The Legend of Dragoon – Sequel, Spin Off, Start Over or Stay Dead?

Welcome to this week’s, “Sequel, Spin Off, Start Over or Stay Dead?” Each week we’re going to look at a dormant franchise that was once pretty popular, but for some reason has disappeared into the sands of time. Diehard GameFAN staffers will have four options for what they want to have happen to the series and you can see them in the title of this piece. For a little more detailed description see below:

Sequel – A direct sequel to the franchise. This means if it used sprites and was in 2-D, that’s how you want the next game to be as well. This might involve putting the game on a handheld system instead of a console, but it keeps the nostalgia and classic feel alive.

Spin Off – This is where you take the characters or a specific character is a totally different direction from the established franchise. Examples include Luigi’s Mansion, Hey You, Pikachu!, Shadow Hearts (From Koudelka), and so on.

Start Over – This is a reimagining of the series from the ground up. Perhaps it’s time to bring the series into 3-D. Perhaps you want a totally different control scheme or to throw away the old continuity. In a nutshell, this is taking the brand name from the old series and that’s about it. Everything else is new and re-envisioned.

Stay Dead – This is pretty obvious. This is a toxic franchise that you don’t want to see return in any way shape or form. Let the dead rest.

This week we’re not looking so much as a franchise than at a single game. Although this game was deemed merely mediocre and/or highly generic by critics when it came out in 2000, it sold over a million copies and was well received by the average gamer. The The Legend of Dragoon is often brought up as one of the most requested games to receive a sequel. Since there was such a disconnect between critics and users on this game, it seemed like a good idea to choose this game for this week’s column and see if things have changed over the past nine and a half years. Imagine my surprise when I learned only four of our near thirty staffers had actually played the game. The reaction generally was, “There were a lot of more interesting RPG’s (or games in general) back in 2000.” Perhaps this shows that The Legend of Dragoon‘s popularity is heavily accented by a small but loud minority on the internet akin to what the Snakes On a Plane hype turned out to be. Let’s check in with our four staffers who actually spent time with The Legend of Dragoon and see what they feel should be done with the franchise.

The Legend of Dragoon

Alex Lucard – Sequel

Here’s the thing – I didn’t like The Legend of Dragoon. I found it highly generic, predictable and that the game was plagued with way too many random battles. However, I thought the story was interesting, if cliche, and man, was there a lot of protagonist death. However back in the PSX era, Sony’s first party titles all pretty much stunk to me. I mean, I can go over and look at my collection of PSX games and see that the only Sony first party title I own is Arc the Lad Collection and even that had to be brought over and localized by Working Designs. In 2000, I was playing RPG’s like Baldur’s Gate II, Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, Dragon Warrior VII, Grandia II, Icewind Dale, Ogre Battle NGPC, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, Phantasy Star Online, Pokemon Gold & Silver, Skies of Arcadia, Tales of Eternia/Destiny 2, Timestalkers, Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption and several others. That list doesn’t even include the amazing wrestling, fighting, and shoot ’em up titles that came out that year as well. To be perfectly blunt, nearly all those games I listed are universally considered to be superior to The Legend of Dragoon and even fans of the game would have a hard time justifying LoD making a list of the top ten RPG’s for the year 2000.

So why do I want a sequel? Simple, because Sony has had ten years to correct the mistakes they made in the first one and there is a large enough fan clamoring on the internet to probably make it worth their time and effort. As well, Sony’s first party developers have improved dramatically over the past decade and god knows they need a solid RPG franchise under their belt as Untold Legends certainly hasn’t been successful. It’s a risk Sony needs to take and something that would actually help bring back some gamers to their system. It’s really a no-lose scenario for Sony and even though I found the original to be lacking, it would be both a smart business move and a smart PR one to test the The Legend of Dragoon waters one more time.

DJ Tatsujin – Sequel

Back when Final Fantasy VII struck paydirt on the Sony Playstation, much like any trendy genre, the RPG found itself in full swing in the latter half of the ’90s. Since Square was making a mint on the Playstation, Sony unsurprisingly felt it had the chance to do the same on its very own system. The result was The Legend of Dragoon, which was supposedly in development for three years when it was finally released in 2000 (1999 in Japan). In my experience, people are really mixed about the game, but I’ve yet to come across someone who claims the game is downright horrible. As such, it is my opinion The Legend of Dragoon attempted enough to separate itself from the pack for its time and I know I wouldn’t be the only person to support a sequel.

The title sold around the one million mark in the United States, receiving a Greatest Hits re-release, so it isn’t crazy to imagine it could have similar success in an updated form. Since the Playstation 3 is scraping for exclusives and Square-Enix isn’t delivering on the oft-fanaticized Final Fantasy VII remake, Sony could really swoop in on basically what was an imitation of that classic RPG. Even a moderately updated PSP release could be the ticket for the portable system where most of its RPGs tend to be mediocre at best. The real-time addition commands and counters (Players attacked in command strings that had strict timing along to onscreen indicators but finishing the string resulted in a devastating special attack.) really shook up the RPG genre for its time and seemed to be the factor between whether or not one enjoyed the title. I did and the interaction made me enjoy the title more than Final Fantasy VII, admittedly.

That’s not to say LoD was a perfect game, however. It surely had its issues and I would even say Final Fantasy VII was a more well-rounded RPG experience. Even when you take that into consideration, LoD had some great cinematics and RPG gameplay even if the story was cliche (Getting caught in the middle of a civil war, for example) and put you in the role of dorky-named characters like Dart from Neet. Everything about the game’s appearance, mapping and environments screams Final Fantasy VII, so it would be a familiar entity even today. There are online petitions abound to have this made into a sequel, and it’s a cause I can support. Morphing into Dragoon forms, real-time attack strings and more went above and beyond the standard menu surfacing and watching animations. If the right minds were put to use, I could see innovation making way once again on current systems.

Chris Bowen – Sequel

On the one hand, The Legend of Dragoon really doesn’t stand out from the JRPGs of its era. Yes, it was a good game (review scores be damned), though as DJ mentioned, it’s very much like Final Fantasy VII stylistically speaking, even if it did have things going for it that FFVII didn’t (like voiceovers). If it were released today, reviewers would be giddy in checking off the stereotypes they’d be finding in the two hours of gameplay most big-site reviewers give games.

On the other, just by default, re-releasing this game as a PS one classic would put it at the top of JRPG releases for 2010; that’s how far the industry has fallen. The “fall” of the JRPG market seems to mirror the “fall” of the anime market, mainly because in both markets the majority of what sells is fucking Moe. For those unaware of what Moe is, take the worst elements of Lucky Star, Magical Teacher Negima! and the abominable K-On. Do those anime appeal to you? Congratulations! You’re destroying the anime market, and the video game market is following close behind with shit like Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja (Yes, this is a rogue-like, but seriously), Record of Agarest War and Ar Tonelico. I like JRPGs, and I like breasts, but it’s getting to the point where buying a game in this genre makes me feel like a lolicon fetishist. The American otaku has pretty much destroyed both markets.

The Legend of Dragoon was a fairly serious minded game when it was released ten years ago, and I wouldn’t see that changing unless the game was developed by Namco Bandai. People tend to forget this, but Sony is actually one of the best developers around, as most of what they touch turns to gold. I think if they put their muscle behind a The Legend of Dragoon sequel, not only would it stay true to its roots, but I have some faith that Sony wouldn’t fall into the trap that other companies like Square-Enix fall into that is turning the JRPG market into a parody of itself.

I’m willing to bank on that instead of remembering that we’re talking about a B-list RPG that has fallen into dreaded “cult” status, where noisy fans clamour loudly for a sequel without realizing – or caring – that a sequel will likely not sell for shit. I just know that things are sad when I’m looking to Sony to “save” the JRPG market.

Aileen Coe – Sequel

One of the first things that spring to mind when Legend of Dragoon comes up is this commercial, which I thought was side-splittingly hilarious at the time (what can I say, I can have a broken/odd sense of humor at times). Once you get past the goofy commercial, there’s a RPG with some strong points despite what reviews said. The FMVs and backdrops were impressive for their time, and the game’s soundtrack was decent. However, the character models and in battle voice acting were mediocre. The plot was basically paint-by-numbers: hero’s village is razed, female important to hero (a.k.a love interest) is captured, time to save her and stop the bad guys. Even character designs gave away a lot. Character dressed in red? Gee, wonder what element they’re going to use and what kind of personality they’ll have…

The Additional system was a change in pace from the usual, “select action from menu, sit back and watch character execute it and enemies counter it” in that it added more strategic elements to battles and forced you to pay attention to the battle at hand. You had to time button presses correctly to maximize damage, and defending had more benefit than in many RPGs since it restored a bit of HP along with reducing damage taken. Once you got access to Dragoon abilities, things got even more involved.

All that being said, while it doesn’t quite stand up to the 32-bit era titans like Final Fantasy VII or the first two Suikodens (story/character wise), there’s still enough here to merit a sequel. The combat system would still be worth implementing, and with an overhaul in graphics, increase in or elimination of the irritating inventory limits that led to lots of running back to a village to restock, this could have real potential in the right hands.

End Result :
Sequel: 4
Stay Dead: 0
Spin-Off: 0
Start Over: 0

Well, it appears to be our first unanimous column where everyone actually WANTS a series to continue. Usually when we have a unanimous column, it’s for a series to stay dead. It’s also interesting to note that not only did a mere four members of our staff even bothered with the game when it came out (or in the decade since), but none of us really liked it all that much. This was more a nod to the fact that Sony has improved its quality control in regards to first party titles and that it desperately needs an RPG franchise of its own.

Next week we’ll be looking at a From Software series that was originally developed for the Nintendo Gamecube. It’s actually my second favourite series by them, after Echo Night and it’s a series I’d much rather experience than another King’s Field or Demon’s Souls. See you then!



, ,



20 responses to “The Legend of Dragoon – Sequel, Spin Off, Start Over or Stay Dead?”

  1. Nick Black -Start over Avatar

    I believe that according to your definitions the franchise should have a “start over”. The game had decent graphics for its time and I would like to see a version of that game with nowadays graphics.

  2. William Noland-Start Over, then sequel Avatar
    William Noland-Start Over, then sequel

    I can honestly say, at that time, there wasn’t a game i loved more that LoD. Sure pokemon silver and Vampire the Masquerade – Redemption were both tied for second place but still. I think if they re-vamped the graphics and made a few tweeks here and there, and LoD remake could possibly be in the running for a game of the year award. And then after that, they should make a sequel.

  3. Zana Avatar

    I think Legend of Dragoon should have a sequal… Then again, I was just playing it this morning, so I guess I have no life since it came out when I was like five or something. So that’s just by view.

  4. Smooth Avatar

    I’d have to disagree. I like the game very much, but believe it should, as a whole, stay buried in the past. In my honest opinion – prequels, sequels, and spin-offs plague the video game market today. Maybe I haven’t looked around hard enough… but it seems originality is far and few in-between. Look at how many FPS rely on bald space marines and sci-fi settings. Fighters have better graphics and larger roasters, but still contain the same gibbersih plots. And, JRPG are still centered around teenagers with outlandish outfits.

    I really did appreciate the game’s consistent tone though. No annoying mascot characters or strange enemies which feel shoe-horned in the storyline. I think a lot of reviewers missed this fact.

  5. Good Avatar

    I’m a little confused… you people think a sequel would be in order…

    But… most of you never really said WHAT alterations it should include. I didn’t understand where everyone was coming from. I guess a little more elaboration would’ve been nice. However, I’m assuming these posts are based on a matter of time, so… *shrugs* it’s no big deal.

    Ummm… I can possibly see why fans like this game over Baldur’s Gate II, Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, Dragon Warrior VII, Grandia II, Icewind Dale, Ogre Battle NGPC, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, Phantasy Star Online, Pokemon Gold & Silver, Skies of Arcadia, Tales of Eternia/Destiny 2, Timestalkers, and Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption.

    The Legend of Dragoon was something NEW for the year 2000. A lot of the above titles are sequels; if you played the first one then you have a rather good idea on what to expect from the next release. Plus, I saw more advertisements for the game in video game magazines. I do not think I would be far off in saying Poke’mon: Gold & Silver was the only one to have more clout at the time.

  6. Redxman Avatar

    This was and still is an awesome game and I hope it gets remade.

  7. elitemenace Avatar

    this game screams sequel, the only problem preventing it, it that the release of the game was so long ago that not everyone would recognize it i would like a sequel but honestly and plainly saying, my hopes probably wont conjure a special power that will give all of us sequel hungry fans want

  8. Chris Avatar

    Im really surprised that this game doesn’t already have like 3 or 4 sequals to it. I remmber buying this game back in 2000 more or less because i couldn’t find a good rpg in the store and i seen this and figured “ah what the hell” not knowing this game would literally rock my socks, sorta speak. The story is just magnificent, and the second i played this game i didn’t put it down for atleast 3 hours. I totally loved all the characters, I really like what they did with Lavitz ( I wont spoil it for those who havent played) There were alot of unpredictable moments and twists in the game that i wssn’t expectng to happen, although, like above, some things were expected. I think the soundtrack was great, each battle theme was perfect for the mood of each batle, especially boss battles and when you were fighting the virages. I really think this game gave The Final Fantasy Genre a run for its money, as im an avid FF Fan, this game literally blew me away, and i love it to this day and it’s rather sad how such an enticing and original story was laid to rest just after one game..They could still do so much more with it. Many people may disagree with me but i think this game DEFINATLY atleast deserves one sequal to it. I do agree that some sequals have somewhat killed there original games, But if it was done right, this game could be the next game of the year if a sequal was made correctly. The cinematics for its time were simply wonderful also, there is just so much more i could say about this game, but i won’t keep going on. To me, this game was almost better then Final Fantasy VII, and i know that is a bold assumption to say, but seriously. Anyone who has not played this really needs to give it a chance aside from some bad reviews. Play it and judge for yourself. A top of the line RPG :D.

  9. Chris Avatar

    One last thing, I also noticed someone above stated if a sequal WAS to be made, what could the story more or less focus on, and i actually do have a few ideas, one of them could be In the sequal that Dart became what he hated most, Reintroducing the black monster, but a reincarnation of it as Dart being the black monster. The game could consist of Dart being the villain in the sequal. Either being the monster OR helping it wipe out vlllages using his Dragoon form. The begining of it could show Dart torching towns and villages while the Monster is rampaging through them. Perhaps Dart ressurected The monster with his Dragoon Spirit. Of course i realize there would need to be a whole backstory explaning as to why Dart has went from good guy to murderer,But It is something that could be builded on. Anyone else got any idea’s what they think the story could be?

  10. Bob Avatar

    Personaly I would go with a prequel rather than a sequel. There is a hoard of material inside the treasure chest known as the Dragon Campaign. Why not build on that? It would be perfect. It would give the original game more of a backstory for those gamers whow were unsatisfied whith what it already gave. (Not that I was one of them) And since the game was made a decade ago, I’m not quite sure how recognizeable a sequel would be to most viewers without a familiar face. That problem is easily solved with my personal favorite character of the game, Rose.

  11. Ron Newcomb Avatar

    I agree with Bob immediately above: the prequel, centered on Rose. (Do Japanese devs hate female leads?)

    LoD wasn’t intended for hardcore RPG players. It was intended for the rest of us. I was always an action gamer and, although I like story, most RPGs were paced too slowly for my patience. LoD’s rhythm minigame during sword attacks was the one innovation that made the whole game worthwhile. I appreciated the simple menu subscreen and easy equipment logistics. (I will also admit to discovering a guilty pleasure: magical transformation into badass.) The story wasn’t cliché to those of us who normally play other genres, or at least, no more than any other hero-saves-world story.

    A new game would ideally capture the action gamer spirit of the original. Rose fences, the motions of which would translate well to the modern motion-sensitive controllers.

  12. Tyler Avatar

    I honestly believe that if a sequel was to be made, it would be a best seller for years to come. A prequel would be a game I would absolutely adore playing, because the cutscenes during the game made me want to play that era also. In my opinion a remake , a prequel, and a sequel all released within a few years of eachother, would be a trilogy that would throw sony ahead of the game for years to come. Prequel “The Dragon Campaign” Remake “The Legend of Dragoon” Sequel “Wrath of the Winglies”. Corny… but still, just a thought. Lol

  13. miguel Avatar

    Legend of Dragoon was the first rpg i played and ithas been my favorite rpg ever since. This game turned me into an rpg fan and after playing the game, both me and my brother, thought it would be great to have it remade for the ps3 or, like bob said, a prequal about the Dragon Campaign. I’m glad that this game still has many fans but does Sony know? That’s what gets me pist off. This game has many followers so what’s stoping them from bringing it back? Sony should listen more to it’s fans and less to it’s critics. Then again they might have there resons, but i would want to hear those reasons

  14. miguel Avatar

    Hey guys, i just got my hopes up for Legend if Dragoon. I just read that Duke Nukem Forever is coming out! So we may still have a chance.

  15. Jason Avatar

    I loved this game but i think it needs a boost; whether its for PS2 or PS3 (the 3 being more likely obvioulsy) the game could benefit from Both a direct sequel, of some form AND from a complete makeover to 21st Century style graphics that you are now seeing. I’d buy them both

  16. Terrence smith Avatar
    Terrence smith

    i would say start it over would like to see it on ps2
    or ps3

  17. Terrence smith Avatar
    Terrence smith

    with the works

  18. Emo Stitches Avatar
    Emo Stitches

    Start over and sequeal both ideas would be absolutely amazing.

  19. Chris Avatar

    This game may of had its quirks, but personally I felt the storyline was well developed as unoriginal as it might have been. The dragoon transformations was like a super version of power rangers all that was missing was for the dragons to fuse into one giant one. However, I enjoyed it and its approach to battle the battle system forced players to work on there timing and button mashing abilities with items like the PsycheX bomb. This game would make good to have a sequel or a remake with today tech I smell game of the year material if the minds who would do it know what there doing and make the game its own.

  20. William Noland-Start Over, then sequel Avatar
    William Noland-Start Over, then sequel

    … one question, how was the story unoriginal? lol at the time, absolutely nothing was anything like it, and now…. yeah i still cant think of a single game that is anything like LoD. Its story was amazing, the characters (sans dart) were all very immersive, the battle system was fresh, hell even the enemys were epic (not just the dragons). This game in my opinion deserves a sequal more than just about any game that has gotten a sequal, but i do think they need to redo it for the newgen systems before they do a sequal. Revamp the graphics and sound, maybe redo the maps a little cause they were a little confusing for me, but the story? Pfff… its perfect, no touchie.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *