I decided to pick a random game for my first PC Engine review. I have never heard of Dragon Egg! before but I was delighted to discover it’s an alright game. Not the best but good for quick fun! Because the game is in Japanese, I really have no idea what the story is about. I did watch the opening sequence and I might add it had some beautiful art! I’m still really amazed at the graphical capabilities of this machine. It’s amazing to know the TG16/PCE was out during the same time as the NES, and the games looked much better.
I thought it would be fun if I tried to guess the story just by the opening cut scene. Keep in mind I do not know Japanese, so here goes!
“In the Kingdom of_____, there lived some Dragons. Then one day an evil army of demons started a war and killed off the dragons. Present Day: A grandpa on his deathbed gives his young granddaughter the last Dragon Egg in existence and she must use the dragon to save the day from the evil army of demons.” -Completely made up by me based on Dragon Egg’s opening.*
Dragon Egg! is a pretty standard platformer. Button I jumps while Button 2 is used for attack. You attack by using your dragon, but the dragon starts off as an egg so you are literally taking the egg from your backpack and knocking enemies upside the head with it! I thought it was a little odd as its an egg and eggs are fragile, but hey video games! No logic needed back then. Randomly, enemies will drop these little orbs that are used to evolve your dragon. Each evolution stage requires more of these orbs of course. There are four forms:
- Egg – pulled from the backpack and used as a weapon
- Hatched – Still in the egg but can use fire. Used the same way as Egg
- Dragon – You ride the dragon and it spits fireballs
- Flying Dragon – Same as the Dragon for but it can fly now
Enemies also drop gold coins which can be used in shops. Luckily what you need to know about the items is in English so if you don’t know Japanese you’ll be okay. The first thing you’ll want to work on buying is the remaining heart containers. You start with only two and life will go fast. That Egg attack is super short ranged so you’ll get hit a lot. You can also buy “Cure” which is a potion that only restores half a heart. Luckily they are cheap and only cost three coins. You can also purchase the orbs to evolve the dragon as well. I recommend buying them when you can. The orb drops seem to super random. I actually beat this game without ever seeing the final dragon form! That’s how rare the drops seem.
The levels are actually pretty short. The third level is basically a raft ride while you dodge enemies for a minute. Then onto the boss. Pretty short if you ask me! There are only six levels as well. Each level ends with a boss fight (duh) and some bosses are pretty challenging. I was worried at first because when you die you start with just the egg. I figured bosses would get ridiculous with the short ranged egg, but with multiple attempts and pattern memorization you’ll get it.
It’s a fun cute platformer for what it is. Nothing to write home about but it’s still enjoyable. I searched online to see what the going price is for the Dragon Egg! Hu Card and as of this writing it goes from $34.99 – $45.99 US. If you ask me it’s not worth that price. So give the game out a try via emulation, if you like it and think it’s worth that, go buy it! I think a price range from $10-$15 would be a much more fair price for the game. Oh well perhaps I’ll add it to the collection someday!
- Nice graphics and beautiful anime cut scene at the start
- Accessible for all languages despite being in Japanese
- Infinite continues
- Orbs are random drops and seem to be rare. Makes evolving the dragon tough
- You can defeat bosses with the Egg so evolving isn’t completely necessary
- Catchy music