First RPG Memories


I was browsing the internet this morning, as I so often do, and I came across a call-in show style podcast that were discussing first RPG memories. I found this to be a really interesting thing and so I sat down and really considered what my first experiences into the world of Roleplaying Games were. Outside of the digital realm, my first ones were books. It was a style of Choose Your Own Adventure book wherein you had a health pool, used a die and made decisions about your character and where you’d go. It was a more interactive CYOA book and frankly I fell in love with it quickly. The first few years of me having a Nintendo, I had no RPGs. Mario, Mario 3, Batman, Blaster Master, Kid Icarus, eventually I would have games like AD&D Dragonstrike, King’s Quest, and the like. But my first console roleplaying game?


It was Dragon Quest 1, then called Dragon Warrior. It came free with Nintendo Power, which I had recently started receiving thanks to my Mother [and my begging], and before that one of my neighbors had given me their copy because they don’t like RPGs, and thought maybe I would. It was very simple visually, but I was still blown away. It was more than I had expected. Fighting cute Slimes, Drakee, Ghosts, Skeletons and even more! Huge golem made of Gold, Dragons, exploring dungeons, caves, wandering town to town with absolutely no clues or hints outside of Nintendo Power. There was no real Internet to look for an FAQ on. The game was insanely difficult and even with a Game Genie [yes, I had one eventually. . .] it was still a challenge. The first time I found the princess in the cave on the way to Charlock Castle I felt like a real hero! TImes were rough for us then, and it was a fantastic way to escape my situation and absorb myself in a fantastic world where what I did made a difference. It took me a good year or so to come back to it and eventually get to the Dragonlord, after finding all the necessary items to reach him [Ugh. Seriously. Ugh.] and spoke to the Dragon Lord. He gave me an offer to join him. . . And I’d accept. Half of the world? Why wouldn’t I want that? The game froze! I believe it said he stole my soul and the game just stopped. I had not saved in ages. . . It’d be at least another year before I came back and won. The next RPG was Final Fantasy II [IV] but that’s another story for another time.

What about you guys? What are your first RPG memories?


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  • Vulkary

    Super Mario RPG remains my first RPG that I could even understand what the hell was going on. lol

    • Ragachak

      SMRPG is one of my favorites of all time hands down. The Culex fight is probably my favorite fight outside of their Axem Rangers.

  • Herschel Pilcher III

    First RPG memory.. Gonna have to say Crystalis for the NES. I got it at the flea market here in town. It has been a thousand years since I played it last, but I will always remember the jarring tone shift from the hyper-tech stasis chamber the player wakes up in going out into the classic fantasy-medieval world.

    Also that the game will cheerfully let you wander into the final boss encounter WITHOUT having found the item you need to actually HURT said final boss. Spent three hours fighting him before I realized I couldn’t win.

    • Ragachak

      I remember you telling me this story, lol. You know, I’ve never beaten Crystalis. I wasn’t able to acquire a copy as a lad. I used to see it in Nintendo Power all the damn time though! Maybe we should play it for Bottom Tier…

      • Herschel Pilcher III

        That would be neat. It was a pretty enjoyable game, though maybe a tad heavier in the action-adventure category than say ‘Dragon Quest’ or ‘Final Fantasy’ Still a very enjoyable game.

  • Mike Guzman

    Same as you, my friend, Dragon Warrior I, my mother gave it as a gift and she actually got into it before I did because unlike the other games we had at that point, it gave you all the time you needed to think your way through instead of relying on quick button mashing reflexes and her love of RPGs was begun, watching how much fun she had with it let me realize a game didn’t have to be fast-paced to be fun and I tried it too and the rest is history

    • Ragachak

      I was the same way. I enjoyed being able to really sit and plot my way through a game. You really. . . really had to think through Dragon Warrior back then.

  • Michael Baker

    Mine was Final Fantasy 2 (4) on the snes. Both my folks loved this game as much as I did. It took me years to beat this when I was a kid, and that feeling of beating it was absolutely amazing.

    • Ragachak

      I didn’t play FF4 until the fourth grade when my Uncle rented me an SNES for the weekend. I managed to play it nonstop til I got to Cagnazzo then we had to return it. Holy crap I was sad.. but when I finally got my own copy, it was like manna from heaven. My family didn’t love RPGs like I did. But my friends did! Lol.

  • Jaime Skelton

    Oof, this is rough. But if I dig back, my first RPG had to have been Ultima I on the Commodore. I’m positive I sucked at it (I was probably like, seven or eight when I played it). But I do remember that little white avatar moving across that lame green little world.

    • Ragachak

      My first Ultima was one of my first RPGs too, but it wasn’t mine. I borrowed a friends copy of “Exodus Ultima” for the NES. Never had a Commodore, sadly. My first console/gaming experience was between the Arcade on the beach and the NES.

  • SakuNaruHina

    I never really have patience for RPGs when I was a kid. It took until I was a teenager to really find that first love where RPGs were concerned. Final Fantasy 8 was the game that made or broke my entrance into the world of RPGs. And it was glorious! I was never one who obsessed over its predecessor. Its immediate predecessor anyway. Another favorite that helped to draw me into the world of RPGs was Legend of Dragoon, and much to my surprise the 2D lunar: the Silver Star Story.

  • Matt Blaylock

    Of course, Final Fantasy. And of course, Dragon Warrior. But the big one for me was Faria: A World of Mystery and Danger. My dad and I rented it from blockbuster – it was one of the first games I’d ever played, *period*, and it’s solely responsible for shaping my view of games.

    I remember that my dad and I got so into it on the last day of our rental, that we played it throughout the entire night, and even hung a big, fluffy blanket over the window so that the morning light wouldn’t come in when the sun came up.

    I can still recall the way the music played and how the light shone extremely dimly through the window that morning. I was probably 7 or so, but it’s not only one of my best memories of gaming, but one of my fondest and most cherished memories of my father.

    • Ragachak

      That’s amazing, Matt. For me, I never owned FF as a child. I played it as a used video game store once, and fell in love with it. But we couldn’t afford it/my family forgot about it everytime, so I didn’t have it until I was an adult and able to buy games for myself. Even then it was always a remake. I still want a cartridge of Final Fantasy for the NES.

      That’s a great memory though, man.