Legend of Dragoon

  • by E. Coli
  • June 13, 2000 00:00 AM PT

After three years in the making, The Legend of Dragoon is being unleashed and the rumors of it being the Final Fantasy killer should not be ignored.

After three years in the making, The Legend of Dragoon is being unleashed and the rumors of it being the Final Fantasy killer should not be ignored. With the ninth installment of Square's popular series still far in the horizon, The Legend of Dragoon brings to the RPG arena an epic tale that will take the player on an unforgettable journey.

Talking 'Bout a Revolution
The world of Endiness has been racially divided for thousands of years. During that time Humans, Winglies, Dragons, and Gigantos have fought for power, with each species having their turn at supremacy. That's about to change, though, because a bigger enemy looms in the horizon. In order to fulfill an end-of-days prophecy, Emperor Diaz wants to unleash total destruction and bring forth a whole new species-the Virage. It is up to the hero, Dart, and his six newfound friends to stop Diaz and bring peace among the species.

Throughout much ofthe game, the player will control Dart, but the other characters, Rose, Meru, Albert, Kongol, Haschel, and Miranda will move to the front periodically. One by one, characters acquire gems, which give them the power to transform into dragoons, powerful beings able to control dragons. As a dragoon, characters can cast spells and unleash destructive blows with their weapons. Even in their natural form, characters can become quite powerful once they learn Additions, special combo attacks that become more powerful with repeated use.

A Lesson in Good Taste
The folks at Sony paid attention to every detail in this game and it shows. An abundance of locales, each beautifully rendered along with great character design, are sure to make this one of the most satisfying gaming experiences of the year. The few voice-overs are well acted and happen only during crucial cut scenes to propel the story forward, while a great musical score takes over the rest of the time. Responsive controls enable the player to perform the timed combo attacks without frustration, and any other actions such as using items or replacing characters in your party can be achieved with ease. Because of the high volume of items, however, cursor memory would have been a nice touch.

There's Room for Everybody
The Legend of Dragoon definitely lives up to the hype. While comparisons to FF are inevitable, LoD stands on its own as the game to play this year. It is an intelligent, intense, and challenging game that breaks new ground with its inventive battle system. These eighty plus hours of adventure shouldn't be missed by anyone.