So: The Dragon (Quest|Warrior) Marathon. Unlike Nick's Final Fantasy Marathon, these are mostly games I've never completed so it will be fairly straightforward: beat the game, move onto the next one.
The Dragon Quest series has always had three main contributors: designer Yuji Horii, character designer Akira Toriyama (known mostly for Dragon Ball), and composer Koichi Sugiyama. The first game is Horii's attempt to bring cRPGS like Wizardry to the masses. He achieved his goal in Japan, although it was less well received here as Dragon Warrior in North America, selling less than Nintendo expected and eventually getting given away with subscriptions to Nintendo Power; however, that didn't stop the next three games in the series from being localized and brought over the Pacific.
Those aren't the versions I'll be playing. I don't have an NES and they're not on the Wii's Virtual Console. They were also re-released for the Super Famicom in Japan - also not the versions I'll be playing, for the same reasons as the Nintendo version and the additional detriment of my inability to read Japanese. The ones I have are:
Dragon Warrior I&II, for Game Boy/Game Boy Color - a compilation and re-localization of the first two games, based on the Super Famicom versions.
Dragon Warrior III, for Game Boy Color - again re-localized and based on the Super Famicom version.
Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen, for Nintendo DS - also re-localized, but this time based on a PlayStation version of the game.
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, for Nintendo DS - the first of the games to originally come out for Super Famicom, this one is based on a PlayStation 2 version. The Nintendo DS port is the first English version of the game.
Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, for Nintendo DS - also the first English version of this Dragon Quest game.
Dragon Warrior VII, for Sony PlayStation - the first of the games to not be a re-make! Also, technically my brother's and not mine.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, for PlayStation 2 - the game which signified Square Enix finally claiming the Dragon Quest trademark in North America.
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, for Nintendo DS - probably the best game I played in 2010, and certainly my favourite.
Other games may be added along the way: a few spin-offs are also available in English, and there's one non-Dragon Quest game I'm considering including. I've already started playing Dragon Warrior, so the next post will cover the beginning of that game.