In the side-scrolling world of Atlus’ sword-em-up Dragon’s Crown, we’re given a lot more to do than frantically button-bash our way through hordes of orcs. Character progression and inventory management are key to success, with your combat ability only getting you so far as the challenge ramps up. With the hub of the game’s main town giving us a base of sorts, and a number of characters to get to know, let’s take a look at the ins and outs of the world of Dragon’s Crown.
You’ll spend a lot of time at the Inn, which serves as the main management system for your party. Here you can assign team members from the six available classes to join you on quests. You’ll also find yourself back here after each adventure, appraising and selling equipment as you see fit. Once you’ve got your motley crew together, it’s time to head out into the town to see the sights. The first stop is usually the Adventurer’s Guild. Here you meet with the imposing guildmaster to accept quests and claim rewards. Some of these factor into the main story, but often they’ll send you back to a previously cleared location to collect a specific piece of loot. While we’re not huge fans of backtracking to this extent, the short stages don’t make this too much of a grind.
One thing you can’t go without is equipment, and Morgan’s magic shop is the local outlet for all your adventuring needs. Run by this somewhat impractically-clad witch, it’s another location that will become key as your adventures continue. On most quests, you’ll come across the grisly remains of other less unfortunate adventurers who explored the dungeons before you. Returning their bones to the town’s temple is yet another element of team management – for a small tithe you can bring them back to life to serve in your party, or you can bury the bones to retrieve their equipment. With the rewards for both options increasing as the game goes on, it can be a tricky decision.
Another place to pick up useful items is the old tower, where Lucain, a geriatric magician, can help you out before you set off to seek glory. With all your preparations complete, it’s time to head out for the gates to see where your journey will take you. At the gate, we’re given a wide range of locations to explore, from fairly standard dungeon areas to a pirate ship. It’s essential to take a well-rounded party with you as you never quite know what you’ll come up against, particularly when it comes to boss encounters.
Right from the tutorial, you are accompanied by Rannie the Rouge, a sneaky type who can handle locked chests and doors for you. It’s certainly useful to have him around, especially to help out with the copious amounts of treasure that spills out of most conflicts. A little later in the game, you’re joined by Tiki the fairy, who similarly helps out by ferreting out treasure. Flitting around the screen, hoovering up leftover coins, she’s a useful member of the team.