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Quest for Glory Retrospective at Hardcore Gaming 101

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Quest for Glory Retrospective at Hardcore Gaming 101

Information - posted by Crooked Bee on Sun 20 May 2012, 10:31:27

Tags: Corey Cole; Quest for Glory; Sierra Entertainment

Hardcore Gaming 101 has put up a detailed multi-page retrospective article on The Quest for Glory series:

The Quest for Glory series, designed by the husband and wife team of Lori and Corey Cole and initially published in 1990, is a bit of an oddball amongst Sierra's adventure titles. Although similar in appearance, they're less like point-and-click adventures and more like RPGs that happen to be dressed in adventure game clothing.

The main concept of Quest for Glory is evident through the subtitle of the first game: So You Want to be a Hero? In each of the five games you play a character whose job is to travel the world of Gloriana, saving the inhabitants from evil. Each of the five games takes place in a different part of the world: the first takes place in the Germanic land of Spielburg, with a bit of a traditional medieval flavor; the second is in the Middle Eastern land of Shapeir, with an Arabic flair; the third takes place in the Africa-like land of Tarna; the fourth in the Transylvania-esque land of Mordavia; and the fifth and final is in Silmaria, heavily resembling Ancient Greece. It's clear that the Coles had a vague overarching plan for the series from the get-go, which strengthens the ties between installments. It's amazing that they were actually able to finish their plans, given how many other gaming series get cut short.

There were originally four games planned - So You Want to Be a Hero, Trial by Fire, Shadows of Darkness, and Dragon Fire. However, after the second game, the Coles deviated from their initial plan to create another title, Wages of War. The series then continued as planned, and ended with the release of Dragon Fire in 1998. Each game was to represent one of the four cardinal directions, one of the four elements, and one of the four seasons, although this was somewhat thrown off with Wages of War. Each also has a unique setting, complete with interesting characters to meet, good and bad. Many real life folk tales and myths are also woven into the story. The main plots rarely go beyond the usual "find and conquer an evil demon", but what makes them so interesting are the unique plights of the townspeople, and how you save them.​

The article analyzes all the titles in the series, from I to V, and also includes an interview with Corey Cole, the co-designer of the games:

Quest for Glory is very atypical of most computer RPGs of the time, in that it was heavily focused on narrative. What were some of your inspirations that carried you away from something like Ultima?

We were influenced more by paper-and-pencil roleplaying than by computer games. The first computer RPG's (such as Temple of Apshai) came with booklets containing the game text. As you entered each room, the game gave you a key number. The booklet gave you a complete description of the room when you looked up the key. That was their way of trying to create a live RPG experience on a computer, and of course was very primitive.

We had a lot more memory to play with, so were able to incorporate the text into the actual game. I think we arrived at exactly the right time in the industry to make the Quest for Glory games. Computers and the SCI game engine had enough power to let us tell stories, but the cost of graphics was still low enough to let us tell them instead of spending the entire game budget on 3D art.

We played a few of the Ultima, Wizardry, The Bard's Tale, and similar games prior to starting Quest for Glory. While we enjoyed them (especially Wizardry), we felt they were missing the narration that was an essential part of "live" roleplaying. Our goal with Quest for Glory was to make the player feel that they were playing a character in a good live RPG.​

I also remind you that the Quest for Glory pack is now available on GOG.com for only $9.99.

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