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Video Game / Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu

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Several years before the dawn of the cult hit Ys series, Falcom created what some continue to consider their signature spotlight title: Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu. Alongside with being a best seller back in 1985, this Action RPG managed to set the foundation for Falcom's future titles, up to and including the aforementioned Ys series.

You play as a nameless protagonist, who after speaking with the king and visiting seven stat trainers, must explore an underground complex filled with monsters, treasures, and puzzles, with each level getting more challenging as you go along.

Despite being a sequel to the first Dragon Slayer game, it spawned a series of its own, including the well-known NES Spin-Off Faxanadu.

Xanadu laid the foundations for two different video game genres, as the Trope Codifier of the Action RPG genre and the Ur-Example of the Metroidvania genre.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Alien Geometries: "Warp points" exist in many levels and they are invisible. The players get teleport away to certain locations by touching some of the points, or by moving around them with specific patterns, making the levels somewhat non-Euclidean.
    • The very first "warp point" is in the "training ground" below the surface. Around that "warp point" you move right and then walk back a little, then move right again, and you will suddenly see an item shop like it popping out from nowhere. It sells many useful items with low prices.
  • Expansion Pack: The Xanadu Scenario II : Resurrection of Dragon, which expands the original Xanadu : Dragon Slayer 2, is quite an early example among video games through history. Four disks are required for the game to be playable : First, the player must make a "User Disk" from a blank disk with the "Data Disk (Disk B)" of Scenario 2, then the player have to complete the character's training course with both the "Program Disk (Disk A)" of the original Xanadu and the newly formatted "User Disk" of Scenario 2 inserted before entering the first cave. Then the player is hinted to change the "Program Disk" to that of the Scenario 2's before resetting. After that, the player should see the title screen of Scenario 2, and this is the actual start of the game.This video demostrates the whole process.
  • Gratuitous French: Most of the background music titles for first PC-98 remaster have French words. For example, the boss battle theme are titled "Gros Monstre".
  • Intangibility: The Mantle allows you to pass through solid walls.
  • Invisibility: The Demon's Ring grants invisibility.
  • Karma Meter: "Karma" in this game is a bad thing — killing "good" enemies accumulates Karma, and accumulating too much Karma means temples will refuse to level-up the player any further.
  • Magic Knight: You can equally train in both weapons and magic.
  • Metroidvania: Xanadu was the Ur-Example of this video game genre dating back to the year 1985. The game is typically an early platformer RPG that allows the players to venture the levels in non-linear fashion either by finding gateways (which lead to levels that do not always follow numerical order) or by using fire crystals and black onyxes (and the destinations will be the previous or the next level in numerical sequences). Changes to the terrains are perpetual, and enemies do not respawn after re-entering the levels.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: The names of many bosses from Scenario 2 probably come from real life literati, for example the ant-like Marivoux, the dual-wielding dragon warrior Buzzati, the insect-like Zschokke, and the giant boulder-face Boiardo.
  • Pre-existing Encounters: The enemies move around the map of a level, the players start fighting them when they run into the same tiles of theirs. The enemies in towers stay in the same rooms, waiting for the players' encounter with them.
  • Saintly Church: The only way to level up is by visiting a temple, providing you have enough experience points and don't have any Karma points at all.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: A (supposedly) bug with the black potion is that, if consumed with low karma, makes you receive ridiculously high amount of damage if landed on spikes, and in some areas it's unavoidable. Showcased in this video (in Japanese).