Dragon Wars

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Commodore 64
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Dragon Wars takes place in the magical land of Dilmun, an island of salvation perverted into a world of horror by Namtar (as you might expect - the bad guy).

The player starts with a party of four in the city of Purgatory, equipped with nothing more than.. well - nothing. Worst of all your magic users won't help you out, either, because magic has been banned (to correct this unpleasing situation is one of your main objectives). Other main targets are surviving, getting out of Purgatory and toppling Namtar (maybe getting some decent clothing, one or two shiny swords and the like on your way out).

Gameplay instantly reminds of the Bard's Tale series. Step-by-step first person 3D, opponents materialize out of the air. The combat system is turn based.

Unlike its (spiritual?) predecessors the game features a full-blown skill system, auto-mapping and many places to actually use all these abilities.
Reasonable distribution of your skill points is rather critical.


Dragon Wars Commodore 64 If you try to turn around, you meet this pop-up at the gate.
Dragon Wars Sharp X68000 Title screen
Dragon Wars Amiga Title screen
Dragon Wars Sharp X68000 Exploring, potential danger ahead

Alternate Titles

  • "The Bard's Tale IV" -- Working title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

I finished it twice DOS anton treuenfels (37)
Ever seen an RPG Legend? Well this one's an RPG God! DOS Indra is stressed (20014)
A true classic CRPG I still enjoy playing DOS Late (97)

Critic Reviews

Amiga Joker Amiga Feb, 1991 87 out of 100 87
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft Commodore 64 1992 86 out of 100 86
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft DOS 1992 83 out of 100 83
The Games Machine (UK) Commodore 64 Mar, 1990 83 out of 100 83
Power Play Commodore 64 Feb, 1990 81 out of 100 81
Génération 4 DOS Apr, 1990 76 out of 100 76
Power Play DOS May, 1990 76 out of 100 76
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Amiga Jan, 1991 9 out of 12 75
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) DOS Apr, 1990 8 out of 12 67
Tilt Commodore 64 Mar, 1990 11 out of 20 55


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Bard's Tale

Dragon Wars was developed as The Bard's Tale IV, but three months before release the name had to be dropped. Interplay replaced Electronic Arts with Mediagenic as their publisher and Electronic Arts owned the Bard's Tale name. It was decided to rename the game to Dragon Wars. The developers had to rewrite the story so it would fit the new title.

Default Party Characters

The party in the beginning of the game consists of four default party members (which may optionally be deleted and replaced with new characters). The original party members are: Muskels, Theb, Elendil, and Cheetah. Three additional characters may also optionally be recruited in-game, these characters are: Louie, Ulric, and Valar.

The Elendil party character in this game bears the same name with a fictional character created by author J. R. R. Tolkien, the first high king of Arnor and Gondor. One notable scene from Fellowship of the Ring, where Elendil dies fighting Sauron, his broken sword is then used to cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand.

Importable Characters

The player may transfer (import) previously made character(s) from Tales of the Unknown: Volume I - The Bard's Tale and The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight into Dragon Wars. Transferring characters will unfortunately delete the previously saved game. Click on the file dwtran.com to transfer characters.


Purgatory, the starting city in the game, comes from a legend or a myth referring to a place between earth and hell.

Reversed Spelling/Semordnilaps

Some of the names used in the game have a meaning if spelled backwards. Though it may be coincidental, there are numerous names that are used in this manner, among others:
  • Namtar, the bad guy's name read backwards is Ratman.
  • Another name used in the game, Lanac'toor, read backwards is Root Canal.
Information here was also contributed by Late and Zzap.

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by JRK (11151), Zzap (41), NGC 5194 (17288), Terok Nor (20777), Scaryfun (12667) and Cor 13 (174202)