11/12 – Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be A Hero

Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

In the 1980’s, Sierra adventure games were king. Riding high on the fantastical King’s Quest series, the raunchy Leisure Suit Larry, and the sci-fi Space Quest, Sierra had a number of hit franchises on their hands. This made it pretty easy to take a risk on new and exciting ideas and Lori Ann Cole’s idea seemed the most exciting of the bunch. Today’s game is Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be A Hero, developed by Sierra and released on MS-DOS in 1989.

Quest for Glory is a unique take on the adventure game genre. Instead of sticking to traditional puzzle solving, Lori Ann Cole opted to merge the genre with Role Playing games. Players choose their class to start the game from Fighter, Magic User and Thief. This determines the skills and items available to the player. Then, when faced with puzzles and missions, the player can use their character’s strengths to solve the puzzle in a way that suits their character. For example, if an enemy needed to be defeated, a Fighter may simply opt for straight-forward combat, a Magic User may opt to cast a spell at the enemy from a distance whereas the Thief may try to break into the enemy’s house and assassinate them in their sleep.

Quest for Glory was originally released as Hero’s Quest when it came out in 1989 but they had to change the name of the game to Quest for Glory in 1990 due to trademark issues. The series would continue as Quest for Glory from that point forward but many boxes still exist that use the Hero’s Quest name. From the start, Lori Ann Cole intended the series to contain four games, with the player’s character progressing in strength and maturity through each title. This wound up being increased to five, with a fifth game being placed in the middle to bridge a perceived gap between the second and the, now fourth, game.

Quest for Glory received high praise upon release, with  many claiming it would forever change the adventure game genre. While its RPG elements wouldn’t be adopted by other adventure games, Lori Ann Cole and her husband Corey would complete their plan for a 5 game Quest for Glory series and would work together on a number of other games such as King’s Quest 5 and Castle of Dr. Brain. In 2012, they successfully Kickstarted a spiritual successor to the Quest for Glory series called Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. That game would eventually release in 2018. 

Thank you so much for listening! As always, check out videogameoftheday.com for archives and a transcript for all episodes. Follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday for expanded information on the games we talk about as well as updates about the show. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.

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