GOTD – Dungeons & Dragons Arcades

Dungeons and Dragons: Tower of Doom & Shadow over Mystara – Action/RPG (Arcade)

This entry is somewhat diferent in that if you don’t own the game(s), you probably never will. Regardless, these are two excellent games that I highly recommend playing if you see them at an arcade near you.

Gameplay is similar to Final Fight or Knights of the Round, but is more complex. Up to four players (in Tower – in Mystara I have only seen two-player consoles) can cooperate to defeat enemies and collect treasure and experience.

Although you do not actually create your character, you get to choose from some possibilities. In Tower, you can choose from Fighter, Dwarf, Cleric, and Elf, while in Mystara, Magic-User and Thief are added. Some characters cannot use certain items, and appropriate classes can cast spells as well.

At the end of each stage, your character can gain levels and spend the well-earned gold he or she may have accumulated. Hardcore D&D fans might even notice that the Human characters have a higher max level than non-humans.

Some differences between the two games should probably be mentioned – Mystara has more branching paths and a lot more secrets to be found, including several special swords that the combat-oriented classes can use.

Unlike most arcade games, it’s possible to play a ‘perfect game’ – to a point. I once saw someone playing Mystara in Japan who got through several stages without being hit.

As with any multiplayer RPG, it’s considerably better if you bring a friend and choose classes that complement each other.

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