Dragon Warrior IV is probably one of the most influental NES titles to me, right up there with Bigfoot and Super Mario Bros. 3. The only thing is it also is unique in that it's the only NES game I got into AFTER I got into collecting.

I passed over it at age 11, then picked it up after getting into DOS CRPGs on my first computer in 97' from a friend who had a decent sized NES collection for what most people had at the time. And after playing Dragon Warrior IV, I finally realized why people actually liked these games, leading to a 20 year goose-chase to get all four of the original NES Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest) cartridges after my friend's copy conveniently got "lost" before I bought out his whole games collection. Why did it take that long? Well, because when I was 11, there was no way in heck I'd ever know this $11 shrinkwrapped box would someday be over 400% more expensive and 400X harder to get than a copy of Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns for the Atari 2600 (Which I conveniently found for $7 while finding odds and ends at a thrift for our wedding in 2013). Eventually putting my name on a waiting list at a local retro-games store got me a decenmt enough offer I was willing to trade in a huge chunk of my collection for it, so much I was willing to "downgrade" to an un-boxed copy of Super Mario Bros. 2.

As to why this game is so expensive and hard to get is because it is an Unpopular (in the USA) Franchise (Dragon Quest), released late in the USA on the NES (1992, when the Super Nintendo was already selling), in a genre that most peopel just "bump into" when they get into it. If this was Japan, I'd already have gotten all four for the Famicom and been done with this long ago. But in the USA, the fanaticism around game collecting has gotten so maddeningly expensive in recent years that it's put a lot of "wallet busters" like this out of the reach of many people who want these titles. For awhile I even considered a $45.00 AliBaba unauthorized reproduction over playing $156 for it by trading in a huge chunk of my collection for it.

As for me getting it, and not a repro, or sticking to emulation, truth is I did play it on Emulation, twice, but I prefer the original hardware when possible for most of this stuff, especially if it's something I had when I was younger and I am accustomed and prefer the real "on actual hardware" experience - the rectangular controllers in my hand, the well worn gray plastic, the CRT television humming it's flyback tune - seeing all those characters on a CRT like it's 1997 all over again and I'm laid up in bed for the next four hours to recover from, and for, Marching Practice in the heat of August Alabama Summers.

Review Of Dragon Warrior IV
Dragon Warrior IV is one of those NES titles that I feel came out a bit too late to get the admiration and respect it deserves. It's one of the largest (in scale) games for the original 8-bit Nintendo, and has one of the best laid out stories for a videogame of the 8-bit era.

In Dragon Warrior IV, also known as Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen in Japan (for the Famicom), you play through a 5-chapter story with many varied subplots revolving around roughly eight companions on your quest, their backstories, and the major story which is this....which of course you have to uncover as the game goes along....

...basically, you discover theres a great evil about to wake up, it's being created by a misanthrope named, whose bitter with humans because they killed his elvin girlfriend Rosa who cried ruby tears - because, I, like Saro, get that this was a horrid act of greed, and that a hero is born in some distant mountain town to save the world from the great evil, which sends the other party members on a quest to keep the hero safe so he can save the world. A far cry from - Dragonlord Bad, he took my daughter, save my daughter, kill the dragonlord, and find your dad's old fightin' tools, now go!.

And as if that's not heavy enough, the game runs in 5 chapters....

  1. - Ragnar works as a soldier of Burland Castle, and is tasked to save the dissappearing children of Izmit village
  2. - Alena is a "tomboy" princess who wants to prove her strength, so with the King's informer Cristo, and Wizard Brey, she seeks to compete in a tournament at castle Endor to complete her quest.
  3. - Taloon is a Weapon merchant in Lakanaba who wants to start his own business, so he heads toward Endor, getting involved in local civic duties, politics, and doing any side hustles to achieve his dream of owning a shop in Endor.
  4. - Nara & Mara are the daughters of the aforementioned Edgar the Alchemist from Kieves, and seek to avenge for the death of their father at the hands of a man named Necrosaro.
  5. - The character you name at the beginning, generic term being "The Hero" were born under mysterious circumstances and hidden away in a mountain village. One day monsters come and destroy the village looking for "the hero" (you), so your girlfriend sacrifices herself to save your life so you can fulfill the prophecy mentioned over and over in previous chapters.