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Video Game / Dragonica

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Dragonica, also known as Dragon Saga in North America, is a side-scrolling MMORPG featuring anime-style graphics, combo systems, the classic "Save the World" plot, four basic classes (Warrior, Mage, Archer, Thief), and finally a truck load of skills which generally go along the lines of Over-the-Top Humorous and Extremely Devastating.

In the land of Dragonica, 50 years ago, an Evil Dragon named Elga threatened to cover the land in complete darkness using the five elements of the Earth to do so. Thousands followed Elga simply out of fear, but Five Heroes (Belkan, Pamir, Mirinae, Skypie, and Paris) and the Lord of all Dragons rise up against his tyrannical rule and seal him inside a giant mountain where his powers are forever rendered useless by the numerous mechanical and magical devices that serve to render it both physically and magically impossible for him to escape. Peace reigned through the land as Elga was finally sealed, and the Five Heroes of the Land continued to make grand adventures, saving the world from any evil that may come their way.

All was perfect.

50 years later, Elga has been released from his extremely large, very complex, yet poorly guarded Mountain Prison by a mysterious figure. Re-released and full of rage, Elga seeks once more to destroy and conquer the land.

This does not, of course, escape the attention of the Government, and soon enough, the Dragon Expedition is born, their sole purpose: slay Elga and leave the world safe once more from his wrath and evil.

This part is where you come in, a brand new adventurer to the land of El Grego who decided to leave his/her respective barracks/mage tower/archery range/thieves guild, and enter the town of Odelia to join the Dragon Expedition and save the world!

... Or not, since the intros reveal that some of the heroes are in it for purely personal reasons.

All makes the game seem like one of the thousands of generic Korean fantasy MMORPGs that have been released in the last decade, but Dragonica has an ace up its sleeve: its gameplay. Barunson Interactive has taken the platforming elements that made Maplestory a smash hit and has literally added a new dimension to it, with characters and enemies being able to move towards and away from the screen in addition to up, down, left and right. Combat has also been sped up considerably and the action is almost twice as fast as that earlier game. Finally, the various English translations are also rather tongue-in-cheek, with some NPCs displaying humorous levels of Medium Awareness.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: For Hunters, throwing a large book at enemies is enough to make them bleed.
  • An Adventurer Is You
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Tons after the New Origin update.
    • In general, gaining XP is much faster than it was back in the day. Double XP went from never happening, to the occasional event, to every weekend. The 'Resting EXP' mentioned below was also added later.
    • The early game, once a fairly challenging grind meant to help players get into the groove of the game, is now generally a breeze. The player is given more chances to earn XP through hero quests, and the Wolves' Den (a brand-new dungeon that introduces players to the raid-style dungeons later) really sped things up. To clarify, before Wolves' Den was added, you had to defeat Captain Hookah to advance to the second job class at level 20. He was already a Wake-Up Call Boss compared to the wolves and the ogre chiefs, but most players had to take him on with their dinky level 10 crystal weapons. The original level 15 'flame' weapon set was only rarely obtainable through random quest rewards, so most players didn't have that luxury. Nowadays, new players are automatically given the 'Master' weapon set after beating the first Wolves' Den, making the second one (and therefore advancing classes) far easier. To drive all this home, there is an in-game achievement for advancing to the second class in one day. Pre-New Origin, this would have been near-impossible.
    • Before Silver Coins existed, making money was a tough, demanding grind at low-mid levels. You more or less had to put whatever you found on the open market and hope it sold. Once you got into the higher levels, farming the top tier gear wasn't so bad, but until then, you really had to ration out your funds. With the advent of Silver Coins, you can now exchange them for many items that are in constant high demand, making it a non-issue to stay afloat.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Logging off in one of the towns will cause your character to start accumulating 'Resting EXP', which can be gained 50% faster than regular exp when you next log on. This used to only work until level 61, after which it was time to shell out for a fish tank.
  • Arm Cannon: Some Monsters have built in weapons in them, but literal examples can be found in the Sanctuaries. Also, Mages have a skill called fortress which turns their head into a cannon.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Ultimate Attacks are as ultimate as their name suggests but have the longest cooldowns in the game and can't be used against other players.
    • A common complaint among players of the Ranger job progression. More Dakka and Stuff Blowing Up define their skillset, but the actual effectiveness of the skills is inversely proportional to character level especially in PVP.
  • The Big Bad Wolf: The Big Bad Wolf Boss and Vega, both of whom are REALLY tough to beat if you don't have a party and don't follow recommended level notices.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The Southeast Asian English version is...bad.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Very literal example: any enemies sufficiently damaged before reaching 0 HP will fly to the screen and break it.
  • Boring, but Practical: The warrior's "Hammerspam" - alternating between their three first job hammer skills - can quickly dispatch mobs with little risk due to the presence of both stunning and freezing effects. Newer players tend to continue using it even at higher levels despite more powerful skills becoming available.
    • Archers use their starting job Rising Shot and Anti-Air Shot skills throughout all 70+ levels of their game life.
  • Cardboard Prison: For a prison designed to keep the most destructive being in the world, it sure is pretty easy to break-in to and break-out its only captive. Granted, the person who BUILT IT is the one breaking into and out of it.
  • Combat Medic: The Paladin relies mostly on healing and support skills to help his/her teammates survive in tough fights.
  • Death from Above: Mage's Meteor Drop skill will drop a meteor on enemies. This will not immediately disintegrate them but simply render them airborne and very easy to hit.
  • Depending on the Translation: Priests are sometimes referred to as Acolytes or Wizards, Shamans are sometimes referred to as Oracles, Tricksters can be Jesters, and many others...
  • Energy Ball: Battle Mages can summon one of these with extremely devastating results on mobs.
  • Expy: Captain Kalygon looks like a certain Disney character and Gladiators are capable of summoning "Bro," who is obviously Bruce Lee in his trademark yellow jumpsuit.
  • Fallen Hero: Paris.
  • Fartillery: Cloud Kill.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Dragonica has 8 different classes.
    • Warriors focus on melee damage and offensive skills.
      • Warriors can be promoted to Knights, who focus more on defensive skills, or can be promoted to Gladiators, who focus even more on offensive skills.
    • Magicians focus on magic and Status Effects.
    • Thieves focus on direct combat and speed.
      • Thieves can be promoted to Tricksters (or Jesters), who focus on flashy fighting and status effects, or can be promoted to Assasins, who focus on stealthy fighting and strong yet fast moves.
    • Archers focus on remote combat and speed.
      • Archers can be promoted to Hunters, who have a wide variety of skills but low offensive power, or can be promoted to Rangers, who have a small variety of skills but have a lot of offensive power.
  • Gatling Good: Ranger Skill - Gatling Rush - Whip out a Gatling Gun and decimate large mobs in under 2 seconds.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: For theives, this is a charge move.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Gladiators have access to a toy hammer. This toy hammer will smash any airborne enemies down into the ground so hard they form a crater.
    • While Jesters and Harlequins are supposed to have this as their schtick, Gladiators beat them easily with killer teddy bears, a teddy bear hat, and an inflatable hammer with a large '100t' printed on it in addition to the above. They can also summon a Zangief expy later on.
  • Level Grinding: It's a Korean MMO. That said, the Season 2 patch introduced a number of Anti-Grinding measures.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Used to be played painfully straight, with Warrior classes being scarcely more powerful than Archer classes and the Battlemage line being nearly untouchable. Then season 2 came and the Battlemage line is now a rather lightweight Stone Wall, Knight classes are the new Game-Breaker and the Acolyte line are Physical Gods.
  • Mad Scientist: Doctor Farrell.
  • Mon: You can create miniature versions of monsters to accompany you, and, with the help of equipment, have them fight with you.
  • More Dakka: Rangers have access to a long cool down Gatling Gun skill called Gatling Rush which will deal severe damage to 10 enemies in under 2 seconds. Upgrading this will give you more bullets to fire and more damage to deal.
    • Snipers/Ballistas get a turret version called the Vulcan 300. Sadly, it's quite useless.
  • Nerf: Done to several skills and to archer weapons in a recent patch.
  • Nuke 'em: One of the Howitzer class's skills involves pulling out a Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke and tossing it at enemies. It's mostly good for knocking stuff down.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All : EVADE. At higher levels PVP is dominated by those who are the hardest to hit, meaning that Accuracy is the close second. Everything else is a veritable Dump Stat, with Critical Damage being a moderate third to make those (few) lucky hits count.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Inevitable due to the high saturation on many items. Special mention goes to certain Archer armor sets, which are literally rainbow colored.
    • Also avertable, however. If a certain piece of armor clashes with your ensemble, you have the option of setting it as "hidden" so that it gives you all the lovely stat bonuses it comes with without that pesky side-effect of making your outfit look stupid.
  • Rain of Arrows: Hunter Skill - Decimates Mobs, great for keeping combos up.
  • Real Is Brown: Averted in some places and played straight in others. Humorously enough, Real Is Red in the Lethal Lava Land while Real Is Blue in the crystal stages.
  • Repeatable Quest: It pads the levels between the big main quests with various repeatables. Notably, the Infinity +1 Sword crafting quests are almost all repeatable and of the unlimited variety.
  • Rocket Punch: The thief class' first job projectile skill.
  • Schizo Tech: NPCs mostly use medieval or Steampunk tech, Mad Scientist Farrel uses more advanced stuff and some classes use relatively modern tech in certain attacks. Special mention must go to the Ranger classes, whose arsenals include weapons from The Dung Ages, most historical world conflicts and even some stuff from 20 Minutes into the Future.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Elga.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: The Lord of All Dragons.
  • Sentry Gun: The Ranger's Auto-Shot System summons a Tank with a Mon Tank Commander in it. It fires large, slow moving, but very damaging balls of Explodium at anything that happens to come into its wide radius.
  • Status Buff: There are special skills that can increase stats in parties or your own character. While the character that uses it gets a little mask.
    • Thieves raise Dex and Health party buff techniques, and wears a clown mask for the duration. Some people find them pretty creepy.
    • Magicians have an INT buff that works on them alone. They get a cat mask that blinks.
    • Special Mention to Hunters: They get an impressive buff that raises their stats significantly. It's side effect is that it turns your head into a cartoon chicken's, complete with blinking eyes. This is the reason that some Hunters are occasionally abbreviated as KFC.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Over Hit (Over Killed) enemies will either fly towards the screen and break it, or simply poof out of existence.
  • Threatening Shark: Captain White Tooth is a large, anthropomorphic Purple Shark with a hook for a fin and a double barreled pistol in the other fin who terrorizes Port of Winds with his beloved girlfriend Captain Alvida, a large, anthropomorphic Pink Shark with a jeweled hook for a fin and a sniper rifle in the other fin. Both can fire regular shots and homing shots, poison shots, net shots, swipe at you for massive damage, and regenerate their health by 20% or more after a while. Oh, and did I mention they happen to have massive crews of Shark Pirates at their disposal, too?
    • They're also the bosses that introduce Mook reinforcement in their 3 and 4 star missions.
  • Trick Arrow: Archers' Anti-Air Shot features arrows that automatically follow and attack any airborne enemies. Granted, these arrows are magical.
  • 20 Bear Asses: Played straighter than a razor's edge, but item counts are small and the mob distribution is such that several quests can be completed simultaneously.
  • Wolverine Claws: Thieves use these.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: Inevitable.

Alternative Title(s): Dragon Saga