Game Series: Dragon Warrior (NES) Episode 3
The first game in the Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest) series came out for the Nintendo Entertainment System (otherwise known as the Family Computer or Famicom in Japan) in 1986, and got a North America port in 1989. It was a stellar success in Japan, but was received a little less favorably in the western markets. However, it’s still regarded as the great-grandfather of the console RPG genre. I have written a review of the game, but decided that I’d do a Let’s Play Classics play through of the game. This is episode 3, featuring the the third approximate hour of game play. Below is the video:
Well, now that I’ve gotten the Chain Mail and the Hand Axe necessary for further adventures it’s time to do a little more monster battling and exploring! What that amounts to for now is some leveling up in the northern part of the south-western continent (in the hills past the mountain range connecting the the originating continent). I fight a some Magicians, Drakees, Scorpions and Ghosts and such until I have achieved level 8 (remember I left last episode at level 7). Once I reached level 8 I proceeded back to Tantagel Castle and officially saved with the King. Then, it was time for some new sights!
And so we start our journey to the town of Kol, which is two whole bridges away (if you remember, crossing a bridge allegedly increases the difficulty of the creatures you encounter). To get to Kol we have to go north and then to the east, and then further east (and a little south) over a second bridge. You’ll see some swamp to the south. We definitely don’t want to go on that yet, it poison’s you and depletes your hit points. Kol, in this instance, is up north past the first mountain range (and desert).
We get into the village of Kol, and of course, the first thing we do talk to the old man lounging around in the corner entrance, “This is the village of Kol.” Good to know!
We venture further into town and speak to the maiden in the square who asks us, “Please, save us from the minions of the Dragonlord.” I’m going to assume, because I’m nosy, that the guy in the square is her boyfriend. He has this to say, “Dreadful is this South Island. Great strength and skill and wit only will bring thee back from that place.” So, like my intuition about the swamp said, let’s avoid it for now.
We go into the shop to the east, and find ourselves with a red soldier. I’m guessing that the gray soldiers are one rank, and the red soldier’s are a higher rank cause that’s what I think about. He has this quite useful tidbit to say, “East of Hauksness there is a town, ’tis said, where one may purchase weapons of extraordinary quality.” I must remember this! At the counter of the weapons shop we find that we can buy a number of weapons, which are good, but really, what we’re after these days is the Large Shield back in Garinham.
However, we still have Kol to explore, so we leave the weapon shop and go exploring a little more. We meet in old man in a small clearing between the weapon shop and the inn, and he relates to us, “In legends it is said that fairies know how to put Golem to sleep.” Golem in this instance are monsters we haven’t seen yet. They’re quite large and intimidating. This is important information and is tied to something we’re going to do soon. Likewise, the soldier in the square tells us, “Golem is afraid of the music of the flute, so ’tis said.”
The red higher-ranking soldier in the corner by the square, hiding behind a tree heehee, asks us, “Hast thou seen Nester? I think he may need help.” I spoke of Nester in one of the last two episodes. Nester happens to be a character from Nintendo Power, he’s the young counterpart to Howard of Nintendo of America. Howard was famous for being the head honcho, and Nester was the kid that played all his games. So this is a bit tongue in cheek.
We go to the east of the fountain to talk to the woman, who seems to be wearing the same thing every woman in the game wears, it’s no surprise, there’s no tailors around here, and she claims, “This bath cures rheumatism.” Really? This reminds me of a local somewhat famous historical spiritual healer Francis Schlatter that came to Denver during some of his travels. Either way, we continue…
Here we do something a little weird. Elsewhere in the game, as I’ve played this game before, you find out clues that give you information as to a secret Fairy Flute hidden in Kol. It is south of the fountain. We haven’t come across these clues yet in this play through, but, that doesn’t stop the flute from being there regardless. And, since we already know about it, I just decided that I’d get it now. The flute comes in handy against the Golems, as was described earlier.
In the north-west corner of town there is an old man behind a counter. He’s also protected by a few squares of swamp. He must be important! So let’s go talk to him, step through the swamp, ow, ow, and he says, “Though thou art as brave as thy ancestor, Asher, thou cannot defeat the great Dragonlord with such weapons. Thou shouldst come here again.” Um, okay, that’s kind of helpful, but not super helpful now. Is this have to do with the three items mentioned by Erdrick in the tablet you found in that cave? I don’t know.
We go in to the random building (I’m not really sure what those green squares are supposed to be), and talk to the first man we see and asks, “Art thou the descendant of Erdrick? Hast thou any proof?” What is it with these people, what do I have to do… oh that’s right, slay the Dragonlord. Well, anyways, through the building out into the smoking corner we find another soldier who tells us, “Rimuldar is the place to buy keys.” Aha! So that’s where we find keys, good to know.
The man in the random building, who is green so at least he’s different… though, shouldn’t he be selling something? Anyways, he asks us, “Hast thou been to the southern island?” And if you say, well, no, he replies, “To the south, I believe, there is a town called Rimuldar.” Well, now we know where to find it. This is quite excellent. If you say yes, since he has no memory, he says, “I have heard that powerful enemies live there.”
Finally we get to the tools shop, perhaps this building is a mini-mall, and he’s selling the usual, except also some Wings. These are handy, but not something we really need at the moment, so we go on our way. Then we find out what the inn costs, which is 20 gold (whew!) and we go out to gather some gold for that Large Shield in Garinham.
We battle the usual enemies, except we find an additional enemy that we haven’t seen before. I’ve done a small bestiary on that particular monster, the Skeleton, below. But other than that, as we go around the forests near Kol, south and north of the mountain range, we gain enough money to get the Large Shield. Once we have enough, it’s back to Garinham!
Bestiary Part 2
Avg GOLD: 30
Special Attacks: None
Area: Eastern Continent, Around Kol
Description: The Skeleton is fairly strong, but doesn’t have any special attacks or spells. You can use this to a bit of your advantage, as you can cast Hurt or Sleep. I usually cast Sleep, though he does tend to wake up, which helps me whittle down his large number of hit points.
We head back over to Kol and continue our orbit around the town in the forest. Sometimes we venture into the hills past the forest, but in the end we battle a lot of Skeletons and Scorpions. Good stuff. We also gain a level and get ourselves up to 9. This is handy because we also learn a new spell. I believe it’s Radiance, which comes in really hand in the caves. Lucky for us, that’s one of the places we’re going to go soon (next episode).
Before we do that though, let’s get quite a bit of gold to reinforce our defenses. Once we have enough gold, as you’ll see in the video, I get the Half Plate from the weapon shop in Kol. The nice thing about these item shops is that they automatically buy your old equipment back (since you can’t really carry more than one shield or such). This reduces the price.
And The Adventure Continues…
From there we start our trek back to Tantegel Castle where we’re going to save with King Lorik. I don’t actually get inside the Castle in the video, but that’s the general idea. In the upcoming episode we’re going to venture into the south-western continent I believe to enter our first cave/dungeon with monsters in it. There we’ll meet quite a few new monsters to add to our bestiary. I finished this part out of the game at level 9, and having learned the Radiant spell.
This post is part of a series known as “Let’s Play Classics” focusing on the Dragon Quest series.
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photo credit: Spencer Means A town-festival day reenactment of St George and the Dragon, Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire, England via photopin (license)