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Released in 1987
(1 total votes)
Dragon Spirit is the descendant of Xevious, and maintains all that was good about that landmark vert-shooter. Furthermore, Dragon Spirit uses a richer fantasy atmosphere that allows for more variety and creativity in level design.
As the game begins, you have a single-headed dragon. You can "fire" at air targets, or "bomb" ground targets, but not simultaneously (after all, you've only got one head!). By bombing colored eggs that appear on the ground, you get the chance to catch the powerup that is released. Added powers include: additional firepower (for bombing 3 red eggs), or additional heads (1 extra for each blue egg)-- for up to 3 heads. You can't beat the invincible feeling you get torching enemies with your three-headed, fully powered dragon! By killing flashing monsters, new powerups are available, including new fire weapons, and instant effects (like earthquakes)
You are allowed 2 hits by enemies or enemy fire before you lose a life. All enemy attacks are in patterns, so the lower levels are fairly easy to beat after practice, but the higher levels are a nightmare. Aside from swarms of truly sadistic monsters, there is alot of "fancy flying" to be done-- to prevent from crashing into shifting cave walls, projectiles, and other deathtraps.
Each level has a "theme", with appropriate monsters: deserts, jungles, ice worlds, caves, etc. The monsters are truly different, and each level is a new challenge. For example, aside from the usual "swoop and shoot" variety of bad guys, there are exploding phoenixes, living trees that try to entwine you in their tendrils, and others that defy explanation.
The music...while it has aged a little, the upbeat, melodic sound makes you feel groovy even when you're getting your butt kicked.
And yes, you will have your hat handed to you by this game. Even with continue turned on, we know of no-one who has beat this machine.
For collectors looking for a vert-shooter, this is probably the finest example. Beautiful graphics, great music, very different enemies, an ending (though we've never seen it!), and great replayability.
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This game page was created 8/3/1998 12:00:00 AM and last updated 7/7/2001 5:47:32 PM