A randomizer for Dragon Warrior 1 for NES. Compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
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Dragon Warrior Randomizer

This application is a randomizer for Dragon Warrior for NES. This randomizer will work on either version of the ROM.

The randomizer has the following features:

Random overworld map generation

A new overworld map is generated with each seed. Checks are used to make sure all towns and caves are accessible. On generated maps, the Rainbow Drop is used just outside Charlock to create a bridge over the moat.

Randomizing chest contents

Chest contents throughout the game are randomized. Checks are used to ensure that quest items (Staff of Rain, Silver Harp, Stones of Sunlight) are not located in Charlock castle. Erdrick's Tablet is removed.

Randomizing enemy attack patterns

This will give some enemies spells they did not originally have. This means you could have a Red Slime with SLEEP, a Wizard with Fire Breath, or any other combination!

Randomizing enemy zones

The locations of enemies will be changed. Randomizer ensures that enemies near Tantegel Castle are not too tough to defeat at low levels, but beyond that, anything goes.

Boosting XP/gold drops

Enemies will now give you more XP and Gold, in line with the SNES remake of the game. XP and gold drops are limited to 255 due to memory limitations.

Lowering MP requirements

MP requirements for spells are adjusted to be the same as those in the remake.

Randomized weapon shops

Weapon shop inventory will now be random. Every shop will have 5-6 random items.

Shuffled "searched for" items

The Fairy Flute, Erdrick's Armor, and Erdrick's Token will now be shuffled, so for example the token could be in Kol instead of the flute, and the armor on the overworld. Erdrick's Token or the Flute could also be in a random chest instead of on the ground. In addition, the item's location on the overworld is random. The NPC in Cantlin can tell you where it is.

Randomized player attributes

Your character's Strength, Agility, HP and MP are randomly generated.

Randomized spell learning

Spells learning is now randomized. Any spell can be learned anywhere from level 1 to level 16.

Buffed HEAL and HURT

The HEAL spell has a range from 17-25. The HURT spell has a range from 9-16.

Faster leveling

The number of experience points required for level ups can be adjusted with the fast leveling and very fast leveling options. These require 75% and 50% of the normal requirements for the game, respectively.

Other changes

The Death Necklace is always available in a chest. Putting it on gives you +10 attack power at the cost of 25% of your max HP and being cursed. The Fighter's Ring works (+2 ATK).

Running the randomizer


Simply click on the executable in your file manager. On Windows, you may want to place this somewhere easy to find, such as on the Desktop.


On Mac OSX, DWRandomizer will require the installation of Qt5. I recommend installing this via homebrew:

brew install qt5

The .app folder contained in the zip file may be placed inside the Applications folder for easy access from Launchpad.


Qt5 is also required on Linux. This should be available in your package manager. If you'd prefer not to install this, there is a command line version also available in the download which does not require Qt.


Once the application is running, simply select your Dragon Warrior ROM file from The ROM File box, and choose an output directory. The Seed box will be pre- filled with a random seed number. You can generate a new one with the Random button, or choose your own by entering it in the box. The Flags box is where you enter flags for the options you would like to use, or simply choose them with the check boxes below. If you're not sure, click Defaults for the options most players use. Next, choose your player sprite. Loto is the default original sprite. There are other sprites to choose from, including sprites from other famous games. Now click Randomize, and you should get a message saying your ROM has been created. It will be in the directory you specified. Simply run this using your favorite emulator or flash cart.

  • Shuffle Chests & Search Items: Self-explanatory. Changes what are in chests and search locations.
  • Randomize Weapon Shops: Randomizes what items are available in all weapon shops.
  • Randomize Growth: Randomize the stat changes you receive on each level up.
  • Randomize Spell Learning: Randomizes the level at which you learn each spell.
  • Chaos Mode
    • All enemy stats (STR,AGI,etc.) are randomized.
    • Weapon & armor prices are randomized.
    • Experience requirements for levels are randomized. They are still affected by leveling speed.
    • Dragonlord form 2 may have HEAL or SLEEP.
  • Randomize Enemy Attacks: Enemy spells and abilities are randomized.
  • Randomize Enemy Zones: Enemy locations are random.
  • Enable Menu Wrapping: Enable wrapping of the cursor from top to bottom in menus.
  • Enable Death Necklace: Adds additional functionality to the Death Necklace. +10 ATK and -25% HP.
  • Shuffle Music: Shuffles which tunes you hear in each location. Battle music is unchanged.
  • Disable Music: Disables most game music. Battle music is not disabled, and music plays after an inn stay. These are known issues.
  • Big Swamp: Makes approximately 75% of the overworld contain swamp tiles. Ouch!
  • Fast Text: Speeds up all text in dialogs.
  • Speed Hacks: Speeds up other aspects of the game (spells, fairy flute, death music, etc.)
  • Open Charlock: No need to go around collecting items to make a bridge. Just walk right into Charlock!
  • Short Charlock: Dragonlord skimped on the dungeon so you go straight to his throne room on entering Charlock.
  • Don't Require Magic Keys: Doors will open without a key. The key shop owners have gone on strike.

Compiling from source

If you'd prefer to compile your own version from source code, here are some instructions.


I cross-compile the Windows version, so I have no instructions for Windows just yet. I'll work on some, but maybe you can figure it out.


First, install Qt5 using homebrew.

brew install qt5

Now, download the randomizer source code and change to that directory.

mkdir build
cd build
/usr/local/Cellar/qt5/5.9.1/bin/qmake ../dwrandomizer.pro

The Qt version number may be different. This will create an app folder that you can run from finder, or from the command line simply run


First, install Qt5 using your package manager. Download the randomizer source code, then change to the directory containing the source code.

mkdir build
cd build
qmake ../dwrandomizer.pro

Some compiling will happen, and that's it! you should have a working binary in the current directory.


What is the "checksum" when generating a ROM?

The program outputs a checksum when generating a new ROM. The checksum can be used to verify that 2 instances of the game are the same, that is the input ROM is the same, and the same seed and flags were used. This is mostly useful for verifying ROMs in races, where normally all players play the same randomized game.