Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Game 77: Hero's Quest: So You Want to Be a Hero

Note: Hero's Quest is the original name of the game that came to be known as Quest for Glory in subsequent editions, including a VGA remake in 1992. Since I'm playing the original game, I'm using the original name for this one. I wrote a preview last week that's worth reading before you get into this posting. As I play, don't forget to read Trickster's take on the game from an adventure game perspective.

Hero's Quest, the first full RPG/adventure game hybrid, is also the first game I can think of in which which the choice of character class really makes a solid difference in gameplay. I'm not saying that it's the first game in which it makes any difference at all, but most of the difference has come down to combat tactics. I can think of only two earlier games in which the character class has made a plot difference: Ultima IV, where it affected the Avatar's starting town; and Demon's Winter, where it changed the nature of the quests in one dungeon plus the end-game wrap-ups.

A player who goes through Hero's Quest as a mage faces a very different game than a player who goes through as a fighter or thief. Some of it comes down to combat, but a lot of it has to do with how you solve puzzles. Every class can succeed in the game, and solve all the puzzles along the main quest, but each has a different tool set. There are entire areas which only certain classes can explore, and mini-games which only certain classes can play. This makes the game very replayable.

Making the key opening choice.
 
My recollection, though, is that a player can get the full breadth of the game by choosing a thief character and starting with a few magic points. If you don't assign anything to magic during the character creation process, you'll never be able to cast a spell, but if you assign even a little, you can build up the skill and play the game as if you were a mage. The fighter (again, this is to the best of my recollection) doesn't have any unique attributes that the thief (or, for that matter, the mage) can't access. The thief is the only character whose very class (and not his equipment or attributes) allows him access to a unique area: the thieves' guild. [Later edit: I was wrong about this. Anyone can make the thieves' sign and get into the guild. But the thief is still a unique character: he's the only one who can start with all of the skills. There aren't enough bonus points for a fighter to get all of the thief skills plus magic, nor for the mage to get all of the thief skills plus parrying.]

I think it's much more interesting to choose one class, dedicate yourself to it, and solve the puzzles with that class's strengths than to try to be a "generalist," and what I planned to do was play this version as a thief and the VGA remake as a mage (Trickster, my colleague at The Adventure Gamer, is playing as a fighter). I am going to assign a few points to magic, though, just so I can cover its basics for the purpose of this review. My primary role-playing choices, and my overall perspective, will all be thief-related.

Creating Chester the Thief

The character creation process is fairly flexible. Based on the chosen character class, you start with certain attribute values and certain skill values, and you have a pool of 50 points that you can assign to either attributes or skills. The key is that if the skill is not one that the class usually employs (e.g., "pick locks" for fighters or mages), you have to invest 15 points to get 5 points in the skill.

All attributes and skills are trainable during the game: they increase as you use them. But if you don't elevate the skill above 0 during the creation process, you can never use it at all. My thief started with 0 in both "parry" (a fighter skill) and "magic" (a mage skill), so to get both of these to 5, and thus ensure I can do everything in the game, I'd have to spend 30 of my 50 bonus points. I did it for magic, for the reasons I stated, but I'm not going to waste 15 points on parrying. My thief will dodge if he wants to avoid an attack. Some players like to try to play a "complete game," getting all of their attributes and skills to 100 before the end (Andy_Panthro announced that he's doing this), but I'm going to try to play the game completely in-character.

The back story to Hero's Quest is a simple one: you've just graduated from the Famous Adventurers' Correspondence School for Heroes, and have walked many a weary mile to the town of Spielburg, in response to an advertisement seeking a hero. You arrive just ahead of a snowfall that closes the only pass out of town, and are greeted by the mayor upon entering the town's front gate.


The game uses an interesting hybrid between mouse control and a text parser. You can left-click to move to a location and right-click to look at things, and there are various keyboard commands for common actions like saving, casting spells, and looking at the inventory. But most of the main action is completed by hitting the SPACE bar and typing in verb-object commands as in a classic adventure game. Common examples include ASK, PUSH, SEARCH, USE, and GET.



Examples of interacting with the world.

It's through this interface that you talk to NPCs in the game, giving conversation a very Ultima-esque feel. You have to watch for certain keywords in NPC dialogue and then ask about them.

"ASK ABOUT DRINKS" got me a list of drinks the bartender offers; "ASK ABOUT DRAGON'S BREATH" got me this.

Combat, when it comes, is action-oriented. You're taken to a special combat screen in which you can use the arrow keys to thrust, dodge, duck, parry (if you put points into it), or cast spells (if you have them). You have to watch your enemy's movement's carefully, attack when he's open, and dodge when he attacks.

This enemy is called a "saurus."

I did poorly in this particular combat (I think I need to adjust the DOSBox CPU settings, plus get some practice). When you die, it's game over. There's no rescue. Fortunately, the game does allow fairly liberal saving.


As you can see, the game makes reasonably good use of EGA graphics, but perhaps more importantly, it makes good use of the sound cards available at the time. There's a background soundtrack that's good enough not to turn off, with the music changing based on circumstances and location. The sound effects are a little more sparse than the music, but they appear when they matter.

As I indicated previously, doing things in the game slowly increases your attributes and skills. For instance, climbing a tree a few times got my "climbing" skill from 5 to 18, my strength from 15 to 18, and my agility from 30 to 32. Every time you visit your character sheet, you can see what skills and attributes have increased since the last time you checked.

The changed attributes are green or red or brown or something.

You may also have noticed the "Score" at the top of the screen, indicating progression on a scale of 500 points. This is an old adventure game staple, of course. My score has gone up from visiting new areas, talking to key NPCs, looking at key items, and solving quests. I don't remember how easy or hard it is to finish the game with a perfect score, so we'll see.

The game has a basic economy. You start with 4 gold pieces and 10 silver pieces (10 silvers=1 gold), and you can spend them at several merchants, including a general equipment shop, a farmer's market (you have to eat occasionally in the game), a magic shop, and a bar. I think money accompanies some quest rewards, but you get a lot of it from fighting enemies in the forest.

Looks like I'm going to be doing some grinding.

The screen shots above are replete with the kind of dry wit and tongue-in-cheek humor that made the Quest for Glory series rightfully famous. As she was the chief writer and designer of the game, I expect it comes primarily from Lori Ann Cole. The dialogue and manuals are full of jokes and obscure references. Some examples:

  • "A fighter is one who, when faced with a foe, takes arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, ends them." (It's a play on Hamlet's soliloquy if you don't get it right away.)
  • "Magic users have a reputation for being mysterious, and much of their time is taken up maintaining this illusion. To this end, mirrors are useful for practicing facial expressions, and a repertoire of moods ranging from 'haughty disdain for fools who ask stupid questions' (ideal for when you don't know the correct answer) to 'complete and utter concentration so don't you dare disturb me' (perfect for catching winks, particularly if you can master sleep with your eyes open), will come in handy."
  • Thieves' guild motto: "Thou shalt not steal here."
  • "Monsters are the stuff heroes are made of. After all, it is very difficult to rescue damsels unless they are distressed."
  • "[Ogres] tend to carry around their prized possessions in chests. It is not clear where the chests come from, why ogres get them, or how ogres even open the chests. These are topics of heated debate among scholars."

The game also likes to give you the occasional humorous message when you click on a random part of the screen with nothing special to look at:


A few months ago, I posted about humor in CRPGs, and I talked about how I hate it when goofiness shows up in an otherwise serious game. I do like a certain amount of wit, however, as well as humor that grows naturally from the characters and settings. Hero's Quest walks the razor's edge sometimes, but in general, I think it's pretty funny--partly because in the game's very title, it establishes an air of whimsy, and it maintains a consistent tone throughout.

Now that I've covered the background and basic game mechanics, I'm going to try to write subsequent postings in-character. Chester, my thief, is a sly, intelligent young man who was kicked out of law school when he was caught breaking into the headmaster's office. Bereft of other possibilities, he decided to take the adventurer's correspondence course and ply his skills as a professional rogue. He's not a bad guy, and he'd rather earn his rewards, but the most important things are those rewards, so if he can't find a way to earn them, he'll just take them. Having arrived in Spielburg, he's not sure if the city is "in need of saving" or "ripe for the plucking." Perhaps a little of both.

86 comments:

  1. Just to point it out to folks, but makers of Hero's Quest are in the final stage of a Kickstarter project. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1878147873/hero-u-rogue-to-redemption

    It might be worth tossing them some coin if you want to contribute to a game that will show up here in a decade or two.

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    1. I would, but I'm stone broke. I wish them luck!

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    2. Crap, nyxalinth. The project died with like $5 to go.

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    3. Awww, geez :(

      I jinxed it.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Hero's Quest was on my own chronlogical play list, but in the end I ditched it due to the real time combat sequences. I disliked the action sequences in games like Ports of Call and Defender of the Crown, and after that I've always been sceptical about games that mix action and turn based/strategic play.
    So how bad is the action sequences in Hero's Quest? Is it only the combat, or other things as well?

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    1. There are a few others, primarily at the end, when you have to quickly navigate through a series of rooms by choosing precise actions and paths before the bandits get you. It's my least favorite part of the game because so much is trial and error.

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  3. I never played this one, but I'd heard about, um, "Pick your nose". Is that in this game, or another?

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    1. Yep, that's this one. Just tried it.

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    2. Being a thief, it works out far better than for the other two professions :D

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    3. I didn't think about that. What happens if a fighter or mage tries it? (The thief gives himself a cerebral hemmorage with his lockpick and dies.)

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    4. That is only at low levels of lock picking. When you get better at it, you can power level lock picking by rapidly cycling "F3" and "Enter".

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    5. Wow. I thought you were just joking--trying to get me to suffer yet another death--but damned if it doesn't work. And raises agility and vitality at the same time. This feels like cheating.

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  4. Well, with 3 hours to go, Hero-U has made it over the $400,000 mark.

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  5. So far, there's only one place where Parry is necessary to experience an extra event. I'm 5 hours in and have found most of my time either running from combat, resting, or grinding skills. It's all been fun, but now that I've mapped the world I fear it might start to get old. Next character I think I'll beef up Stamina so I can get more done each day.

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    1. Is that the fight with the weapon master? That's the only thing I noticed that I couldn't do.

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  6. "The fighter (again, this is to the best of my recollection) doesn't have any unique attributes that the thief (or, for that matter, the mage) can't access."

    The fighter gets access to a shield and sword, and has some class-specific mini-quests (in later installments at least).

    Thief pretty much gets the best deal though because the thief's guild sidequests are sweet (except in QfG3, which barely has any).

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    1. Right, but in this game, at least, I think you can access all that a fighter can access by simply choosing "parry" among your starting skills. The thief, I think, is the only class that--regardless of skills--can make the thief's sign and thus get into the thieves' guild.

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    2. I'm pretty sure I entered the guild and robbed every house in Hero Quest 1 with a Fighter that picked lockpicking as an off-class skill. Though that was in the VGA remake which may have changed some things. I think you "made the thief sign" in it by showing the guy your lockpicks (maybe not, it's been a few years).

      Thief can access the training at the swordmaster by picking parry. However, I seem to remember the thief can never actually have a sword and shield in his possession - in fact I think he'll never get a better melee weapon than the dagger he starts with in the whole series.

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    3. Well, I just started a fighter, waited until nightfall, went into the alley...and you're right. He can make the thieves' sign, and get access to the guild. I assumed he couldn't because he doesn't start with a lockpick.

      So after some more playing around, I figured out what it is about the thief: he's the only character that can start with every skill. There aren't enough bonus points for the fighter to get all thief abilities PLUS magic, nor for the mage to get all the thief skills plus parry. So only the thief can play a "complete game."

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    4. I think they altered this in the remake, so only Thieves could make the sign. (or you required certain skills like lock pick perhaps?)

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    5. Maybe Atom can tell us, since he's playing the VGA remake.

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  7. I have got to find out why early D&D used Magic-User instead of Wizard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Mage, etc.

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    1. They were ranks. For example Lvl 3 M-U being Conjurer, Lvl 6 Magician and Lvl 11 Wizard.

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    2. That makes sense, though it ruins my joke about how the other classes should have been called "sword-user," "prayer-user," etc.

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    3. No, as the other classes were Fighter, Thief and Cleric. They had level titles as well, but they still had actual NAMES.

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    4. Remember kids, be a magic-user, not a magic-abuser.

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    5. According to Wikipedia: The term "Magic-User" was invented for the original Dungeons & Dragons rules developed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson (in order to avoid cultural connotations of terms such as "wizard" or "warlock"). Citation needed, but it's as good an explanation as any, I suppose.

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    6. Amy K. Oh, I know that. D&D was the first game with character classes, and it appears in the original white book rules (I've SEEN them for sale, but I don't have several hundred dollars to buy them, not a desire how to drop that much money on them. However, they can be found online from time to time, and it isn't like they have been for sale in the past 30 years). Anyway, the wikipedia explanation seems a bit suspect based on what I've heard of the time period. The scare didn't appear until the 1980s, in the 1st and 2nd edition AD&D period. Additionally Warklock and Wizard were both class titles of Magic-User. I personally suspect that the term dates back to the wargaming days; it matches terms such as "heavy foot", "light infantry" and whatnot.

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    7. In the original D&D rules, the fighter class was called "Fighting-man", which is just ridiculous. Elf was a class back then also; they were the original fighter/mages.

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    8. One of my friends bought the white box for ~$350; elf is a race.

      In the D&D basic line, starting with the blue box in '77 and followed by the red/blue/green/black/gold boxes starting in '81, elf, dwarf and halfling were all classes and represented f/m, f and f/t respectively.

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    9. @Dave - Maybe Gygax was Rolling Stones fan.

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    10. Dave: YES, that is it. "Fighting-man" dates to wargames. "How many men in your army?" "430 fighting men". That distinguishes them from doctors, cooks, camp followers, grooms, etc.

      From there magic-user makes more sense.

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    11. @Random - I like it! Never heard that idea before. I think it would be Street-fighting-man, though.

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  8. Cana I have a ad&d phb from 1980 and a d&d one from 1983 and both call the class magic-user. For each level though there is a title. So a level 11 magic-user would be a wizard, a level 3, conjurer etc. They had magic schools back then but the only specialist you could choose was illusionist, so necromancer and conjurer were merely indicators of level not school. I guess they thought level 1's hadn't earned the right to call themself a wizard or warlock yet ;)

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    1. Ah, you had already answered... Although I think that rank titles mostly came from need of having more and different names in encounter tables at varying dungeon levels. :)

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    2. Yes, I know that (I own a number of D&D books from that era, including multiple boxed sets). I mean, why did Gygax, Arneson and Co choose that name?

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  9. Is there something wrong with the recent comments widget on the sidebar? It says "Unable to retrieve spec for http://gadgetsforblogger.googlecode.com/files/recent-comments-gadget.xml. HTTP error 403"

    Is anyone else experiencing this, or is it just something on my end?

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    1. I'm experiencing it, too. Blogger glitches like this now and then. It usually goes away in a few hours.

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    2. Well, I guess not in this case. Blogger is showing this gadget as "broken." I'll have to wait 'til they repair it. Removed for now.

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  10. I -think- Pools of Radiance even used these titles. If you hired a mercenary cleric and he was listed as an 'adept' it meant he was level 2, where if he was listed as a 'curate' he was level 4

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  11. Hey, I got a mention! Thanks!

    For those that want to monitor my progress, I've got a screenshot gallery hosted at imgur.com over here: http://lookapanther.imgur.com/ (it also contains a few animated GIFs that I've been making, and will continue to make)

    The hardest part of a 100/MAX playthrough is that the game doesn't require it. The Fighter is easiest for this, since they have the fewest skills, and they revolve around fighting. The Thief is hardest, mainly because getting skills past 60 is rarely necessary in the first game.

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    1. Andy, you're not going for Level 100 with all spells too, are you?

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    2. Spells as well, although I'm missing "Zap", which you only get as a Magic User. I think I'll have to reconsider my aims for the next game though, as some of the skills are amazingly difficult to increase past a certain point. I may not be able to get a perfect 200. Climbing in particular seems a bit of a sticking point.

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  12. It's interesting that you chose a thief, because that means the optimal way to play the game is to avoid as much combat as possible, making the game much more adventure than rpg. I will be interested to see how you rate the combat at the end of it all as a consequence.

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    1. I guess I'm not playing optimally, because I'm engaging in plenty of combat!

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    2. Really? I have used you & Trickster as an excuse to replay it as well, but as a thief I have found no reason not to run away from the random forest combats as the only thing you really get from them is gold (and xp, which doesn't seem to do anything), which I have enough of now. All the other non-random encounters have "thiefy" solutions. I guess my cause is not helped by the fact I am not really good at the combat, I think maybe I have some dosbox settings wrong but I can't nail the timing.

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    3. In my recent play-through as a Thief/Mage combat was not at all difficult. Only 1 battle, toward the end with the brigands, gave me any trouble at all, and I was just button mashing all of the combats. I found my spells, (fire, zap, etc..) to be very underpowered. This could have been my lack of magic skill though. I think I never got it above 40 because using it in combat usually made the fight very difficult and long.

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    4. I feel like there are a few combats that are unavoidable (though perhaps I just haven't figured out how to avoid them), and thus I need to grind a bit, even as a thief. Plus, I noted that selling cheetaur claws and troll's beard to the healer gives you a couple of points, so if you want to end the game with a full 500, you need to be capable of killing cheetaurs and trolls.

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    5. Playing a mage, I will cast Fire Dart at all monsters, even those I plan to run from, in order to build up proficiency. Erana's Place is a must for fully restoring. It seems it would only take a few days to really grind a skill up, but each day I'm trying to push a bit forward.

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    6. I've never tried avoiding combat, but I'm fairly sure you could avoid it all in QFG1. Going to ROT13 this for spoilers:

      Svefgyl, lbh pna eha njnl sebz rirel abezny pbzong va gur sberfg. Frpbaq, lbh pna pnyz/qnmmyr gur bter (abg fher gurer'f rabhtu ebbz gb eha nebhaq uvz). Guveq, lbh pna farnx hc gb gur xbobyq naq fgrny gur xrl. Sbhegu, lbh qba'g arrq gb xvyy Oehghf nsgre gur zrrgvat jvgu Oehab (whfg cvpx gur ybpx). Svsgu, lbh pna trg cnfg Serq jvgu gur nccebcevngr xrl cuenfr. Fvkgu, lbh pna farnx cnfg Gbeb, be pnyz uvz. Friragu, lbh qvfcry gur onaqvg yrnqre naq rfpncr gb ivpgbel! Ab xvyyvat erdhverq.

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    7. All of the combat in QFG1 is avoidable, finding out how to get past the Minotaur peacefully was the most difficult part for me. Maybe I just naturally wanted to fight a Minotaur.

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    8. I had the same problem, Raifield. (Despite not having made a substantive posting on the game yet, I've already won once.) I had a really difficult time training up the "Sneak" skill; just walking around people with it activated doesn't seem to do anything. By the time I got to the minotaur, it was still so low that I couldn't even begin to get it to work after multiple-reloads. Without all the combat grinding, I wouldn't have been able to kill him.

      Andy, I otherwise agree with your "no-combat" assessment, although even from your hints, you would still need combat OR magic in some cases. However, to get a perfect score, even as a thief, you have to turn in some cheetaur claws and troll's beard to the healer, which isn't possible unless you're capable of killing cheetaurs and trolls. (On the other hand, I can't seem to figure out how to get a perfect score anyway, so perhaps I shouldn't worry about that.)

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    9. Wow, won already? Did you remember most of the game, or did things just kind of fall into place? Looking forward to reading your post after I finish up.

      I only remembered one quest from the start. Some of the screens I'm pretty lost for what to do, especially the meeps.

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    10. No, I just went nuts over the last few days. I've been at home, and I should be working on professional stuff, but the temptation to just sit here and play games all day has been overwhelming.

      I don't want to get too far ahead of Trickster in my blogging, so I'm trying it from different angles to create a kind-of composite playthrough. I can't seem to get 500 points no matter what I do.

      I need to start writing this all up, though. It does me no good to have memories and screen shots.

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    11. Oh, and funny you mention the meeps: I couldn't figure that one out for the longest time, either.

      I only remembered the solution to one puzzle from 14 years ago: the healer's ring. But I had a very good sense of the spatial layout; I was able to walk right to Erana's Peace, for instance. Not that it's a huge game world.

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    12. The first night, after 3 hours, I had to tear myself away from the computer to get some sleep for work the next day. I imagine I could have spent the whole night playing if I didn't have to worry about being sleepy on the job.

      That's the same one I remembered right off the bat too. It's one of the reasons I bought the Fetch spell first day.

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  13. As a recent law school graduate, I can testify with great conviction how I'd rather be a thief in the barony of Spielburg. Your role-playing is going to hit close to home for me, and I look forward to it greatly. One of my all-time favorites, bar none!!

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    1. You DO realize the obvious joke there, right?

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    2. I guess Joseph Curwen is a suitable name for a lawyer...

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    3. I keep clients who don't pay in oubliettes built into the bedrock below my mansion.

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  14. You have my respect, sir, for normally being on top of your game.

    However, you forgot to mention the in-game influence that class has in Might & Magic 2, which is more significant than in your standard 1980s RPG...and arguably moreso than the influence in Ultima IV (I can't comment on the other, due to a lack of knowledge).

    That said, M&M2 certainly was pure RPG, not RPG/Adventure. Looking forward to the Hero Quest blog!

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    1. Ah, yes, I did forget MM2. Once you've played a few dozen of these things, it's tough to remember them all.

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  15. Your comment about character classes made me realise that this is one of the first rpgs you have played (particularly fantasy) where it is a single protaganist & not a party based game. I wonder why most of the earlier games were party based?

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    1. Well, I just counted, and of the 74 games on my completed sheet, 30 are single-character, so it's almost half. HOWEVER, it must be said that most single-character games (up to this point) are far more primitive than their multi-character counterparts.

      I think multi-character games are more attractive as RPGs (to most players) because they better represent the "party" approach of most tabletop RPGs, plus they allow the player to experience a greater breadth of gameplay.

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    2. I wonder, how many of those party based games have a main character? Aside from Ultima, I can't think of any that offer such an experience.

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    3. Paladin and Magic Candle kind-of have a main character, but not in the same in-depth way that Ultimas IV and V do. Do we get a clear "main character" in a multi-character game again before Baldur's Gate?

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    4. Besides Ultimas you mentioned, first into mind comes Fallout, Ishar series and Bloodnet. Loads of JRPGs have main starting character. Betrayal at Krondor and Interplay's Lord of the Rings could be said having multiple.

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  16. This is one of my favourite games ever.

    An interesting difference between Hero's Quest and Quest for Glory 1 is that Hero's Quest has a character speed up button (not just a GAME SPEED button). I think it's in F4? It makes your character walk or run faster (looks like he's gliding, in fact). It has a significant impact if you're trying to run away from enemies, as some are faster than your run speed almost.

    As it was taken out in Quest for Glory 1, I would urge you not to use it, it *is* kind of cheating.

    I always played thiefzard in these games too. Fighters get to do some class specific questing in QFG2, they're not too great in QFG1/Hero's Quest.

    This is a wonderful, vibrant game. Some of the best EGA graphics of the time, a real labour of love on all fronts. Timeless and never immitated to a successful end. I'm looking forward to your posts.

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    1. Shoot. I HAVE been using that, just because it seems to speed up the game a bit. I didn't realize the monsters weren't going any faster, too.

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  17. Chester the Thief, eh?
    Looks more like Chester the gay ballet dancer in that opening screen.

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    1. Hahaha... You do have to wonder why they made his tights pink. Perhaps it is to emphasize his "noobness".

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    2. I always felt his cape looked like a trash bag. But I started the series with Quest for Glory II, where he sports much more stylish threads.

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  18. definitely going to play along with this one, Chose a mage with some thief skills, just to be different from Trickster and Chet, Also going to try the VGA remake (having played the original on my Amiga long ago) I never did give the remake a try.

    -Cheers

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    1. There's something about the menu based dialogue that feels limiting. Once you learn about something new to ask NPCs, there's no way to ask directly. You need to navigate the menu in order to find if you can ask about it at all.

      Combat seems improved; the graphical cues for dodge and parry are easier to interpret.

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    2. I think that menu-based dialogue is a step backwards, and I was angry when Ultima went that route in VII. I always liked having to pay attention and ask for keywords.

      But I'm glad to hear the combat is better (when I played before, it was the VGA remake, and I remember combat being better). In the original, it feels like dodging and parrying are basically just random. I still haven't been able to find the perfect CPU speed, though.

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  19. I've finally started my Let's Play. I'm uploading 20-25 mins a day, so I think both you and Trickster will be done with the game and blog posts before I get to my first combat scene. Oh well.

    I'm playing the VGA version, as a mage.

    Here is the playlist, which you hopefully don't mind my linking to:

    Let's Play Quest For Glory I

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    1. Not at all. I'm listening to it now.

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    2. You went through an admiral amount of effort to avoid just pirating the game.

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    3. Don't admire that too much. I was afraid I would get a glitched copy of the game or something like that, if I just found an illegal download. Plus, now I have all the games, so we can play the sequel in tandem as well. In about a year, I suppose.

      I'm afraid the first few episodes are rather dull, especially if you've played the game recently. I like to read everything... and there's a lot to read. In any case, thanks for listening! I'll have a new episode up nightly.

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    4. The difference in graphics after only 3 years is astonishing.

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    5. Just finished playing through as a magic-user myself. The last bit of the game seemed to have very little use for my spells. I was expecting class specific options, but none of my spells seemed useful. Maybe I just didn't find the correct approach.

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  20. When this game came out, Sierra published an amusing article on it in their newsletter/magazine:

    http://www.sierragamers.com/uploads/24082/interaction/007_sierra_news_magazine_volume_3_number_1_spring_1990.pdf

    It starts on page 14, and the author describes her interviewing three adventurers to determine what sort of adventurer she wanted to be.

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    Replies
    1. That is really clever and well-written. I like how it subtly incorporates bits of the game (like practicing) into the narrative. The author's LinkedIn profile lists her as a "Writer/Editor/Evil Mastermind." Glad she's still in the business.

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