The Royal "We" you say! Oh I get it now! *facepalm*
After having rescued the Baronet from captivity at the end of my last session, I was very keen to go straight to the castle and collect my reward. On entering the castle grounds, the two guards blew trumpets to announce my arrival, and then told me that “the Baron von Spielburg and Baronet await you in the great hall.” (10 points) As you would expect, the Baron was extremely grateful to have his son returned to him, and while the Baronet himself continued in his arrogant manner, he was persuaded by his father to also express his gratitude. A few of you have responded to my confusion around why the Baronet speaks as though he is more than one person. Apparently that’s something that royalty does (ie. the royal "we"), but the joke clearly passed over my head.
That's probably true. How about gold? Will that work for you?
Before giving me my reward and sending me on my way, the Baron expressed his hope that I might also find his daughter Elsa and defeat the brigands in the fortress far to the south. You might recall that I didn’t come across the brigand fortress while mapping out the game area, nor did I have enough gold to convince Bruno to tell me its whereabouts. Had I just missed a screen during my exploration? The Baron talked about a rumour that “there is another way into their fortress”, but he had no further information on the topic, so I left it alone. I asked the Baron stacks of questions about all the remaining quests, but didn’t get anything I didn’t already know. (3 points) The guards gave me my reward on the way out of the castle, and I eagerly began counting my coins (ie. I looked at the inventory screen). 62 gold coins and 112 silver coins! That was more than enough to get that chainmail armour I desperately wanted!
I'm rich!!! Now for the famous bit!
I made a beeline straight for Spielburg, and more specifically, the dry goods store. The shopkeeper very helpfully gave me a 50 silver trade-in discount for my leather armour, and handed over the chainmail armour (3 points). Feeling invulnerable, I decided to go and find this damn brigand camp that had evaded me thus far. The Baron had said it was far to the south, so south I went, eventually arriving at the screen with the Antwerp. I should also mention that I defeated a brigand in battle on the way, gaining some silver and a point for the effort (1 point). The Antwerp seemed to serve no purpose, but maybe I was wrong about that! I then noticed there was a rock behind the bizarre creature that looked a little unusual. Checking it out closer, I discovered “a keyhole concealed in a crack in the rock”. Was this the secret entrance into the fortress that the Baron hinted at? Regardless, I had no key to open the door, and no amount of strength seemed to budge it. I decided to focus on the Antwerp.
Where the hell is the key to this lock? How did I miss it?
It seems that everyone else fought the kobold in the cave by typing “fight” rather than throwing rocks at him from a distance, so I tried typing “fight” here. Rather humorously, my character went through a lengthy and impressive warm-up routine in preparation for the battle, only for the Antwerp to bounce up in the air and off-screen as soon as I took a swipe at it. As soon as I made my way onto another screen, the Antwerp would come crashing down on top of me, crushing me into a pancake. Hmmmm...was there a way to change the outcome? I restored and tried again, only this time I typed “use sword” just before the Antwerp came crashing down on me. This caused my character to point the sword straight up, piercing the Antwerp and causing it to explode! Rather than killing it though, this just caused it to split into five smaller Antwerps. I gained no points for such a brilliant manoeuvre, so I really have no idea what the point of it was, apart from great entertainment.
Oh stop it! I'm BURSTing with laughter! My sides are SPLITting! etc. etc. Who's to blame for this Corey and was there a point to it? ;)
I went in search of another entrance to the brigand fortress, only to discover that I’d simply failed to completely map the game area earlier on. For some reason I’d failed to notice that I could go south a couple of screens east of the Antwerp! Going south and then west brought me to a rather daunting scene. Stacks of brigands were waiting for me there, either with spears or bows. Since I had no idea where to find the key that would let me in the back way, I decided to have a go at beating the odds and running the gauntlet. Thankfully I saved my game, as I didn’t survive very long. I could run straight through the middle without getting hit by arrows. I could then jump over the logs and get into combat with the three brigands with spears. Beating them was simply beyond my current stats though, so I realised I was going to have to go do some grinding if I was going to take this approach.
Oh this brigand fortress!!!! Why didn't you say so?
I won’t bore you with the details of exactly what I did for the next hour, but it involved fighting multitudes of goblins on the screen where they’re sneaking about, throwing daggers at the target leaning against the castle wall, and fighting and eventually defeating every creature I could find in the game. I got to the point where I could very easily defeat six goblins in a row without breaking a sweat, and while defeating some of the more difficult creatures of the night was more challenging, they too would fall to my mighty sword. I gained a heap of coin for my efforts, but more importantly I built my stats up to a level where I felt comfortable that I could go toe to toe with anything the game could throw at me. I got points for killing a saurus, a troll, a cheetaur and a saurus rex (13 points), and I also got points for taking a troll’s beard and some cheetaur claws to the healer, completing that quest (4 points). With close to 100 for agility and vitality, a throwing stat of 100, and over 75 for both weapon use and dodge, I felt ready to take on the fortress!
Now I finally have the skills to match my ego!
I was ready too, and was able to brush off those pesky brigands fairly easily to make my way past the gauntlet screen. What I found on the next screen had me doubting myself somewhat though. A Minotaur was guarding the door to the fortress proper, and there seemed no way to avoid battle with it. The first couple of attempts ended with me dying without hardly making a scratch to it, so I didn’t feel all that confident that I was going to be able to take him down. Eventually however, I figured out there was a pattern to his attacks, so if I could get the timing just right with my dodge and thrust, I could avoid the majority of his blows while getting plenty of mine in for damage. I felt great satisfaction when I defeated him (5 points), and felt like all the training was totally worthwhile. I searched the body and discovered 50 silvers hidden inside its flail.
Come On, You Know
(Bad Bad-Really, Really Bad)
(Bad Bad-Really, Really Bad)
With no apparent way to get through the fortress door, I reverted to the typical fighter approach (no, not throwing rocks at it). I typed “force gate” and watched as my character literally charged and flung himself at the gate at full speed, peeling away like a pancake back to the ground. It worked though, as the gate slowly creaked open. I entered (8 points) and found myself in a rather innocuous looking room. Knowing it must be more than it appeared, I saved my game and started investigating. There was a note on the carpet in front of me that said “step here”, so I did exactly that, knowing it must be a trap. It was, and I fell into a hole and received a game over screen. Clearly this entire screen was booby trapped, so was I was going to have to have my wits about me. I’m pretty sure I set off every trap in the room, including causing a jack in the box to pop up and alert the guards who shot arrows into me, walking across the wrong plank to bridge the gap (this time I was supposed to use the one with the note saying “cross here” rather than avoiding it), and breaking the trip wire between the two barriers (causing an Antwerp to fall on me), but eventually I got through (8 points).
Haha...I'm not going to fall for that one twiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.........
The next screen was clearly another setup, with nothing but an unconscious drunk on the table to suggest anything was going to occur there. The scene turned out to be a pretty funny one, but it relied too much on trial and error than actual logic for my liking. Failing to lock and bar the door behind me resulted in a game over. Failing to push the chair in front of the right hand door resulted in a game over. Failing to kick the candelabra in front of “the three stooges” resulted in a game over. Failing to climb on the table at exactly the right time resulted in a game over. Doing them all in the right order at the right time resulted in an entertaining scene though, with my character swinging around the guards from up on the table and the chandelier falling on top of them. Fun...but it reminded me of the brainless trial and error of Dragon’s Lair too much to be a truly rewarding scene. (8 points)
Admiring my handiwork. Damn I'm awesome!
Onto the next screen, which was one I vividly remembered from my younger years! In fact, I felt a bit concerned when I arrived, as I remember being stuck on this screen for a long, long time, and possibly even getting help from a friend to pass it. Once again it’s a bit of an obstacle course, albeit one that makes no physical sense whatsoever. Walk through a door and reappear out of another on the other side of the room. Fall into the gap and reappear rolling out of the door at the back of the room. Everything seemed to be a trap, and it didn’t help that the little guy called Me (clearly Yorick, the Baron’s jester who went looking for Elsa) kept throwing items at me in an attempt to knock me off the walkways. Eventually I got a bit sick of him and went to throw a dagger at him. Seeing what I was up to, he disappeared through an exit, leaving me to concentrate on getting through the “maze”. The solution was actually quite straight forward (take the right door, then pull the chain, then go through the door marked “secret entrance”, then avoid the falling fake door and go through the real one). (12 points)
Yorick is like a mix between Dracula and John Travolta. Scary indeed!
It was at this stage that I realised I was about to finish the game! I’d entered the fortress with about 281 points out of 500, so at that stage I’d figured there was still a fair bit to do, but I was gaining points rapidly now and reaching an undoubtable climax. The next room contained stacks of treasure, but more importantly, the brigand leader was there. One look at her confirmed my suspicions that Elsa was the brigand leader, so before she could say or do anything, I used the dispel potion (35 points). She transformed before my very eyes into an apparently fine looking young woman, and one that was very happy to no longer have to be a brigand. It’s not exactly clear why anyone would want to place an enchantment on the Baron’s daughter to make her behave badly, but I guess it would make it very hard for anyone to do anything about the gang as they wouldn’t want to do her harm.
So...you're 18 right?
Elsa thanked me for freeing her and announced her intentions to go “home to her father and get his guards to capture the rest of the brigands before they manage to escape with the treasure.” Before she did that though, she invited Yorick in an told him excitedly that she was now herself again. I have to question Yorick’s motives. He clearly knew that Elsa was with the brigands all along and made life very difficult for me to rescue her. He’s also clearly the brigand warlock whose identity I was supposed to discover, yet I feel like there’s something I’ve failed to do with him. Anyway, Elsa and Yorick used a magic amulet to transport themselves back to the castle, but not before informing me that there were two healing potions in the desk (which I forgot to collect) and a mirror on it. I picked up the mirror (10 points) and left through the secret entrance that Yorick had used to come into the room. I have to admit that I struggled to find the secret entrance for quite a while, having failed to take notice of where Yorick came from, but eventually found it.
"This" secret passageway you say. Did you want to be a little bit more specific than that? Pointing works I hear!
With the magic mirror now in my possession, I headed straight for Baba Yaga’s hut, eager to make her suffer. As soon as she tried to turn me into a frog, I used the mirror to reflect the spell onto the witch herself. (50 points) Obviously she wasn’t impressed, and desperate to survive, she transported me outside of the house, which then flapped its wings and took flight (yes, the house)! Baba Yaga was gone, and I was a true hero! Before I could do anything else, I was transported to a ceremony where my exploits were celebrated (25 points). Pretty much every character in the game was there, including at least one that I’d defeated in battle (the Minotaur). A neat outro showed me in a very heroic pose, before Kattas (from the Hero’s Tale Inn), Abdulla Doo (who I don't recognise but if you're going to have a magic carpet...) and I got on a magic carpet and left the valley looking for further adventure. Hero’s Quest finishes with a small promotion for its sequel, Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire. I’m super keen, but have many games to get through before that happens.
So she should be! The good old salt and pepper look just doesn't work for amphibians!
Well, I’ve finished my beloved Hero’s Quest! Did it live up to my expectations? Yes, I think it did. It’s not without its flaws, and I think I probably highlighted them by playing such a limited character, but for sheer entertainment and charm, the game is an absolute gem. I don’t have any idea how the PISSED rating will turn out, but I intend to find out exactly where my missing 63 points are, and also what a thief or a magic user would go through to finish the game. My first stop will be Chet’s blog to read through his experience and then perhaps some sort of walkthrough to pick up any loose threads. How am I going to go from Hero’s Quest to Emmanuelle!? Well...I’ll at least try to make it entertaining for you guys, even if it most likely won’t be for me!
Minotaur! So glad you could make it! I'm really sorry about...you know...killing you and stuff.
Session Time: 4 hours 00 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 00 minutes