The Legend of Dragoon  Screenshot

At GameCritics, we love getting email in response to the reviews we write. It doesn't matter if we agree with it or not. As long as it's an attempt at intelligent discussion and is clearly written, we welcome everyone's opinions concerning the content we provide for our readers.

As many of our readers are well aware of, I wrote a review last fall on Sony's epic role-playing game, The Legend of Dragoon. I didn't like the game very much. I thought it was unoriginal, horribly written and mindlessly repetitive. It was pretty much the same role-playing action I've been playing since the Super NES days, only not as fun. In my review, I gave it a "5" (out of 10) and complained throughout about how the game blatantly ripped off Squaresoft's Final Fantasy VII—another game I didn't like very much. Quite simply, for a game that was three years in development, The Legend of Dragoon was very disappointing in almost every aspect of its design.

Little did I know how many Dragoon lovers there were in the world (I call them Dragoon Nazis now). The day after the review went live, I received the first of many emails regarding the harsh verdict I laid down upon The Legend of Dragoon. Here it is:

You know, when I first started playing the game, I thought the same things that you expressed in your review, that this was just another rip off of FFVII. Actually, what I really thought was that 'this game should have BEEN FFVII.' You simply complained too much in your review, which leads me to believe that you didn't actually play much of the game at all before you wrote that review. If you had played it, you would have realized that beneath the initial FVII look alike syndrome was a unique, engaging, gem of an RPG, that given half a chance, would have blown your mind.

About your review. From that review, I gather that every time you play a traditional style RPG you immediately compare it to FFVII. However, if you noticed, random battles, three-person battle mode, prerendered backdrops, and polygonal characters are pretty much standard for RPGs these day. It hardly qualifies as being a rip-off of FFVII, unless you consider every game since FFVII to be a rip off, that is. I bet that if you had gotten that far, you would have also complained that there weren't enough magic spells to choose from. What your lack of objectivity has caused you to ignore, is that this game is balanced out so that no matter what part of the game you are in, the system maintains an advanced level of difficulty. God forbid an RPG that wont allow you to be come so powerful my midgame that you don't actually have to work for it anymore!

I'll will agree with your assessment that the characters are a little flat. Once again though, had you played a little further, you would have seen their personalities develop. Sure, they don't ever get as deep as say, CLOUD from FFVII, but they go far beyond what you gave the impression of in your review. As for the seemingly unrealistic way that everything seems to fall together, such as everyone just happening to be a Dragoon (as you pointed out in your review), it's a theme that a lot of RPGs use, it's called fate. I'm sure that that is just another sign of the game's unoriginality to you, but in that, most RPGs are guilty.

With that, I'd suggest that the next time you go to review a game, review the game for what it is, not for what it reminds you of. If all reviews were written in your style, there would be no such thing as a good RPG(which LOD IS), they'd all just be ripoffs of something else. Lastly, I'd be curious to know what you thought of Legend of Mana, now that was a disappointment. Also, don't take this as an attack on your review, it's not. Think of it as constructive criticism on your criticism. Thanks for your time.

OK, this isn't a bad one at all. It's totally cool. This person had some problems with my review—no big deal. I responded right away and tried to clarify my thoughts on the game, as well as reinforce my position. However, I never anticipated how many times I would be faced with the same predicament in the coming months.

That first email is actually high on the list of the thought-out Dragoon emails. As time went on, emails went from messages filled with questions and rebuttals to nothing but short declarations and name calling, as in the following examples:

i don't like ben!!

* * *

i don't wear glasses like you you freak!

Believe it or not, that was all those people had to say to me, and they were pretty polite compared to some of the others I received. As you'll soon see in the e-mail collection I've assembled here, people can get really upset when you bash their favorite game. I've always known there are people out there who take everything seriously, but no one can compare to the Dragoon Nazis. To them, any criticism raised against The Legend of Dragoon must be taken personally.

The reason for such unreasonable behavior is pretty clear to me. For most of the people who wrote to me, The Legend of Dragoon was one of the first—if not THE first—role-playing game they've ever played. I suppose if The Legend of Dragoon was my introduction to the genre, I might've liked it more, too. Unfortunately, I've been playing RPGs for years and years, and I like to think that I demand a bit more from my games as a result. This is an idea that most of these people just can't understand.

Anyway, let's get on with it. Please note that I've removed the names of all the authors, both for their protection and ours. Also note that I've only corrected the spelling and grammar of the emails that made an attempt to discuss the subject at hand without getting ridiculous and irrational.

Of course I played the game!

Have you guys even played through the game? All the screen shots from the game that are on your site were either from the first CD or the second one. You even put two of the same pictures in the "screen shots" section—the one where Dart is slashing at the scorpion. Besides, (preemptive "I'm sorry") in a profession where you just sit around in a room and play games and type up reviews all day, I can see why you would be a little grouchy, but that is no excuse for badmouthing a game that you probably haven't even played all the way through. Even if it is your job.

Do you know any big words?

You guys, the two of you that wrote The Legend of Dragoon review have totally overlooked all the good qualities of the game. You say that it is just a rip-off of Final Fantasy VII, and being a mostly impartial, new to the PlayStation gamer who has never played FF7, I am forced to believe you.

However, you should know that I don't want to believe you. This is the best game I have ever played with—as far as I'm concerned—a totally original cast of characters and an unbeatable storyline. The movie scenes and the computer graphics are vastly superior to anything I have ever seen.

You just use big words to overcome situations during which you don't know what to type—and I suppose I'm doing it too.

I agree with the second review in that I like the Additions system. I also have problems with the extreme expanse of time that is wasted during the "random battle" thing. But I still don't agree with anything else that you two put into your reviews—even though I'm sure you don't care what I think.

The Legend of Dragoon: Unique in what way?

I thought your review of The Legend of Dragoon was all wrong. I have no idea what you have against the repeated "X" pressing, or are you guys so helpless that you need items to beat the enemies? Every time I got one of those things I just sold it, and there you have it—end of problem. The game for me was great, and I have played FF7. Yes they do seem similar, but The Legend of Dragoon is still unique.

Ben, what the hell's up with dissing the Dragoon transformations? They were bad ass, and it made it even better that the other characters could transform as well. I don't know why you want the game to go by so fast. Isn't that the point of RPG games, to give you a nice long story that makes you want to see more? If the battle were to wiz by then what would be the fun, you'd just be complaining about the battles going by to fast, they should go a little slower. I happened to think the game was great, and I feel that your review was a bunch of BS. Thanks for your time.

Final Fantasy VII Screenshot


dude, i just read your add in some web site about what you thought about legend of dragoons and you are completely wrong, your probally sayin that cause you got pissed off because you couldnt beat it, ok yea its alittle like the ff's, but the story line and the surroundings are different, no disrespect, thats your opinnion but its all wrong.

Platinum and Silver aren't the same?

This is your lucky day….to get a letter from a VERY PEEVED Legend of Dragoon fan.

I'd like you to have the patience to read my entire letter since I had the patience to read your entire ridiculously scrutinizing review on an RPG that is way better than ANY Final Fantasy game. (cept FF3 and 8) ESPECIALLY better than FF7. You say that the battle systems copy final fantasy 7's eh? I'm sick of hearing it being compared to final Fantasy. Final Fantasy is CRAP compared to other games. Xenogears, Legend of Dragoon, and Valkyrie Profile are ALL better than Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy is only popular because it spread like christianity with FF7 and now people only want to play FF and never give anything else a chance. The battles in Dragoon are copied off of final fantasy 7 in some minor ways, but almost any RPG you play will be like that! (xenogears with pressing the deathblow sequences ect…) Who cares about minor details like that anyways?! Obviously you didn't pay attention to a single detail in the story of Dragoon which is supposed to make the game good—not the battles or how many items the people carry. that's childish to think like that. Besides….do you MAYBE think they did that to make the game more challenging!?! SHEESH!!

ok. Dart and Shana are like Tifa and Cloud in a small way…but they didn't make a stupid promise and go through stupid flashbacks all the time (THANK GOD) and they DID confess their love throughout the game MANY TIMES!!!! Dart would always hold her and one time he said "I don't think of you as a little sister anymore" But they didn't have time to be too close because so many things were happening. they had to chase after Lennus to get the moon dagger, and then they had to try to keep the moon mirror from being stolen, and THEN Lloyd stole the queen along with the mirror and so on and so on and so on…. and comparing Lloyd to Sephiroth is also CHILDISH!! Hello? Are they not aloud to have a bad guy with silver hair?? YOU KNOW WHAT?! They said many times in the game that it was Platinum!! Platinum is used for a really really light blonde, but they make it look greyish silver.

Sorry If I'm sounding so bitchy. But your review really bothered me. On to your "everyone can use dragoons theory" NOT! You really must not have paid attention. Rose said herself that it wasn't coincodence that they were travelling together. They all had the power to be dragoons but they were brought together by fate. Fate had something in store for them, but they didn't know what. And don't say that was a cheesy idea because I've seen cheesier, and I think it's really cool because there were 7 of them…just like the ancient Dragoons that fought in the Dragon Campaign. and when one Dragoon passes on (Lavitz) Another that was willing would don the spirit (Albert). This also explains why Lloyd couldn't use the Divine Dragon spirit or turn into a dragoon. His magic power was increased and he got cool armor, but he couldn't be a dragoon with it. Dart on the other hand, was already a dragoon, and since he lost his dragoon spirit to Zieg, he could use the Divine Dragon Spirit. Same with Shana when she fell ill and gave the Spirit to Miranda. Miranda wanted to help really badly, and that's why she could use it. Fate brought them to her. Ect Ect Ect….

And when you say the stuff about the backgrounds being CG stills with the characters walking over them. That's the going thing right now. Chrono Cross also does that. Dragoon is better than Chrono Cross. I couldn't put Dragoon down…unlike FF7 and Chrono Cross. So what is the better game? Don't make me laugh! You should think more before you post such a review in the future. Because just because YOU want to compare it to A lower class game and call it a rip off, other people won't think the same way. I hope maybe you can replay the game and like it for what it is….thanks for reading."

Dastard? What's a dastard?

Dear Ben,
I've read your revew with great interest. I've come to the conclusion that you have missed the "human factor" in your review. In your report you mention continuously that The Legend of Dragoon is much like Final Fantasy VII. Well, I must tell you, I own both of these games and have seen that your report falsely accuses Sony of copying Squaresoft's No. 1 hit. The storyline in The Legend of Dragoon has nothing to do with the fact that Dart and Shana are young and in love. It revolves around the fact that fate can be changed by the decisions we make through our life. The only thing that is remotely similar between the two is the battle sequence, and even that was not as similar to FF7 as you state it to be.

Adittions are a factor to make the battle a little less boring. It's a way you can "kick the enemy's butt," and is supposed to give the player a goal to set. In a real fight, people don't hit each other one at a time, as in most role playing games. Additions are supposed to create a "realistic" approach to the battle.

Also, the characters don't talk at all in FF7. In The Legend of Dragoon, during battle and during movie sequences, the characters talk. The music is different too. There is no similarity in the two games' music. Plus, in FF7, the war that is mentioned over and over has already ended. In Dragoon, It is in the beginning of it.

And one more statement before I stop. A bastard is a man who's father was killed in a battle. So you could say that Dart IS a bastard. It was a word used plentifully during the middle ages, only they pronounced it 'dastard.'

P.S. Try to be more careful before instigating a trial over video game ideas.

Try it again? Are you ill?

Excuse me sir –This game has given me and my friend a lot of thoughts about what to rate it. I believe that it would be a 9 out of 10. I got the game for Christmas and thought it was creative, colorful and above all else beautifully animated. I guarantee if you play the game and get into the moods of the characters, you will see the game from a whole new light. A fan of the characters (especially Shana and Lavitz), I believe the characters are very imaginatively drawn. Their magic is awesome, and it makes a lot of sense. My friend even said that it made more sense to her than Zelda: Ocarina of Time. So I hope you consider trying the game again. Thank you.

Sure, whatever you say…

in my own opinion i think you have a serious problem or say a fixation over final fantasy 7 i thought that legend of dragon was a lot better than final fantasy 7 in every aspect sure they had some of the same miner details but the overall storyline of the game is completely different

How about giving ME a break?

the best thing you said was it suck and yet u gave it a 5. it compares to ff7 in no way possible. how do u get additions out of limit breaks?!? and why do you hate the fact they all have the power?!?you can't have one amazing guy that's twice as powerful as the rest and call it a good character cast!!! and would you call 7 NOT 6 characters beating the crap out of 2 monsters fun? give the game a break!

Yes! I really did play the damn game!

You try to beat LoD down by comparing it to another game, and i don't think you ever really played it. If you did not know Final Fantasy copies itself and many other games as well. But you probably don't play other games do you?

I give up. You're right. I've never played the game.

no one gives a damm what you think i personally think legend of dragoon is much more involvinhg than final fantasy 7 you forgot to mention the fact that on lod you don't have to use every one to get them experinse unlike ff7 you have to use them other wise they get no exp. the fact that you say all you do aout it makes me think you have never played it.

'Benny Ben Ben?'

well benny ben ben you should be fired off this new website because your just a biased person. legend of dragoon is a well made game that if you at least try to like it would be pretty fun. and it has no similarity story like ff7 just because it has characters dart and shana doesnt mean any thing there are lots of game you can turn down like squall and rinoa from ff8, or xenogears, and many other wonderful rpgs. one thing don't be biased and try to understand that every game has its unique cast, story, and gameplay

Half-assed? Gee, I thought I did a pretty good job of bashing the game.

I'm sending you this in response to your review of The Legend of Dragoon. I disagree greatly with all the stuff you said. You made a point to mention all of the games "all right" qualities, and change them to sound horrible to the consumer. And when you compared LOD to Final Fantasy, you mentioned that it was a rip-off because in the game there is a love story between shana and dart, as in FF and I agree, it gets kinda boring, but try to find an RPG out there that doesn't have a similar quality. I really don't see what the paragraph about the word "bastard" was about, probably another half-assed attempt to make the game sound horrible. And you compare LOD to FF like it's the only game that has ever been written along the same lines.

You also talk a hell of a lot about the supposedly "annoying" fight sequences that LOD has. Try to tell me that FF's isn't annoying. I think that the additions are a lot more exciting than FF's fight sequences. And if you think I am saying this because I don't like FF, it's not true. I am not some freak who is obsessed with either of these games, I just don't agree with your perspective on LOD.

I think that your review was a lousy attempt at bashing The Legend of Dragoon. And if you disagree, so be it, you have the right to email your thoughts to me, whether they are about dislike, because I just sent my thoughts to you.

Actually, 'they' don't pay me anything

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! how could say stuff like that ? they must pay you alot to lie. ohmy god thheLoD is nothing like ff7. the lod rules! look at graphics, battle,and storyline it is ssssssssssooooooooooooooo much better than ff7. people lie ALOT latley.

Final Fantasy VII Screenshot

Boy does this guy know me

While reading your review of Legend of Dragoon, I was reminded of an old saying. Those who can do, and those who can't criticize. Your constant comparison to Final Fantasy 7 plainly recognizes you as one of the glorious people who never played a role playing game until someone told them it was cool, so I'll let you in on some info. Nobody who plays role playing games is looking for originality. EVERY game copies each other, otherwise no body would buy them. The only advances come in the style. Also, none of the peoplecoming up with these games are writers, so you won't find a masterpeice to often, and to come back to your previous comparison to Final Fantasy 7, lets remember a little game called Final Fantasy 3…… A group of revolutionaries fighting the big, evil empire? Hmmmm……. Materia?……Magicite?……I don't know……Limit breaks?……. Naive girl who can't find love?……. Should I go on?

But since I can recognize the good in things as well, which is why I still enjoy playing them. But anyway, I just wanted to express my belief that people who can't enjoy play a role playing game for what it is should probably stick to NFL Gameday or Spyro the Dragon, or some other such 'Big Seller'.

Since when are games for fun?

first of all if you don't like the game don't play.second millions of Rpgs have brown haired girls and spikey haired boys as child hood freind.I mean come on the two main charecters must have some sort of bond.third all battles in rpgs have voices and rotating helps game play.the voices are not dubbed.FF7 and legend of dragoon have barly anything in common.I know I if something copies FF7 because I have beat it and am very dedicated to it.Stop looking for flaws and enjoy the game.Dragoons aren't humans but the form of a half human half dragon.Rand battels and bleading screen get a little anoying but after 38 Hours strait of it you learn to love it.Dragoons are specil because barely anyone except the charecters you get can control them.It's because the sudden surge of power could kill you even know what a wingless is and do you know who loyd is.The game even has the charecters make deep freinships and great relastionships unlike FF games.The creaters didn't even know about one has spikey hair in that game.shannas hair is light brown not dark brown.I won't go any further cause I could go on for hours but one mesage.GAMES ARE FOR FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GamePro = Real job

ur like a homo. gay fagot loving c–k smooch why don't u get a reeeeeeeeellllllllll job as an editer like gamepro or gamefan or EGM. I must admit this looks like FF7 but besides the facts wing dragoons dragoons black monster moon that never sets the divine tree winglies these are fresh ideas. go suck d–k for coke…………………………..sorry!


please do not send me a virus i am sorry i called u a fagot loving c–k smooch i got carried away but i liked Legend of Dragoon even more then FF7 perhaps it is because i beat FF7 so many times and i am bored with it. LEGEND OF DRAGOON WILL NEVER DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A nice one! Oh my God! He thanked me!

I almost went out and bought The Legend of Dragoon until I read your review. Thanks for saving me money. I just got done with Vagrant Story and loved it. Any other suggestions for PlayStation?


Actually, I call people 'Doody-head' all the time

Dear Mr. Hopper:

Maybe I'm just an idiot and not quite as keenly tuned into video games as you. But I really fail to see why you gave The Legend of Dragoon a "mediocre" review. I'm guessing that you gave Final Fantasy VII an excellent review, raving about its revolutionary this and that, but frankly, Dragoon has better graphics, more diverse characters, and though it's turn based, a well thought out battle system. The "additions" were a very good idea. The only people that can't appreciate them are those that either suck at video games, or shouldn't be playing RPGs at all. The wait-your-turn-and-push-a-button method in FF7 is way to boring. Yes, they are random battles, but so were FF7's battles—BIG DEAL. At least in this game you have an indicator for when you will be entering a battle. FF7 just blew you into a battle and made you angry. As for the word "bastard," in the sense of the sword it means, irregular, or inferior, not illegitimate. They say "bastard" because the only swearing a game is allowed is "bastard," "hell," and "damn." What are you gonna call a person if your angry, "Doody-head?" I would say that you review was a bit presumptuous.

Wow! An apology!

I was one of the people from whom you may have relieved a lot of hate mail. And I am here to apologize for my behavior and my profanity used in the letter I sent to you guys. It's just that it burns me to read your comments on The Legend of Dragoon because I find that game excellent.

So, I hope you accept my apology and keep doing your job great, OK? Bye!

I don't like to pretend

I don't actually have a review of my own, just comments on Ben's and Dale's (I think that's their names) review. First of all, though it might be somewhat similar to Final Fantasy VII you got to consider the game itself, and you don't have to compare it to other games of the same genre. How would the game be if you never played FF7 (Impossible? Let's just pretend)? If The Legend of Dragoon came out before FF7 would you consider FF7 a copycat? I don't mean to say anything bad about the two guys that did the review, they're actually pretty good reviewers. I've read some of their other work, it's just that I don't think that they gave The Legend of Dragoon a very fair review.

Thank you for reading.

Geez—write a book why don't you?

Im no major critic, but i believe The Legend of Dragoon is a way better game than it is being put out to be. Though it does have alot in common with FF7 it is alot more different than it. Namely the additions, though they are tough to learn and are annoying at points if u do them wrong, they are one of the best things about it. I love almost all RPGs. But i honestly get bored with alot now. After mastering most additions and beating the game, i bought FF9. And I got half way through the first disc, I took it back. I got so bored of pressing a button and watching them do the attack. The additions in dragoon give u something to do. You have to acheive the maximum damage u don't press a button and they do it, you have to learn them. I think intirely that the additons will be the next step in RPGs, and next thing you know ppl will be saying that someone ripped off the additions in it, cause ppl say that cause they cant handle it. If your any kind of RPG fan, you cant analyze a game till the second time u play it. The first time I beat it, I thought the same as everyone else, but then I went through it again and acually understood it completly. The second time around is when you get the sense for the game, mastering everything and finding stuff you hadnt before, its what makes the game. And I love FF7, don't get me wrong, its one of the all time best RPGs, it was just so good it was destand to get ripped off. But dragoon isnt as similar as it seems. In none of the games ive played outta the FF series has a story line like that. It does get boring twords the end but it has its high points. like lavitz dieing off early (its not expected unless u have the guide) and then coming back again in Mayfil to see his friends again before he goes to the next life. to me it shows a good story, or finding out that diaz is darts father, Roses love, and a dragoon that liberated the humans, the whole thing starts to fall together. If your good at analyzing things(games, movies, etc.) then you can tell that dragoon is good when it all starts falling together. and for all the ppl who think it doesnt make sense, not be rude but its RP, its a fantasy world, so it shouldnt make sense intirely. And yes the translation sux, but so does the reviews its getting. and also its graphics are something to awe at, but the games coming out now are getting more graphic each one. And to the thing about it being a cheap way to get money, if u wanna think about some one trying to make money, think of the squaresoft. I mean don't get me wrong, the FF series is good, but now theyre using the name of FF to get more money. They should have ended it with FF7. Then they could have ended the FF series with a bang. Then came back later with another and stormed the box offices with ppl wanting it. That would have made them tons of money. But the whole fact of 8 & 9 were for money. so impart i think it shouldnt be judged like that till it is fully understood.

The Legend of Dragoon  Screenshot

You have to be coordinated to play RPGs?


Look, you're a respected person, you normally rate games well, but I really think you're taking away from this game. Sure, the translations are iffy, and it does seem rather Final Fantasy-ish, but the game has good points too. There's more realistic battling (IMHO, I'm not a "hardcore gamer"), you don't have hundreds of thousands of hit points, and you don't take that off your enemies either. It's more realistic—you have a chance to be countered.

The combat system takes a bit of practice. The reason you probably didn't like it was because you aren't hand-to-eye-coordinated enough to appreciate it. The storyline in no way resembles that of FF7 (which by the way, I HATED the game, there were plot holes up the wazoo and the graphics sucked—LOD is a weee bit better in that department).

As for your basing the relationship between Shana and Dart, well, that's too bad, cause most games—and anime—not to mention most movies, use that. You over dramatized it by making Square look like they were using something exclusive to Final Fantasy games. If you cant be more productive, and at least list some good aspects to games as well as bad ones, you're no much more of a critic than some kid that sits in his bedroom and plays games all day. I'm sorry, I'm just a girl whom probably has no idea what she's talking about, but I do think you went way too harsh on a game. Perhaps you should reevaluate the game, and give the thing a chance. You were preinfluenced, as you stated in your review.


hey you ben!!

see if u can make ur own good game. The Legend of Dragoon didn't copy ff7 u freak.

i like legend of dragoon and for me its an original game. so what if the characters are alike? is the story line the same? stupid. lets see if u can create a good game.

and by the way the "bastard " word is nothing stupid..i know some kids today that knows how to f–k at the age of 8. don't blame it on legend of dragoon just for the ' bastard '

ur the bastard. u stupid. ur just jealous or mad cause ur stupid cheap analog controller got broke because u don't know how to play LEGEND OF DRAGOON.

i think you need more practice on additions…cause i know that ur a bastard on additions..

damn u, u don't even know how to press the button right u stupid freak.

ur whining and bitching .." wuaaa wuaa…legend of dragoon copied ff7 wuaa uwaaa boo hoo…. i lost my 34 dollars just for that stupid game…i cant even press the button right cause its too hard for me..wuaaaaa mommy!!!….

u just don't know how to play the game… STUPID!!!

Like I said before, I played … nevermind

You must of not played The Legend of Dragoon that long cause the game is not even close about love. Like all fantasy games the story gets twisted around. On about beginning of disc three you can't even use Shana no more cause she sucks. They have to save her at the end. She is the one to make the god of destruction come to life, but it ends up the final boss just wants to waken the god of destruction so he can be the god so you really don't have to save her at the end. It ends up Dart's dad never died and was possessed from some guy, and the dad was part of The Legend of Dragoon group 11,000 years ago.

Dart's dad and Rose where both together 11,000 years ago, and they were going to get married. There is lot of other things that get twisted around in the story, so you shouldn't judge a game until you beat it cause I thought the game was stupid at first, but it turned out to be one of my best games. And the final movie is the best ending movie I've ever seen.

Final Fantasy VII Screenshot

Bastard swords
For those of you who don't know, in The Legend of Dragoon., the lead character, Dart, gets a sword called a Bastard Sword. Without it ever occurring to me that the weapon might exist in real life, I made fun of it in my review—simply because the idea of a Bastard Sword seemed ridiculous to me, and also because Dart acquires the sword in the level in which the bad guys continuously shout, "Bastard!" at him, which was also funny to me.

Of course there was an entire legion of Dragoon Nazis primed to inform me that a Bastard Sword is an actual weapon, and that if I had paid attention in history class I would have known that. My reaction was that the idea of the existence of the Bastard Sword being common knowledge to anyone but medieval historians was unreasonable. In all my years of schooling, not once did I hear mention of a sword that was even remotely bastard-like. But it didn't matter. That little oversight left me wide open to further filleting from the hardcore RPG fan boys, and it gave them an excuse to discredit my review of the game. In hindsight, I probably should have checked on the Bastard Sword thing before I submitted my review, but I would have just made fun of it anyway, so the point is moot as far as I'm concerned.

And now, everything you needed to know about Bastard Swords but were afraid to ask:

First of all did you even play the game all the way through? you DO find out that Shana loves dart she says so several times throughout the game.Whats with comparing it to FF7? FF7's limit breaks and Dragoons additions are toatally differant.Limit break-pick what limit break you want and the char does it. Addition-when chars turn comes up you press the X button at the certain times not just-as in FF7-click on omnislash and he does it. Did you even get all the additions for everyone or did you just look at thier beggining ones like doubleslash and guess they would all be the same?! The only similarities i see in FF7 and Dragoon is that the playtime graphics look similar. You say in your review if you want your kids to learn bad language get dragoon for them. They use the word bastard 3 maybe 4 times in the whole game, and if you knew anything about the word bastard you would know that a Bastard Sword is a A long sword that is usable with only one hand. I have played at least 8 or nine games where there is a bastard sword. its not a new thing like you think. Bastard swords originated in midevil times. they were real! the game shares hardly any similarities to FF7. you could say all the same things if you compared FF7 to a lot of RPG's. Next time you just go off and criticize something at least study it.

* * *

you did The Legend of Dragoon review:

Your main mess up: the game wasn't the best I think so to but you bashed the hell out of it and still gave it a 5.0………THAT WAS REALLY DUMD….. …another thing you say that the bastard is fake or something it is real and why not have it in the game it is a real SWORD not like the buster sword which is cool in the game but would not be cool in real life

Your good stuff: some of your point were really good

* * *

Listen…I have played the game and it's not all that much like FF7…you may find this hard to believe but most games revolve around the Final Fantasy story lines. The word Bastard…a fatherless boy is it's dictionary definition and kids learn it on there own! I'm 13! I would know! You have no right to judge a game by the language used in it. FF7 alone has plenty of swears, and the word bastard is not a swear. Bastard Sword has been used in several games and, unless I'm incorrect, you have not critized those games for it. I see you may be a die-hard Final Fantasy fan, but do not imply that in any further game reviews. Forgive me if I sound rude, but I'm just an RPG fan(no paticular RPGs, though the Final Fantasy is so far my favorite) who feels your review is just a bit insulting to all RPG fans.

* * *

Hi there,

In your review of The Legend of Dragoon you write:

'The characters use the word 'bastard' a lot, and there's even a Bastard Sword! I guess the idea of an illegitimate sword is a new one, or does it mean that only bastards can use the sword? That would make Dart the first bastard hero in video games wouldn't it? Either way,it's the extent to which Dragoon breaks new ground.'

Hmmm… I think this comment is completely out of place… If you really were into rpg's you would know that a bastard sword is a large, wide bladed, double edged sword up to 48" long often used with one or two hands for slashing and thrusting attacks. Also known as the hand and a half sword.

5) Any TSR computer game: Baldur's Gate I & II, Icewind Dale etc…

Your Ignorance of this shows that you're not familiar at all with TSR's D&D, the mother of all rpg's, and it would seem to me that you are not experienced enough to review rpg's. Your only measure seems to be the FF series, and while this is fine since it is Squaresoft who set the standards for this particular gendre for the ps, you fail to aknowledge any of this game's numerous assets:

1) The graphics are BY FAR the best, far better than both FFVII and FFVIII.
2) The battle graphics are lightyears ahead of anything we've seen in other rpg's
3) Although the system is less omplex than that of FFVII (which in my opinion is the best rpg for the ps) it is far better than that in FFVIII…
4) Loading times, with the exception perhaps of battles, are much better than both FF's
5) The translation is bad, but not more so than that of FFVII (remember how lame Barret's script was?)

On the other hand, what you've mentioned about the similarities with FFVIII in gameplay is true, and the influence is evident, and this in my opinion is not bad. Actually, I wish there were more games reminiscent of FFVII around. I'd give Legends a 85%.

* * *

To the so called critic "Ben," the "bastard sword" is a real type of sword. It is not as large as a long sword or as power full, and the constant using of the word "bastard," the word "jack" meant bastard. Not many people knew that. (I don't think you word like some one say "jack" every time a bad guy sees you)

Then again, some people just wanted to call me a 'bastard'

Hello you little bastard,Just read your review about Legend of Dragoon(the greatest game ever) listen dude I have every Final Fantasy game to come out and none of them have a story like this game. and three years in thae makeing 1997!!! DUH thats when Final Fantasy 7 came out mabey FF7 copied the idea from Dragoon. Legend of Dragoon may have some of the same idea but so did FF8 that copied after FF7. So you can shut up about how the game is pointless.So I think you owe me an apology.

What a load

I read your review of legend of dragoon and what a load of crap. I'd say every rpg has the boy/girl friendly relationship going, and FF7 definitly wasn't the one that started it.Have you ever played Breath of Fire 4? well theres a bastard sword in that, it's really not a big deal – not 'ground breaking' stuff really. I just thought i'd let you know that your review was so, so bad!

You just can't appreciate the nuances

I dont think Legend of the Dragoon is that bad at all. You simply pulled all the bad stuff out of it that wasn't even that bad to begin with and didn't note any of the good things. The character theme is a little bit the same as FF7 but isn't that big of a deal and u are obviously a big FF7 fan that wants to point out minor similarity between the two games. Most people don't buy their games by what game reviers like you say, at least I know I don't. I read game critics perceptions of games to see what qualities the game has an if it is a game I like or not. I love RPG's and on my list Legend of Dragoon is right behind FF9 and Xenogears. I think u criticized Dragoon way to much and it deserves more credit than what you gave it. All the other reviews I read gave a 8 out of 10 or higher. Also the bettle system is gonna look a little bit the same. Every RPG I have played(not including RE or Dino Crisis) have the similar battle system. Its always turn based of and randomly annoying when u get in a battle after moving 5cm on you t.v.screen.

In my preception your not a true gamer and don't relize the greatness of games!

The Legend of Dragoon  Screenshot

Find another occupation

Hey, legend of dragoon rules. why don't you keep your f*^%$ opinions to yourself huh! I'd say that all final fantasy crat is nothing but s–t to me, OK. You don't see me blabing my mouth about how ff sucks. That's all i have to say to you. One more thing, GET A LIFE, LOSER.

And now, for the grand finale—a thread of messages with my replies in bold face:

hey man that review you did on legend of dragoon, i hated it legend of dragoon was one of the best games i've ever played and I played almost all the rpgs out there so, F–K YOU. you are the worst critic that ever wrote a review on a game/on anything so what if it had some what of a ff7 plot who cares! We are the people who say if a games good

Hey moron,

What the hell is that supposed mean? I'm a regular gamer just like you. Just because I write about games doesn't mean I think I'm above the rest. I played The Legend of Dragoon, and I thought it was just another RPG—no more, no less. To say anything more would be talking out of your ass.

If you don't agree with me, fine. But just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't mean they're wrong. I've been playing RPGs since the original Dragon Warrior on the NES, so I know a thing or two about them as well. Face it, you don't know what you're talking about, and you need some serious grammar lessons.

And f–k you, too.

Thanks for writing!


Wow – that was powerful. I'd just to clear up my name – I didn't write that email to you. It must have been my son (age 12) using my email instead of his. I will share your reply with him, what I think of his extremely colorful language and just how long it's going to be before he uses my computer again.

Dear parent of the 12-year-old who e-mailed me,

I apologize for the harsh language I used in my reply to your son, but I had no idea of the situation. I've been getting hate mail on my review of that particular game for a while, so I guess I picked the wrong one to respond to. Anyway, please accept my apology, and in the future I'll be more careful in replying to game-related emails.



I'm so glad you emailed me – my 12 year old just came up to me to ask me how long he's grounded for. Me thinks it'll start with an apology to you from him:

Sorry I said those mean words to you i just hate when people say some things stuiped that i like alot, really sorry will you please for give me (signed)

Don't worry about your language – you should hear what I say when I stub my toe! And you're right about his grammer! And looking back you've hopefully helped him learn a life lesson (sometimes he's got to do it twice before he really gets it). Thank you, and I mean that.

Let's close this chapter, and forget about this game!
Despite the fact that I got a kid grounded with my review of The Legend of Dragoon., I haven't changed the way I analyze games. If they don't want my advice, hey—it's their money. As far as I was concerned, I was merely stating the facts about The Legend of Dragoon. I thought it was my job to warn gamers about games like this! However, I'd be lying if I said I didn't learn anything from the whole Dragoon episode. I'm now more careful about responding to hostile emails, though I must admit the temptation to strike back is just awful sometimes. But I've made my peace with the Dragoon Nazis. I figure after everything that's happened, we're even now.

There is one final thing that has been lost in all of this though—The Legend of Dragoon is still a dumb game.

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4 years ago

All this fanboyism, lol. LoD is a good game, but it could have been so much better in so many areas. It retains a unique charm of it’s own even now, I’m currently replaying it, but there’s no denying the fact that it was a response to FF7. I suspect the easiness of FF7 may be why the NTSC/PAL versions were significantly easier than the original Japanese release, in fact.

I’d be all there for a sequel, though.

5 years ago

kotes hit the nail on the head. I was kind of befuddled at how Ben lumped in reasonable critiques (with minimal grammatical mistakes and no personal attacks) with messages from rabid fanboys that literally any popular game (hell, any popular form of art/entertainment in any medium) fosters. And in classic douchey basic bro style, he even includes dismissive mocking response in bold above the legitimate fan responses. Plus, the title seems to imply that the overzealous fanboy problem is uniquely one with LoD, or that its fans are more likely to react this way than fans of other games. But… Read more »

Brad Gallaway
5 years ago
Reply to  Kook

In fairness to Ben, this article was written seventeen-ish years ago. The online world was a different place, criticism was in a different place, and Ben was a much younger guy. GC was also in a different place, and I have no doubt that if a similar piece were to be written today, it would be handled differently. Also, you can’t even begin to imagine how many emails and how much harassment Ben received in response to his review… It was basically a constant stream of over-the-top GG-style hazing years before GG was a thing. Give him a little grace… Read more »

6 years ago

I agree with Kotes. And some of the “fanboys” as you call them. I’m beginning to feel as if Lod was purposefully purported to be a horrible game so as to detract from its status as a final fantasy competitor. Yes, Sony released it to compete with ff. But a lack of proper marketing campaigns and deadlines caused the game, which took 3 1/2 years to make, have some flaws. What game doesn’t? If you play the story, and ACTUALLY READ WHAT EVERYONE SAYS, it does not take long to fall in love with the game. I love almost everything… Read more »

6 years ago

Ben, did you actually learn anything from the dragoon nazis? I know the majority of their responses are ridiculous but at least the first response was eloquent and made a legitimate argument. I started reading this article expecting you to explain some new realization you had about the game after receiving so many opinions from its fans but it seems to me all you have done is managed to undermine any constructive discourse set up in the first response with a collection of foolish comments from butt hurt fanboys. A friendly piece of advice for writing reviews is to remain… Read more »

7 years ago

Just thought I’d define dastard… which is NOT the same thing as bastard as whomever sent you that seems to think…

a dishonorable or despicable person.

Whereas bastard is a child born out of wedlock.

7 years ago

The fact that you call it a rip-off of Final Fantasy VII just ruins your whole review and diminishes whatever credibility you have. The two games are actually very different right down to their battle systems. For example, The Legend of Dragoon has quick-time events as part of its battle system. VII does not and is sort of a hybrid of turn-based and real-time battle. Dragoon is purely turn-based. Dragoon is more swords and sorcery while VII has elements of sci-fi right down to the game’s main villain Jenova. Need I go on?

10 years ago

drake was dying not dead,so he was able to be revived by the healing power of the while silver dragoon spirit.however,lavitz was gravely wounded by a dragon buster sword made only to kill dragons and dragoons therefore he had no chance to be revived.sadly he was doomed from the moment the dragon buster struck his soul.

10 years ago

I don’t think many of those people had a right to speak to you in that manner, it was impolite and unnecessarily rude. I do have to say though that I do think your reviewing process is inherently flawed though. When you go in to play or review a game you should NEVER EVER consider other games as you do so. I think the comparison (judging by the large number of people who objected) is a big part of why you got so much hate mail. You should always play and consider games by their merit on their own and… Read more »

11 years ago

To be honest you seem like a child. Yes I understand that what you wrote was a reviewing and it’s from your point of view. I seen all the hate mails and such but then again you’re trying to pick a fight once again by stating at the end that LOD sucks? What does that do for you? Also you can’t analyze a game by comparing it to another or to the acclaimed “best rpg ever made”. You are setting the bar to high for your expectations and you haven’t actually delved into the story. All you did was a… Read more »

11 years ago

Lavitz was stabbed through the chest with the Dragon Buster while in dragoon form which meant he was going to die no matter what. It’s pretty much an instant kill which means Shana couldn’t have healed him.

12 years ago

remember he was killed by a dragon buster( weapon made by the winglies) so maybe there is nothing they can do.

13 years ago

James a.k.a Third Poster,

*Spoliers Below*

The Dragon Buster was created to control rogue Dragons. An injury from the Dragon Buster to a human in Dragoon Form is irreversible. Shana’s spirit would be of no use to Lavitz’s wounds.

Drake, on the other-hand, had normal bruises. Thus, Shana’s spirit worked on and rejuvenated him.

13 years ago

dude, this whole post is about another guy who bashed the game, so you don’t have to do it too. Seriously, if you didn’t like it, just find another game to play. You’re not a reviewer.

Agent X
Agent X
9 years ago

I am playing this game, planning on beating it for the first time. I think this game is an aqcuired taste, i personally love it since I remember how difficult it was as a kid and picked up another copy as an adult. I read this review while looking for other information but thanks for the laughs. I guess their are people out there who can’t accept other peoples opinions.

15 years ago

“This room is tidy. This shows a lot about this person’s personality.” Dart, a strapping spiky-haired teenage male of main character clichés, was standing in a small, dainty room when this box of text vomited out of his mouth. I knew it was my fault for pressing X at every dresser in a room – it is the job of an RPG-completionist – but I was already drenched in the verbal diarrhea spewing from this self-proclaimed legend. Clumps of invisible slime, composed of watered-down music, constipated battle systems, and stomach-churning dialogue, had already slithered down my skin and onto the… Read more »

3 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Holy moly, who crapped in your corn flakes?

15 years ago

There is a major plot hole in legend of dragoon. Remember when Shana’s dragoon spirit revived Drake?
When Lavitz was killed could he not be revived too using the same magic?
I think so! That was a major plot hole that has been plaguing mr through out the game.

15 years ago

I agreed with the person above/below, and I can’t believe you had the nerve to call it a dumb game after all that. People should not send hate mail, no. I’ve played a lot of Final Fantasy games, as well as other RPG games by now, and I played them BEFORE Legend of Dragoon, but the story of LoD just blew me away. A lot of the story starts out very average, mundane. But by the time you get through the game you’ll realize you can’t really find anything to compare it to. Characters weren’t as deep as Final Fantasy… Read more »

15 years ago

I read all that and here is my opinion. I played ff. I played LOD. They did have similarities. They had more differences though. oyur review was alittle harsh, but I’m not here to bash the review. I’m 6 years too late to do that lol(jk). But LOD had awesome concepts. I’m just saying that I want you (if you can) to play the whole game one more time. Explore everything. even if you have to go to gamefaqs to find all the minor bosses you don’t have to fight. Just look at the world they live in and the… Read more »