Turn Back The Clock
Distributed by: Nintendo
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
In a previous article, I reviewed the game Dragon Quest VIII, for the Playstation 2. In that review, I mentioned my love for an older version of that game, the great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of Dragon Quest VIII, Dragon Warrior for the NES. Naturally, the nostalgia got the better of me, so I searched the internet until I found the old Nintendo game available for sale and I bought it, eager to relive my childhood obsession.
In this game, you are a brave knight in the kingdom of Alegard, a descendant of a great hero named Erdrick. The Dragonlord has taken the Ball of Light, kidnapped the Princess, and sent his minions loose upon the land. You are hired by the king to find and defeat the Dragonlord and return the Ball of Light, so the kingdom may once again be at peace.
Unfortunately, your puny weapons are no match for the great Dragonlord. So you must search dungeon after dungeon, roam from town to town, and fight minion after minion, to find Erdrick’s lost weapons, unearth Erdrick’s special armor, and build your strength enough to become a formidable opponent for the evil Dragonlord.
I remember loving this game as a kid, remember playing it often, stealing any spare minute I could to level up, and remember waiting all day to play it again. Seventeen years later, even though the graphics are laughable by today’s standards, the music is monotone and repetitive, and the storyline is simple enough for an eight year old to grasp, I found that I enjoyed the game just as much as I had as a child. And the reason for that wasn’t just nostalgia.
The game’s simplicity actually worked in its favor. In this day and age, when graphics rule the game consoles, game creators tend to focus most of their energy on flashiness rather than entertainment. Dragon Warrior—the first RPG game—had an addictive sort of construction in its storyline. You fight, you gain points, you level up, you grow stronger, and then you go on to fight stronger monsters. The fact that simply crossing a bridge usually means a spike in the strength of the monsters you fight, really had me running back to the old NES to level up. It was like a challenge that I could not back away from. The story itself really didn’t mean much to me, as much as being able to walk across whatever continent I wanted without having to turn back or heal myself—that the monsters sometimes ran away from me, didn’t hurt either.
All in all, Dragon Warrior was a fun, addictive game that really turned me back to my childhood days when things were simpler and games had that special allure that cannot be described. If you’re a fan of RPG games or if you remember Dragon Warrior and regret that you chucked your old NES out the window for the SNES all those years ago, go to ebay, and do a search for that lost bit of your childhood. It’ll make you feel better.