Review by Jen
Blazing Dragons was a short-lived animated TV show of
the mid-90s, created by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame.
The premise is that the dragons are the good guys and the people
are the bad guys. The series borrows heavily from the King Arthur
legends, in a goofy sort of way.
Illusions Gaming developed a video game based on the cartoon,
titled, appropriately enough, Blazing Dragons. It features
the same animators and same voice actors as the series, most notably
Terry Jones himself, Cheech Marin, and Harry Shearer. It was released
for Playstation and Sega Saturn in 1996.
In the game Blazing Dragons, you play the part of Flicker.
Flicker is kind of the court lackey, made to handle all of the
menial tasks around the castle while the Knights of the Square
Table roam the kingdom and joust and quest and suchlike. In his
spare time, Flicker is an inventor. He is also in love with the
Princess Flame, King All-Fire's daughter and Flicker's lifelong
In a few days a tournament is to be held, and the winner gets
to be the next King, as well as gaining Flame's hand in marriage.
Flame is not at all happy about having her bridegroom chosen in
this manner. Flicker sets out to achieve knighthood so that he
may not only enter but win the tournament.
Meanwhile, human Sir George and the evil wizard Mervin plot to
create a mechanical Black Dragon so that they might use it to
enter the tournament and take over the Kingdom of Camelhot. In
addition to this fearsome development, Flicker has to guard against
the oily Sir Loungealot, who has designs on both the kingdom and
And so the game's afoot ...
Blazing Dragons is a third-person, point-and-click adventure
game. You do your pointing with the controller's directional keys
and your clicking with the buttons. The game is chock full of
inventory puzzles and is marred only by the insertion of several
unwanted arcade sequences that are not optional.
Really there are only four arcade puzzles, and they're not all
that difficult, but you know meI have an insuppressible
need to whine about these things. A funny thing happened on the
last one of these arcade puzzles, near the end of the gameI
took about 50 or 60 tries at it and failed, and I made my son
take another 20 or 30 tries at it and he failed, and then we found
out we were doing it wrong. After that wee bit of enlightenment
it only took about two or three more tries to complete it. But
I was no less crabby about the whole thing.
The humor in the game runs the gamut from the brilliantly hilarious
to the "that was dumb" to the "huh? I don't get
it" to the "groan ..." On the whole, there
were not that many outright giggles in the game, but the overall
story didn't rely on the jokesit stood well enough on its
The interface couldn't be simplerfor the most part only
the directional keys and one button are used. And the manual contains
detailed information on what extra keys you will need for the
arcade puzzlesthe problem with this is that some people
only refer to the manual as a last resort. Not naming any names
or anything. The trigger buttons are used to cycle through "verb"
choices, which are the standard look, use, walk, and talk.
There is an onscreen inventory icon. If you move the cursor over
it and click, you can examine and use the inventory items, and
there is also a controller button assigned to this task.
Hotspots are big and clear, and the inventory usage all makes
sense within the context of the game. No monkey wrench puzzles
There is an option for onscreen text to be displayed whenever
there's dialogue. I turned this on because I had a hard time with
the English accents at first. A weird quirk soon became apparentonly
about four lines of dialogue max are displayed at a time, and
the text does not scroll automatically. And the button that forwards
the onscreen text is the same button that cuts short a speech,
so it was a "damned if you do, damned if you don't"
situation. Thus, I would recommend not using the subtitles unless
you're hard of hearing.
You can save anywhere in the game, to one of eight or nine save
slots, but when you restore you may or may not be returned to
the same point in the game. You will never lose inventory or have
to repeat puzzles, but you will have to move yourself back to
the area in which you left off.
Blazing Dragons is easy enough to complete without a walkthrough
and yet puzzling enough to give a real sense of accomplishment
for completing it without a walkthrough. And it's fairly short.
It all boils down to a fine time on the ol' Playstation.