|Theme Song:||Looking for the Ancient Crown|
The Ancient Dragon is the endgame boss, unlocked by collecting all 9 Talismans and casting the Reveal Mystery Zone rune spell at the Gate. It is the mythical dragon that the goddess Althena imprisoned in the Illusionary Lands. It is revealed that the ancient dragon would have gained omni-magic in due time, allowing it to break free of its seals and and cause havoc. Even now, you need the talismans to damage it, and even then, you can only put it back it into its slumber.
Upon defeating it, you will view your character's ending, Althena's power is restored along with her statue in the Canaan Temple, and you learn of 2 other dragons that you must defeat to restore the other 2 goddesses. Your current character's difficulty will move up to the next level (to Hard if on your first playthrough).
The fight starts with the Dragon flying in from the background. Take cover behind either of the 2 ruined walls at each end of the screen. Once the Dragon has arrived, you can start attacking. It will attack your party by biting, scratching, flying, and by using magic and fire breath attacks.
Its first magical attack involves the Dragon summoning 3 orbs in each hand that rotate. After a while, these orbs will turn into large tornadoes similar to the Killer Rabbit's attack. Each tornado will move toward and away from each other, encompassing the whole area. You and your allies must attack and destroy the orbs to stop the attack. Should the orbs in only one hand be destroyed, the other one will proceed up to the middle of the screen, covering only half of the area.
The second magical attack is fire-based. The Dragon will call down 3 lines of fire that are distributed evenly across the screen and that descend slowly. Upon hitting the floor, each one will cause large explosions, dealing damage and burning players.
The Dragon also uses ice magic aimed at the center of the area.
Finally, the Dragon will fly away into the background and begin firing projectiles that look somewhat similar to Magic Missiles. The first wave of these will first curve towards the ruined wall on the left, the second will curve towards you and your party, and the third will target the ruined wall on the right. These projectiles can be attacked to deflect them back at the Dragon and deal damage to it. Doing so is a must during the first and third wave as around 2 full waves will destroy the walls, taking away your only sources of cover. Once this attack ends, the Dragon will do the same attack it does when it flew into the foreground at the start of the fight. Get behind the ruined walls to avoid damage.
The Dragon has 2 breath attacks. The first one is the typical breath attack when he's in the foreground, aimed at one end of the screen to the other. The second one is executed when the Dragon flies into the background and flies towards the foreground. The narrator will comment on this by saying something along the lines of "The dragon's breath immolates everything!" which is your signal to run behind the ruined walls to avoid taking heavy damage and getting burned. If all of the walls are destroyed, you will have little chance of surviving the attack.
He starts healing himself upon landing if he has about 40% of his hp or less. If your allies are all dead your chances of winning at this point are slim.
As the fight goes on, skeleton soldiers will start spawning as well, some wielding crossbows that can be picked up.
The most effective strategy is to stack damage and draconic damage and kill him as fast as possible. Your goal here is to unload ALL your damaging skills and kill him before he lands and starts healing.
- The whole fight is inspired on the Red Dragon fight in Capcom's Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara, including many of the attacks, such as a full screen flame breath which requires the player to hide behind cover.
- The Ancient Dragon appears on the PS3 theme Dragon's Crown: Into the Labyrinth.
- The Ancient Dragons have more noticeable color schemes the more powerful they are. The Ancient Dragon in Infernal and Ultimate difficulty has scales completely blue.