Dragon Sword, officially announced in early 1998, is another cancelled game for the Nintendo 64. More precisely, it was a coop action-adventure / hack & slash developed by Interactive Studios / Blitzgames (the creators of Glover) and set in a fantasy world called Avantaria, where a group of four heroes had to stop the evil plans of Xyrus the mage.
It seems that originally Dragon Sword had a strong emphasis on exploration and adventure elements, but in the latest builds (shown in the screenshots below) it became a frenetic action game, similar to many memorable arcades of the past, as Gauntlet or Golden Axe. In fact Dragon Sword was supposed to play a lot like Gauntlet Legends 64, with generators that must be destroyed in order to avoid the respawn of the enemies.
One or two players were able to play together and to chose from 4 different characters (Cutter, Kailan, Gouranga and Aisha)with which fight hundreds of soldiers. Each character had its own set of attacks and abilities.
Some features betrayed clearly a greater ambition than the usual hack & slash, such as the presence of different weather conditions, large and varied enviroments, a rpg-like experience system and many different magical weapons.
Other than the 2 players coop in the story mode, there was a fun 4 players deathmatch mode, that was more enjoyable than many of the standard fighting games released for the Nintendo 64. A “Time Trial” mode was also available!
Dragon Sword was basically finished, but unfortunately, like many other N64 titles, it was destined to never see the light of day: it seems that the game was cancelled because MGM Interactive (the publisher) though that it would have not sell enough to gain profit.
Supposedly the english 64 Magazine was able to play an almost-final build of Dragon Sword, which got 93% in their review. They liked the game so much that they tried to organize a petition in order to convince the MGM to release it, but sadly their effort didn’t work.
In the gallery below you can see many screens from the latest Dragon Sword build and some early target renders that look very different from the “final” game.
In April 2010, thanks to an anonymous collector, a playable beta of Dragon Sword was shared online: there are 7 levels available and even the deathmatch multiplayer mode is working! There are some bugs, but for an unfinished N64 game that was in development more than 12 years ago, the game is fun enough, especially if you can play it in coop mode with a friend.
From the internal HEX code, it seems that they planned to have 9 levels for Dragon Sword, but after you finish the 7th level in the beta, the game crashes. We still dont know how to load the 8th level or if it’s in the game at all. It’s possible that only level 1 to 7 are playable. A test-level could be hidden in the beta too.
You can see a lot of concept arts created for Dragon Sword in Ohnhai’s DA Gallery. In there, you can notice many scenes that were never developed into the “final” game, as a town filled with people, magic system and the possibility to ride a dragon to explore the world.
Edward Kirk was able to find some codes to access to all the playable levels and some test-areas, you can find more info at his website!
I looked at complete levels and found the following Gameshark code (after checking some fifty or so addresses): 801249B3 000X. X denotes the different level value. The Level Section Select code has been found. Gameshark code 801249B7 000X, where X is usually a value from 0 to 3, but this may depend upon the level. As you cannot progress beyond the first part of Level 8 if you use just the Level Select code, use this code to see the other parts of the level
Thanks to Celine for the contribution! Thanks to Christian Mohr Jensen for some of the videos below!
What do you think about this unseen game? Give your vote!
Would you like to add more info, screens or videos to this page? Add a comment below!
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Dragon Sword , known previously as Dragon Storm, was an action game set in a fantasy scenario by Interactive Studio.
The game featured two “two multiplayer mode”, one cooperative while the other was a “Deathmatch” mode.
Well you’ll read the rest of the article later with your eyes :-P
This was one of my most-wanted games, i really hope that sooner or later we could find a playable proto :P Thanks Celine, i’ll wait for the article :)
Someones got a rom of it at Blitz, im sure, but ive lost touch with them.
Many games deserve to get canned, but maybe rather biasly Dragon sword shouldnt have been one of them, even though i quit the studio 3 or 4 months before it was canned, because mgm pulled out over some minimum order issue with ninty.
We had a good team, with a stormy past, and a few boat rockers, of which i was one. but it was all for the benefit of the game and it was playing nice when i left.
Sadly one of the artists , graeme died young of cancer a few years back, be nice to have the rom out in his honor if anyones listening.
Hi Robin, thanks a lot for your contribution, it’s good to know that a rom could still be preserved somewhere out there. I really hope that this game could be shared with the community sooner or later.
I’m sorry to read that one of the game’s artists died.
Wow. Thanks to whoever shared the video and the other media :-)
I got this awhile back and haven’t bothered checking back. Has anyone found a debug menu yet?
As far as i know, noone was able to find the debug menu yet :( The text for that menu can be found in the rom, but we still dont know how to activate it
Thanks to Edward, we finally have some codes for the levels! http://zenade.angelfire.com/DS64/index.html
Inspired by the debug camera code, I’ve found an in-game Level Select option, which brings up all available levels, including the multiplayer arenas and the debug level (albeit still unplayable). When the level map comes up after selecting a character, press the L and R triggers (the map will disappear), then use the analogue stick to press up or down to select different levels. Using left and right on the analogue stick after selecting the level seems to allow you to select different parts of the level, although this seems buggy. Press A to return to the map, which should show you where on the map you have warped to (the flag does not always appear, though).
I just found a copy of this after searching for hours on the internet. I am probably going to re-upload it after I try and figure out if it’s legal or not.
An ear to the ground
N64 Magazine – Issue 012 (1998-02)(Future Publishing)(GB) (February 1998)
It was recently revealed by Piko Interactive on Twitter that they not only habe acquired the rights to Dragon Sword, but even the source code of the game as well! Meaning that i’ll be fully completed at last :)