Dragon's Dogma is a 2012 game by Capcom for the Xbox 360 and PS3. The player takes on the role of a mute and nameless character, who begins the game residing in a modest fishing village. Players then quickly encounter a fierce dragon that proclaims them to be "the Arisen" and steals the heart from their chest, robbing them of an normal life. The player must then spend the remainder of the game trying to reclaim it, encountering various characters along the way.
The game was developed by staff members that worked on previous franchises such as Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and Breath of Fire and seems to be a throw-back to the Dungeons & Dragons series of games developed by Capcom, but rendered with state of the art visuals. Promotional artwork was done by Daigo Ikeno.
- Quina (キナ) - Resident of Cassardis and the main character's childhood friend. Quina is gentle but strong-willed, and is always concerned with the main character's safety. By presenting her with a Godsthrone Blossom or a Noonflower, the player can increase Quina's affinity with him/her.
- Adaro (アダロ) - Chief of Cassardis. Adaro holds a fatherly role to Quina and the main character. He is physically fit despite his age. Giving him Beast-Steak or Ambrosial Meat will warm him to the player.
- Edmun Dragonsbane (領王エドマン) - The seemingly ageless Duke, who once slew a dragon and brought peace to the peninsula. He resides in the Duke's Demesne. With the awakening of the dragon, he's been building up his forces. He is fond of Large and Giant Fish.
- Aelinore (エリノア) - Aelinore is the third wife of Edmun Dragonsbane. She is gentle by nature; as such, she finds her life within the castle intimidating. She loves being presented with Windmill Flowers and White Orchids.
- Madeleine - Madeleine is a travelling Shopkeeper. Her wares tend to favor outfits and armor for women and magic items, but her stock can be improved if she is given the Gold Idol, obtained on a side quest. Madeleine loves Magick Medals and her favorite weapons are the Divine Razors.
- Reynard - Reynard is a traveling peddler, wandering all around Gransys to sell his wares. He can also provide services for enhancing equipment. Reynard wishes he could find out what happened to his missing father. His favorite gifts are Reminishrooms from the Cursewood.
- The Dragonforged - a man living in a cave beneath Hillfigure Knoll awaits a worthy Arisen to train and prepare for the inevitable battle ahead. He is well over 1000 years old and shows multiple scars and burns across his flesh. He resides in the cave with his servant The Fool, a man who speaks as though he were in a trance.
- Selene - a strange and timid young woman living in her grandmother's cottage in the foggy Witchwood. She excels at making ale out of herbs, and she loves Toadstool Sitters.
- Mercedes - the female Captain of the Enlistment Corps. Mercedes wants more than anything to be recognized as a knight by her father, a king. Julien likes to tease her every chance he gets. Mercedes enjoys drinking Cloudwine, so it would be wise for the player to give her some as a gift to increase her affinity level. Her weapon of choice is the Silver Rapier.
- Julien - the loyal and upstanding Knight of Voldoa, Julien nevertheless has a mean streak when it comes to Ser Mercedes. The two end up battling each other at Windbluff Tower. Despite not completely sharing their ideals, Ser Julien is a member of the Salvation collective group, a band of followers that worship the Dragon and beg for it to wreak destruction. Oddly, Julien likes nothing better than a Festival Pie, an item more suited for a jester.
- Goblins - while weak individually, they can be a problem in large groups. They usually attack by charging in with their clubs, but a few will throw rocks or even bottles of blinding liquid. Setting them on fire works well, but just about any magical attack will do.
- Bandits - are normally found in abandoned locations or open fields, waiting to ambush travelers. They can use many of the same skills the Arisen and his Pawns have access to. These skills include those of the Fighter, Warrior, Strider, Ranger and Mage, and although they don't use the upgraded versions of those skills, they can use them rapidly. Fighting a large group of bandits could potentially be just as deadly as facing a large monster.
- Salvation Member - these black robed figures are encountered primarily at night. They attack with spells and can be hard to see since they all wear black robes. Fortunately, their spell casting makes them easier to target.
- Wolves - snarling wolves that hunt in packs and move fairly quickly, making them difficult to hit.
- Undead - usually appear around Gran Soren at night. Undead are incredibly resistant to most physical attacks, but are very weak against fire and holy magick.
- Harpy - half-bird, half-woman hybrid that can be difficult to deal with if the Arisen has no ranged attacks with auto-targeting. Harpies swoop and dive about, clawing with their talons, and are difficult to hit with bows or melee attacks. They have a singing attack that can put one or more party members to sleep, but their most dangerous attack is their ability to grab characters and drop them high in the air, which can lead to instant death if dropped off a cliff.
- Skeletons - can be fairly dangerous, as they move and strike quickly. Since they have no flesh to burn, fire is not as effective against them like regular undead, but bludgeoning weapons and holy magick works wonders.
- Saurians - powerful enemies that can quickly attack by rushing towards the player and bowling him/her over, or by doing a leap attack from a distance. They can also spit poison as well. Their scaly skin prevents a great deal of damage from most attacks. Fortunately, all saurians have a weak point. By chopping off their tails, saurians become greatly weakened, often rolling about on the ground and then fleeing in panic. They are highly vulnerable to ice.
- Cyclops - the difficulty of a cyclops encounter depends on whether or not the player has mages/sorcerers with thunder magic and/or if the cyclops is wearing a helmet. If the cyclops isn't wearing a helmet, striders and rangers should aim for the eye to do maximum damage. Melee characters will most likely want to climb the Cyclops and attack the head. Thunder magic will stun the cyclops, allowing the party to take free hits against it. It should be noted that when the cyclops is struck in the eye, it will most likely retaliate by swinging around blindly. Helmeted cyclops should have their helmets damaged and removed before this procedure is attempted.
- Chimera - a hybrid monster that consists of a lion, goat, and snake head, each with their own attacks. Slaying the lion and goat head will kill the chimera regardless if the snake head is still alive. Slaying the lion head alone will not kill the chimera, as the goat head can still control the body (same if the goat head is slain). The chimera body attacks primary by pouncing, while the goat head casts spells and the snake head attacks from the rear while spewing venom on the ground. The lion head will occasionally let out a load roar, stunning anyone nearby. It may also attempt to grab and bite anyone that gets too close.
- Golem - appearing first as a large pile of rocks, a golem slowly stands up and attacks as the party tries to pass it. The only way to defeat a golem is to destroy the glowing purple discs on its body. They are immune to magic attacks, so physical attacks must be used. Blunt weapons are best for this, and arrows are ideal. The golem attacks by swinging its arms around, stomping and shooting a laser beam from its head. One of the discs on its body will pulse with a white glow. Destroying this disc will cause the golem to freeze, allowing the party to get free hits on it. Once the golem recovers though, it will enter a berserk state, glowing red and moving faster. Precaution must be used until it "calms down" again.
- Griffin - a Griffin can be tough to fight since it stays mostly in the air, making it difficult to hit. Griffins use diving attacks as they pass by, and when they land they attack viciously before taking to the air and start diving again. It is not advisable to hang on to the griffin when it takes off, as it flies very high and falling from that height spells certain death. The primary opportunity to deal damage to the griffin is when it lands. Fire spells like Ingle and Fire Boon work well. When airborne, try to aim for its wings, as dealing enough damage to them will cause the griffin to fall back to the earth. When the griffin is prone, the player can strike the head for the most damage.
- Evil Eye - a fairly annoying boss due to its shield that prevents all damage to its body. The only parts of the Evil Eye that can be damaged while the shield is up are the tentacles on its body. The tentacles will cast various spells. The evil eye can also summon tentacles from the ground to attack. Destroying one of these will also destroy one tentacle from the main body. Once all the tentacles on the main body have been destroyed, the Evil Eye will drop its shield to regenerate itself. This is the ideal time to attack. Eventually, it will regenerate all of its tentacles and start the process all over.
- Hydra - an incredibly powerful opponent resistant to magick and blunt weapons, such as arrows. The only way to deal any significant damage to it is to cut off its heads and attack the stumps. Once all four heads have been cut off, the Hydra will take massive damage from attacks. However, the heads quickly regenerate when they are cut off. The only way to prevent this from happening is to set them on fire, as this will delay the regeneration for a period of time. This is easiest done by using a slashing weapon that has a permanent fire enchantment. Fire spells will also work, as will fire enchantments on weapons.
- Cockatrice - first encountered in Gran Soren, the highly dangerous Cockatrice later appears in its lair in Soulflayer Canyon. The most feared ability of the Cockatrice is its ability to petrify people, which it does by spraying out a gray mist. While it is preparing to spray this gas, its throat is vulnerable to attack. Should a character be petrified, they will slowly turn to stone and shatter. The party member is then removed and can only be retrieved from a Riftstone. The only way to cure a character undergoing petrification is to use an item that prevents it, such as Secret Softener or Cockatrice Liquor, or using High Voidspell. Aside from its petrification attack, the Cockatrice also attacks by charging in a zig-zag pattern, striking with its poisonous claws, casting silence, and roaring, which causes various status effects to everyone in range. It will fly up occasionally and attack from the air as well. Attacking with thunder will help ground it again.
- Grigori - the Great Dragon who dwells in the Tainted Mountain, waiting for the game's protagonist to come and challenge him. Once there, he will offer the Arisen a choice: sacrifice his/her Beloved and gain immortality, or fight him to save his/her Beloved and regain what was lost---the heart that was stolen from them at the game's beginning.
The player is able to select between various types of vocations: Fighter, Warrior, Mystic Knight, Strider, Ranger, Assassin, Mage, Sorcerer, and Magic Archer. Gender choice and appearance settings are also available. The class system, or vocation, makes a difference to the gameplay and tactical options available to the player, ranging from Fighters relying on hack and slash combat to Striders' skill at climbing on large enemies.
One of the game's main innovations is the "pawn" system. While the player's party is exploring the world, the three party members who accompany the main character are controlled by artificial intelligence, but the player can issue the orders to them: "Go", "Help" and "Come". One of the party members is a non-playable character (NPC) and belongs to the main character's world. The other two party members are NPCs, which can be NPCs borrowed from other players by connecting online or locally generated by the game. The party members, referred to as pawns, can talk, seek the main character's help, and provide information about enemies. The player must work on strengthening the main character and the party members. The pawns are vocal, yelling out useful hints and strategies, which are often vitally important to surviving tough boss encounters and dungeons. The pawn system also features social networking features.
The game features a "grab" action, where the main character can grab or cling to enemies, objects, or NPCs. The player can use this feature for more advanced attacks. For example, the main character can either grab on to a griffin's legs and attack it directly, or climb up to reach its head for a more lethal blow. "In a lot of action games with big enemies, the tendency is just to have you hacking away at the shins. You don't get the full effect of fighting a giant boss," Hideaki Itsuno, the director of Dragon's Dogma, said. "With this game, you can climb all over it. If it has a body part, you can attack it." The ability to climb enemies has drawn comparisons to Shadow of the Colossus.
The game's large open-world environments have drawn comparisons to Capcom's own Monster Hunter series as well as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. In addition to the large open world, Dragon's Dogma also features a large city environment with over 200 non-player characters (NPCs) that move about according to their own time schedules. The player can communicate with the residents in full voice. The game features a persistent world with a day-night cycle; this affects the gameplay during the night, when the game takes on a more survival horror feel reminiscent of Resident Evil Outbreak. In addition, the game's art style and character movements have been compared to Dark Souls, the hack-and-slash combat elements have been compared to Devil May Cry, some of the fantasy elements have been compared to Breath of Fire, and the combat and party systems have been compared to Monster Hunter.
The game is designed to be playable even by those who are not too skilled at action games. These types of players can recruit strong NPCs and let them do the fighting during combat as they watch over the battlefield. Players have access to 40 to 50 hours of main quest play, and up to an additional 70 hours or more of side quests.
Dragon's Dogma: Dark ArisenEdit
A full expansion to Dragon's Dogma, entitled Dark Arisen, was released for PS3 and Xbox 360 on April 23, 2013. Dark Arisen is not considered DLC, but rather an enhanced version of the original game with additional features and the new Bitterblack Isle zone to explore. One does not need to own the original game to play Dark Arisen, as the original game is included on both retail and digital versions. Owners of the original game can upload their saves to be rewarded with an Eternal Ferrystone (a Ferrystone with infinite uses), 100,000 Rift Crystals--a form of in-game currency--and various armor sets. The Eternal Ferrystone was included by developers to counter complaints by players who felt that there was far too much walking in the expansive game world. The Xbox 360 version of Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen includes a separate disc used to install game data for more stable playability.
Dark Arisen also includes a variety of new monsters and bosses, including Death itself and Daimon, a gargantuan demon who was once himself an Arisen.
- Greater Goblins
- Goblin Shamans
- Cursed Dragon
- Dark Bishops
- Elder Ogre
- Silver and Golden Knights
- Gorecyclops (Condemned)
- Living Armor
- Poisoned Undead
- Pyre Saurians
- Skeleton Brutes
- Corrupted Pawns