I am Lady Useless, the fourth of my name. I am a strange combination of beast and man. Though this is no fault of my own, some call me an abomination. Perhaps that is why my family has forced me to enter this castle, to hide their shame. I am hopeful that if I succeed in my mission, I can restore the reputation of my family, and live on in my family’s memory. I carry my father’s sword, but what good are swords when you can breathe fire?
After the jump, enter the dragon
I am about to eat crow. When I planned this entry, I had intended to air my grievances against the dragon class. I planned to talk about how weak it was, how the flying mechanic is aggravating, and how I hate that it is the final class to be unlocked, as though it is the ultimate class. I mean, c’mon, the character only has enough health to take maybe three or four hits from higher level enemies. The fact that you can’t jump is infuriating, and the jump is replaced by flying, which seems awesome, but requires learning an entirely new skill. Plus, when you get hit, you get knocked out of the air. What? I can’t tell you the number of times being knocked out of the air caused me to be insta-killed when I dropped in front of another enemy. And breathing fire? That’s pretty cool, but why does the character carry the sword?
Instead of talking about all my problems with the class, though, I’d like to talk about how much I love the dragon class. To give you an understanding of why, I need you to look at the opening screenshot. See that blue blob right there? That is Herodotus the Infinite. That stupid blob of slime killed perhaps five generations of characters, from paladins to barbarian kings to hokages. This fight requires unprecedented mobility. For each instance of Herodotus killed, two are born and a mage enemy that summons rock pillars is created from the ground. So if you are not careful, you can have slimes leaping everywhere, and about ten mages ripping the ground apart beneath you. To a normal character, it can be difficult to get into range to kill the mages without also getting jumped by slimes.
The dragon class seems made for this fight. While exploring the castle, the dragon’s traversal mechanics and weaknesses seem like an absurd disadvantage. But in this boss fight, everything plays to the dragon’s advantage. Flight allows you to stay off the spike floor traps and to move all the way to the top to deal with the rock pillar mages. Additionally, the flame attack has more reach than the sword, and allows you to keep the slimes at a distance.
Lady Useless was an endomorph, which removes all the knockback from enemy attacks. While this did not have a big impact on the dragon class, on a typical character, the ability to take a hit without being thrown across the room can be a godsend. This trait stands in direct contradiction with another, ectomorphism, which makes your character skinny, and causes you to be flung across the room if you take a hit. This can be useful for getting away from danger, but more often than not you will be thrown into another enemy or another trap for a second hit.
Previous generations had opened up the boss room in the Land of Darkness, a punishingly difficult area to traverse. Since this boss area had been opened up, I was able to teleport directly to the encounter and enter. The fight required patience, but with the dragon class it was — dare I say? — easy. Herodotus fell to Lady Useless, and a huge amount of gold and stat bonuses were my reward. Feeling good about my success against Herodotus, I returned to the entrance of the castle in order to proceed through the newly opened door to see what challenge awaited me there. As you’ll see tomorrow, I was not up to the challenge. Was it the dragon, or was it me?
P.S. I still hate the dragon.
Andrew Kneller is a chemistry graduate student and avid gamer. When he isn’t busy kicking laser tables and trying to teach undergrads, he and his wife play videogames and watch movies together. You can find him on the Quarter to Three forums as TREOS.