Quest for Glory - Retroview

The Beginning Of Something Good

By: Robust Stu

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 7
   Interface 6
   Music/Sound 8
   Originality 6
   Plot 9
   Localization NA
   Replay Value 7
   Visuals 8
   Difficulty Medium
   Time to Complete

5-8 Hours


Quest for Glory

   Quest For Glory is probably one of my favorite game series of all time. If you ever get the chance to play this game, you’ll understand why. It has a lot of neat features, a good story, and is just plain fun to play.

   The story goes that you’re a recent graduate of the Famous Adventurers Correspondence School For Heroes, and as such, you’re looking to perform your first heroic deed. To this end, you turn to the nearby land of Spielburg. After several days trekking through the mountains, you arrive in Spielburg, only to discover that the kingdom is in dire straits. Both of the Baron’s children have disappeared under mysterious circumstances, the people of Spielburg are being victimized by an organized band of brigands, and an evil Ogress by the name of Baba Yaga has taken residence in the western forest. As a would-be hero, it is your job to cure the land of its ills.

   The battle system is similar to other games in the series. It is real time, one on one (for the most part), and extremely reflex-intensive. You have the option to thrust, slash, parry, dodge, or if you have the power to do so, use magic. The enemies really only attack you physically, but depending on how fast and/or powerful they are, that can spell trouble for you. The interface is parser based, which although unique these days, was the norm back then. You generally typed in two or three words, which the game would hopefully understand and then carry out.

Choose your, class
Choose your, class  

   That’s where the whole parser based interface fell down, a lot of times the game wouldn’t understand what the player was trying to tell them, and that’s the main reason PC RPGs became icon driven as they are today. The music was very good, especially for a late 80s PC game. All the tunes were done with a lot of feeling, and set the mood perfectly for every scene of the game.

   Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the sound effects. The sound effects were very scarce and don’t sound quite right where they do appear. However, I am reluctant to take away too many points because that was the state of the art back then. I cannot give this game a high score for originality, but it deserves a decent score for taking Sierra’s King’s Quest style adventure game format and combining it with the battles and stats of Ultima and other such games. But then, this game basically took two tried and true formulas and combined them rather than coming up with something new, which is why I gave it the score it got.

   This is an American made game and as such, is not subject to a localization rating. However, I do want to take this time to say that the script was VERY well written, it didn’t come off as awkward at all. The characters have a response to pretty much anything you can think of. Even with the sentences it doesn’t understand, it doesn’t come up with a canned response, the characters each have their own unique responses (more than one each!).

Wait, did I just see what I thought I saw?
Wait, did I just see what I thought I saw?  

   Being that you can choose from three different character types (Fighter, Magic User, Thief), there is some replay value. Each character type has their own ways of solving certain problems, but there is one problem. See, there’s nothing stopping a magic user from, say, learning how to pick locks if he has skill in such. Therefore, where one character may not normally be able to do certain things, giving him ability points towards that skill (which you can do at the beginning of the game) totally eliminates the lines between the character types, essentially letting you do whatever quests you want regardless of your character type. This is a problem that would be rectified in future games in the series. There were some small side quests, but nothing to write home about. The graphics wouldn’t knock anybody’s socks off today, but they were state of the art at the time, and easily beat anything that you’d find on the NES, which was this game’s contemporary. All the backgrounds, characters, and battle graphics were very detailed.

This was a good game, but rather short. You can probably finish it in 5-8 hours if you rush through it. This would probably be a very hard game to find these days, but if you can get your hands on a copy, definitely pick it up and give it a whirl. I may be a bit biased because I grew up with these games, and not Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior, but it’s still a very good game. Highly recommended.

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