AKA: Loto; Roto
As seen in: Dragon Warrior III (NES)
Distinguishing feature: His productive progeny.
Strengths: Building a legend strong enough to support three games.
Weaknesses: Tends to leave his mystical gear lying all over the place.

Profile by Bob Mackey | February 23, 2010

Most Japanese RPGs are predicated on the premise that a dude did a thing some number of years ago, and it recently got un-did. In the original Dragon Quest, Erdrick is the very long-ago dude in question. At this point it should be mentioned that the legendary hero’s name changed from Loto to Erdrick to mesh with the Early Modern English flair of the first Dragon Warrior’s localization; but even with such a significantly dorky downgrade, Erdrick’s legend still casts a shadow over the entirety of Dragon Quest’s debut. Everything done by your nameless little protagonist is essentially an extension of Erdrick’s original journey -- even the townsfolk seem to be wrapped up in your ancestor’s actions instead of your current efforts to save their ungrateful hides.

Given the fact that he’s been dead for a number of years from the outset of the first game, you don’t see much of Erdrick during the first few Dragon Quests. No, before Dragon Quest III, your Erdrick experience is limited to his kin, undoubtedly spoiled rotten by belonging to a family whose claim to fame is saving the world. But in the final game of the original trilogy, those fine folks at Enix drop one of the most-underappreciated plot-bombs in the history of video gaming: YOU are Erdrick. Well, not YOU, but Dragon Quest III’s main character. For all those skeptical about Erdrick’s supposed greatness, this late-game revelation was a slap in the face; after grinding through one of the biggest 8-bit RPGs known to man, you’re suddenly dropped into the world of the first Dragon Quest and presented with the journey townspeople wouldn’t shut up about two games ago.

Given the empty vessel quality of Dragon Quest’s heroes, Erdrick’s most memorable quality might just be his place in a plot twist that could have ranked up there with Metroid in popularity. But since the Dragon Warrior games never caught on in America, the cyclical nature of the first three games’ Erdrick-based plotlines can only be appreciated by Dragon Quest scholars. And you, I guess.

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