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Xtreme Classix - Dragon Warrior

Dragon Warrior
A pioneering game of the Role-Playing genre. The Dragon Warrior series has influenced virtually every RPG since, particularly Final Fantasy, which as a series is still going strong. One of the big guns on the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy, Dragon Warrior is definitely worth your time.

Dragon Warrior NES Screenshot 1
Dragon Warrior (NES)
In olden days of yore, the realm of Alefgard was cloaked in darkness. According to legend, a brave warrior, Edrick, brought light back to the land by defeating an evil being. He used the Ball of Light bequeathed to him by a friend to drive off the enemies of Alefgard. He then gave the Ball of Light to King Lorik, who unified Alefgard. The land was at peace for many generations. In the time of King Lorik XVI, the Ball of Light were stolen from Tantegel Castle by the evil Dragonlord, and once again the Kingdom of Alefgard was plunged into darkness. Many travelers fell prey to the merciless fangs of monsters, and the beautiful land was transformed into poisonous swamps that hindered travelers. It was also rumored that several Towns and Villages were destroyed; wiped off the face of the land by Ghosts & Dragons.

Many brave warriors tried to recover the Ball of Light, but none of them 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 descendant of the valiant Edrick shall come forth to defeat the Dragonlord."

Who is this brave soul? There is only one possible answer.

Your quest is to find and defeat the Dragonlord. The time has come. This is the start of your adventure.

Welcome To The Realm Of "Dragon Warrior"
--From the NES Dragon Warrior instruction manual.

Dragon Warrior is, without question, one of the cornerstone console RPGs. It offers two main storyline goals, both of them timeless classics. Rescue the girl and then defeat the great evil. In this case the girl is princess Gwaelin and the great evil is the Dragonlord. The game offers everything you'd expect in a classic RPG: Great story, powerful items and spells, hidden passages and hideous monsters. The artwork and sound are incredible when ones considers the date of the game's release and the limitations of the NES. The game is loaded with a huge number of enemies, although many of them share the same basic image recolored according to their relative power. However, the differences in facing them is more than just a matter of higher strength or more hit points. Some enemies can use several spells including healing themselves or putting the hero to sleep. A werewolf isn't just a recolored wolf that can do more damage. It's a completely different enemy that just happens to look similar. As you go through the game you will get a number of consumable items. Herb is used to heal you. The Dragon Scale will raise your defense. There are Magic Keys to open locked doors. Torches, obviously, give you light down in dungeons. Wyvern Wings will take you back to Tantegel Castle. Fairy Water keeps enemies away. There are even cursed items that you can sell but shouldn't use. In addition there are a number of weapons and different kinds of armor you can find or buy. Erdrick's sword and Erdrick's armor are the best weapon and armor in Dragon Warrior and have to be found. The silver shield is the best shield and it can be purchased. Like most RPGs getting better equipment is one of the driving forces in the game because it allows you to face greater enemies and move the story forward. There are many steps of weapon and armor between the least and the greatest. In addition there a number of spells that the hero can use. The spells are learned automatically as you level up. Heal is the first spell you learn and it allows you, amazingly enough, to heal your self. Hurt damages your enemies. Sleep will put your enemies to sleep. Radiant acts as a super powerful torch. Stopspell will block enemy spells. Outside will take you out of a cave or dungeon. Return will take you back to Tantegel Castle. Repel will keep weaker enemies away. Healmore is like heal, but it heals more. Hurtmore... OK, you get the idea... As you progress through the game you will run into tougher and tougher enemies. One of the things that separates the different levels of enemies is bridges. Whenever you come to a bridge the enemies on the far side from Tantegel Castle are going to be harder than those on the closer side of the bridge. Always keep this in mind when crossing a bridge. A number of features are automated to make the game easier to play. Leveling up is handled as soon as you have enough experience. You may gain extra strength, agility, hit points, magic points or even a new spell. Equipping new items is also taken care of for you. You don't have to worry about whether you are wearing the best armor you have or not, you always are. If you find better you will put it on. Another feature that will help keep you alive is the low hit points warning system. If your health gets too low the menu turns red to let you know that you need to do something about it. This can especially useful when you have to kill a large number of weaker enemies and may forget to look at your hit points. At any point in the game you can stop walking and a status bar will pop up with a summation of your level, hit points, magic points, gold and experience. If you want a more detailed view you can open "Status" from the menu. All things considered Dragon Warrior is a true classic. If you haven't played it you've truly missed something. If you have you know it's worth playing again!

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Dragon Warrior 1 & 2 Gameboy Color Screenshot 1
Dragon Warrior 1 & 2 (Gameboy Color)
The Kingdom of Alefgard had long been a realm of peace and prosperity. The kindhearted King Lorik easily upheld justice in a golden age. In Alefgard, the summers were long and plentiful, and the winters short. Monsters and other mystical beings of terror were unheard of. The Orb of Light was responsible for this wondrous time. Peace and well-being seemed to emanate from this magical object; and with it the people of Alefgard were able to enjoy life to it's fullest. However, as civilizations rise and fall, it seems that Alefgard was destined to do the same...

Of all the people in Alefgard, it was said that there was only one man who wasn't satisfied. Angry and alone, this man lived in mountainous caves far away from civilization. One day, while exploring the dark dungeons of his refuge, he came upon a sleeping dragon. Perhaps it was through sorcery, or sheer luck, but the man found that he was able to control the dragon to do his will...and eventually even more beasts... From then on he became known as the DracoLord.

The DracoLord's first show of power came in the form of a fiery attack on Tantegel Castle. The terrified citizens ran outside in just enough time to watch their dreams burn. With hardly any opposition, the DracoLord took possession of The Light Orb and left Tantegel castle aflame.

The day after the attack, a man by the name of Loto approached a devastated King Lorik. Loto promised Lorik that he could help them... and after a hearty meal he took to the wilderness.

Indeed Loto could help them. Shortly after his departure, stories came in to Tantegel of a man who was defeating the beasts, which had appeared and chasing them back into the wilds.

However, once Loto set off on his final quest to destroy the DracoLord himself, nothing more was ever heard from him. Years passed, and the Kingdom suffered another attack by the DracoLord. This time King Lorik's daughter Lora was abducted.

In the world of Dragon Warrior, you are Loto's descendant, and must follow in his footsteps. Princess Lora must be rescued, and the DracoLord must die. Your journey will take you across the various lands of Alefgard. Visit towns and gather information. Explore the dark dungeons and claim their treasures. The road to the DracoLord is paved with enemies, but you are the Dragon Warrior.
--From the Gameboy Color Dragon Warrior 1 & 2 instruction manual.

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Dragon Warrior 2 NES Screenshot 1
Dragon Warrior 2 (NES)
Though the time of his deeds has long faded, still the name of Erdrick commands respect among even the greatest of warriors. Stories of his lineage are legendary throughout the land and have been retold through the ages in the most remote villages and townships. Long ago a young man, who was a descendant of Erdrick, saved the Kingdom of Alefgard by defeating the dreaded Dragonlord. The young man came to this land accompanied by Princess Gwaelin. Together they built TORLAND. This legend has been handed down generation to generation from the ancient time. Princess Gwaelin brought forth three children. To the eldest prince was given the land of Midenhall. To the youngest prince the land of Cannock became his birthright. The youngest princess was given the land of Moonbrooke. The descendants of Erdrick were fair and just rulers, as were their children, and the people of these kingdoms lived in peace for 100 years. One day, however, this peace suddenly came to an end. Hargon the Sorcerer attacked Moonbrooke Castle and attempted to rule the world by calling the ill-omened gods from the dark. Although terrible losses were suffered, one soldier escaped the sacking of Moonbrooke Castle.

Though seriously wounded, he made his way to Midenhall Castle to warn the King. The King was old and could not go forth to do battle against Hargon, so he turned to his heir to accept this task. Yes, you are the heir to the King and a true descendant of Erdrick the Great.

Before you lies a world of mystery and imagination. You will encounter enemies and riddles which will test your strength and knowledge. Your journey has just begun...
--From the NES Dragon Warrior 2 instruction manual.

Dragon Warrior 2 is an excellent example of an early RPG. One of the classics that started it all. As we all know, the makers of this game, Enix, went on to team up with Squaresoft, and has since then, started one of the largest gaming sagas ever, Final Fantasy. This was one of the stepping stones for almost all current RPG's. This game's graphics were the epitome of functional. They weren't that good, but they didn't suck either -- functional. The sounds were decent, the music was catchy and the sound effects were cool. The controls were easy to learn, yet there were plenty of actions your characters could choose from. The story was interesting, which is essential for any RPG. The gameplay was awesome. This is a game that I still like to play in 2009 and it was made back in 1990. With non-linear gameplay, there are several possibilities for your party, so this game is fun every time you play. This addition and the other games of the Dragon Warrior series are a must play for any RPG fan.

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Dragon Warrior 3 NES Screenshot 1
Dragon Warrior 3 (NES)
You are the young Hero of Aliahan. The character sleeping in the bed is YOU. Your mother says you have to see the King of Aliahan today. Follow her and she will show you the path leading to the castle of Aliahan.

Go straight ahead and enter the castle. Take the stairs in front of you to get to the second floor. Approach the King and listen to what he has to say. "Thy enemy shall be the Archfiend Baramos," says the King. Trusting you to succeed, he will give you 50 pieces of Gold.

The King and his counselor say traveling alone will be too dangerous. You need to organize an expedition party. At Luisa's Place, the eatery located in the northwest corner of the castle town of Aliahan, you can recruit up to three allies to help you in your quest. Walk up to the counter in the back, face Luisa (the woman behind the counter) and press the A Button. The Command Window will come up. Select TALK and press the A Button to talk to her. When asked what you want, select ADD MEMBER. She will record the current conditions in the Imperial Scrolls of Honor and show the list of available characters. A customer in the eatery recommends you recruit a Soldier, a Pilgrim, and a Wizard. Initially three ready-made characters are available, but you can register characters of your own creation. To do so, go upstairs to the Adventurer's Hall of Registration. You can register up to 11 characters. You will probably enjoy your quest even more with your favorite allies.

--From the NES Dragon Warrior 3 instruction manual.

Dragon Warrior 3 was the first of the series to let you start the quest with a party of people. The graphics were stepped up just a little from its predecessors. Also these two additions made this chapter in the series very interesting. With a good size party came the ability to carry more items. Dragon Warrior 3 is yet another great addition to our RPG collection.

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Dragon Warrior 3 Gameboy Color Screenshot 1
Dragon Warrior 3 (Gameboy Color)
Many years ago, the kingdom of Aliahan ruled the world. Although its former influence has diminished, its people lived in peace. That is, until the rise of the Demon Lord Baramos... The kingdom's great hero Ortega embarked on a journey to defeat Baramos, but was said to have perished from plunge into the maw of a volcano.

Over a dozen years later... A single youth strides purposefully into the castle of Aliahan. The youth is the hero Ortega's only child. The king, recognizing the youth's determination to succeed the fallen father, commands, "Defeat the Demon Lord Baramos."

You are the young hero of Aliahan. Assemble a team of trusted companions for a spectacular quest to save the world from the terrors of the Demon Lord Baramos.
Let the adventure begin!

--From the Gameboy Color Dragon Warrior 3 instruction manual.

Essentially a precursor to Dragon Warrior 1&2, Dragon Warrior 3 is a revamped version of DW3(NES) for the GBC. Although the story line was the same as the NES version, there were some differences.

These differences included enhanced graphics, and more detailed castles, towns and overworld for Game Boy Color. You can now investigate the contents of wells. They have added the save anywhere feature, and now Day, Night, Dawn and Dusk matter - different characters and monsters appear at different times. Four characters can be in your party at once. There are 9 character classes and 165 distinct monsters.

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Dragon Warrior 4 NES Screenshot 1
Dragon Warrior 4 (NES)
Chapter 1: The Royal Soldiers.
*As Captain of the Royal Soldiers, Ragner risks his life daily in the service of the King of Burland. Recently, children from all over the land have been disappearing. Anxious to know what tragedy has struck the kingdom, the King sends forth Ragner. The mighty warrior knows no fear as he sets off.

Chapter 2: Princess Alena's Adventure.
*The young Princess Alena possesses a strong and clever spirit. She wishes only to leave the sheltered castle of her father, the King of Santeem, so that she can taste the adventure of a free life. The King has refused to let her go, but his will cannot bind Alena. Dreaming of danger and excitement, she plans to escape.

Chapter 3: Taloon the Arms Merchant.
*An ambitious man, whose greatest dream is to be independent, lives with his wife and child in the town of Lakanabe. Taloon works at the shop of a weapons merchant, and he has learned everything about the weapons trade. Unfortunately, Taloon does not have enough money to buy his own shop. So he sets off to find or earn a great fortune.

Chapter 4: The Sisters Of Monbaraba.
*When Loro, the world renowned blacksmith, died of mysterious causes, he left behind two daughters. Nara has studied the magic of fortunetelling and acquired a great power. Mara began training as a dancer, in the ancient style, at a very young age. Her skill is unequaled. They are determined to find the cause of their father's tragic fate, no matter the peril.

Chapter 5: The Chosen Ones.
*In Chapter 5, you, our Hero, arrive to lead the characters from earlier chapters. As a team of experienced and highly trained adventures, you will challenge the enemy. He is a fierce demon who has secretly tracked the characters through Chapters 1-4. Now he will make a dramatic appearance.

--From the NES Dragon Warrior 4 instruction manual.

Dragon Warrior 4 was probably the best game of the series. It was longer than its predecessors, and the graphics were a little better, too. In Dragon Warrior 4 you get to play as several different characters and then get to play all of them at the end. I liked this method pretty well. You get to develop a relationship with each of the characters as you go along, and then get to team them up against your common enemy.

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Dragon Warrior Monsters Gameboy Color Screenshot 1
Dragon Warrior Monsters (Gameboy Color)

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Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Cobi's Journey Gameboy Color Screenshot 1
Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Cobi's Journey (Gameboy Color)

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