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HeroQuest NES, the game that doesn't exist.

PostPosted: Friday May 1st, 2009 1:38pm
by drathe
A couple years ago I came across some information about a HeroQuest game for the NES. I know Gremlin produced HeroQuest games and a Witch Lord expansion for Commodore 64, Amiga and PC, but all the info that I found said the NES version that was in the works never made it to retail.


I've been playing around with this cartridge I recently obtained on Shayla's NES (since I don't have an NES of my own :( ). Thus far, it appears to be a prototype that hasn't even made the beta stages. There are a few bugs we discovered so far. For one, the Barbarian only has 1 Body Point. The rules seem to be that of the European HeroQuest with all monsters having only 1BP as well. The Armoury also contains the Cloak, Hand Axe and Spear. The game also has a rather fun glitch that Shayla discovered. Normally, when using the cursor or arrow map to move, you can't move past another Hero, but you can click squares on the board map to move past them. The glitch however, is that you can actually click any square/area on the board map and instantly move there without using your movement roll. You can explore rooms with unopened doors, attack monsters and warp away to avoid being attacked on Morcar's turn and warp to and from 'solid rock' areas.

In the game you're able to search for treasure in the corridors as well as rooms. In fact, since the entire corridor isn't present on screen all at once, only in sections at at time, you can actually search each section. You can exit the quest with all the gold you find, go to the Armoury, purchase equipment and then start the quest anew with your new equipment.

The game is kind of tough. You can play one character, two characters, or have two people play one character each. Only two Heroes at the most. There is only one Shield type, so Monsters are difficult to kill even though they only have one Body Point.

I'll be exploring the game more in the next week and creating a page at Ye Olde Inn with plenty of images. The game also has one bonus. The Witch Lord expansion is included!

Re: HeroQuest NES, the game that doesn't exist.

PostPosted: Friday May 1st, 2009 3:30pm
by Milk
I came across a ROM for this game a while back but never got around to trying it out. Hmm, I guess I should go and fire up my emulator and see what it's like.

Re: HeroQuest NES, the game that doesn't exist.

PostPosted: Saturday May 9th, 2009 12:31am
by drathe
Unless Chaos Unleashed has a surprise release this weekend (Phoenix seems to have the map problem fixed, just a couple minor edits and it's done!), I'll be getting the NES page online probably late Sunday night. Until then, enjoy a couple images and an mp3.


Had I a video-in card for ol'Compy here, I'd have much better shots. Extra special thanks to Shayla for assisting me in the collection of these images.

Edit: MP3s removed. Found the full 5 song soundtrack on Neil Baldwin's (composer) Website.

More Screenshots in the NES Gallery

Re: HeroQuest NES, the game that doesn't exist.

PostPosted: Sunday June 7th, 2009 1:33am
by drathe
In Game Music MP3 added to above post.

More unique bugs were discovered. When talking a potion, say Heroic Brew, you may attack twice during your attack phase. This lasts until the next time you take another potion. Works for Strength and Defence too.

This game has been found impossible to beat. The odds of striking a Chaos Warrior or Gargoyle once is extremely rare, even with a Battle Axe. All Shields are white shields. Both for Heroes and Monsters. The best way to deal with these beasts is with fire magic. Even then, there's a chance they will survive.

The Witch Lord is impossible to defeat, in either the Game System or Return of the Witch Lord. His six defence rarely rolls less than 5 shields, and I've yet see it drop below 4. The Spirit Blade only rolls two combat die against the Witch Lord (even though he should technically count as undead and receive two more attack dice against him). The Witch Lord is totally immune to magic in both the Game System and the Return of the Witch Lord finalé.

It would have been fun to see this game void of bugs, complete, polished and released. Our community may have been even bigger right now.

Re: HeroQuest NES, the game that doesn't exist.

PostPosted: Wednesday July 15th, 2009 3:02am
by Milk
So I started playing my ROM of this game today. First thing I noticed: the Main Titles Theme kicks some serious ass!! However, the rest of the music is downright monotonous and irritating. Beyond that, I decided to give it a go playing 1 player with 2 heroes. Nope - Total Fail..... Not sure if the cartridge is like this as well - afterall, I have what appears to be the cleanest verified ROM you can get of it, but basically you can move, attack, whatever with the first Hero and then when you hit the NEXT (or N) button, the game screen flips through various coloured pages ala 2600 game fry and then bugs the board and renders movement or actions null (menu buttons become inactive - only the N button works), however, after flipping back to the 1st Hero's turn, the screen returns to normal and the cycle begins anew. So basically, 1st Hero is playable, 2nd Hero is not.
Ok, so I hard reset the emulator and started over: 1 player, 1 Hero. Hooray! It works!
My god, this game is @$*%&#* hard!!! This whole, no black shield - all defense rolls are made with white shields is total bull! If it wasn't for the ability to exit and reenter quests, I'd say F this and toss it. I've only played The Trial and the first Orc is just slaughtering me. Thank goodness you can keep searching for treasure everytime you reenter the quests so you can buy some worthwhile weaponry and armour - but wait, worthwhile you say? What the hell is up with the shortsword only giving me 1 attack die!? That ain't cool..... That was 150 gold down the drain. Maybe I should have just bought The Helmet. That's right, "The" with a capital "T". Classic.
Seriously though, what's the point of buying a weapon that doesn't give you any sort of advantage whatsoever? I mean, even the Staff allows a diagonal attack. Come on! Oh, and yes, I did equip it.
Well, all in all, for a game that was pre-beta / beta / whatever - basically non-existent - it's got a good Title track. And that's all I'm gonna say. Well, that and I guess the following: understanding that, yes, this is a beta game (never finished and so on) it's finished enough to see what the final product would most likely have been. Frankly, I'm not impressed. I think they could have done much better. I suppose it's cool that that tried to adhere to the original intent of the HQ rules as closely as they did, but where they strayed, they shouldn't have and they could have, or should have, where they didn't. At least that's my opinion. It's interesting that they have all of the Game System + RoTWL quests, but again, I think it would have been much cooler if they made all new quests. I guess what I wanted was something that was HeroQuest, yet at the same time, I felt like I was seeing something new - and not just a early, primitive form of what Hjortskov eventually offered up with HQ Game Master. Essentially: if I wanted to play HQ, then I'll just play HQ - I don't need a TV screen for this.

Well, after all this ranting - don't get me wrong, it's all very cool that this even exists (in any sort of manner): HQ on the NES - two great things in a single package. And in case anyone's wondering - I'm gonna keep playing and attempt to finish the game as it has now fallen into my list of games that I find so irksome for one reason or another that I just have to finish it, or die trying......

Re: HeroQuest NES, the game that doesn't exist.

PostPosted: Wednesday July 15th, 2009 7:39am
by drathe
Milk wrote: Essentially: if I wanted to play HQ, then I'll just play HQ - I don't need a TV screen for this.

You hit the nail directly on the head!

Your 2 player bug is described very similar to the warp bug. When you move a character using the map to a place on the board that's not built into the quest, that's exactly what happens. You can only "next-up!" or open the map and point to another area and move there instead. Then you can attack, etc.

My personal opinion is... It's a great novelty to have, but a tripe to play. Stick to the table top.

Re: HeroQuest NES, the game that doesn't exist.

PostPosted: Saturday November 7th, 2009 1:12pm
by drathe
For those interested in finding out what this rare game is like, there is a Website with a flash version of the game (all glitches included).

Check it out!

Re: HeroQuest NES, the game that doesn't exist.

PostPosted: Thursday June 10th, 2010 9:21am
by AerynB
Wow! I'm glad this thread was here. I saw a listing on ebay this morning for the HeroQuest NES game for $35 Buy it Now and Free Shipping. I was so excited, I'd be able to play HQ whenever I want, all by myself. But thanks to this thread, the game's probably just a collector's item, something to put on the shelf and look at. See, I'm not much for being challenged too much. :oops: It sounds like it's basically a solo-quest with beefed up monsters and that doesn't sound like fun to me. Oh well.

Anyway, thank you, Ye Olde Inn, for being around and saving me $35. You're the bestest!

Re: HeroQuest NES, the game that doesn't exist.

PostPosted: Thursday June 10th, 2010 11:49am
by el_flesh
Isn't there a PC version of HQ you can get off the net? I seem to remember it...

Re: HeroQuest NES, the game that doesn't exist.

PostPosted: Thursday June 10th, 2010 12:06pm
by drathe
Several. I'm sure you can find every iteration from all the different computers that were on the market back in '91.