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Domark Ltd
1989
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.99
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links


73
Gordon Houghton
Chris Bourne

Does Domark's Dragon do justice to the coin-op?

Dragon Spirit is a relatively obscure and very tough coin-op which takes the vertically scrolling shoot 'em up theme into the realms of fantasy.

Eight completely different levels lie ahead of you, populated by unique opponents - all of whom will reduce your life-bar by one unit. Lose three units and you forfeit a life. At the end of each stage there's a fairly typical confrontation with a pretty awesome enemy which is very tough to kill.

Your basic weaponry consists of limitless bombs and the ability to spit fire-gobbets, but this ammunition can be enhanced by bombing eggs on the ground. Blue eggs give you an extra head, and red ones give you an extra power unit; eventually, you can work your way up to a powerful flame-thrower.

Other enhancements come from killing flashing enemies. These include extra points, shields, mega-flame, multi-directional fire, homing flames and speed-ups.

In the end, Dragon Spirit is just a standard vertically scrolling shoot 'em up, but using a dragon as the main character rather than a fighter plane or spacecraft is a nice touch. All versions are characterised by poor sound effects, and that's the only real let-down. Domark's conversions contain all the features of the original coin-op and if you liked that, you should look at this.

Reviewer: Gordon Houghton

RELEASE BOX
Atari ST, £19.99dk, Out Now
Amiga, £19.99dk, Out Now
Spectrum, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Out Now
Amstrad, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent
C64/128, £9.99cs, £12.99dk, Imminent
IBM PC, £24.99dk, Imminent

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 70/100
1 hour: 75/100
1 day: 80/100
1 week: 75/100
1 month: 70/100
1 year: 55/100

Initial frustration gives way to addiction as you learn to pick up extra weapons and avoid the predetermined attack patterns.

8/10
4/10
4/10
8/10
795/1000

Banner Text

SPECTRUM VERSION

Probably best played with keys, since with a joystick you can't fire and bomb at the same time (unlike the ST and Amiga versions). The sprites are nicely defined and animated, and the speed and toughness of the arcade game are well captured here.

ATARI ST VERSION

Smooth vertical scrolling and a pretty mean difficulty level make for addictive gameplay; however, the playing area is a bit small (compensated for by a sideways "push" scroll), making it harder to anticipate attack waves. Still a good conversion, though.

Graphics: 8/10

Audio: 5/10

IQ Factor: 4/10

Fun Factor: 8/10

Ace Rating: 795/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 70/100

1 hour: 75/100

1 day: 80/100

1 week: 75/100

1 month: 70/100

1 year: 55/100

AMIGA VERSION

Probably the easiest version of them all - though it gets a lot tougher around levels five and six - and the dragon is a little slow to respond at first. It comes with a pleasant title tune, but more should have been made of the firing and bombing effects.

Graphics: 8/10

Audio: 5/10

IQ Factor: 4/10

Fun Factor: 8/10

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 75/100

1 hour: 80/100

1 day: 85/100

1 week: 80/100

1 month: 75/100

1 year: 55/100