"Come a Hero from the East
Free the man from in
Bring the child from out the band
Drive the Curser from
Quest For Glory I: So You Want To Be a Hero
Developer/Publisher: Sierra Online
October 1989 (EGA
version), 1992 (VGA
While Sierra published the games of other developer
s in numerous genres
(such as Game Arts
'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.
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
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,
, 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
" 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
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
, which includes both versions, as well as QFG 2 thru
4. Unfortunately, Sierra no longer exists except as a brand name
is intent on ignoring all 20th-century Sierra
, 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
, 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 patch
es which will fix these. You can get them
at either of these sites:
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.
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 object
s can be affected by Calm.
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
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.
Lowenhard’s Lariat of Legerdemain will lasso the object you long for
-like precision. (Using it on yourself will make you the
object of much derision.)
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.
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.
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).
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
Not monsters in the conventional sense, of course, but they're not great
fellows either. Brigands typically carry a spear
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
Like a Centaur
, a Cheetaur's body consists of a normal cheetah
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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.