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I\'m editing the part which claims the Sleep spell doesn\'t work on the Dragonlord. It totally does, in fact the player who speedran the game at AGDQ 2019 used exactly this as part of his strategy, and I myself have done this in the past on both of Dragonlord\'s forms.
I\'m pretty sure it still works in the SFC and GBC versions as well, but it definitely does in the NES version.
I made a typo in my edit reason: Regional Bonus is a Zero Context Example, not a Zero Contact Example.
Also, while looking up the Dragonlord thing, I found this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ9WmrMLC7Y&t=2m56s
That is what happens when you carry the princess to the Dragonlord. To summarize, there is no additional dialogue, or any other change whatsoever. I guess the dev team didn't think of everything, after all.
But he does have an extra line of text if you do it in the SFC version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd_lbY85ubc
A change very likely inspired by players wondering what happens if they try it (in the original version), and/or then being disappointed that he doesn't even notice.
And it's probably safe to say that the GBC version keeps this from the SFC version.
So, this thing about the final boss being the "pet dragon" of the Dragonlord in the original Japanese version. Citation needed.
Now, to be fair, I can't read Japanese. But I can browse You Tube. Here's the final battle on the original Famicom version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jxY_vrc8ks&t=38s
So that first box of text during the fight is what says, in the English version, "The Dragonlord revealed his true self!" And that's the only time his transformation is ever mentioned.
So what's that say in Japanese? Well luckily, I'm also well versed in copy-paste, and Google Translate. The text is: りゅうおうが しょうたいを あらわした！！ コマンド？
And this gets translated to "Dragon King has expressed the true nature!! Command?" Try it yourself! And say what you want about internet translations, but I'm seriously not getting "His pet dragon broke free and got angry!" from that sentence. Additionally, all throughout the second fight it refers to him as "Dragon King", using the same exact words it used for "Dragon King" during the first part of the fight.
So yeah, there's my evidence. Now please present any evidence of this pet dragon theory. There are currently... what, three, four instances of this rumor on the page? Not to mention articles in the corresponding trope pages. I'd like to delete them right now, but I'll be nice and wait for any counter-evidence, should it exist. I reckon you have until either I remember that I posted this, or until someone else finds this discussion page and does it themselves.
Incidentally, I've heard this pet dragon rumor some time ago, but I never thought much of it until someone on this page mentioned that it wasn't true. Seriously, big props to you. Maybe people aren't paying attention to one little voice buried somewhere on the internet, but I heard you. Now let's kill this rumor.
It may be a spidery case of All There in the Manual, except it wasn't the manual but an article in Nintendo Power (if memory serves). After reading the article which said it was a pet, and then finishing the US release of the game and not seeing mention of it, my best guess is that some people assumed the "pet" version must have been how the story was meant to be and that the US version was inaccurate. It wasn't until much later that it became easy to access the Japanese version and check, but few did.
Interesting. So based on that, I found it. It's actually from the Dragon Warrior Explorer's Handbook, pages 58-60. This is a supplementary hintbook/walkthrough given away by Nintendo Power. To quote Wikipedia: "In late 1990, Nintendo Power gave free copies of Dragon Warrior to subscribers, including a 64-page "Explorer's Handbook" that has a full walkthrough of the game and additional backstory not mentioned in the original instruction booklet."
This "additional backstory" not included elsewhere is the only source where the Dragonlord is not really a dragon.
To sum up, the pages state that long ago, Alefgard was peaceful due to the Ball of Light. But one man, who lived in a mountain cave, was not happy. And one day while exploring his cave, he found a dragon, and he discovered that he had the power to control dragons. He then called himself the Dragonlord. Then he led an army of dragons to attack the castle and steal the Ball of Light. The next day, a mysterious man named Erdrick arrived, met with the king, and agreed to go off and defeat the Dragonlord. He left, and he was never heard from again. To quote the funniest part: "Years later, another stranger arrived in the land. Again the kingdom had faced a recent assault by the Dragonlord. This time the king's daughter, Princess Gwaelin, had been kidnapped." Blah blah blah, this is the DQ 1 hero, off he goes.
Anyway, to say that this story is non-canon is practically an understatement. I don't know who wrote it, but it seems quite likely that it was somebody at Nintendo Power, trying to convey a sense of a grand fantasy adventure. Even ignoring the parts of this that directly contradict Dragon Quest 3 (since it wasn't made yet and all), there's still the idea that the main hero of DQ 1, who you are blatantly told is the "Descendant of Erdrick", apparently came around just a few years after Erdrick did.
In contrast, here is the backstory from the game's instruction manual: http://www.dqshrine.com/dw/dw1/dw1manua.txt And this one is probably official, as it contains no glaring flaws. What it says is also the same as the next paragraph.
Finally, there's the story at the very start of the game itself, when the king is talking to you. To summarize: "You are the Descendant of Erdrick. Ages ago, Erdrick fought demons (a.k.a. Zoma) using a Ball of Light. The Dragonlord has stolen the Ball of Light. Go get him."
So, it seems to me like one imaginative writer at NP just so happened to contradict the official story, and assume the Dragonlord was a human. And if we are going to go by what NP has to say, why not go with their preview of Dragon Warrior, in Volume 6, May-June 1989, page 52. That one goes: Long ago, dragons and men lived in harmony. One day, a dragon from Charlock learned the secrets of magic, and his soul turned dark. And a brave man named Erdrick set out to defeat this Dragon-lord, but he failed.
Regardless, still none of these things say that the final boss is not the Dragonlord himself, transformed into a dragon. Nor does the Japanese game, as mentioned before. I'm definitely inclined to believe the above poster's theory on how this got started.
just found this discussion after contributing to the Fridge page where someone was confused regarding the "pet superdragon" issue. My guess is that the contradicting origin story was written to help hide the second half of the final battle, since the walkthrough in the same guidebook gives no hint of it save "Prepare for a surprise!"
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