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Wesley Gomez
Wesley Gomez

Dragon Star Varnir

Fortunately, a chance encounter with a mysterious witch named Charlotta gives both him and his fellow witches a glimmer of hope: a way to free themselves from the dragon within, and the chance to live ordinary lives.

Dragon star varnir

Every dragon has a core that house a unique set of skills, abilities and stat boosts a character can acquire. The ones that automatically drop from bosses are shared amongst the party, but those from regular enemies only apply to the character who devoured the respective enemy.

I liked the sense of scale; the dungeons did not feel linear despite the fact that the whole point of them was to go from the start to the exit with a few story events in-between. It would be easier to ignore the disguised linearity were the environments less barren.

ZephyCharacter Design: Riruru MeikyuAliasesThe Awoken BloodAffiliationKnights of Requiem (formerly)Sofi Tear (mother turned into dragon)Physical descriptionSpeciesHuman-Witch hybridGenderMaleEye colorGreenZephy is a playable character of Dragon Star Varnir.

A low-ranking member of the Knights of Requiem. Although a serious man, he is kind to his peers. He was attacked by a dragon, and was on the verge of death when he was saved by Minessa and Karikaro, who Minessa gave him dragon's blood to survive by kissing him. When he was young, he lost his parents in what seemed like a dragon attack. He is the first male ever to become a witch and is therefore a target of interest of the Empire. Being a man as well as one of the Knights of Requiem makes it hard for the other witches to trust him at first but he gains their trust more and more as the story progresses.

Compile Heart games are usually known for their strong aesthetic, but Dragon Star Varnir just barely crosses the finish line in that aspect. While character portraits are sharp and detailed, the designs of each character are pretty standard JRPG business. Only a few secondary characters have truly unique and interesting outfits that add a unique flair to the style of the game. That style is matched by some thrilling and haunting music, but also betrayed by very basic 3D models. Characters in combat look kind of rough, and enemy designs very rarely stood out to me. Compile Heart gave themselves a big challenge by making a game all about fighting dragons, but unfortunately, they failed to make the dragons look truly unique or memorable.

Dragon Star Varnir has a pretty unique premise. Set on the star of Varneria, humans are at war with both witches and dragons. Witches are forced incubators for dragons, a curse that leaves them with two fatal options. Option one is to feed the dragon that rips itself from the witch during birth, killing her. Option two is to starve the dragon, causing the witch to go mad. Obviously, the witches would like to end this relationship. The Holy Empire of Varneria decided both witches and dragons need to be destroyed and employ the Knights of Requiem to do so.

You take on the role of Zephy, a knight who is part of an organization who protects the world from dragons and witches. The Knights believe that because Witches are cursed to give birth to dragons, that they must all be destroyed. The trick is, that Witches hate dragons too, but they are cursed to require dragon blood to keep their sanity. However, the longer they consume dragon blood, the more the dragon inside of them grows. Eventually, they either succumb to madness or die giving birth to a dragon.

This is where things get interesting. The core aspect of this game is the consumption of enemies. You devour dragon enemies in order to get their dragon cores. Each dragon core has a skill-tree associated with it, so as you fight and gain Factor points, you can put those points into your acquired cores.

These dragons then become a boss you can fight for unique equipment. The problem with this is the character that the dragon grew inside dies permanently, so you will never be able to interact with them or their personal story again.

Their fates now intertwined, Zephy reluctantly joins the witches against a slew of enemies: an Empire out to destroy his kind, ruthless dragon hunters, and a witch more powerful than any in existence.

It's only been a few months since Death end re;Quest and Compile Heart seems to be on fire as they release yet another RPG in the form of Dragon Star Varnir. As with their recent title, Dragon Star Varnir also features a much darker tone than Compile Heart is usually known for, although not as dark as Death End. This time around, it's a tale of dark fantasy involving a group of witches who fall upon a knight in desperate need of help, as he's about to get crushed by a dragon. Although his job as a knight is to rid the kingdom of witches, his fated quickly takes an unexpected turn as the witches decide to help regardless of being enemies. By giving him dragon blood to save him, never did they expect him to turn into a witch though; the very first male witch. They now have no choice but to take him in, even though this does not sit well with all of them.

As the title suggests, the game places a large emphasis on dragons. Out in the game's world, you'll be fighting mostly dragons of different types and varieties, which can even be caught. But wait, don't get too excited, this isn't quite anything like Pokemon. After each successful hit on an enemy, you'll increase a % of chance that the dragon can be "devoured" (as it is referred to in the game). If it succeeds, the dragon will turn into an orb that can then be used by the character who devoured it (and only that specific character) to gain some of its powers and abilities, which can then be unlocked with skill points earned from battles.

So, no, you don't get to keep the dragons as pets, sadly, but they do make you more powerful and are a crucial part of the gameplay. There is inarguablysomething very addicting about trying to devour all enemies to buff your team and it adds a lot of customization to what skills you want your party members to learn and excel at. You can easily spend a lot of time grinding to try and devour all the dragons for each of your party members, but unfortunately, the game doesn't really entice you to grind, as it also features a "hidden" time limit that can lead you to the bad ending, which could interfere with your will to grind dragon orbs.

As part of the story, you must take care of the "Little Sisters", three small witches who are a ticking bomb of sort (if we can say) as they will turn into evil dragons if you spend too much time out adventuring and don't return on time to feed them meat and blood. The time limit is pretty loose thankfully, so if you explore each dungeon at normal pace while still collecting every treasure chest and fighting every enemy, you will still have time to return and feed them before it's too late. As long as you're not grinding like mad, the time restriction is not really a problem, more like just something you must keep in mind.

I usually hate time limits in games, but I managed to make it to the end, playing at a normal pace, and the sisters were still far from transforming. If you really must grind however, don't fear, as the final chapter will allow you to grind freely without the time constraint. So if you're a completionist and must absolutely collect every dragon core, you still can, but you'll have to wait at the end of the game. Still, a time limit is an odd mechanism to introduce in a game with a collecting aspect, so I'm not totally convinced it works in the game's favor.

Visually, the game looks crisp and clean like most Compile Heart games, if you've played their games you know what to expect. Nothing too fancy, but does the job. Artistically though, I was expecting a bit more from the dark fantasy theme. Most areas are not very interesting and don't play with the theme much. The temples look drab and the outside areas look a bit bland. Death End re;Quest, although nothing special in that department either, at least featured some unique looking locations with nice fantasy touches. In Dragon Star, there's just nothing I found memorable about any of the areas, and that's a shame, considering the witches and dragons theme should have inspired much more than a simplistic forest and cave. Only the very final area actually looks a bit more eye-catching. That being said, the cutscenes make up for it with excellent character designs as usual, and you'll also be treated with some nice musical tracks, but not so many, so they do tend to repeat a bit.

I do love a good JRPG. The outlandish plots, the turn based battle systems, the methodical balancing of a party to resist all attacks and exploit the weakness of your enemies. Dragon Star Varnir has all of the above, so in theory it should be a winner hands down. In theory. Unfortunately for these elements to work in practice, they have to executed well enough to keep the player engaged from start to finish. The plot has to have twists and turns, but not so much that the player loses track of what they are doing. The battle system has to be multifaceted, but not to the extent that the player struggles to comprehend a strategy that will ensure victory. Making a good JRPG is in itself a balancing act that requires careful consideration for every single design choice. Many have gone on to achieve greatness, receiving sequel after sequel to appease their devoted fan bases (Pokémon, Final Fantasy, Xenoblade, Fire Emblem, Persona, to name but a few). Others have been lost to time immemorial. Keep reading our review to discover whether Dragon Star Varnir is worthy enough to be ranked amongst the greats or if it should be condemned to languish in obscurity.

You take on the role of a young knight called Zephy who succumbs to fatal injuries from a dragon attack at the beginning of the game. He is discovered by three witches that save his life by slaying and then feeding him the blood of the dragon that attacked him. Not only does this revive Zephy but it also transforms him into a witch (which he is not particularly thrilled about). From that moment onward, you are propelled along a bizarre but interesting narrative that is mostly centred around Zephy adjusting to his new life as a witch, avoiding the persecution of his former comrades and a quest, set by a mysterious ally, to eradicate the curse of the witches so that they might become human once more. 041b061a72


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