Had my 11-year-old mind known, back in 1990, how much this boardgame would be worth in mint condition now, I would have bought several copies. But I was 11, and this was just fun game from the get-go.
Now, while I loved D&D, D&D took awhile to prepare and play. Back then I hand-wrote my adventures, and sometimes that could take hours. HeroQuest, other hand, had a quick set up and play time. It also had a ton of cool miniatures--monsters, heroes, and furniture!
I'm proud to say that my characters Bogar the Barbarian, Havoc the Dwarf, Chant the Elf, and Mylor the Wizard played through all 15 quests that came with the original boardgame and through all of the quests in The Return of the Witchlord and Kellar's Keep. (Okay, maybe not all of the quests--a few times others brought in their characters, but my characters lasted until the very end).
My best friend at the time ran me through every quest. He had bought the game first. I did later, but had to promised not to look through the adventures until I had played them (okay, I admit, I occasionally peeked). As we finished through the original material, he started incorporating ideas from D&D and elsewhere.
He even bought and painted additional miniatures. Every time I'd heard that had gone to the hobby store, I never knew was I would encounter in the next game of HeroQuest. He added the The Gnome as a character. One time this wraith-like thing appeared on the table; it could paralyze characters when it hit. He loved used that mini. It wasn't that strong (it took two hits to kill, I think) but no other monster up to that point could paralyze the heroes. Another time we fought Draconians straight from Dragonlance. The most difficult monster he introduce, as I remember, was this half-dragon thing with a big club. It was must stronger than the dreaded Gargoyle and nearly TPKed the characters.
Furthermore, my friend even started integrating...
...into his HeroQuest campaign. The battles fought would sometimes determine what adventure we'd play next. We had fun with Battlemasters. I still have most of the miniatures and the tower to this day. By the time we were playing Battlemasters, through, my friend wanted to wrap up his grand HeroQuest campaign. My characters were quite powerful, if I recall.
In those last adventures, as I recall, Bogar the Barbarian wore magical plate mail and wielded a magic sword. They were powerful. When the sword was placed over the emblem on the plate mail, bolts of fire would hit every monster in the room for 1 damage. The problem, however, is that if Bogar used it too much, Bogar would become corrupted, maybe even become a chaos warrior! In fact, this could happen anyway, since Zargon (the evil arch wizard of HeroQuest) had created the armor himself.
We had to go find Zargon and destroy him once and for all.
We were one or two adventures away from confronting Zargon, but the campaign ended for reasons beyond our control.
I still like HeroQuest. A few years ago a few friends and I played it. One friend had bought a mint-condition copy for $200+ on ebay. I had taken care of my copy as best as I could, but it didn't compare to the beautiful mint condition one. It must have never been opened, I swear.
Yeah, we were all in our late twenties/early thirties. Sure, HeroQuest is far from being as complicated as D&D, but that didn't stop us from having fun. Sure, it could have been the beer involved. Or perhaps it was nostalgia for our lost youth, reminiscing about the first time we fought the Gargoyle or when every time we searched from treasure we'd get a stupid wandering monster, or the terror when the indestructible Witchlord awakened from his eternal slumber and chased us around the board.
What are your memories of HeroQuest? Do you think games like HeroQuest bring kids into the hobby? Thoughts?