My Journey through classic adventure games...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The adventure begins...

I recently wrote a post on my blog professing my ongoing love for the Quest for Glory series, ever since I first played 'Hero's Quest: So You Want to be a Hero' (later re-named Quest for Glory I) when it was first released back in 1989. I enjoyed writing about and looking back at this classic adventure game so much that I decided to start another blog, dedicated to these timeless, old games. Since you can carry your character from game to game in the series I plan on going through the whole mythology and posting my thoughts and progression right here on this blog.

The details on this game, for the uninitiated, are that it was designed by legendary adventure game designers Lori Ann Cole and husband, Corey Cole. It was developed and published by Sierra. The game was released in 1989 under the name 'Hero's Quest: So You Want to be a Hero', but was subsequently renamed 'Quest for Glory I' after Milton Bradley started litigation against Sierra for naming infringement on their board game, also called Hero's Quest. The game itself is primarily an adventure game. You move the player character around the game world with the numeric keypad and input your actions for solving puzzles, interacting with characters and manipulating the environment via text. Most of Sierra's games from this period use this interface, the SCI or the 'Sierra creative interpreter'. The game also mixes adventure with roleplaying. When the game begins you can choose between three classes and assign points to stats and skills like an RPG. The game is a fantasy adventure setting with monsters and magic and the gameplay consists of problem solving and combat sequences.

I decided to start my adventure as the 'thief' class. I named him Pratchet, I guess named after my favourite author, Terry Pratchett, who's first few 'Discworld' books (The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic) are a satire on the D&D/fantasy adventure genre, much like the Quest for Glory games. I assigned some stat points to magic and parry (if I had left them at zero my character wouldn't be able to use either of them) and I put the rest into weapon use to give me a little boost at early combat, and then I'm thrust into the game world.

The plot setup is very basic. Pratchet, my character, has come down from the mountains into the town of Spielburg, in the Spielburg valley. There I meet the sheriff who professes that the valley is now snowed in and filled with monsters and beset by brigands. The game world is pretty much open world from here and free to explore. I loved the feeling of freedom this game afforded back in '89. It just throws you into the game and doesn't do any hand holding, it just leaves you to explore things at your own pace.

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