- Manufacturer: Draconian
- Version: Amiga, IBM PC
The player's quest is to restore magical control of the universe to the benevolent Drakkhen of the Draconian people. They lost dominion of their world when the dragons stole the eight magic gems that rule the forces of nature: earth, water, air and fire.
The controlling dragons of the elements each have one son and one daughter. These mini-monarchs must be presented with the appropriate gem that grants a blessing to that prince or princess. The player must gather the eight gems, learn four incantations and distribute the gems properly to succeed. The plot should sound familiar; it's standard adventure fare.
Players create a four-character party that must remain intact throughout the game (i.e., no bringing in replacements without starting over, so save often).
Each hero is rated in the standard attributes: strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence and education (the latter can be equated to wisdom.) There's a limit of three rolls per character during generation, and gamers must accept the consequences of the third roll, if they take it.
Party members may be male or female, and sex places no restrictions on the attribute scores. Available character classes are familiar: scout (similar to a ranger), fighter/amazon, magician/sorceress and priest/priestess. Unfortunately, there's little imagination or strategy required for party composition; one must have one of each type to succeed.
Other aspects of Drakkhen transcend mere banality and represent actual regression within the genre. Current state-of-the-art availability moves games beyond restricted player options, yet Drakkhen is a completely sequential, linear adventure. Also, despite most player's abhorrence of cartography, Drakkhen requires extensive manual mapping. This is inexplicable, given the number of titles that feature auto mapping.
Finally, there is the copy protection. Data East has created something that makes two-toned red and black errata sheets read like bold-faced playing cards by comparison. Drakkhen uses a blue/black copy protection card that is virtually unreadable! Hey gang, if you want something that isn't easily reproduced, use a code wheel.
The product is redeemed by only one factor. Drakkhen's originality stems from its graphical perspective and, to a lesser extent, its mouse-driven icon interface. The latter could not be labeled intuitive, but once they get used to it, players will find it appealing.
Some nuances to master are object manipulation and remembering to leave the fight icon turned off as one travels. A lot of the NPCs have something to say, so talk before hacking. If the fight icon is on, one enters combat automatically.
The VGA graphics are excellent, employing smooth animation over detailed 256-color backgrounds that give the land of Drakkhen weight and substance. The player views the action from a third-person perspective behind and slightly above the party. The cinematic effect will keep players coming back for more.
Movement is very smooth, with one exception. Take constant care not to have the party members step into any bodies of water. They immediately sink and drown. Finally, the ability for independent action by each of the characters, instead of always relying on "group dynamics", is impressive. It is possible to engage in one- on-one combat and concentrate experience points on the character that needs them.
In the aggregate, Drakkhen is an average game that could have been much better, had the folks at Data East been more attuned to the market.
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This is the year of Super NES. The year some of the best RPG players may go down in flames. Because this year you will enter the world of Drakkhen. You've confronted many monsters before. But never fire-breathing beasts of such scorching realism. Over 50 giants and winged beasts in spellbinding 3-D. You've journeyed in other mystical lands. But none with scrolling, 360-degree landscapes with panoramic views. Horizons change from day to night before your very eyes. In your quest to restore world peace, you will learn many powerful spells. Prepare for battle by collecting weapons and magical objects. But nothing will prepare you for the special effects, the eye-popping graphics, the stereo digital sound experience. Drakkhen. It's the Super NES game of the year. The role playing challenge of a lifetime.
Welcome to the world of "real-time" role playing, where characters actually interact independently of your commands. Your role in Drakkhen is to retrieve the eight missing Tears, mystical gems which harbor the forces of the universe. Armed and ready with weapons and more than 150 Magical Spells, you and your fellow Dragon-crusaders (a 4-member team) must search out and destroy the Dragon Princes and Princesses, as well as 100 other monsters, retrieve the Tears, and restore peace to the universe.
As one of the first role-playing games, Drakken is a single player game released by Kemco-Seika in 1991. Prior to the SNES release, it was a computer role-playing game developed by Draconian (Data East), and created by French developers and then retooled by MicroProse in 1990. Enjoy creating four adventurers and travel on various political missions through eight Drakkhen Royalty Castles. You can also wander endlessly in curiosity and adventure, while fighting monsters, engaging in action packed sword fighting, and spell casting accompanied by clashes, zaps, and minor explosions. The setting takes place on a large rectangular continent, divided horizontally into four smaller rectangles. Each area of the land has its own terrain and climate. It is controlled by two members of the ruling Drakkhen, each of whom lives in a castle. The continent is bounded on all sides by a vast ocean; walking into this, or any other body of water, will result in the speedy drowning of all of your party members. While players are creating their adventurers, they are able to choose the gender and class of each one. In the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the character classes are scout, fighter, magician, and priest.