50: Dragon Warrior

Genre: RPG

Developer: Chunsoft
Publisher: Nintendo
Year: 1989

Basic Idea: Get your name in the Imperial Scrolls of Honor, save the princess, love her (but thou must!), and overthrow the Dragonlord.

Review: The first RPG I was ever exposed to, and also one of the first America was exposed to.  Considering it took three years for this classic to make it over from Japan, it’s obvious it took this side of the Pacific longer to warm up to gaming that didn’t involve hand-eye coordination.  While the game is slow and painful at times by today’s standards, it has so much damn charm that the game is still worth playing today, especially the updated ports that fix several of the game’s issues.

Dragon Warrior is the only RPG I’ve played where you have no team members and only face one enemy at a time.  Sometimes, exploring the countryside and caves is frustrating, with little clue as to where you’re supposed to go next.  Finding some items seems almost random.  And some of the items you can buy that are expensive are fairly worthless.  There is only one save point in the game (the original town), so each time you turn on the game (or die), you must start from there.  Granted, the map isn’t that large, but it still is a bit annoying.  The game’s worst sin is that if you’re standing on stairs, you must use the STAIRS command to use them.  Lame-o.

I think if I was six years younger I would have overlooked this game entirely.  But it instilled in me a love of RPGs that has faded some over the years but still invokes great memories for me.  I love fighting the knight and getting Erdrick’s Armor.  I love the thrill of defeating a metal slime before it can run away.  I love defeating the green dragon to save the princess.  I love the final trek in the Dragonlord’s castle.  And I love slimes.

4 thoughts on “50: Dragon Warrior

  1. Finally you voted for a game that I really enjoyed playing! However, I am saddened that it only got 50th place. I would have rated it higher but then RPGs have always been my favorite games, so they usually rate high on my list.

  2. Ahhh…a simpler time. Back when you didn’t need a guide with a map fold to help optimize your purchases and equipping. Back when you didn’t agonize over what configuration of brutes, mages and thieves to include in your group in order to have the best experience. Back when you needn’t cross you fingers that the female character you finally chose to name after your real life love interest turned out to be your love interest in the game.

    • Back when you needn’t cross you fingers that the female character you finally chose to name after your real life love interest turned out to be your love interest in the game.

      Aaaaah yes… I remember that well.

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