The Chapters of the Chosen
Dragon Warrior IV, a classic for the NES. Released in 1992, the game did not fare well in the United States, as it was released during the 16 bit era. Though, those who found this gem, were greeted with a game with an interesting structure, wonderful music, and wacky characters.
Dragon Warrior IV presents itself very well. The music of the game is varied and is a joy to listen to, such as a frantic, calypso theme (Gypsy's Dance), a bouncy theme for an adventurous Princess (March of the Capricious Princess), and a lonely theme when the main hero is abandoned (Homeworld). The music is an amazing feat for an 8-bit game. The graphics on the other hand, could have been much better. Being such a late NES game, I would expect much more of the graphics. The colors of the character sprites do not match at all with their actual characters, and a lot of graphics are recycled in the overworld and towns. In battles though, the graphics are wonderful! The monsters are extremely detailed, and look exactly like their concept artwork. Overall, the presentation is very good, with amazing music and wonderful monster graphics.
The game suffers a bit in this section. Most of the game was very addicting, for their isn't much grinding at all, and the chapters of the game keep you engaged...except for chapter 3, "Taloon the Arms Merchant." In this chapter, the character Taloon has to raise money for various things, forcing you to grind (in a game where you don't need to grind that much, as stated before). For replayability, though, you may want to play this game again, as there are 7 characters in total that you can switch using, who have different skills and abilities to try out. Overall, this game is addictive, though chapter 3 is a chore to get through.
The story of the game is presented in a very interesting way, as each chapter you learn the back story of different characters you play as. I'll summarize each chapter below:
Chapter 1: The Royal Soldiers
This is the story of Ragnar, where he saves children from a Monster's tower with the help of his friend Healie, a Heal Sime, who dreams to become human. While rescuing the children, he learns about a "legendary hero."
Chapter 2: Princess Alena's Adventure
This is the tale of Princess Alena, a tomboy princess who dreams of adventuring outside the castle walls. She eventually breaks out, and is accompanied by Cristo, a chancellor, and Brey, a wizard. While adventuring, she hears about a tournament, which she decides to enter in. Before entering though, she hears about a villain named "Necrosaro." Once the tournament begins, she bests all her foes and thus ends the chapter
Chapter 3: Taloon the Arms Merchant
Taloon, a shop employee, dreams of having his own shop. Once he travels to the castle town of Endor, he rents a shop and owns it, then is requested by the king to earn items for his soldiers. Once Taloon does this, he earns 60,000 gold, which he then uses to excavate a tunnel.
Chapter 4: The Sisters of Monbaraba
The twins Mara, a dancer, and Nara, a fortune teller, seek to avenge their father's death from Balzack. The two travel to the castle town of Keeleon, and are not able to enter, as the castle doors are shut. With the help of Orin, their father's friend, they break in and defeat Balzack.
Chapter 5: The Chosen Ones
The hero of the story (who will be called Solo for the remainder of the review) is being hunted down by Necrosaro's (remember him?) minions. In the town Solo stays in, Necrosaro's minions kill everyone, while Solo manages to escape. Solo then travels around the land of Dragon Warrior IV, searching for his allies (the stars of the previous chapters). They then come together to go and defeat the main evil, Necrosaro.
The story is presented in an interesting way, and is top notch for an NES game.
The depth of this game comes primarily from the length. This is probably the longest NES game I have ever played, taking me around 35 hours to complete. Also, you have different character choices for your party in the last chapter, and throughout the game, you have access to a casino, to win prizes. There are a few sidequests in this game also, a Tiny Medal sidequest, some item quests, an a treasure chest quest. Overall, the game is expansive and offers tons of depth.
This is probably the easiest NES RPG in my opinion, as there is little penalty for death, not that much grinding, and freedom to make your own party. It's not too easy though, this is because of party AI, as you do not have control over anyone in the final chapter except Solo, so your party members may act dumb and do things you wouldn't do (for example, Cristo will cast the Defeat spell, a spell that only kills enemies, on a boss, when they are not effective to it, and will keep doing that he rest of the boss battle). You do have a certain extent to what your party members do, as you can set specific tactics to them. Overall, the game has perfect difficulty.
Within Dragon Quest IV, you will find an expansive world to explore, featuring remember able characters, an exceptional soundtrack, a lot of depth, an interesting story setup, and perfect difficulty. Dragon Warrior IV deserves to wonderful score of 9.4