Dragon Warrior

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North American box art.

Dragon Warrior, called Dragon Quest in Japan, is a role-playing game for the NES developed by Chunsoft and published by Enix in 1986.

My mother bought us Dragon Warrior and River City Ransom at a garage sale, and I found both games to be a lot of fun.


I have beat the NES game and maxed out my stats.


  • Overall: 4/10
  • Best Version: NES


  • The monster graphics are fantastic.
  • Even with the game's rather poor audio driver, the music is quite good. Enix was wise to hire a professional composer.
  • There player sprite graphic changes when he's holding a sword, shield, and the princess. A nice touch.
  • Showing the evil Charlock Castle surrounded by swamp in the distance is a nice way of letting the player imagine how awful it's going to be. Although, it create a plot hole: why doesn't Alefgard have boats?


  • There isn't much to do in the game. If grinding wasn't necessary, you could talk to every NPC, collect every items, traverse every map, and beat the game in about an hour.
  • The combat is very basic. You can only attack, run, or cast one of six spells. Although, I tend to prefer this over games where combat is a convoluted mess of options.
  • The save the princess trope wasn't quite as bad at the time, but it's embarrassing now. Especially since you have to literally carry Gwaelin all the way back to the castle causing her to professes her love to you (which she gives to you as a telepathic item). Interestingly, you can actually beat the game without rescuing her!
  • Even with only a handful of items, several of them are useless like the Fighter's Ring, Cursed Belt, and Necklace of Death.


  • The game is painfully grind heavy. The designers would need to make enemies give about 10 times the experience they do to make the game bearable by today's standards.