50: Hero’s Quest: So You Want To Be A Hero

Publisher: Sierra
Developer: Sierra
Year: 1989
Platform: DOS, Amiga, Atari ST, PC-98

Review: Due to copyright conflicts with Milton Bradley, Sierra changed the series to Quest For Glory. They later remade this game as Quest For Glory 1. Though I have not played the remake, it appears that the general opinion is that the original retains more of the game’s humor, even if the graphics and sound aren’t as good.

Definitely one of Sierra’s finest concepts, Hero’s Quest combines the adventure and RPG genres to create a game that not only appeals to both fans, but has great replay value as well. You can select from a hero, magic user, or thief to complete your quest.  While the paths are virtually the same, most puzzles are solved differently based on your skill set, and you are treated differently by your peers.

I love the game’s premise, and it is one of the funnier offerings Sierra has on the shelf, but the battle system left me shuddering. I prefer turn-based combat rather than hand-to-hand, but I can enjoy the latter if it’s implemented well. Unfortunately, this system is not intuitive and hardly engaging. I found fighting to be more of a chore than an opportunity.

However, I seem to be in the minority, as this game is lauded by nearly all. Computer Gaming World awarded it the best adventure game of 1990. I genuinely like it myself, and would recommend it to fans of 80’s adventures, but the RPG elements here more or less ruin it for me.  I have not played any of the game’s four sequels and probably will never do so.  From what I’ve read, the second installment is even better than the first, with the series gradually getting worse from there on out.

Contemporary RatingLow.  The parser responds pretty well to commands, but I can’t imagine why anyone would put up with the outdated battle system today.

Cruelty Rating:  Tough.  You can die from hunger or exhaustion, and there is at least one way to die by not having an item with you at a certain time.  All of these situations are obvious and fairly easy to prevent, but you can still get stuck if you’re not careful and will have to restore back to an earlier point.

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2 thoughts on “50: Hero’s Quest: So You Want To Be A Hero

  1. I’ve only played the VGA remake of the first, but it was very fun. I’ve beaten the 3rd game in the series, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but it didn’t have the same intrigue as the first.

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