You always wanted to gaze into a crystal ball, so when you get your chance, you go for it. Too bad there's an evil wizard looking back at you. Now, look deep into the Game Gear and prepare to embark on a fantastic adventure.
Enter the Dragon-Crystal
Dragon Crystal by Sega is a rousing ac-tion/adventure game with an easy-to-use role-play game (RPG) interface. You try to find your way back to reality as you know it by trailbiazing through 30 mazelike levels, which require equal parts exploring, discovering, and fighting. The longer you last the higher your status becomes, from a lowly Apprentice to a mighty Warlord.
Fighting to Make a Point
You fight using a classic RPG hit point technique that's much more exciting than it sounds. Jam on a button to thrust your weapon at your adversary and the Game Message Window pops up. It scones hits and misses as you fight the monster onscreen. Obviously, whoever reaches zero first is a goner. Know when to fight and run away and you'll do well.
On the Level
Dragon Crystal's color graphics are, well, crystal clear. The level terrain is picturesque, and the monsters strut their stuff with slick styling and entertaining animation.
The labyrinthine terrain includes evergreen forests, fields of giant sunflowers, and rows of Easter Island-style stone-heads. To start each level, you materialize in the midst of these things. The challenge is to open a path through them. Then during your explorations you uncover open fields where you'll find handy items-and/or grisly monsters.
For tiny color characters the monsters are cool. There's a horde of fierce fighters, and even on the small screen they look great. Fire orange, crystalline Flame Bars cast tiny shadows on the ground as they fly. Only the tip of the Sand Shark's fin shows until it snaps at you with a nasty "Jaws" move.
Your potential equipment is standard fantasy game issue: Weapons, Armor, Scrolls, Rods, Pots, Rings, Food, and Gold. You need it all! Weapons and Armor are rated for hit points. Scrolls,
Rods, Pots, and Rings come in a rainbow of colors (up to 11 different hues), each signifying a unique power. Sometimes, however, they're cursed!
A Neverending Story
Dragon Crystal is great fun. It's a top quality game that sets high standards for Game Gear carts to come. Even the music's not bad. This adventure can go on forever (but six M's last under three hours, so get an AC adaptor), there are no passwords, you must nab mucho gold to continue, and dying mixes up all the magic powers! But Dragon Crystal definitely doesn't drag-on.
- In general, concentrate your search towards the center of the level. Warps and other rewards are usually there.
- If hit points are critical but you have Food, just walk around to build up points. But avoid monsters at all costs.
- From Level 10 on, some creatures such as the Code 04863 killer satellites don't attack you unless you attack them.
- If you run into a monster gang clearing, it's easier to waste them by drawing them out one at a time.