So, I'm playing Skyrim. It's my first Elder Scrolls title, but I loved the Fallout games and I'm sorta using that as my basis for what's going on around me. I haven't done a whole lot yet, but just wandering the world of Skyrim and seeing what it's made of has been pretty entertaining. The one that the game hasn't yet delivered for me yet is DRAGONS! I fought one, but based on the water-cooler discussions of my peers, I expected eight more dragons to burst out of the abdomen of the dragon I'd slain, each of them equipped with a pair of smaller, less comfortable dragons. I love dragons and I can't wait until the game starts pitting me against more and more of them. Until then, I'd like to share with you some of my fonder memories of dragons in the games leading up to Skyrim's supposed cornucopia of draconic opponents.
10. Sindragosa - World of Warcraft
I spoke at length a while ago about Warcraft, given name "World of." One of the things that they did more and more of as I was playing was DRAGONS. The latest expansion, Cataclysm, is all about Deathwing, one of the biggest and baddest dragons of all time. I originally intended to celebrate Deathwing's reign of over the Black Dragonflight here at the number ten spot, but realistically, I have more more appreciation for Sindagrosa, the undead dragon queen featured so prominently in the Wrath of the Lich King trailer posted above. An incredible cinematic in its own right, the colossal dragon set the tone for the entire expansion. Dracoliches are uncommon even in fantasy trash, and I always appreciate seeing one portrayed so well.
9. Singe - Dragon's Lair
This dragon is probably one of the sneakier dragons that I've ever encountered. The title of the game clearly alludes to the dragon and, in fact, suggests that you're planning an expedition directly into its abode. One would gather from dragons' reputations that said lair is very likely to be dangerous, but the lethality of this lair was off the proverbial charts. In fact, so deadly was the titular residence of the dragon that never once did I manage to prove my worth and actually fight the dragon itself! Amazingly enough, the above video, which I had not seen until generating this top 10 list, demonstrates that the Princess Daphne probably not really deserved to be saved. Maybe I'd save her once, but I probably wouldn't call her back. She seems kinda dopey. Well played, Singe. Well played.
8. Fire Drake - Dark Souls
I've been dealing with this fucker for about the past month. He's big, red, and goes ballistic at the slightest provocation. But he's one of the first "WOW!" moments in the game and if you blow up his tail (which you can do safely - or as safely as you can do ANYTHING in Dark Souls) then you get a game-changingly powerful sword.
7. Dragonite - Pokémon
One of the big lures to me as an OG Pokemon player was that there was an entire category of dragon-themed Pokemon! Now that's knowing your fanbase! Dragonite is the final evolution of the dragon species in the original Pokemon Red/Blue: a Godzilla-sized titan that's nonetheless somehow capable of having its ass beaten by a well-trained Ratata. Trainer used WEEP HYSTERICALLY!
6. The Water Dragon - Jade Empire
Jade Empire is a lost gem of Bioware RPGitude. Not only was it fun to play, but it had a great Eastern-themed world that managed to feel both original and respectful of the source material. One of the game's McGuffin's is the Water Dragon - a spirit that's somehow been impeded by the actions of the Emperor, which forces the godly spirit of the Water Dragon, to seek out the aid of the player character. The revelation of the Water Dragon's true fate is a fantastic moment within the narrative of the game itself, and if you haven't played the game but feel any inclination to, I urge you to skip the videoand give Jade Empire a try.
5. Dragon Gods - Chrono Cross
Chrono Cross not only has a group of dragons in it, but it has a group of very, very different-looking dragons in it that nonetheless all manage to come across as suitably dragonlike in their own ways. Not dragony enough for you? Then take all those dragons, mash 'em up, and get a master dragon!
4. Flemeth - Dragon Age II
While Dragon Age: Origins had more, tougher dragons, Flemeth's appearance in the prologue of Dragon Age II trumps virtually any and all cinematics in the original adventure. Actually, did Dragon Age: Origins have cinematics? All I remember from that is the fucking Fade sequence.
3. Bahamut - Final Fantasy series
Bahamut, king of dragons and ever-present summon monster, has appeared in many Final Fantasies in many forms, but he nearly always manages to impress. His forms are often linked to story events, and his prowess in battle is almost always one of the better Espers/Eidolons/Aeons/whatever to have around. The above video is a compilation of his appearances in the 3D-onward installments! Footnote: Holy shit, Final Fantasy XI looked terrible.
2. Ridley - Metroid series
Take a dragon. Put him in space. Make him a pirate. Occasionally outfit him with cybernetic enhancements. PROFIT.
1. Spyro - Spyro series
Spyro is not only a spunky, courageous, brave little dragon, but he's one of the bloodied survivors of the PlayStation animal-character days. Spyro's managed to keep the faith for many years, and he's been rewarded in recent months with the debut of Skylanders - an ingenious combination of cross-platform monster collection, toys, and League of Legends style gameplay. I haven't played Skylanders yet (but it's probably going on my Christmas list) but it's terrific to see one of the few great playable video game dragons continuing to live on in the current-gen market.
And that's my take, dear reader. Did I miss one of your favorites?