A quest with not alot of dragons…
Even though I was trying for the longest time to figure out originally if I was “the” dragon warrior, or if I was the person who was supposed to be fighting all of the dragons, it’s undisputed that this is one of the few rpgs in a very small list, that helped start it all.
And of course by all, I mean the crazy, crazy rpg craze!
Ahem, falling back to my previous point. I can say that this game didn’t necessarily start it all for me. It did however bring the visual idea of rpg games to the masses in japan when it originally came out.
That was some time back in 1986 when it went by the name of Dragon Quest (ドラゴンクエスト, Doragon Kuesuto). 3 years later it eventually came to North America and became known as Dragon Warrior hence the beautifully rendered box art shown to the left.
This game also put Enix on the map (way before they became the juggernaut known as SquareEnix today) making them very popular with video game rpgs lovers throughout Japan.
So let’s see what makes this classic rpg noteworthy shall we?
Taken directly from the manual:
In olden days of yore, the realm of Alefgard was cloaked in darkness.
According to legend, a brave warrior, Erdrick, brought light back to the
land by defeating an evil being. He use the balls of light bequeathed to
him by a friend to drive off the enemies of Alefgard. He then gave the
balls of light to King Lorik, who unified Alefgard. The land was at peace
for many generations.
In the time of King Lorik XVI, the balls of light were stolen from
Tantagel Castle by the evil Dragonlord, and once again the kingdom of
Alefgard was plunged into darkness. Many travellers fall prey to the
merciless fangs of monsters, and the beautiful countryside was transformed
into poisonous marshes that hindered travellers. It was also rumored that
several towns and villages were destroyed; wiped off the face of the land
by ghosts and dragons.
Many brave warriors tried to recover the balls of light, but none of
them ever returned from Charlock, the Dragonlord’s dark castle. The people
longed for peace, but did not give up hope. The great seer Mahetta
predicted that “One day, a descendent of the valiant Erdrick shall come
forth to defeat the Dragonlord.”
Who is this brave soul? There is only one possible answer.
Your quest is to find and to defeat the evil Dragonlord. The time has
come. This is the start of your adventure.
So basically this game is the first in the Erdrick trilogy of Dragon Warrior games. The other two are Dragon Warrior 2 and Dragon Warrior 3. You are a descendant of Erdrick, called by the King of Tantegel to do two things: get the princess back, and retrieve the Ball of Light to open a can of whup ass on the Dragonlord. That my friends is the whole game in a nutshell nothing more nothing less. -_-
Honestly, this story is about as dirt simple as you can get. If I had a choice (and I believe I still do) I’d avoid this game like the plague because of the highly non existent storyline. However since it is in my personal hall of fame for being a classic rpg, I’d say to anyone who is just a rpg fanboy/girl to give it a try just to see how future companies stole a lot if not all of the ideas (*cough*squaresoft*cough*) from Enix at the time.
This game has a lot of features that you currently see rpgs of today. Random battles, inns for resting, treasure chests. Towns for walking around and chatting with people. The list goes on and on.
However some things most people won’t agree with. The walking around first off is quite atrocious. Its based on a simple yet effective 4 direction move system (north, south,east, and west). If someone walks into your path it might be a second before they get the hell out of your way.
Second, to pick up chests you have to walk over them, also along the almost annoyingly same vein of annoyingness some doors can’t be opened unless you have the right key. Ahh that always drove me crazy, since you don’t get the ultimate “skeleton key” till much further in the game you will have to walk with some teleporting back to previous cities to open certain doors. Maybe I’m just lazy :).
Third, the system interface is kind of boring. I’m glad we rpg lovers don’t have to deal with this on a regular basis with modern rpgs cause you have to do everything just by accessing this system ui. You wanna open that chest? You gotta search. You need to talk to someone, nope no one button for talking here. You have to go into the ui and to talk. You want to hold 99 of every item in the game cause you’re a pack rat? Sorry, you can only hold about 8 items. Sigh this is classic rpging at its best…once again as long as you have the patience lol.
The one thing that I can say isn’t too bad ( heh, as long as you have patience that is,) is the random battles. Rpgs today show alot of the characteristics present here just with more people. In this game they kept it nice and simple with just one person having to worry about themselves. I like it :). Although in the beginning you can get your behind handed to you by a mere slime, until after you get hours of leveling… You can get a couple spells to make your every two steps a random encounter type journey that much easier….lol.
As long as you can deal with all of the “little” things mentioned above, this game will definitely be a nice time waster. Just make sure you do some good leveling when you finally get close to the end to beat the last boss. He’s a slightly difficult mofo.
Let’s Play Dragon Warrior 1 by applegodzmg:
Did you know?
The art in this game is done by the same gentleman who did the art for the anime Dragon Ball, Akira Toriyama. I guess that’s why that guy looks familiar. This game also isn’t the only one in the Dragon Quest series that has that awesome art, so get used to it
This game also had remakes on the Super Famicon in the form of a combo game of Dragon Quest 1 + 2, and it also got remade for the Gameboy Color in yet another combo game of Dragon Warrior 1 + 2. Both titles received enhanced graphics, and more exp and gold from monster battles.
Here also is a text version of the manual, made more understandable by Christopher Lee Boger.
Since this game is a little more hard to find with it being a real classic, feel free to check: Amazon here.
So regardless of how much smack I’ve talked about this game, here is another one to add to my little collection of great classic rpgs.
Have you played it yet?