Quest For Glory 1 logo Amiga Format Gold

SIERRA ONLINE/ACTIVISION £34.99 * Keyboard and Mouse

The people of Spielburg valley need a hero. A true champion of the weak, who is valiant in battle. Reckon you fit the bill?
Hero's Quest begins with a decision as to what sort of hero you want to be. Fighters are stereotypes with broadsword, shield and brain damage. Magic users are the intellectual types - they start off as wimps but build up a decent collection of spells and can swagger with confidence. Thieves are devious, skulking about shadows with a lockpick at the ready...

Rather than your Amiga randomly deciding the character's abilities - strength, intelligence, agility, etc - you assign a meagre collection of points onto a standard profile (so fighters are always better than average in close combat, but you can stick some extra points on for overkill). This makes hero design much more satisfying: custom heroes!

Getting into the game is easy. Spielburg is located in Spielburg valley, a large playing area with plenty of spooky woods, caves and inhabitants. You move around the three dimensional on-screen scenery; press the key or move the mouse and your hero stomps off in that direction until an obstacle gets in the way.

Remember text adventure games? The computer gives a description, asks "What now?" and then you type in your responses. Hero's Quest lets you type in commands at any time, which freezes anything that's happening on the screen - even combat.

Therefore, you can stroll up to anyone or anything you see and try to start up a conversation. There's no need to hack everything you meet into quivering little lumps, unlike such games as Bard's Tale.

Monsters are classified into four categories: the Humanoids, the Inhumanoids, the Undead and the Unknown. The handbook lists a few little pointers that indicate it's a monster you're facing; if it oozes green ichor, eats people, collects half-eaten corpses, drools, gibbers or slavers, attacks without provocation, twitches tentacles or will not eat spinach - it's a monster!

The combat is simple in principle, but difficult to master. A view appears, from over your hero's shoulder. Depending whether the monster is at close range or distance you have six manoeuvres to choose from: thrust, swing, duck, dodge, shield block and parry.

Whenever the pointer symbol on the screen flashes, you must press the relevant key for the action you want. This introduces thought into combat, as you have to see what your opponent is doing before making your move. Blast-em-up fans like to hammer on all the buttons, and get confused when they end up dead. You have to think more about this combat system.

Combat is only a part of the game. At first, the player explores as much as possible, talks to peple, meets the odd Dryad (that's a good bit) and can even take a job at a stables. Later, the quests have to be solved, adventures have to be completed - life in Spielburg is complicated.

GRAPHICS AND SOUND

The 3D locations look good. It's not just the quality; the number of scenes to explore is enormous. A few more frames of animation, in places, would have been the icing on the cake. Sound is used more subtly, with birds twittering away, a couple of musical themes and the occasional din of battle - bit of a let down there but not enough to make the game less enjoyable.

LASTING INTEREST

Loads of disk swapping is the only hassle. To see a world come to life is amazing: to play only a part of it and try to overcome all the problems and share the triumphs of becoming ahero is a long-term (and fun) way of spending time. Lots of puzzles, an adrenalin rush when a monster appears and a definite goals are what real adventurers need.

JUDGEMENT

Just to call this a game is inadequate: it's a five-disk work of art, brimming with imagination, humour and though. Shame about the price, but for once it genuinely reflects the amount of effort that's gone into. A lovely game.


Quest For Glory 1 logo Amiga Joker Hit

Immer schneller kommen die Amigaumsetzungen der Sierraspiele - ob das wohl mit den vielen Raubkopien zu tun hat? Eigentlich egal, die Hauptsache ist, daß es die neueste Software-Perle des amerikanischen Herstellers schon für unsere "Freundin" gibt!

Nachdem man bei früheren Sierraspielen schon durch Königreiche ziehen oder den Weltraum unsicher machen dürfte, als Polizist Gangster oder als Playboy Mädchen gejagt hat, findet man sich diesmal in der Rolle des Helden einer mittelalterlichen Kleinstadt wieder (immerhin...). Drei verschiedene Karrieremöglichkeiten gibt es: Kämpfer, Magier oder Dieb. Zwar kann z.B. der Magier auch kämpfen, aber halt nicht so gut wie ein hauptberuflicher Fighter. Damit ist das Spiel praktisch auf drei verschiedene Wegen lösbar!

Nach der grundsätzlichen Entscheidung für einen Werdegang kommt die "Feinjustierung" der einzelnen Fähigkeiten. Und in schönster Rollenspielmanier geht es dann auch weiter: Der Spielcharakter hat eine bestimmte Energie, Stärke und magische Kraft zur Verfügung; er kann nicht beliebig viel tragen und muss zwischendurch mal essen, schlafen oder trinken. Außerdem hat man die Wahl, ob man lieber gemächlich gehen, laufen oder gar (als Dieb) schleichen möchte. Da so ein Held des öfteren Auseinandersetzungen mit Monstern hat, gibt es auch ein Kampfsystem, wo Meinungsverschiedenheiten im 3D-Stil ausgefochten werden. Schließlich verbessern sich die Fähigkeiten auch noch während des Spiels, um zum Beispiel einen Baum zu erklimmen, sollte das Klettern zuvor schon ein bißchen geübt worden sein. Es macht richtig Freude zu sehen, wie die eigene Figur immer besser und besser wird; ein Vorzug, den andere Sierra-Games bisher vermissen ließen.

Aber worum geht es nun überhaupt? Tja, so ein Held hat viel zu tun, zuviel möchte ich davon aber nicht verraten, sonst geht der Witz beim Spielen flöten. Unter anderem muß man Räuberbanden erledigen, Entführte wieder nach Hause bringen oder auch nur den Ring eines alten Kräuterweibleins finden. Dabei stolpert man natürlich in tausend Gefahren - und Todesarten! Die verschiedenen Wege, das Zeitliche zu segnen, sind makabrerweise mal wieder recht lustig, und auch sonst ist reichlich vom typischen Sierrahumor vorhanden (etliche Anspielungen auf berühmte Sierraklassiker etc.).

Die technische Seite ist ebenfalls rundum gelungen: Grafisch schlägt das Spiel alles, was mir bisher von dieser Company untergekommen ist, es ist sehr komplex, hervorragend animiert und von Kopf bis Fuß auf Mittelalter eingestellt. Auch der Sound ist besser geworden, es gibt zwar immer noch nicht besonders viel davon, aber das Gebotene ist bei weitem nicht mehr so düdelig wie früher. Sogar die Steuerung hat sich gemausert, ein Druck auf die rechte Maustaste (oder "Shiftklick" mit der linken), schon wird der Bildschirm an dieser Stelle untersucht. Daneben sorgen verschiedene "Quick-Commands" für ein flotteres Vorankommen. Einzig die langen Nachladezeiten und das häufige Wechseln der fünf Disketten (plus Savedisks) ist ganz wie in alten Zeiten. Aber richtige Sierrafans haben ohnehin meist eine Festplatte, auf der sich das Game problemlos installieren läßt (kein Kopierschutz, da man ohne Handbuch praktisch keine Chance hat).

Meiner Meinung nach ist Hero's Quest eindeutig das bisher ausgereifteste Sierra-Game und ein absolutes Muß für jeden Adventure-Freak - nicht umsonst hat ie PC-Version monatelang die amerikanischen Softwarecharts angeführt! (mm)


Quest For Glory 1 logo CU Screen Star

ACTIVISION/SIERRA ON-LINE PRICE:£29.99

So you want to be a hero? Then just pop into the Adventure's Guild, and study the notice board. There you will find offers of both honours and rewards, providing you are prepared to venture into the forest of Spielburg and risk all. Mysteries and monsters abound, and you'll become a hero if you can brave the dangers and rescue the Baron's children, find the Healer's ring and kill the evil brigade.

Played in the usual Sierra adventure-style mode, Hero's Quest is classified as a Role Playing Game, but it has all the characteristics of an adventure as well as an RPG.

Before commencing, a character must be set up. You're offered a choice of Fighter, Magic User, and Thief as your personna, and can then vary and add to the default points allotted to each of the chosen character's attributes.

The play progresses very much along the lines of a Sierra-style adventure, with just a little more emphasis on the acquisition of scrolls, potions, and weaponry.
Until you met up with something nasty in the forest, that is, when play changes to combat mode. Suddenly you find yourself standing face to face with one of the vilest creatures you have ever seen. Pitch in with the spells or weapons, or run, otherwise let's hope you recently saved your game!

Fighting can be exhausting work, and you will need a few pieces of silver for a good night's rest, not to mention the odd spell or two that you are short of! Make sure you never fail to search your victim's body after his demise, for he may be carrying a fortune on his person!

Sound effects and music accompany many of the scenes and animated sequences. Most are a delight, and the animation is often quite humorous. The proprietor of the magic shop materialises in a bolt of lightning as you approach the counter, for example. And the old healing lady magically draws you into a rather unwelcome compulsory kiss as a reward for returning her ring!

Because of the different character settings that can be achieved, together with random events, Hero's Quest is unlikely to play the same way twice over. A puzzle solved by a magic user, for example, whilst having the same basic answer may have a completely different method of solution for a thief. And fighting will take on a whole new dimension if you can throw a few nasty spells at your opponent rather than simply beating it to death!

Coming on five disks for the 1 meg Amiga, Hero's Quest is yet another high quality game fro Sierra that is certain to give hours of fun and enjoyment.


Quest For Glory 1 logo Zzap! Sizzler

Sierra On-Line, Amiga (1 Mb only) £34.99

Most adventurers dream of one day becoming a hero and drinking in the adoration and respect associated with such a title. Hero's Quest allows you to at least attempt to reach the dizzy heights of hero in the inimitable 3-D animated adventure style of Sierra On-Line.

The little town of Spielburg and its surrounding valley is having a spot of bother with trolls, ogres, goblins, witches, warlocks, zombies, ghosts, dragons, minotaurs, bears, griffins, thieves and brigands... and they need a hero to clean up. Having just graduated from the famous adventurers' correspondence school for heroes you feel cocky enough to take up the challenge and so head off to Spielburg seeking fame and fortune.

Before play commences, option screens are displayed through which you choose whether to help Spielburg as a fighter, a thief or magician. You are then shown your character's ability and skill points. You're given an extra 50 points to assign to certain skills - such as throwing, stealth or climbing - which should be used wisely; magic powers might be considered less important to a thief than the ability to pick locks. Once happy with your adventurer it is time to show the inhabitants of Spielburg what you're made of.

You enter the quiet town of the morning of day one. The sheriff and his aid are relaxing on a porch near the town gates. They are fairly amicable and thus useful for typing out the frequently required 'Ask About...' command. This input is the key to successful questing as answers given provide clues to other questions, places or people.

The sheriff tells you of the guild in the town where quests are displayed for budding heroes to undertake. They range from finding a lost ring (a good one to begin with) to rescuing the baron's missing daughter. Rewards are offered for success.

Spielburg's monetary system is a simple one consisting of Golds and Silvers, ten Silvers make one Gold. You need money for supplies - food rations for example - tools of your trade (lock picks for a thief, scrolls for a magic user and weapons for a fighter) and potions for healing, breaking enchantments or warding of enemies.

As you progress you should practise your skills frequently, the more you use them the more adept you become at them. An initially unclimbable tree outside the healer's hut is quite soon scalable with practice, and throwing the occasional rock soon results in an accurate arm for a user of daggers.

Exploring the forest around the town, you encounter many monsters which you may either try to run from (a good idea in early stages of play) or engage in battle. Fights are undertaken at a distance or close up (depending on the type of foe you face). The more you fight the better your character's skills in weapon-use or magic become. However, should you get yourself into a no-win situation you have the option to escape (sometimes).

As with most Sierra games it is not all hard work, there are many amusing moments to break the tension such as when asked by the fairies to dance, your character struts his stuff Saturday-Night-Fever style. And there is an atheist's grave in the cemetery bearing the legend 'All dressed up and nowhere to go'... well, it made me laugh.

All graphics are well drawn, animation is good - if a little slow in places - and sound effects and music are brilliant. The atmosphere created, especially when wandering around the forest at night (not recommend for beginners) is outstanding. The only drawback with Hero's Quest (as with all Sierra animated adventures) is the amount of disk access/swapping involved. But, as always, the good points render these niggles almost unnoticeable.

Hero's Quest II: Trial By Fire is soon to be released and the character you create in the first game can be loaded into the sequel giving you a slight advantage over a cold start.

Hero's Quest may be pricey but you can play using three different characters and the game is tougher than most recent Sierra titles, so it's certainly worth forking out for. A marvelous romp through a wonderous land of sword and sorcery.