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Rise of the Dragon

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Developed by
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The year is 2053, and Los Angeles has turned into a grim place ruled by crime and corruption. William 'Blade' Hunter is a private detective who once was a police officer. He is asked to investigate a horrible murder of the mayor's daughter, whose body was mutilated. As Hunter begins to search for clues that would help him solve the crime, he uncovers a conspiracy involving a deadly drug and a powerful criminal syndicate behind it.

Rise of the Dragon is a futuristic first-person adventure game. The game's visuals are reminiscent of a comic book, with digitized photos of actors and hand-painted backgrounds. Unlike most other adventure games of the time, it relies less on inventory puzzles and more on specific choices made by the player. The game has an internal clock and requires the player to plan the protagonist's moves ahead in order to be in the right place at the right time. Dialogues with multiple choices are utilized as a gameplay tool; a wrong choice will often lead to a premature end of the adventure.

There are two side-scrolling action sequences in the game; both can be bypassed without penalty if the player character dies several times in a row. The Sega CD version does not allow the player to skip these sequences. In addition, it uses a different color palette with a greenish tint, and has voice-overs for the dialogues.


Rise of the Dragon Macintosh Intro event (Chandra)
Rise of the Dragon DOS Sample cinematic cutscene (VGA)
Rise of the Dragon DOS Karyn on the vidphone
Rise of the Dragon DOS Cinematic cutscene

Alternate Titles

  • "RoTD" -- Common abbreviation
  • "Rise of the Dragon: A Blade Hunter Mystery" -- referenced on the manual cover

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Hey, have you forgotten your key again?!.. DOS Cor 13 (171997)
Novel story-telling technique + clichéd story = above average game. DOS RussS (781)
Tech-Noir DOS Zovni (9344)
You're so... green SEGA CD *Katakis* (37849)
One interactive Sci-Fi novel that wont leave you untouched Amiga Birjer Rosenkrantz (4)
The future doesn't look good for LA DOS *Katakis* (37849)
An immersive world that completely captures your interest without frustrating your intellect. DOS Trixter (8731)
Not as good as it claims to be DOS Boston Low (93)
Better and Worse than the DOS version SEGA CD Jessie Cook (21)
Blade Runner, meets the Matrix and Big Trouble In Little China SEGA CD ETJB (447)

The Press Says

GamePro (US) SEGA CD Jul, 1993 4.5 out of 5 90
The One DOS Feb, 1991 89 out of 100 89
Amiga Format Amiga Oct, 1991 86 out of 100 86
Adventure Classic Gaming DOS May 08, 2007 4 out of 5 80
All Game Guide SEGA CD 2007 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Game Informer Magazine SEGA CD Mar, 2003 7.75 out of 10 78
Game Players SEGA CD Jun, 1994 77 out of 100 77
Power Play DOS Apr, 1991 68 out of 100 68
Video Games & Computer Entertainment SEGA CD Jun, 1994 5 out of 10 50
HonestGamers SEGA CD Jan 20, 2007 4 out of 10 40


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Rise of the Dragon appears to have been coded in Turbo C++.


Messages hidden in the main executable:

Boy, am I tired. Better get some sleep in about an hour.

You have chosen to run the game with only %s bytes of memory! You are on your own! (this is presumably when the user has decided to run the game without enough free DOS memory available)


  • One of the patrons in the Pleasure dome is named "FU BAR".
  • David Wolf makes an appearance outside the Pleasure Dome--he strolls past in a tuxedo if you wait long enough. (David Wolf was the main hero of Dynamix's earlier game David Wolf: Secret Agent.)

SEGA CD version

The Sega CD has automatically-converted graphics from the 256-color originals, but (probably due to the Sega's limited color palette and palette restrictions) everything has a green cast. Check screenshots for comparison. Also some things were cut from the game: an ammo clip besides a telephone, all but one strippers in the bar and a sequence in which the protagonist has sex.


Rise of the Dragon was released in two separate packages for the PC: A 256-color VGA/MCGA version that took up about 7 megabytes, and an EGA/CGA version that, understandably, took up half that size. The 16-color EGA version, on the other hand, has mostly redrawn graphics based on the 256-color originals.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1991 (Issue #88) – Special Award for Artistic Achievement
    • November 1996 (15th Anniversary Issue) - #83 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #12 Most Innovative Computer Game
Information also contributed by PCGamer77

Related Web Sites

  • Game Nostalgia (Provides extensive background info for Rise of the Dragon, pictures of the cast, full credits with shots and info about the design team, specific details about the game, various goodies, all musical themes, shots of every location in the game, saved games, a list of reviews, including a "nostalgic "review and tech specs.)
Contributed to by POMAH (35651), Trixter (8731) and Terok Nor (19322)