Quest for Glory is a series of hybrid role-playing/adventure computer games designed by Corey and Lori Ann Cole. The series combined humor, puzzle elements, themes and characters borrowed from various legends, puns, and memorable characters, creating a 5-part series of the Sierra stable.
Although the series was originally titled Hero's Quest, Sierra failed to trademark the name. Milton Bradley successfully trademarked an electronic version of their unrelated joint Games Workshop board game, HeroQuest, which forced Sierra to change the series' title to Quest for Glory. This decision caused all future games in the series (as well as newer releases of Hero's Quest I) to switch over to the new name.
The series consisted of five games, each of which followed directly upon the events of the last. New games frequently referred to previous entries in the series, often in the form of cameos from recurring characters. The objective of the series is to transform the player character from an average adventurer to a Hero by completing non-linear quests.
The game also was revolutionary in its character import system, which allowed you to import your individual character, including the skills and wealth he had acquired, from one game to the next.
Hybrids by their gameplay and themes, the games feature serious stories leavened by humor throughout. There are real dangers to face, and true heroic feats to perform, but silly details and overtones creep in (when the drama of adventuring doesn't force them out). Cheap word play is particularly frequent, to the point that the second game's ending refers to itself as the hero's "latest set of adventures and miserable puns."
The games also have some memorable easter eggs, including a number of allusions to other Sierra games. For example if one types "pick nose" in the first game, (or click the lockpick icon on the player in the new version), if his lock-picking skill was high enough, the game would respond "Success! You now have an open nose"; If the skill was too low, the player would insert the lock pick too far, killing himself. Another example is Dr. Cranium, an allusion to The Castle of Dr. Brain, in the fourth game.
Each game drew its inspiration from a different culture and mythology (in order, Germanic/fairy tale; Middle Eastern/Arabian Nights; Egyptian/African; Slavic folklore/Eastern European folklore; and finally Greco-Mediterranean) with the hero facing increasingly powerful opponents with help from characters who become increasingly familiar from game to game.
Each game varied somewhat from the tradition it is derived from; for example, Baba Yaga, a character borrowed from Slavic folklore, first appeared in the first game. The second game introduced several Arab and African-themed characters who reappeared in the third game, and characters from every game and genre in the series reappeared in the fourth and fifth games. In addition to deviating from the player's expectations of the culture represented in each game, the series also included a number of intentional anachronisms, such as the pizza-loving, mad scientists in the later games.
There was some criticism concerning the games as time-consuming. For example, while adding to realism, in order to build a certain skill or reach a certain point of time, the player has to repeat for countless times some certain action (such as 'climb tree', 'get rock'-'throw rock'), or walk aimlessly until the time passes.
The gameplay standards established in earlier Sierra adventure games were enhanced by the player's ability to choose his character's career path from among the three traditional role-playing game backgrounds: fighter, magic-user/wizard and thief. Further variation was added by the ability to customize the Hero's abilities, including the option of selecting skills normally reserved for another character class, leading to unique combinations often referred to as "hybrid characters". During the second or third games, a character could be initiated as a Paladin by performing honorable actions, changing his class and abilities and receiving a unique sword. This would apply when the character is exported into later games. Any character that finished any game in the series (except Dragon Fire, the last in the series) could be exported to a more recent game (Shadows of Darkness has a glitch which allows one to import characters from the same game), keeping the stats and parts of the inventory. If the character received the paladin sword, he would keep the magic sword (Soulforge or Piotyr's sword) and special paladin magic abilities. A character imported into a later game in the series from any other game could be assigned any character class, including Paladin.
Each career path had its own strengths and weaknesses, scenarios unique to those that possess the skills associated with it. Each class also had its own distinct way to solve various in-game puzzles, which encouraged replay: some puzzles had up to four different solutions. For instance, if a door is closed, instead of lockpicking or casting an open spell, the fighter can simply knock down the door. The magic user and the thief are both non-confrontational characters, as they lack the close range ability of the fighter, but are better able to attack from a distance, using daggers or spells. An example of these separate paths can be seen early in the first game. A gold ring belonging to the healer rests in a nest on top of a tree; fighters might make it fall by hurling rocks, thieves may want to climb the tree, while a magic user can simply cast the fetch spell to retrieve the nest, and then, while the fighter and magic user return the ring for a reward, the thief can choose between returning or selling the same ring in the thieves' guild (which is not available for those not possessing the "thieving" skills).
While it possible to build (over the course of several games) a character that has points in (or masters) every skill in the game and can therefore perform nearly every task, doing so would require a lot of effort.
Each character class featured special abilities unique to that class, as well as a shared set of attributes which could be developed by performing tasks and completing quests. In general, for a particular game the maximum value which can be reached for an ability is 100*[the number of that game]. Quest for Glory V allows stat bonuses which can push an attribute over the maximum and lets certain classes raise certain attributes beyond the normal limits. Quest for Glory V also features special kinds of equipment which lower some stats while raising others. At the beginning of each game, the player may assign points to certain attributes, and certain classes only have specific attributes enabled, although skills can be added for an extra cost.
General attributes influence all characters classes and how they interact with objects and other people in the game; high values in strength allows to move heavier objects and communication helps with bargaining goods with sellers. These attributes are changed by performing actions related to the skill; climbing a tree eventually increases the skill value in climb, running increases vitality, and so on. There are also complementing skills which are only of associated with some classes; parry (the ability to block a blow with the sword), for instance, is mainly used by fighters and paladins, lock picking and sneaking thief's hobby, and the ability to cast magic spells is usually associated with magic user.
Vital statistics are depleted by performing some actions. Health (determined by strength and vitality) determines the hit points of the character, which decreases when the player is attacked or harms himself. Stamina (based on agility and vitality) limits the number of actions (exercise, fighting, running, etc...) the character is able to perform before needing rest or risking injury. Mana is only required by characters with skill in magic, and is calculated according to the character's intelligence and magic attributes.
Puzzle and Experience points only show the development of the player and his progress in the game, though in the first game also affected the kind of random encounters a player faces, as some monsters only appear after a certain level of experience is reached.
- Quest for Glory I: So You Want to Be a Hero (1989; VGA remake released in 1991)
- Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire (1990; Authorised VGA style remake by AGD Interactive released in 2008)
- Quest for Glory III: Wages of War (1992)
- Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness (1994)
- Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire (1998)
- Quest for Glory Anthology (1996) a package that includes the first four games, including the fully patched CD version of QFG IV; game copy protection codes (a feature of Quest for Glory 4) are included in the manual and on CD, while game saves are included in the save folder of the CD and the VGA version of Quest for Glory 1.
- Quest for Glory Collection Series (1997) re-release of QFG Anthology with a Dragon Fire demo and sample soundtrack.
The fantasy world in which the action takes place is known as Gloriana, and is somewhat a mirror of our own world.
- Main article: List of Quest for Glory characters
Along with the Hero, several memorable characters appear and re-appear throughout the series including Rakeesh Sah Tarna, Abdullah Doo, Elsa von Spielburg, the evil Ad Avis and many others.
Originally, the series was supposed to be a tetralogy, consisting of 4 games, with the following themes and cyles: the 4 cardinal directions, the 4 classical elements, the 4 seasons and 4 different mythologies.
This is what the creators originally had in mind:
|Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero||North||Earth||Spring||Germanic|
|Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire||South||Fire||Summer||Middle Eastern|
|Quest for Glory III: Shadows of Darkness||East||Air||Fall||Slavic|
|Quest for Glory IV: Dragon Fire||West||Water||Winter||Greek|
However, when Shadows of Darkness was designed, it was thought that it would be too difficult for the hero to go straight from Shapeir to Mordavia and defeat the Dark One. To solve the problem, a new game, Wages of War, was inserted into the canon, and caused a renumbering of the series. Evidence for this can be found in the end of Trial by Fire: the player is told that the next game will be Shadows of Darkness and a fanged vampyric moon is shown, to hint at the next game's theme.
They talked about it in the Fall 1992 issue of Sierra's InterAction magazine, and an online chat room:
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