Quest for Glory

From Academic Kids

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Quest for Glory 5 cover

Quest for Glory is a series of hybrid role-playing/adventure computer games designed by Corey and Lori Ann Cole. The series combined humor, puzzle elements, themes and characters borrowed from various legends, atrocious puns, and memorable characters, creating one of the most well-remembered series in the Sierra stable.

Although the series was originally titled Hero's Quest, Sierra failed to trademark the name. Consequently, the electronic adaptation of the HeroQuest board game forced Sierra to change the series's title to Quest for Glory. This decision caused all future games in the series and new copies of Hero's Quest I to switch over to the new name.



The series consisted of five games, each of which followed directly upon the events of the last. Previous entries in the series were frequently referenced, often in the form of cameos from recurring characters. The objective of the game is to transform your character from an average Joe to a Hero by completing non linear quests.

Each game drew its inspiration from a different culture and mythology (in order, Germany/fairy tale; Middle Eastern/Arabian Nights; Egyptian/African; Eastern European; and finally Greco-Mediterranean) with the hero facing increasingly powerful opponents with help from characters who become increasingly familiar from game to game.

Each game varied somewhat from the tradition it is derived from; for example, Baba Yaga, a character borrowed from Slavic folklore, first appeared in the first game, as did a Jotun from Scandinavian folklore (named Brauggi in the game). The second game introduced several African-themed characters who reappeared in the third game, and characters from every game and genre in the series reappeared in the fourth and fifth games. In addition to deviating from the player's expectations of the culture represented in each game, the series also included a number of intentional anachronisms, such as the pizza-loving, Frankenstein-like mad scientists in the fourth and fifth games.

Hero's Quest I: So You Want to be a Hero (1989; VGA remake released in 1991)

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The hero in Erana's Garden (1989 version, anthology release)

Hero's Quest I, later rereleased as Quest for Glory I because another video game of the same name was released, followed the protagonist on his journey into the valley barony of Spielburg (German for "game town", the first of many puns and in-jokes). The would-be Hero battles monsters and brigands, and helps fairy-tale creatures such as a dryad and a ring of fairies. He also meets recurring series characters such as the wizard Erasmus and his familiar Fenrus, and first hears tales of the benevolent sorceress Erana. In the optimal ending to the game, which nets the player the maximum score and serves as canon for the remainder of the series, the player also frees a Baronet from a powerful curse and thwarts the plans of the witch Baba Yaga. Ultimately, the adventurer fulfills a prophecy, restores Spielburg Valley to prosperity, and is awarded the title of Hero.

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Inside the city (1991 remake)

Hero's Quest I is the only game in the series in which the player use a character of any character class to complete all of the quests that are specifically oriented towards one particular class. For example, a fighter or thief with enough Magic skill and knowledge of the proper spells can play the Mage's Maze game with Erasmus, although only a magic-user will gain points for beating Erasmus. (Note: Many diehard fans of Quest for Glory resented the VGA rendition due to the lack of movement that was prevalent in the original). Also, Hero's Quest I has been credited for being a genre-inventing game, as no other game before it had tried to mix adventure gaming with role-playing-like elements such as statistic building (strength, intelligence, health) that would actually have an impact on your ability to accomplish certain parts of the game.

Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire (1990)

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Battling the chief guard, Khaveen

Directly following from his success in Spielburg, the newly-titled Hero travels by flying carpet to the desert city of Shapeir. After defeating the four elementals that theaten the city, he travels to the city of Raseir, which was once Shapeir's twin but has decayed into its dark mirror. There, he battles the tyrannous wizard Ad Avis, who falls to his presumed death begging for assistance from his Dark Master. As thanks for the Hero's success in liberating Raseir and restoring its lost splendor, the Sultan of Shapeir rewards the Hero by adopting him as his son.

During the course of the game, a magic-using character can earn the title of "Wizard" with the sponsorship of the wizard Erasmus. An honorable character (typically a Fighter) can be awarded the title of Paladin by Rakeesh, the liontaur (lion-centaur) Paladin.

Quest for Glory II is the only game in the series to not be originated or remade beyond the EGA graphics engine.

Quest for Glory III: Wages of War (1992)

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In the lost city

Rakeesh the Paladin brings the Hero to his homeland, the tropical realm of Tarna, to help prevent a war and thwart the loosing of a demon upon the world. The Hero earns membership in the warring tribes, and leads his newfound allies into battle against the demon wizard. As soon as the battle is won, the Hero suddenly disappears into darkness.

As in the previous game, a Fighter who proves honorable can become a Paladin. A Wizard is given the opportunity to create a magical staff, which can be summoned to augment spellcasting ability while wielded. However, the game's reliance on combat and tests of physical strength leave the Thief underutilized and less able to use stealth and trickery to avoid danger in critical sequences than he could in other entries in the series. Furthermore, Quest for Glory III is the only game in the series to not feature a Thieves' Guild in which the Thief can fence stolen goods, hone his skills, and upgrade his equipment. However, the game does feature the most ludicrous enemy of the series: the Awful Waffle Walker, which is a giant waffle that sometimes appears on the savannah when your character is short on food.

Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness (1994)

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Roaming in the woods (Windows version)

Drawn without warning from victory in Tarna, the Hero arrives without equipment or explanation in the middle of the hazardous Dark Caves in the distant land of Mordavia. Upon escaping from the closing cave mouth, he meets a mysterious young woman named Katrina who assists him again several times in his journey. He encounters several old foes, including the not-quite-dead Ad Avis and the ogress Baba Yaga, and makes several bizarre new allies. The Hero is ultimately coerced into assisting Ad Avis's Dark Master in collecting the Dark Rituals that will awaken Avoozl the Dark One (an obvious Cthulhu pastiche) from his slumber underneath the Dark Caves. Naturally, the Hero is freed from this control and thwarts their plan, destroying both Ad Avis and the Dark Master in the process. During the celebration of the Hero's somewhat pyrrhic victory, the wizard Erasmus appears, summoning the Hero to the land of Silmaria.

Quest for Glory IV is easily the darkest of the game series, and is notorious for having many in-game bugs which to this day make the game incompletable for many players.

Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire (1998)

Erasmus introduces the Hero to the kingdom of Silmaria, whose king was recently murdered. The Rites of Rulership are about to commence, and the victor will be given the crown. The Hero enters the contest with the assistance of Erasmus, Rakeesh, and many old friends from previous entries in the series. Travelling across the kingdom and even into the underworld, he completes the Rites of Rulership. In the process, he exposes the conspiracy that has led to the death of the king and the attempted murder of his compatriots, defeats the traitor to the crown, and destroys the Dragon that menaces the kingdom. He is ultimately given the opportunity to accept the kingdom and to marry one of four possible romantic interests; a Thief can also be made the Chief Thief of the Silmarian Thieves' Guild.

The first four games were intended to indicate the four elements and the four wind directions: in the first game, you are the Hero from the East, in the second, you are from the North, etc. Dragon Fire was always planned to be part of the series (whereas Wages of War originally was not), but it would not have been produced if not for the pressure that fans put upon Sierra Entertainment. Because of deadline issues, several features were dropped from the fifth game before release, such as several of the wizard's spells, the ability to use a bow, multiplayer capability, and the ability to play as Elsa Spielburg or Magnum Opus, two prominent non-player characters from the game.

The fifth game is arguably a different genre from the first four; while the first four are mostly adventure games incorporating role-playing elements, the fifth game is a role-playing game incorporating some adventure elements. For instance, the fifth game has a wide variety of weapons, armor and magical items, whereas the first four do not. Also, in the fifth game nearly every major mission consists of going to some place and defeating some monster in physical or magical combat.

A CD soundtrack to Quest for Glory V was released on CD, and some tracks were made available for free download from


  • Quest for Glory Anthology (1996) a package that includes all four games, including the fully patched CD version of QFG IV
  • Quest for Glory Collection Series (1997) re-release of QFG Anthology with a Dragon Fire demo

The world

The fantasy world in which the action takes place is known as Glorianna, and is somewhat a mirror of our own world. In Glorianna, time did not advance in the same pace in all places, so many anachronisms are explained (some places are medieval, others are still at the Bronze Age, some others are almost victorian, and some have pseudo-modern elements). The world is populated both by traditional creatures of myth and legend (gnomes, fairies, genies, demons) and by humanoids with animal features, such as the Katta (humanoid cat-people) and the Liontaurs (centaur-like people with leonine heads and hindquarters).


The enjoyment was enhanced by the player's ability to choose his character's career path from among the three traditional role-playing game backgrounds: fighter, magic-user/wizard and thief. Further variation was added by the ability to customize the Hero's abilities, including the option of selecting skills normally reserved for another character class. During the second or third games, a character, regardless of their class, could be initiated as a Paladin by performing honorable actions, receiving a unique sword in the end. This would change the character's profession when exported into later games. Any character that finished any game in the series (except Dragon Fire, the last in the series) could be exported to a more recent game, keeping the stats and parts of the inventory. If the character received the paladin sword, he would keep the magic sword and special paladin magic abilities. A character imported into a later game in the series from any other game could be assigned any character class, including Paladin.

Each career path had its own strengths and weaknesses, and beginning with the second game, each had its own unique quests and scenarios. Each class also had its own distinct way to solve various in-game puzzles, which encouraged replay: some puzzles had up to four different solutions. For instance, only the Thief (or a character with Thief skills) would see what the inside of the Thieves' Guild looks like, and generally only a Magic User could play the Mages' Maze minigame against the wizard Erasmus.

The Quest for Glory games also had some memorable Easter eggs, including a number of subtle or not-so-subtle allusions to other Sierra games (such as Dr. Cranium, an allusion to The Castle of Dr. Brain, in the fourth game). Perhaps the most notable Easter egg appeared in the EGA version of Quest for Glory. The player could type "pick nose"; if his lock-picking skill was high enough, the game would respond "Success! You now have an open nose". If the skill was too low, the player would insert the lock pick too far, killing himself.

Character Abilities and Attributes

Each character class featured special abilities unique to that class, as well as a shared set of attributes which could be developed by performing tasks and completing quests. In general, for a particular game the maximum value which can be reached for an ability is 100*[the number of that game]. Quest for Glory V allows stat bonuses which can push an attribute over the maximum and lets certain classes raise certain attributes beyond the normal limits. Quest for Glory V also features special kinds of equipment which lower some stats while raising others. At the beginning of each game, the player may assign points to certain attributes, and certain classes only have specific attributes enabled, although skills can be added for an extra cost.

General Attributes


Strength is what lets you complete basic tasks such as picking up heavy objects, moving things which require a great deal of force, and attacking a monster with your weapon. The higher your strength is, the more items you will also be able to hold and the higher your health will be. Strength can be increased through exercise and fighting monsters.


Intelligence affects how powerful your spells are and contributes to how much Mana you are able to store. All classes make use of intelligence, and it affects basic things like dodging in combat and performing mental tasks. It can be increased by casting spells, solving puzzles, or performing well in combat.


Agility measures how agile you are, or how well you can move. For thieves this helps for skills like climbing and tightrope walking. For most classes it affects dodging and stamina. It can be increased by performing basic thief actions and dodging in combat.


Vitality measures your ability to take damage and helps determine your stamina and health. It can be inreased by taking damage.


Luck seems to factor into determining a lot of the random events in the game, and comes in handy a great deal for thieves. In the fifth game, for example, if your luck stat is high enough you can avoid being hit by an assassin during one of your quests. It can be increased by almost any action.

Weapon Use

All classes can use some sort of weapon, so that stat measures your ability to strike with it. Along with strength it determines how much damage you can inflict. It can be increased by attacking in combat. In the fifth game this skill is simply changed to "offense" and a defense skill is added for everyone, similar to parry.


Dodge measures the skills with which you can dodge blows in combat. It can be increased by dodging.


This stat only shows up from the games Quest for Glory II to IV. It did not exist in the first game and the fifth game got rid of it. It measures your ability to communicate people and comes in particularly handy when bargaining with them. If you have a low communication skill people may comment on how poorly you speak, and if it is high people may comment on how well you speak. It can be increased simply by talking to people or bargaining with them.


Honor shows up in games Quest for Glory II to V. It measures the number of good deeds your character has performed compared to the number of dishonorable actions. Fighters and Wizards who have high honor in Quest for Glory II can become Paladins, as well as Fighters with high honor in Quest for Glory III. Thieves tend to lose a lot of honor for engaging in their trade. It is possible in Quest for Glory IV to have your honor irrevocably set to zero for performing certain actions such as murdering a character. In Quest for Glory V your honor determines how much characters in the game trust you and how far they would be willing to bargain with you. Honor can be increased by performing honorable actions and decreased by stealing and performing dishonorable actions.

Health Points

Similar to the HP of most games, it measures your current health out of some total determined by strength and vitality. If it reaches zero, the player dies. It can be restored by resting or drinking health potions.

Stamina Points

Stamina is consumed by most basic actions such as fighting, casting spells, running, and throwing things. It can be restored by resting or drinking stamina potions. Trying to perform actions with no stamina lowers the player's health. It is determined by your agility and vitality.

Mana Points

Only available to players with a magic skill. Similar to stamina points, it represents the energy you have available for spellcasting, and each spell drains a particular amount. It is determined by your intelligence and magic.

Puzzle Points

Like most games in the genre, it measure the numbers of quests or optional tasks you have completed by giving you a score for each.


A general attribute which measure how much fighting you've done, and increases as you build your stats in any area.

Fighter Abilities

Fighters rely on brute strength or attacking monsters to get through most puzzles. They have fewer skills and abilities to work with, so they often have to take the most direct route to things.


This ability is native to both fighters and thieves. It allows you to throw rocks which you can pick up for free or daggers which you can purchase or find in many areas. It measures your skill and accuracy in performing these actions, and can be increased simply by throwing things.


Only fighters can perform this skill, and only with a sword. It measures your ability to directly block a blow in combat, and can be increased by performing that action. In the later games this skill is eliminated and a defense skill is given to everyone instead.


Fighters must learn this skill in Quest for Glory IV. It allows them to climb surfaces such as cliffs, trees, or using a rope and grapnel. It can be increased by climbing objects.


Swimming can be learned in the fifth game, and allows the hero to move around quickly underwater. It can be improved simply by practicing it.

Wizard/Magic User Abilities

Magic Users possess very few of the normal skills associated with other players and rely almost exclusively on magical spells to accomplish the tasks they need and to succeed in combat. All magical spells can be increased in skill level simply by repeatedly casting them.


The first ability gained by any magic user. It allows the magic user to magically charge his weapon, so it delivers extra power when it strikes next.


A spell bought in the first game, it allows magic users to open locks, doors, or objects in general which suggest a passage or hidden area. It can often be used for thief like tasks such as breaking into places.

Detect Magic

Another spell from the first game, this allows the player to detect all the magical sources in an area, and can be frequently used to reveal magical objects which can be used or triggered.


A.K.A. Erasmus's Razzle Dazzle from the first game. It can be used to temporarily blind enemies which have eyes so the hero can get away, or to dispel illusions in some cases.


Another first game spell, this calms a particular area with a variety of effects. It can cause monsters to temporarily lose focus so the hero can escape, it can have a similar effect to using a stealth skill in allowing the hero to get through places unnoticed, and it can even put out fires and calm natural forces.

Flame Dart

The wizard's first attack spell, this focuses a firey attack on a single source. It is affected by the reversal spell.


Another first game spell, this lets the wizard grab onto a particular object and bring it to him, usually to pick up things for the inventory.

Force Bolt

The attack spell learned in the second game. Sends a globe of energy at something. It is not as poweful as flame dart but it affects more monsters and can be used to solve certain puzzles which require force. It is also affected by reversal.


This allows the magic user to rise up into the sky or lower himself, but only vertically. It is often used to simulate a climbing action, or to reach things up above. It is learned in the second game.


The last second game spell, it lets the magic user reflect all spells cast directly onto his person. It's used by most skilled wizards in the series, but does not stop area effect spells such as Frost Bite or Dragon Fire.

Juggling Lights

Learned in the third game, this conjures up three lights which the hero can juggle to light up dark areas or dispel illusions.

Lightning Ball

The attack spell from the third game, this throw a ball of lightning at something. It is affected by reversal.

Summon Staff

A spell learned in the third game. This lets the hero summon a magical staff if he possesses one, which augments his mana and increases the power of his spells.

Frost Bite

Katrina's trademark spell from the fourth game, it is an area effect spell which causes immense cold.

Ritual of Release

A throw away spell from the fourth game which is never directly cast, it simply frees the staff of Erana.


Another throwaway spell which lets the hero glide over water, which was removed from the fifth game because it would make questing too easy for magic users.


Baba Yaga's trademark spell from the fourth game, it allows the hero to turn invisible until he moves, letting him escape from monsters or sneak into places in some cases.


A gypsy spell from the fourth game which stops the life draining effects of magical creatures.


A spell of Erana's from the fourth game, which provides additional protection against physical attacks.


Another spell of Erana's from the fourth game, this provides protection against elemental magic attacks.


An offensive spell from the fifth game, this makes a bunch of lights appear to attract the attention of enemies, then it explodes in their face.


Allows the hero to sleep uninterrupted for eight hours to regain mana, stamina, and health.


Makes a magical skull appear which acts like a landmine. If anything approaches it, it detonates and deals damage to whatever is nearby.


Throws an enemy up into the air in a whirlwind, dealing minor damage and incapicitating them temporarily.


Similar to Zap, this increases the power of the next spell you cast.


Temporarily reduces an enemy in size and makes them weaker.

First Aid

Erana's trademark spell, allows the magic user to heal himself using mana.

Dragon Fire

A favorite of Katrina and Ad Avis, this conjures up a dragon to deal massive fire damage as an area affect spell. If not used carefully it can destroy the hero as well.

Thermonuclear Blast

A spell which was attempted by the demon wizard in Quest for Glory III and finds its way into the hands of the famous adventurer in the fifth game. This destroys all life within a ten mile radius, including yourself. But hey, at least you get to go out with a bang.

Thief Abilities

Thieves are able to increase their cash flow by robbing and eventually pickpocketing people, and are able to do more advanced stunts than other characters such as tightrope walking and acrobatics.


This ability is native to both fighters and thieves. It allows you to throw rocks which you can pick up for free or daggers which you can purchase or find in many areas. It measures your skill and accuracy in performing these actions, and can be increased simply by throwing things.


Thieves carry this ability through all games. It allows them to climb surfaces such as cliffs, trees, or using a rope and grapnel. It can be increased by climbing objects.


This measures the Thief's ability to sneak around without being noticed. A player with a high stealth skill will be able to break into houses and steal objects right under the noses of their occupants. It can be increased by using the sneak command.

Pick Locks

This measures the Thief's ability to pick open a lock. As the thief gets more tools after advancing through the games this becomes easier. Interestingly, the wizard's "open" spell also gets the job done about as well at high skill levels. It can be increased by attempting to pick any lock.


An ability which first shows up in Quest for Glory IV, this measures the Thief's ability to performing acrobatic stunts, leap to far away places, and do an acrobatic attack. Later on it helps things like tightrope walking, similar to agility, and performs special attacks. It can be increased by doing any acrobatic skill.


A skill which first shows up in Quest for Glory V, it allows the player to pick the pockets or ordinary pedestrians or major characters in the game. It is a reliable source of income once it is mastered, but can get the player caught and arrested easily. It can be increased by practicing it on people or the pickpocket dummy.

Thief Signs

While not a specific attribute, the thief class is the only one which can make the thief sign to another character to find out whether they are a thief, and the only one which can see and recognize thief signs giving clues to a particular area.

Disarming Traps

This generally involves more skill than experience, so it is not a specific attribute. This task first shows up in Quest for Glory IV, and allows the thief to disarm a trap on a particular object, usually a safe or a lock. Magic users can of course cast "open" on something from a distance, and fighters can be counted on to just bash something open and suffer the consequences.


This is also not a specific attribute, and shows up in Quest for Glory V. The thief gains a weapon which can be used to knock a character out if he sneaks up and attacks from behind.

Paladin Abilities

Paladins gain all the abilities of fighters in addition to whatever class they were before they became a Paladin. Since Magic Users and thieves can initially become Paladins this can make for some interesting combinations, and Paladins automatically learn magic in the later games. This section will only focus on the abilities which are exclusive to the Paladin, the rest can be found in the section under fighters. The first four abilities begin in the third game, the rest are exclusive to the fifth and final game.

Flaming Sword

Allows a Paladin Sword to be filled with blue flame to do extra damage.


Allows the Paladin to heal wounds of himself or others by draining his stamina.

Sense Danger

Allows the Paladin to be warned in advance if there is danger in an area and to recognize its source, provide additional warning in combat situations as well.

Honor Shield

Protects the Paladin from damage in general.

Magic Ward

Protects the Paladin from the effects of magical traps and spells, at a cost to his stamina.

Destroy Undead

A specialized Holy spell for causing damage to undead creatures.


Similar to calm, it makes your enemies temporarily stop fighting.

Sense Aura

Allow you to get an impression of the thoughts and aura of any person or creature.

Holy Strength

Steadily increases your strength stat while it is active.


Allows you to shock and awe enemies into running away.

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