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jdkluv
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(09-14-2014, 07:56 PM)
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DRAGN SLAYER IS UNLIKE ANY OTHER GAME YOU HAVE PLAYED ON YOUR COMPUTER!

Gameplay video (listen to dem 8-bit walking sounds playing The Entertainer!)

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the original "Dragon Slayer" - an action RPG designed by Yoshio Kiya and developed/published by Falcom (best known in the West as creators of the Ys and The Legend of Heroes series, as well of their high quality soundtracks and arranged albums). It was first released for the NEC PC-8801 in 1984 and ported to many other systems, like to the MSX by Square a year later (yes, that same Square!). It became a success in Japan, and in the same way Dragon Quest is considered the blueprint for turn-based JRPGs, Dragon Slayer is, along with games like Tower of Druaga, Hydlide and Dragon Buster, considered to be the progenitor of the emerging action RPG genre and often credited for pioneering the action RPG genre, and essentially laid the foundations for future game series such as Falcom's own Ys and The Legend of Zelda. It also was, along with the original Xanadu, the game that put Falcom on the map.

Of course, all this leads into the question of what *is* the Dragon Slayer series. The Dragon Slayer "series", which it originates from the original Dragon Slayer, is one of the oldest RPG series in Japan, and it serves as a label that many future Falcom games produced/designed by a man called Yoshio Kiya (who left the company sometime around 1994) were released under . Despite the connection in name, every sub-series is its own "game series", and it's pretty much its own thing and completely unrelated to each sub-series of games in terms of gameplay, plot, music and characters (save for a few cameos here and there).

Falcom's commemorative 30th Anniversary book Falcom Chronicle claims the original PC-88 version (i.e. the very first one) was released on 10 September 1984, but apparently that's incorrect according to the venerable Sho, the admin of Dra-Sle-Labo - a Japanese site devoted to the series. As such, we don't exactly know the exact date the original game was released, other than sometime in September of 1984. :(



Here's a list of games that are officially considered part of the Dragon Slayer line (i.e. produced/designed by Yoshio Kiya and developed by Falcom themselves):

1 - Dragon Slayer (1984)
2 - Xanadu (1985)
2.1 - Xanadu Scenario II (1986)
3 - Dragon Slayer Jr: Romancia (1986)
4 - Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family (also known as 'Legacy of the Wizard' on the West) (1987)
5 - Sorcerian (1987)
5.1 - Sorcerian Additional Scenario Vol.1 (1988)
5.2 - Sengoku Sorcerian (1988)
5.3 - Pyramid Sorcerian (1988)
6 - Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes (1989)
6.1 - Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes II (1992)
7 - Lord Monarch (1991)
7.1 - Advanced Lord Monarch (1991)
7.2 - Lord Monarch Original (1996)
7.3 - Mona² (Monarch Monarch) (1998)
8 - The Legend of Xanadu (1994)
8.1 - The Legend of Xanadu II: The Last of Dragon Slayer (1995)

Here's an updated chart with most Dragon Slayer related games (produced by Kiya himself/developed Falcom themselves or not) up to Sen no Kiseki II and Tokyo Xanadu, as I’ve seen a lot of people asking about what this whole The Legend of Heroes/Dragon Slayer series is on many Kiseki/Trails/Ys/Falcom threads. Needless to say, this chart is more updated and correct than XSEED's very own chart from 2011 and pretty much anything else you'll find out there. There may some conscious omissions and/or an error or two in it, but it should suffice for anyone wanting to know more about the strange construction regarding how the series goes according to Falcom.

Feel free to discuss your experiences with games related to this long-going series and/or recommend your favorite games!

(Also - yay, my very first thread on GAF! And what a better way to do so than brag about how awesome Falcom is! :D)
Ganondorfo
Junior Member
(09-14-2014, 08:07 PM)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZxs3C_VRIs

This track was classic from Sorcerian
Dragoon En Regalia
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(09-14-2014, 09:13 PM)
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Drasle Family's the only game in the brand without a remake. What a shame, Falcom could remedy that with a PC-based reimagining.

Not much point in playing Dragon Slayer 1.1/2.0 when we have Hydlide and Xanadu. Panorama Island's true vintage Falcom as far as the fans can see.
Eusis
Member
(09-14-2014, 09:17 PM)
This is about as old as me!

I'm sure that can make some people feel old. Including myself, it's been 30 fucking years.

EDIT: And seriously it's also kind of fascinating to see how games have advanced over time, especially from a company you like. Though I could just look at the time it took me to get into kindergarten to see a gigantic leap.
Aeana
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(09-14-2014, 09:19 PM)
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This is the game that Falcom always claims to be the first action RPG ever created. It was probably the third one I ever played. It's not bad, but it's certainly a product of its time.

Yoshio Kiya's later games (all of the games labeled Dragon Slayer) are much better, at least.
Aeana
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(09-14-2014, 09:39 PM)
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Sorcerian was a particularly special game for me. I spent one summer in the late 80s trying to get through the original scenario set. It's such a beefy game, not even counting the additional add-on sets.

Opening is such a beautiful piece of music.

Some of the other pieces that are firmly ingrained into my memory:

Traveler's Inn
Depths of the Earth
Bloody River (Lucifer's Floodgates)
Cave 1 (Ice Cavern)
Town (Medusa's Head)

And a couple of my favorite arrangements:
Sorcerian Perfect Collection - Sand Castle
Sorcerian Perfect Collection - Depths of the Earth

There's lots of others, but those are the ones I always think of.
Tizoc
Member
(09-14-2014, 09:43 PM)
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Yeesh this is one series I'd there to be some compilation release of to better experience it @_@
Aeana
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(09-14-2014, 09:45 PM)
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Originally Posted by Tizoc

Yeesh this is one series I'd there to be some compilation release of to better experience it @_@

There is!
https://www.amusement-center.com/pro...ayerchronicle/
Tizoc
Member
(09-14-2014, 09:47 PM)
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Originally Posted by Aeana

There is!
https://www.amusement-center.com/pro...ayerchronicle/

Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!
....it'll take XSEED 100 years to localize this won't it?
Negator
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(09-14-2014, 09:55 PM)
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A retrospective video series of these games would be enjoyable to watch, as I'm interested to learn where Falcom had its roots. Aside from Faxanadu and Trails in the Sky, I have not played any of these games.
Aeana
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(09-14-2014, 09:58 PM)
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Originally Posted by Negator

A retrospective video series of these games would be enjoyable to watch, as I'm interested to learn where Falcom had its roots. Aside from Faxanadu and Trails in the Sky, I have not played any of these games.

The first Legend of Heroes game was released in English for TurboGrafx CD. It's a fairly simple Dragon Quest style game, but it's pretty cute. It's too bad that the second game wasn't translated.

This video kinda shows off the game
Negator
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(09-14-2014, 10:05 PM)
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Originally Posted by Aeana

The first Legend of Heroes game was released in English for TurboGrafx CD. It's a fairly simple Dragon Quest style game, but it's pretty cute. It's too bad that the second game wasn't translated.

This video kinda shows off the game

That looks pretty good for the time! I'm always amused by the boxy UI the early Falcom games have. I knew I'd heard of Romancia before and it was from an episode of Chrontendo.

Here's a quick overview of Romancia for the Famcom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...YU1Suq8Y#t=638
Stumpokapow
listen to the mad man
(09-14-2014, 10:05 PM)
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Great job putting together the chart, very impressive.
randomkid
Member
(09-14-2014, 10:38 PM)
What a great chart, all that early boxart makes me swoon. Just orders and orders of magnitude beyond so much of what we get these days.
RangerBAD
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(09-14-2014, 10:49 PM)
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Originally Posted by Aeana

The first Legend of Heroes game was released in English for TurboGrafx CD. It's a fairly simple Dragon Quest style game, but it's pretty cute. It's too bad that the second game wasn't translated.

This video kinda shows off the game

That music alone is worth it. I assume it comes from the game.
PixyJunket
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(09-14-2014, 10:50 PM)
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The updated versions of Dragon Slayer and Xanadu on the Sega Saturn (part of Falcom Classic Collection disc) are a great way to play the original two games.
Dragoon En Regalia
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(09-14-2014, 10:51 PM)
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Originally Posted by Aeana

Sorcerian was a particularly special game for me. I spent one summer in the late 80s trying to get through the original scenario set. It's such a beefy game, not even counting the additional add-on sets.

An immense amount of content for the time! Kiya mentioned Sorcerian as his favorite game he made in a business interview.

Underground Dungeon II from the Perfect Collection is one of my favorite game music arrangements. So comfy.
Barrylocke
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(09-14-2014, 11:00 PM)
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Originally Posted by Negator

A retrospective video series of these games would be enjoyable to watch, as I'm interested to learn where Falcom had its roots. Aside from Faxanadu and Trails in the Sky, I have not played any of these games.

This is exactly where I am with the series, and I never even finished either of them (working on Trails now). I've heard many of the names in Falcom threads, so it's nice to see them all laid out in such a nice thread opener. I feel like if there was one series I was to go back to and start from the very beginning with, it would be this one. I might look into what barriers of entry there are to run them on modern on modern hardware and what patches are available for those that need it.
Bassmastergeneral
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(09-14-2014, 11:14 PM)
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Great thread and excellent chart, reminds me that I have never played Dragon Slayer on Gameboy!. This is a really amazing family of games containing some that are what I consider to be the very best of Falcoms catalog and which are extremely important to me.

I Really recommend the Dragon Slayer Chronicle or project egg emulation service to anyone who can read Japanese or is interested in these games.

Dragoon En Regalia
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(09-14-2014, 11:20 PM)
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Since it's worth mentioning here:

Originally Posted by Don Rumata

You can actually keep all the games you buy through EGG in your account library without having to subscribe monthly. If you play a game at least once, you'll still have access to it after your payment period passes. The EGG launcher itself won't update unless you subscribe again, essentially forcing you to pay up once the newest games come out requiring a new launcher, but you could buy all of the 500-yen games within one month and have most of their library ready to play.

tl;dr You are not renting games from EGG, you are buying them for good so long as you launch them at least once. Getting tired of reading comments about how oh gee WOOMB was so much better wah wah despite being the same for Westerners + translations.
Psxphile
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(09-15-2014, 12:43 AM)
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Originally Posted by Stumpokapow

Great job putting together the chart, very impressive.

Originally Posted by randomkid

What a great chart, all that early boxart makes me swoon. Just orders and orders of magnitude beyond so much of what we get these days.

Yes, love the updated chart. However, I thought something was off so I went ahead and applied a change:

Image link

That's better.

My experience with the series is about the same as Negator: I'm only familiar with Faxanadu and Trails in the Sky. I *have* tried out Legacy of the Wizard long long ago, but did not care for it. Game seemed to lack direction, making it difficult to wrap my 8 year-old mind around what I needed to do.
Orakio Rob
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(09-15-2014, 01:01 AM)
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Originally Posted by PixyJunket

The updated versions of Dragon Slayer and Xanadu on the Sega Saturn (part of Falcom Classic Collection disc) are a great way to play the original two games.

I'm glad to hear that, because I ordered it a few days ago from an ebay seller. I'm very curious about these games. The only Dragon Slayer game I've ever played is Drasle Family, and it absolutely rocks!
Dragoon En Regalia
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(09-15-2014, 01:20 AM)
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Because I'm bored and the games came out within years of each other:



vs



I always love when marketers patiently craft scenes like this for mere box art. Fun fact: Hitoshi Yoneda did box art for both Sorcerian and Lunatic Dawn III. He gets around!
NolbertoS
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(09-15-2014, 01:29 AM)
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Never heard of the game, but that old school RPG, brings back memories of playing Ultima 2 and 3 in the old NES days. Didn't know they were the creators of the Ys series. Will check them out for sure.
kess
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(09-15-2014, 01:32 AM)
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There's a lot I like about these style of RPGs. Falcom could really arrange a soundtrack on a computer, too. The Mega Drive versions of Dragon Slayer have some of the best musical arrangements on the console. They're better than the PC-88, and leaner than the effects-soaked TurboCD soundtrack.

Tokuhiko Uwabo fans might be interested in his involvement with MD's Sorcerian port (the song starting at 0:45 is the most Mega Drive thing ever!).
RyougaSaotome
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(09-15-2014, 01:38 AM)
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Excellent chart and great thread. Been meaning to go back to the older Dragon Slayer titles via EGG.
Mauricio_Magus
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(09-15-2014, 01:47 AM)
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I'm a big Falcom fan but I have not gone to check out their older titles, even if I have heard pretty much every soundtrack ever because they are all amazing, that chart is awesome and I'll be using it in the future so thanks for that.
SatelliteOfLove
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(09-15-2014, 02:27 AM)
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Originally Posted by Aeana

Sorcerian was a particularly special game for me. I spent one summer in the late 80s trying to get through the original scenario set. It's such a beefy game, not even counting the additional add-on sets.

Opening is such a beautiful piece of music.

Some of the other pieces that are firmly ingrained into my memory:

Traveler's Inn
Depths of the Earth
Bloody River (Lucifer's Floodgates)
Cave 1 (Ice Cavern)
Town (Medusa's Head)

And a couple of my favorite arrangements:
Sorcerian Perfect Collection - Sand Castle
Sorcerian Perfect Collection - Depths of the Earth

There's lots of others, but those are the ones I always think of.

Sorcerian arrangements are goddamn monsters period.

Originally Posted by Stumpokapow

Great job putting together the chart, very impressive.

Yeah, I'm used to the old chart with the Faxanadu enemy going "I will dine upon your supple meats" and MYSTERY BOXES OMG all over it. Glad too have more charting of this lengthy tangled web of wonderment.

Originally Posted by Dragoon En Regalia

Because I'm bored and the games came out within years of each other:



vs



I always love when marketers patiently craft scenes like this for mere box art. Fun fact: Hitoshi Yoneda did box art for both Sorcerian and Lunatic Dawn III. He gets around!

Holy shit.
mclem
Member
(09-15-2014, 02:29 AM)
I got all excited seeing the incomplete first half of this thread name on GAF's front page, hoping it would end with something along the lines of 'coming to Steam'.

Alas, no.
Dragoon En Regalia
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(09-15-2014, 03:19 AM)
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Originally Posted by SatelliteOfLove

Holy shit.

Guess what? Kenji Ando was the figure modeler on both franchises. I hereby proclaim Sorcerian and Lunatic Dawn sister series. May they both have awesome music, tons of replayability, and diehard fanbases in their home country!

This would land on GOG quicker than on Steam, but XSEED had better go for localizing the games no matter where they're bought online.
perorist
Member
(09-15-2014, 03:28 AM)
Which of the games on that Falcom timeline that hasn't aged too badly would you recommend to someone only familiar with LoH and Ys? I'd definitely like to get into their back catalog.
Bassmastergeneral
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(09-15-2014, 04:47 AM)
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Originally Posted by perorist

Which of the games on that Falcom timeline that hasn't aged too badly would you recommend to someone only familiar with LoH and Ys? I'd definitely like to get into their back catalog.

Approachability wise I would definitely say Xanadu next is the easiest to recommend because it has an English fan translation. It is an amazing game and it rotates ranking among my top 3 games of all time, Falcom or otherwise.

Sorcerian and Legend of Xanadu 2 are also extremely good games though there will be a language barrier.
dead souls
(09-15-2014, 07:37 AM)

Originally Posted by Negator

That looks pretty good for the time! I'm always amused by the boxy UI the early Falcom games have.

Yeah, Dragon Slayer for the TG-CD was awesome. I had a blast playing it on my Duo back in the day. I wish more of this series had been localized.
Celine
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(09-15-2014, 08:02 AM)
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Only played to Legend of Xanadu 2 for PC Engine.
That one is an incredibly good game.
Mr. RPG
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(09-15-2014, 08:10 AM)
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I've always been meaning to play these games, but I just never know which one to start off with.
Dreamwriter
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(09-15-2014, 08:16 AM)
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Legacy of the Wizard (aka Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family) was one of my favorite games on NES. Great feeling of exploration, puzzles, and music.

Character trailer video promo
z1ggy
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(09-15-2014, 09:28 AM)
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I'm getting into Falcom games and i really like them.

The guy in the Lunatic Dawn intro looks like Trent Reznor lol.
Jucksalbe
Banned
(09-15-2014, 09:53 AM)
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It really bothers me that I never paid much attention to Falcom games until XSeed started to release the Ys games on PSP. Not that I had many chances without importing, but it seems like I missed out on a lot of gems.
I own the first Dragon Slayer on Saturn, I guess I should play this sometime.
djtiesto
is beloved, despite what anyone might say
(09-15-2014, 07:28 PM)
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Originally Posted by Aeana

The first Legend of Heroes game was released in English for TurboGrafx CD. It's a fairly simple Dragon Quest style game, but it's pretty cute. It's too bad that the second game wasn't translated.

This video kinda shows off the game

I saw this game at Digital Press this past Saturday but wasn't sure what it was... just saw the name "Legend of Heroes" and got excited. It was the JP version though, had no idea there was an English version... interesting!
Dragoon En Regalia
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(09-15-2014, 08:52 PM)
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Hey, why isn't Brandish sold under the Dragon Slayer brand? The first two games were directed by Yoshio Kiya, developed by Falcom...maybe they were trying to distance themselves from the name. Thing is, Dragon Slayer's a good brand title even now, so that doesn't make sense. Even Lord Monarch, which has little in common with most of Falcom's library (saying Vantage Master has similarities would be pushing it), is sold as a Dragon Slayer product.
SatelliteOfLove
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(09-16-2014, 12:21 AM)
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Originally Posted by Jucksalbe

It really bothers me that I never paid much attention to Falcom games until XSeed started to release the Ys games on PSP. Not that I had many chances without importing, but it seems like I missed out on a lot of gems.
I own the first Dragon Slayer on Saturn, I guess I should play this sometime.

Yeah, being JPC-centric for so long with only rare, spotty second-party port jobs giving glances at the mass lineages behind the veil did them alot of disservice. I myself only played Ys 1 and Faxanadu before hearing ASTOUNDING music of JDK's and playing TitS:FC and the Yses on Steam got their brilliance to "click" with me.
Aeana
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(09-16-2014, 12:23 AM)
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Originally Posted by Dragoon En Regalia

Hey, why isn't Brandish sold under the Dragon Slayer brand? The first two games were directed by Yoshio Kiya, developed by Falcom...maybe they were trying to distance themselves from the name. Thing is, Dragon Slayer's a good brand title even now, so that doesn't make sense. Even Lord Monarch, which has little in common with most of Falcom's library (saying Vantage Master has similarities would be pushing it), is sold as a Dragon Slayer product.

He directed Popful Mail, too. Why they aren't Dragon Slayer games is a mystery.
Dragoon En Regalia
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(09-16-2014, 12:29 AM)
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Jun Nagashima had a major hand in designing Popful Mail, so it's not truly Kiya's creation (going by Szczepaniak's interview). But yeah, Brandish has everything to it but the brand name.
cj_iwakura
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(09-16-2014, 02:20 AM)
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Not to be that guy, but does it kind of depress anyone else how the art style for each successive Legend of Heroes game gets even more anime and less distinct?

At least the Sora no Kiseki saga kept some level of style, but the most recent are borderline generic.



Er, and the above discussion reminds me... where is Brandish, Tom?
SliceSabre
Banned
(09-16-2014, 03:00 AM)

Originally Posted by Aeana

Sorcerian was a particularly special game for me. I spent one summer in the late 80s trying to get through the original scenario set. It's such a beefy game, not even counting the additional add-on sets.

Opening is such a beautiful piece of music.

Some of the other pieces that are firmly ingrained into my memory:

Traveler's Inn
Depths of the Earth
Bloody River (Lucifer's Floodgates)
Cave 1 (Ice Cavern)
Town (Medusa's Head)

And a couple of my favorite arrangements:
Sorcerian Perfect Collection - Sand Castle
Sorcerian Perfect Collection - Depths of the Earth

There's lots of others, but those are the ones I always think of.

Oh wow that's actually pretty good considering when it came out.
lordmrw
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(09-16-2014, 03:10 AM)
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Originally Posted by Dreamwriter

Legacy of the Wizard (aka Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family) was one of my favorite games on NES. Great feeling of exploration, puzzles, and music.

Character trailer video promo

I got that game for Christmas in 91 or 92 and I can't say that I was all too happy about it. That didn't stop me from playing the hell out of it (because it sure as hell wasn't as if I were drowning in new games when I was young) but I can safely I did not enjoy it.
Wyndstryker
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(09-16-2014, 03:14 AM)
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Those boxarts are amazing. Screw the 3d CGI we get these days.
Sinople
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(09-16-2014, 03:37 AM)
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I'm glad to see old Japanese computer games getting some love.
Technically, DS is not really the first ARPG as it uses a system similar to Ultima, i.e. a turn-based system with limited time to enter a command (really short here to give the illusion of real time).

Originally Posted by Dragoon En Regalia

tl;dr You are not renting games from EGG, you are buying them for good so long as you launch them at least once. Getting tired of reading comments about how oh gee WOOMB was so much better wah wah despite being the same for Westerners + translations.

There's one problem with EGG: games are tied to the PC you've installed them. If you buy a new PC, you have to be a paying member to transfer your game keys. That's not really expensive but it's a hassle and it raises the question of what will happen once the service closes. (That's one of the reasons I've been favoring GOG over Steam in recent years).
Barrylocke
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(09-16-2014, 04:03 AM)
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Originally Posted by cj_iwakura

Not to be that guy, but does it kind of depress anyone else how the art style for each successive Legend of Heroes game gets even more anime and less distinct?

At least the Sora no Kiseki saga kept some level of style, but the most recent are borderline generic.



Er, and the above discussion reminds me... where is Brandish, Tom?

I definitely get this feeling by looking at the artwork for the Sen no Kiseki games. Interestingly enough, people who aren't really into the series besides Siliconera and Gematsu articles have a tendency to go "Sen no Kiseki in West when?!" even going as far as to say that Zero and so on should be skipped. I can't help but think that the artstyle and Schooltime style is part of why that is (along with it just being the latest stuff in the series). Of course, I've never played Sen myself so I can't speak to it's actual quality.

On the subject of Brandish, I've been listening to this Brandish 2 (SNES) tune a lot today. It's got a great amount of moodiness to it, I feel like it would somehow be a nice song to fall asleep to if I heard it on repeat.
Eusis
Member
(09-16-2014, 04:10 AM)

Originally Posted by cj_iwakura

Not to be that guy, but does it kind of depress anyone else how the art style for each successive Legend of Heroes game gets even more anime and less distinct?

At least the Sora no Kiseki saga kept some level of style, but the most recent are borderline generic.

I think in a sense they always had generic artwork for whatever periods the games came out, though I do think there's an appeal to both the older fantasy styles and the older anime styles. And they generally do a pretty good job with that generic artwork so it's not like the SO2 update dumping not-too-dated artwork for bad newish artwork (funny example to bring up though given the SO4 character designer did Zero/Ao.)

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