Part 1: I'd look for a wagon saying "Free Puppies"
This is a bit misleading... it's more like "The Royal Soldier."
"One of the royal soldiers is you, Ragnar. One morning, the King summons all the soldiers to the castle."
This king is important enough to get an introduction, unlike some other kings we might name.
"You must have heard the rumor that children have been vanishing recently."
"The mothers from Izmit Village came to me in tears this morning begging for help."
"As the King of this country, I cannot ignore this problem any longer. Although God knows I tried my best."
"Find the cause of these disappearances and report to me! Go, my soldiers!"
"Ragnar will find all of the children!
Ragnar is.. special. I'll give a more detailed breakdown at the end of the chapter, but his specialty is hitting things and hitting them hard.
"Do not worry, Ragnar will find lost children AND other soldiers!
"Oh, that's goo.."
"Or monsters will eat other soldiers and grow strong to challenge Ragnar!"
"This is problem. Monsters that eat children will grow weak and puny from eating weak and puny things."
"Yes! You can be strong like Ragnar!"
"Old man? Why are you way back there? Old man?"
"Accumulate gold to buy more powerful weapons and armor. Be sure to equip yourself with them after you buy them."
Standard RPG advice here, vintage 1992. At least they gave a reason why the King sent Ragnar out with pocket change.
We have a destination! I'm impressed that the women of that village came all the way through monster infested territory to get this far. They're probably substantially tougher than the castle guards at this point.
There are already several upgrades available, but we obviously can't afford them at the moment. Ragnar's too broke to even buy a hat. I didn't screenshot it earlier, but you start out with leather armor and a copper sword.
"So.. monsters.. cannot be stealing children? Is good for strong monsters!
"Continue to be brave very small, beardless man with high voice. Ragnar is impressed."
"Ragnar will do this. Or, failing that, tell monster that has eaten him.
"Monster? Eaten! I.. I need to go inside."
His work here done, it's time to explore the countryside. The sign simply informs us that this is the castle.
"Tell Ragnar where children.. oh. Sorry."
"Bugs do not talk and are useless."
"Mouse does not know..."
"Yuck! Ragnar has something on boot!"
After a long day, Ragnar returns to town.
"Seriously, what the hell are you doing here?"
"Ragnar is looking for children!"
"It is okay, Ragnar is also sometimes scared to go to the bathroom after burrito night in guard cafeteria."
"You are a bad man for trying to steal woman before it is sure husband is eaten. Ragnar will return husband even if he is inside monster!"
With his work in town definitely done, it's time to move on. Before that, the grind.
This also means new equipment. Thorn whip, leather armor, and a small shield? That sounds vaguely familiar somehow..
This isn't so much a cave as a highway, and it's quite well laid out.
Why is drawer candy in box and not drawer?
"No, you are standing in cave. Is different."
"I.. no, I'm.. yeah, you can take care of this Ragnar. I have faith in you."
"Try not to get eaten by monsters on way back to castle."
"How did Giant Worm get herb from drawer?"
"Lucky for Ragnar that other soldiers did not find box secretly hidden in middle of the hallway."
"Slime with tentacles! Ragnar has seen enough woodcuts to know where this is going!"
Mysterious. This area will surely be of interest later.
"Silly sign. Children would have to fight three slimes and two giant worms to get to woods, and probably be eaten before reaching sign."