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Title: Dragon Warrior IV
Rom Player: Nothing Entered
Reviewer: Tawna Evans

Synopsis: This game departs from the Erdrick legacy. Gone entirely is the land of Alefgard. Instead, you find entirely new worlds to explore. The game unfolds in five chapters. The first four begin as separate stories in which you get to play as a soldier, a tomboyish princess & companions, an arms merchant, and as gypsy sisters. In the fifth chapter, the hero meets each of the characters introduced in the previous chapters, and they join forces to defeat the ruler of evil.

This game presents a unque method for engaging in battles. Instead of controlling each of the characters in battle, you select a battle strategy, such as offensive, defensive, save magic points, use no magic points, try-out, and normal. You control the hero, while the other characters do their own thing, according to the battle strategy selected. Everybody in the party can journey together in a wagon. Those outside the wagon combat enemies, but all party members gain experience points regardless of who does the actual fighting. In a middle of a battle, you can swap members with those in the wagon. This helps when a party members becomes affected with confusion or dies.

All other aspects of this game are very similar to Dragon Warrior III. The menus and sound effects seem little different, only now you can open doors by using a door command, instead of selecting a specific key. Some doors can be opened without keys. Towards the end of the game, instead of flying through the skies on a bird, your party floats through the air in a hot air balloon. A different song comes with whatever mode of transportation you are using, as well as what type of territory you explore. In addition, a different background music is played for each of the different chapters. Some of the graphics look stunning in comparison to those of previous Dragon Warrior games, especially in the underground palaces of Esturk and Necrosaro. The ending animates the homecoming experiences of the hero's companions. I love the music at the end. Koichi Sugiyama did an excellent job with the composition of it. As usual, that is one of the best elements of the game. A little bit of the Alefgard theme song appears briefly in the ending. It's a catchy tune that still runs through my head while I write this review, two days after beating the game.

Best Cheats: Earning lots of coins in the casino is not an essential part of the game, but you can win some cool prizes if you earn lots of coins in the process. Playing poker is a great way to win lots of coins. If you wish to see your poker score, press B, Start, and Select at the same time after talking to the poker dealer. A score screen will appear.

Here's another trick for getting casino coins: Walk through the tunnel that was constructed with Taloon's help. If you're lucky, you'll win a ton of coins just for being the 100th or so person to cross the tunnel!

Game Play: 9
Graphics: 7
Music/Sound: 9
Originality: 7
Overall Rating: 8

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