Novellas used to come with games all the time, helping – amongst other things – to explain the tech, and tell a more complicated story than the game itself could handle. Starglider, for instance, covered up its wireframe graphics with talk of a special tactical HUD. Crappy old RPG Drakkhen takes the cake though, setting up an epic, plot of blood and Armageddon courtesy of an island of evil dragons, only to instantly defuse it by making your team waste most of their time sorting out the dragons’ love lives and gossip needs instead of getting medieval on their tails.
Does anyone know who did the artwork for the north american PC & Amiga versions of Drakkhen?? Looks pretty good to me, kind of like Brom's art. By the way, the official manual states "all illustrations by O.Ledroit" when in fact the US cover art (which is the same as the one on the manual's cover) has a signature on the bottom right , over Infogrammes' logo saying "Huston". Ledroit's style has absolutely nothing in common with the cover we're discussing, he did the b&w interior art of the booklet. Anybody know a videogame artist called "Huston" ?
If anyone knows who did the artwork for the japanese FM-Towns version as well...
Last Edit: Sept 22, 2013 15:05:40 GMT -5 by barbarus
Post by edmonddantes on Jan 22, 2019 8:00:13 GMT -5
I have memories of this one. It was.... 2003-ish? My dad took me to a used game store in a distant city... an amazing place, the first time I had ever seen something like it. At the time, you only saw used games in pawn shops or the like, and those were drying up. (nowadays stores like this one exist in every city near my house, but at the time...)
I remember buying two games there that day: Street Fighter II Champion Edition, which (re)ignited a passion in me for fighting games, and Drakkhen on SNES, which wound up being my life for a few days.
Then after beating it I learned it was considered bad, and like usual, wondered what the f*** was wrong with the rest of the world. Altho I later realized I have a weird way of just intuiting odd or off-kelter design elements... this game in general, I wound up finding ways to break it within a few hours of playing. Like there's one place where you can keep getting infinite suits of the best armor in the game, which IIRC everyone can wear.
The short story collection that came with the game, aside from expanding the story of the game itself, also incorporated clues as to what the player needed to do, what enemies would be difficult, and other such context that the player was expected to know before playing. The SNES re-release of Drakkhen didn't come with this supplemental book that was written by Gary Gygax, who had a hand in designing the gameplay and story of the original, as well as many enemies. [...]
The storyline for the SNES game is the result of a broken translation and rewrite of the original, as well as lack of supplemental stories. Drakkhen was developed by a French team, which was then translated into Japanese for the Super Famicom, which was then translated to English and further rewritten with help from the original French developers. To exemplify the telephone effect of all this, the original game contained a French translation of an Emily Dickinson poem as quoted by a mysterious wizard, and that French translation of an English poem was then translated further into Japanese for the Super Famicom version, and then translated again back into English from Japanese. The version of the Dickinson poem that survived into the SNES version of the game is almost unrecognizable and difficult to comprehend.
I'd rather like to see this poem now.
The CVG review referenced in the article is at the Internet Archive and doesn't mention Gygax either.
Post by edmonddantes on Feb 1, 2019 10:13:44 GMT -5
I'd check out the sequel if I could find it (emulators are a last resort for me).
Not a huge fan of the CRPG Addict ever since some articles where he made ignorant and outright hostile statements about Tolkien, and even without that sometimes I wonder if he's not a bit of an idiot cuz IIRC he was always getting hung up on silly things.
Someone might look for a fully boxed copy of either the PC or Amiga version to confirm Wikipedia.
There's a comment here that says Drakkhen was originally conceived as a collaboration between Infogrames, François Marcela-Froideval (a former TSR employee who worked for Infogrames) and Gygax, but Gygax left the project for some reason. Though this is unsourced too.
I imagine this is the sort of thing that might have been reported on in French video game and computer magazines of the time. They had quite a few of those going on. If I was desperate to find a source, that's where I'd look.