Final Fantasy, Phantasy Star and Dragon Quest. This triplet has brought to thousands of players, in all corners of the world, the pleasure of playing role-playing games in video games. It was these games, along with other games like the series last or Wizardrywhich amplified the genre, making room for a decade that would bring us more classics.
But before these games, and Chrono Trigger, Xenogears and many others, there was dragonstomper. The first console RPG ever released for the eternal Atari 2600. And done by one person: Stephen H. Landrum. In times when video games were synonymous with action, reflex and point games, this was the game that brought the aura of RPGs to a console, following a trend that had already started on computers.
Thus, as in a good RPG, it was possible to play, in a video game, as a dragon hunter, who needs to defeat one of these monsters, and recover a stolen amulet, following a request from his king. Even in the midst of so many limitations of the time, which tried to be overcome with the add-on super chargerO Atari 2600 would receive, a game that would provide improvements never seen before on the console.
O super charger it worked as a device that added a new medium, which was in computers at the time: cassette tapes. Exactly the one you used to listen to music in the old days, and fix them when they curled up with a pen. The device was plugged into the cartridge input, where a wire allowed the connection to the audio output of any recorder. It was “play” the tape and play.
Finally, the proposal was similar to what the SEGA did with the SEGA CDand the Nintendo tried with the Playstation. Several games were adapted for the device, such as Frogger, Pac Man and also the dragonstomper.
The RPG was created especially for the super charger. It had a fantasy theme, in which you are a knight who must fight a dragon and recover a stolen amulet, just like tabletop roleplaying games of the time. It was possible to collect gold, rings, potions and other items. In addition, it was possible to visit various locations, such as cities and buildings, while the character fights monsters and, of course, the villainous dragon.
The look, obviously, is very simple by today’s standards, but very complete, for a game of the time. There is a menu, and places that reference buildings to visit. His “spot”, which is the representation of the hero, turns into a knight at the time of combat. And it is very interesting to see elements that have become common today, still being used in the days of Atari 2600just look:
It looks like any RPG game that came later, but we’re talking about a game from 1982! It was possible to visit a hospital, a magic shop and an item shop. And, speaking of elements unimaginable for most video games, atari, dragonstomper still has two attributes to evolve: strength and dexterity. It was, after all, a typical RPG going to the gaming screen.
The genre continued to be successful on computers, as it began a rich journey into the 8-bit era, with Phantasy Star, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest being the big names in a genre that in the 90s would offer us real gems. The world of games has changed, and that includes RPGs, but at least, it’s one of the genres in which the visit to the past still offers a lot of good things to know and have fun. Including the first RPG made for video games.