Dragon Quest

Dragon Warrior? More like Drag On Warrior.

Review Date: April 15, 2021

Release Date: August 1, 1989

Platform: NES

Publisher: Enix

Genre: Adventure

Anecdotes: Back when Squaresoft and Enix had their merger, I had been aware that Dragon Quest was a series that had been going on a while. I knew that it was a series of RPGs (although, by my definition of RPG, a party is required, so I’m calling this particular game an adventure), but I had never played any of them. That remained true until I decided to put the Dragon Quest games on my list. I had figured that DQ was similar to Final Fantasy, and in some ways it is, but Final Fantasy is the better game. Dragon Quest has some interesting parts, but it’s an absolutely plodding game.

It should be noted that due to Enix’s fears of violating a copyright, the name was changed to Dragon Warrior for the NES titles. Later in the series, the name was corrected to Dragon Quest, so to be consistent, Dragon Quest will be the name I use.

Description: Players play as a hero they choose the name of. Players will go to a town and buy equipment, then they’ll do a few seconds of grinding. Then they’ll go to the next town, then they’ll do a few minutes of grinding. Next, they’ll go to the third town, then they’ll do hours of grinding. After that’s all done, they’ll visit another town, following by days of grinding.

This is skeleton #983 I had to fight, and it was no more interesting than the first one.



-The control scheme is quite weird. Most jarring is the mechanic for using the stairs. Instead of simply moving onto the tile, the hero has to move onto the tile, hit A to get to the menu, then go down to stairs to use them. None of that should be necessary. Meanwhile, the hero’s current numbers come up automatically if he stops for just a second. All that does is slow down gameplay, which is already slow enough.

-The game is a complete grind. I don’t mean grind as in slow and boring, although that’s true, too; I mean grind as in beating enemies over and over for gold and/or experience. I spent hours doing circles around Rimuldar trying to get enough gold to get some decent equipment. I started at level 7. I could only do two fights before having to rest at the inn. If each fight yields about 30-40 gold, but the inn costs 55, I’m only gaining 5-25 gold per cycle. One can imagine how long that takes. It wasn’t until hours later that I had the gold to upgrade my equipment and get on with the game. Even then, I was still only at level 11.

I seriously did circles around this town for four hours.

More Screenshots:

Yes, I do know of him, because I read Nintendo Power.
I must be in a Ghost town.
Out in the middle of nowhere? Orwick might be waiting a while.
I forgot that stairs aren’t automatic here and overstepped them. I promptly got booted back to the world map.
I’m going to have to file a Copyright infringement suit against her. That’s my line!

Final Opinion: I don’t have the patience to grind with the same enemies repeatedly for hours. I don’t mind some grinding, but it’s excessive here.

Grade: D

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