Sunday, July 19, 2015

Playing through Dragon Warrior again


Warning, some of the ending to the game is shown in the screenshots down below.

Not that I think many people are concerned about Dragon Warrior spoilers, but if one were I'd had to be the guy that ruined this game for someone else.

When I was five I only had a few NES games: Mario/Duck Hunt, Zelda, Friday the 13th, Karnov, Adventure Island II, and Dragon Warrior. I might like other games more than these, but somewhere deep in my subconsciousness these things are permanently etched into my brain.

So it's always fun to go back and re-explore the kingdom of Alefgard. This time I didn't even stop to take names, just grabbed all the Erdrick equipment at level 14 and then grinded my way to 20. I tried to beat the Dragonlord at 17, 18, and 19. No dice. Although certainly possible to do, it was absolutely impossible to defeat the Dragonlord without relying on at least 2 "coinflips." Essentially I was looking at something of a 25% success rate given my characters stats. I decided I'd rather spend the 30 minutes grinding from 19 to 20. If I had just done that in the first place it would have been much faster, but less fun.

If you want to complete the game quickly, you need to skip about 40% of the purchasable upgrades. As far as weapons go, avoid the bamboo pole; it's too weak and the club is better. Also avoid the Flame Sword, you do not need it; instead buy the Silver Shield as soon as you can, because you will use this for the rest of the game.

You also do not need to buy the Chain Armor or Full Plate. Instead only get Leather, Half, Magic. You could get Full Plate instead of magic armor, but I found that the extra 5000 gold was not too hard to get when fighting Goldmen and Wyverns south of Rimuldar. 

The Axe Knight can be difficult, but I got a crit on him which gave me the armor early. I would suggest several attempts at him using repel water, and reset if you die. Rumors exist that sleep can work, but good luck with that.

Adding more party members to the game just slows down the formula. I wish more RPGs actually felt like you were the character, not some Starcraft Overmind issuing commands to an army of wizards and warriors.

On to Dragon Warrior II.









4 comments:

Richard Sharpe said...

I was born in 1981, and I think we're of very similar age. My parents got me Dragon Warrior for Christmas of 1990 for fee with a renewed subscription to Nintendo Power. I vastly prefer Katsuya Terada's beautiful artwork found in Nintendo Power over that of Toriyama's, of which I am no fan. I am not a fan of any other Dragon Warrior/Quest game, either.

However, I love Dragon Warrior and play it through probably once a year. I've made several posts throughout the years to the GameFaq's Dragon Warrior forums, which are alive and well to this day.

Still, I'm a much, much bigger fan of Final Fantasy, though believe me, I get what you're saying about feeling like you "are" the character. That's the one big defining aspect between JRPG and WRPG, in my opinion, by the way. I'd say Final Fantasy 1 and Dragon Quest 1 are both actually Western RPG's, though most people would call that blasphemy! As further evidence, both DW1 and FF1 are very open world. Hell, in DW1, the player isn't even forced to save the princess!

It's dated, though. Only for we few True Believers has it withstood the test of time. I don't blame those who didn't grow up exploring the colorful and mysterious world of Alefgard as children for not being interested now. Back in the days before we were spoon fed realistic graphics and instead had to use our imaginations, we created a world in our minds that did not really exist on the screen. The little video game people were actual characters that knew us through our video game avatar. The monsters were lurking in the darkness of the underworld and in the shadows of the forests. I never once, as a child, ever dared tell Gwealin that I didn't love her. I did, however, take the Dragon Lord up on his offer with dreams of becoming the Darth Vader to his Emperor Palpatine.


As for your comment about the Axe Knight, know that Ryan8bit's Dragon Warrior Formula Guide has all the info on Dragon Warrior there is to have: http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/563408-dragon-warrior/faqs/61640

There, we learn that that the fearsome Axe Knight has a Sleep spell resistance of 15/16, or 93%.

Just FYI: he also searches through the code to prove that there is absolutely no benefit to the Fighter's Ring. It only changes what a single NPC says.

Thanks again for the nostalgia!

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