Covers Always Lie: The game features neither dragons, broken swords, stained glass windows nor left-handed heroes.
Quest For Glory: So You Want To Be A Hero? (formerly called Hero's Quest), is the first entry in the Quest for Glory series of games. Your character, the latest graduate of the Famous Adventurer's Correspondence School, answers a newspaper ad from the valley of Spielburg, which is in dire need for a hero, "No Experience Required".The local Baron was once a great protector of the people of the valley, but after crossing the ogress Baba Yaga she cursed him to lose all that he holds dear. Sometime afterward, both the Baron's son and daughter went missing, and in his grief and despair the Baron has virtually abandoned his duties and holed himself up inside the castle.As a result the valley has become a nearly lawless ruin, bandits prey on any travelers and merchants, monsters run unchecked in the wilderness, and your adventurer just barely made it into the valley before a blizzard sealed off the eastern mountain pass. Now It's Up to You to break the curse while taking on ruthless bandits, an ogress that likes eating heroes, (and we don't mean sandwiches) and the dreadedAntwerp.Good luck.The game is set in a backdrop of Germanic and Norse mythology, (with a few exceptions, most notably the Katta innkeepers Shema and Shameen and the merchant Abdulla Doo, all three of whom are visiting from their native Arabian Nights themed land of Shapeir, and the Slavic Baba Yaga) and later received an Enhanced Remake with VGA graphics.
The game contains examples of the following tropes:
An Axe to Grind: Brauggi the frost giant uses one. He'll gladly give you a free demonstration if you are dumb enough to attack him.
Animorphism - in the first game Baba Yaga turns the hero into a frog. Also the Dryad turns you into a stag or a flower if you piss her off.
as you discover during the game, a Kobold turned the missing Baronet into a bear.
Anti-Villain: According to Corey Cole, neither Baba Yaga nor the Kobold Wizard are really villains. Though both are dangerous, and Baba Yaga is certainly evil, both acted only in response to the actions of the Baron and Baronet, respectively.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The trophies on the walls of the Spielburg Adventurer's Guild Hall include such fantastic monsters as a troll, a dragon, a gryphon, and...a moose. To be fair, it nearly bit Wolfgang's nose off.
Character Customization: More so in this game than in later installments of the series. You choose from the Fighter, Mage, Thief trio, but you can add skills from outside of your skillset with relative ease, and as long as you have a single skill point in a given skill you can level it to its maximum by using it in the game. It becomes much harder in later games, as your hero becomes more and more specialized.
Cherry Tapping: You can constantly throw rocks at enemies. You can even whittle down Toro the Minotaur while hiding behind some bushes; while the EGA version keeps him moving, he'll be at zero health when you enter combat and fall instantly.
Fast-Forward Gag: When you clean the stables, it's overlaid with a sped up version of the main theme.
Gargle Blaster: "Don't drink the Dragon's Breath!" Also, Troll's Sweat, which tastes like troll sweat. Troll's Sweat is so strong it knocks you out after one drink, and you wake up with a much lighter coin purse. Dragon's Breath turns you into a pile of ashes.
The Lost Woods: Spielburg Forest. By day you may happen upon the occasional goblin or brigand, but don't go out at night unless you're ready to fight (or run from) something much larger.
Karma Houdini: You, if you do any breaking and entering in Spielburg and don't get caught. It also has no bearing on whether or not you can become a Paladin in later games, though stealing in those games can jeopardize your chances. It may be a bit of Gameplay and Story Segregation at work as there was no Honor stat in the first game.
Magic Dance - The fairies dance at night to make the flowers grow. They'll also make you dance if you do something they don't like.
The Marvelous Deer: The hero followed the white stag to its resting place. It led him to the Dryad who was a spirit of nature. If the player attempts to harm the stag the Dryad will turn him into whatever he attacked, invoking a Game Over.
The Maze, with the Trickster throwing items at you as you fumble through it. However, the bandits cross it quickly, since they've crossed it before, and don't have to deal with the Trickster.
Medieval European Fantasy: This game is more medieval and European than the others, although the fourth game comes fairly close.
Multiple Endings: You can rescue Elsa and head straight to the castle. This will immediately trigger the ending, which mean you fail to beat Baba Yaga. You leave for Shapeir and you get a message that the valley is still cursed. Oddly, the only consequence of this is that your imported character in the second game starts with a little less money.
Our Goblins Are Different: Here they are little ugly blue-skinned guys (or green-skinned in the VGA version) who carry clubs and shields, and wear horned helmets. They are the lowliest of Mooks in this game and are only dangerous to very low-level players, or in the Goblin Central Combat Training Zone, where you can fight a group of goblins one after the other.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: 'enry the 'ermit is a hermit who loves company and loves to talk, so much so that if you give him some of your rations so you can crash at his place, he will talk all night, even while you are asleep.
Race Lift: An odd example in the VGA remake: Sauruses (Saurii?) are purple while Goblins are blue-skinned in the EGA version, while in the remake they're both recolored green. However the description doesn't change, and the game still refers to purple Sauruses (Saurii?) and blue-skinned Goblins.
Random Encounters: The way they work in this game is by having an enemy appear and approach you from one of the paths on the screen while you are wandering around Spielburg Forest. You can run, or throw daggers/stones or use magic to damage or kill the enemy before combat actually starts.
Retcon: In the EGA version, if you ask Zara about Erana's Peace, she will tell you that it's Erana's final resting place. In the VGA remake, she says that it's rumored to be Erana's final resting place, but nobody knows for sure what happened to her. Quest for Glory IV confirms what happened to her, and that Erana's Peace was not her final resting place.
Retired Badass: Wolfgang Abenteuer, the master of the Adventurer's Guild. He killed most of the monsters whose heads are now mounted on the walls of the Guild Hall. Schultz Meistersson was pretty badass in his day as well, and he and Wolfgang were able to keep Spielburg Valley relatively free of monsters. Nowadays Schultz is just the sheriff (though he's still no pushover) and Wolfgang spends his days napping in the Guild Hall and telling stories to anyone who will listen.
Secret Test of Character - The gargoyle guarding Erasmus' house sometimes asks you what the Thieves' Password is. Only a thief would know the password (in theory), and Erasmus doesn't like thieves entering his home. The correct answer, whether you're a thief or not, is "I don't know." In the original EGA version, you can guess wrong and still be allowed in; in the VGA version, even pretending that you know the password will get you turned away.
Shout-Out: Quite a few. A sizable part of the game's humor in both the original EGA version and the VGA remake are nods to other Sierra games, films, books, etc.
Fellow Sierra employees Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy creators of Space Quest known to gamers as "The Two Guys From Andromeda" have the honor have having slayed an Antwerp. (Something that is virtually impossible in-game no matter how skilled you are)
When dancing with the fairies, one of them will state "All he wants to do is dance!" in reference to the 1984 Don Henley song, "All She Wants To Do Is Dance".
The lobby of Erasmus' house in the EGA version includes: the "Rosella Stone", which has an hieroglyph of Rosella from King's Quest on it, a genuine Peruvian onklunk, a model of a small plane from Lytton PD and a bow from the Lara tribe. A Lara Bow, if you will.
Apparently The Three Stooges found work as brigands. You even dispatch them in a slapstick manner.
Unwinnable: There's a couple of ways to get stuck.
Unwinnable by Design: If you eat the magic acorn, or kill the bear, you're pretty much screwed, as you won't be able to complete the game in the first instance, and the baron will be royally pissed in the second. If you confront the brigand leader without the dispel potion, then you're doomed, because you can't leave, and any other action you take is a game over.
Unwinnable by Mistake: In the VGA version, you can save at any time, but in a couple of instances, restoring the save results in an in-game timer running out far faster than it otherwise would, preventing you from taking a necessary action and usually resulting in a game over.
Victory Pose: The Hero will do one if you beat the Minotaur in combat, rather than sneaking past or putting him to sleep. He apparently doesn't die, though, as you can see him in the crowd in the throne room at the end of the game, sporting bandages, and shows up in a much friendlier capacity in the fifth game.
The Hero takes a bow after beating up goblins in the Goblin Training Center.
Wide Open Sandbox - Surprisingly for an Adventure Game, you are dropped in an open world where you can pretty much go anywhere except for some hidden areas and you can complete the main quest (And a few Side-Quests) in a non-linear fashion.