Dragon Force Help File

				 by Robert Bogan (psychman69@aol.com)

This file was created after reading a very basic FAQ file compiled by
someone who has not played this game much.  I have now completed the game 
with six different countries and have started games with the other two.  
Dragon Force by Woking Designs for the Sega Saturn is quite possibly the 
best console game ever made and I'm sure that many others agree with me.  
Let's get started...

Beginning players should start as Teiris or Wein.  The combination of great 
diversity of generals and geography make these the two easiest to begin 
with.  I personally think that Palemoon is the easiest as long as you ditch 
those archers once you have take Tristan.  Teiris will be joined by Highland 
(unfortunately Wein takes a powder until near the end of the game) and by 
Tradnor.  Out of the six that I have played with (excluding Izumo and 
Tradnor) Palemoon is the only one to get two allies without defeating them.

Beginning strategies:

Save your game before searching.  When starting out, one general can make 
a big difference, so keep resetting the game and search until you get one 
general for each person who can search.  This can get pretty boring but it 
pays off.  Most of the time these generals become professional castle 
leaders thoughout the rest of the game.  Search every turn.  Do not worry 
about fortifying your castles because this will happen automatically 
throughout the game.  Also, you can only search castles.  Don't waste a 
search by stopping on one of the towns, towers, or temples to search.

Never leave a castle unoccupied.  You never know when you may have to 
retreat back to get reinforcements and an empty castle has no reserves in it.

Try to get as many different generals in battles per turn as possible.  As 
long as they win or have a draw, they will earn merits which will get you 
another award to distribute.  As long as you give an award to everyone who 
earns a merit each turn, no one will leave you unless it is part of the 
story.

KNOW YOUR ENEMY!!!   I can't stress this enough.  Fortunately, most of the 
battles allow you to choose which general you want to deploy against an 
already selected enemy general.  Occasionally you will experience the 
overzealousness of some of your own generals who want to be deployed 
before knowing the enemy.  I always put them in their places.  I also 
don't let any of my generals back out of fight before beginning.  If you 
chose to deploy someone else, that general is completely wasted.

Fighting Strategies

Formations:  an important concept to remember is that a stationary unit is 
better at attacking than a moving one (e.g. 20 stationary soldiers should 
beat 30 or 40 advancing ones).  Below, when I refer to a formation being 
effective offensively, this means advancing from the very first second.  
Defensively means stand in place until the advancing units are all destroyed.

Special:  This one puts everyone in front of the general in rows of ten.  
Offensively I use this against all mages and archers, against units in 
defense, surround, and protect formations, and against generals without 
units.  Deffensively I use this against breach and squad formations.  
This is good defensively against breach and squad because the advancing 
enemy units will just stop when they contact your units when a spell is 
being cast, rather than continuing forward around them to your general.

Offense:  This is the workhorse of my forces.  Offensively it is excellent 
against raid formations.  Defensively it is good against special and offense 
formations (which the computer uses mostly) because it leaves some 
protection in the back for your general.

Defense:  I personally never use this based on my comment above that a 
stationary unit is better than a moving one.  This formation puts too many 
units in the back that move about constantly.

Surround:  I also never use this one because you can hardly ever get it to 
work the way it is supposed to because the computer usually casts a spell 
when you would order your front line to close in (retreat).

Protect:  This is almost as good as offense, but the computer has a nasty 
habit of casting a spell just as his units are about to contact the front 
wall of increased defense.  Then his units just walk around it and surround 
your general.  (I use this tactic against protect formations all of the 
time).

Squad:  This formation is good against generals with spells that attack 
in a straight line such as sonic boom, Shiva's dagger, assassin's star, 
and cross rush.  This is pretty useless with mages and archers, and it's 
a bad idea when facing them because an open path is opened up to your 
general to get hit with a fireball or arrow.

Breach:  I only use this when facing mages and archers.  This gets the 
majority of my force to the enemy quicker with a more narrow target.  Upon 
reaching the enemy, I then select melee, otherwise they just stand there 
when the enemy casts a spell.

Raid:  I personally don't use this because it does not work against 
nonadvancing units, and it leaves your general wide open to advancing 
units if you send off the raiding party.

Commands: (not all commands are available in all formations and the 
obvious ones are left out)

Advance:  Always move toward the enemy general with this command.  This 
gets more units to the destination in a quicker amount of time than melee.  
There is no need for mages or archers to ever advance.

Melee:  This sends the entire force to the units that are closest to you 
general.  This is horrible against a raid as your entire force will move 
out and then pull back.  This command should be avoided at all costs when 
facing generals who have spells that attack in a long straight line such as 
sonic boom, Shiva's dagger. cross rush, and summon golem.  When advancing 
down the battlefield in this "formation," the units tend to form a long 
cigar shaped group.  A well placed sonic boom can take out twenty or more 
units advancing this way.  I use this once the entire force has advanced 
down the battlefield in special formation as long as the enemy is 
surrounded.  I have had instances where the enemy is left with a few mages 
at the top and a few at the bottom, and my units could not decide to 
attack those groups of the general and they just stayed in the middle 
attacking no one.

Retreat:  The only time that I need to use this is to close in on the 
enemy in surround formation or in protect formation.

Standby:  The only time that I do not start with this is when I'm fighting 
mages and archers.  I use standby until all of the enemy's advancing force 
is destroyed, and then I advance.

Regroup:  Use this one to line your mages and archers back up on the enemy 
general after wiping out his troops or getting hit with a straight line 
spell.

Disperse:  This is good when you suspect the enemy general is going to 
cast a straight line spell.  I would love to see the look in Mikhal's 
face when his Sonic Blast does not kill a single unit of mine.  This 
tactic can be risky by leaving your general wide open.  You can move your 
whole force down the battlefield by using alternating disperse, advance 
commands.

Unit Types

Soldier:  I like these guys offensively against mages and archers, and 
defensively against monks, beasts, and lesser numbers of samurai or other 
soldiers.

Cavalry:  These are best offensively against mages and archers and 
devensively against soldiers and samurai.

Mage:  In large numbers, defensively, these are good against anything 
that they outnumber as long as the commanding general can use up time 
casting spells.  Mages and archers are the only two units who continue 
to attack during spell casting.  Maybe it's just me, but I think they 
have a much faster kill rate when a spell is being cast.  These units 
are best with generals with spells that take a long time to cast, such 
as summon spells.  These are really good against harpies and zombies.  
Offensively they are good for nothing.  Pretend that advance and melee 
do not exist when using mages.

Samurai:  These are the dragon killers.  They are also good offesively 
against mages and archers and defensivley against monks, beasts, and 
lesser numbers of soldiers or other samurai.

Archers:  These should only be used against harpies or against a force 
that they greatly outnumber.  It takes way too long between shots for 
archers to be as effective as mages to get good results even from the 
spellcasting strategy.  If your unit can use something else, do it.

Beasts:  These are unusually good against cavalry.  Offensively they 
are good against mages and archers and defensively only against cavalry 
or a much inferior force of soldiers or samurai (e.g. 100 beasts vs 20 
soldiers).

Monks:  Think of monks as beasts who are also really good at killing zombies.

Harpies:  Do not use them against mages, archers, dragons, or zombies.  
They are good against everything else.  They are very good at attacking 
enemy generals because they attack twice in the amount of time that most 
other units attack once.

Dragons:  These have their way will all other units other than samurai.  
Save those Dragon Crests for the members of the Dragon Force!

Zombies:  I haven't quite figured out if these guys attack with their ribs 
or if they have tentacles that come out of their abdomens.  Zombies and 
beasts are the most fun to watch.  These may be the only unit that seems 
to be better when moving rather than standing still.  They are good 
against everything but mages, monks, dragons, more zombies, or more beasts.

Generals

Fighters:  These guys usually come coupled with soldiers to start out with.  
They have good hit points and are good in duels.  Sonic boom, sonic wave, 
and cross flash are some of their more typical spells.  Some get Solar 
Flare when at higher levels which indescriminately destroyes all units 
in the center of the battlefield.  They can be equipped with all shields 
and most armor that is found (except for Shogun Armor).

Knights:  These usually come with cavalry as a default.  They are good in 
duels and for the most part have the same spells as fighters, except for 
a few who seem more magically inclined with flame cannon and thunder wall.  
They can equip more types of weapons than fighters can, but cannot equip 
shields.

Spirit Users:  These come with mages, but a couple come with archers.  
Their level one spells are probably the most useful that they get when 
attacking enemy armies because they are very time consuming and pretty 
devestating if timed correctly.  Use them at first opportunity against 
defensive forces, but wait until the enemy has almost reached your force 
to cast when the enemy is advancing towards you.  Enemy spirit users will 
run from a duel most of the time, but not always.

Magician:  These come with mages or archers usually.  They have good 
offensive spells.  Enemy magicians will almost always run from a duel.

Priests:  Some of these seem just like magicians.  Many of them have 
resurrect spells which can be very handy if combined with powerful units 
like zombies or dragons.  The holy shield spell is excellent against an 
attacking force which is nearby.  I have lost many units this way...  
Priests will almost always run from a duel.

Monks:  These guys always come with monks (surprise!).  They can be 
equipped with claws to increase their strength.  They will usually hang 
around for a duel.  Watch out if they get a special attack during a duel.

Samurai:  Their spells are about the same as fighters and knights.  They 
mostly can be equipped with a variety of swords with Eastern names or 
with Shogun Armor.  They will stay for a duel.

Ninjas:  Their assassin's stars are good when facing an enemy that you 
don't want casting spells.  The stars will damage units and decrease 
the general's power.  The mirage start is even better.  They can be 
equipped with most swords that Samurai can use including some that 
are specific to Ninjas.  They run from duels the majority of the time.

Beasts:  These always come with beasts.  Cross rush is their best special 
attack because it attacks the enemy army and general, most others just 
attack the general.  Beastmen can be equipped with most claws and axes 
and beastwomen can be equipped with most claws.

Thieves:  Their Shiva's Dagger is similar to Ninja's assassin's star.  
They come with soldiers and usually wind up sitting on their butts by 
themselves in a castle far away from the action when I have them.  They 
almost always run from duels.  Bastion is probably the best thief and 
Rock is probably the most useless.

Other strategies:

If the enemy runs from battle with you, immediately pause the game and then
deploy your units.  This will immediately attack the fleeing armies when
you unpause the game.  Make sure you check which way the retreating generals
are moving so you can aim your armies the same way.  After winning enter
your castle again.

A quick way to earn a lot of merits is to attack Zanon and his generals
down in Lightam castle to the northeast of Bozack.  Do not use your ruler
or Veltarana if you have her already and this battle will occur repeatedly.
(This did not work with Tristan or Fandaria for some reason when I tried it).
Zanon and his remaining generals will escape from battle each time.  They
will run out of units and Zanon's accompanying generals will only have one
hit point each.  Before Veltarna leaves him, this provides three easy
battles every round.  Zanon will always come back with his 127 hit points so
I usually just get some reading done and sit there and take a draw.  I only
use my VIP generals to fight these battles so I can give their awards to
the Dragon Force members without worrying about them leaving.  This is also
a good way to gain quick levels for the Dragon Force members.  I constantly
have a flow of generals into and out of Lightam so I can get the maximum
number of generals to see some action to earn awards that I distribute to
the Dragon Force members until they all have 100 Dragons or 100 Samurai
before visiting the three shrines (you'll understand why if you've visited
them).  I can usually get in about seven fights with Zanon on each day.

Another (much slower) way to earn levels and merits is to sit near Fandaria
and wait for Gaul and Scythe to attack you repeatedly before visiting the
Shadow Tower.

The Skull Children are also a good way to build levels.  I haven't quite
figured out why Paine and Agonni come out during some games instead of
Gaspar, Helm and the other guy.

Wein and Goldark can enter the North Shrine.  Be sure to have Goldark
commanding units that are good against Cavalry and Wein commanding units
good against Dragons.

Gongos, Reinhart, and Teiris enter the South Shrine.  Have one equipped well
against Zombies and the other two against Dragons.

Junon, Leon, and Mikhal enter the East Shrine.  Have one equipped against
mages (not very difficult to do this) and the other two against dragons.

Have your ruler commanding units that are good against Zombies before
visiting Vlad's tower, a.k.a Fiend Tower (just to the south of the ruins or
Magicka castle if you have already repaired the ruins).

Have your ruler accompanied by a strong force when visiting the north 
(Shadow) tower where Ramda is located.  The ruler should be commanding units 
good  against dragons.  At least one accompanying general should be tough 
against zombies (for the trip back).

It is very important to point out that there are sublte differences when 
using each country.  

Palemoon is joined by Highland and Tradnor without fighting.  The other 
countries' rulers and generals will join when you conquer them, however 
Gongos disappears for awhile and Wein is gone until almost reaching the 
end.  I don't want to disclose what happens with the other countries so 
that you can discover what happens for yourself.

There are at least two hidden generals in the game that I have located.
Certain items are also only found in certain castles.  Look for a list of
generals and items from me in the near future.  Please write to me if you
think that something should be added to this file.  When the lists come out
please write to me to add generals or items that I have left off.