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Video Game / Dragon Quest I

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The first in the groundbreaking Dragon Quest series, Dragon Quest I (titled Dragon Warrior in North America when it was first brought over) is the story of the descendant of the legendary hero Erdrick, who has been summoned by the king of Alefgard to rescue his daughter and defeat the Dragonlord, who is threatening the kingdom and has stolen the legendary Ball/Sphere of Light.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. It barely rises above the level of Excuse Plot, but considering it was essentially the first to even try to on a console, as it was first released in 1986, it was incredibly groundbreaking at the time, being essentially the first console JRPG.

In North America, it didn't make very much of a splash, in part because it arrived much later than it did in Japan — North America didn't see it until 1989, at which point the Anglophone RPG scene had already moved past the game that had inspired DQ1's creation in turn.note  Despite this, Nintendo did try very hard to push the game, giving out copies to subscribers of Nintendo Power and giving the game a ton of attention in said magazine, as well as it featuring in several episodes of Captain N: The Game Master. It proved decently popular, but the "hardcore" RPG players of America derided it for its simplicity compared to the Ultima and Gold Box releases of the time.


In Japan, however, Dragon Quest simply began everything. It was there at the right time and place — Japan of 1986 — to get millions of people playing it, being a simple enough game for a child to play but long and difficult enough for even an adult to appreciate. While it isn't quite the true Ur-Example and Trope Codifier for the Japanese RPG — that would be its second successor — said successor would never have happened without this game, and it still had, and continues to have, a massive influence on the Japanese video game zeitgeist.

The game's release history is absolutely enormous - in Japan. In the '80s and '90s it was ported to virtually every platform imaginable — the MSX, the PC-98, the Sharp X68000, the Super Famicom, and Satellaview... the SFC port is notable, however, for introducing some significant graphical and performance updates to the game. North America never saw any of this; when a Game Boy Color port was produced in 1999, North America received it a year later... and then that was it, despite a feature-phone version coming out in 2004 and the entire Loto trilogy getting a multi-version port archive release on the Wii in 2011. In 2013, a SFC-based smartphone version was produced (its visuals, however, were further updated and resemble those of the SNES remake of Dragon Quest III), and this was released to the wider English-speaking world with an updated translation. The game was re-released as part of the Dragon Quest 1+2+3 Collection for the Nintendo Switch on September 27, 2019.


A List of Tropes draws near! Command?

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The level cap is 30 at 65535 EXP, but you can curbstomp the Dragonlord well before then, around Level 24 (you need a minimum of Level 20 to have the least chance at beating him). If you reach level 30, the king will lampshade this by saying "Thou art strong enough! Why can thou not defeat the Dragonlord?" Unlike most others on this list, however, it actually becomes easier to gain levels, as the XP amount between levels is static at that point, even though you're dealing more damage and taking less in return. However, since 98% of the entire game is grinding, it's all a matter of whether you even want to bother grinding more than you have to.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The cost of staying at an inn is directly proportional with the distance you have to travel from Tantegel castle to get there.
  • Advertising-Only Continuity: The NES ad shows a knight crossing a river on horseback. The player character does not ride on a horse, and cannot cross water unless there is a bridge.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Averted, surprisingly for such an old game; separate sprites were created for when the hero is facing left and right. Doesn't apply in the Japanese version, in which the player character always faces South no matter what direction he's walking.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The North American box art depicts the same scene as the Japanese box (seen at the top of this page) — the blue-and-red hero, the Dragon, and a castle — but with realistically proportioned characters and a broader color palette.
  • Artifact of Death: The Cursed/Death Necklace and the Cursed Belt. Oddly enough, if you don't equip them, shopkeepers pay good money for them. Considering how early you can acquire them, it's reasonable to repeatedly enter the (low-leveled) dungeon to acquire more belts to sell for lots of cash.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Flame Sword is the single most expensive weapon in the game, and costs a lot of money in an area where monsters don't drop much of it (compared to other areas). By the time you're actually able to afford the Flame Sword, you'll likely be strong enough to get the Erdrick/Loto Sword, which is even better. Another issue with the Flame Sword in the remakes is its special ability when used as an item, the only piece of equipment to have this ability. It fires off a damage spell in between the strengths of the standard attack magic. The problem? Simply wielding the Flame Sword and using the regular attack will overpower this ability.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Princess Gwaelin/Laura shares one with the hero after he saves her from the dragon.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Completely averted by the shops and marketplaces in villages. Any time you step through a door, rather than being taken to a separate screen, the surrounding area goes black and its roof essentially turns invisible, allowing you to see the inside.
  • Bleak Level: Hauksness/Domdora. Unlike other towns, Domdora was razed to the ground by the Dracolord. High-level monsters prowl among the ruins, and toxic acid pools bubble everywhere.
  • Boring Return Journey: The game does not conclude with the defeat of the Big Bad. You complete the game by returning to visit the king. You can just cast return and be done with it. But you can go anywhere you like before doing this, including visiting towns to receive thanks from all the people you've saved. While getting to the Big Bad involves thousands of random battles, after his defeat, there are none to be found, even in the dungeons, since defeating the Dragonlord gives you the stolen Ball of Light, which essentially saves the realm.
  • But Now I Must Go: After saving Princess Gwaelin and slaying the Dragonlord, the Hero is offered the throne of Tantegel, but he declines and sets off on a journey to explore new, uncharted lands beyond Alefgard.
  • But Thou Must!: The line itself comes from talking to the princess after you save her. She asks: "Dost thou love me?" The answer to saying no is: "But thou must," and her asking again until you pick yes. The remakes remove the illusion of choice entirely:
    Gwaelin: Oh! I'm so happy!!
  • Cap: The level cap is 30, which you would reach at 65,535(16 bits) EXP, with 255(8 bits) for the stats. You stop learning new spells at level 20, but the additional experience for each new level doesn't change. You can gain levels faster and faster as your stats rise until you hit the cap. Given that you can beat the Dragonlord at level 19, with some luck, anything beyond about level 25 is overkill anyway. If you reach the level cap of 30 in the NES version, the king will ask why you haven't yet slain the Dragonlord.
  • Chokepoint Geography: Appears twice: The only way to reach Rimuldar and the Southern Shrine is via the Marsh Cave and the only way to reach Charlock Castle is via a narrow channel with the bridge created by the Rainbow Drop.
  • The Chosen One: You play as the descendant of your country's legendary hero.
  • Clingy Costume: "The Cursed Belt is squeezing thee tightly."
  • Continuing is Painful: Dying makes you lose half the gold in your possession.
  • Cute Slime Mook: The slimes are the Trope Maker.
  • Degraded Boss: The Green Dragon guarding Princess Gwaelin becomes a regular enemy in the city of Hauksness and in Charlock Castle. The Axe Knight guarding Erdrick's Armor also shows up randomly in Charlock.
  • Depending on the Writer: The hero is either from a small village in Torland who washed up on the shores of Alefgard (Alfregard in the GBC version) or an Alefgard native who had been training for the day he might be able to fight. Either way, he was already aware of his lineage, despite not having any way to prove it until he found his ancestor's seal in a perilous poison swamp. You'd think they'd keep family trees. At least his descendants actually had his gear as family treasures.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • In the remakes, if you are carrying the princess with you to Charlock Castle and talk to the Dragonlord, he actually thanks you for saving him the trouble of having her transported there.
    • The game will take the time to rib you if you decide to not rescue the Princess at all.
  • Do You Want to Haggle?: Averted unlike the later entries. The manual clearly explains that you, the player, can't haggle the price of sold items. In other words, Alefgard merchants will accept your old equipment for half its original price and won't haggle because they are very stubborn.
  • Dub Name Change: Between the Japanese script and the NES localization, "Loto" became "Erdrick"; "Lars" became "Lorik"; "Lora" became "Gwaelin"; and several other towns were renamed as well (such as "Mercado" becoming "Cantlin"). Later versions of the game and fan translations went a little back and forth between names from the Japanese script, the NES, or further alterations. As of Dragon Quest Builders, which shares a setting with this game, Square Enix has consistently used the names from the NES version.
  • Dungeon Town: The desert town of Hauksness was destroyed by the Dragonlord and is now inhabited only by high-level endgame enemies that you have to fight through in order to find Erdrick's Armor.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: This is the only game in the series with only one player character (and, conversely, you will only fight one enemy per encounter), and the only installment in which dungeons are not naturally lit, necessitating a torch or the never-again-seen Radiant spell to navigate. There's even a separate command for using stairs, though its later remakes do away with this. There is also the peculiar required use of one-time-use magic keys to open 'any and every'' door you come across (eventually you'll be able to purchase keys as needed), oh and these doors reset when you leave. It's also far more open-ended than subsequent games in the series: the only place you cannot go to at the beginning of the game is the Dragonlord's island, though a generous helping of Beef Gate makes toddling down to Rimuldar, Hauksness, or Cantlin right out the gate extremely impractical.
    • The Japanese versions of both the first and second game feature a Password Save system; Dragon Quest III was the first entry with battery saves.
    • This was the only Famicom/NES version to feature a background when fighting enemies in the overworld. Every other Famicom/NES version would have an all-black background.
    • This is the only Dragon Quest game to have a Level 30 cap for the hero. Subsequent games would increase the level cap.
    • There is no legendary shield. The strongest shield you can get is the Silver Shield, which can be purchased for 14,000 gold.
    • Besides the Fighter's Ring and Dragon's Scale, you can only equip a weapon, shield and armor. The Fighter's Ring and Dragon's Scale situation is also unique because you can equip both at the same time. Later games made rings and trinkets unique until Dragon Quest IX.
  • Easter Egg:
    • In the original NES version, there are many references to people looking for "Nester", until you eventually find him and he asks if anyone has been searching for him. Nester was the name of a comic strip character in Nintendo Power (For a while it was also the name entered by players at the magazine for games that let you name your character, as could be seen in the screencaps used in the articles).
    • You also can run into a character named Howard, who is named after Nester's partner in the comic.note 
    • As mentioned under Guide Dang It!, the name you give your hero can have an effect on your base stats and leveling rate. Perhaps unsurprisingly, "Loto" is one of the best names to pick.
    • Returning to Hauksness after defeating the Dragonlord will let you meet the ghost of Garin (the bard whose tomb you explored earlier in the game to obtain his Silver Harp), who shares with you the tragic story of Hauksness's past as a busy, bustling town before it was destroyed.
  • Erotic Dream: A man sleeping at the inn in Kol seems to be dreaming about having the puff-puff massage and enjoying it.
  • Evil Laugh: The Dragonlord laughs if you accept his offer in the remake.
  • Evil Weapon: The Cursed Necklace and the Cursed Belt found in the Charlock Castle. Great stats, but they curse the Hero if equipped.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
    • The basic damage spell in the NES version is called HURT. It hurts enemies. The stronger version is called HURTMORE. It hurts enemies more. Similarly, there's HEAL and HEALMORE; you can probably guess what they do.
    • You are on a quest to slay a dragon/a warrior who slays dragons.
  • Final Boss: The Dragonlord himself is the very final enemy fought in the game on his throne in Charlock Castle. He's the only boss in the game that is a Sequential Boss, and after he's defeated, the Ball of Light is reobtained and all enemies in the game vanish on your way back to the start.
  • First Town: Tantegel, a town located close to the castle, which the player will probably visit to buy weapons or armor early on.
  • Fisher King: Defeat the Dragonlord and not only do all of the other monsters disappear from the game but the poisonous swamps will be replaced by fields of flowers in the remakes.
  • Flaming Sword: The second most powerful weapon you can wield. The best one is Erdrick's Sword.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: If there wasn't any in this game, you'd likely be able to beat it in half an hour. For example, people have run thousands of simulations on emulators and have determined that the Dragonlord is nearly impossible to defeat at level 17 or below in the NES version since you absolutely must have Healmore to stand a reasonable chance against the Dragonlord's dragon form. However, with a tool-assisted run, manipulating luck beyond reasonable means, the game can be completed at level 7. Even more astonishingly, this has also been accomplished by humans now.note 
  • Golem:
    • Chilling right outside the walls of Cantlin, and actually visible in later remakes.
    • Aside from the enemy of this very name, there's also the Stoneman and Goldman.
  • Grimy Water: Poisonous swamps appear throughout the series, but the only game where you can actually die from its damage is the very first game; sequential titles will never let your party's health fall below 1HP.
  • Guide Dang It!: Your name actually affects your base stats and stat growth.
    • Good luck finding any of the invisible items that you can only obtain by using the "Search" command on a specific tile.
  • Heroic Mime: Subverted at the very end of the game.
  • Hypocrite: A guy in Rimuldar states that all warriors should wear a ring, but when you wear the ring that one of the people who fought alongside Erdrick wore, he'll complain that it's for preening maidens.
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • The Flame Sword is your sword version with a +28 boost to your attack, and it has a special action when used as an item.
    • The Magic Armor is your armor version. While it has the same +24 boost as the Full Plate, you gain Healing Factor of one Hit Point regained every four steps, and it reduces HURT and HURTMORE spells by 1/3.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • Erdrick's Sword. A +40 Attack bonus! A 12 point difference indeed and highly recommended for dealing with the absurdly powerful monsters before reaching the Dragonlord himself.note 
    • Erdrick's Armor. A +28 bonus to armor. Same properties as Magic Armor but with 4x Healing Factor (1 Hit Point per step) and 1/3 resistances against fire breath. Additional bonuses include immunity to all terrain damage tiles and STOPSPELL.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: The game has one-use keys (and they are magic, which explains one key fitting every door in the world). Lampshaded if you visit Rimuldar after beating the game: the magic key-maker announces he will devote the rest of his life to making keys that will not break after one use.
  • Level Grinding: So much in the NES version, adjusted a bit in the various remakes but still needed (for the most part).
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Monsters who have the SLEEP spell. A monster can put you to sleep as a preemptive attack and then wail on you until you die. Worse if it is the Red Dragon.
      • Using the SLEEP spell yourself can be this as well. Either it makes the battle a cakewalk while you wail on the helpless beast, or it either doesn't work at all or wears off almost immediately and you just wasted your precious MP for nothing.
    • Monsters who have the HEALMORE spell (Starwyvern and Armored Knights). Either the battle gets annoying enough that it will spam it almost every time it gets low health. Either keep on attacking and hope it doesn't use that spell or waste 2 MP on STOPSPELL and proceed. Made worse if it is the Armored Knights due to its massive health.
    • Demon Knights due to having an absurdly high evasion rate. It is dodging indeed.
  • Magic Compass: Gwaelin/Lora's Love, which gives numbered coordinates to Tantegel based on the player's location on the outside map.
  • Magic Knight: You, obviously. This game established all three traditions of making the player character a Magic Knight, tying when you learn spells to your level and learning Heal at level 3 as your first spell. You get spells such as Heal and Healmore/Midheal, Hurt and Hurtmore (Firebal and Firebane in the GBC versions; Sizz and Sizzle in the smartphone/Switch versions), Sleep/Snooze (which isn't a Useless Useful Spell for once), Stopspell/Fizzle, Outside/Evac, Return/Zoom, and Repel/Holy Protection.
  • Mascot Mook: Slimes (though several others, including wyverns/chimerae and drakees/drackys, give them a run for their money).
  • Metal Slime: The trope namer. There's also the Goldman/Gold Golem.
  • Money for Nothing: In the remake, you make so much cash it's easy to end with a nest egg of 20000G, even after buying the most expensive equipment and only being at level 20.
  • Money Spider: That the Goldman/Gold Golem gives a lot of wealth upon defeat makes sense. That it's all in coinage does not. Everything else also drops coins.
  • Multiple Endings: There's one bad ending, achieved when you try to join the Dragonlord, and three good endings: save the princess and return her to the King before defeating the Dragonlord, return the princess after defeating the Dragonlord, or don't save the princess. The (minimalist) end game cut scene varies a bit for each ending. In the last one, the hero travels off to far-off lands alone.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: ...Case in point, the Fairy Flute for the Golem, which makes it sleep.
  • Nerf: Remakes removed the Stopspell immunity from Erdrick's Armor.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted, which is surprising for its era. Thou art dead.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In Dragon Quest III, it is revealed that the Golem that you defeated was created by one of Cantlin's/Mercado's townspeople to protect the town. Oops.
  • Nintendo Hard: See Forced Level-Grinding. The difficulty curve ensures that it's not just the Dragonlord that will require you to grind to an acceptable level. You'd expect to be able to comfortably take on the next Beef Gate once the mooks you've been grinding on start going down in one hit, right? Nope; the stronger enemies will annihilate you in just a few turns until you gain two or three more levels. Better weapons and armor don't really overcome a lack of EXP, either, particularly when you can't survive long enough to reach the towns that sell it.
  • No Ontological Inertia: The second the final boss is defeated, random encounters vanish, and the poisonous swamps are replaced with pretty flowers.
  • Non Standard Game Over: If you accept the Dragonlord's offer to rule together in the NES version, you get a badly translated speech, the text turns your-HP-are-low red, and the game freezes. This was changed in the remakes.
  • Offered the Crown: After beating the game, the Hero is offered the crown of Alefgard. The protagonist declines and decides to found his own kingdom in another country...with the help of the Princess.
  • One-Winged Angel: "The Dragonlord hath revealed his true self!"
  • Orcus on His Throne: The Dragonlord pretty much just sits in his castle all game and waits for you to come and kick his arse. In his case, it's justified because he has already won. Townspeople can't venture out of their towns for fear of his legions of monsters, the king is powerless to stop him because he has the princess, and there's no one able to challenge him. The player is literally the last hope, and at the start of the adventure has trouble fighting slimes. Why worry about his chances?
  • Palette Swap: Only the Dragonlord and his true form gets an exclusive sprite in-battle.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • The Magic Temple island south of Rimuldar and the bridge north of Haukness but south of Mountain cave. This is the area where you will fight Goldmen to gain 150-200 Gold Pieces (upped to 650 gold in the remakes), which would be necessary to buy the most expensive pieces of equipment: Magic Armor, Silver Shield, and the Flame Sword.
    • On the westernmost continent, at the very southern tip of the western side (due south of Hauksness, the ghost town where Loto/Erdrick's Armor is found,) is a strip of hilly land that has a high rate of Metal Slime encounters, mixed in with other high exp monsters. But since you cross two bridges to get there, it can be dangerous. In the original Dragon Warrior/Quest, Random Encounters became exponentially more difficult with each bridge crossed.
    • The Grave of Garin, the area around the town of Cantlin, and the lower levels of the Dragonlord's castle (although the enemies here are the rather tough Elite Mooks).
    • There's also a strip at the edge of Rimuldar where you can encounter the enemy set from the Cantlin area.
    • The game is full of these. Besides the famous coast of Rimuldar, there is the "Scorpion's Nest", a row of hills southwest of Tantegel with enemies from the Mountain Cave region, and a strip of land northeast of Hauksness with enemies from the Dragonlord's island. DQ1 even has reverse PoPs - areas with much weaker monsters than you should be fighting (the mouth of the Mountain Cave, a strip northwest of Hauksness, the entrance to the Dragonlord's island, and a huge area of hills southeast of Cantlin).
    • All of this is because the enemy encounters on the overworld are set according to a large 8x8 square grid, rather than by the shape of the various landmasses. Seen here and here.
    • Hauksness itself once you have the HEALMORE spell. The tile where you fight the Axe Knight is infinite, so you can keep walking a tile away and back to the tile to continuously fight it. This is one of the best ways to level grind, although you must watch out for the Sleep spell. If you can manage to hit it 2 times, then you are golden. If you are exhausted and want to continue fighting stronger enemies, you can always walk back to Cantlin to replenish; you can go back to Tantegel castle, but you would have to use repel to ward off the weaker enemies.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Erdrick's Armor and Erdrick's Sword. If for some reason you decide to buy any other sword or armor while having one or both of those 2 items equipped, there is no way to retrieve them.
    • Averted at least in the NES version: if you buy inferior equipment and sell Erdrick's Armor or Sword for 1 Gold, you can go back and find them in their original locations.
  • The Power of Love: Once the hero has rescued the princess, he can take her love with him wherever he goes and use it as a GPS. This comes in handy for finding one particular quest item.
  • Press X to Die: When the Dragonlord tells you We Can Rule Together, you actually can take him up on his offer. This results in him calling you a "pitiful fool," and you instantly lose the game.
  • Recurring Riff: Many of the game's tunes (most prominently, the main theme and the level up theme) are used in all the subsequent installments, with the main theme gaining a new intro in IV and another new intro in IX. The game over theme has begun to make a comeback in more recent games as well after II, and several installments after it used longer and more complex game over tracks.
  • Regional Bonus: The English-language release of the NES original features a battery-backed save feature (versus the Japanese version's 20-character password system) and greatly improved map graphics for characters, which in turn makes interacting with NPCs and objects much smoother, since all you have to do is face them and use the relevant interact command rather than selecting north, east, south, or west as in the Japanese version, which did not feature directional character sprites.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The only reptilian creatures who show up in the game are the Dragonlord and his minions like Chimaeras and Dragons.
  • Rescue Romance: The princess falls in love with the hero the moment he comes in to save her. Eventually, he has no choice but to reciprocate.
  • Ring of Power: The Fighter's Ring is supposed to make some foes run away, but it doesn't work.
  • Scaled Up: Dragonlord's second and real form is a bipedal, black-winged, violet dragon.
  • Sequence Breaking: The player is supposed to rescue Gwaelin from the Marsh Cave in order to get Gwaelin's Love, which tells your position relative to Tantegel. You're supposed to receive a hint that a Plot Coupon can be found exactly x steps away from Tantegel on the x axis and x steps away from Tantegel on the y axis The Mark of Erdrick can be found 40 steps south, 70 steps east of Tantegel. Thus, you're supposed to use Gwaelin's Love to locate your position relative to Tantegel and search. However, that's not actually necessary if you already know where to look (The Plot Coupon will be there regardless of whether or not you rescue Gwaelin), you can get it and skip rescuing Gwaelin to begin with.
  • So Near, Yet So Far:
    • Princess Gwaelin is in the Marsh Cave that you enter early on in the game. The reason you can't rescue her the first time you enter is that one, you do not have a key, which is required to open up the door to her cell, and two, there's a dragon guarding said door that you won't be able to beat at your current level and equipment.
    • Charlock Castle, where the Dragonlord dwells, can be seen right below your starting point in the map.
  • Trope Codifier: While not exactly the first of its kind, Ultima and Wizardry came first, Dragon Quest is nonetheless the first instance of a Japanese RPG, and cemented a number of traditions that remain in the genre (such as a pre-defined character, relative linearity, and so on).
  • Unbuilt Trope: The game lacks many of the conventions of JRPGs to follow:
    • Useless Useful Spells are actually useful.
    • Your progression through the story is determined by your ability to survive Beef Gates in the Wide-Open Sandbox world rather than by triggering events.
    • Rescuing the Damsel in Distress is optional.
    • Dungeons are a minor part of the game; the vast majority of your playtime is spent on the overworld, with Dragonlord's castle, the final level, being the only dungeon of substantial length.
    • The Japanese version lacks the chibi-style superdeformed character sprites that would become standard in the genre, instead using realistically-proportioned figures similar to those in the Ultima series.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: With some unorthodox inventory management, it's possible for Gwaelin to take the Staff of Rain when she gives you Gwaelin's Love. Congratulations, you can't beat the game because you need to get the Staff of Rain to get the Rainbow Drop.
  • Unlockable Difficulty Levels: An interesting case, which only shows up in the Japanese release. In this version, choosing to join The Dragonlord will have him give you a password. This password will send you to the start of the game but with lower stats than normal.
  • Useless Item: Thou must be warned about thy items thou receive:
    • The Fairy Water minimizes Random Encounters, but only against enemies that don't pose any threat to you. It's somewhat convenient if you don't want to be hassled by several weak baddies while traveling, but not only does it not ward off the lethally strong enemies you're desperately trying to avoid, but it also seems to piss them off and make them even stronger.
    • The Fighter's Ring. Due to a bug in the item, it does not increase any stats whatsoever. Just sell it.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Averted! The good news: Yuji Horii was, and more than likely still is, a fan of Wizardry and Ultima, both of which had useful status spells. Mute/Stopspell and Sleep were two very handy spells taken from them. The bad news? Your enemies can also use them.
    • The Axe Knight, which guards your armor, tends to cast sleep and constantly attack while you are sleeping. This alone shows that the status effect is very dangerous. If you get lucky with your own Sleep spell it becomes possible to Sequence Break the game by getting the Erdrick Armor almost right off the bat. The Dragonlord is also not immune to being sleep'd, as shown by the speedrun done at AGDQ 2019.
  • Variable Mix: The cave/dungeon music decreases in pitch and tempo as you travel to lower floors.
  • We Can Rule Together: The Dragonlord makes this offer to you when you confront him. Most players just select no and get on with the battle, but if you accept, and you must accept more than once, you get a Non Standard Game Over (except in the SNES and GBC versions where he wakes up in the town next to Tantegel Castle, where the innkeeper says that he had a bad dream). This is quite jarring considering the time it took to get to the castle and then go down to the lowest floor. The Dragonlord then says "I Can Rule Alone," though; the very next thing you see is red text.
  • We Have Become Complacent: The stated reason why Alefgard's soldiers were defeated so easily by the Dragonlord is that the long years of peace since the defeat of Zoma had made the people weak.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: A retroactive example. Where's Erdrick's Shield (i.e. the Shield of Heroes)? The absence of his helmet was understandable since it was just an iron mask, but the shield was a special magical talisman like the sword and armor.
  • With This Herring: Let's put it this way: your first set of armor is called "clothes". Which you start the game without. This had led some amused players to believe you're having audiences with the king and fighting slimes in your bare butt until you get it.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The original game had enough Faux English to make any classical English scholar shake in their boots. It was dropped in the Game Boy Color remake, however, the mobile and Switch ports come back full circle and return to this but with much better results due to a better translation.