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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!

Dragons of Flame
1990 US Gold/Strategic Simulations, Inc.
By Rob Nickolson & James MacDonald

 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the fifty nineth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (Street date: February 15th, 1990).
 

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DRAGONS OF FLAME
US Gold, Amiga 24.99

 

he Queen Of Darkness manipulates evil dragons and their draconian minions to spread her iniquitous power across the land of Krynn. Once her scaly servants have succeeded in overpowering the populace, the queen plans to personally take control of Krynn and envelop it in an eternity of darkness.

There's only one way to stop her (wouldn't ya know it): Krynn's people must have their faith in the old gods restored to boost their resistance to evil. A band of adventurers have already recovered the Disks Of Mishakal (check out US Gold's Heroes Of The Lance -- if you really have to) and now seek the long-lost Wyrmslayer to help rekindle opposition to the evil forces currently sweeping across Krynn.

You control the adventurers as they move swiftly through the war-torn world of magical mayhem in an attempt to avoid capture by draconians, find Wyrmslayer, rescue a princess, and free women and children held prisoner in the fortress, Pax Tharkas. Your band initially consists of a fighter, a warrior, a mage, a knight, a cleric, a barbarian, a kender and a dwarf (other characters may join your quest en route), all of whom should be familiar to you if you've played Dragonlance games before or, better still, read any of the excellent books.

Two main modes of play exist: Wilderness and Combat. Wilderness is a dragon's-eye view of your surroundings and is used to navigate your way across Krynn -- there's also a map of the whole area available at the touch of a key. Combat is automatically instigated when non-player characters (NPCs) are met, or buildings entered, and utilizes a third-person perspective. These NPCs are many and varied, in fact their numbers are ridiculous. Encountered every other step they take the form of nomads (friendly nomads may join your party and can be used as cannon fodder), kapaks, griffons, dire wolves, hobgoblins, trolls, war dogs, and dragons. Very few NPCs bode well for your party.

Fighting is undertaken with either a ranged weapon (such as spear or bow) or close weapon (sword, for example); your mage and cleric use magic. The first four members of your party are all included in the fray. As members die (a regular occurrence) their place is taken by the next in line, although Goldmoon (the cleric) is replaced automatically by Riverwind (barbarian) should she take too much damage -- he's such a hero!

Time is of the essence. As soon as the game starts you should race south toward Pax Tharkas before the draconian hordes infest the land. Along the way you come across Gilthanas the Elven prince, who tells you of a secret entrance to the fortress: a good job really, as the front door looks far too well guarded to get through. Once Gilthanas is part of your group, head for the forest and mountains to find a way south that avoids the worst of enemy hordes.

Statistics such as Charisma, Intelligence, Hit Points, Wisdom and so on feature, although they're controlled by computer while you're left to rush around Krynn trying to avoid death. Weapons, potions and spells found on your travels may be added to members' inventories and used to help keep them in their seemingly impossible task.

Played with a combination of keys and joystick, Dragons Of Flame is arcade orientated -- RPG elements sadly take a back seat. No-win situations occur regularly: Trolls and Griffons are particularly vicious and, if magic isn't (or can't be) used, take mere seconds to make mincemeat of your party. All too often three or four of these enemies attack at once, giving you no chance.

The only way to progress is to save your position after every successful confrontation. This reduces game-flow to zero and ultimately leads to intense frustration. Those who enjoy taking two steps forward and three back may warm to Dragons Of Flame. Everyone else who likes good RPG-style games should buy Drakkhen.

Really-useful-information dept:
A C64 version should be available around April, priced 9.99 cassette, 14.99 disk
.

 
Atmosphere 32%
Puzzle Factor 38%
Interaction 41%
Lastability 28%

Overall

36%
 


If you want a walkthrough, visit
Jacob Gunness
' Classic Adventures Solution Archive or
Martin Brunner's C64 Adventure Game Solutions Site

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (6 Mar 2010)
Only the Amiga version of the first of above screenshots existed in the original review.

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