Dragon Quest (originally localized as Dragon Warrior in USA and Europe) was the sixth best selling Famicom game released in 1986, selling approximately 1,500,000 copies in its lifetime. It was repackaged and re-released along with its direct sequel, Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line, as Dragon Warrior I & II for the Super Famicom in 1993 in Japan only, and later on for the Game Boy Color (with Super Game Boy support), which was released in Japan in 1999 and the United States in 2000.


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Game cover for the original Dragon Warrior release on the NES

Dragon Quest is most notably remembered as one of the earliest home console RPGs of its kind. It arrived on the Famicom/NES one year before Final Fantasy appeared on the same system; both games originally released for the Famicom in Japan, and would only be released overseas three years later, for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The Dragon Quest series is different from the Final Fantasy series in several respects. The biggest difference is the atmosphere: while Final Fantasy portrays beautiful worlds caught in the midst of an impending catastrophe, Dragon Quest tends to be a bit more serene with a touch of humor thrown in. Despite the differences, games from both series contain deep and intricate stories as well as hours of enjoyable game play.

As with any first game in a series, Dragon Quest is the most simplistic and not very complex. It casts the player in the role of a solo adventurer who must solve the world's problems single-handedly. It features a number of underground dungeons, a wide expansive world, and numerous well illustrated monsters to battle; the art style of the game, and in fact most of the series, was directed by Akira Toriyama, of Dragon Ball fame. Fights are simple as well, since they always consist of a one-on-one battle between you and a monster. Despite the lack of customization or strategic flexibility, Dragon Quest is a fine example of a basic RPG, and an astounding success in both Japan where the enjoyment of a good RPG was well known, and in America where it was thought that players would not appreciate such a slow paced game.

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