As a fan of Capcom’s Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom and Shadows Over Mystara, as well as games like Vanillaware’s Muramasa and Odin Sphere, Dragon’s Crown is more or less the song of my heart. It is my heartsong. Apparently it’s not everybody’s heartsong! That’s what I read. They don’t like the game’s ridiculously, freakishly, borderline scarily rendered “woman” and to a certain extent I can understand why.
You probably don’t have to guess how I feel about this latest round of compulsory swaying and fainting, so much like an old timey Tent Revival, complete with its hopping devil and its perpetually put upon holy warriors. But let’s try to look at what’s actually here on the plate.
What would Vanillaware do with something that isn’t as readily interpreted through a cultural lens, say, a piece of text like the words “Dragon’s Crown”? I’m connected to a global network whose language is light; it’s not hard to find out.
I think it’s fair to say that if it weren’t for the words “Dragon’s Crown” etched at the bottom, many people wouldn’t understand that they were looking at language. Imagine the same refracting prism applied to people, and actually you don’t have to imagine it, because that’s literally the whole game.
The only characters here who aren’t fucking mutants are the Elf and the Wizard, who are there to calibrate the player; everybody else is some fun-house exponent of strength or beauty stretched into some haunted sigil. Iconic isn’t even the word - they don’t evoke icons, they are icons. They’re humans as primal symbols.
It’s very weird to pull up a story about a game with frankly visionary art and hear why it shouldn’t exist, or to hear what I supposedly fantasize about, or what kind of power I supposedly revere, and any attempt to defend oneself from these psychotic projections or to assert that creators may create is evidence of a dark seed sprouting in the heart. It’s an incredible state of affairs. They’re not censors, though - oh, no no. You’ll understand it eventually; what you need to do is censor yourself.