My first attempt at Final Dragon Legacy lasted five minutes. Thrust
abruptly into a prologue, I cruised a boring dungeon and chewed through
frequent encounters. My two PCs were ludicrously fast with a roster of
redundant and esoteric spells. Reaching a boss, I died with no save
point and deleted the game. After mjohnson09288’s plea of
“help me unsuck my game”, I gave it another whirl.
Forcing through the confusing prologue, I was rewarded with grand
adventure in the classic JPRG tradition. As a
“demo”, Final Dragon Legacy’s scope is
considerable. 8 hours took me through a dozen towns and dungeons, and I
still have one left. Even in its incomplete state, the ambition is
palpable, with promises of more features to come. Battles are mostly
balanced, graphics range from passable to good, and presentation is
polished, featuring a custom menu and informative icons. There is no
lack of effort here.
Final Dragon Legacy’s structure and style borrow from Dragon
Quest (specifically Dragon Quest 2) heavily enough to seem like a fan
game, furthered by Slime and Dracky cameos. The story draws on JRPG
tropes, mixing (too) meager touches of Norse mythology. As a boy
warrior, you undertake a quest to find your missing father, the
legendary hero Friedrich. This translates to traveling town-to-town and
dungeon-to-dungeon, gaining allies and grinding levels. The core
mechanics work fine. Battles are tough, fair, and occasionally
tactical. Enemies wield powerful debuffs and status effects for great
challenge. Your attacks are primarily of the hurt/heal variety. Sadly,
your more interesting abilities (“blind”,
“mute”) are barely useful, but I suppose
that’s a JRPG tradition. Battles are fast and lethal due to
high speed and damage. Things easily get out of hand if try and hold
space bar, so prioritizing and constant healing are necessary. My
favorite boss is a magic sword that deals crazy physical damage.
Defense buffs, regeneration, and healing are your only hope for going
toe-to-toe with this mother.
Of course, there are rough spots too. The frequent encounters are
tiresome in longer dungeons and there are some sudden difficulty spikes
to grind through. But more serious than that are two big decisions
likely to invoke ire. First: Battle speed is fast. As you progress,
hero/enemy speed stats grow gradually. By the time you get a third
hero, it’s manic. The option for “active”
or “wait” battles is appreciated, but has only
slight effect. Second, and more polarizing: There are no dungeon save
points. Later, after a few dungeons, you receive a spell that lets you
save anywhere. However, it utilizes a rare disposable component that
you’ll find approximately once a dungeon, making saves a
resource to be managed. I appreciate this challenge-adding feature, but
readily acknowledge that it’s insanely frustrating, worsened
by the fast, fatal battles.
While Final Dragon Legacy is mostly about fisticuffs, dungeon design
shows occasional inspiration. Mazes, traps, switches, word puzzles,
secret doors, hidden items, and optional bosses break the monotony. My
personal favorite is an abandoned shack in a forest. A partially
illegible sign provides a cryptic warning. Sleeping in the
shack’s bed rejuvenates you, but in the middle of night
deadly ghosts ambush. Also not to be missed is the balls hard catacomb
dungeon, a winding multi-level maze rife with locked doors, concealed
pits, and overpowering enemies. For further amusement (and
frustration), it immediately follows another sizable
dungeon—an epic test of your navigation and resource
Final Dragon Legacy is made with love. Clever ideas and plotscripts
abound: an in-game manual accessed via the menu, a
“commune” spell to get hints from important NPCs,
and traces of a synthesis system. More features are in development:
special shops and “flight” and
“dive” spells. There are even sound
effects—an OHR rarity. Final Dragon Legacy is so absurdly
ambitious I suspect it will never be done. I challenge mjohnson09288 to
finish it, balance it, and polish it. It’ll be at least as
good as those crusty old Dragon Quest games, and that’s the
now, an interview with Final Dragon Legacy creator mjohnson092088
Final Dragon Legacy is highly inspired by Dragon Quest. The style and
themes are highly reminiscent and Slimes and Drakies make cameos. Are
there any other games that influenced the design of Final Dragon Legacy
in a less obvious way?
: Yes, Dragon
Warrior/Quest was one of the games that inspired FDL. Another big one
that FDL pays homage to is the original Final Fantasy games for the
NES. The name itself is derived from Dragon Warrior/Quest, Final
Fantasy, and Legacy of the Wizard ("Final" from FF, "Dragon" from DW/Q,
and "Legacy" from Legacy of the Wizard). Although, the game is more of
an homage to all NES-era RPG games, but mainly DQ/W and FF. The spells
in FDL and FF have some similarities, with slight differences appearing
in neither DW/Q or FF. Yo be honest, the entire reason why slimes and
drakees, along with the big slugs, anteaters, and horned rabbits make
an appearance at all is because FDL started out as a simple game to
test plotscripting, damage formulas, gameplay features, etc. for my
original project, which may or may not be a sequel to FDL. That is, if
I ever get back to work on it, of course. anyway, since FDL was
originally just for testing, I didn't need to have "great" graphics, or
even original ones. so, I chose the monsters from Dragon Warrior/Quest
because they were rather easy to draw, and basically just gave me
something to work with. I plan to at least replace most, if not all of
the DW/Q monsters with "original" monsters by the next update...
whenever that will be.
: I didn't make
the connection to Legacy of the Wizard, but I totally appreciate that
your game's title is a triple homage.
Final Dragon Legacy's setting draws on Norse mythology, evidenced
mostly by character and location names (Loki, Nidhoggur, etc.). What
influenced you to incorporate these elements? Does the plot reference
any particular Norse legend? How do you plan to further incorporate
these myths? Will the new original monsters be derived from Norse
: I got the idea
to base the game on Norse mythology after finding a few books in my
local library on the subject. after reading through them, I thought
that these stories would make a great setting for a fantasy-type game,
and even more perfect for my first real game. The Norse myths will be a
big part of the plot. There isn't much else I can tell you about that
without spoiling the game, however.
I will say that the legend about ragnarok plays an integral role
in the plot, as does the death of the god of light, baldur. As for
monsters, I've already incorporated some enemies based on the
mythology. for example, the giant hrimthurs, who was tricked by the
gods into building the giant stone wall around Asgard, makes an
appearance as a huge golem-like monster in the very beginning of the
game. Also, the "spirit warriors" will be renamed Angurvadel, after the
magical sword of the hero Frithiof, which fights on it's own once it
has been unsheathed, and will not return until it has spilled the blood
of it's enemies. Other major ones that I plan to add include Garm,
Hraesvelgr, Fenrir, Jormungand, Goin and Moin, and various other vile
The last reachable area in the current demo will be renamed
Avartalfheim, which roughly translates to "land of the dark elves".
Dwarves and dark elves are mentioned often in the legends, and one is
led to believe that they are one in the same, with the names being
interchangeable, probably depending on the region in which the legend
was being told. now that I have pretty much finished my research, I
will be adding many of the legends from Norse mythology. As of now, I
haven't yet decided which ones I will be including.
: It sounds like
there will be significant revisions to the demo material before the
game's final version.
Final Dragon Legacy is incredibly ambitious. What portion of the final
game does the current demo comprise? How much other work have you done
that isn't included in the demo? Do you have a specific time line for
completion in mind? How long have you been working on the project?
: I really don't
know how long the game is actually going to be. on the other hand, the
world map is already mostly complete. I have a vague sense of what is
going to be where, but I may change or add things, such as towns and
various dungeons, to the map by the time the game is completed. in
fact, I plan to have an underwater map of the world once I implement
the "dive" spell, and once the player is able to reach it, asgard, the
land of the gods, will be somewhat of a slightly smaller world map as
well. I'm just trying to fix bugs with gameplay and features that are
already implemented right now, but I may also add things later on in
the game, so there is no telling exactly how much gameplay is going to
be in the final project. as such, I cannot say when this game will ever
Since the OHRRPGCE is constantly changing and evolving as a development
tool, my two-year project (which I have worked on VERY infrequently in
these past two years) has also been changing and evolving, and will
continue to be changed and updated using new features if I feel I have
use for them. For example, with the addition of new attack attributes,
I have been able to "fake" new status ailments in the sense that there
is now a way to make monsters and heros resistant. More specifically,
it has allowed me to add a "blind" status effect to lower accuracy, and
I can now differentiate between "poison" damage, and the "poison"
status effect itself (meaning enemies and characters that are immune to
the status effect aren't neccesarily immune to the damage itself. In
fact, some monsters might be weak to "poison" type damage, but entirely
immune to the debilitating effects of the "poison" status). This new
feature actually fixed how I had planned for poisoning to work in the
first place, so I'm happy it was added.
I'm currently working on a way for players to make items using a
customized menu screen, rather than using the default shop screen,
which is just a placeholder for now. I'd leave it that way, but the
default shops don't work quite how I'd like them to. The main problem
with that is that items appear in the menu when the player hasn't found
the appropriate recipe for that item. I'd like for the "alchemy" system
to be completely customized using the menu screens anyway. I have lots
of plans to add more material to the game, mainly in the form of
sidequests. For example, you might have noticed the strange blue doors
that cannot be opened no matter what key you have. Acquiring the magic
key to open the door consists of completing at least two sidequests.
Then, the player is free to open the blue doors containing powerful
magic items, and even a dungeon for high level characters containing...
well, why should I tell you that? You'll all just have to complete it
and see for yourself! trust me, I plan to make it worth your while, as
you probably could have guessed. Smile also, there will be a sidequest
dungeon that is accessible once the player has acquired the kayak,
which is gained after completing the quest that is started at the end
of the current demo.
: Final Dragon
Legacy contains significant plotscripting and numerous custom menus.
Other than the aforementioned shop screen, are there other engine
limitations that you clash with constantly? If you could add any
features to OHRRPGCE to aid the development of Final Dragon Legacy,
what would they be?
: The battle
system tends to be a big problem for me. it's getting better with the
improvements to the OHR, but there are still many things that don't
exactly work like they're supposed to. For example, I mentioned the
"poison" status and elemental attribute before, solved by the addition
of more elements. There are also other issues, as well. The third-tier
attack spells that Nidhoggur uses during the beginning of the game are
actually two attacks that are chained. However, if the player chooses a
command during the first part of the spell, the player's command is
carried out before the second part.
Another problem that I face is the boss battle with the Pagemaster. The
Pagemaster himself is not very powerful, but he is accompanied by three
animated books which he is supposed to have "control" over. Defeating a
book spawns a "pile of paper" that appears underneath (or is supposed
to appear underneath, I wish there was someway to choose exactly where
monsters spawn from other monsters). If left alone, the Pagemaster will
transform the pile of paper back into one of his book minions. However,
casting a "fire" spell on the paper destroys them, preventing the
Pagemaster from reanimating his minions. This doesn't work quite how
I'd like it to. with the way the default battle system works now, the
Pagemaster won't reanimate a book unless all the other books are
defeated as well.
What I'd really like to see is more support for status effects. I'd
like to be able to create multiple status effects with different but
similar effects. For example, "sleep", "stun", and "petrification" all
stop the hero from being able to take actions, but are handled and
healed in different ways because of their inherent properties.
obviously, "sleep" wouldn't last as long as "stun", and "petrification"
would last until the player is healed. However, being afflicted with
one or more of these status effects leads to problems with priority.
this could also be used to handle buffs, since right now faking buffs
clashes with faking debuffs and leads to problems such as irregular
stat increases, decreases, and within similar status effects. There's
also no way to tell if a player is afflicted with a buff or debuff that
doesn't fall under the poison, mute, stun, or regen registers since
these are represented with a symbol on the player's health bar in
: Admittedly, I
have not made it to the Pagemaster yet. From your description, that
battle sounds promising. Do you have plans for any other particularly
unique boss battles that aren't in the current demo? What do you think
are the most interesting attacks that you've created thus far?
: I've been
kicking around the idea of a monster hunting sidequest for awhile now,
and I've finally decided to add it. basically, you take on up to three
missions at the MH guild, and the monsters will appear somewhere in the
world. Sometimes they're easy to find, but sometimes it will take a bit
of looking and puzzle solving. These monsters are far stronger than the
bosses, and cannot always be destroyed by normal means. sometimes a bit
of strategy is needed, which may sometimes include gathering
information from the locals. If the player succeeds in defeating a
monster, they recieve great rewards in the form of money or magical
items, and also a bit of reputation for the guild. Successful hunts
give the guild a better reputation and will recieve more dangerous but
rewarding hunts. however, an unsuccessful hunt gives the guild a bad
reputation, reducing the guild's popularity, and discourages people
from posting hunts. hunts can be done multiple times, but the rewards
will be lesser.
One of the attacks I've created is a spell called "mouse". it's a spell
known only to the hero and Friedrich's bloodline, meaning that they are
the only ones who can use it. The spell attempts to transform a random
enemy into a mouse, if the enemy isn't resistant to transformation (for
example, undead, dragons, and golem are immune). The transformed
creature retains it's HP, but it's stats drop to 1. The creature also
has a high probability of running away. The hero will have access to a
few spells of his own, that no other character can use. I haven't quite
decided what, though.
: I love
transformation type spells. It's unfortunate that they are never useful
due to high MP cost and lack of effect on bosses. Hopefully yours will
break the mold. In any case, that was my final question. Thanks for
taking the time to give such detailed answers. In closing, do you have
any advice, hints, or secrets to divulge about Final Dragon Legacy?
: One thing I
forgot to mention about "mouse". There's a 10% chance of the spell
backfiring, turning the creature into something a little bit scarier
than a mouse...
Some advice and hints:
~Don't forget your healing items! These will definitely save your life.
Make sure you stock up before heading to a new dungeon.
~Most bosses won't surprise you, and appear on the map. If you think
you're headed for a tough battle, use the "commune" item to save before
you bite off more than you can chew!
~Keys are essential to any adventurer. Rumor has it that the keymaker's
brother is looking for him in greypool.
~You can sell ingredients for extra cash. however, most items require
multiple ingredients, so it couldn't hurt to keep a few extra lying
And now, some secrets:
~Friedrich is mankind's greatest warrior! Does he really NEED to
collect the chests in the beginning of the game...?
~They say the waterfall casts a ghostly glow in the moonlight...
: Thanks again. I
look forward to more development on Final Dragon Legacy.