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Dragon's Crown is a side-scrolling, beat 'em up 2d action adventure game for the Playstation. Spiritual successor to the 1994 arcade game, "Dungeons & Dragons: The Tower of Doom", it is a dungeon-crawling videogame where a party of four adventurers come to the kingdom of Hydeland in search of adventure, eventually uncovering the mystery of the eponymous Dragon's Crown and why so many want to possess it.
There are six different classes in the game, and a party can be made of any combination of four of these. You can go with a balanced party, or just take one class four times. You can also play local or online multiplayer, or recruit various non-scaling NPCs via finding the bones of less-lucky adventurers out in the dungeons and taking them back to the church to either pay to have them resurrected, whereupon they become level-locked but still-useful AI partners you can take with you into the dungeon, or just bury them to put them at peace, which has a chance of getting you items and treasure.
Each level, you can spend a point on various passive or active Skills, some of which are shared by all classes, some of which are class-specific.
- The Amazon: Actually the orphaned daughter of a noble family who was brought up in a barbarian tribe. A musclegirl with a flamboyantly sexualized set of hips, legs and ass, in contrast to the Sorceress. Functions as a nimble, high damage berserker that wields two-handed weapons, but who has low defense and whose attacks have a long wind-up.
- The Dwarf: A hugely muscled, skimpily clad dwarven warrior with legs a fraction the thickness of his neck or biceps who relies on his twin hammers to crush his opponents, seeking revenge on the dragon that devastated his people. He's really strong and, as the only class to wield two weapons at once, has huge damage potential, plus the special ability to throw enemies and objects around, but he's impeded by low range, lackluster aerial attacks, and a slow movement rate.
- The Elf: A female elven ranger who specializes in projectiles. Looks young and cute without being heretical. Her mystical talents give her a versatile arsenal of attack options, but she's lacking in both offense and defense. Used to be really OP with the right skills to give her unlimited elemental arrows. Left the elf forest to go have fun adventures among the mortals, and ends up giving the elf king tons of relief since, without her, he'd have to be the one to save the world.
- The Fighter: Your standard heavily armored sword-and-board human warrior, with a physique as exaggerated as the ladies'. Actually has long, flowing locks and soft features, but you wouldn't know it because, outside of the character select and his ending, he wears an awesome horned helmet. Doesn't have a lot of range and moves real slow, but he can tank like a motherfucker and has a really high attack speed.
- The Sorceress: A ridiculously voluptuous human witch; in contrast to the wizard, she focuses on supportive magic, using curses and summoned skeleton minions to bolster allies or hinder enemies.
- The Wizard: A human spellcaster who may lack speed and be slow to launch his spells, but whose destructive elemental arsenal can decimate the enemy, if you can manage his need for mana. He's journeying to find a way to cure his sister, whom he inadvertently trapped in a state of living death as part of a bungled spell to heal her.
In addition, every party will have two extra members:
- Ronnie the Rogue: Being a third edition rogue, he's nearly useless in combat, but his clever fingers are the only way you can pick locks on doors or chests. Stay on the lookout for those pesky traps! He trips 'em every once in a while, and if you leave gold lying around he'll scoop it into the loot sack. Also, be kind to your rogue: if you get a party wipe, he'll scoop everyone's bones up and use his mad steath skills to have you revived.
- Tiki the Fairy: A cute little fairy who's also a mean drunk. She illuminates things in dark locations, and by scrambling her around the screen you can find hidden treasure and items. She's also able to activate the wizard's runestones, which can interact with various runes in the environment in specific combinations to do fun things like cause treasure to rain from the sky, healing the entire party, or just summoning powerful damage magic.
Rather than just moving right, there are little cul-de-sacs that hold treasure and other items. Some are a simple matter of unlocking doors and walking through, some require solving fiendish puzzles or navigating traps. Also, each stage has at least one branch point, with each branch ending in a different boss fight. The story will take you to each location once, where you will automatically take the "A" path and fight the requisite boss, but after you've played through each stage in this way the game opens up and you can then pick whether you want to fight the easier "A" boss or take the "B" path and take on the harder one.
"B" path bosses, in addition to being difficult fights, are on a time limit. If you take too long to beat one, you will either get some kind of backup or automatically "win" by virtue of something else taking care of the fight for you. Beating all the "B" bosses, and doing it without taking the easy way out, is necessary to unlock the final boss and the last part of the game.
The choice is usually presented by a character you meet partway through, who usually has artwork that's some combination of sexy, badass, and adorable.
- Ancient Temple Ruins: Once the site of a thriving civilization, before the Ancient Dragon destroyed it in a single night. Partway through, you meet Roland the Barbarian, standing atop a pile of orcs, who is a veteran adventurer who keeps newbs out of the danger zone and looks like exactly what you're picturing. A later side-quest determines that he's really excited to join an endless army of skeletons when he dies.
A Path: You venture down into the marshes and run into a harpy, who is the first boss. She's based mostly on the old art, with a woman's head and torso sticking out of a giant bird, and she has a number of dive attacks and grabs, plus can fire feathers or flap to summon windstorms. Later sidequests make clear, harpies are vicious: they eat the men they have sex with, and even their chicks are born with an instinctive desire to kill humanoids.
B Path: Venturing deeper into the ruins, you face Medusa! She has iron claws to swipe at you with, while looming over you, but the main threat comes from the streams of projectiles she sprays out and the swarms of snake minions that shake loose from her hair. She also has the power to turn you to stone if you don't get to cover when she really winds up for her super attack. If you want, you can retreat, having her chase you until she withdraws, but then you don't get the item.
- Old Capitol: Ruined after a massive invasion, this place is now a nest of dragons and wyverns. Tommit the legendary bandit is here, originally because of story reasons, later because it's a good place to hide. Unlike many other people you meet in dungeons, you sometimes run into him "on the job," with him trying to steal your items out of chests while you're busy, unless you catch him and beat him black and blue.
A Path: Chasing Tommit, you encounter a male wvyern, who attacks. Being a debased dragon, he's got a lightning breath weapon, can fly, and has some melee attacks, but he also summons swarms of his female mates to the hunt. They actually drop valuable eggs if defeated, so some entrepreneurial fellows like farming the battle, since, as an early-game boss, he's pretty easy. B Path: And, on the exact opposite end of the difficulty spectrum... deeper in the ruins likes a sleeping dragon. Red, specifically, atop a pile of gold. Fighting him in the treasure room is hard, since it's cramped and there's no cover from his screen-filling insta-kill breath weapon attack when he wants to pull it out, so retreat is advisable, since it turns the battle into a chase scene, with him hunting you down a corridor while you take cover behind convenient barricades and open fire with conveniently-placed ballistie. However, if you can't kill him before the end, he'll chase you onto a bridge and fall, denying you the item. An homage to Capcom's old arcade game, which is itself an homage to Smaug.
- 'Bilbaron Subterranian Fortress: Built into a canyon and overrun with orcs and goblins, the nation's army is actively trying to assault the place as you arrive on the scene. Halfway through, you run into a fat, blind old hobgoblin cook whose goblin sous-chefs might also be on the menu.
A Path: Trying to get out through the labrynthine sewers, you run into a territorial minotaur. He's got a lot of telegraphed power attacks and slams, and orcs come to see what the fuss is about, but, like many such early bosses, he's not that hard.
B Path: Rather than escape, you decide to take the fortress once and for all, and attack the Gargoyle Gate. This is a bit of an unconventional boss fight in that, unless you knew it was coming and saved up some explosives or have a "damage to objects up" weapon in your back pocket, attacking the gate directly isn't the best strategy. Instead, you need to kill off the goblin and orc defenders while avoiding the streams of flame pouring from the fortification's flamethrowers to make them drop cannonballs and torches, then load and ignite a cannon to deal massive damage to the structure. Unlike many B path bosses, there's no easy way out here, though it is easier than many of them.
- Wallace's Underground Labyrinth: Created in a single night by a master wizard to contain various dangers within its depths. Partway, you meet the absent wizard's apprentice, a cute dancing circus mouse whose language you speak. He's wearing a blue conical hat with silver stars, in case you didn't get the reference.
A Path: After encountering armies of myconids, you face a doom beetle and its carrion-crawler-like spawn. Has the potential to be much harder than it should be, since ignoring the crawlers as they cocoon up will allow them to mature into other doom beetles, but that's not a mistake most players make twice.
B Path: Ricky warns you that evil wizards are attempting to breach the cell containing the cyclopes. With horns like the Ray Harryhousen version (and therefore also an homage to an old Capcom beat 'em up), at least one has gotten loose at the battle's beginning, with more trying to hold open the door to their prison so they can escape. You need to properly balance beating up the one that's attacking you with attacking the hands trying to pass bend bars/lift gates rolls so that they'll drop it.