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Video Game / How to Raise a Dragon

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How to Raise a Dragon is a freeware online game dealing with dragons. Narrated in a journal-like fashion written by Magus X.R Quilliam, it follows the story of a dragon controlled by the player since its birth to its adulthood, as you learn facts about these well-known mythical creatures.

The game was created by Gregory Weir, best known by his previous work, The Majesty of Colors, and, like its predecessor, features several draconic behaviors and endings based on the player's actions, which can be sad, happy, inspiring, or bittersweet.


It can be played here. Not directly related to the How to Train Your Dragon franchise.

How to Raise a Dragon provides example of the following tropes:

  • Bad Powers, Good People: Fire-breathing dragons are usually rather destructive, but the player can choose to make their own peaceful.
  • Befriending the Enemy: Creating friendship with the dragon can feel like this, depending on how it's treated the village.
  • Big Bad: The player can become one, should his/her dragon choose the "Tyrant" or "Scourge" titles.
  • Big Eater: As babies, dragons can already feed themselves and they possess quite an appetite.
  • Big Good: If the dragon is kind to living beings weaker than it and chooses to be the Guardian of the human settlement, it will become this.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the "Slavery" ending, the hero can offer his services to an evil dragon by giving it a bag of gold. The hero will remain alive, but his life now belongs to the dragon. If the hero kills the dragon instead, the magnificent beast will die, but its demise will help to contribute to the hero's legacy.
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  • Breath Weapon: According to the journal, the dragon develops its breath during teenagehood by consuming certain items that will allow it to expel whatever breath the player desires to have. Breaths vary, including the classical firebreath, a healing mist expeled from the dragon's nostrils, and a magical water-based breath that allows plants to grow and be green and beautiful. If the player does not eat any of the items required and escapes using the sewer of the wizard's castle, the dragon will lack a breath weapon, which is explained by the journal as a lack of adequate nutrition.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Averted. The game points out that a dragon's color is based on what it ate as a hatchling and is unrelated to its powers or personality.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Can happen if the player, as a hero, slays the dragon in its lair.
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  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: If the dragon becomes a Healer, he can use his powers to bring the dead back to life.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The dragon can eat certain objects during teenagehood which are meant to allow it to develop its own breath powers. Candles, trees and magical fungi are among them.
  • Forbidden Friendship: Should you decide to befriend the dragon.
  • Good Powers, Bad People: While dragons with breath powers such as the healing mist and the watery breath are generally benevolent, you can either use the former to create a zombie army at your service or the later to wreak havoc upon humans by becoming a rampaging eco-terrorist.
  • Green Thumb: Should you give the dragon a magical, plant-based breath during its youth it will develop powers like this. You can use it either to help humans in times of famine and protect the forest or to be a downright eco-terrorist.
  • High Fantasy: The setting is somewhat reminiscent of Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Interspecies Friendship: The Dragon and the Hero, if you follow that path.
  • Multiple Endings: They're all based on the player's choices.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: While the player dragon itself strongly resembles a common European Dragon, the author has put his own take on the creature. To start, dragon hatchlings can already look for themselves and develop the color of their scales by eating certain items. Dragons develop their Breath Weapon in teenagehood and can be either good, evil or neutral in adulthood. Baby dragons also start walking quadrupedally, but seemingly shift to bipedalism during teenagehood.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Indeed, the undead humans brought back by the Healer dragon aren't aggressive and seem to coexist peacefully with the humans.
  • Stronger with Age: The dragon starts out as a defenseless hatchling, then a adolescent capable of double-jumping, then an adult who can fly, and if you found them, breath powers.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: A few examples pop up. Sometimes, it depends on whatever kind of breath you've gotten:
    • At the end of the hatchling stage, the baby dragon is captured by a wizard and brought to his castle. After it grows up as a teenager and discovers the wizard restraining it has gone sick and is bedridden, you can choose to be sympathetic toward him and use the healing breath on him to cure him, or simply leave him alone to his fate.
    • At the beginning of the adult stage, the player will come across a mortally-wounded deer lying on the forest. If you have healing breath, you can help it to recover. If you possess plant breath, you can cover its body with soft flowers and grasses to give it a proper burial.
    • The humans. You can either watch over them either as a faithful guardian or as a lone watcher in the mountains. Or simply, you may never pay any attention to them after all. If you have plant breath, you can use it to improve their crops and save them from starvation.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Also depends on whatever breath you may possess at times...
    • You can use your fiery breath to kill the bedridden, sick wizard who captured you as a hatchling. It also lets you roast alive the poor wounded deer at the start of the adult level.
    • The methods on which you kill humans and cause destruction are rather... creative. You can fry them alive with fire breath and burn down their homes, unleash Gaia's Vengeance on them and create large, destructive out of control trees that grow in their homes, kill them and resurrect them as zombies with your healing breath... Or more easily, you can simply make a snack of those tasty, scared villagers.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The dragon can create one if he wants.


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