How to rock the dragon
Dragon's Crown can be a pretty tough game. On top of some devilishly difficult boss fights, you need to fulfill your role, as well as practice good party synergy to really best some of the hardest encounters.
Odds are if you have a technical question about Dragon's Crown, I answered it in this article here in the comment section. But for everything gameplay related, you'll find it here.
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As a side note, I tend to organize my guides into two sections. Basic tips should be read by every prospective player to help make things a little more enjoyable. Advanced tips generally contain a few minor gameplay spoilers, so it's probably best to bookmark the page, experience the game a bit, then come back.
- The way loot works is this -- it's instanced. If you open a chest, you have a chance to uncover a "rated" item all the way up to "S" rank. The item doesn't actually appear in the field -- it automatically is added to your armory at the end of the stage. The same thing goes for experience points -- you don't get your XP reward until after the stage is over.
- Early on, you can actually tell how powerful post-stage looted items are before you appraise them. For instance, if the item lists ?-?? as the stat-line for a weapon, you know that the low-end damage ranges from 1-9 (?), while the top-end damage ranges from 10-99 (??). Use this to avoid overpaying for junk appraisals.
- Although it may seem like you need to appraise items right away, you can actually pocket them, and identify them later at Morgan's Magic Item Shop to save money.
- If you find yourself unable to best a boss and your NPC party is slowly counting down to doom (at which point, if you don't buy them back, they'll be gone forever), you can press start and quit the level to cut your losses.
- Always pray at the Canaan Temple before a mission. Even if it's a paltry 200 Coin Life increase, it may save you more often than not, and you need to re-pray after returning to town.
- Be mindful of wooden boxes (or wooden objects in general) and bones for Wizard and Sorceress party members respectively. Wizards create golems out of wood, and Sorceresses can create skeletons out of bone piles. Don't just crush every box you find if you have a Wizard in your party, and if you don't need to pick up bones, let a Sorceress have them.
- If you want to make sure that you saved your game -- go to the Inn a lot. Dragon's Crown automatically saves every time you alter the data in any way after leaving the Inn.
- Do all of the quests when you get them, and even if you put them off and "outlevel them," do them later. Just because an early quest may have a low XP reward that will be useless to a higher level character, remember that completing quests nets you one or more skill points. Note that you must "turn in" quests to the guild after you finish them to earn the reward.
- If an enemy grabs you or holds onto you (usually biting occurs), keep in mind that in addition to a party member slashing you free, you can also dodge cancel out of some holds.
- You can only store a limited amount of NPC bones. Make sure to bury some to avoid missing out on a particularly good pile of bones while out in the field. To expedite this process, resurrect the ones you want, then go to the bury option, and press Square to "bury the rest." The same goes for "hired" NPCs -- you need to cut some loose every so often.
- Speaking of NPCs, if you're having trouble with AI companions dying too often, try to build a party comprised of three Amazons, Dwarves, or Fighters in any order. That way they'll be more resilient to attacks, and won't die as often when standing in the fire or walking into traps.
- If you're in town, press start and select the options menu -- look for "HP Gauge" and select "display." This is the only way to see health meters for non-boss enemies, and will help you pick out weaker foes in the thick of things. The downside is the screen may feel a bit more cluttered.
- Note that you can aim battlefield weapons. Simply press up or down when shooting a crossbow to aim at a certain height. To aim ballistas, hold square and look up or down. This will come in handy for some of the later boss fights.
- Go back to the castle occasionally after beating the game. You'll get unique quests that net you a ton of gold just for beating a level.
If you're playing with NPCs instead of real players, you can lead them out of danger, traps, and more. For instance, if you dash or run, they often follow-suit -- this is especially helpful when the ground is falling. You can also "capture" a screen to fight on that doesn't feature traps, as the camera mostly follows the host player.
- You can't pause the game while in a dungeon, but you can use the Vita's "pause/idle" function to put it into sleep mode after pressing the power button once. Note that if you're connected to online play, this will cancel it out until you re-enable it in town. To see how to unlock online play, simply progress with the game for roughly 5-6 hours, or read the next tip.
- You may notice that you do not have access to online play right away. This is because you have to unlock it by playing roughly 5-6 hours of the game first. Once you complete the initial arc and best nine stages, you'll have to collect orbs in each level to face the "true boss." Each stage will now feature a second route that you can explore, with new bosses -- these are the bosses you need to defeat to nab the orbs. I will refer to these stages as "B-sides."
- Once you reach this point you'll unlock the ability to "continue on your adventure" after completing a stage. Selecting this option instead of returning to town will send you to a random level, and will add extra bonuses to your journey. Simply put, the easiest way to level up in this game is to "let it ride," and keep playing as long as you have the item durability.
- You may have seen a few cooking videos for Dragon's Crown. How do you get the cooking mini-game? By "continuing the adventure" after completing a stage multiple times. After a few continues, you'll find yourself face to face with a variety of ingredients and cooking utensils. Place the food into the pots and pans, stir them, then serve them on your plate to earn bonuses for the next stage.
- Don't underestimate any character's ability to stay in the air. Most party members can continue to stay airborne with their Up+Square attack, and buying at least the first level of the "common skill tree" dash upgrade is essential. You can augment these normal dashes and attacks with special abilities, like the Wizard's ability to levitate.
- There are higher difficulties in the game, and this is how they work. The max level you can earn in Normal Mode (default) is level 35. After beating the final boss, you'll unlock Hard Mode (65), and finally, Inferno Mode, which has a max level of 99.
- If you fight in the game's Arena Mode (PVP), which is unlocked after beating the game for the first time, you can earn gold -- so keep in mind that it's not just a random time waster.
- When solving rune puzzles, don't forget that the solution often uses two runes that are actually placed in the level, and not from your rune book. If you hit a dead end in the Mage's Tower B-side level, the solution "SFC" will send you on your way.
- If you're not getting the orb for the Forgotten Sanctuary demon B-side boss, it's because you're not killing him fast enough. If the ray of light comes down, you won't get credit for the kill, and must re-do the level and kill him faster. Level up before coming back.
- If you don't kill the Dragon B-side boss -- it's the same situation as the demon -- you need to kill him before he falls off the ledge at the end of the fight. Level up, fight him a bit in his initial room (unlock all the chests and the door on the right first) -- then move into the next room after he has roughly 3/4s of his life, and use the various weapons there to best him.