Help me choose my own virtual adventure
May 1, 2009 12:07 PM   Subscribe

This question reminded me that I too would like to rediscover an old computer game I used to play.

In the early nineties a roommate I then had had a copy of a computer game called HeroQuest. From Googling, I know that there are a legion of games called HeroQuest out there. The one I remember was cute and cartoonish rather than graphically detailed, much like this. The hero moved from screen to screen rather than within a maze. The player typed in directions rather than using any kind of joystick, there were different characters, such as Harry the Hermit who 'appily welcomed you to his 'umble abode, and the Village Maid who slapped you if you tried to kiss her, and when the hero ate magic mushrooms in the forest the screen turned psychedelic colours. I liked that it had a narrative and was more about problem solving than about killing ogres and trolls in violent and noisy battles, though the hero sometimes had to do that as well, especially if he got caught out in the forest when the sun set.

I'd like to play, not necessarily this same game, but something like this game. What do you recommend? It needs to be a game I can play on my computer — I don't own a game system of any sort and don't intend to buy one.

You get bonus points if I get to be a daring maid who rescues the prince (if he's worth it) rather than a some dude in breeches who rescues the princess.;-)
posted by orange swan to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (22 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This was actually the first game in the Quest for Glory series. You can find the whole series online if you, wink wink, know where to look. You might also enjoy the other Sierra Quest series--King's Quest, Space Quest, etc.
posted by nasreddin at 12:16 PM on May 1, 2009

Such a brilliant game. The second is a bit slow, but 3 and 4 are as good (or better) than the first.
posted by ellF at 12:17 PM on May 1, 2009

Actually, the QfG series involves the most fighting out of any of them. The rest are all about problem solving. (QfG is an RPG/adventure game, the others are plain adventure games.)
posted by nasreddin at 12:19 PM on May 1, 2009

you don't even need to "wink, wink" to find quest for glory: so you want to be a hero.
posted by nadawi at 12:22 PM on May 1, 2009 [3 favorites]

Thanks, nadawi, just found that myself. Cool! Nothing like getting to indulge a little nostalgia.
posted by orange swan at 12:29 PM on May 1, 2009

HeroQuest denotes a whole realm of RPG (role-playing games) which is probably why you get so many results. For what it's worth, you're probably remembering the HeroQuest from 1991. There are download links on that page there.

Now: I remember loving this kind of game a long time ago when I was young. The game that I loved the most wasn't Legend of Zelda, although that game was probably the chief in the US amongst the first wave of graphical RPG-esque story games. No, I really loved Dragon Warrior I, Dragon Warrior II, and Dragon Warrior III, which saw vastly more success in Japan than they ever did here. I would highly recommend starting with Dragon Warrior II and then moving on to Dragon Warrior III. To play on your computer, all you'd need to do is install a Nintendo emulator (the software equivalent of an old Nintendo system) and google for the 'rom' (which is just the game itself, copied from the cartridge) to download and play.

The Dragon Warrior games are legendary. The story is that when Dragon Warrior 2 came out on a Monday, the schools in Japan were emptied so effectively (everyone wanted to buy the game) that for years after it was against the law to release video games during the week there; to this day, the Japanese often refer to video game cartridges as 'draku,' a reference to the old Dragon Warrior cartridge. They're still probably the biggest video game franchise in Japanese history - the best-selling game for the Playstation, for example, was Dragon Warrior 7. Akira Toriyama, the creator and character designer for Dragon Warrior, is also the guy behind Dragonball Z.
posted by koeselitz at 12:45 PM on May 1, 2009

A more recent, but very funny, favorite in this type of genre is Peasant's Quest from Homestar Runner.
posted by JibberJabber at 1:10 PM on May 1, 2009

I know you asked about QFG I: So You Want To Be A Hero, but in case you want more once you've finished it, QFG II: Trial By Fire was recently recreated by AGDI, you can download it here.
posted by Whirlipig at 12:20 AM on May 2, 2009

Okay, I don't know if anyone will see or answer this, but now I am having much trouble trying to actually get the game installed on my computer.

I can download the file and unzip it without problems.

I've also downloaded DOSBox, mounted a C: drive on it, and run install in that. So far so good, but when I try to run qg1old.bat there as nadawi's link suggests, I get a message that says "unable to change to QG1Old" and it won't let me type in anything after that.

Then I followed the advice of a guy named Charles in this thread, and installed VDMSound. Then I ran Sierra with VDMS as he said to. This resulted in my getting a VDMS Launchpad window with the message "Loading 'VDDLoader.dll'... and then nothing. It just sits there.

I can't figure out what I am supposed to do now. Please phrase any advice in simple terms as I am apparently an even bigger technotard than I thought.
posted by orange swan at 1:44 PM on May 2, 2009

Try D-Fend, it has a wizard that sets everything up for you and generally works pretty well. I think I managed to get QFG1 to run under it at some point, although I'm not sure.
posted by nasreddin at 4:58 PM on May 2, 2009

Okay, so I've tried D-Fend... and again I'm getting the "unable to change to qg1old" message [slams head repeatedly against keyboard].
posted by orange swan at 7:10 PM on May 2, 2009

what is your setup? OS?
posted by nadawi at 2:24 PM on May 3, 2009

I am so not a computer person I don't even know what the specs are for my computer. All I know is that I have a PC and MS Office 2003 for Windows.
posted by orange swan at 5:26 AM on May 4, 2009

you should have an icon that says "my computer". right click on it, click on properties. you should get a window that says "system" under that it should have your OS - windows xp, vista, windows 98, something like that.
posted by nadawi at 8:14 PM on May 5, 2009

Ah ha. Microsoft Windows XP.
posted by orange swan at 9:45 PM on May 7, 2009

When you start up DOSBOX, does it say "Z:\>" ?
If so, you need to type "mount C C:\QG1" (Except instead of "C:\QG1" you'll need to put the drive letter and directory of wherever it is that you installed Quest For Glory). Then type "c:". That should bring up the C prompt instead of the Z prompt.

If you've put QG1 somewhere awkward like "C:\Program Files\Stuff I Downloaded From the Internet\That Old DOS Game\", do yourself a big favour and delete it and re-install it directly off a drive like C: (you probably don't have any other drives than C that aren't DVDs or the like).

Now type "QG1Old.Bat" and you should be good to go.

Oh yeah, go back and download the manual. It will ask you things like "what's the longest adverb on p45?" at crucial moments in order to test whether you actually bought the thing or not.
posted by GeckoDundee at 8:26 AM on May 9, 2009

I''ve mounted the directory and switched to the C: drive a number of times, GeckoDundee. But when I type "QG1Old.Bat" I just keep getting "unable to change to QG1Old.Bat".
posted by orange swan at 8:38 PM on May 10, 2009

Mount the directory, then change to the c: drive (just type "c:").

Type "Dir" (or "Dir/p" to be able to stop and start the results scrolling past) to see what's in that directory. Look for the directory that "QG1Old.Bat" is in. ("cd /directory name" to change to sub-directories).

You need to be in the same sub-directory as "QG1Old.Bat". Once "dir" shows a list of files and directories including QG1Old.Bat you should be able to run it.

Can you see QG1Old.Bat listed at any stage?
posted by GeckoDundee at 8:48 PM on May 10, 2009

After I mount the directory, change to the c: drive, and look at the directory listing, I do see the qg1old.bat in there. It looks to me like it's in the main directory. Still won't run.

But here's something that may be significant.... though I mount the directory c:\hero successfully, I cannot get into the c:hero directory by typing cd /hero at the c: prompt.
posted by orange swan at 9:58 PM on May 10, 2009

Ok, my mistake. Try "cd hero" (no slashes). You should now see "c:\HERO>_". Dir should show QG1Old.Bat, and typing "QG1Old.Bat" should get it to run.
posted by GeckoDundee at 10:28 PM on May 10, 2009

Okay, it's working, albeit without sound. I don't have the slightest idea what I did right. I just clicked on the damn thing in "my computer/c/hero" and it fired up. Thanks all!
posted by orange swan at 10:50 PM on May 10, 2009

Hope you can get QFG/Hero's Quest working with sound, orange swan. I remember the soundtrack for QFG1 (and a lot of other Sierra game music) quite well and still it in my music collection (with fond memories of "Erana's Peace" and getting there just when my character needed to rest). I guess if all else fails, you can at least download the music and listen to it.

You get bonus points if I get to be a daring maid who rescues the prince (if he's worth it) rather than a some dude in breeches who rescues the princess.;-)

The very first Sierra adventure game I remember playing was "King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella" in which the protagonist (Rosella) isn't a maid, but a princess who must save the kingdom. Since it's in the King's Quest series, it's a very puzzle-based adventure game set in a fantasy world.

My all-time favorite classic Sierra adventure game (certainly the one I played the most, back in the day) is "The Colonel's Bequest" -- you play journalism student/amateur detective Laura Bow in the Flapper era and try to stop a serial murderer while on vacation at a friend's relative's estate. There was also a sequel "Laura Bow Mystery" game later on called "The Dagger of Amon-Ra" which takes place at a museum, but I don't think I ever played through that game completely.

Years ago, Sierra released a multi-CD game pack called "The Roberta Williams Anthology" which included all of the early Sierra adventure games created by Roberta Williams, including the above titles and the entire King's Quest series up to KQ7. I highly recommend it, if you can find a used copy at a decent price (i.e. not what the going price currently is from Amazon sellers!).

As linked earlier by Whirlipig, AGD Interactive has also remade King's Quest I and II. Definitely should give those (and QFG2) a try. I have not played through the QFG2 remake, but I did play the KQ1 and KQ2 remakes and a few years ago and enjoyed them (I do remember liking KQ2 more). In fact there's been another update of their KQ remakes recently, so I may end up giving them another whirl at some point. An additional incentive for these remakes (aside from the updated, much prettier graphics/music/gameplay) is that they were developed for modern systems, so you should be able play them right out of the box, so to speak.

For much shorter adventure games made relatively recently (released this decade), I really enjoyed "Apprentice" (download the "Deluxe" version) and its sequel, "Apprentice II: The Knight's Move" from Herculean Effort Productions. I think they're whimsical, fun, and have really wonderful soundtrack music. And they're free. The second game is longer that the first, IIRC.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 11:09 PM on May 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

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