The Dragonlord has captured the Princess and stolen Erdrick's powerful ball of light. You,
Erdrick's heir, are fated to destroy the Dragonlord, and return the ball of Light. For no one other than Edrick's heir can save the princess
and destroy the evil of the Dragonlord. Deadly as your mission is, it is your fate alone. No one can aid you on this journey. Gain the needed
experience, weapons, and armor as you battle your way through the world. Search out the Dragonlord's lair and face your destiny. You are the
Sometimes when playing Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, or even Symphony of the Night, I think about how it all started in video
games. The very first console RPG, Dragon Warrior.
It is said...by a whole lot of people, that unlike some older Final Fantasy titles, this series has aged horridly. So I decided to find it
once again after decades of not playing it. I think to say that its aging horridly is a overstatement, but the signs are there none the less.
This is the RPG that started a Japanese craze and hype, that in time made a series that ensued near riot levels to get the next game. Even
forcing the eventual released only on the weekends, so people wouldn't skip school and call off of work... in one little NES cartridge.
First there is the fighting, that is set apart from other titles. Even today has multiple party members most
of the time. Dragon Warrior has you playing one sole character. And you fighting single enemies at a time. The plus side is the straight
forward fighting, that is so easy to get the hang of. The down side (And it is a big one) is the insane length of time it takes to level up.
But all in all, it is rather interesting to find a game with a single character to control throughout the game. Kind of neat.
As for the game play, you hit the button, wait for move to show up in text below battle scene, and hit button again. Meet the battle system!
This is the first battle system set for video game RPG titles. Although its a very simple system that has no imagination, it gets the job
done, and done well. You choose from four options on the menu screen, Fight, Run, Spell, Item. Once you have made your choice, the fighitng
begins. And that is about all there is to it. Say what you want...without Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy might have never been able to improve
the system with the ATB introduced in Final Fantasy IV. Otherwise all you do is walk around the map, waiting for a random encounter so you
get EXP and Gold. On occasion, you might get the occasional fetch quest for an item. This is basically it in a nut shell.
If you die no there is little to worry about. The King will bring you back to life...and take 1/2 your gold. The downside, is you are
returned to the beginning castle, each time you die. Unlike Final Fantasy, and other RPG games, this is also the only place you can save your
The game play's saving grace is that its fun to kill monsters who only a level two ago would destroy you, and the fact that in its simplicity
it doesn't try to be complicated and screw up.
A downside would be it takes awhile to even beat anything not named red slime or slime. Which gets very boring. Really. It moves as slow as a
slug. You will be endlessly fighting to level up for a very long time...
Graphically, for 1986, Dragon Warrior boasted some lush and colorful graphics. They were top field at the time, and still have a great quality
to them. It has several unique and nice looking monsters, which adds a lot to the game. Although the sprites could have been slightly better,
perhaps a bit more realistic, there is little if any complaints on the graphics.
Score wise... the sound is very annoying... Seriously. You would get on a lot better with the game, if you muted it, and hit some of your own
tunes to listen to. One thing that does stand out more is the Level Up theme. Such a neat little piece of sound effect, that it has become
popular as a text and or voice mail notification sound in today's time. And it just adds so much to the game, and to the series of Dragon
Warrior. However, even with that, the game sounds can not crawl out of the depths of average at best.
The basic plot of Dragon Warrior is very, very simple to say the least. You come from the line of Erdrick.
You must recapture the ball of light from the Dragonlord and save the world. On your quest you must uncover 3 mystical items to do this.
Princess Gwalin has been kidnapped and you must rescue her as well. Rumors say she is in a cave to the east! And of course, the man who sends
you on your quest with 120 gold and no weapon while his mere guards at least get spears, King Lorik, father of Princess Gwalin.
It is the epitome of what SIMPLE (And I mean simple) story lines are. Even the original Final Fantasy served a more meatier plotline. Any
plot twists? Not a single one. That being said, it is a singular part of a thread of three story arks, later put out in II and III. So it is
kind of a mute point to rant about the story too much...but for those who love a great tale...you ain't going to like this one for sure.
Even today, Dragon Warrior holds a special place in my heart as my very first RPG. It is also worth a play to experience where the series
and genre began all together. It is fascinating to see where RPG games from Final Fantasy to Dragon Age, Crono Trigger to Xenogears came
from. However, do not expect to find anything original in this game if you've played any other console rpg in your life. Chances are, they
have stolen it from here.