The Legend of Dragoon is one of the greatest games you never heard of
During the height of the JRPG craze in the late 90's, there was a game that was seemingly over looked. The Legend of Dragoon was released in early December of 1999, for Japan and featured several playable characters. However, competing against games like Final Fantasy VIII, Breath of Fire IV and Final Fantasy IX made Legend of Dragoon seem almost invisible.
In this game you play a young hero by the name of Dart who is on a quest to find and confront the black monster for burning down his village of Neet 18 years prior to the start of the game. Upon returning home to his new town Seles, he finds that his childhood friend Shana, has been kidnapped and taken to nearby Helena Prison. In your quest to free your friend you find a much deeper nefarious plot that Dart plans to see through to the end.
This game is great for a plethora of reasons, but the main reason is the addition system. Additions are the combo system in the game where you can add additional attacks in a timed sequence. The more timed attacks you land, the more damage you will do to an enemy. Here is an example of all of Darts additions:
Much like other JRPGs of the time, The Legend of Dragoon gave you several characters to choose from and play with. In addition to these character choices, there was also an element system for each individual playable character. Whats great about the element choices is that you can mix and match them for particular battles. Also, there are special stones called Dragoon spirits that give the characters enhanced powers.
You have your main character, Dart Feld, who is brave yet some times foolish. Even though his life started out as a tragedy, he still remains positive. He controls the Red Eyed Dragon Dragoon spirit at first and eventually the Ultimate Dragon Dragoon. Shana is Dart's childhood friend and love interest. She tries to be brave to show Dart she is an adult and that she can take care of her self. She has immense power but doesn't know how to use it. She later becomes the Dragoon of the White Silver Dragon before losing it to Miranda. Then, there is Rose who is strong, dark and mysterious but has a troubled past. She acts as a guide for the others as they figure out their Dragoon powers. She controls Micheal the Darkness Dragon and is the owner of the Darkness Dragoon spirit.
Lavitz Slambert is the brave and loyal Leader of the First Knighthood of Basil. He is also the long time friend of King Albert. Lavitz is tactical and like a brother to Dart. Later in the game, Lavitz becomes wielder of the Jade Dragoon Spirit. King Albert rules over Basil. The young King eventually gets the Jade Dragoon spirit. He is incredibly smart and willing to die for the people of Basil.
The young Meru is the keeper of the Blue Sea Dragoon spirit. One of the few winglies left in the world, she manages to stay up beat. Always ready to go, she often rallies the group together during difficult and dark times.
Kongol is the last of the Gigantos and originally starts off as your adversary, but after Dart Spares Kongols life, he (Kongol) becomes the most loyal member of the group. Kongol eventually acquires the Gold Dragon Dragoon spirit. Haschel is the leader of the Rogue school and he is looking for his daughter Claire He is the oldest of the group at age 60. The fifth Dragoon spirit that you acquire, the Violet Dragoon spirit, belongs to him. Lastly, there is Miranda who is the first of the Sacred Sisters of Millie Sesseau. She is very strong willed and comes off as angry due to the way she lost her mother. After Shana is no longer recognized by the White Silver Dragoon spirit, Miranda becomes the second to last Dragoon the player acquires.
So why is The Legend of Dragoon great anyways?
Without me spoiling anymore of story, this game has a rich lore and story this game is perfect if you are looking for a medium length JRPG. The learning curve isn't too steep, so even if you are new to JRPGs you can still have fun and not be lost. The game is long enough to keep you interested, but not too long where it becomes stale and boring. If you can handle the PlayStation 1 graphics I say give it a shot! The Legend of Dragoon can be purchased and downloaded at The PlayStation 3 store.