–by Bevianna Bones
Ok, so I got distracted from writing this the last time I was going to post it, but now it’s here for real real. Quiz and Dragons. An arcade game from Capcom circa 1992. Bevianna, you say, with snark, that the 90s were not the 80s to which I reply to you, the early 90s might have still been the 80s since the early 90s hadn’t really stepped into the dream of the 90s yet, and possessed a very 80s flair to it. It works this way with all decades really. The early 80s still have that late 70s feel, the early millennia was still shaking off pieces of the late 90s, and so on and so forth. So in any event, I declare early 90s as on the official table for the sake of retro reviews. Wanna feel old? It was 25 years ago. Some of you readers probably weren’t even born. And what else is more retro than an arcade game and the joy of playing one.?
What is an arcade? Oh please tell me you jest, but just to clarify for those who joined the world after the mid 90s, an arcade was just about the happiest place on earth one would go to play games. The beautiful standup machines and pinball tables all lined up like soilders, demos playing and lights flashing, just begging you for your hard earned quarters. Hard earned because you were a kid of course and had to do menial tasks for your parents or neighbors to get them. Is that enough of an intro or what? On with the game!
Quiz & Dragons premise is quite a mixed bag, and quite a step from nearly every game that Capcom has ever made. The company that brought you major game franchises; Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, Marvel vs Capcom, Final Fight, D&D, even more recently Resident Evil; now brings us gamers a board game, fantasy game, rpg, and trivia game all in a solid and enaging tale. You see here’s what happened:
Capconia was a peaceful kingdom. Thanks to the power of the “Seed of Wisdom”. The citizens were able to lead their lives in quiet happiness.
The Wisdom Seed: In the hands of the just man it could be used to insure peace. However, a man with evil in his heart could use it’s power to bring down a curtain of dark-ness on the world.
Dark-ness is particularly frightening…
One day the evil warlock “Gordian” invaded Capconia with a host of his foulest Mon-sters and seized the wisdom seed.
Mon-sters are the just the worst…
After using the Seed to endow his Mon-sters with evil wisdom, the warlock Gordian launched his assault on the good people of the land. The monsters forced the citizens to answer very difficult questions. Those who could not answer correctly were promptly eaten.
The sage king, Hateba VI, selected the four wisest and bravest in the land and ordered them to recover the Wisdom Seed.
You, the brave… The chosen… You must use your wisdom and strength to save our world.
God! Is that not the most engaging storyline? I am certainly popping a quarter into this bad boy! Stick your quarter in and hit start and away you go to the character selection screen
“Stop! In the name of love”-Wizard
Each of the four characters possess a different skill to make your journey more feasible. Fighter recovers vitality quickly! Wizard can change category often! Amazon can sometimes cut 1 or 2 choices! Ninja can cause double damage! Oh what to pick what to pick…hurry you can’t think on it too long or the game will just go on and pick for you. The best choice depends on how you are playing. If you only have a few quarters, go with fighter as he recovers some health as you go. If you’re a dummy and only know a little about certain subjects, go with Wizard. If you are in for the long haul go with Ninja as he will deal double damage and you will complete the game quicker. And of course, if you want to be marveled by amazing thunder thighs, cries of “ya!”, and the power of only two choices on some questions, go with Amazon. (Guess which one my favorite is…ya!)
Yes, that’s Ninja and not Amazon, I’m trying to get through this quickly for the sake of the article.
Gameplay begins and you are at the start of the first board, or stage. Stage 1:Woods of Legend, is pretty small and straightforward. The dice rolls and that’s how many spaces you move. In the example, a roll of 5 or 6 would take Ninja to Wyvern. However, in the roll of 3, which was rolled, Ninja will be battling Mage. Such excitement!
The questions, are dated at best, but some more so than others.
When you battle your opponent, you are taken to the trivia part of the game. This is the quiz part and the main part of the game. Not to be confused with the Dragon part, who are merely Gordian’s puppets to wreak havoc open the land of Capconia!!
The dragons are masters of taunting.
Each enemy you face has a certain amount of life and you take one life from them for each of the answers that you answer correctly, get a question wrong and you the hero, the chosen, lose one.
Fighter gasps in agony!
Complete the stage by rolling through the board and to the stage boss. After taking down the boss, they will taunt you more about facing Gordian, and you will be taken to the map to select your next stage. Spoiler alert: Play through all 7 stages and you will face Gordian himself!!
As you travel through each board, they get increasingly more and more complex, with multiple routes and mini bosses along the way.
Such choices…the path to the inn through the pudding, golem, wyvern, golem, or mage, golem, wyvern, golem. Oh the complexity!
Throughout the boards, there are not just enemies, there are also spaces to help you on your journey. Inns and Elfs. For answering a measly one question, the purveyor of each will either restore your health or give you a useful item. Such as a ring that will show you the correct answer on the next quiz, or a staff that will make the next quiz only have 2 or 3 choices.
I’m sure she will!
And that’s basically it, like I said the game goes on for 7 stages until you face and defeat Gordian himself and save the Wisdom Seed and restore peace to Capconia. Or until you run out of quarters. Or you get bored. High emphasis on the third choice here. After about 4 stages it gets taxing to stay invested. But, I have completed it several times, and I will tell you that the ending is worth staying around for in about the same manner that the opening scene was for wetting your whistle to play. Ok ok, I won’t tease, I’ll show you what happens.
This is not my video, but sadly the damn thing wouldn’t upload, so a link to the YouTube’s it is.