Dragon Wars

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Commodore 64
Apple II
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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 DOS ingame #1
Dragon Wars Commodore 64 Title screen is copied from the box cover, which features artwork by Boris Vallejo.
Dragon Wars DOS Praying to Irkalla
Dragon Wars Commodore 64 There is a place where you can get healed though, and the bars are filled with ideas for how to escape...

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 (20013)
A true classic CRPG I still enjoy playing DOS Late (97)

Critic Reviews

Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft Amiga 1992 87 out of 100 87
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft Commodore 64 1992 86 out of 100 86
64'er Commodore 64 1991 8 out of 10 80
PC Leisure DOS Jun, 1990 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Power Play Amiga Jan, 1991 79 out of 100 79
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) Commodore 64 Jan, 1990 8.5 out of 12 71
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) DOS Apr, 1990 8 out of 12 67
Svenska Hemdatornytt Amiga Apr, 1990 66.25 out of 100 66


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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 (17279), Terok Nor (21038), Scaryfun (12736) and Cor 13 (174226)