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Dragon Emperor

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The Dragon Emperor is a recurring villain in the Seiken Densetsu video game series; who appears in Seiken Densetsu 3 as one the three available final bosses and in its sequel Legend of Mana as a major antagonist. He is an incredibly powerful evil dragon who wants to overthrow the Mana Goddess and take her place. In Seiken Densetsu 3, he attempts to release the eight dreadful God Beasts and use their power, but ends up destroyed.

He returns in Legend of Mana (in which his name is revealed to be Drakonis, Tiamat in the original Japanese version), and threatens the world of Fa'Diel from beyond the grave, as he took over the Underworld of Mavolia (the Mana counterpart of Hell) and attempts to return to the Overworld to take it over.

Background

Around fifteen years before the events of Seiken Densetsu 3, the Dragon Emperor led his own tribe of dragons into a war against several nations of the world of Fa'Diel, intending to take it over. Apparently the Mana Goddess deemed him enough of a threat to send one of her fairies assist the human nations against him. Richard, the prince (and future king) of the grassland kingdom of Valsena (Forcena in the unofficial translation), alongside his best friend and right-hand-man Loki, the country's strongest Knight of Gold, led the war against the Dragon Emperor.

Loki eventually fought the evil dragon and both fell to their death in a bottomless pit. However, if Loki died, the Dragon Emperor's spirit survived, along with all his incredible magical powers. He then went into hiding, planning to recreate his body and raise another army, this one composed of monsters from Mavolia.

The Dragon Emperor did not lost time after his defeat. Having experienced Loki's considerable fighting skills, he captured his dead soul and enslaved it, trapping it in a dark armour and making his former enemy into one of his most dangerous and most devoted followers, the Darkshine Knight. Some time later, he met Koren, a young citizen of the magical kingdom of Altena, who was shunned for not being able to use magic and ran away from home.

The Dragon Emperor, who perhaps sensed an immense power laying dormant in Koren, stroke a bargain with the distraught wizard wannabe and granted him incredible magical abilities in exchange for a part of his soul. By doing so, he gained a mighty and blindly devoted right-hand-man, and his plan began to take form.

The Dragon Emperor and the other two Great Evils: the Dark Prince and the Masked Mage, planned to seize the eight Mana Stone and unseal them to release the mighty God Beasts, in order to overthrow the Mana Goddess and become the world's new God. They were in open conflict against one another and all tried to fulfill this sinister scheme first; and to get rid of their rivals when the occasion would present itself.

Seiken Densetsu 3

Fools! Go ahead, run to your deaths, not unlike the last that challenged me. Prince Richard and the Knight of Gold. I believe they had a faerie with them as well. That Knight dealt me painful, crippling injuries, but I have recovered, and grown stronger.
~ the Dragon Emperor
Dragon Emperor (human sketch)

a sketch of the Dragon Emperor's human disguise

In the game, Koren manipulates the country of Altena on the Dragon Emperor's behalf, and wages war against the country of Valsena, while the Darkshine Knight remains by his lord's side. Koren himself leads several attacks on the castle of Valsena and plans to sacrifice Angela the Altenian princess to unseal the Mana Stone of Water. Meanwhile, the Dragon Emperor remains in his lair the Dragon Hole, located in the Glass Desert, probably feeding on the depleting power of Mana to regain his physical body.

When the game's protagonists reach the Mana Holyland, where the Mana Tree (the earthly avatar of the Mana Goddess) is located, the Dragon Emperor and his servants attack and kill the other villains.

Then, the Dragon Emperor sends Koren and the Darkshine Knight to the Holyland, where they abduct the protagonists' Fairy guide, coercing them to relinquish the legendary Sword of Mana, which the protagonists just gained from the Mana Goddess. Koren uses the sword to release the God Beasts and the Dragon Emperor's armies of monsters begin to swarm the world.


Dragon Emperor (human)

the Dragon Emperor as seen in the game

The protagonists track down and defeat the eight God Beasts and go to the Glass Desert, where they fight and defeat the Darkshine Knight after a difficult battle, freeing Loki's soul in the Process. They later enter the Dragon Hole and overcome all the obstacles, before confronting Koren and his evil lord on a terrace.

The Dragon Emperor, who has regained a physical body, is very pleased to have witnesses for "the moment he is reborn". He explains to the protagonists that the God Beasts' evil power now rests in the Sword of Mana, which he absorbs before their very eyes, gaining enough power to surpass the Goddess herself. Hopefully, the exhausted deity manages to restrain this increase in power. Irked, the evil dragon teleports to the Mana Holyland to destroy the Mana Tree while Koren stays back to get rid of the protagonists once and for all.

The protagonists manage to defeat the fearsome wizard of the Crimson Lotus, who is freed from the Dragon Emperor's corruption and who commits suicide out of shame. They then head to the Holyland but they are too late, the Mana Tree is destroyed, the Goddess herself his dead the Dragon Emperor is now free to become the new god of Mana, which he plans to turn into a world of chaos and destruction. The villain kills the Fairy and reverts to his true form (a dragon so big that his body does not entirely fit onscreen).

After a long and grueling battle, the Dragon Emperor is destroyed physically and psychically, and the Fairy's spirit merges with the remnants of the Mana Tree to become the new Goddess. However, the power of Mana and the magic it provides will need 1000 years to bloom again, leading to a new and completely different era.

Boss Battle

HOPE? I'LL SHOW YOU JUST HOW POWERLESS YOUR HOPE REALLY IS!
~ the Dragon Emperor (very angry)

Dragon Emperor (Level 50 . Life-Points 55551)

Dragon Emperor (boss battle)

the boss battle against the Dragon Emperor

The Dragon Emperor is the medium hardest of the three final bosses. He is very powerful and resistant to magic, so be prepared for a tough battle. The stronger your characters are, and the more healing items you have, the better it will be.


Danger from behind

the battle change sides

The Dragon Emperor physically attacks with a vicious bite, but he more importantly masters the spells level 2 and 3 and the special attacks of the Wind/Thunder, Fire, Water/Ice, and Moon elements; the level 2 and special attack of the Light element; the Level 2 and 3 spells of the Earth element; and the dreadful Ancient (the most devastating spell available).

He can cast the spells on every target (which increases their might) and the special attacks deal high damage on the whole party so be careful. Worse these attacks can alter your character's status, by turning them into stone, snowmen, shrinked sized or harmless moogles, (which need to be cured) and can reduce your charancter's defenses and maximum life-points.

The element he uses and his weakness, is determined by his body colour. When he is reddish orange he uses Fire and he is weak to Water; when he is blue he uses Water and he is weak to Fire; when he is light gold he uses Light and he is weak to Shadow; when he is green he uses Earth and he is weak to Wind; when he is light green he uses Moon and he is weak to Wood; and so on and so forth. Use the corresponding spells and infuse your weapons with the corresponding magic. Do not attack him with his current element or else, you will heal him. But beware, he also uses the spells Power Up and Protect Up on himself so do not hesitate to decrease his stats.

When the battle reaches its half, he begins to fly around and changes his position, use it to heal or resurect your characters. Be very careful for he will start to use bothersome physical attacks, and above all to use Flare: his most devastating attack which deals crippling damage to the whole party. Make sure that your life points are high enough to edure it when he appears on one side of the screen and heal immediately after. Do not hesitate to power your characters up as much as you can and to unleash your strongest attacks. If you are prepared enough, you should be able to defeat him without big problems.

In Legend of Mana

This game takes place nine hundred years after the events of Seiken Densetsu 3. It is revealed that after the game's main villain destroyed the Mana Tree, the different species populating the world waged centuries of gruesome wars for the control of the artifacts holding what remained of the Mana Power.

Drakonis is the primary antagonist of the game's second possible story arc, Crimson Dragon. Despite being dead, he became the new ruler of Mavolia and now works through Larc, a beastman whom he resurrected and enslaved, to gain the Mana Crystals; planning to use them to open Mavolia upon the world to take it over.

Larc uses blackmail and manipulations to force the protagonists to kill Akravator the Sky Dragon, Jajara the Bone Dragon and Vanadise the White Dragon (guardians of the Mana Crystals). Using the power of the Mana Crystals and the souls of his many victims, he raises his castle from Mavolia to the outside world. Later, he transforms Larc into a centaur-like monster and forces him to battle the protagonists. Fortunately, Larc's sister Sierra, who is a servant of Vanadise, helps the protagonists to storm Drakonis's castle and to defeat him once and for all.

With Drakonis destroyed and his soul sealed in Mavolia forever, the three Dragon Lords are resurrected and his evil is undone. Alas, Larc's is condemned to spend a thousand year in Mavolia to keep him sealed. Later, the protagonists eventually purge the regrown Mana Tree from Evil and restore the world anew.

Boss Battle

Drakonis

Drakonis' human aspect and the boss battle against him

Drakonis is huge and immensely powerful, but not that hard to defeat if the player is well prepared. He can bite the protagonists, swallow them, breathe fire streams, release a circular wave of green energy rings, jump to crush them, conjure lava from the ground and fly away to land with enough force to shatter the ground. The protagonists must retaliate by pummelling without end with both weapon and magic. Avoid attack him with Fire, and go for Water and Earth instead.

In Brutal Mario

The Dragon Emperor serves as a boss in the unofficial, hack computer game Super Kitiku Mario, also known as Brutal Mario, which makes Mario fight against many bosses from other video games.

Mario and Yoshi versus the Dragon Emperor

using a dragon to fight a bigger one

The battle against the Dragon Emperor is long. The boss stands on a terrace and repeatedly tries to smash Mario in a head-butt. Mario must uses either the Floating Cloak or if he is with Yoshi, to jump on Yoshi's back to hurl himself higher, in order to jump on the Dragon Emperor's head. As in the real game, the dragon's body colour defines the element he uses to attack.

When he is reddish orange, he summons several flames that rains down from above and last on the ground. When he is blue, he causes a rain of blocks of ice. When he is yellowish green he makes a bolt of lightning fall from the sky before separating in two bolts that glide along the ground in opposite directions. When he is light green, he "breathes" a continuous rainbow colored beam.

All these attacks are rather easy to dodge, yet the Dragon Emperor can also fly out of the screen and reappear on one side to use his most powerful attack: a gigantic fiery beam. Mario must crouch continuously at the very bottom of the screen for as long as the attack lasts or else he is doomed.

Trivia

  • The Dragon Emperor is arguably the most malevolent of the three final bosses in Seiken Densetsu 3, as he lacks the tragic past of the other two and his main agents are brainwashed souls instead of loyal followers.
  • The Dragon Emperor is the only one among the three final bosses whose name/title does not change upon revealing his true form for the final battle.
  • In Legend of Mana, Larc being resurrected and enslaved by the Dragon Emperor and manipulating the heroes to do the dirty work is reminiscent of the villain's agents in Seiken Densetsu 3. The Darkshine Knight for the former and Koren for the latter.
  • The Dragon Emperor's original Japanese name, Tiamat, comes from the primal Goddess of Ocean and Mother of All Things of Mesopotamian mythology, who waged war against creation and was defeated by the Warrior God Marduk. Tiamat also inspired the recurring boss/summon of the Final Fantasy series.

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