To compliment the Dragon Warriors, here are all four games in the Dragon Quest series on one scanner. The games were released in 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990 respectively, meaning that Dragon Warrior was released in the US just in time for the release of Dragon Quest III in Japan.

During the days of the FC/SFC in Japan, big-name RPGs like the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy series were insanely popular - so much so that Enix and Square took care not to release games at the same time, lest they cut in on each other's revenue. The day that a new game in the DQ series was released, people started waiting in line at game stores in Akihabara (a district in Tokyo known for its electronics stores) over two hours before the stores' opening. Semi-erstwhile NES archive correspondent Keita was one of the people in this line for Dragon Quest III and he was nice enough to relate the story:

It was essentially the same as US people waiting and camping out for Phish tickets or whatever. You waited in line for about five hours, because you had to wait about three hours before the store opens, then stand in line for two hours or so more for the people ahead of you to get their carts. When you actually got into the store, you were asked to hand over the money immediately so they could keep on going at a fast rate. There were guys with bullhorns going up and down the length of the line, telling everyone to have the cash ready to dish out.

Dragon Quest III cost 9800 yen, which is about $74 in 1988 dollars. That seems pretty high, but usually only the top-name RPGs were that much; most Famicom games were around 4800 to 7200 yen. Also note that 9800 yen was only the manufacturer's suggested price; in Japan games are sold at that price for about a month, and get hugely discounted after that.

Pic: Randy Stoller

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