Saturday, March 24, 2012

Game 5: Dragon Warrior (NES) - Winning

Battles are so much easier when using the correct strategy. I wonder if there are any games that let you research enemies before having to fight them. CRPGs seem to reward the well prepared, yet the only way to prepare is by fighting first and reloading after learning what to expect. In my last fight with the Axe Knight, I found he could cast sleep. So, this time I made sure stopspell (silence) took effect, negating the turns he cast sleep. Those few turns--plus my own sleep spell--allowed me enough time to finish him off.
See the axe, and he's a knight: Axe Knight... get it?
After the battle I searched the ground to find Erdrick's Armor. Due to Zenic only having room for one armor, he dropped the Full Plate instead of selling it. There goes 1,500 gold. The armor has a couple of beneficial side effects beyond the increased defense. First it heals me 1 HP per step; this reduces my grinding time as I now don't have to go back to gain magic points since I'm not spending as many on heal spells. Second, the armor protects me from damaging tiles; barriers and swamp tiles now do 0 damage. Quite useful for getting to Erdrick's Token, which is in the middle of a swamp.

With the token, I was able to prove to the last of the three keepers I'm Erdrick's heir, and obtain the rainbow drop. Honestly though, anyone could have come along and found in his token, so why does this prove anything? The drop took both of the previous items to make, and is used to create a bridge to Charlock (the Dragonlord's Castle).
Think they could have sprung for a different icon for a Rainbow Bridge
Now, the grinding begins. Let's just skip to the end and say 2 hours later I gained 3 levels, had enough gold to get the Flame Sword, and started to explore the Dragonlord's Castle. Most of the enemies there are still too much for me to take on; I can deal with green dragons if I can heal all my hit points afterwards, and wizards aren't so bad if I land a stopspell. Being level 17, I just gained Healmore, which seems to bring me back to max HP.

Using my new found healing abilities I've been looking for a way to get a treasure chest in the middle of the tunnels. Before getting there I found the path to the Dragonlord (not right up to him, but I think I saw him). There's a second path that I haven't followed to the end yet, but it went down quite a bit. Finally, the last path I tried that night led to the treasure I saw before. Turns out it was Erdrick's Sword. It's a great improvement to the Flame Sword as my damage per hit has increased from 20s to 30s.
There's an NPC in Charlock: must be the Dragonlord
There's an old man in Kol I forgot to visit once I found the sword. He kept making mention that I should come back once I had a powerful weapon. Other than that though, I'm fairly sure it's just the ending ahead of me. I'm going to gain a couple more levels and attempt to take the Dragonlord out.

If I don't get it after a few tries, then I'll grind out another level, and try again. It's about all there is left to do in the game. Gaining levels has actually gotten faster though, as the amount of experience needed for each level hasn't gone up since level 15 (3,000 EXP), but monster experience has almost doubled. With luck, I'll finish early tonight, and be lost for something to do.

Session Time: 2h55m (Total: 9h55m)


  1. Once I saw the title, I thought you had won the game! That, and I was thinking Charlie Sheen. Tiger blood, anyone?

    Best of luck in finishing the game tonight! :)

  2. I was thinking maybe it might be confusing, but I went with it because it fits (not because of anyone's catch phrase). I've been keeping the post titles very basic in honor of Dragon Warrior being a very basic CRPG (not quite as basic as a roguelike, but that's a different story). Exploring, Grinding, and Winning are about as basic as a CRPG can get. Hopefully it doesn't take too much luck getting through the rest of this game. Thank you though. I'm definitely starting to get that itch to move on to the next game.

  3. Lost for something to do? Us gamers are never lost for something to do. ;)

    If you remove the hours and hours of grinding, this game seems quite short. Is that a fair comment?

    1. The hours of grinding I have put into this counts for only half the time. I guess if 5 hours is a short game, then that's a fair comment. Compared to other CRPGs 11 hours is still a relatively short game. I hope you're doing well with Shadowgate. Definitely check out the NES version when you're done though.

    2. I definitely remember DW1 as a really short game for a RPG. The sequels are much (much) longer though.

    3. Yes, I do remember all the sequels start pushing the time further and further. I remember the second one took me about 40 - 50 hours, although that was years ago, so hopefully it goes a bit faster with my adult mind and note taking abilities.

  4. “I wonder if there are any [CRPGs] that let you research enemies before having to fight them.”

    Well, if any of the Ultima ports were done faithfully enough, then they'd fall into that category (I'm guessing that Exodus/III didn't)... Unfortunately I can't recall whether the other RPGs I played on any platform included information on the monsters, though. :-p

    1. I'm not sure how the PC version was, but Exodus on NES has one place you get the correct sequence to kill Exodus. It's not really what I was getting at though. I mean researching enemy skills and weaknesses before actually fighting them. We'll see about the other Ultima games later on.

  5. The first time I beat this game I did it with the flame sword. Then I went back, found the sword using a map, and beat it again.

    1. I can't imagine trying this with the Flame Sword. Any idea what level you were?

    2. No, but I bet I still have the game around, I could probably check.
      Yep; game still works. I was level 26 with 3758 XP to the next level. However, this save is from after I had the Loto[sword], so I might have been a bit lower level before I went back, searched the castle, then seem to have walked all the way back to the first town.

      H: 197
      M: 42
      Lv: 26

      Wearing: Lotto[armour], Silver[shield], Lotto[sword]
      Inventory: Herb 3, Key 2, Flame[sword], LoraLuv, Loto Seal, Warp Wing.

      Stats screen
      HP: 197/197
      MP: 42/178

      GRD: 57

      Ex: 53242


      Since I have them in my inventory anyway:
      Loto[sword] shows ATK E150 (with it my attack is 150, so it boost my ATK by 40)
      Flame[sword] shows ATK 150 -> 138 (So it is boosting it by 28).
      And with no sword my ATK is 110.

      The Lotto[armour] changes my DEF from 82 to 110. (So 28)
      The Silver[shield] changes my DEF from 90 to 110. (So 20)

      I also have something called the D-Scale equipped, and it just shows ??? in the description of it.

      Man, I forgot how hard the GBA screen was to see if not in 100% direct light.

      How does that measure up to you? The one bit of grinding I remember was walking up and down the coast of the last area killing flying dragon-snakes for gold, since I made up images about each fight and how badass I was during it. I met a lot of metal slimes in that area as I recall. I wasn't having trouble with level, so I think I was grinding for gold, probably for the Flame[sword] or Silver[shield].

      As a note; my version has save-anywhere, uses symbols for items due to onscreen space constraints (So shield is 1 character, Thus why I type it in brackets) and Lotto is your ancestor (Which is closer to Rotto, which is the name in Japanese; it seems you can translate it to R or L.)

      I should restart DragonWarrior II when you reach that game; Is it long in the future? I think I was quite far, I had a ship I think, but have no idea where to go anymore, it having been years and years since I played the game. I'm actually surprised that the cartridge still has my file, since those old GBC carts use battery saves, don't they?

    3. Ah, the GBA version was supposed to be a lot easier on the grind. I didn't save all last night, so I don't know what my stats were at the end.

      Dragon Warrior II is 15 games into the future. A rough estimate puts it at about October. Although, that could be pushed back a month or two because someone just talked me into playing some Intellivision and ColecoVision CRPGs (actually it didn't take much more than, "did you know about these"). With Miracle Warriors I'm guessing if each game takes a week I should get to Dragon Warrior II near the beginning of December. Seems rather far off doesn't it?

      It could come sooner though, depends on if I put more or less time into each week. Also, estimates for 20+ games can get very loose.