Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Drake of the 99 Dragons

Go To

Drake of the 99 Dragons is a third-person shooter for Xbox and PC, released back in 2003. It stars an undead assassin named Drake, the last surviving member of the Dragon clan, on his quest to restore the Dragons' honor by eliminating the rival clan that killed them all and stole an ancient treasure of theirs.

While the game attempted to convey a sense of stylized comic book action by utilizing cel-shaded graphics and giving Drake the ability to wield two guns at once and stop time, Drake is much more notorious for its low production values and many camera issues, making the game needlessly difficult. For those reasons and more, it has earned itself a spot on many, many "worst game ever" lists.

In 2018 the game actually managed to see a re-release on Steam, proving once again that there's No Such Thing as Bad Publicity.


Drake of the 99 Dragons contains examples of the following tropes:

  • '90s Anti-Hero: Drake is an undead assassin with a black leather coat, a pale corpse-like skin color, uses an infinite number of guns, always beats up and kills his enemies, has a soul absorbing power, and he speaks primarily in corny Badass Boasts with a raspy, low-pitched voice. You may think he's a parody of this before realizing he was meant to be serious.
  • A God Am I: On realizing he's undead, Drake yells, "Am I... INVINCIBLE?!?" and jumps out a window to test it. He promptly dies.
  • All There in the Manual: The prequel comic says the name of the setting is "Neo Macau", confirming it does take place in a futuristic China.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The final level allows you to respawn with the press of a button instead of being sent to the Guardians.
  • Advertisement:
  • Badass Boast: Drake attempts this as part of his introduction. Although in theory it should be cool, the fact he can't keep his mouth closed as he's talking to himself in an empty room and is playing with a pair of unloaded handguns all the while just renders it a weapons-grade level of corny in practice:
    Drake: (flipping two handguns around) Those who know my name whisper it in fear. Most people I meet, I only meet once. I am Drake, the Assassin. To me, life is all about death.
  • Blank White Eyes: Drake has these to make his undead-ness more apparent, though his character model still has them even before he dies.
  • Bullet Time: One of Drake's powers. He can slow down time, but it's incredibly unwieldy and has little practical use due to the fact Drake slows down as well with no alterations to the controls or anything to make dodging or generally moving easier. What's more, the ability is triggered either with one of the face buttons (which requires either letting go of the fire button or an awkward finger position) or clicking the left analog stick (which is far too easy to do accidentally).
  • Camera Screw: The auto-aim function and the camera were mapped to the same analog stick, making combat virtually impossible.
  • Cel Shading: Only really visible on Drake's trenchcoat.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: The game claims that you can only damage the final boss while time is frozen, which is completely untrue.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Not counting the death that starts the plot, Drake is killed in cutscenes five times over the course of the game. He actually dies so much that he drains the guardians's power due to having to bring him back, forcing them to shunt him into one of his previous corpses.
  • Double Jump: One of Drake's standard abilities.
  • Fake Difficulty: The game is very hard. Not because of any legitimate difficulty, but because the game is so supremely, fundamentally broken on every level that even the tutorial fight can easily kick your ass. The game's auto-aim makes it difficult to land a hit on enemies (along with being mapped to the camera), the player frequently finds themselves in enclosed spaces, and the controls are rather slow and floaty.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The soul manipulation abilities don't work. You can die jumping off a building the game forces you to jump off. Drake can get stuck up to his waist in the ground at random. And so on, and so forth.
  • Game-Over Man: The guardians, who mock you every time you die. The player will likely get tired of it really quickly.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Tang's goal with the Soul Portal Artifact is to use the souls of the dead to power an army of cyborgs to Take Over the World, which is the most characterization he gets in the game.
  • Guns Akimbo: Drake can wield two different guns in each hand. Reality Ensues (or just bad game design?) in that he can't just reload his guns because of this, so he instead throws them away and pulls out a pair of new ones out of nowhere whenever he runs out of bullets in his old pair.
  • Gun Twirling: Done obsessively by Drake in cutscenes, often while spouting off hefty amounts of exposition.
  • Heroic Bloodshed: It’s supposed to be this, with Drake’s moves and style derived from hallmarks of the genre. However, Drake’s so bad about abusing his reincarnation ability (mostly for dumb reasons) and the whole thing is such a weird mishmash of Chinese mythology and Take Over the World that it ends up falling flat.
  • Idiot Hero: Drake. Almost every death in-story is a result of Drake's stupidity and recklessness.
  • Informed Attribute: Drake is supposedly a master assassin. His tactics? Run in and shoot everything around him, constantly throwing aside empty pistols covered in his fingerprints and DNA. He also dies constantly. Not normal gameplay deaths. Cutscene deaths.
  • Justified Extra Lives: The Guardians revive Drake every time he dies.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Drake's got a pretty hefty jawbone.
  • Large Ham: Drake. Probably the one good thing about this game is his So Bad, It's Good Ham and Cheese Serious Business Chewing the Scenery.
  • Last of His Kind: Drake is the last "living" member of the Dragon clan.
  • Left Hanging: The comic tie in depicted a large subplot about a crime lord named Tim Chung that never made it into the game.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Every time the player dies, they have to sit through two loading screens so that they can be taken to the guardians' realm for them to mock you for your failure.
  • MacGuffin: The Soul Portal Artifact, which Drake spends the entire game trying to get back from Tang and his minions.
  • Obvious Beta: If this game was supposed to be sent out like this, we'll eat Drake's trenchcoat:
    • The Time-Slowing and Time-Freezing abilities are useless because they also affect the player. The other abilities don't work, period.
    • Fall damage is extremely inconsistent; frequently you'll die falling from shorter distances than you'll survive. Even worse when taking a long drop is the only option forward.
  • Power Tattoos: Drake's chest tattoo of the Undying Dragon, given to him by his master, is why he can come back to life. It must be fed souls on a regular basis to hold Drake to this world.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Drake gains the ability to come back from death after receiving the Undying Dragon tattoo. Naturally, he assumes it's Complete Immortality at first, and promptly dies from his idiocy.
  • Shout-Out: Drake's tattoo of the Undying Dragon is a Shout-Out to the Immortal Iron Fist, who has a Power Tattoo of a dragon named Shou Lou the Undying on his chest.
  • Take Over the World: The Big Bad's very creative motivation.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Drake dies in-story a grand total of seven times.
  • Throw-Away Guns: Drake doesn't carry magazines but an infinite number of loaded guns. Instead of reloading, he drops his empty gun and picks another loaded. Which is stupid, since he's leaving behind tons of fingerprints and DNA that could easily be used against him.
  • Totally Radical: In one cutscene, Drake uses the phrase "out of this world" completely seriously; not one trace of irony, parody, or humor anywhere (though it has humor if you count Narm).
  • Too Dumb to Live: At one point, Drake dives out of a window at the top floor of a skyscraper for no real reason- apparently to test his powers and see if he truly has become invincible. Spoilers, he doesn't- he predictably dies on impact, is called out on it in the afterlife, then sent back down to Earth. Lampshaded too. "The Undying Dragon can't protect Drake from his own stupidity."
  • Time Stands Still: One of the powers Drake attains later on. Although this sounds cool in theory, it's useless because Drake stops as well.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Drake. He does wear a trenchcoat later on over it, but still.
  • Wall Run: Drake gains the ability to do this toward the beginning of the game. Again- cool in theory, but near-uncontrollable in practice. Made even worse by the fact it becomes compulsory in several places.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Drake has no problem with killing female enemies, and against one of the bosses (One of the Big Bad's henchwomen), even goes as far as to continue beating her up even after he's already taken her down.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: