Draconus

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Draconus
Draconus Cover.jpg
Developer(s)Zeppelin Games
Publisher(s)Zeppelin Games
Designer(s)Kevin Franklin
Ian Copeland
Brian Jobling
Michael Owens
Adam Gilmore
Platform(s)Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum
Release1988
Genre(s)Platform game, Metroidvania[1]
Mode(s)Single-player

Draconus is a platform action-adventure game developed and published by Zeppelin Games under the Cognito label in 1988. It is similar to Metroid.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

Frognum breathes fire

The player assumes the role of the hero, Frognum, whose task it is to reclaim his kingdom from the Tyrant beast. The game style is principally a platformer which finds the player running and jumping through various screens, numbering around a hundred. Many of the rooms include enemies which generally follow fixed paths but may also swarm and chase the player. The player starts the game with two weapons: fire breath which is limited but may be replenished by collecting items, and a punch which is unlimited. Once destroyed, enemies do not respawn except in the C64 version, where they can respawn if a room that was only partly cleared is revisited. The main task is to find four special abilities and then face the final battle.

Enemy contact reduces Frognum's life energy which may be refilled by collectible symbols. On loss of all life energy Frognum loses one life and restarts from the last Record slab. These slabs occur throughout the game world and serve as checkpoints. Impacting upon water whilst in humanoid form generally results in immediate death, as does falling large distances or touching spikes.

The game was twice placed #1 in the Readers Top Ten of the German Atari Magazin.[2]

Special abilities[edit]

Four special objects can be found in the game, each of which confers a new ability on Frognum. The abilities are retained if a life is lost.

Mystical Morph Helix[edit]

The Morph Helix allows Frognum to pass through any of several "morph slabs" which are located next to bodies of water, and thus change to or from his "Draconewt" form. This form can swim indefinitely, giving access to more areas of the game. Draconewt's only weapon is the water jet[3], an unlimited, aquatic version of fire breath.

Serekos Eye[edit]

The Eye allows the player to see through, and pass, illusory walls, which are otherwise as solid as real walls, though the artwork is slightly different.

Demon Shield of Grom[edit]

The Shield reduces the amount of energy lost when touching an enemy. It also allows Frognum to survive falls of any distance.

Staff of Findol[edit]

The Staff allows Frognum to pick up 'floating' spells, which can be found in several game locations. Once a spell is acquired, it acts as a ranged weapon that can be fired an unlimited number of times.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Atari 8-Bit: De Top 25". Retro Gamer. Heise Medien GmbH & Co. KG (4/2016): 165. Das Speil folgt dabei grob der Metroid-Formel...
  2. ^ Atari Magazin issue 05/89, S. 98; 07/89, S. 74. ISSN 0933-887X.
  3. ^ Sinclair User Magazine Issue 107. Sinclair User. January 1991. p. 6.

External links[edit]