The King of Dragons

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The King of Dragons
The King of Dragons arcade flyer
Arcade flyer
Composer(s)Yoko Shimomura
Platform(s)Arcade, Super NES
ReleaseArcade version
  • JP: August 5, 1991
  • WW: August 5, 1991
  • NA: September 10, 1991
SNES version
  • JP: March 4, 1994
  • NA: April 1994
Action RPG
Mode(s)Up to 3 (arcade version) or 2 (SNES version) players simultaneously

The King of Dragons (Japanese: ザ・キングオブドラゴンズ, Hepburn: Za Kingu obu Doragonzu) is a 1991 side-scrolling beat-'em-up video game by Capcom that allows players to choose from five characters in order to travel through the kingdom of Malus and defeat the monsters that have taken over, as well as their leader, the red dragon Gildiss. It features a level advancement system, allowing character attributes to be upgraded as players progress through the game. The setting is very similar to that of Dungeons & Dragons and other medieval fantasy worlds, with familiar monsters such as Orcs, Gnolls, Harpies, Wyverns, Cyclopes, and Minotaurs. The music in this game was composed by Yoko Shimomura.

The game was ported to the Super NES and released in 1994. An emulated version of the game was released as part of Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 and Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded. In September 13, 2018, Capcom announced a new compilation called Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle with The King of Dragons being one of the seven titles included and released digitally for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows on September 18, 2018.[1]


A wizard fighting the Orc King boss in the first level of the game.

The game has 16 levels, though many are quite short. King of Dragons features a role-playing video game-like level advancement system. Points scored for killing monsters and picking up gold count towards experience, and the character gains levels at regular intervals. With each level, the character's health bar increases, other attributes such as range improve, and the character also becomes invulnerable for a few seconds. Along the way, different weapon and armor upgrades for each character may also be picked up.

King of Dragons features a simple control system that consists of a single attack button, and a jump button. By pressing both buttons, the character unleashes a magical attack that strikes all enemies in screen (its strength varies according to the character used) at the expense of losing energy. The fighter, cleric and dwarf can also use their shield to block certain attacks by tilting the joystick back right before the impact.

This is one of the many Capcom games to feature the yashichi power-up item. There are three such power-ups hidden throughout the game, each giving the player an extra continue.

The five playable heroes each have their own traits and fighting skills in the game. The Fighter is very good with melee attacks and defense but lacks magical ability. The Dwarf is able to dodge and block attacks, is the most agile character that has decent melee attacks albeit the shortest range and little magic ability. The Elf has good agility and great range with archery but is not physically strong. The Cleric has great defense, decent magic (with the ability to heal his comrades) and melee attacks but bad agility. The Wizard has poor defense but very good magical attacks and quick melee attacks.


The game was ported to the Super NES in 1994. This port reduces the number of simultaneous players down to two. The sprites' size were also reduced moderately. It is also possible to assign the magic attack and shield defense to different buttons.

The arcade version is part of Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2, which was released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in November 2006. This was also in Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded for the PlayStation Portable.


  1. ^ Romano, Sal (13 September 2018). "Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle announced for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC". Gematsu. Retrieved 13 September 2018.

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