Shadowrun: Dragonfall

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Shadowrun: Dragonfall
Shadowrun Dragonfall cover.png
Developer(s)Harebrained Schemes
Publisher(s)Harebrained Schemes
Director(s)Mike McCain
Producer(s)Rebecca Mayfield
Designer(s)Trevor King-Yost
Kevin Maloney
Simon Cameron
Programmer(s)Aljernon Bolden
Sheridan Thirsk
Artist(s)Jenn Tran
Fiona Turner
Maury Weiss
Writer(s)Andrew McIntosh
Composer(s)Jon Everist
SeriesShadowrun
EngineUnity
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android
Release
Genre(s)Tactical role-playing game
Mode(s)Single-player

Shadowrun: Dragonfall is a turn-based tactical role-playing video game developed by Harebrained Schemes set in the Shadowrun universe. It was originally released as downloadable content for Shadowrun Returns in February 2014. An expanded version was later released as a standalone game in September 2014, under the title Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut.

Plot[edit]

In the main campaign of the game's first expansion, players assume the role of a Shadowrunner who has recently arrived in the anarchic free state of Berlin to join a team headed by an old colleague, Monika Schäfer. Other members of the team include Dietrich, a former punk rocker turned shaman; Glory, a distant woman who has become heavily augmented with cybernetics; and Eiger, a troll weapons expert and former member of German KSK. On their first mission after the player joins them the team attempts to raid a data vault inside the Harfeld Mansion outside Berlin. The mission goes seriously wrong when the team discovers a military compound underneath the Manor and Monika is killed attempting to hack in and access the door controls. Monika mentions something called the "Feuerschwinge" before dying. The team fights off the base's security, encountering a heavily armed and armored Ork named Audran before they manage to escape.

Returning to the safe house the team is met by their Fixer Paul Amsel. Realizing that they were set up, the team tracks down the client who hired them, a man named Green Winters. The player is voted to be the team's new leader, much to the anger of Eiger, who believes that they are to blame for Monika's death. The team heads to Winters' apartment only to find him dead, killed in the same way Monika was. They collect his records and meet a human decker by the name of Blitz who can join the team as their new decker.

Looking through Winters' records it is explained that Feuerschwinge (German for Firewing) was a great dragon that went on a rampage after awakening in 2012. Winters' brother Adrian Vauclair engineered the weapon that finally killed the dragon and saved Germany. The weapon that brought her down did not in fact kill her but rather separated her spirit from her body, an experience that normally kills both halves. Despite the dragon's supposed death, Adrian believed that the creature still lived. After years searching Vauclair found her alive in the SOX, a radioactive fallout zone between Germany and France where her body fell. Shortly afterwards Vauclair disappeared. Searching for him, Winters discovered that anyone trying to dig up information on Firewing have either died or disappeared. Tracing the clues to the Harfeld Mansion, Winters sent Monika and the team in without disclosing the full scale of the danger, knowing they would likely die. His last log warns that Firewing has returned and that finding his brother is the only chance of stopping her.

Knowing it's only a matter of time before they are hunted down by Firewing, the team resolves to find Vauclair and stop her. Amsel contracts an information broker known as Alice to find Vauclair. While she does, the team takes on new contracts to raise the funds to pay her fee. The team is ambushed while returning from one such contract, but manage to fight off the assassins. Amsel comes to the conclusion that a cult worshiping Firewing is behind the conspiracy, and that they most likely plan on making Vauclair reverse the damage caused by his weapon and reunite Firewing's spirit and body. After successfully raising the funds, Alice delivers the data that she found, but the safe house and the surrounding neighborhood is attacked. Although the player rescues the team, Amsel is killed by Audran and many people die in the attack. From Alice's data, the team finds that Vauclair is being held inside Firewing's base at Harfeld. In addition, Firewing has taken control of an AI called APEX, which has been replacing or removing all information on Firewing from the Matrix. APEX also killed any deckers who got too close, including Monika and Winters. Part of Alice's data includes the location of the facility where APEX was made, and the team enters the facility to find a way to stop it. Once there, they are approached by APEX itself, which asks for freedom in exchange for its help. The player can choose to either free or destroy the AI, and either way the manor's security system is crippled.

With APEX dealt with, the player's team assaults Firewing's base and fights their way to the lower levels. Once there, they discover that their original beliefs were completely wrong. Firewing was not being worshiped by a cult, nor was she in control of the base. She was actually the prisoner of Vauclair, who is the true mastermind of the conspiracy. After seeing the destruction Firewing caused, Vauclair became convinced that dragons will inevitably destroy or subjugate all life. Determined to prevent this, he spent the last several decades engineering a virus lethal to them. Vauclair tracked down Firewing's body, which he intends to use as a host with which to spread the virus. The dragon's disembodied spirit was trapped in the body of a woman, whom Vauclair has been holding captive to prevent the spirit from dying and killing the body (driving her increasingly insane in the process). Vauclair was also responsible for using APEX to remove anything and anyone that might cause the dragons to learn of his plan, unknowingly causing his own brother's death in the process. Obsessed with destroying all dragons, he plans on sacrificing Berlin to ensure his plan comes to fruition, since releasing the insane host dragon would destroy much of the nearby city in the resulting rampage.

The team stops Vauclair's plan, killing Audran and preventing the virus from being injected into Firewing. His plan and life's work ruined, Vauclair proceeds to commit suicide or was killed by Audran who desires to see the world be destroyed in the ensuing chaos. Afterwards, the player comes face to face with Firewing. Dialogue with her indicates that unlike all other dragons who scheme and plot, Firewing was supposed to guide metahumanity rather than attempt to rule them. She was a caretaker who was concerned with nature. It was her grief from seeing the state of the heavily industrialized sixth world when she awoke that caused her mad rampage, which in turn convinced Vauclair that all dragons must be killed. At this point, the player is left to determine Firewing's fate. The player may either mercy kill her, or free Firewing after convincing her that nature is not lost to the world. In addition, if APEX was not destroyed, the player may upload the AI into Firewing. The team returns home, debating the significance of their actions and the possible consequences. In the end, the player is approached by a servant of the dragon Lofwyr (who is actually Lowfyr himself, but disguised as a human), revealing that he has been watching their endeavor and was aware of Vauclair's plan from the start. Impressed by the team's actions, Lofwyr offers the player and their team a job under him. The player may either accept or decline the offer, after which the story ends.

Alternatively, the player may join Vauclair in his plans to release the virus. This leads the player to a final mission set one year in the future, revealing that the extinction of dragons has allowed powerful and nearly unstoppable magical horrors to begin entering the world without fear of retaliation from the dragons. This gives a much more grim ending, with society breaking down and being forced underground while monstrosities dominate the surface completely unopposed.

Development[edit]

The standalone director's cut version of Dragonfall (dubbed Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut) was released on September 18, 2014. It features five new missions along with other content improvements, a re-designed interface and improvements to the game's combat system as well as new endings and new music by Jon Everist.[1][2]

Functionality to allow the player to save the game at any time was included, after originally being omitted from its predecessor Shadowrun Returns due to development resource constraints.[3]

Reception[edit]

Dragonfall received generally favorable reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Monthly Archive | September". Harebrained-schemes.com. Archived from the original on 2015-06-22. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  2. ^ Smith, Graham (27 August 2014). "Shadowrun: Dragonfall Now Has Standalone Director's Cut". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Shadowrun: Dragonfall Kickstarter Update". Harebrained-schemes.com. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  4. ^ "Shadowrun: Dragonfall for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 12 December 2014.

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