Dragon’s Crown Crowning Achievement May Be Its Flexible Quest System

By Spencer . July 8, 2011 . 3:24pm

dragons_crown_003 Instead of clearing stages, think of Dragon’s Crown as a game that’s broken into quests producer Kashow Oda explained to Dengeki PlayStation. Dungeons in Vanillaware’s beat ’em up have multiple routes and you’ll have to follow specific paths to obtain items. The next time you visit the same area you may do different actions, which changes how the area feels.


Oda gave a specific example, at one point in the game you can steal an item from a boss monster. Steal the treasure and you’ll tick off the boss who will retaliate by chasing you through the stage – even into different dungeons. Oda says players have choices in the game like deciding to fight, run away, or to search for secrets within a stage. Altogether, Oda says the game has between 40-50 hours of play time.


You don’t have to complete quests alone, Dragon’s Crown has a multiplayer mode. Yes, it’s possible for everyone to be the sorceress. The game will display a players name and a color variation (red, green or pink were listed as examples) so you can differentiate who is who. Having an entire group of sorceresses turning enemies into frogs may not be the best strategy. To remedy this, Dragon’s Crown has items, equipment, and magic, which can compliment players. Oda hopes teams will discuss which party to use before tackling a quest. Fighters, for example, have high defense and can act as tanks by protecting the entire party. Dragon’s Crown has an in-game communication system too. Oda says, you can respond with "thank you", shown as a pop-up image in the game, after a fighter covers you from an attack. A single player game ends when you run out of lives.


… and then your character turns into a pile of bones. Revealed first on Siliconera, Dragon’s Crown has a bone catching system where you can retrieve the skeletal remains of other players. Bring these into town and you can revive the fallen players as NPCs in your game. There is a cap to how many bony NPCs you can retain and Oda says its in the tens. (So, somewhere between 10, but less than 100.) Like Demon’s Souls, players can leave a dying message with their corpse. A fairy and thief also follow your party around as NPCs too. They act as in-game guides.


Dragon’s Crown is in development for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Ignition will release the game in North America in spring 2012.

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  • Can someone please explain the female character designs in this game. I do believe I have never seen anything so hideous :<
    Everything else about the game sounds great, I will just never be able to get over how the females look. Ugh.

    • Um… Elf. Not as “ridiculous” looking and my fav of the females.

      • Yu_TheKing

        Definitely agree. Elf and Wizard are by far my fav characters and will probably main them too.

        • Guest

          milf tits

      • puchinri

        The elf’s design is really nice. I really love it, but I see her so much less (and in fanart, official stuff, etc.) I kind of forget that she exists. But I guess since she’s not bursting bountifully like the other two and more covered, that makes sense. Sadly.

      • Locklear93

        I don’t mind the exaggeration, but I certainly don’t find it titillating.  Elf is my favorite too.  I like Hyung-tae Kim’s art (not related to Vanillaware, relevant only for exaggeration) a lot, he’s a favorite of mine, and even I would’ve liked these designs toned down just a bit.  I don’t dislike them; I just don’t think they’re Vanillaware’s best work.

    • The females are amazing! <3 Maybe you should follow Vanillaware some more because their designs are usually over the top

      • kupomogli

        Sorceress ftw!

    • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

      They do look… “exaggerated” in quite a few areas, but you have to understand, that’s Vanillaware’s art style. Been using that style for years now and I don’t see them stopping anytime soon. Everything they draw/sprite has exaggerated anatomy. Same for the male characters, except the wizard. They have small waists and bulging arms. Could give the characters from Gears a run for their money in the “Biggest Biceps” category.

      • puchinri

        I don’t know, this looks more exaggerated to me than usual. (And even with the female character, I get ‘child-bearing hips’ and ‘milf tits’ rather than… Well, what the guys are. Who are mostly fully-covered too.)

        • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

          I will agree, this is probably the most extreme that Vanillaware has gone with proportions, but that’s not stopping me from buying it. =)

          • Locklear93

            I think to some extent this is their take on the stereotypical western fantasy cliches.  Those are typically exaggerated in the first place.  Exaggeration + exaggeration = amazon and sorceress? <_<

      • FireCouch

        I’ve only played Odin Sphere so I may be wrong, but at least in that game the main characters were reasonably proportioned.  They did exaggerate physical features greatly, but those were mainly on boss characters to make them seem more extravagant, which I loved.  I would have preferred it if the main characters in this game were also reasonably proportioned, but oh well.  I’ll be buying the game anyway.

    • puchinri

      Yeahhh. Some people think they’re sexy I guess, but they’re just *so* exaggerated to me, they look goofy (and kinda gross).

    • Guest

      Someone has never been to the Bronx (or South America for that matter)

  • d19xx

    Branching is always good. I hope they also add a trade system and let you and other players split off and take different paths.

  • z_merquise

    One of the examples of a good game design is giving the players many possibilities to reach a goal. I hope they can execute these great ideas well.

    I’m really excited for this game. Looks like I’m going to spend hours and hours playing this like what I used to back in my old PC with Diablo 2.

    I can’t wait to see a harem of Sorceress aid me. Or I can just play as the Sorceress myself, hehe.

  • Locklear93

    Spring 2012, huh?  Damn.  Glad of the confirmation, definitely, but I’d hoped to have this at launch.  It’s the most interesting announced Vita title, to me.

    • Just to clarify, spring 2012 was the time frame Ignition announced at E3. It’s on the launch trailer too, I believe. :P

      • Locklear93

        Entirely possible! I mostly read Siliconera from work, or on my phone, and
        streaming is not ideal. I don’t think I’ve seen any trailers other than
        Catherine stuff in the last two months, and I’m one behind on those. As for E3 announcements, I was swimming in my own company’s. :P

      • Guest

        but more importantly what is your opinion on the big booty girls in this game

  • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

    Rewatching the PV for the game just made me thankful that they are consistent in the high art quality for all their games. The bright, vibrant colors just make my eyes bleed with joy. I wish Vanillaware all the best in making this game (and Grand Knights History) even more awesome than what’s been shown so far.

    • Aoshi00

      I’ve always liked the amazing 2D Vanillaware art, but I was only OK w/ Odin Sphere’s gameplay (game was too hard for me) and haven’t played Grim Grimoire since it’s an RTS (I got a copy but it’s still sealed).. Muramasa was one of my favs and I’ve beat the game and got all the endings except one, really like the story.. it was more unique because most Vanillaware games have medieval fantasy design whereas Muramasa was Jpn, the Sakimoto Hitoshi soundtrack as well..  I’m not sure about Grand Knights History, but I hope Dragon’s Crown’s gameplay would be to my liking.. I prefer a straight beat em up or action game.. 40-50 hrs sounds like a lot…

      • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

        I’m a game art otaku. Pretty much, if a game has good art, I’m putting it on my to-buy list. I didn’t get Odin Sphere when it first came out, but after learning about it and watching a few vids, I took the plunge. Never regretted that decision. It does have its difficulty, but I only found the bosses to be a challenge (I forever hate that wizard trio). I need to pick up a Wii and a copy of Muramasa. Grand Knights History is the first traditional turn-based RPG that they are making so I’m excited to see what they can pull off.

  • Yu_TheKing

    I love every little detail they give about the game. I wonder if they release it digitally how large would the file be? 

  • evilmoogle

    It’s all about Manly MAN!
    but a room full of bouncing sorceresses with 1 male character is good too..
    imagine the fanfics!

  • kupomogli

    I’ll be getting this one, but I’m torn between getting it for the PS3 or the Vita.  I want to support the Vita so maybe developers will treat it better than the PSP, but since it’s a multiconsole title I want to get it for a console rather  than a portable since I do all my gaming at home anyways.

    It’s too bad that they didn’t make it exclusively for Vita.  Maybe I’ll pick it up for PS3 and pick it up for the Vita when I see it for cheap.

    • Aoshi00

      Same here, at first I was like this will be my first Vita game, but when they say it’s on PS3 too, I pre-ordered that ver especially at the same price. since Odin Sphere and Muramasa looked so great.. I know Vita has good specs, but these 2D arts still deserve to be savored on a huge TV for such details.. I like playing Scott Pilgrim on the TV too.. I think I’m still getting Vita on day 1, but this makes it no killer apps for me.. still it’s region free so it’s bound to get all the great games.

      • Locklear93

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but progress is shared between the PS3 and Vita versions, or at least can be.  I’ll probably end up getting both, and playing the PS3 version when I feel like sitting on the couch, and the Vita version when I’m out, or lying in bed, or otherwise not ideally situated for full blown console gaming.

        • Aoshi00

          I think they’re the same game except the Vita version has some touch screen element and co-op is cross platform.. not sure if I want to double dip, I might just want to keep playing one ver to get all the trophies.. I rarely play games outside (I fall asleep on the bus very soon) and play both portable and console games lying on the couch anyway, I’m a couch potato lol.. also I don’t think I’m getting the 3G ver..

  • The Vita is turning out to be even better than I had hoped for. Rock bottom price, dual analogs, backwards compatability, tons of horsepower, and amazing looking original titles like dragons crown and project gravity. I’ve never bought a system at launch, but the vita is gonna change that.

  • Guest

    Dragon Crown’s crowning achievement is DATASS

    • DAT SORCERESS as well!

    • Historiata

      I was waiting for someone to comment on that, haha ha.

  • A pile of bones? I didn’t realize we were playing Secret of Mana and our characters were goblins. Man, that brings me back.

    Gorgeous looking game, though. Hopefully it plays nothing like Odin Sphere.

    • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

      It’s not like Odin Sphere was a difficult game; it was rather simple for a RPG. The only 2 negatives I would bring against that game would be the extreme re-use of stages (though this is how the story was made) and the massive slow down during congested battles.

      • I didn’t like Odin Sphere not because it was difficult. In fact, I found the game to have a moderate difficulty level. The problems were as you stated above, and the fact that you had to lure goons out of groups in order to actually deal a decent swing. I didn’t care for the phozons, either. The only redeeming thing about Odin Sphere was the presentation. Beautiful graphics and a killer soundtrack.

  • Couldn’t day-one this gem any harder.

  • mikanko

    Too bad it doesn’t look like characters have the same customize options seen in Grand Knights History. Would be cool to have every little sorceress or elf look more different than just the color of their outfits.

    Still hoping they can release a PSN bundle of both the PS3 and Vita versions of the game together so I won’t have to pay full price for the two.

  • HarryHodd

    So hyped for this. It looks and sounds so good.

    I really hope these great Japanese developers keep churning out PS3/Vita titles.

  • neo_firenze

    “Altogether, Oda says the game has between 40-50 hours of play time.”

    That… kinda worries me.  A beat-em-up with that long of a play time seems to run a risk of wearing out its welcome.  I think Odin Sphere and Murasama were worse than they could have been for the same reason.  I’m still going to buy it, but I’m aware of the risks (but just like with Odin Sphere and Murasama, I’m a sucker for that gorgeous art).

    Streets of Rage 2 didn’t need to be 40 hours long to be a classic beat em up, but I’ve played it for MANY more hours than in total because it’s a damn great game that I want to play again and again.  If it stretched out with monotonous sections and took double digit hours to complete, I don’t think I’d love it the same.  Same goes for many of the other games in the genre that are my personal “classics” – Final Fight, Die Hard Arcade, Capcom’s D&D arcade games, Warriors of Fate, etc.

    • Ravage27

      hm…i wouldn’t worry about it tbh. 40-50 hours is probably an estimate of the time taken to clear every content the game has to offer and the main content should be considerably shorter.

    • I’d greatly value a barebones extra mode. Press Start, play for about an hour, beat boss, “Thank you for playing. Presented by Vanillaware”. Sonic Colors and Final Fight Streetwise (of all the games) had that. Should be featured in every game that has arcade roots.

    • YsyDoesIt

      Beat-em-ups with replayability is a great thing.  I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve put into Guardian Heroes. Plus, I’m sure that play-time quote is for the average run.

  • I’m itching to see the thief class. I’m going to be stealing that pants off that boss.

    And other things off that Sorceress.

  • PrinceHeir

    awesome :D

  • this game’s looking great, spring 2012 can’t come around soon enough

  • YsyDoesIt

    The Bone-Catching system sounds awesome.  I always liked multi-player influences on single-player campaigns (a far back example being battling friends in Pokemon and having their teams around to battle once a day).  I eat up integration like that.

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