The player takes the role of a namable Hero. The Hero's name has an effect on his statistical growth over the course of the game. Battles are fought in a turn-based format and experience points and gold are awarded after every battle, allowing the Hero to level-up in ability and allows them to buy better weapons, armor, and items. Progression consists of traveling over an overworld map and through dungeons, fighting monsters encountered via random battles along the journey. " As a whole, Dragon Warrior has been credited with establishing the basic template for the Japanese console RPGs that followed. " -Wikipedia
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The first true jrpg and the first title in a franchise I love. The game is incredibly simple but surprisingly it represented a sense of adventure better than any retro adventure game I've played has. Its so cool seeing how differently it plays from even DQ2. Its not perfect, the naming system is rather silly and can kill playthroughs, and there are too many empty places that waste time or lead to nowhere and few moments where I genuinely needed a guide, but cross referencing a printed map and discovering secrets via intuition, is an experience I won't forget.
The first and easily the weakest. The mobile version did add some helpful qol improvements but it still is the 1986 rpg at its core and still has mamh of the issues such as being sent back to tantagel when you die etc . Great if you want to see where the genre and series started but not really the most fun experience.
to my shock, the original dragon quest actually holds up quite well, despite it's age. simple combat mechanics and overly cryptic puzzles hold it back from being easily replayable but this is a strong first entry for such an old rpg series. must have been mind-blowing in 1986.