Hero's Quest: So You Want to Be a Hero (later re-released as Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero because of trademark issues involving the HeroQuest boardgame) is an adventure game/role-playing game hybrid, designed by Lori Ann Cole and published by Sierra On-line. It is the first game in the Quest for Glory series. Hero's Quest I has been credited for being a genre-defining game, as it tried to mix graphical adventure gaming with role-playing-like elements such as statistic building (strength, intelligence, health) that would actually have an impact on the ability to accomplish certain parts of the game. (Beyond Zork had done the same for text adventures two years earlier.)
In the valley barony of Spielburg, the evil ogress Baba Yaga has cursed the land and the baron who tried to drive her off. His children have disappeared, while the land is ravaged by monsters and brigands. The Valley of Spielburg is in need of a Hero able to solve these problems.
The game follows the Hero (Devon Aidendale in the novelized Authorized strategy guide), who in the game is a customized adventurer whose name and class is chosen by player, on his journey into the land; he must help people and become a proclaimed Hero.
The adventurer battles monsters, solves side quests (such as finding lost items and spell ingredients) and helps fantasy creatures such as a dryad, a hermit and a colourful collection of furry creatures called Meeps. Fulfilling quests will grant him experience and money, which he may use to buy equipment and potions. The game is open ended, which means the player can explore all the game at once and solve the quests in what order seems convenient to them. During the quest, the character also meets recurring series characters such as the wizard Erasmus and his familiar Fenrus (or perhaps the other way around), and first hears tales of the benevolent faery Erana.
While the game can be completed without solving the secondary quests, in the optimal ending, which nets the player the maximum score and serves as canon for the remainder of the series, the player frees the baronet from a powerful curse and thwarts the plans of the witch Baba Yaga. Finally, the adventurer frees the baron's daughter, Elsa von Spielburg, from the curse which had transformed her into the brigand leader. By doing so, the adventurer fulfills a prophecy, restores Spielburg Valley to prosperity, and is awarded the title of Hero.
After this, the Hero, along with the merchant Abdulla Doo and the innkeepers Shameen and Shema, leaves on a magic carpet for Shapeir, the homeland of the three, setting the plan for the sequel, Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire.