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BenHaskett avatar 2:41 AM on 11.10.2008  (server time)
Going Back in Time: Dragon Questing, Part Five

I recently experienced my first proper Dragon Quest game with Chapters of the Chosen for the DS and have since fallen in love with the series. As a result of my sudden infatuation, Iíve set out to acquire and play through every localized Dragon Quest title right up until I replay the fourth entryÖ on the NES. And, so that I remember this occasion after Iíve moved on to the next amazing and shiny thing, Iíve decided to chronicle my adventures right here.

If youíve played any of the games Iíll be talking about, Iíd appreciate your comments as I donít know anyone locally who I can talk to about this wonderful series.

Part Five: Dragon Quest I

Getting the Game:

The biggest reason I love eBay is that, no matter how high demand is for a certain product, you're bound to eventually run into an auction that A) is completely underpriced because the seller simply doesn't know the value of the thing they're selling; or B) is completely untouched because the seller dresses it up in such a way that makes it unnoticeable to most eBay shoppers. I was lucky enough, in the case of Dragon Warrior 1, to come across two auctions that fell into both categories. The first was a boxed copy of the game with an opening bid of one cent. You'd think that someone else would have bid on this, but the seller used a stock photo and I think a lot of shoppers don't even bother to read the description in those cases. And yes, you read that right. I won a boxed copy of Dragon Warrior 1 for a penny, with free shipping. This was awesome, but the seller's definition of "excellent condition" didn't really match my own. Let me put it this way: the 80-page adventurer's guide started on page 8 and ended on 78. Also, it was missing the map, and the poster. But, meh, I wasn't complaining... it was practically free! So, I shipped it to Destructoid to be used as a RetroforceGO prize, and continued grinding through eBay.

Not long after, I came across another auction that was being run by a married couple who got most of their merchandise from estate auctions. So, yeah, not a lot of experience in the games market. Similarly to the last auction, they had a boxed copy of Dragon Warrior 1, but this time at twenty-five cents. Once again, it had a stock photo, which usually means that the item probably doesn't look so good, even though the seller describes it as "MINT CONDITION." Oh, right, there was one more pretty big difference between this and the first auction: this game was sealed. I figured this was the only way to make sure I'd get everything that came with the game, but, to my surprise, the game only came with the cart and instruction booklet. It must've been a second or third edition or something, because no one had ever opened that thing before me.

My first instinct was to head back to eBay and continue searching, but I figured I'd had enough good luck with this game and just settled on what I had. I mean, twenty-five mother-f***ing cents.

Playing the Game:

The game opens up with myself--the hero--standing before a king, with a few guards scattered throughout the throne room. The king refers to me as a descendant of Erdrick, whoever that it, and says that past Erdricks fought demons with a ball of light. Then this guy named Dragonlord showed up and "stole the precious globe and hid it in the darkness." My job is to recover the globe and restore peace to the land. Sounds simple enough, but when I spoke to one of the nearby guards, I found out the king's daughter, Princess Gwaelin, had been kidnapped by Dragonlord six months prior. To me, this sounds like a better motive for action than the first... I don't even know what the globe is or what it does.

As far as gameplay goes, the first thing I noticed about Dragon Warrior is that it doesn't have an action button; it has an action-menu button. In other words, in order to interact with anything (including, people, treasure chests, items, doors, and even stairs), simply pressing 'A' doesn't cut it. Instead, you have to press 'A' and select the desired command from the menu. This was really, really tedious at first, but I got used to it before too long.

As I walked out of the castle, I didn't make it more than a couple pixels out of the gate before I got into my first random battle. Interestingly, I'm not warped to a separate area for combat. Instead, a window shows up in the middle of the screen that has only a small backdrop and the enemy. I really like it.

I'll spare you the majority of the remaining details, but basically, I haven't done much in four hours to advance the story. I'm so weak, and I keep dying! I've managed to get to level four at this point, but I've died so many times that hobos could brag to me about their bank rolls. I feel strong enough now to actually go out and make some money (to get some decent armor), and when I do, I'll make my way to the first dungeon.

More in a few days. As always, thanks for reading.


Total elapsed time across entire Dragon Quest series: 103 hours -

IV DS - ~30 hours
VIII - ~70 hours
I NES - ~3 hours

Total amount of money spent on Dragon Quest Series: $175.00 (IV, VIII twice, slime controller, I, I&II GBA)

Oh, did I forget to mention that? I also bought Dragon Warrior I, II, and III on the GameBoy Color. You know, as a backup...

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