To say that Dragon Quest is popular in Japan is an understatement. Whenever a new Dragon Quest game comes out in Japan we go nuts at the oppurtunity to equip our copper swords and go slay some of the ever-so-loveable slimes that are just a glutten for punishment.
I play Dragon Quest 9 for the Nintendo DS a lot. It will probably stay in my top ten favorite games for a while. Castlevania: Order Of Ecclessia came out in 2008 and still holds pretty dear to my heart. But what holds the deepest key to my heart? Kosaka Riyu, no not really but I`m a huge fan of her music. What holds true to my heart in video games is the original Dragon Quest.
I love Famicom RPG`s (Role-Playing Games) and Dragon Quest is seen as the grandfather of all console RPG`s. The storyline here is your the decendent of a hero known as “Loto”. You learn more about Loto and play as him/her in Dragon Quest 3. Anyway, Loto left you some stuff that you will need to go questing for to defeat the evil Dragon Lord that threatens to destroy the world. But Smowzow! The Princess has also been kidnapped!! So now not only are you on quest to defeat the Dragon Lord, you must also rescue the princess!!!
Dragon Quest starts you off as a weak little knight in training with no gear at all. Thats right, when you start off you have nothing at all to attack or defend yourself with. So unless you want to go out and bare knuckle some slimes you will need to get to the village just northeast of the castle and buy a club so we can club some slimes and get the gold and experience needed to rescue that princess and bring down the Dragon Lord.
Dragon Quest despite the fact it is completely dated in terms of graphics and sounds, even to this day can bring a challenge to anyone who has the patience to play through and travel all over this mystical kingdom. Like all Japanese RPG`s being patient and coming up with a good strategy is the key to success. Venture off too far when your not leveled up high enough or have the right equipment and death only awaits you. Its not like the RPG`s of today where we can do speed runs through any game.
The game looks more like a board game in my mind since the people in the game look only towards you. Which takes some getting use to but besides that the game looks good for 1986. The music is just grindingly bad. I`m sorry but the fact that the same song plays on the over world gets annoying really fast. It`s not even like the song is good and I just get tired of hearing it. No, It`s just bad. I know it was 1986 and we did not get a full symphony for video games back then but still. I got Kosaka Riyu CD`s to fix that problem. The song that plays at the title screen though is just classic! Another thing I have to note is the graphics were changed in international releases of the game and personally I liked that better.
Like all Japanese RPG`s being patient and coming up with a good strategy is the key to success. Venture off too far when your not leveled up high enough or have the right equipment and death only awaits you.
Because the in-game character only looks at you, you never get an idea which direction you are facing. To settle this issue during conversations in villages, When you choose to talk to someone not only do you have to select the “Talk” Command, but also select the correct direction the person is in. This got really annoying for me after awhile.
I know it sounds like I`m complaining about a classic game but I will present the positives of the game! The game does have that feel good feeling when you level up. yeah there is a lot of level grinding to do (As all Japanese RPG`s do) but at the same time you can watch your knight in training become a full-fledged Dragon slaying machine! Unlike Final Fantasy which would be released a year later, the weapon and armor shops have equipment and items that are fairly priced! You do need to go gold digging sometimes but usually you can just get the gold you need to buy better stuff while your level grinding anyway.
To be honest though the best thing about this game is it`s simplicity. The game is not that hard to figure out if you talk to everyone and gather clues and level up. You only have to manage the one character and magic spells do just basic stuff like restore HP, shoot a fireball or light up a cave instead of using a torch. If your a fan of the old school games like me. Dragon Quest is just right for you.
I know there is not allot to say about this game. Considering it`s in my mind the backbone to every RPG ever made. I really felt not much could be said about it. It`s truly the most basic RPG ever made and it still holds that today. The game is awesome in gameplay and the graphics still hold up even by today`s famicom critics. The music is just over repeatitive and just sounds so bland. If I had to pick one major flaw and most people may agree with me on this is the lack of save files. Instead you have to write down passwords which was not all that uncommon back then but still. I think any RPG should at least feature save options.
As a collector, pretty much any used Japanese video game store carries this or any other Dragon Quest game. So its not a rare game or anything. I got my copy for 500 yen…Thats just the cartridge. Now if we are talking a full box copy with manual and all documents. Within Japan, you might get 2,000 yen but for importers expect about 3,000 yen. Dragon Quest games for the Famicom are not rare in the least bit. So if you collect these games it will be easy for you get them!