Dragon Warrior 2
Box Shot
Dragon Warrior 2
Platform: NES
Publisher: Enix
Designer: Enix
Genre: RPG
Players: 1
Published Date 1990
Reviewed by: Chuck Roberts

Here we are, 100 long peaceful years after the end of the first Dragon Warrior and all of a sudden, some mean wizard named Hargon comes along to ruin it all. Yeah, it's none other than Dragon Warrior 2, a much awaited sequel to the first quest. It turns out that the hero and princess from DW1 got married and set out to find new lands to settle. They have three children to take over the kingdoms that have been established by the duo. The oldest child gets the town of Midenhall, the second gets the near by Cannock. The youngest of all gets Moonbrooke and the worst luck of all, since that's the castle that gets sacked! Anyway, the game plays a little sequence where the king and princess of Moonbrooke are chatting when, just like a snap of a finger, monsters appear and cause trouble. The king and soldiers are killed off, except one brave soul, who escapes to Midenhall to tell the king about the tragedy. (What I don't get is why go to Midenhall, when Cannock is closer. ??)

The king, old and lazy as he is, sends out his son, you, to kill off Hargon (and you think your parents have some miserable chores). Giving you some Leather Armor and 50 gold, you're off on your long quest. The biggest change after the first one is the addition of allies to aid you on this quest. The interesting fact is that they are all royalty and cousins at that! The prince of Midenhall (you), starts out with finding the travelling Prince of Cannock, an able magic user (you can't use any!). You got to track down the idiot, since he keeps going off everywhere to find YOU! He's just too dumb to stay in one place! What's weird here is that this guy's sister, who should also be your cousin, doesn't even know you!? The game also gives the Prince a random name like Orfeo, Lars or Artho. Oh well, you may hate the names, but you're stuck with them.

After you track him down, noticing he's also a complete wimp, it's now time to seek the Princess of Moonbrooke, the wimpy girl who you saw earlier in the monologue. It turns out that Hargon actually turned her into a (dare I say it) BITCH! Yes, she's a dog! You must get the Mirror of Ra to turn her back. After this, your party is complete and the music turns to a bright and cheery tune. The Princess has excellent magic spells, but she's even motr of a wimp (plus she too gets a computer chosen name). Each of the three have certain talents and abilities that round out the party pretty good. The Prince of Midenhall has good attack and HP's, while the Princess of Moonbrooke has good agility and excellent magic. The Prince of Cannock is kind of an evened out version of the other two, with some unique spells of his own.

The quest is so much larger (the instructions say 4 times larger), that you must get a ship to travel the world. Once again you must seek out Erdrick's relics (more of them now), to equip on the Midenhall Prince. Don't ask me why these other two decendants of the great Erdrick can't equip it (no logic here). You must also seek 5 crests of power to get the Charm of Rubiss, a key item in finishing the game. There are also the familar enemies with a bunch of new ones thrown in. They now attack in groups, which really sucks in the beginning when it's like 5 on 1! Mucho damage and constant visits to the House of Healing to revive allies is a result from this. Each of the 3 heroes also hit different max. levels. Midenhall's Prince hits 50, Cannock's 45 and the Princess reaches 35 after each gets 1,000,000 Exp. points.

The biggest gripe with the game is the absolute horrible frustration! The enemies almost always comes in big groups where they cheat to win! It sucks when they always get first blows and strike down on one character until they die! Why do the heroes miss all the time and why does it seem they always pop out every SINGLE step when you're so weak and struggling to reach the town/castle!? It's just not fair at all!!!! Prepare for a lot of trips to town for reviving dead allies (or everyone dies where you lose half your gold, plus the cost to revive two allies!). The party works well as one, but when one dies, you're severely crippled. This is especially true when the Cannock Prince dies off, since he has the Revive spell!

The graphics are alot more of the same, only that there are different sprites. I like the more modern look, because DW1 was like stuck in the stone age! The still enemy fight scene is still used, but with no background at all. The castle and town sprite are bigger and nicer, with new designs and places, like a House of Healing, prisons and even a lottery! Plenty of towers and caves to explore, but I'll never understand how you can fall off a high tower and sustain no damage! It's not that I'm complaining, but even without the Cloak of Wind, this still happens. The sounds aren't that much of an improvement, though there are better tunes and a few more sounds. Some music just gets downright annoying (especially the village one), while others are just all right. Heck, up in Rhone where Hargon lives, it's snowy, just like some other high altitudes! You also no longer have to light up caves, an added plus!

Dragon Warrior 2 is a game that you should give a try, it's that sequel us Dragon Warrior maniacs have been waiting for. It's not quite as much of an impact when you've played 3 or 4 first, so don't and give this one a shot. It's a long, difficult quest for those who are that brave. Plus, the veterans of the first will love to explore the ups and downs of having a party to run. Well, if you resisted throwing it out of a window out of insanity at the cheating enemies and beat Hargon and company, you can really feel proud of yourself. Plus, once you beat it, you don't have to wait for a sequel, just go play 3 and have yourself a grand old time. More spells, more allies, more enemies, more action and more of everything else makes this a must-play. Play it!