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!
The directions for Dragon Warrior are fairly simple. Push the A button to bring up the menu. It has several self-explanatory options on it. It might throw modern gamers that there are times you have to select "Stairs" from the menu to go down stairs or "Take" from the menu to get a chest, but other than that it's all very simple. So, I'm going to take the opportunity to give you a few friendly hints.
Talk about it! Just like in every other RPG that was any good you have to talk to the NPCs to find out what's going on and where you need to go next. The clues in the game are fairly straight forward. In fact, at one point you actually give what amounts to longitude and latitude. There are only a few things to keep up with in the storyline, but you may want to jot them down. You will spend a lot of time fighting between getting a clue and following up. If you don't mind talking to everyone in every town five time or if you have a very good memory you'll be alright. Otherwise take notes.
The best defense is a good offense! Upgrading your weapons really makes life easier, but you can cut corners armor. Magic armor heals you as you walk and it is certainly worth the investment. Other than that it is usually better to put you money into weapons rather than into armor. The faster you kill an enemy the less time he has to smack you.
Use that Herb! Early in the game Herb is too expensive to use. You will be much better off resting in the inn and healing yourself with the heal spell. Later in the game single enemies will drop enough to fill up your Herb pouch. Magic points become much more valuable in the field than Herb is. Save the magic, use the Herb.
Never forget about love! Once you rescue Gwaelin you can use her love to find out where you are and how much more experience you need to get to the next level. It's an item that never runs out, use it as much as you want.
Fly away home! One you can buy wings you can fly back to Tantegel Castle any time you need to. This will allow you to explore without getting yourself killed. If you get in over your head you can use the wings and get home. However, keep in mind that you can't use them if you are in a dungeon.
Get Out! Exploring dungeons is much safer and easier once you get the Outside spell. You don't have to explore a single dungeon until you have it. Once you do getting out of a pinch is a breeze. Be very careful about exploring dungeons until you can cast it.
Sleepy Time! Sleep is probably the best spell in the game. There are very few enemies that won't fall beneath it's influence. It allows you to take on enemies that are generally out of your league. As soon as you get it start using it to take down bigger baddies. It will save you a lot of time and help you heap up money much faster.
Run for it! Sometimes desegregation is the better part of valor. If you have to cross a dangerous area keep running until you get where you are going. You're not going to save the world if you get eaten taking on monsters that are just to powerful.
Settle in for the long haul! Dragon Warrior is an old school RPG. That means you are going to hunt and hunt and then hunt and follow that up with a little hunting and then perhaps close the day with a hunt. It's just the way these games work. Don't fight it, just roll with it. Kill as much as you can as fast as you can without taking too many risks. Your gold and experience will pile up and before you know it you'll be facing the Dargonlord. Just keep in mind from the very beginning that this game is going to take a few hours and you should be good to go.
|A Button||Pull Up Command Window/Accept|
|Explore a dungeon and collect items, leave the dungeon, then re-enter. All items previously collected will appear again in their original locations.|