The Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console system had another handful of releases last week, and a new Action RPG was added to the collection. Dragon's Curse was originally released for the TurboGrafx 16 system in 1990. Players who owned a Sega Master System around that time might experience a prickling of deja vu, because Dragon's Curse is essentially a graphically enhanced version of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, originally released in 1989. There is no mention of the Wonder Boy title in the TurboGrafx 16 version because Sega owned the Wonder Boy copyright, and Westone (the original programmers) owned the rights to the code. Hudson did some canoodling with Westone, and voila--Dragon's Curse for the TurboGrafx 16 was born as a lovechild to the companies.
Dragon's Curse is a side-scrolling action RPG. At the beginning of the game, the hero finds himself cursed by the Mecha Dragon after a valiant fight. Close to death, the dragon transforms the hero into a hideous lizard creature. It is now up to the hero to find a way to lift the curse by searching out the Salamander Cross which has the power to restore the hero to his former self. Along the way, players must travel to the ends of the earth and battle fearsome beasts, while transforming into a host of characters, each with its own special ability.
As the game progresses, players will accumulate a variety of items, stat-boosting equipment, and heart pieces, all in the hopes of strengthening the hero enough to face the challenging platforming levels and boss battles. The game is nonlinear, allowing players to re-visit old areas, or transform into a selection of creatures (once you've obtained the ability to do so) to search out hidden secrets. There is one main town in the game which acts as a hub to all other destinations. Every time you die you are given the option to continue. The projectile items you collected in that level will be taken and you will be revived in the town with one heart.
Each time you triumph in a boss battle, the hero is transformed into a new creature. There are five creatures in total, including the Lizard-Man, Mouse-Man, Piranha-Man, Tiger-Man, and Hawk-Man. Players will need to switch between them frequently to unlock the many secrets of the game and obtain power-boosting items, gold, or heart pieces.
Dragon's Curse for the VC was released on March 30, 2007 in Europe and April 2, 2007 in North America. For more information on the gameplay, controls, and more, visit Hudson's official Dragon's Curse website.