I thought about doing a few things differently this entry. Like for example, “Should I do this as just a short video?” Or “should I add text commentary?” The former was just too much work for a game that (while good) wasn’t one of my favorites. As for adding text commentary, I didn’t really see much need to do so except in some cases where it might explain my actions in-footage, but I could accomplish the same right here. Adding comments to a video brings the evil temptation to try and be “Funny,” and my sense of humor is notoriously pain-inducing, so I thought I’d spare you.
Now, about the game itself. Dragon Spirit: the New Legend is a pseudoport/pseudosequel to the arcade game Dragon Spirit (available on the PC-Engine and on some of the Namco Museum compilations). It’s an overhead shmup where you play as a prince who one day held up his magic sword and said “BY THE POWER OF NAMCO!” and became a dragon. He has the power, indeed.
Your dragon has two main attacks: a basic shot, and the ability to bomb the ground. There are, however, dozens of power-ups that do everything from give you more heads (awesome!) to make you maneuver or shoot faster, to changing your dragon’s color, and others in-between. In fact, part of the skill of this game is learning to configure your dragon the way you want and then AVOID power-ups, because a lot of them aren’t compatible and you don’t want to have an awesome setup like a three-headed Green Dragon and wind up losing it just because you picked up the one that turns you Red (the red dragon sucks). Most of my early practice was just memorizing all the power-up icons.
Unlike most shooters, you don’t die in one hit. You can take up to three (and there are no health refills, except some of the maidens). But getting hit also reduces your firepower and takes away one of your dragon’s heads (if it has more than one). The effect though, is that this is one of the less intimidating shooters out there. I’d recommend this for Shmup noobs.
Three things any potential Dragon Spirit: the New Legend player should keep in mind:
1. The opening battle against the “MONSTER ZAWEL” is actually the difficulty selection. If you lose, the rest of the game is in the much easier and shorter “Gold Dragon” mode. Otherwise, you get the regular “Blue Dragon” game.
2. In Area 3, you can actually shoot the boss’s bullets (I didn’t realize this, which is why I kept dodging his danmaku-like bullet pattern)
3. Two of the Maidens (areas 3 and 5) only appear lit if they want to, basically. The others only appear if you have less than three heads on your dragon. Personally I think trying to rescue them all is more pain than its worth, so don’t worry about it–it doesn’t affect the ending or anything. They just heal you or give you extra lives and shit.
So, here’s the video:
Later on, I want to post a compilation of all the maiden rescued and un-rescued footage.