Dragon View

Dragon View is the sequel to Drakkhen, which probably means ‘dragon’ in German, or something.  See?  I’m full of awesome trivia!

For instance, DID YOU KNOW that 16 percent of SNES games beginning with ‘D’ have the word ‘dragon’ or ‘dragons’ in the title?  Heh, bet you didn’t know that.  And DID YOU KNOW that Dragon View for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System utilises MODE 7 GRAPHICS? Do you even know what Mode 7 MEANS?! Neither do I, but I’ve heard it’s in Mario Kart and it’s probably the menace behind this ugly-ass overworld as well.

U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi!  Yo' ugly!
U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi! Yo' ugly!

It just goes to show that after 15+ years, game developers still haven’t figured out that overworlds suck and get in the way of, you know, PLAYING THE ACTUAL GAME. The Mode 7 sections of Dragon View are probably only there so that Kemco could advertise it on the box art, and really only serve as a vehicle for getting from level to level (it’s only appropriate then, that when I collided with a shrub next to a doorway, I had to reverse out, steer, and drive back in as if parking a bus).  As I drove my magic bus through fields of green, watching poorly redrawn sprites blink in and out of the frame, seeing enemies flutter towards me like spotted silver clouds, I thought to myself, perhaps this is the ‘dragon view’. Perhaps this is how a dragon views his world; here and gone in the blink of an eye; his enemies reduced to tiny, silver clouds.

If there's one positive thing about my overworld experience, it's that I found a 3D Tri-force on the ground, which will please Zelda fans to no end (OMG 3D Zelda before Zelda 64!!!).
If there's one positive thing about my overworld experience, it's that I found a 3D Triforce on the ground, which will please Zelda fans to no end (OMG 3D Zelda before Zelda 64!!!).

When I hit a silver cloud (in my magic bus), I got a taste of the real game.  And that is, side-scrolling slash ’em up (slmup) action!  It was kind of like bullfighting once I’d worked out the patterns.  Slash them front on, move out of their path, let them charge like a moron, then get behind them now that they’re facing the wrong way and stab them in the back like the yellow-bellied coward I am!  (Flash fact: the evil butterflies are more dangerous than the scorpions!) These encounters are good for level-grinding, which I needed to do to stop dying in the actual game.  Thing is, I could avoid them altogether by simply driving around the silver clouds.

(Protip: make sure you read your map and check your compass regularly, or you could be stuck in Mode 7 hell FOREVER.)

When I wasn’t getting lost or killed in the overworld, I was speaking with villagers in a strange narrated format (“a blessing upon your house, sire”, he said, “and upon your children, and your children’s children”) and doing fetch-quests for them.  Then I’d get a priest to record my valiant deeds [save game] and trudge my way through the overworld again to find whatever damned thing I was supposed to find, and bring it back.  One such example was having to go to Tylon’s storeroom (which is a cave filled with demons and A GIANT SCORPION) across the other side of the overworld to get him some more dynamite, so that he could make some more bombs for me, so that I could blow up some fallen rocks, so that a lady could get home via Galys Pass.  Now, if you hear your grandparents jabber on about how they had to walk 50 miles to school everyday barefoot in the winter snow, you can tell them to shut their damn faces.  Here’s why:

This is "on the way home" for your typical Dragon View shopkeeper.
This is "on the way home" for your typical Dragon View shopkeeper.

Notice the falling rocks, the craggy cliff face and the skeleton wedged under a rock! Hot-damn this game is hardcore.  More hardcore than your grandma, bitches.


One thought on “Dragon View

  1. Bonus material:

    The villages are okay if you don’t mind wading through a sea of narrated text boxes (at the very beginning of the game, you’re bombarded with ten minutes worth of these). Thing is, they’re all saying important crap so you’d better damn-well bring your notepad and pen along or you’re proper stuffed! NPCs turn their heads to follow you as you walk past them, which is kinda neat. The village music features some cute pizzicato strings while an earnest fife player whistles around it like a mosquito.

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