Dragon Warrior may seem like just an appetizer for the full-featured RPG experience in Dragon Warrior II, but the ability to play both games in succession and witness the interaction of their storylines greatly enhances the satisfaction gleaned from both titles.
Enix's Dragon Warrior made its debut on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990 (1986 in Japan). Although not the first turn-based RPG video game, Dragon Warrior was the initial introduction to the genre for millions of gamers. As the archetype for every subsequent video game RPG to follow, Dragon Warrior featured turn-based combat, experience-oriented leveling, and an engrossing plot. However, since the game centered upon a single protagonist, it lacked the strategy element inherent in party-based games. A year later, Dragon Warrior II remedied the situation, offering the ability to control a trio of heroes, while also delivering a larger world, beefed-up animation, and a more forgiving items system. Quite literally, both games paved the way for the RPGs we know today. A decade later, Enix has rereleased both Dragon Warrior and Dragon Warrior II on a single cartridge for Nintendo's Game Boy Color, titled Dragon Warrior I&II.
If you're unfamiliar with the Dragon Warrior series and happen to be a fan of plot in RPGs, you'll be happy to note that both Dragon Warrior and Dragon Warrior II feature strong, multithreaded storylines. Dragon Warrior places you, a descendant of the mighty Loto, in the land of Alefgard, which is troubled by an evil dragon king known as DracoLord. DracoLord has stolen the mythical Light Orb, and - unless you can stop him - he plans to use it to plunge Alefgard into eternal darkness. During the course of your quest to stop him, you'll not only become a battle-hardened warrior, but find true love as well. Subsequently, Dragon Warrior II picks up where the first game leaves off. The union forged in the first Dragon Warrior produces many offspring, who later go on to build three prosperous and expansive kingdoms. During a time of peace, an evil wizard named Hargon lays waste to the kingdom of Moonbrook, threatening the world with all-out genocide. As prince of Lorasia and a descendant of the mighty Loto, it is up to you to vanquish this threat. During your quest, you'll also enlist the aid of two other royal descendants of Loto: the warrior-mage Karl and the beautiful sorceress Fran. On their own or taken as a whole, both games feature storylines that are just as vibrant and fresh today as they were ten years ago, easily rivaling those found in any Final Fantasy, Zelda, or Pokémon game.
In terms of gameplay, both games, while similar in some respects, offer their own take on the RPG genre. Dragon Warrior features turn-based combat, experience-oriented leveling, and a quest that focuses on item gathering but does so from the vantage point of a single protagonist. As such, you're a walking army of weapons and spells, but you never really get to fight more than one monster at a time. In keeping with the game's emphasis on individualism, each town and castle has its own unique trait for which it's known. For example, Tantegel Castle is where you save, but the town of Rimuldar is the only place you can go to purchase keys. By contrast, Dragon Warrior II dumps multiple party members, deadly status attacks, and diverse locations into the mix. You play the staunch warrior, unable to cast spells to save your life, while Karl, prince of Cannock and your eventual companion, is a warrior-mage with average ability in both weapons and magic. Later on, Fran, a pure magician, will also join the adventure. These character differences add a great deal of strategy to the game, especially since you now have to face multiple enemies in battle. More importantly, the majority of Dragon Warrior II's towns and castles feature a multitude of save points, inns, chapels, and shops, eliminating the sometimes aimless wandering that plagued the first game. Just the fact that keys don't disintegrate once you use them is a major bonus. As a feature new to both games, you can also search among the many background objects, such as pots, dressers, and plants for power-ups and other hidden items.
- Player Reviews: 5
- Game Universe:
- Dragon Warrior III (GBC),
- Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors (WII),
- Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PS2),
- Dragon Quest IV (PS),
- Dragon Warrior VII (PS),
- Dragon Warrior I & II (GBC),
- Dragon Quest III (SNES),
- Dragon Quest VI (SNES),
- Dragon Quest I & II (SNES),
- Dragon Warrior IV (NES)