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Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu
Box artwork for Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu.
Developer(s) Falcom
Publisher(s)
Release date(s) 1985
Genre(s) Action-adventure
System(s) NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-9801, Sharp X1, Fujitsu FM-7, MSX, MSX2, Saturn
Mode(s) Single player
Series Dragon Slayer
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Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu was released in Japan in 1985 for four different systems: NEC PC-8801, Sharp X1, Fujitsu FM-7, and MSX. The game is in English language, although all ports and remakes were released in Japan only. The next year (1986) an expansion pack was released, titled Xanadu Scenario II: Resurrection of the Dragon.

Title screen for the Saturn remake (Falcom Classics).

Despite being officially labeled as a role-playing game, it lacks completely any form of dialogue with non-playable characters or any text (except for shops). Therefore, it is better classified as an Action-adventure game.

This game had a clear influence on the first Legend of Zelda, released two years later. The familiar player can easily recognize several gameplay elements, e.g. several items and the basic structure of the dungeons.

Historical background[edit]

In 1797, the British poet Samuel Coleridge wrote (at age 26) the poem "Kubla Khan". The link with the historical emperor Kublai Khan and his city Xanadu is just in the name.

The following is an excerpt from Coleridge's poem; if you replace Alph, the sacred river, with the hero of Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu, the correspondence is apparent:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
a stately pleasure-dome decree:
where Alph, the sacred river, ran
through caverns measureless to man
down to a sunless sea.
[...]
But oh! That deep romantic chasm that slanted
down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! As holy and enchanted
as ever beneath a waning moon was haunted
by woman wailing for her demon lover!
[...]
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
then reached the caverns measureless to man,
and sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean [...]

Expansion packs, remakes, and sequels[edit]

In 1986, one year after the release of Xanadu, an expansion pack was released. It was titled Scenario II: Resurrection of the Dragon. It featured a whole new quest, with 12 floors and new dungeons, but also new gameplay elements. Two faithful remakes were published in 1995 and 1997, but they included "Scenario 1" only.

Although one would expect the opposite, the MSX port is graphically superior to the MSX2 one.

Ports with Scenario II Ports without Scenario II
PC-88, X1, FM-7 8-bit MSX, MSX2
- 16-bit PC-98 (Revival Xanadu)
- 32-bit Saturn (Falcom Classics)


Sequels:

Table of Contents

editDragon Slayer series

Dragon Slayer 1: Dragon Slayer  · Dragon Slayer Gaiden

Dragon Slayer 2: Xanadu  · Faxanadu  · Revival Xanadu 2 Remix  · Xanadu Next

Dragon Slayer 3: Romancia

Dragon Slayer 4: Legacy of the Wizard

Dragon Slayer 5: Sorcerian (Mega Drive  · PC Engine)  · Sorcerian Forever  · Disciples of Seven Star Sorcery

Dragon Slayer 6: The Legend of Heroes  · The Legend of Heroes II

Dragon Slayer 7: Lord Monarch (SFC)  · BS Lord Monarch  · Lord Monarch Online

Dragon Slayer 8: Legend of Xanadu  · Legend of Xanadu II  · Tokyo Xanadu

Collection: Falcom Classics

Sub-series: The Legend of Heroes