|This page is a production by yours truly, Puddle (t∣b∣c).|
Please don't edit this page or any of its subpages without my permission - unless it's for something like grammar or organisation. If you want to contribute to the project, please ask me first! With that being said, enjoy the article!
| January 7th 2019 |
January 11th 2019
January 11th 2019
January 12th 2019
|Genre(s)||Action, Fantasy, Fighting|
|Media Included||Cartridge, Digital Download|
Draco Duel is a fantasy-fighting title developed by Button Studios for the Nymbus, that was released on January 7th 2019. The game was first teased at Button Studios' September Direct Presentation, although details about the game weren't formally revealed until November 21st 2018.
Draco Duel is primarily a fighting game that takes inspiration from many video game franchises including Tekken, Street Fighter and ARMS. Essentially, gameplay revolves around 5-minute matches between two players that take control of Draconids, a half-human half-dragon species, in death matches that take place within three-dimensional arena environments. There is a great deal of strategy involved within the gameplay of Draco Duel, with fighters being able to transform into much more powerful dragon-like forms, at the cost of their stamina and health. The game takes place in Arcania, a fantasy world where Draconids inhabit the plethora of environments.
The game has several other game modes revolving around the fighting mechanic, including: local multiplayer free play, and online multiplayer, which includes friendly, competitive and tournament games. Upon its release in January 2019, Draco Duel was met with mixed, but generally positive reception. Critics praised the fluid gameplay and depth of combat, while criticising the lack of modes and in-game content.
Following the game's success, a sequel was announced on May 30th 2019.
Draco Duel takes place within a fantastical world called Arcania, where the land is ruled by human-dragon hybrids with transformation capabilities called Draconids. After thousands of years of war and conflict, Arcania has finally reached an era of peace, where Dracnoids have developed cultures and activities, most famously Duels. These competitive events are where Draconids fight to the death in no-holds-barred matches. While throughout history, these events were seens as inhumane, violent and needless, Draconids are now enthusiastic about the thrill of the fights.
Draco Duel is a 3D fighting game in which matches take place over five minute durations. The objective of the match is simply to deplete the opponent's HP to zero.
Halfway through the match, the game will pause, allowing for players to change their activated Essences. These fragments each carry different powers that carry positive effects into gameplay. In order to use the effects of an Essence, players must first unlock the Essence through other game modes, then activate it. Up to three Essences can be activated at once, with stacking effects, but at the halfway point of the match, all three active Essences must be switched out. This prevents players from using potentially overpowered Essences for the whole game.
During combat, attacks deal default damage values, however the figure is mostly dependant on the timing of the user's attack. Before an attack is carried out, players must press a button (or sequence or buttons) in time with flashing lights that appear in the UI. Perfect timing with button pressing can increase power by 50%, while failing to even press the indicated button will reduce power by 50%.
Good timing doesn't only increase the power of the attack - it also rewards the player with Etherium. Etheriumis displayed in a gauge across the top left of the screen. Perfectly timed attacks reward the player with 10 Etherium, and when the Etheriumvalue reaches 100, players can execute an Etherial Finale. This is a powerful attack that inflicts huge damage onto the foe.
Duels are simple matches that take place between two players. Ultimately, the goal of a duel is to wear down your opponent's HP to 0 before the time limit ends. Duels can be played with two different rulesets - namely Friendly and Competitive.
- Friendly Duels are, by default, 3-minute matches. If neither player has been knocked out by the end of the time limit, the player who dished out the most damage throughout the match is crowned the winner. Friendly Duels do not always use Essences, as they can be turned off for friendly play.
- Competitive Duels are 5-minutes long by default, with a 30-second break halfway through. At the end of the time limit, a phase called 'Deathmatch' will begin. During this, the difficulty racks up for both players as the arena begins to fill with hazards and slowly shrink. If a player's HP reaches zero before the end of the time limit, their foe will automatically win.
Online, Duels can be played in either Friendly or Competitive modes with registered friends on the Nymbus system, or strangers from the user's country, or all over the world. In the online lobby, players first select what type of duel they would like to participate in. Next, they can choose whether to play with online friends, players within their region, or players from all over the world.
After a match is made between two players, they will be able to communicate via text chat for roughly thirty seconds while the game loads. At this point, players choose their characters and, if they are playing Competitive, their Essences to start the game. Upon the conclusion of a match, both players will be automatically registered as each others' "Acquaintances" on the system, and their Dragon Power stats will change depending on the result of the match.
During the October 2018 Button Direct, it was revealed that the game would include online tournaments from time to time. In these events, players would choose a team. Akin to Splatfests from Splatoon, players choose their team based off their preference of the two items displayed, such as 'Chocolate VS Chips', 'Pancakes VS Waffles', and so on. When a player plays online, they will be matched up against a player from the other team, and the winner will contribute points to their team's grand score. At the end of 48 hours, the team with the most points will be victorious, and winners will receive rewards such as exclusive Essences and character costumes.
Arcania Grand Prix
Grand Prix mode takes the player through a series of twelve fights, one against each character in the game. The objective is to endure every fight to be crowned the champion of the Grand Prix. Each battle takes place against a certain character on a preset stage. While the fights take place in a random order, players will always begin by fighting the character they are currently playing as.
Grand Prix takes about one hour to complete. Fortunately, there are checkpoints after every three battles, which the player will be sent back to if they lose a fight, or the system is turned off. Upon reaching a checkpoint, the player will be rewarded with a low-rank Essence, and on completing the final fight in the Grand Prix, they will obtain an S-Rank Essence, a special type of Essence that can only be obtained through this mode.
In a similar vein to the Grand Prix mode from ARMS, a commentator will make remarks on the player's progress throughout the gauntlet, not only commeting on their matches but also introducing upcoming foes. Four different commentators will be in the game.
Mass Attack is an alternative competitive multiplayer game mode wherein 6-12 players can play together in two teams. Essentially, the objective of Mass Attack is to destroy the other team's Etherial Heart. Doing this will prevent enemies from respawning, allowing the player's team to kill them off and win. As such, Mass Attack revolves around many offensive and defensive strategies. Players using characters with defensive builds such as Selesté may want to consider protecting their Etherial Heart, while characters with offensive builds such as Vahala should be used to inflict damage on opponents.
This game mode takes place within a map, randomly selected from a pool of eight different maps known as Battlefields. These maps are much larger than your average duel arena - many are fitted with hazards and almost all have varying landscape, meaning that team strategy must be based around the selected map.
Players can participate in Mass Attack either via local multiplayer with between five and eleven friends where teams are selected manually, or via online multiplayer where eleven other players will be connected to the player before teams are randomly assigned. Essences can be used in this mode so it's important to have obtained a variety of useful ones before going online.
There are twelve unique playable characters in Draco Duel. Puddle himself has stated that his main focus for the game's characters was for them to be all unique, in terms of design, personality and playstyle, all the while being balanced gameplay-wise. Half of these characters are available from the start, while the remaining six must be unlocked through gameplay.
Duels in Draco Duel are fought within stages called arenas. These arenas are usually stylized after a particular theme, such as the volcanic stage, Dragonbreak Falls, and the sky stage, Cumulonimbus Arena. Out of the twelve stages, in the game, eight are available from the beginning, which the remaining four must be unlocked through completing stages in Adventure Mode.
Some stages have stage hazards if you stray too far from the center of the arena. For example, Dragonbreak Falls has a moat of lava surrounding the battlefield that deals damage at an alarming rate to any player that falls in it. These stage hazards become more of a risk during Deathmatch, when the arena shrinks at the hazards close in on the players. While some characters have resistances to certain hazards, every hazard can eventually kill any character after about ten seconds of exposure. However, there are no hazards that will seek out players. This was originally concieved for the game, but later scrapped since it would make some stages less competitively viable than others.
|Arcania Stadium||Arcania Stadium is the most iconic arena in all of Arcania, which means it is regularly the site of events such as concerts, sports and most importantly, duels! The arena consists of a circular, metal playing field, held up over a pool of cold water below. Neon lighting in the floor will indicate the fighters' boundaries - cross over the boundary and you'll fall right into the water! Overall, Arcania Stadium is a basic and fair stage - a great place for beginners to practise.|
|Dragonbreak Falls||Deep within the volcanic chasms of Dragonbreak Summit lies one of the most dangerous arenas in Arcania - Dragonbreak Falls. This arena is entirely contained within one huge chamber, with streams of lava pouring from the crags of the ceiling, down the jewel-lined walls, and into a moat of lava which surrounds the rocky battlefield. After too long, the rocks will give way and fighters will plummet into the magma, so watch your step!|
|Cumulonimbus Arena||Situated within a cloudy haven, tens of miles high in the skies of Arcania, lies an extreme arena known as the Cumulonimbus Arena. Here, the air is extremely cold, but this doesn't stop Draconids from fighting here. The white, fluffy clouds are actually tangible, allowing fighters to tread and run across them. Occasionally, the cloudy ground will drift apart and fighters may have to fly to navigate around. Watch out for the Deathmatch, where clouds will slowly fade and lightning bolts may appear randomly!|
|Star Tower||From this enormous skyscraper, which not only breaks through the sky but into outer space, you can see thousands of miles around the world. It's the tallest building in Arcania by far, and the top floor is a celestial arena. Gravity is low at the top of this colossal tower, allowing for more aerial-focused characters to spend more time in the air while heavier characters may struggle to adjust to their newly gained floatiness. Watch out for when falling stars and meteorites rain upon the arena during storms!|
|Dracolosseum||No one really knows who built this, or how long ago it was made, but the Dracolosseum has stood as one of the most extravagant ancient stadiums in Arcania for thousands of years. The arena consists of a sandy battlefield, dotted with remnants of an ancient kingdom such as ruined sculptures and skeletal remains. A popular rumor going around suggests that time itself can randomly speed up and slow down here, but no one has ever seen that happen. Could you imagine something as crazy as that?|
|Midnight Lightclub||Deep within the backstreets of Arcania City lies a nightclub where gangs duke it out under neon lights and techno beats. Most of the time, the lighting is low, but occasionally the nightclub will enter 'Disco Mode', and multicoloured flashes of light will illuminate the duel. Players fight on the tiled stage, with colour-changing floor tiles that shift their hue to the beat. During Deathmatch, all of the lights will fade to back and electricity will close in on the fighters.|
|Mudsteam Summit||The tallest volcano in all of Arcania is in fact a mud volcano, which spews hot tar and gas into the atmosphere at over 20,000 ft. in the air. At the peak, the air is very cold, but the molten discharge from the volcano's crater is searing hot, and it will slow you down as well as burn or poison you if you make contact. Luckily, there is sufficient space on the platform above the crater to avoid the scorching mud. Watch out for the Deathmatch, when exploding bombs of stone and mud shoot into the air.|
|Ycycle Village||Located far away from the centre of Arcania is an isolated village, deep within the snowy tundra of North Arcania. Ycycle Village is the furthest north you can go in Arcania, so the weather here is always extremely cold. The battlefield consists of an ice rink, where you'll slip and slide around if you don't keep your balance. Not only this, but fire attacks can melt the floor, exposing chilling waters below - fall in and you'll freeze solid. Rarely, there will be a blizzard, decreasing visibility and inflicting all fighters with 'Chilled'.|
|Pyramid 7||This arena takes place within the inner sanctum of a humungous pyramid construction from prehistoric times, which is believed to have been constructed in a joint effort between an ancient race and an extraterrestrial force. As a result, the gravity here is unpredictable. Sometimes you'll be fighting normally, and sometimes you'll be floating around in the air. Other than that, it's a fairly basic arena, apart from the turrets in the pyramid walls that blast lasers at fighters.|
|Royal Ruins||Within the center of Arcania lies the ancient ruins of a once majestic and gigantic palace that was built by the humans thousands of years ago. However, following the rebellion and the destruction that followed, the palace was transformed into ruins. The stage is a basic arena, surrounded by rubble and collapsing towers, but not much will distract fighters from the battle, other than the occasional spot of rain that will change the dry ground into a mud field, where grounded characters are slowed down.|
|Urukol Nuclear Reactor||The abandoned site of a failed nuclear experiment is now an extreme arena for duels. The stage is comprised of a large room with a decaying nuclear reactor in the center, which damages fighters as they get close to it. The reactor will have a huge effect on the battle, creating conditions such as poisonous gas clouds, where characters become poisoned and lose visibilty, or fires that damage fighters. During deathmatch, the reactor will detonate and cause nuclear waste to heavily damage the fighters until one falls and the other is crowned the victor.|
|The Etherial Realm||A chaotic and bizarre universe, home to the Nightmare Warrior herself, Xsomnis. This realm is an unpredictable and dangerous battlefield that occasionally transports fighters to shadowy versions of other arenas. However, for most of the fight, players battle it out on large platforms that float between portals in the air, disappearing and reappearing as they warp between dimensions. During deathmatch, a huge fire will open up below the battlefield, and platforms will slowly begin to fade out of existance.|
Essences are collectable powers that can be applied to fighters to give them a new perk or ability, providing as a key aspect of gameplay in fights in Draco Duel. Before a fight, players can select an Essence for their character from a selection of all of the Essences they have collected so far. Only one Essence can be equipped on a character at any time, however it's possible to change the character's equipped Essence during half time.
There are four different types of Essence and four different ranks.
- As for types, there are OFFENSIVE, DEFENSIVE, STATUS and SPECIAL, each one providing a specific perk or boost in the described department. For example, Offensive Essences will boost attack power, Defensive Essence improve defensive capabilities, and so on.
- The four different types of Essence, from lowest to highest, are BASIC, ADVANCED, ULTRA and MYTHICAL. Essences from higher tiers are more powerful, however they are much rarer and harder to obtain than their lower counterparts.
Essences are unlocked through various means. The player starts the game with ten Basic Essences, and it's possible for them to collect many more by:
- Completing Arcania Grand Prix using different characters.
- Winning Duels against other players or CPU characters.
- Completing online matches of Mass Attack.
- Completing daily challenges.
Nine different status conditions are present in Draco Duel, each having a negative effect on the user when received from a foe's attack. However, some status conditions can be blocked or have their effects changed by Essences.
|"You've been set ablaze by scorching flames! Every second, you'll take damage from the fire that burns your body for roughly ten seconds, or until the blaze is quenched. Try to pass the fire onto your enemy!"||
|"You've been poisoned! Every half-second, you'll take damage from your poison, which will slowly become more deadly over time. Don't worry though - the poison will wear off after six seconds."||
|"You've been inflicted with the powers of the stars! The stars have caused your attacks to decrease in power, and enemy projectiles will target you for 30 seconds!"||
|"A bitter cold frost has frozen you! Ice has severely reduced your movement speed for 20 seconds!"||
|"Acidic fluids have corroded your defences! Attacks against you will deal more damage, and you'll take minor damage every second for 20 seconds!"||
|"You've been struck by raging desert sands! It will be difficult to see your enemy with obscured vision for 15 seconds!"||
|"You're soaked through! This means you'll slip around the ground more easily, and you might trip over from time to time for 30 seconds!"||
|"The enemy's attack has penetrated your defences! Attacks against you will now deal much more damage for ten seconds!"||
|"Embodied nightmares and evils have infested in your soul! You'll take damage and your stats have been reduced!"||
- See full article: Draco Duel/Gallery
- Several characters such as Yannis & Yasmin were originally intended to be included in Button Studios' cancelled project, Prismancer. Puddle did not want to exclude this ideas from any future games, and he felt like including them as playable characters in Draco Duel, since their lore would fit well within the universe.
- Puddle chose to have the game's characters all be dragons due to his love for dragons as a species. The transformation element came about later when Puddle wanted to make a traditional fighting game and chose to intertwine these ideas.
- Draco Duel was originally planned to be a PEGI 12 title, however this had to be changed to PEGI 16, due to the violent nature of the game and mild gore.
- Puddle has stated that he wishes to expand the game's lore in another medium, and he is currently evaluating plans for a possible prequel or sequel in the form of a second game, anime, novel series or movie.
- An orange model of the Nymbus was revealed on December 26th 2018 and released on January 7th 2019 to promote the release of Draco Duel. Known as the 'Dragonblood Orange' model, it was bundled with Draco Duel during the months following launch.
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