Dragon Warrior, known as Dragon Quest (ドラゴンクエスト) in Japan, is the first role-playing video game (RPG) in the Dragon Quest media franchise. It was developed by Chunsoft for the Nintendo Entertainment System and published by Enix in Japan in 1986. Dragon Warrior has been ported and remade for several video game platforms, including the MSX, NEC PC-9801, Sharp X68000, Super Nintendo, Game Boy Color, and mobile phones. During the game, players control a hero character who is charged with saving the kingdom of Alefgard and rescuing its princess from the antagonistic Dragonlord. Dragon Warrior's story later became the second part in a trilogy that encompasses the first three games in the series. Several anime and manga, which centered around this overarching plot, were created. Two of the manga take place between the events in Dragon Warrior and its prequel Dragon Warrior III.
The game was created by Yuji Horii, who took inspiration from previous RPGs such as Wizardry, Ultima, and his own 1983 title The Portopia Serial Murder Case. Horii wanted to create an RPG which would appeal to a wide audience of people who were unfamiliar with the genre or video games in general, place a greater emphasis than other RPGs on storytelling and emotional involvement, and expose the mainly Western genre to Japan. Manga artist and Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama produced the game's artwork and Koichi Sugiyama composed its music. A version of the game localized for North America was released in 1989 with numerous changes, including battery-backed RAM save games (rather than using a password save system), modified character sprites and location names, and pseudo-Elizabethan English style dialog.
Dragon Quest was commercially successful in Japan; its release as Dragon Warrior in North America was less favorably received. Later, Western critics noted the game's shortcomings but acknowledged its importance to the genre. Its original pseudo-Elizabethan English script has been praised in many of these reviews. Fan-made ROM hacks were released with substantial changes to the game. The game's sound effects have also been orchestrated, and its music has been performed at numerous concerts. Although the original Final Fantasy is considered more important due to its popularity in the West, Dragon Warrior has been credited with establishing the basic template for the Japanese console RPGs that followed.