QFG VI: So I want to be a Hero (Again)

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I got introduced to one of Sierra On-line’s greatest text-based adventures soon after it came out. It was a game called “Hero’s Quest: So you want to be a Hero”. This came out in the age of RGB and EGA graphics. But like the other “Quest” games of Sierra’s late 80’s and early 90’s offerings — it drew you in. It made you think. It forced you to solve puzzles in creative and entertaining ways in order to move forward in the game.

“Hero’s Quest” was forced to be renamed “Quest for Glory” due to a copyright-trademarking thingiemabob by way of Milton Bradley which had just released it’s own boardgame “Hero Quest” and had a concept for a video game (that I never saw released, by the way). Whatever the case, the series remained entertaining, challenging, goofy and fun during the 1990’s.

It’s been 10 years since Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire was released. I’ve already stated my opinion on that one and can say that it becomes more tolerable as you go (but still a sharp contrast to the previous four games from the series). That’s not the point of this post. The point really is: When, if ever, will we get to start adventuring again?

And how?

The first difficulty that comes to mind when I think of a Quest for Glory 6 (Quest for Glory Six, Quest for Glory VI. I’m cheating with the search engines to get some attention here) is how much the gaming world has changed in the 10 year span between games. Could Quest for Glory survive in a Worlds of Warcraft world? I personally don’t want to be involved in a mass player online role playing version of QFG. There’s one Hero and one Hero alone and that’s the guy we’ve led through the first five games. QFG V tried having an online version where people could play as the Rites of Rulership characters (Elsa, Gort, Magnum Opus, Keeno Pokeeno and of course their own Hero) with their friends… But I don’t know what ever happened to that… Or how it worked out in the end.

That being said, there are several other games that probably could be compared and contrasted to with regards to the QFG series and what it’s up against if a sequel were to be pushed forward now (or any time soon) and that’s one hurdle to overcome.

Secondly, we have some logistics that need to be clarified or rectified in any new game. Dragon Fire ended with your character having achieved any number of goals: you could have been named King of Silmaria, you could have walked away from the crown (if you were a Paladin, that may be the right recourse for you). You may be married to a former Harem girl in Nawar, a former Vampire in Katrina, Fairy-mage Erana or warrior Elsa Von Spielburg. Or not married at all if you so chose. So a setting of where things start and outcomes with your better-halves would have to be the first step in any story…

Of course, there are countless numbers of “this could happen” and “it could take place here!” options out there for a setting in the game. Though folklore of Arabia and Europe have been covered, there is more out. That’s a simple aspect I would think: to chose where and when. Dragon Fire had laid some groundwork for an India-Buddhist themed place, but that’s not a given.

But really, is there a market for another QFG game? Is there enough interest from the fan base (and general gaming community which has grown to astronomical proportions in 10 years time) to support another Quest for Glory game? Or a spin off for that matter?

That, and just what has to transpire to get Lori and Cory Cole moving on a project to see their beloved franchise re-energized?

We’ve seen movie series’ rebooted in recent years (James Bond franchise, the Batman franchise), but we’ve also seen long dormant franchises put out a sequel (Indiana Jones, Die Hard) and still pack people in.

The desire for a sequel is out there on the web, and it’s not like the Cole’s have disappeared from existence or dropped all ties to the QFG Realm. But there needs to be a driving force behind it and a framework to make it happen…

Can QFG thrive in a WoW universe? I think that’s the question that keeps the franchise dormant. Finding it’s niche and originality in the current gaming market is vital to move the concept for a sequel from wishful-thinking from the fans to something tangible.

There’s a loyal fan base out there to drive it. But is there interest from the top to actually make such a project happen?

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8 Responses to QFG VI: So I want to be a Hero (Again)

  1. paukie

    I predict twitter will preclude your use of mmorpg’s.


  2. Aaron

    I think it could. If it follows the same 3rd person action
    most of the current games are taking. I think Fallout 3 would
    be a prime example of how it could work. That games great and
    could so be converted into a QFG style game. It’s almost
    exactly the same really.

  3. paulie

    who’s paukie?

  4. Jeff

    They could pull it off. But here is what they need for the current game market:

    More Open-Ended Gameplay
    More Action
    More Character Customization
    Choices affect the story.

    For us Old fans:

    Good Jokes
    Better Puzzles than QFG V
    And Combat that doesn’t suck (Perhaps ala Final Fantasy/ KOTOR with the round actions)

  5. You know, it’s been a few months since the last comment but some of what Jeff suggested gave me an idea: Why not just re-release Quest for Glory with all 5 previous games mixed into one staged adventure — where you can journey between lands, between quests, etc?

    Of course, if you start in Morandavia (QFGIV) you’re going to get killed because your character does not have the points to deal with those enemies… But it allows you to revisit stories and keep going.

  6. bob

    The problem with this is: this would require creativity and a lot of companies out there, don’t go for that anymore. It would require imagination and thinking and a lot of gamers don’t like that anymore. The budgets would be huge, the teams would have to be huge. You would have to get the right people, with the right amount of passion, love and vision for a project like this. Not somebody that makes or plays just FPS games. I personally, if I were in charge of the project, would only put together a certain team of people because I wouldn’t want anybody fucking it up. (pardon my french) but look at what happened to Leisure Suit Larry-that franchise was killed on purpose (I think) Three crappy games in a row. You would also have to find the right developer to develop the engine to breathe life into the whole thing.

    Also look at it from this standpoint: The management of Sierra won’t touch the old classics because they are so good and the newer games are crap. So this is kind of an embarrassment to the management. Because they fired at least 5000 employees and closed down the Oakhurst offices. NOBODY LIKES BOX OFFICE BUST! Big corporations like to think they know everything because they hire market researchers and top psychologists and such to help determine which direction business will go. I think this is what happened with Sierra, the jumped on a band wagon and got bit in the butt. I think that company will never reach the caliber where it once was.

    Times have changed and if somebody did release a Quest for Glory now; it WOULD probably end up being another boring MMORPG, with all the cliche. Uggghhh-I just got the taste of vomit in my throat. I’m glad I swapped Eion for Batman: Arkham Asylum. 🙂

    Even if they released a Phantasmagoria III or a GK IV-which could be done; it would take some getting used to because this generation is different. You could easily incorporate elements of suspense/horror/survival/mystery into both potential games. I do not believe though; that something like this will ever be done by Sierra. The rights would have to be procured by another company. they could do it but THEY WON’T. Clearly, there is greed here; they hold the intellectual property rights and for what? They aren’t doing anything with them, won’t release them as freeware or put the older games on the psn stor, XBL or Wii Ware. By holding the rights and not doing anything: they are saying “screw you” to the people that developed those games and laughing about it-claiming credit for work they didn’t even do. They would probably put some zombie or something in GK IV and you would have to smash it with a baseball bat or shoot it with a gun. More cliche. They don’t want to take the risk because of the money involved in it. The game business nowadays rely on consistency and on the dependability that they can put out the same thing, but make it slightly different and people will eat it up. Although I suppose the same could be said throughout video game history. Still the older games seemed to have an element of character-but then; we were younger, weren’t we?

    I often thought about a QFG 6 and I think what I would do; is allow the allotted time to have passed in the universe, 10 years and the hero, based on certain choices and class; would have different paths-separate stories, each taking place in a different part of the world, yet somehow; all connected.

    The hero would have matured-he’d look different, longer hair, rougher features. Logically, the thief for example (I always thought) would head to a place like Japan-where he would learn Ninjitsu and perhaps acquire skills such as hypnotism. Instead of the old outfit: I would give him a shinobi, hoodless of course, for nostalgia sake. Imagine the prince of persia engine, be utilized by the Prince Of Shapier as a Ninja. Pretty cool, huh? This would be stealth-based optional gameplay as well. I mean REAL stealth, like MGS.

    For the fighter: I would again, change the look and allow the allotted time to pass. Instead of a fighter, he becomes a Warrior, or a gladiator. I suppose his story would start in a place such as Ancient Greece or Rome, maybe as a slave or prisoner.

    The magic user would again be transformed into a sorcerer; and he would learn the ways of the universe, energy, quantum mechanics, dimensional stuff/ I’d even throw in elements of extra terrestrial contact and such.

    For the Paladin, I would do something akin to stories of the arch angels, heaven and such. Perhaps the Paladin has ascended and become a divine protector of the Earth and it’s creatures. I do not know that you would call that though.

    I have been kicking these ideas around for years in my noodle-but I do not believe we will see anything from QFG again or at least in the near future. The risk is too great and I do not think a company like Sierra would ever take it

    • Sorry for the delay having your comment approved Bob. That was an EPIC comment! 🙂

      Not to focus on the industry aspects here (I agree with you) but about the game aspects: I think Japan and the far east actually could be a host for all four characters. Paladin would align with the Samurai. What you’d already stated with the Thief holds true perfectly. A fighter/warrior would associate with mongols in one way or another. And there are so many aspects about mysticism and magic out of the far east that a little of everything could be siphoned off there. Buddhism, Hinduism, direct magic stuff from China,etc.