Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest) - Nintendo NES
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Dragon Warrior

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Release year: 1986 | Players: 1 player | Developed by Chunsoft (Enix)

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Dragon Warrior (AKA Dragon Quest, ドラゴンクエスト Doragon Kuesuto in Japan) is a 2D adventure role-playing video game developed by Chunsoft and published by Enix for the NES console in 1989. It was one of the very first known RPGs in history — the glorious beginning of the Dragon Quest series. Since its release, the game has inspired numerous sequels, like Dragon Warrior III, and spin-offs.

Dragon Warrior Cover Box

Dragon Quest Cover (NES)

Dragon Warrior was released before Final Fantasy on NES and is regarded as the definitive JRPG of the era. JRPG refers to role-playing games wherein the view is predominantly top down on the hero or a team of loyal companions. The characters are in pursuit of a series of adventures. Levels are obtained, weapons and items are purchased, spells are mastered, and the player is unable to advance to the next segment of the game if certain stages or bosses have not been defeated.

The story of Dragon Warrior follows a hero on a quest to vanquish the Dragon Lord, a mysterious creature who has delivered his minions to the island to cause chaos and war. Naturally, one of the goals of the game is to save a princess kidnapped by the Dragon Lord. To reach the final stage, the player must acquire certain skills and equipment while defeating bosses.

Nothing fancy about its story, really. But what makes Dragon Quest unique is that the game features an open world. The player can freely explore the game’s objectives — think Grand Theft Auto, Fallout 4, No Man’s Sky, Minecraft, and other such games that allow the players to navigate the world with freedom.

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As this was NES’ first RPG, one cannot expect special sound effects and stellar graphics but they were good enough to convey a fantasy world. The music was not especially great but for a Nintendo’s first, it did have cool and classic elements. Another issue of the game is that its magic attacks are pretty random — sometimes doing less damage while other times inflicting huge damage.

Due to its randomness, finishing levels of the game was pretty much based on luck. The player is also unable to fully customize the character.

Nevertheless, Dragon Warrior was able to build a solid foundation for the Dragon Quest series. For any RPG fanatic, this game is a must-try as it marked the beginning of a new era for video games.

Dragon Warrior game has been ported to NES (this version), MSX, NEC PC-9801, Sharp X68000, SNES, Satellaview, Game Boy Color, Smarthones, Nintendo Wii.