Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: Dragon Strike
Alas, the continent of Ansalon has been enslaved by malevolent Draconians and Dragons. The land's only hope is (oh, oh) you! Climb into the saddle and get ready to ride... er, fly! That's right, pilgrim, you're gonna have to ride a Dragon to save the day.
DragonStrike is the next in FCI's series of games with the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons theme. If you're expecting another role-playing game, you're wrong! If you're expecting DragonStrike, the PC version, you're wrong again. DragonStrike is a one- or two-player, shooter/action/adventure hybrid, with an overhead-view and an unusual style of game play.
Your task is to vault onto the back of one of three different dragons and clear out all the Draconians and unfriendly Dragons from the 13 regions of Ansalon. The three benevolent Dragons have different abilities, including speed, armor, breath weapons, and health.
Controlling a dragon takes practice. It's a little tricky learning how to maneuver him and it's never quite as precise as you'd like it. However, once you get the hang of making tight turns, it's fairly automatic. It's especially important to become adept at making your fire- breathing beastie fly instantly at higher or lower altitudes.
ProTip: The Gold Dragon is slow, but he has powerful weapons and excellent health. He's a good choice for beginners.
Upon flying into enemy territory, you'll discover different terrains. The locales include the Seashore, the Desert, and a Cityscape. Each features different obstacles, both natural and Draconian-made. They pose grave challenges for your winged reptile.
- Watch out for that tree, diff, or other elevated obstacle. Fly into it and you'll do yourself some serious damage.
- In the second part of the Seashore area, don't fly over dotted portions of land. They'll drain your strength.
- Fly high to avoid damage from the blue whirlwinds in the Desert area.
Taking Draconian Measures
The Draconians and the Dragons in each area have different abilities to hurt you. Some are on foot. Others are in boats. Some use catapults or other Draconian weapons. Depending on where the enemies are located, you may have to fly high or low to destroy them.
When you fly low, it's easier to dodge enemy shots.
When you clear an area of the requisite number of bad boys and beasts, you hear a tone. You can advance to the next area by simply flying to the top of the screen. After some areas, you face-off with a nasty boss beast.
You don't have to destroy all of the enemies on a level to complete it. However, if you do, you earn full health.
After a few wing-singeing encounters with the Draconians, you and your beastie will be more than happy to discovenihat the continent abounds with power-ups. Some lie in full view scattered throughout the land. Others appear when you destroy Draconians and enemy Dragons. These magical items include speed potions, shields, health potions, and amulets that protect the dragon from different types of Draconian attack. Some items permanently increase your Dragon's abilities, while others only give him temporary aid.
Blast the White Tents in the Forest. There's always a power-up hiding inside.
Ansalon Needs You!
DragonStrike is an engaging change of pace in an NES field too cluttered with games that look the same. A few problems with control and average tunes mar the overall effect, but decent graphics and original game play more than compensate. If you're looking for a change of pace, give DragonStrike a test flight.
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- Manufacturer: Strategic simulations, INC.
- Machine: Amiga, IBM PC, Commodore 64
Just when it seems every idea has already become some sort of video game, along comes a title that's both innovative and imaginative. SSI's latest adventure, DragonStrike (created by Westwood Associates), places the player atop a mighty dragon in the midst of a great war. Evil dragon armies have conquered nearly all of Ansalon. The only hope for the forces of good is a heroic warrior and a dwindling fleet of loyal dragons.
The player controls the dragon with keyboard, mouse or joystick. A two-button joystick works best, since players can fire both weapons via the buttons and automatically center the dragon by simply letting go of the stick. Mouse control isn't bad, but centering is a bit tricky. Without either, the keyboard is a challenging and oftentimes frustrating alternative.
Play begins in the lowest order of knights. As each mission is completed, gamers move up in rank to ride bigger, more powerful dragons. Players continue in this fashion until they either complete 20 missions or die trying.
Once airborne, the gamer navigates the dragon much like a flight simulator. As enemy dragons approach, players use either of two breath weapons to knock the enemy down from a distance.
Unfortunately, the enemy has its own weapon, and evasive action is often necessary. If the distance shots miss, players engage in close-quarter fighting to lance the enemy or have the dragon bite its foe.
The rider must watch the dragon's power as each mission progresses; it decreases if he's forced to climb often or is injured in battle. When this number drops to zero, the dragon glides, unable to steer until he regains his strength. Magical items found along the way can heal the player's wounds or the dragon's.
If the dragon is hit while in close combat, there's a chance that the gamer will be dislodged and fall. Fear not, the heroic dragon will attempt to swoop down and catch you. If, however, he should miss, the on-screen warrior dies a nasty death, especially since the ruthless enemy dragons will continue to fire on the helpless body even as it falls.
The fast-action side of the game is equally enjoyable. The weapons fire accurately and have a good distance, so a trained player can make some pretty impressive long-distance shots. The dragons are very responsive and can perform some interesting routines. The sound effects while fighting are effective, though not spectacular.
The only drawback occurs when fighting at close range. When the enemy is on you, the instruments become inaccurate, and it's next to impossible to locate the bad guys. This makes it hard to get in position to lance them, and they will most likely hit when you least expect it.
DragonStrike is a breakthrough idea in simulator games. It offers the best of both worlds. The three-dimensional polygon graphics, similar to those found in many modern simulators, are very well done. The images look 3-D, and the terrain scrolls smoother than many other simulators. The only complaint here is that while your own dragon looks terrific, the enemy dragons get very blocky as they get closer.
The plot is well thought out and documented, and the variety in missions makes for hours of game play. DragonStrike's imaginative mix of simulator and action game is both effective and enjoyable.
SSI's newest entry places players on the back of a mighty serpent in the first-ever dragon-combat simulator. Players must destroy hordes of enemy creatures in the air and on the ground in an effort to restore peace to the lands of Ansalon.
The best way to get an edge in DragonStrike is to practice maneuvering the dragon in the early battles. Keep in mind that any quick ascent or high-speed flying will drain the dragon's power rapidly. These moves should therefore be avoided unless used as emergency techniques to avoid disaster. Practice slow gradual banks and slight ascents to maneuver the dragon effortlessly around. This saves his strength for when it is really needed.
Once a scenario begins, use the arrow of enemy detection to locate the bad guys quickly. When they are spotted, try to center the lead dragon as he approaches. Once he's big enough to see clearly, fire the breath weapon and pull up slightly above him. If the breath weapon connects, he's dead. If not, try to position your dragon above the enemy. Attacks from above almost always work better than from below; they inflict damage on both rider and dragon. Try to leave the lance in the center position when fighting. This seems to give it a greater range. It also aids in aiming for a shot with the fire breath.
If the enemy does get off a shot, quickly bank and descend out of the line of fire. Always descend every time possible to avoid wasting energy in battle. Once clear of the shot, veer back around. The enemy is recharging and therefore vulnerable to attack.
Occasionally an airborne enemy will swarm on you, and it will seem impossible to get him on-screen no matter which way you turn. Should this happen, quickly veer off and descend quickly to pick up speed and throw off the enemy. Once his blip appears about half an inch behind you, turn and fire.
The forces of good are also called on to deal with ground targets from time to time. This is not difficult if players remember two things. First, the ground troops are only affected by your breath weapons, so be sure your aim is true.
Also, try to stay as low as possible so you can get a better shot from a strafing position. This must be done with care because the lands of Ansalon are mountainous. It would be embarrassing to smash your dragon into a mountainside in the heat of battle!
- Manufacturer: FCI
- Machine: NES
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Available: August 1992
- No. of Levels: 14
- Theme: Shooter
Bad breath saves the day!
Fear not brave warrior, for this venture is not a gallant stride into the realms of a perplexing RPG. The chaps at FCI have struck a deal with TSR to produce a game based off of the old D & D game and have came up with a shooter of revolutionary proportions!
Choose from the three most powerful dragons in the medieval skies to take on the classic forces of evil and terror. All you need is your fiery breath and the ability to dive into the lowest parts of the lands to desecrate your enemies! Giant bosses and even fortresses stand in your way of the ultimate prize...peace throughout the land! It is all up to you - Dragon Breath!
- Manufacturer: FCI
- Machine: NES
Dragon Strike is the latest action game from FCI for the NES! You play the part of a dragon that has special abilities like freezing your enemies, or blasting them with your weapons! There is a lot of action in this new NES cart from FCI, so look for it this summer!
Dragon Strike is FCI's new branch into the market of NES shooters. Pick from three mighty dragons; bronze, silver and gold. Each dragon has special abilities like freezing enemies and then blowing them away! Play through 14 levels of fast action and face strange creatures waiting to kill you off. The view is from an overhead perspective so get a perfect view of the highly detailed landscape!
Although this game is not exactly what you might expect, the game's theme and overall goals do provide a few thrills. In general, however, the graphics and game play fall short, even with a wide variety of options thrown in throughout the action. It's not a totally lacking product mind you, I just wish they had packed in more.
It's from an RPG company, the name sounds like it should be an RPG, but it isn't. Of all things it is a shooter, and not a bad one at that. While the graphics could be better, the game play is OK. I like the overhead view, and the choice of three different dragons, each with different abilities is all right. Good but not exceptional.
Something happened on the way to the reprogrammes. The computer game was a 1st-person dragon flight simulator with air jousting. Sounds cool? What we have though is an overhead shooter with not very good graphics and annoying sounds. The game play is very limited and control is sluggish.
This would be a better game all-around about two years ago. The graphics are good for 8-bit, but the music is hard to swallow after a while. The game play is not too bad, either. Dragon Strike somehow just doesn't strike my fancy as a hot upcoming title. You know, I think I've seen this game many times before.
Based on the popular role-playing game, AD&D is set to continue FCI's trend toward interactive RPGs that they originally started with Ultima. Lots of options and an intricate quest highlight this 1990 title.