(This is part of my journey playing through Quest for Glory 1. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
Even though I played King’s Quest and Space Quest (and the first Police Quest) as a kid, I wasn’t even aware of the whole Quest for Glory (aka “So You Want To Be a Hero?”) series. Ah, the pre-internet ignorance of youth! So even though I know little about this series other than it melds RPG elements with adventure gaming and that you can transfer characters from game to game, I’m pretty excited to explore retro virgin territory. Plus, with the recent resurrection of Sierra, it seemed like a good time to explore another one of the classics!
GOG sells all five games in a bundle, which includes both the original and VGA remastered version of Quest for Glory 1. I think I’ll be playing the VGA version, as the original looks like this:
and the remake looks like:
Um… yeahhhh. I’m all into retro, but I’m not a masochist either. Let’s go with the newer shiny, shall we?
So here’s my guy: Syp the Magic User (ugh, “magic user”? So uncool, dudes.) I get a few points at the start to spread out, so I decide to beef up his health (vitality) a little bit, give him a tad more magic, and — why not — go for 25 points in pick locks. Because if RPGs have taught me anything, it’s that you will always regret not being able to pick locks on those treasure chests. Kind of cool that the game lets me have this option!
Here I am strutting right into the town of Spielburg (I’m not quite sure if this game is a parody in the vein of King’s Quest, but I’m thinking it might lean that way). Oh hai, sheriff! Do ya need a hero? Because I… am that hero. Just look at my swooshing cape!
Why yes, he does need a hero! The affable sheriff gives me the lay of the town and mentions that both brigands and monsters have been problems, and the reclusive town Baron isn’t doing much about it.
Quest for Glory — at least this remake version — is completely mouse-driven, for which I am immensely grateful. You right-click to change between interactive icons (look, walk, use, etc.). There’s also a top icon bar with inventory, magic use, and other fun stuff.
In the inn next door to the sheriff, it’s strangely empty save for one cat-guy by the fire. I enjoy clicking around the various descriptions, after which I chat up the Katta and his scantily-clad soulmate. Apparently they’re from the southern desert and want to go back there, which doesn’t explain why they came up north to found an inn. They’re friends of the merchant who was robbed, and other than buying a meal or room that I don’t need, there’s little more here that I need.
Whew — for a second, I thought Hilde was an elf due to the pointy ears on the dialogue insert picture. But no, centaur. Huh, kind of cool. We don’t get a lot of friendly centaurs in RPGs these days. I wonder if centaurs go to the bathroom all over the place like horses or if they have very large toilets for privacy. Why I’m thinking that, I don’t know.
I’m equal parts disturbed, amused, and confused over why the game lets you ask her out on a date. It’s so out of left field, and yet this IS an RPG, so… huh. Maybe the devs are appealing to the expected teenage boy demographic. What would a human and a centaur do on a date? Oh well, it’s a moot point anyway — I buy a few apples and take my leave.
The shopkeeper next door has aspirations of becoming an adventurer, but instead he just sits and reads ironic books. There isn’t much here that I need or can afford, but I do buy some more food rations (will the game kill me if I go hungry? I don’t know and don’t want to find out) and an empty flask.
I step out of the shop and discover that night has fallen. Huh, this game has passage of time? That’s pretty neat from a roleplay and immersion perspective, but kind of annoying from a gameplay one since the NPCs all move and pack up shop. I guess I’ll have to wait until the morning to ask Hilde out again.
I almost head back to the inn for the night when I see a glow come out of a nearby alley. Hm. Investigate? Sure, why not!
Admiral Ackbar: “IT’S A TRAP!”
I’m torn between kicking myself for getting into this situation and cheering the game’s willingness to prey on the adventurer gamer’s habit of looking for any and all items. My palms grow sweaty; will I survive my first fight?
Oddly enough, a fight does not ensue. The thief says that I’ve made a sign showing that I’m one of them, and so he lets me off the hook and points me to a local tavern to pick up work as a member of the shady underbelly of Spielburg. I am SO confused. My character class is Magic User, not Thief, so either the game lets everyone off like this for no good reason or my 25 points in pickpocket have come in handy already.