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Dragon Warrior

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Title Screen

Dragon Warrior

Also known as: Dragon Quest (JP)
Developer: Chunsoft
Publishers: Enix (JP), Nintendo (US)
Platform: NES
Released in JP: May 27, 1986
Released in US: August 1989


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


Dragon Warrior was released in Japan as Dragon Quest, and sparked a long line of popular games...at least over there. It took a while elsewhere, and Europe tended to get screwed over.

Unused Graphics

Town Overworld Tile

Dragon quest castle block.png

An overworld tile for a castle that strangely goes unused.

(Source: The IT from the Sprite Database)

Regional Differences

Title Screen

Japan US
Apparently the logo isn't trademarked, either Licensed *and* trademarked to Nintendo.

First and foremost, the name alteration: while called Dragon Quest in Japan, in America there were some trademark issues over that name; as a result, the American releases began as Dragon Warrior.

Dragon Quest has the logo on a solid-color background, while Dragon Warrior has a more generic logo on a somewhat more interesting background. It also moves all the options to menus following the title screen.

Saving

Japan US
This is a joke, right Menus within menus

While Dragon Quest used a password-based system, Nintendo replaced it with a battery-backed SRAM system.

Sprites and Graphics

Hmmm...
To do:
Add comparisons between the Japanese and American's different sprites.
Japan US
Doesn't have a face anyway Look at me, I can look at chests

Dragon Quest used sprites much like older PC RPGs (such as the early Ultima games), in that characters did not face in a particular direction, but instead always face forward. Dragon Warrior uses more space for graphics, so characters are able to face in all directions. The graphics were also given a bit of an upgrade, too. Also, the window showing the player's stats was moved a bit to the left due to the command window being expanded.

Japan US
Making up for having fewer menus at the start It's like talking to a brick wall

Further, when you talk to someone in Dragon Quest, you have to choose a direction first. Due to the new sprites, Dragon Warrior removes the concept and the direction you face is used. Additionally, in the command window, the locations of "SEARCH" and "DOOR" {しらべる and とびら, respectively} were switched due to the longer English text.

Japan US
The Latin alphabet font was also changed. The people in the castle have changed, but the castle hasn't.

The directional differences apply to all mobile NPCs as well.

Japan US
ああああ is Japanese for AAAA, by the way It's like being at a real ocean!

Further, the additional graphic space allowed for actual coastlines, instead of the somewhat more abrupt water-land transitions of the Japanese release.

Ending

Japan US
Great!! Congratulations!

The text before the end credits was rewritten for the North American version.

Other Differences

  • If you decide to join the Dragonlord in the Japanese version, he gives you a password in addition to ending your journey. The password he gives you will return you to the beginning of the game but with slightly lower stats compared to a new start of the game.

Revisional Differences

The two American releases are mostly the same, minus two text changes.

Revision 0 Revision 1
Really getting our money's worth with this image Nintendo can grammar

The title screen corrected an error, changing "to" to "of" in the Revision 1 version.

Revision 0 Revision 1
AAAA's Greatest Hits I was wondering what that P was there for

The battle damage was changed from "Hits" to "Hit Points".

(Source: Acmlm)

Dragon Quest leftovers

In Dragon Quest, the same graphics bank contains all the graphics for the townspeople sprites and monster sprites. The first 32 tiles of the graphics bank contain only graphics for the townspeople, and these were clobbered and replaced with animated sprites for the title screen, but some of the now-unused townspeople sprites remain in the graphics bank.

These sprites can be reconstructed from the tiles left over:

Dragon warrior dq1 leftovers 3x.png