Drakan: Order of the Flame
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|Drakan: Order of the Flame|
|Release||July 14, 1999|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Drakan: Order of the Flame is an action-adventure video game developed by Surreal Software and published by Psygnosis in 1999. The game follows Rynn, a young woman with extraordinary martial skills, and an ancient dragon Arokh on their quest to free Rynn's younger brother from the evil sorcerer Navaros. The gameplay alternates between dungeon exploration and monster fighting when Rynn is alone and aerial dogfights when she mounts Arokh. A sequel, Drakan: The Ancients' Gates, was released in 2002.
The gameplay of Drakan primarily consists of exploring vast locations and battling enemies. The player navigates Rynn from third-person perspective, using the keyboard and mouse. On open-air locations, Arokh follows Rynn either by flying or by walking if he can land nearby. In the latter case, he also allows Rynn to mount him at any time, whereupon the control switches to him. When navigating Arokh, the player cannot use any of Rynn's items except potions, but has a variety of ranged weapons the dragon acquires throughout the game, starting with his innate fire breathing. When in the air, Rynn and Arokh are superior to any non-aerial enemy, but to defeat flying monsters, the player must maneuver and aim precisely. Dismounting is only possible when landed.
The large open-air locations contain entrances to smaller dungeons, which Arokh usually cannot enter because of his size, so Rynn has to explore them alone. When controlling Rynn, the player can equip her with swords, daggers, maces, battle axes, bows, and armour that she picks up throughout the game. The inventory is limited in size, and most weapons wear down when used and cannot be repaired. In addition to normal weapons, there are magical ones, as well as potions, bow arrows, and quest-related items. There are no shields or dual wielding in the game. No special in-game skills are required for Rynn to equip any weapon or armour she picks up, and the player can use acrobatics to gain tactical advantage in combat. The game was rated "Mature" by the Entertainment Software Rating Board for "animated violence, blood, and gore" because of its realistic depiction of dismemberment, decapitation, and gibbing of the enemies.
The story begins with Rynn and her brother Delon caught in a surprise attack by a pack of wartoks, Orc-like creatures serving Navaros. Rynn is injured and left for dead and Delon is kidnapped. She survives, however, and returns to her village to find it burned down by Navaros' minions. A mortally wounded village elder instructs her to seek out the dragon Arokh and resurrect the legendary Order of the Flame, an ancient organization of dragon-riding knights who battled evil and disappeared after it had seemingly been defeated. Rynn finds Arokh in an ancient cave and uses the crystal of Arokh's former rider Heron to awaken him from his statue-like sleep. Reluctantly, Arokh agrees to merge their existences into one through a magical ritual called the Bond. Gameplay-wise, the Bond allows Rynn to mount Arokh and makes them share their hit points so that when one of them is killed, the other dies, too.
Rynn and Arokh journey across the world of Drakan, solving various challenges, and after countless battles, discover that the minions of Navaros plan to use Delon's body as a host for the evil sorcerer's resurrection. Rynn has to fight the possessed Delon and wins but Navaros leaves his body and escapes. The final boss of the game is Navaros' Four-headed dragon Kaeros whom Rynn and Arokh must fight together. The game ends with a cliffhanger, showing Delon falling into the abyss and Rynn and Arokh following him.
- Rynn is an attractive young woman capable of wielding all kinds of melee and ranged weaponry. She is athletic, obstinate and impetuous. At the beginning of the game, Rynn lives with her younger brother Delon in a small village near Arokh's resting place. Tracking her brother's kidnappers, Rynn finds Arokh and performs the Bond ritual with him. Rynn's appearance is based on a real model from San Francisco whose name has never been officially disclosed. However, at least one source claims that it was Myrna Blankenstein, who also appeared on promotional posters of Drakan. Rynn is voiced by Lani Minella.
- Arokh is a living legend, a dragon who defeated Navaros centuries ago and retired to eternal sleep after his human companion, Heron, died. When Rynn first meets him, he is impressed by her courage and agrees to help her on her journey. Throughout the game, he becomes Rynn's most powerful weapon and a true friend. He may appear intimidating and cynical at first but is noble and good-hearted inside. Arokh is voiced by Jeff McNeal.