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Download Dragon's Breath (aka Dragon Lord)

Dragon's Breath (aka Dragon Lord)
 
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Dragon’s Breath (AKA) Dragon Lord

How to train your dragon? You don’t, just hit him with a potion of two Rasgon, ground and heated, three Mionacal, ground and condensed and an Arcus, mixed and heated!

Where to start with this game? The beginning; this game occupied the imaginations of my brother and I when it was new. It’s fantastically engaging, multifaceted, deep... has dragons!  It held our attention tightly for hours on end. 

Play as one of three dragon lords in possession of a castle, 20 dragon eggs, a chemistry set and a bit of cash. 

Hatch your eggs. Cast spells on your dragons, the eggs, villages, even your cash, to make it bigger, stronger, faster. 

The object of the game is to collect the pieces of the MacGuffin amulet and unite them, thereby making yourself the ruler of the great land of Anrea, all 15 by 20 tiles of it! (Though I’ve yet to achieve this goal myself)

This is done by sending your dragons out into the world to search for the pieces, your dragons need good eyesight for this, then parking a dragon on any piece you find. 

To avoid going bankrupt in the process you will also need to conquer local towns and tax them for income. Your dragons do the conquering too, either in the form of an arcade sequence or as a cut scene with an AI calculated result. Your dragon will need to be strong for this, and wise if left up to the AI. 

Towns also war with each other, which keeps things interesting. And if you attack a town their enemy may reward you. Likewise you may find your income dropping as your town is losing the war and could need your help. 

Sometimes a hero or barbarian will be resting in a town too...

To make or keep your dragons strong, wise, fast and eagle eyed you will need to use magic. Spells are created in an alchemy lab using some combination of many different ingredients, treated in different ways. All having different effects on different targets and often side effects too, possibly making your dragon sick, for example.

A successful spell combines the right ingredients for the desired effect (increasing strength or population, etc.), minimal or mitigated side effects and decent potency. This is a fine balancing act and over powering a spell can result in a lab explosion, putting your chemistry set out of use for some time. 

I don’t think you can win this game without casting spells. As a result alchemy ingredients are more valuable than gold, and you’ll lament the cost of some once you’re into this aspect of the game. There is no spell book, as such, but a series of matrices showing what result using a specific element will have on a specific target. These effects also vary by how the ingredient is treated on its way to the pot, chopped, ground, heated etc. 

Alchemy can initially seem very daunting but with a little bit of patience and experimentation you can develop a few spells which work well for you. You can stick with those or dive in deeper and doing so can be very rewarding. You will also need to adapt spells as ingredients run low and substitutes bring in new side effects. This is an incredibly engaging aspect of the game play and is probably the most enjoyable feature of the game for me. 

You will find spell recipes in the forum as I will be sharing what I’ve learnt. 

In short, play this game, it’s great!

Review ends here, instructions follow, if you need them. I don't think it's too complicated to pick up though but just in case...

After the loading screens and intro you get the copy protect screen, just press enter or anything. Then select your interface with the keyboard on the next screen.

The next screen shows portraits of the three playable characters. Gameplay is identical between them, the only practical difference is which trader you get at your door first. I've always played as Ametrin. Clicking the pictures or names toggles the character between AI or human control. Leave the screen long enough and the game starts on it's own with three AI players.

The red arrow pointing into the screen is continue. The disk allows you to load a save, just click the red arrow to tell it you've put the save disk in.

Next you have a nice overview shot showing the Land of Anrea and the date.

The mini portraits at the bottom will be 'greyed' out for AI characters, otherwise clicking the portrait will take you to that Lord's castle. The hour glass ends the turn, the disk lets you save a game and the skull 'n bones... not sure. Click you chosen portrait to proceed.

You get a nice view of your Lord's castle, which I find to be quite cool and evocative of a certain atmosphere. Icons along the bottom of the screen are pretty self explanatory. The map takes you to the map, which you can further zoom into, check the size, industry and yeomanry of the villages (by mousing over) and send your dragon to attack (click the dragon eye) or cast a spell on them (click on the town itself then on the crystal ball). I'm not sure about industry but yeomanry does seem to make a town harder to fight.

When sending your dragon to attack you can choose between trying to conquer or just going to cause damage, toggle by clicking the flag. When attacking the “training” option gives you the arcade sequence. You can control your dragon with the arrow keys and space to fire. You will have to fly your dragon through the towns defences and destroy as much as you can but, be warned, your dragon can very easily die here! A successful mission with little or no damage taken will raise your dragons wisdom so they can attack using the zeal option and possibly conquer the town for you to tax.

When choosing the “use Zeal” option, this is how much damage you are saying it's ok for your dragon to take. A dragon with high wisdom can devastate a village while taking little damage in return but a kinda stoopid dragon will likely get thoroughly beat up or die even on the lowest zeal rating. I prefer to raise my dragons wisdom with magic and not do training missions.

Back on the castle home screen the dragon eye icon takes you to your dragon pens, click the door or name to view your dragon. You can see their strength, wisdom, eyesight, health, speed, disease and age. Click the crystal ball to go to the lab to prepare a spell to cast on the currently viewed dragon.

The egg icon takes you to your incubation chamber. Click above the egg rack to put one in and click another egg to view a different burner. Click the wheel near the gauge and move the mouse up to open the steam. More steam means the eggs hatch faster but the cost to run the heater is higher. Supposedly the longer you take to hatch an egg the more powerful the dragon will be but I've not noticed much difference yet. I have yet to hatch an egg on the lowest heat though.

Crystal ball lets you cast spells on the egg here too. That crystal ball is everywhere! It's almost like spell casting is a vital and integral part of the game...

The red book opens your ledgers.

First up is your basic accounts. How much money you have, tax collected and eggs remaining. Also which trader is at your door, if any.

Next is the News of the World. You might want to write down who is at war with who so you can choose who to attack with your dragons on the map screen. And if you fly to a town with a hero resting there, let me know what happens, ok?

Last and probably most important is the big purple book of spell components. You will quickly learn which ingredients are most useful to you and ultimately which you can use when you run out of those and you'll want to keep your first choice elements well stocked.

Then there is the alchemy set, accessed via the crystal ball. When used from the home screen I think you can cast spells to affect your wealth and egg supply but I seldom attempt these as I generally cast directly at the dragon or town. However it works the same way regardless where you've accessed it from. Click on the Bunsen pipe and move up or down to adjust flame, same with the tap on the water ball for cooling. I'm not sure if these function in a binary or analogue fashion. Let me know in the forums if you find out!

From left you right the inputs are chop, grind, mix, straight. Just click on the ingredient and your cursor changes to the container then click at the top of the input method desired. Set heat and cooling first.

Keep an eye on how vigourously the potion is bubbling at the end of the tubes. Too many bubbles gives you the Mentos in Coke result. And your set will be destroyed.

The last icon, the door ajar, is the traders entrance to the castle and if it's in full colour you have a merchant at your door! There are five merchants who travel between each of the lords in turn and each sells a different selection of goods. You'll need tons of cash to keep buying ingredients for your spells.

I don't think there is much more to it than that. So get two budding world conquerors around for an evening and get the hotseat going. Get stuck in there!


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Reviewed by: Palocles / Screenshots by: Palocles / Uploaded by: Palocles / share on facebook
 

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