Dragon Warrior for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) – Great Video Games

The box art was super duper sweet. Hmm, the guy kind of looks like Captain America, though.
The box art was super duper sweet. Hmm, the guy kind of looks like Captain America, though.

A True Classic

Dragon Warrior was one of the best games ever made for the NES, and it came around a year after the NES hit American Shores in 1986. This was a truly epic game, and you could play it for hours and hours. This was the first time many people were introduced to an RPG game. Boy, was it addictive.

You played as a Warrior who must rescue a princess, kill a dragon, and save the kingdom with “balls of light.” I know what you’re thinking… yeah. You had to have balls of steel to beat this game, because it was really epic.

In all seriousness, the game wasn't that hard. You just had to be willing to slug it out a long, long time to win.

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The world seemed gigantic, and you had to hoof it around risking fights with all sorts of enemies.
The world seemed gigantic, and you had to hoof it around risking fights with all sorts of enemies.
As you walked through the world, you would randomly encounter enemies. They got harder and harder with each area that you progressed  into.
As you walked through the world, you would randomly encounter enemies. They got harder and harder with each area that you progressed into.

Fight to Win

Most of the game centered around a combat system that worked much like the old Dungeons and Dragon games – all based on randomized rolls of dice. You would trade rounds of attack damage with any opponent at your leisure. Even choosing to run away from an enemy would be taken to the dice roll before it happened.

When I say it took hours to beat this game, I’m not kidding. Most of your game time was spent grinding out experience, which you got through killing lots of enemies. Eventually you would progress from town to town, and the areas of the great map would become filled with more treacherous enemies. You could buy equipment, learn magic spells, and talk to all sorts of people throughout the game. The game was one of the first to feature a battery backup system, which allowed you to save your progress. So sweet!

This was a big, long game for its day. You had to be careful, because you could end up in some pretty weird situations. Take it slowly!
This was a big, long game for its day. You had to be careful, because you could end up in some pretty weird situations. Take it slowly!

Guy Beats Dragon Warrior in 2 Hours!

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There was no shortage of stuff to buy out there in the world, but you had to have enough gold on you to get it! Get ready to crank out gold and experience for, literally, hours on end. Prepare to have no life, basically. Still fun.
There was no shortage of stuff to buy out there in the world, but you had to have enough gold on you to get it! Get ready to crank out gold and experience for, literally, hours on end. Prepare to have no life, basically. Still fun.

Big World. Lots of Choices.

You could get really lost in this game. There were so many places to travel to and explore, and there was so much to figure out before you could slay that ancient dragon. If you were smart you drew up a map of the whole thing as you traveled around – just like a real adventure! There were some very crappy points to Dragon Warrior, despite how cool it seemed.

Even with the almost flawless and simple game design, there were setbacks. You spent a disgustingly long amount of time leveling up your character. You always had to go back to save your game at the king, too. That made it take even longer. There was obviously no two player mode, so you kind of felt like a loser slugging out this game all by yourself. There were some cryptic secrets hidden around the game, and the dungeons could get very confusing. Beating the game was a triumph for sure, but it was mostly a product of just leveling up and buying all the equipment you could get your hands on. In other words, a bunch of time. The bosses weren't always obvious, so you didn't always know when you were finished in an area.

Oh, and killing the same old enemies over and over and over got really, really obnoxious.

A Classic. Just Not Something You Want to Play Again Any Time Soon.

Other than these crappy points, the game was awesome and totally epic. This is truly a must play game for any RPG Nintendo enthusiast. The game doesn’t hold up against many RPGs that came after it, but for one of the first of its kind – it’s not bad. Oh, and the music is a bit simplistic, but memorable. I would suggest playing this if you love RPG games, but other than that it's a bit too ancient and simplistic now.

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Do You Think Dragon Warrior Has Aged a Bit Poorly?

  • Yes, the game really looks old - it's too simple, too.
  • No, the game still shines. The simple design is still modern enough.
See results without voting

© 2014 Rywads

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