I actually wanted to cover the franchise bit by bit, but I kinda panicked and canceled my planned first post when I realized I no longer had the Dragon Knight 1 OVA. Le sigh. But, I’ve still got plenty to cover, so let’s get it all out in the open!
One of Elf’s flagship titles is the Dragon Knight series. While nowhere near the earliest ero-RPG (Rance wasn’t the first, but it barely came out before Dragon Knight), Dragon Knight was notable for being an OK dungeon crawler with comparatively great graphics along with really cute character designs. Basically, it was the turning point when ero-RPGs stepped up from crude novelty act to professional medium for delivering erotic content.
The first Dragon Knight game had a short OVA adaptation. The story is simple enough: Takeru has to save pretty women from an evil overlord. Speaking of Takeru, he’s pretty much your typical hentai protagonist: good-looking, lovable, perverted, and OP.
Takeru saves the world and gains a girlfriend in Luna, a young sorceress and wife-to-be in a couple games.
Another, cheaper OVA was made: Dragon Knight Gaiden. It again follows Takeru, but it isn’t based on any game. Also, unlike the first OVA, which was more on the ecchi side, Gaiden is full-on hentai. In Gaiden, Takeru befriends a kid named Jody, who turns out to actually be female.
Not gonna lie; this is some of my favorite fap material. Immediately after the comic nude reveal that Jody is a girl, she knocks Takeru out, only to worriedly wake him up and have apology sex. Naturally, evil men are out to capture Jody, Takeru risks life and limb to save her, and they have sweet, sweet dungeon sex. And then Jody is never heard from again because, like I said, this isn’t based on a game.
Yeah, not much notable about Dragon Knight Gaiden. Well, except maybe this:
Of the four Dragon Knight games, only one was localized: Dragon Knight 3, which was retitled Knights of Xentar for no particular reason. It was a complete abortion of a localization, the kind one hopes people feel shame for. Takeru, the black-haired lovable pervert hero of the first three games, was turned into a blonde asshole named Desmond. The girls he encounters are all sarcastic and abusive of him, simultaneously begging him for sex and insulting him for his tiny penis, rank order, and complete lack of stamina. It’s baffling, mean-spirited, and unfunny. They also peppered the script with their own brand of fourth wall breaking “humor” that just screams of trying too hard.
I’m guessing Dragon Knight 3 was picked up because of its more Final Fantasy-like gameplay as opposed to the first person view dungeon crawlers the first two were.
In DK3, Takeru gets mugged of the legendary sword, armor, and jewels that he gained in the second game and has to get them back after basically being stripped naked and dropped into a ditch. What’s funny is that he’s level 25 and downleveled to 1 shortly into the game, but even at level 25 he struggles to make it through the first dungeon if he doesn’t get equipped with the best armor available in the first city. The level-scaling is weird to say the least.
Now, I may dislike this localization, but I feel it’s appropriate to at least bring this up. Before he goes after the bandit leader that stole his stuff, “Desmond” meets with the richest man in town to negotiate a reward for chasing the bandits out of town. The rich man’s name? Don Frump.
Frump offers a meager reward and equips “Desmond” with a shitty knife and clothing, reneges on his promise to buy his equipment back, and flees town while “Desmond” is clearing the first dungeon. So in a weird way, hentai has reminded me that the man’s name was synonymous with “piece of shit” 25 years ago.
Moving on, the last game in the series was Dragon Knight 4, and it is a certified classic. Not just a good hentai game, it was an excellent Fire Emblem-style strategy game in its own right and had multiple non-erotic releases by Banpresto on home consoles. Yeah, it’s that good. It had its own anime adaptation (which unfortunately spoils the game’s epic twist in the first two minutes), and it is absolutely one of my favorites. Easily in my top 10 favorite hentai.
Kakeru and Seiru, the sons of the now-legendary heroes Takeru (and Luna) and Baan, heed the call to adventure when a powerful wizard attacks the kingdom. Kakeru builds a small army to face him. His army has no shortage of hot chicks, naturally. And he has sex with them.
Did I mention that Kakeru is, like, ridiculously young? Puts his old man to shame. And anyone who Kakeru doesn’t get to bang is banged by Eto, a sort of mentor figure that gets everyone to rally behind the young heroes. Eto’s more mature, only having sex with girls who ask nicely, and only raping girls to teach them a lesson in humility so they won’t put their allies in danger. Waaaaaait a minute… Nope, that really happened. Huh.
Along the way, Kakeru reunites with his not-girlfriend Natasha, one of the girls Kakeru DOESN’T get to bang. I’ll leave you to realize the implication there.
The Dragon Knight 4 OVA removes Kakeru’s perversity, choosing instead to revolve around his mentor. It also annoyingly introduces pretty much every major female character but only has H-scenes for half of them. I’m gonna go ahead and spoil it now, but one of my favorite things about DK4 is the twist that Eto comes from an alternate timeline where everyone died, so he went back to the past to make things right now that he’s older, wiser, and stronger. Yep, Eto is actually alternate Kakeru, making him the first person to successfully NTR himself.
To be fair, Natasha kinda died in his timeline, so I guess it’s an appropriate reward.
It’s rather strange that, following the success of Dragon Knight 4, ELF never made another. Strangely enough, DMM Games (which is linked to Nutaku… yes, THAT Nutaku) picked up the license to the franchise and is developing yet another gacha-bait browser game: Dragon Knight 5. It promises to have absolutely nothing to do with any of the original entries.
Seriously, take a close look at that. Compare the styles. They pretty much just made a game with rejects from Aigis and slapped the Dragon Knight name on top for the nostalgia draw.
That said, if it gets out of development hell and picked up by Nutaku, I’ll probably end up playing it.