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Rise of the Dragon

aka: Blade Hunter: Rise of the Dragon, Rise of the Dragon: A Blade Hunter Mystery, RoTD
DOS Specs [ all ]
Buy on Amiga
Buy on DOS
Buy on Windows
(prices updated 9/22 9:47 AM )

Description official descriptions

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.


  • ライズ オブ ザ ドラゴン ~ブレイド・ハンター・ミステリー~ - Japanese spelling

Groups +



Credits (DOS version)

19 People (17 developers, 2 thanks) · View all

Designer and Director
Art Director
Conceptual Art and Characters
Game Development System
Arcade Programming
Audio Director
Music and Sounds
Original Score
Dialogue and Text
Original Story
Quality Assurance Manager
Documentation Design, Layout and Writing by
Special Thanks to
[ full credits ]



Average score: 77% (based on 38 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 89 ratings with 12 reviews)

Blade Runner, meets the Matrix and Big Trouble In Little China

The Good
Rise of the Dragon features a cool science fiction story line that mixes in elements seen with such 1980's films as Blade Runner and Big Trouble in Little China. If you love graphic adventure gaming, set in a dark cyberpunk world, this will be a most enjoyable Sega CD game.

The Bad
First off all, for some reason, certain sexual themes from the computer game did not make it in the Sega CD version. One of the exotic dancers in the bar has been removed and the other one has been toned down. You cannot speak with the punk in the bar and the French kiss and suggested sex scene have been eliminated. It seems odd that such modifications took place, given that the game was rated MA-17. Second, the Sega CD hardware was not up to par with DOS IBM computers of the day, so the graphics looked slightly washed out, with a Matrix-like green tint. Last, but not least, you cannot avoid the few arcade sequences in the game.

The Bottom Line
Rise of the Dragon was one of the few graphic adventure games released for the Sega CD and fans of the genre, especially if they are unfamiliar with the DOS version, should enjoy it. The addition of voice actors greatly adds to the game, but the censorship is simply inexcusable for a game given a MA-17 rating, especially when everything else -- content wise -- from the DOS game seems to be uncensored.

SEGA CD · by ETJB (431) · 2010

You're so... green

The Good
The year is 2053 and the setting is dirty Los Angeles. Former private investigator, William “Blade” Hunter, is asked by Mayor Vincenzi to find out who or what killed his daughter, Chandra. It happens to be an election year, so Vincenzi doesn't want the investigation to be leaked to the press. He gives Blade several leads to get started: Chandra was last seen in the Pleasure Dome, hanging out with some guy known as “The Jake”. Blade should talk to The Jake and show him a “vid-transmission hardcopy” of Chandra.

There are at least three versions of Rise of the Dragon, and each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages. The Sega CD version has full speech, which is what the other two versions lack. The different characters are voiced by professional actors, including Cam Clarke, who plays the part of Blade. Like in other versions, you are likely to choose some responses when you are talking to someone. Whether you choose the right responses will determine if they are kind afterwards, or are angry at you. I enjoyed getting an angry reaction from them. Having completed the Sega CD version, I have to say that the speech very much adds to the game's atmosphere. The voices that I like include those belonging to all the Chinese characters, especially Jonny Qwong and Deng Hwang.

Another advantage over the DOS/Amiga versions is the use of great sound effects. These can be heard in scenes when lightning strikes, when someone fires a gun, or when a bomb is exploded. And you can hear machines doing their shit when you spy into the enemy's warehouse. I mostly heard them from playing the arcade sequences, dealing with the different hazards that block your way.

The Bad
There is one scene where Karyn and Blade go out for dinner, but that scene is censored. This is despite the game given a MA-17 rating by the VRC. Anyone who has played the DOS or Amiga version will surely know that both characters don't just go out for dinner, they sleep together as well.

Due to the Sega CD's limited color palette, the graphics have a green tint to them. Although that is bad, I like to think that the game deserves it due to its “MTZ” drug theme. Before Dynamix went ahead of the game, they should have waited one more year when the Saturn came out. By then, they would have incorporated graphics that have more colors than the other versions, making it look more like a futuristic thriller. As well this, they would have made further enhancements to the game.

The Bottom Line
Despite the censorship and the green graphics, the Sega CD version of Rise of the Dragon has one notable advantage over other versions before it: full speech. This adds to the atmosphere of the game. Other advantages include great sound effects, that can be best enjoyed during the arcade sequences. So if you have already played either of the other versions, I would recommend getting hold of the Sega CD version and see how good it is.

SEGA CD · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2007

One interactive Sci-Fi novel that wont leave you untouched

The Good
The first thing that struck me where the great looking graphics in Blades small but futuristic apartment. The greatly seductive sound of drops hitting a metal sink together with that distant pixel skyline outside the window drags you right into the screen and universe, a mystical and depressive such. The game is built on hand painted still images and is played in real time, witch means that if you have an appointment at 5 and the time is 3 you just have to wait. The storyline was strongly plotted out for you and there where no such thing as dynamic gameplay, but still they manage to deliver the feeling of accomplishment to the player. Throughout the game you encounter several puzzles that are directly tied to the story. The sequence where you sneak down the sewer to redirect some electrical weiring are a master piece. In short this game with its graphics, sound and music absolutely kidnaps you for a couple of hours and holds you helplessly hostage in they Blade Hunters future universe, you get to live a part of his life.

The Bad
There are a couple of shoot'm up segments in the game that are a total catastrophe. Its blocky steering and inexact shooting gets you extremely frustrated when all you want is to know how the adventure continues. Further more its very short and just as you are about to log on to Ebay to get your self the Blade outfit you´v saved the day and the game is over.

The Bottom Line
An interactive Sci-Fi novel in the Blade runner universe. There are 3 different game types bundled in one. The lined out RPG, the puzzles and the, from the side, shoot 'em up type. Its a typical Hollywood story with a strong atmosphere but a short lifespan. You even play the love life.

Amiga · by Birjer Rosenkrantz (3) · 2005

[ View all 12 player reviews ]



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.)
  • In Heart of China, another game from Dynamix, if you talk to some people in Ho's bar, some people will say "Bahumat lives!". A reference to the main villain in Rise of the Dragon.

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

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Related 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.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

SEGA CD, Amiga added by POMAH. Windows added by Cavalary. Macintosh added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Shoddyan, Sciere, martin jurgens, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, ZeTomes, Shankao, Kayburt.

Game added March 20th, 1999. Last modified August 21st, 2023.