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Dragon's Crown is a 2D Action RPG from Vanillaware, the makers of Odin Sphere and Muramasa the Demon Blade and published by Atlus for the PlayStation 3 and Play Station Vita with the distinction of being Vanillaware's first game to be developed for an HD console. Originally set to be released in Spring 2012, the game is set for a 2013 release (published by Atlus) due to Development Hell.
The premise of the story is fairly straight forward: a group of heroes must venture into a labyrinth, uncovering treasures and strengthening themselves as they look for the Dragon's Crown, an item that could spell doom for the world in the wrong hands.
The gameplay is reminiscent of games like Gauntlet (1985 video game), Golden Axe, and The King of Dragons. Players can customize their characters and equip weapons and other items found in their sessions in the labyrinth. Up to four players can play the cooperatively, or the game can be played solo with three CPU-controlled characters. Playable characters include:
- Amazon: They wield two-handed weapons that deal high damage and they're quite nimble on their feet, but they're quite fragile and slow to attack.
- Dwarf: The only class capable of Dual-Wielding, dwarves have massive strength to pick up and throw objects or enemies, but have low defense and slow movement.
- Elf: Uses a bow as their main weapon, but they use an assortment of special skills that help help them adapt to any situation and compensate for their low offense and defense.
- Fighter: A fully armored warrior boasting the highest defense of all the classes, a shield that can be used to defend himself and the rest of the party, and fast attacking speed with his short-ranged sword.
- Wizard: Specializes in powerful offensive magic, with the drawbacks being that he has slow movement, slow casting, and his spells take quite a bit of mana.
- Sorceress: Despite specializing in dark magic, she more or less plays the role of support. She can control skeletons and golems, turn enemies into frogs, and provide aid to allies.
- The trailer also depicts Knight and Thief classes as well, but since they are not seen engaging in combat it is unknown if they provide anything more than a supplemental role.
Lead designer George Kamitani came up with the idea for the game right after his work on Princess Crown in 1997, on the Sega Saturn. It was planned as a Spiritual Successor to Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom. For better or worse Kamitani had difficulties getting a publisher to greenlight the project and it wasn't until finishing Muramasa: The Demon Blade, when he reworked the project plan, that Ignition Entertainment agreed to sign on with the game.
Tropes in Dragon's Crown include:
- Amazonian Beauty: The Amazon has the physique of a bodybuilder and fights wearing a Chainmail Bikini.
- An Axe to Grind: The Amazon.
- The Archer: The Elf.
- Ass Kicks You: One of the Sorceress's attacks looks like a teleportation attack that leads into this.
- Author Appeal: If previous Vanillaware titles such as Odin Sphere and Muramasa had you questioning whether or not George Kamitani has a thing for huge boobs and muscular women, the Amazon and Sorceress classes will put those questions to rest.
- Badass Long Robe: The Wizard.
- Baleful Polymorph: The Sorceress can turn enemies into frogs.
- Black Mage: The Wizard fits this quite nicely.
- Boom Stick: Both the Wizard and Sorceress.
- Breakable Weapons
- Chainmail Bikini: The Amazon; think Red Sonja with a thong and bikini that's one size too small.
- Development Hell
- Detached Sleeves: The Sorceress.
- Drop the Hammer: The Dwarf.
- Gainaxing: The Sorceress. The trope isn't unusual in an Vanillaware title, but it has never before been this blatant.
- Glass Cannon/Lightning Bruiser/Mighty Glacier: A rather weird case with the Amazon; she has both speed and power, but her attack speed is sluggish and her defense is about as low as that of a Fragile Speedster.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: The Fighter.
- Hot Sorceress: Guess who.
- Impossibly Low Neckline: The Sorceress's real magic is how she gets her chest to stay in that dress.
- Lady of Black Magic: The Sorceress, though different from the usual examples in that she's more of a support class.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Fighter.
- Ms. Fanservice: The Amazon and the Sorceress, to a highly successful degree, artists started fawning over them as soon their models got revealed; nope, there's no need to actually wait for the game to be released and know their character at all.
- Nice Hat: The Sorceress's wizard hat and the Fighter and Dwarf's helmets.
- Playing with Fire: The Wizard.
- Pointy Ears: The Elf, of course.
- Rain of Arrows: One of the Elf's attacks looks like this.
- Scenery Porn: Oh come on, it's the same guys who gave us Odin Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade. This is basically a given.
- She's Got Legs: The Amazon and the Sorceress.
- Side Cleavage: The Sorceress, of course.
- Spiritual Successor: To Dungeons & Dragons: Tower Of Doom.
- Squishy Wizard: The Sorceress in more ways than one.
- Token Wholesome: The Elf. Of the three female characters, she's the only one that's reasonably dressed for the task at hand and the least endowed.
- Top-Heavy Guy: How the Fighter and especially the Dwarf's legs can hold up the top half of their bodies is nothing short of a miracle.
- 24-Hour Armor: The Fighter.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: The Dwarf.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: The Wizard.
- Video Game Lives