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Dragon Warrior

aka: DQ, Dragon Quest

Description official description

Once upon a time, the Balls of Light illuminated the kingdom of Alefgard, keeping its winters short and sustaining its peace. However, a man who could tame dragons and hence known as a Dragonlord, became corrupted by his magical studies. He attacked the Tantegel Castle and stole the Balls of Light, causing monsters to roam the land. A valiant hero named Erdrick, who had obtained the Balls of Light for the kingdom in the first place, attempted to defeat the Dragonlord and disappeared without trace. Many years later, during the reign of King Lorik XVI, the Dragonlord abducted Princess Gwaelin, carrying her to Castle Charlock. One day, a knight appears in front of the king, claiming to the be the descendant of Erdrick. He is entrusted with the mission to vanquish the Dragonlord, as the prophet Mahetta has predicted.

Though not the first role-playing game developed by a Japanese company, Dragon Warrior is considered one of the progenitors of the Japanese RPG genre, and the first to appear on a home console. The player navigates a lone pre-made protagonist on a top-down overworld, accessing locations represented by icons, similarly to early Ultima games. As opposed to most other RPGs of the time, dungeons are viewed from an overhead perspective as well. In cities and palaces it is possible to talk to people, rest in inns and buy weapons, armor and items in shops.

When wandering around in the wilderness or through dungeons, the player character encounters randomly appearing enemies. Combat is turn-based, with the player selecting menu options while fighting. It is possible to attack with the equipped weapon, cast one of the few available spells (using up some of the magic energy), use an item, or try to run. All the battles in the game are exclusively one-on-one. Killing monsters yields experience, and the player character's attributes improve automatically when he levels up.

With the exception of the final location, the entire game world is theoretically open for exploration from the beginning. However, the enemies become increasingly tough as the player character attempts to move away from the starting town, effectively limiting him to confined areas determined by his level. The hero has limited hit points, loses them when attacked by enemies, and dies when he runs out of them, at which point he is automatically restored in a nearby town. It is possible to save the game only by talking to the king in the initial castle.


  • ドラゴンクエスト - Japanese spelling
  • 勇者斗恶龙 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

Groups +



Credits (NES version)

25 People (23 developers, 2 thanks) · View all

Scenario Writer
Character Designer
Music Composer
CG Design
Scenario Assistant
Assisted by
Title designed by
Manual illustrated by
Special Thanks
Translated by
Revised Text
Technical Support
Programmed by
CG Designed by
Special Thanks to
Copyright 1986 1989
  • Armor Project
  • Bird Studio
  • Chun Soft
[ full credits ]



Subject User Date
Green dragon Donatello (463) 2013-03-19 06:22:43
Is the PC-98 version really an official release? Trypticon (11043) 2010-09-08 16:57:40


1001 Video Games

The NES version of Dragon Quest appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Nintendo Power

Nintendo eventually gave away a free copy of Dragon Warrior to everyone who subscribed to Nintendo Power.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #8 (Titles That Revolutionized Console Gaming) (NES version)
  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #37 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
  • Information also contributed by Satoshi Kunsai

    Related Games

    Dragon Warrior IV
    Released 1990 on NES
    Dragon Warrior III
    Released 1988 on NES
    Dragon Warrior II
    Released 1987 on NES, 1988 on MSX
    Dragon Warrior VII
    Released 2000 on PlayStation
    Dragon Quest V: Tenkū no Hanayome
    Released 2004 on PlayStation 2
    Dragon Quest IV: Michibikareshi Monotachi
    Released 2001 on PlayStation
    Dragon Warrior III
    Released 1996 on SNES, Game Boy Color, 2010 on BREW...

    Related Sites +

    • Dragon Warrior 1 Shrine
      Shrine dedicated to the great NES game. Includes maps, item chart, boss guide enemy guide, walkthroughs, and everything related to the game
    • Dragon Warrior I @ Dragon's Den
      Very comprehensive fansite with hints, manuals and other information.
    • Dragon Warrior shrine
      In-depth information to the Dragon Warrior series on this fan-made site.
    • Howard & Nester do Dragon Warrior
      A regular feature in Nintendo Power magazine, Howard & Nester was a comic strip about two game whizzes who would one-up each other, while disclosing hints and tips, in the settings of various recently-released games for the NES platform. In the January/February 1990 two-page installment, Howard and Nester employ different approaches toward retrieving the Stone of Sunlight from Tantegel Castle.
    • Kingdom of Alefgard
      A Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior fansite.
    • OC ReMix Game Profile
      Fan remixes of music from <em>Dragon Warrior</em>.

    Identifiers +

    • MobyGames ID: 9223


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    Contributors to this Entry

    Game added by Unicorn Lynx.

    Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Roedie, purestylin, Guy Chapman, Alaka, Pseudo_Intellectual, General Error, —-, Patrick Bregger, Thomas Thompson, FatherJack.

    Game added May 18th, 2003. Last modified April 24th, 2023.