Another design decision that pushed Dragon Quest into the hands of a wider audience was the idea that the game is playable from the first moment it's turned on. Not having read the manual should not be an impediment to playing, nor should the game require a tutorial; everything must be intuited from the interface. Now, I don't know how close to this ideal Dragon Quest actually got--since many of the words for spells in Japanese were nonsense words--but so far Dragon Warrior is a simple enough to understand. Many of the NPCs will tell you how to play (e.g. "go get equipment," "you need to raise your level before traveling far")
Lacking some originality, I chose to name my character Zenic (I'll get more elaborate in the future). Luckily the US release has saves instead of passwords, and even more fortuitous the battery still works on this cart. Having played this game many times before, I knew my first stop was to get some equipment from the nearby town--one of the guards also helpfully informs me of this point. Before I get to that I have to figure out how to get out of the thrown room.
|They look like regular treasure chests to me|
For my equipment I chose to go with some cloth armor and a club; it's possible to purchase a small shield as well if I bought a bamboo pole instead. After speaking to everyone in the village I got my first hint. There is a town to the northwest if I head for the shore and follow it. Before I go off adventuring though, I need to gain some levels, and upgrade some of my equipment. And so, the grinding begins.
|At least the game is honest about its grinding|
While the grinding is so far the majority of the game, I haven't found it completely overwhelming. I enjoy calculating how many enemies I can kill in an outing, how much more gold I need to upgrade my equipment, and how far I could make it if I really tried. Maybe it's been ingrained in me through playing many console RPGs, but grinding really doesn't bother me; in fact, I enjoy it to some extent when trying to figure out the most optimized method to gather experience and gold.
|An early enemy that can cast the spell Hurt, which hurts|
|How did Erdrick know evil would come again, he'd fail to defeat it?|
|That's half my hit points|
|Yeah, sorry about that, and thanks for bringing me back to life|
|Guess the honeymoon is over|
Session Time: 2h20m