Dungeons & Dragons first hit the market in 1974 via TSR, in 1983, an animated series was released. This was around the time the Basic Set Version 3 was released for those keeping track. That is almost pointless as the animated television series was not based on any rule set. At least that I can ascertain. There have been no games created on the animated series that I know of, so this is the first. Leave it to fans to do what publishers will not.
A worthy use of the Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons is one of those franchises that is ripe for accusations of all kinds. The early 80’s was filled with such claims laying challenges at the franchise. Seemingly impossible to kill, the franchise only got more popular as people laid baseless claims at it.
In 1983, Marvel Productions and TSR worked together to create an animated series based on D&D. Obviously, aimed at children the show took liberties with the content. First, no numbers, rolling dice, keeping track of stats, and the like.
The franchise was taken to its most base elements. Character classes, six well rounded choices for the main cast, being the most obvious. The world was squarely based in fantasy with all the minutiae that comes with that genre. There are a few hints at technology as the main bad guy tempts the heroes with objects from their realm. These are few and far between though, thankfully kept to a minimum.
What young viewers are given is a fun fantasy-based romp with magic powers. More complex stories and an overarching storyline, things another similar franchise did not feature. While I love He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, sometimes it was a chore to enjoy because each episode was self-contained and often disjointed. This was due to only having half an hour to build a story and finish it. Very little overarching content was featured outside character roles.
Dungeons & Dragons the animated series straddled age groups with stronger story lines. Kids could watch and just enjoy the animation. Teens could watch and be entertained with references to the role-play game and complex stories.
Fans create a brawler for Dungeons & Dragons
Okay, this is not the first time Dungeons and Dragons has been featured in gaming. It is not the first time we have covered the franchise in some form here. Far from it. This is not even the first time the franchise has been featured in a brawler style game. It is one of the more interesting fan-based projects to combine the franchise with that genre.
King of Dragons by Capcom is probably the most recent brawler to feature the Dungeons & Dragons license. That title was released in 1991 and saw release on many platforms.
Dungeons & Dragons here uses the OpenBOR engine to handle all the behind-the-scenes details. Including the Sony PlayStation console, Super Nintendo, Steam, and more. I cannot place where the sprites are pulled from so it appears this is one of the more original OpenBOR releases. Most titles using this engine rip sprites from other games, it does not appear that this happened with Dungeons & Dragons though.
The developer has mixed in animation clips from the cartoon which help set the characters up. This addition of clips is interesting and a great use of the available media, even if unofficially. There are also mini games that feature side characters such as the unicorn, Uni.
If you are a fan of Dungeons & Dragons the animated series, then you owe it to yourself to check this one out. Grab your copy of Version one over on Zvitor.com
This article was originally published on Retro Gaming Magazine.