Drakengard E3 2003 Preshow Report

Square Enix's new action RPG will let you control both a dragon in the air and his rider on foot.

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One of the first fruits of the union between Square and Enix will be coming to gamers in the spring of 2004 in the form of Drakengard. Developed by Cavia, the game casts you as a tortured youth named Kyme who is embroiled in a fight against an evil empire. Kyme was formerly the prince of a small kingdom that fell to the empire's campaign of imperialism, and he has since joined an alliance that's striving to quell the empire's aggression.

As the game opens, Kyme responds to an attack on his castle by enemy forces. His sister Friae is still trapped inside, and in his attempt to rescue her, Kyme is severely wounded. As his life ebbs, he has one chance to recover from his injuries and gain the power he needs to fight the empire: He must form a dragon pact with an injured red dragon. This is a difficult but necessary choice for the former prince, whose parents were killed by a dragon, and he grudgingly accepts this fate. A dragon pact dictates that the person involved must give up some part of his or her body, so Kyme chooses to become mute. Then he and the dragon trade hearts and become bound for life. Kyme uses his newfound power to rescue Friae and delivers her to safety. After this successful rescue, Kyme turns his attention to the empire and undertakes a quest to root out the source of its power.

The gameplay in Drakengard will be split between aerial combat, where Kyme will fight astride the menacing red dragon, and exploration on the ground, where you'll control him in hand-to-hand combat. The red dragon's abilities will increase and its appearance will mature as you play through the game, and Kyme will also gain experience by fighting, which will enable new combo attacks, magic abilities, and more.

Drakengard's development team has an eclectic background--members of the group have worked on Bust A Groove, Resident Evil Code: Veronica, and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, among other things. We'll bring you more information on the game as it becomes available.

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