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Dragon's Crown

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Dragons Crown US boxart

Official Boxart

Dragon's Crown (ドラゴンズクラウン Doragonzu Kuraun?) is a 2D fantasy action RPG video game developed by Vanillaware with assistance from Atlus. The game is set in a medieval world of swords and sorcery where up to four players can travel through different dungeons in search of adventure. In addition to local multiplayer, the game takes advantage of Sony's PlayStation Network for online play and cross play between the Vita and PlayStation 3

Like Odin Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade, it is a spiritual successor to a game developed and published in 1997 by Atlus for the Sega Saturn titled Princess Crown. Dragon's Crown takes concepts from classic Western culture, such as Greek mythology and Renaissance art, to modern popular Western culture, such as Tolkien's legendarium and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The game draws inspiration from traditional beat 'em up games like Capcom's Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara or Sega's Golden Axe.

The game was released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita on July 25, 2013 in Japan, August 6, 2013 in North America and October 11, 2013 in Europe.

Plot

The game is set primarily in the Kingdom of Hydeland in a fantasy world like GrimGrimoire and Odin Sphere. In fact, it is speculated that the three games take place in the same world, with Dragon's Crown taking place hundred of years after the others. The game's world possesses vast labyrinths and catacombs that lies beneath the civilization and fantastical monsters that stalks the darkest and most desolate forests.

The plot revolves around a legendary relic, known as the Dragon's Crown and the quest to retrieve it. A mysterious coven of magic-users with influence in even the highest levels of government seek the treasure and have used their sorcery to link together long forgotten ruins, dangerous labyrinths and many other areas together in order to search for it.

Players must take up the role of one of six adventurers charged with retrieving the crown before those who would use it for their own sinister purpose, as well as search for treasure and riches of their own.

Gameplay

Dragon's Crown is an action role-playing game structured like a traditional side-scrolling beat 'em up where players move their characters across the screen into the background or foreground attacking enemies. Each character has their own specific strengths and weaknesses such as attack power, movement speed, special attacks, and selection of magic, with the characters' growth throughout the game also being customizable by the player. During gameplay, players may come across items which can be used to aid characters, as well as equipment and weapons which can increase a character's statistics and battle strength. The title features branching paths in every level which are traveled based on the player's decisions during gameplay, such as choosing to steal an item from a boss character, running instead of engaging an enemy, or searching for secrets, which will lead to alternate areas. Quests may also be undertaken by players which hold specific objectives for each dungeon, which all come with their own rewards

Characters

Player Characters

Support characters

Others

Development

George Kamitani, Vanillaware's president, had been trying to create the game since at least 1997, right after finishing the Sega Saturn game Princess Crown, but had been unable to do it. A personal project for Kamitami, the game was finally announced in 2011. It was originally developed with support of UTV Ignition Entertainment, a company that took interest in the project after another one declined to take it and that was planning to releasing the game worldwide. However, during development, the company ran into financial troubles that forced them to retire from the project, leaving developer Vanillaware without funding, almost making them stop the project. But Atlus, a company which had had several projects with Vanillaware, announced in April 19, 2012 that they would take over the role of Ignition Entertainment and publish the game. After four years in development, Dragon's Crown was finally released in the summer of 2013.

Inspiration

According to the soft-cover art book Dragon's Crown Artworks, available for a limited time for pre-orders of the game, Dragon's Crown was inspired by all fantasy works that had affected Kamitami in his life: the PC video game series Wizardry, which he met as a student; Ian Livingstone's gamebooks; fantasy arcade video games that he used to play like The Tower of Druaga, Golden Axe and The King Of Dragons among many others. Due to this, Kamitami made a deliberate effort to paid homages to these sources of inspiration within Dragon's Crown, as reflected in many of the characters like Lucain and treasure art like Beastmaster.

In particular, Dragon's Crown was heavily influenced by Kamitami's work in Capcom's arcade game Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom that he did in his early twenties.

Patches

After its original release, the developer keep on improving the game. Each patch added some corrections and additions. The last is 1.05. All these patches were freely available when released.

  • 1.00 - Original game release.
  • 1.01 - Released on August 23, 2013
    • Bug Fixes
      • Stabilized network connectivity during online gameplay.
    • New Features
      • Hidden items can now be uncovered by simply moving the finger cursor over their location.
      • The item hotkeys can now also be accessed by holding the L1 Button (PS3)/L Button (PS Vita).
      • Dagger and Bomb items can now be thrown diagonally by pressing Up on the Left Stick + Triangle button.
      • An option to fix all items at once in your bags has been added to Morgan's item shop.
      • In the Options Menu, you can now select the area you wish to be matched in for online play.
    • Feature Modifications
      • Arrow drops will increase according to how many Elf characters are in the party.
      • The visibility of inventory Runes while the player is near the bottom of the screen has been improved.
      • Other tuning and minor improvements to various gameplay elements were made.
  • 1.02 - Released on September 18, 2013.
    • Bug Fixes
      • Improved gameplay stability
    • New Features
      • Added an option to join random online games in the Labyrinth of Chaos to the Network Menu.
      • To enhance player character visibility, a triangular cursor has been added to the bottom of the screen.
      • Wizard: Charging MP when the MP is already at maximum will cause magic power to increase.
    • Feature Modifications
      • (PS3) When playing offline multiplayer games, the story progression will now be saved for all characters.
      • If a network communication error occurs in online play, the game will now continue in the same stage rather than kicking the player back to town.
      • Amazon: A successful Parry raises Berserk level by 1.
      • Amazon: The Necksplitter attack can now be cancelled.
      • Various Skill effects of all character classes have been adjusted.
      • Other tuning and minor improvements to various gameplay elements were made.
  • 1.03 - Released on October 3, 2013.
    • Bug fixes
      • Online network connection stability has been improved.
    • Feature Modifications
      • An option to hide triangular cursor has been added.
      • In Game Options 2 menu, you can choose to have it displayed for select characters / all characters / no characters.
      • An option to display damage values only for controlled characters has been added.
      • Amazon / Fighter: Equipment durability takes less damage when guard.
      • Amazon : Balance adjustments have been made to the Berserk effect.
      • Other tuning and minor improvements to various gameplay elements have been made.
  • 1.04 - Released on October 15, 2013.
    • New features
      • Cross play compatibility for cooperative and versus play.
  • 1.05 - Released on December 20, 2013. This is the final patch planned for the game.
    • Bug fixes
      • Gameplay stability is improved.
    • New features
      • Clearing the ninth floor in the Labyrinth of Chaos unlocks a new Ultimate difficulty level. This difficulty can be selected at Canaan Temple.
      • Raised level cap from 99 to 255 once Ultimate difficulty is unlocked.
      • In Ultimate difficulty, Labyrinth of Chaos becomes Tower of Mirages.
      • Item shortcuts can now be assigned and used separately by holding L1 and the Up directional button.
      • Damage values can now be displayed as a running total instead of per-hit.
      • To help increase player character visibility, characters can be shown with transparencies when they are on top of one another. This feature is available in the Options menu and can be toggled on or off.
      • Save files that have cleared Story mode can skip the first quests leading to the Talisman collection when creating a new character.
      • Guild Quests that have already been cleared may now be skipped in subsequent playthroughs.
    • Feature Modifications
      • Character class skills have received a number of adjustments.
      • NPC behavior has been adjusted.
      • Rules and effects regarding equipment, items, and skills in the Colosseum have been adjusted.
      • Other tuning and minor improvements to various gameplay elements have been made.

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