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The Legend of Dragoon is a RPG that was developed by SCE Japan Studio (then Sony Computer Entertainment Interactive). It was released for the PlayStation in Japan in December 1999, North America in June 2000, and Europe in January 2001. As Sony Computer Entertainment's first independent RPG, it was heavily advertised with emphasis being put on the development time (three years) and the size of the development team (over 100 members).The protagonist is Dart, a world traveler who returns home after a five-year search for "the Black Monster", which killed his parents and burned his hometown to the ground. Upon returning to his adopted home of Seles, he finds things haven't changed much: it's now the jackbooted thugs of Imperial Serdio burning down his home, instead. Serdio also has a dragon called Feyrbrand at its disposal, which nearly makes hamburger of Dart before he's rescued by an enigmatic swordswoman, Rose. With his childhood friend thrown into a Serdio gulag, it's up to Dart to break her out, all the while looking for clues to the Black Monster's whereabouts. His dogged companion is Rose, who hints at Dart's heritage as a Dragoon, warriors who can tame the dragons now being used as weapons. A mere human can't hope to last against a dragon; but a Dragoon can.Despite a lukewarm critical reception, the game sold well and went on to become a Cult Classic, with a troperiffic plot that manages to shift smoothly between humor, narm, and some genuinely moving moments.It is available on the PlayStation Network in Japan and North America.Absolutely no relation to Panzer Dragoon.
This video game provides examples of:
Action Commands: Used for physical attacks. Normally you just have to hit X with the proper timing to move to the next hit in the combo, but occasionally an enemy will attempt a Counter Attack (indicated by the combo timer changing colors) and you will have to hit Circle instead, or else take damage (and lose the combo).
Action Girl: Rose is a wandering fighter, and Miranda is a general, and both more than qualify. Meru is not a formal soldier, but she charges into battle without hesitation.
Adipose Rex: King Zior definitely measures up. Not only does he have the build for it, but you only ever see him in two places, sitting on his throne (which is in the most luxurious throne room in the entire game by the way) and the banquet hall.
Aerith and Bob: The dragons. You have Feyrbrand, Regole, and Michael. Possibly subverted in that Michael was Rose's dragon, and she named him when she was very young.
The Alcatraz: Hellena Prison. And you've got to break into it twice.
Also Rose, as the Black Monster. She's spent the last eleven thousand years periodically slaughtering the Moon Children and anyone unlucky enough to be in the same vicinity — all for the sake of preventing the apocalypse.
Apocalypse Maiden: At the end of Disc 3, it's revealed that the supposedly benevolent Moon Children are actually this.
Arm Cannon: Super Virages, as well as the Divine Dragoon.
Armor of Invincibility: The Armor of Legend and the Legend Casque, respectively, massively lower physical damage and magical damage and have a 50% evasion rate. The only thing that stops their usability is their massive cost.
Awesome but Impractical: At Dragoon Level 5, each character gets a spell that summons a dragon to attack the enemy. It sounds like an incredible attack until you realize that you could do the same amount of damage with only a couple weaker spells for a much lower cost. The only ones really worth using is the White Silver Dragon, since it does a lot of damage and heals the party, or the Sea Wave Dragon. This is also due to the high magical attack of Shana/Miranda and Meru.
Badass Grandpa: Haschel is this. At 60 years old (according to the instruction manual), he is still strong enough to come in third in the Hero Competition and spry enough to front flip over a dead body and two of your characters just to turn around and lay out one of them with a single, quick gut punch.
Made almost comical by the fact that as the game progresses, you find more and more evidence that hints at Claire, Haschel's daughter, is in fact Dart's mother.
Because Destiny Says So: In the beginning of the game, Rose mentions to Dart, and later Lavitz, that it is the destiny of Dragoons to use their spirits and change the world. Later, when the truth about Shana and the Moon That Never Sets is learned, the entire party plans on doing their own thing.
The English translation of the game's script varies wildly in its accuracy and ability to convey information.
The French version seems to have been poorly translated from the English one. Apparently, Haschel has an Addition named "Staff Thievery", and according to Albert the Moon Gem, is a "hollow" treasure.
Bonus Boss: The first Super Virage and the Polter Armor in Disc 3, as well as the spirits of the original Dragoons, the spirits of the dragons in Mayfil, and the 100% Completion boss in Disc 4.
Boring but Practical: By the time you max out characters' final Additions, you'll probably be doing more damage with them than you would in Dragoon form, meaning you're better off not transforming into a glowingwingedMagic Knight unless you're planning on using magic.
Defending not only halves all damage a character takes until their next turn, it also heals them for 10% of their maximum health.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: One NPC in Lohan, and it's semi-justified. It's just the fact that he specifically calls them "minigames."
Also, in the small port city of Fueno, there is a spot where pressing the action button causes Dart to wave to the fourth wall, ie, the player.
Call Back: Dart and Lavitz have a conversation in Lohan which ends with Lavitz joking about accepting a drink in return for his advice. In the epilogue movie at the end of the game, Dart puts a drink next to the painting of the now-deceased Lavitz.
The Call Knows Where You Live: Twice. The Black Monster destroys Dart's original hometown years before the game begins, which is what motivates him to become a warrior in the first place, and the Sandoran army attacks Seles and kidnaps Shana in the game's opening scene, necessitating a rescue from Dart.
Calling Your Attacks: Inverted when you pull off an Addition; they only call out the name of the attack after they do it. Played straight with Dragoon magic.
Can't Drop the Hero: Dart cannot be swapped out for the majority of the game, and the times he isn't there are no random encounters. Unless you pick an A-team, expect him to be a few levels higher than everyone else.
Check Point Starvation: The game is usually good at averting this, though there is one rather backhanded instance of it. At the Moon during the Party Scattering, one group lets Kongol fight a Duel Boss and then treks through a long path with no save point in it back to the hub area where you know there is one, and then cue cutscene. Yep, instead of letting you access the save point that's right in front of you, the game then switches to the other group that got separated, which also has a long path to follow with no save point in it and a boss to fight at the end. The path to the hub is before that boss, but Rose pretty much just says "No." until the boss is dead. And both of the bosses are rather difficult! Not funny, Sony!
It's also worth noting that NONE of the save points, not even the final one, heal and cure your party. Odd considering how standard (even back then) this is for JRP Gs.
Color-Coded Elements: The main cast, most bosses and some minor enemies all wear clothing that matches the color of their corresponding element.
Combos: Every character except Shana and Miranda (whose weapons don't lend themselves to it) use Additions as their basic physical attack, requiring the use of action commands to complete successfully. Dragoon form has its own version, separate from the standard ones.
Cutscene: Both the FMV and the occasional in-engine scene, typically using the battle engine, which allowed for more detailed graphics.
Sony uses the aforementioned battle engine cutscene thing as a bit of a Player Punch near the end. At the Moon before the final boss, Lloyd pulls a Big Damn Villains. The game does the usual battle intro, making it look like you're going to play as Lloyd, which would've been awesome... but then he starts attacking of his own accord, even using the exact same animations and camera angles he had when he fought you, before finally being struck down by the final boss. All before you get a single turn. The EXP screen even shows up afterwards as if it had been a real battle!
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Shana has voice clips and animations for all dragoon magic. Similarly, Lavitz also has animations and voice clips for additions and dragoon magic he would never learn at the point of the game he is in.
Disqualification-Induced Victory: Dart is required by the story to make it to the final round of The Hero Competition. Should the player lose any of the matches, his opponent gets taken out of the competition for either cheating (i.e using poison) or something completely contrived (falling over or getting sick and being unable to fight).
Elemental Powers: Each Character/Monster/Dragoon fought/encountered in the game adheres to one of Light, Dark, Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, Lightning, or Divine/Null. All attacks, including basic attacks, are affected by this affinity. Also, the dragoons themselves:
Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Of the "mutually strong against/weak to" type. Light opposes Dark, Fire opposes Water, and Earth opposes Wind. Thunder and Divine/Null are neutral, neither advantaged nor disadvantaged against other elements.
Eleventh Hour Superpower: Right before the final battle, Dart gets the Divine Dragoon Spirit and Rose the Dragon Buster from a dying Lloyd. If you don't get it in Lohan, Kongol gets the Golden Dragoon spirit at the end of the game.
Evil Counterpart: Virages were used by Winglies to combat the Dragons in the Dragon Campaign. In-game, Greham, Doel, Gehrich, Lenus and Zieg become this to the respective members of your party, not necessarily matching up on elemental lines.
Flower Motifs: Roses are played with for three characters. First is obviously Rose herself, with the standard beautiful exterior and thorny personality. Second is Miranda, who has a hatred for roses because they were the favorite flower of her abusive mother. Third is with Albert, whose Rose Storm spell uses roses to symbolize royalty and revolution, in contrast to the Blossom Storm spell used by Lavitz.
Foil: The original Dragoons are this for the current ones, highlighting the dominant trait for most of them to imply Generation Xerox. Rose, Zieg and Kanzas are the biggest examples as they highlight what Rose used to be and what Dart and Haschel could be had they taken a single wrong turn in life.
Foregone Victory: While the first fight against Lloyd may be a Hopeless Boss Fight, every match before him is impossible to lose. Two enemies are disqualified for cheating, one is too ill to continue, and another falls over and can't get up due to his heavy armor.
First Sacred Sister Miranda: The mannish one, she appears to be in command of the Mille Seseau military and hands out Armor Piercing Slaps on a regular basis.
Second Sacred Sister Luanna: The wise one, she's spiritually empathic and able to detect a person's true feelings.
Third Sacred Sister Wink: The naive one, who winds up almost being kidnapped by the Gehrich Gang, with the implication of worse.
Four Sacred Sister Setie: The innocent one, the youngest and she appears to treat Luanna as an older sister.
Game-Breaking Bug: The game has become known for inexplicably hanging at certain points when played on anything but an actualPS1. Some of this is semi-explainable; for example, if you destroy multiple parts of a boss at once when said boss has a special move that activates when a part is damaged, the game can hang because the emulator can't resolve the conflict.
Generation Xerox: The modern Dragoons are similar in appearance to their counterparts from the war and wield the same weapons.
Hitchhiker Heroes: Played with. The shear amount of coincidences involving how the characters meet up acquire their Dragoon spirits leads to Rose voicing the opinion that there may be higher powers at work.
Hour of Power: Whenever a character transforms into Dragoon form, they have a limited number of turns, indicated by an "SP" bar and number, after which they transform back to normal, and must attack again to build up SP.
Hulk Speak: Both Kongol and his brother Indora, which implies all Giganto talk like this.
Idiot Ball: Almost all the characters at one point or another, but mostly Lavitz.
Heck, nearly the entire act of Disc 2 could have been avoided had Albert simply mentioned that he was the king of Serdio and he had important business. However, they did manage to obtain proof that the Emilee was a fake.
Infinity–1 Armor: The Blue Sea Dragoon Spirit Armor for Meru is outmatched in stats by the Sparkle Dress, which also blocks two common status conditions, as well as arm blocking, with the downside being the lack of total protection against water attacks that the Blue Sea DS Armor has. The Sparkle Dress also beats Rose's Dark DS Armor in Magic Defense at the cost of slightly lower Physical Defense, making it more useful in the endgame and against bosses.
Without the Legend Casque, the Armor of Legend becomes this, as it lacks magical defense of any kind in exchange to it's near-aversion of all physical damage.
Infinity+1 Sword: The Dragon Buster, which is acquired right before the final boss fight.
Invisible Bowstring: Shana and Miranda's bow follows this. This is understandable considering that is a PS1 game.
Juggle Fu: Dart's initial Dragoon Magic attack, Flame Shot, has him throwing his sword into the air, charging a ball of fire in front of him and shoulder-tackling it to the target. He catches his sword after the impact.
Last of His Kind: Kongol, last of the Gigantos. And for over 11,000 years, Rose was the last of the Dragoons.
Leitmotif: Several main characters get their own themes, which play during a character-specific moment.
Level Grinding: Character levels, of course, but also their Addition levels and Dragoon levels. Kongol gets it the worst, since he spends the bulk of the game with only two additions, one that maxes out at 50 SP, the other at 20, while others get ones that generate up to 200.
And the Winglies, Gigantos, Minitos, and until half way through the first disk, the Dragoon. Pretty much all non-humans count for this in the game.
Luck-Based Mission: Lenus can turn into this. She can spam four or more attacks at once in the later stages of the battle, and one of her attacks will hit your whole party for 1/3 to 1/2 of their HP. If you get to this point, you're pretty much reduced to praying she doesn't use that more than once in a turn. Not going into Dragoon form can help lower the number of attacks she does but she will always hit hard regardless of what you do.
Saving up to buy a Legend Casque helps immensely though.
Macross Missile Massacre: The Divine Dragon can do this, apparently utilizing some kind of organic howitzer growing from its body. Dart gets this ability once he acquires the Divine Dragoon Spirit, and it's appropriately fired from his shoulders.
Magikarp Power: Meru. Lowest health in the game, and her defense is terrible. Her attack power is also terrible, but her additions have high damage multipliers. Combined with her high speed, she can actually end up doing decent physical damage. She also has the second highest magical attack behind Miranda, so she can do damage with her decent Dragoon spells and attack items, and even heal, if the need so arises.
The Magocracy: Wingly civilization before the Dragon Campaign was basically this.
Marathon Boss: Pretty much every boss is this, however, the final boss deserves special mention.
Medieval Stasis: The world as Dart and pals see it is apparently mostly unchanged from how it was 11,000 years ago, except there aren't Wingly cities floating all over the place oppressing people. Well, they aren't floating, anyway. This is a major plot point in the game, as it's revealed that Soa intended for the world to grow stagnant and then be purged by the God of Destruction. It's at that point that the plot of the game turns into screw destiny.
Metal Slime: The overworld is filled with palette swapped birds who each have extremely high defense, in some cases up to outright immunity to physical or magical attacks. Their own attacks do a fixed 1/10 of your total HP, and they tend to run away. Defeating them tends to net bonus EXP or money, but the real advantage is their physical immunity lets you spam Additions and build them up, provided you can slow or stop the birds from running off.
Same goes for OOPARTS, a small robotic enemy also encountered infrequently in overworld areas. Just be sure to double-emphasize the "slowing or stopping" part, because these guys will One-Hit Kill one of your party members before fleeing.
Mirror Match: The Indora battle is very much like fighting Kongol with Kongol.
You can invoke this in the battles with the previous Dragoons, except Zieg, who steals Dart's dragoon spirit causing you to battle the Dragoon without that Dragoon's power.
Mouth Flaps: A couple of the later FMVs wind up with spoken dialogue that falls short of the mark by about half a second.
Mundane Utility: Sadly subverted in the case of Dragoons; according to Rose, it's very hard to transform outside of battle, so nobody can just bypass crevasses by flying over them or easily catch up with Lenus, Lloyd or Zieg when they take flight.
Played straight with a lot of Wingly magic and technology. For example, most of the Wingly settlements you visit are littered with teleporters, despite the fact that Winglies can already fly and, on occasion, teleport under their own power.
Face Your Fears / My Greatest Second Chance: Twice during the game. First to power the Psych Bomb, and again while battling the Moon's manifestations. Rose does not face one the first time, and Dart does not face one the second time.
Never Mess with Granny: Subverted with Rose who is over 11,000 years old, but still looks like she is in her 20s because of an enchanted necklace.
108: The number of species at the beginning of the world, the number of years between the appearances of the Moon Child, and the number of times the Black Monster has destroyed the Moon Child. The 108th species, by the way? The God of Destruction who is meant to cleanse the world of all life.
The Black Monster has put a swath through cities and armies for 11,000 years. It turns out to be a Dragoon.
Once More with Clarity: Neet's destruction is replayed a few times, each time giving more info on what happened and why.
Our Dragons Are Different: They generally don't follow the standard Eastern or Western dragon design, with several of them looking quite bizarre. Exactly eight dragons exist, one for each element. They're apparently non-sapient (but seem intelligent enough to follow instructions), and inherently magical (they power the Dragoon Spirits). Apparently they go insane and become evil if they live too long, but eventually reincarnate after they die. In short, replace "dragon" with "death machine" and you've got an accurate description.
Overly Long Fighting Animation: Along with Final Fantasy, this game is probably one of the earliest offenders (though you can turn off some of them). Dart's Divine Dragon transformation takes so long, the game actually shortens it after you use it a couple of times!
Padded Sumo Gameplay: Toward the end. The final boss fight can take hours, even if you're well prepared.
Parrot Exposition: And how. Dart is clearly the worst offender but pretty much everyone gets in on the action at some point or another. Taken to almost comical extremes when characters are talking about the Black Monster.
Pimped-Out Dress: Shana and the princesses at the party in Disc 2. Queen Theresa and Charle also qualify if you really look at what they're wearing.
Pinned to the Wall: Kongol in his second boss battle had a special attack where he'd create a wall behind one of your party members and throw his metallic gauntlet (two sharp claws on each side) to stick them to said wall by their neck, where he'd then proceed to wail on them for a few seconds before punching them through the wall he just created. You can see it in action here.
Point of No Return: Once you enter the final dungeon, you can't leave. If you have anything you want to do elsewhere, it must be done before you get to the end of Mayfil.
Police State: The Law City of Zenebatos. It's just ruins now, but it used to be a mammoth bureaucracy where robots hauled you to prison for the most minor of infractions. You actually have to mess with the law system in order to get to certain parts of the city.
Port Town: Donau is where you'll find the Queen Fury, a hulking iron steamship.
Preexisting Encounters: The Phantom Ship, Death Frontier and one room in the Forbidden Land has these. With all of them, either the enemy is actively pursuing you or you can position yourself to wind up in an enemy's path indefinitely, making all of them very good spots for "auto-fire X button" grinding.
Random Encounters: Subverted. While the encounters may seem random, they are usually based of a static number of steps. Also, an indicator over Dart's head will always hint that a battle will happen; for good measure, charm potions can be used to avert incoming battles. This takes most, if not all, of the "random" out of it.
Scenery Porn: Some of the (animated) CG backdrops are drop-dead gorgeous to look at.
Schmuck Bait: During the tournament, one of the enemies takes up a defensive stance and dares you to attack. He kicks your ass if you do. After defending for enough turns, the enemy reverts to its default stance.
Strictly Formula: A different than usual and far from negative example. In the first three discs, all of them have you entering a new country, dealing with some sort of political intrigue, fighting a Virage (though one of them can be skipped), fighting a major boss about a third of the way in, fighting a Climax Boss two-thirds of the way in (two of which qualify as That One Boss), taking out the disc's final boss in the Disc One Final Dungeon and, in the second and third, traveling to another destination afterwards where significant plot events happen. This breaks down in the fourth disc as everything is brought together but it still retains large amounts of the formula. Given that each disc could pass for its own game, this can be forgiven and is probably intentional. The game is best played by treating each disc as separate episodes instead of trying to get through it all at once.
Summon Magic: The last magic spell gained by each character summons the dragon that powers their Dragoon spirit to attack one or all enemies.
Technicolor Toxin: Mostly green. Feyrbrand can also use blue and grey poisonous slime.
Tempting Fate: Early in the game, while hopping across an underground waterfall, Dart warns Shana to watch her footing on the slippery rocks. Shana makes it across fine; it's Lavitz who slips and nearly falls.
The Time of Myths: The Dragon Campaign, which is generally acknowledged as a real event, but was so long ago (11,000 years) that most information about it is sketchy at best. Of course, there are reliable sources to be had, but they're not available to most people.
Transformation Sequence: Whenever the characters activate their Dragoon Power, they assume a dragon-winged, knight-like visage, each with unique animation. Dart has two sequences, one gotten very late in the game, and his second sequence has a long and short variation. These can be turned off (replaced by a brief flash) if you find them too long.
Emperor Doel has his own sequence when you fight him, transforming in the middle of battle.
Toilet Humour: During the fight with Feyrbrand, when he uses his Stun or Poison slime attack, he appears to be literally crapping on the targeted character. May or may not be intentional, but the slime is clearly coming from somewhere south of his legs.
A couple of Rose's Dragoon attacks seem distinctly scatological:
During her "Astral Blade" attack, she floats up in the air and emits a beam of golden light from her rear area.
"Demon's Gate" starts with Rose "dropping" several nuggets of concentrated darkness, then levitating around a black laser beam while a portal to the underworld forms between her legs. Paging Dr. Freud?
Who Wants to Live Forever?: Both inhabited Wingly settlements seem to be suffering from this. Played very straight with Rose, where it's explicitly stated that the immortality spell may leave your spirit strained and your heart hollow.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: As stated above Lloyd (as evil as he appears to be, he's only doing it to achieve a utopia), Rose (she became the Black Monster in order to kill the Moon Child in order to prevent the destruction of the world), and Charle (assuming she convinced Rose to become the Black Monster).
The World Is Always Doomed: Played with in two ways: first is that the world has always been in danger of being annihilated every 108 years, with the best anyone's been able to do so far is merely delay the inevitable. This of course means that the world is always doomed regardless of what relatively trivial things happen in the plot, at least until the protagonists decide to Screw Destiny in Disc 4.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair / Mystical White Hair: Winglies have platinum hair, though Meru’s is closer to a pale blue. Damia, the first Blue Sea Dragoon, has blue hair to show her half-mermaid heritage. Haschel’s daughter Claire has purple hair for no reason.
You Kill It, You Bought It: Three of the Dragoon Spirits pick their new masters after the good guys kill off the old ones. All seven of the original Dragoons received their spirits when they killed the corresponding dragon.