Maybe he was just faking?

    Some of the easter eggs and other errata were copied from lists at QuestForMoreGlory.com or the GeoCities site listed above. The rest are my own observations. Except where noted otherwise, all other content is compeletely my own work.

    Yes, even the "Fetch" description.
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