The King of Dragons (SNES) Guide

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The King of Dragons (SNES) Guide

~By tankMage (October 2022)

Introduction

The King of Dragons has always had an air of mystery about it as far as I am concerned. Originally an arcade game, this title is rumored to have started life as a Dungeons & Dragons property, but Capcom could not get the rights for some reason and the company rebranded it with the more generic title we know today. Whether this is true or not is not something I have looked into, but the story is representative of this game as a whole: simple yet full of mysteries. 

Many of the guides written for King of Dragons failed to answer questions I had about its mechanics, particularly when it came to certain upgrades, blocking, and the level system. As a result, I had to do a lot of testing to figure out how the game worked and found some surprising answers. And, just like the rumor surrounding this game’s inception, my findings require more investigation. Hopefully someone has or will experiment more with the mechanics discussed in this guide and come up with a more detailed explanation of how things work. With any luck this guide will answer some of your questions; thank you for using it.

Contents

Click the links below to jump to a section of this guide.

1. Basics

    a. Characters

    b. Moves (Button Inputs)

    c. Items

2. Tips and Game Mechanics

    a. Look for Power Up Behind Foreground Objects

    b. Collect Gold and Gems to Level Up

    c. Watch Out for Traps!

    d. Share the Love in Two Player Mode

    e. Positioning is Vital

    f. How Blocking Works

    g. How Magic Works

3. Enemies

    a. Orcs

    b. Skeletons

    c. Slimes

    d. Lizardmen

    e. Fishmen

    f. Mummies

4. Stages

    a. Stage 1: The Village

    b. Stage 2: Treasure in an Old Castle

    c. Stage 3: Battle on a Mountain Peak

    d. Stage 4: Cave of Hydra

    e. Stage 5: To the Norde Isle

    f. Stage 6: The Giant in the Shrine

    g. Stage 7: The Trent Woods

    h.Stage 8: To the Castle

    i. Stage 9: In the Castle

    j. Stage 10: Underpass

    k. Stage 11: Battle in the Fort

    l. Stage 12: Castle Garenos

    m. Stage 13: The Dark Wizard

    n. Stage 14: A Cave in the Woods

    o. Stage 15: Underground Labyrinth

    p. Stage 16: Golden Limestone Cavern

5. References

1. Basics

This section explores the various playable characters, items, and button inputs in King of Dragons. While some of this information is available in the manual, I recommend at least skimming over the sections regarding the playable characters and items, because they contain some important facts that are likely not stated in the manual that comes with the game.

a. Characters

Each character in The King of Dragons has his own strengths and shortcomings that can make the game harder or easier depending on who you choose to play. For example, the Fighter is a fairly balanced hero who performs tolerably well in any situation, while the Elf is a nimble archer who is at his best when battling enemies from a distance. Consequently, a player comfortable fighting up close may like the Fighter, while someone who prefers to keep their distance would do better with the Elf.

This guide uses six metrics to rate each hero (Life, Defense, Attack, Magic, Speed, and Range) to get an overall score of how well the heroes perform. Keep in mind these “stats” are just estimates and the Score for each hero is based on my opinion. Some players may find that a hero with a low Score works perfectly well for them or that one with a high score is not suited to certain roles in two player mode. Here is a brief description of each stat:

Life – How much life a hero starts with and how frequently they get a health bonus on level up. This stat is not terribly important later in the game as all of the heroes start to have similar HP scores towards the end of the game.

Defense – This is a hidden stat in King of Dragons that determines how much damage a hero takes from enemy attacks. Every hero has some defense and it appears to increase slightly with each level up, but heroes that use shields tend to have an advantage in this department since they also get a defense bonus from their shield that increases as they collect upgrades.

Attack – A very rough estimate of how much damage a hero does with standard attacks like the Fighter’s sword swing or the Wizard’s staff.

Speed – How quickly the hero moves.

Range – How far a hero’s standard attack travels. 

Magic – The overall power of spells cast when a hero strikes a magic orb or uses their built-in magic attack. Characters with “High” magic, like the Wizard, do far more damage and consume less HP than someone like the Dwarf when casting spells.

Fighter

ScoreLifeDefenseAttackSpeedRangeMagic
8/10HighMediumHighMediumMediumLow

The Fighter is kind of a middle of the road character in many respects, but he is also very easy to play thanks to his balanced abilities. Players can largely rely on the Fighter’s decent reach and hard hitting attacks to survive most situations, plus he is fast enough to step out of the way of danger at a moment’s notice. His shield is also quite reliable. New players who are not sure how to approach the game should go with this character.

Cleric 

ScoreLifeDefenseAttackSpeedRangeMagic
6/10Very HighHighHighLowLowMedium

While Clerics are usually thought of as undead killers and healers that fight a bit on the side, this one is all about defense. The Cleric’s mighty shield can block anything and activates quite often if autoblock is enabled. He also levels up quickly, giving him an edge over other classes in terms of health. Despite its short reach, the Cleric’s mace is great for bashing bad guys to a pulp. Players can even fall back on this class’s magic attacks to clear away tough enemies. Unfortunately, the Cleric’s slow movement speed and reach cause a lot of trouble for him. As a result, it takes a while to learn this character. Last, but not least, the Cleric has the potential to get the highest amount of health in the game since he levels up so frequently.

Dwarf

ScoreLifeDefenseAttackSpeedRangeMagic
3/10HighMediumVery HighMediumLowLow

New players should avoid this character. While he is tough and can chew through bosses with his ax, the Dwarf suffers terribly in most situations thanks to his mediocre speed and awful reach. Even the Cleric has an easier time bringing his attacks to bear against enemies. 

That said, players that are masters of positioning or those who have a friend to play as a ranged backup can put the Dwarf’s ax to work very effectively. The Dwarf is also good at slaying slimes, since he can hit them when they are on the ground.

Wizard

ScoreLifeDefenseAttackSpeedRangeMagic
9/10Very LowLowVery HighLowHighVery High

The Wizard may be slow and fragile, but his staff is lethal from the very start to the very end of the adventure. He can also decimate enemies by activating magic orbs or using his own spell power. His regular attacks have the second best range in the game, so he is a great choice for new players and excellent in the hands of a veteran. Unfortunately, it takes time for the Wizard to use his weapon and he moves slowly, which makes him vulnerable to counter attacks. Couple this with low defense and players will really pay for making mistakes.

Elf

ScoreLifeDefenseAttackSpeedRangeMagic
10/10LowVery LowLowVery HighVery HighHigh

While the Elf may not look good on paper, he is arguably the best character in the game. His arrows travel great distances and can be fired quickly, plus the Elf is so fast that most enemies cannot hit him if he has a good player piloting him. Consequently, even a moderately skilled player can mow down most foes with barrages of arrows without taking a scratch. The Elf’s magic is also on par with that of the Cleric, which allows him to stun or outright destroy enemies in emergencies. Keep in mind that the Elf is very fragile and just a few hits can take him out, so use his speed wisely if you want to succeed.

b. Moves (Button Inputs)

Here are the default button commands for King of Dragons. These can be customized in the options menu.

D-Pad = Walk Right, Left, Up, and Down

Left/Right Shoulder = Not used* 

Start = Pause/Begin Game

Select = Unused

Y = Attack with weapon

X = Use magic

B = Jump

A = Not used*

Block = Block is not mapped to the controller by default and occurs randomly when the player is about to be hit. When mapped to a button the player can push the selected button to force his or her hero to block. The A, L, or R buttons all work well as Block buttons.

*These buttons can be mapped to actions like Blocking in the Options menu.

c. Items

Players can acquire a variety of items that are dropped by monsters or hidden in breakable chests. Take some time to learn what these items look like and do, because using them properly can mean the difference between victory and defeat. 

Magic Orbs

Magic orbs can drop from chests, slain monsters, hidden stashes, and spawn when the player uses a Credit to continue. Striking these orbs unleashes a powerful spell that can have one of several effects. Here are the orbs and their effects:

Frog: This orb will turn regular monsters into frogs. Emblazoned with a frog.

Fire: Unleashes a powerful fire spell that harms everything on the screen aside from the players. 

Lightning: Same effect as the Fire Orb, only stronger.

Meteor: The most powerful attack spell. Depicted by a Star in the center of the orb.

Diamond: Very rare. Turns monsters into gems. It looks like a diamond sealed in a magic orb.

Money

Monsters and chests often drop sacks of gold. Pick these up to increase your score and level up your hero.

Gems

Enemies and chests often drop precious jewels that raise the player’s score in the same fashion as money.

Food

Various types of food can be acquired from boxes and fallen monsters. Restores some HP.

Equipment Upgrades

Often dropped by bosses, upgrades improve a hero’s weapon or accessory. The highest equipment level a hero can have is eight. Here is a brief list of upgrades and their effects:

Melee Weapon – The Fighter, Cleric, and Dwarf get melee weapon upgrades from bosses and certain chests. While their weapons vary in terms of range and power, obtaining a melee upgrade for any of these characters simply increases their damage.

Staff – This upgrade is for the Wizard. Grabbing it will enhance the range and power of his staff spells.

Bow – An upgrade for the Elf, the bow improves the rate of fire and speed of his arrows.

Arrow – Another Elf exclusive, the arrow increases the damage of his shots.

Ring – The Wizard will get various ring upgrades that give him a small boost to defense.

Shield – Gives a fairly large defense bonus to the Fighter, Cleric, and Dwarf with each upgrade. May also improve the likelihood of automatically blocking enemy attacks.

Extra Continue (Yashichi)

The Yashichi resembles a silver pinwheel on a circular red background and floats around like a magic orb. These items are extremely rare and precious, because they grant the player an extra continue. They can be found by swinging your hero’s weapon behind pillars or other foreground objects.

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2. Tips and Game Mechanics

Here are a few tips to make this game a bit less difficult. Out of all of them, the first tip about getting extra Credits to continue the game is probably the most important, but the others may shed some light on game mechanics and answer a few questions.

a. Look for Power Ups Behind Foreground Objects

Pillars, rubble, and other objects often appear in the foreground of this game. These props often conceal items, the most important of which being the Yashichi, a red pinwheel that grants the player an extra Credit. Treasures are scattered randomly around the game and there is no guarantee one will be in a given area from game to game, so hunt for them carefully by swinging your weapon behind foreground objects.

b. Collect Gold and Gems to Level Up

The score in King of Dragons does more than act as a status symbol, it also increases your hero’s level. Upon leveling up, a hero gets at least one point of defense and may see his max HP increase by 8 points. Leveling up may also increase attack power, but I was not able to confirm this through testing. At any rate, extra HP and defense can really add up, so try to collect as much treasure as possible without getting hit.

Some guides (and possibly the game manual) allude to the possibility that some heroes level up more quickly than others. While I do not have hard evidence for this, I will say that there seems to be some truth in this, especially when it comes to the Cleric and Dwarf.

c. Watch Out for Traps!

Some of the breakable chests and jars that appear after the first stage may be trapped with ice magic that will freeze your hero if he is too close to it when the trap is sprung. Other chests are actually mimics that will bite your hero if he gets too close. Either way, stumbling into these nasty traps can really hurt, so try to hit boxes from as far away as possible to avoid damage. It is possible to shake out of these traps by mashing buttons.

d. Share the Love in Two Player Mode

Treasure and healing items are limited in this game and that goes doubly in Co-Op mode. Try to work together and share resources according to your needs as a party. While distribution of things like magic orbs and food are obvious, you should also try to balance out how treasure is collected to keep one player from falling too far behind in terms of experience levels.

e. Positioning is Vital

Positioning your character in an enemy’s blind spot is an old trick in Beat ‘em Ups that works just as well in this title as it does in many others. Most enemies are very easy to hit if you are standing just above or below them. Some monsters, particularly bosses, have blind spots right on top of their sprites. Try experimenting with your positioning to find relatively safe places to stand while attacking. However, nowhere is safe for long in this game, because enemies move frequently.

f. How Blocking Works

Anyone playing as the Fighter, Dwarf, or Cleric may notice that their character randomly blocks attacks with his shield. This mechanic seems to trigger randomly based on the hero’s class and shield level. Just about any attack (aside from grabs) can be blocked. Additionally, the game allows players to map the block function to a button, which can let them block manually when the button is pressed. Manual blocking can be extremely effective, but it takes good timing to execute a manual block. Most players are probably better off focusing on evading enemy attacks by running or jumping away, since evasion is much easier.

g. How Magic Works

Admittedly, the actual mechanics of magic orbs and spells cast by the player are speculation based on observation on my part, so this section could be very wrong. At any rate, players can cast spells at the cost of HP by pressing X. These spells deal a bit of damage and are good for interrupting enemy attacks, especially if you are surrounded. Magic orbs dropped by monsters or chests have similar effects.

Not all characters are as good at using magic as others. The Wizard, Cleric, and Elf have more powerful spells that cost less HP to execute than those used by the Fighter and Dwarf. This also seems to carry over to magic orbs activated by the Wizard, Cleric, or Elf. Consequently, the Cleric, Wizard, and Elf should use their magic attacks more frequently than the Fighter and Dwarf, who should save them for emergencies.

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3. Enemies

King of Dragons throws a variety of fantasy monsters at the player. These creatures range from bosses to lesser foes, which are the focus of this section. For info on the bosses, check out Section 4: Stages. Keep in mind, these are only the more dangerous creatures that appear in the game and a few monsters go unmentioned in this guide outside of Section 4.

a. Orcs

Being the most common foe in the game, orcs appear as early as Stage 1 and come in several flavors. All orcs resemble muscular pig men that carry maces. The basic green orc is the weakest of its kind, armed only with a rather slow mace attack. Most characters can kill green orcs in a single hit from the very start.

Blue orcs are an improved version of their weak brethren. They come equipped with a shield in addition to their mace. Consequently, blue orcs are dangerous since they can block and counter attack the player. In addition to their shield, blue orcs often take at least two hits to slay. Hit blue orcs while standing slightly above or below them to get past their defenses. 

Red orcs are just like blue orcs, except quicker and able to withstand even more punishment. Use the same trick that works on blue orcs to defeat red orcs easily.

b. Skeletons

Skeletons are one of the most dangerous foes in the game, despite appearing relatively early on. They move and attack quickly. Most of your attacks will likely get blocked if you swing at a skeleton head on or from above. Skeletons can also jump and slash the player as they land, so be prepared to step out of the way of flying attacks when these guys are on the screen.

Skeletons are vulnerable during the first half of their jump attack, but it is risky to attack a jumping skeleton due to the fact that they swing their swords at the apex of their jump. It’s best to try to hit these guys from below, since their sword swipes have difficulty connecting from that angle and they seem to be unable to block low attacks. The best way to destroy a skeleton is to get behind it by running under it as it jumps. That said, it takes several hits to destroy a skeleton and their red sword wielding variants are even tougher.

c. Slimes

Slimes are green or red and crawl around on the ground. Players that step in a slime will rapidly take damage until they manage to jump free. It is difficult for most characters to hit a slime when it is on the ground, so wait for them to jump or just clear them away with a special attack. The Wizard is capable of hitting slimes even when they are on the ground if he fires his staff while standing on a plane slightly lower than the one occupied by the slime. Thanks to his short stature, the Dwarf can dispatch a slime simply by swinging at it.

d. Lizardmen

Lizardmen fight and move much like orcs, but they are much faster. Sliding sword attacks make up a lizardman’s repertoire of moves, so players are not safe standing in front of these foes even if they are a few paces away. Stand just above or below lizardmen when attacking to bypass their shields.

e. Fishmen

These denizens of the deep tend to be rare, but are dangerous nonetheless. Fishmen can strike enemies with a quick trident thrust or impale and throw them, dealing even more damage in the process. Additionally, they can leap high into the air and thrust their weapons downard. This move is a threat to jumping players as well as those on the ground. Step away from fishmen and their leap attacks, then quickly counterattack them.

f. Mummies

Mummies are surprisingly dangerous. They tend to move slowly, but are capable of quick speed bursts. Players that allow a mummy to get too close will get grabbed and take tremendous amounts of damage. To make matters worse, attacks do not slow them down much and mummies can sometimes block, then spring backwards.

Try to stay as far away from these undead horrors as possible and hit them with weapon attacks. Back or jump away, then run to the other side of the screen when a mummy starts to get close. Jumping attacks also work well, but you will have to jump past the mummy in order to avoid getting grabbed. On occasion, the player may be able to knock a mummy’s head off and the mummy will run around haphazardly for a while, leaving it open to attack.

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4. Stages

This is a very brief walkthrough of the stages and their bosses. Most stages in this game are brief and very straightforward, so this guide does not go into great detail. The difficulty of certain stages and bosses can vary depending on who you are playing, so be ready for surprises.

a. Stage 1: The Village

Only a few orcs and kobolds with crossbows inhabit this stage. Get used to moving around and attacking with your character. The blue orcs are the only real threat in this stage, since they can block and take more hits to kill than the green orcs. 

===Boss: Orc King===

The Orc King is as easy as they come as far as bosses go in King of Dragons. He will hop around the area and extend his flails after spinning them for a second. Do not approach the Orc King from the front, since his flails will likely hit you if you do so. Instead, stand behind, under, or above him so you are lined up with his sprite, then attack. Ranged characters can stand between his flails (look at the shadows to see where it is safe to stand) and shoot this boss.

b. Stage 2: Treasure in an Old Castle

This brief stage has more blue orcs than the previous one. Be careful when smashing chests, there’s a chance one of them will be trapped with ice magic. Stand as far away as possible when hitting the chests and the ice magic should miss. If you accidentally hit a trap and get frozen, move around with the D-Pad while mashing the Y and B Buttons to break free.

===Boss: Minotaur===

The Minotaur has a brutal ax that can really injure your hero. He will swing it several times and the damage wave that comes off of the ax will extend a bit with each swing. After swinging his ax, he will jump to a new location. The Minotaur may also lower his head like a bull, then charge across the screen. 

The Wizard and Elf can hit this boss just outside of his attack range if they position themselves carefully. Melee characters should jump into the Minotaur and attack him before or after he swings his weapon. 

Damage the Mintotaur enough and he will break the floor, sending everyone into a lower section of the castle. The Minotaur will stick to the same basic pattern after falling, but he will be a bit more aggressive. He may also flex his muscles and quickly charge across the screen, which is dangerous for the Elf and Wizard if they are lined up with the Mintotaur. Use the same tactic as earlier to defeat this boss, just try to get behind or below him when attacking to stay clear of his charge attacks.

c. Stage 3: Battle on a Mountain Peak

Stage 3 is a bit longer than the first two. The same green and blue orcs will appear here, but in greater numbers. You will also encounter red orcs, which are more durable than their blue counterparts, near the top of the hill. Try to herd the orcs to one side of the screen or they will surround you. Save any magic orbs that appear in chests for large numbers of orcs.

===Boss: Wyvern===

Get ready to fight a boss that is considerably stronger than the first two. The Wyvern will fly around the screen. Watch out when it backs up, because it will quickly swoop towards you with its claws after flying backwards a bit. You should also move up or down if the Wyvern flies off screen, because it will quickly swoop into you after a moment. Look for the Wyvern’s shadow to see where it is going to strike when it flies off of the screen.

Jump and attack the Wyvern. Its hitbox is big, so you can be fairly high above it and still get shots in. After taking a few hits, the Wyvern will land, flapping its wings and blowing the player(s) backwards in the process. At this point it will breathe fire in a straight line or onto the ground below it. Try to stay on a different plane from the one the boss occupies or it will hit you with its fire breath. Get a hit or two then move up or down to stay safe. The Wyvern may flap its wings (blowing the player backwards again) and reposition itself every so often.

The boss will take off again after taking a beating and use its claw swoop. Use the same tricks on it and it will take to the ground again. Once again, try to stay on a different plane than the Wyvern and get hits in when there’s an opening. The boss will repeat this attack pattern until you kill it.

d. Stage 4: Cave of Hydra

Take care in this cave, it’s more dangerous than previous stages. Be sure to break all of the jars in this stage, because there should be an upgrade for your character’s equipment in one of them. Kobolds with crossbows show up again in this stage as well as more orcs. You will also encounter slimes that crawl on the ground. These slimes are difficult to hit unless you are the Wizard or Dwarf, so wait for them to jump before swinging at them. Move around and mash buttons to break free if a slime catches you. Stay far away from the boxes when you try to open them, because mimics and ice traps are common in this stage.

===Boss: Hydra===

This massive serpent has three heads. The red head breathes small fireballs, the blue one breathes ice, and the green one spits globs of poison that stick to the ground. It is possible to destroy these projectiles by hitting them with an attack of your own, but this only works reliably on the blue head’s projectiles. The heads will also rear back before lunging at the player, which is your cue to move up or down.

Only two heads fight the player at a time. Each head has its own hidden life meter and will die (and drop treasure) after taking enough damage. The third head will take its place when this happens. The small hitbox on each head and the fact that you have to deal with two enemies makes this boss tricky to fight. Stay mobile and strike the heads when you get an opportunity.

e. Stage 5: To the Norde Isle

Harpies will drop skeletons on the deck of the ship in this stage. The skeletons are a lot quicker and deal more damage than orcs, so take care when fighting them. Try to back away from the skeletons and hit them after they jump or from below. 

Fishmen will jump onto the ship after you deal with the skeletons. These guys use leaping attacks as well as quick thrusts. Luckily, you can see their attacks coming when they leap, so step away and counter attack when they land. Check the barrels in this stage to get an upgrade for your equipment as well as healing items. This stage does not have a boss.

f. Stage 6: The Giant in the Shrine

Tip: There is a high likelihood that you will find an extra Credit by swinging your weapon behind the various pillars and rubble that is common in this stage, so search thoroughly.

Stage 6 is split into several sections: a beach, some ruins, and a tower. The beach is home to harpies that are easy to kill if you line up with their shadows, jump, and attack. Just watch out for orcs and crossbow kobolds that join the party.

Next, you will come to some ruins. Destroy all the jars and boxes you see in the ruins to get another equipment upgrade. More orcs and a few crossbows attack in this area. Some skeletons that throw spears also turn up, so keep moving to avoid taking damage. Another Minotaur guards the entrance to the tower. This one is faster than the first one, and it is more important to try to attack it from behind, though jumping attacks still work if you time them carefully.

The tower is very dangerous thanks to all of the skeletons and red orcs that infest the place. Fight carefully and try to keep enemies on one side of the screen.

===Boss: Cyclops===

Cyclops is an annoying boss. He has a quick punch that can hit you if you are standing in his sprite or adjacent to it as well as a sliding punch that allows him to strike targets half way across the screen. He also moves quickly, which makes it tough to get hits in without getting counter punched. Worst of all, he will sometimes jump, grab a stone from the ceiling, then quickly toss it at the player. You will have to move up or down very quickly to avoid the stone. Jumping a second before the stone hits the floor also works and is great for the Elf who can do this while shooting at the boss.

The best way to deal with Cyclops is to get behind him, hit him a few times, then move away. Ranged characters can hit him from afar fairly safely, but they will have to move after every attack or two to avoid getting punched.

g. Stage 7: The Trent Woods

The danger really ramps up at this stage. Slimes appear in droves along with skeletons and a new enemy: Lizardmen. Lizardmen fight like orcs, but are much faster and inflict more damage. They also block a bit more frequently. Luckily the same tactics that work on orcs are effective against lizardmen.

===Boss: Spider===

Players get something of a break after slogging through the forest, because the Spider is a really easy boss. Actually, there are several Spiders, but the player will only have to deal with one Spider at a time for much of the fight. These creatures will drop down from the trees on their webs and either spit poison that sticks to the ground or try to grab the player. The spitters always show up in profile, while the grabbers hang down with their underside facing the screen. 

You can tell where a Spider will land, because its shadow will appear on the ground just before it drops down. Position yourself a few steps away from the shadow and slightly above it, then use jump attacks to hit the Spider. This should keep you relatively safe from grabs and poison. The poison is only dangerous if you stand in it, so jump out of a puddle if you accidentally step in one.

Do enough damage and the Spiders will start to attack frantically, dropping down one after another or several at a time. Try to keep track of where they are going to land by watching the shadows and stay in the air as much as possible. If anything, this section of the battle just speeds things up, because you will have plenty of targets.

h.Stage 8: To the Castle

Liazrdmen attack in great numbers on this battlefield, so patience and careful positioning are important at this point. Red lizardmen with spears also show up. These foes will charge at you, so try to move up or down when they lower their spears. Look out for archers after crossing a bridge. They pop up on the sides of the screen in groups of four or five, fire, then jump away. You can block (if you are using manual blocking), destroy, or jump over their arrows.

===Boss: Dragon Rider===

This serpent mounted knight moves quickly and will jab you with his halberd if you are below or in front of him. The lizard can breathe fire at the player if he or she is in front of it. Try to stay just above the boss and stick to him as closely as possible while striking him with jump attacks. This should prevent him from hitting you and allow you to get plenty of your own hits in. 

Slow characters like the Cleric and Wizard are going to have a hard time keeping up with the Dragon Rider. If this happens, try to move up or down while approaching the boss to force it to come to you.

i. Stage 9: In the Castle

More lizardmen defend this castle. You will also have to battle a couple of dragon riders as you go through the stage, but these guys are not as fast as the one that was boss of the previous stage. There are several sections of broken wall and pillars in the foreground. Swing your weapon while standing behind any foreground props you see, because there may be an extra continue hidden behind one. Hidden items tend to be random, so there is no guarantee a continue Credit will appear, but it’s worth checking everywhere for one.

===Boss: Black Knight===

The Black Knight is a nimble foe with a sword that can hit in a wide arc in front of and below him. He often blocks and performs slashing somersaults. He will also throw what appear to be caltrops on the ground from time to time. Stay mobile and be aggressive. Jump attacks as well as attacks from just above the Black Knight work well in this battle. Relatively quick characters like the Fighter, Elf, and Dwarf will have an easy time keeping up with the Black Knight. The Cleric and Wizard should not have a hard time either as long as they pay close attention to their positioning and avoid standing directly in front of this boss.

j. Stage 10: Underpass

This stage is home to plenty of skeletons. Mummies also make an appearance and are arguably the most difficult enemies to deal with in King of Dragons, because they can take a beating as well as dish out damage. Try to keep your distance from the mummies and move up or down, then to the other side of the screen when they get close. Keep an eye out for chests hidden behind the crumbled wall in the foreground.

===Boss: Wraith===

The Wraith is one of the more difficult bosses in this game. It is actually made up of several small ghosts that form a circle. These ghosts circle the player, moving back and forth in the process. The Wraith is one of the few enemies in King of Dragons that can harm the player by merely touching him or her.  Try to stay near the center of the circle and hit the ghosts as they come close to avoid contact damage. The Wraith may throw scythes at the player on occasion, but they move slowly and can be knocked out of the air with an attack.

The Wraith will speed up when it is down to one or two health bars, so be ready to take evasive action. Characters with a lot of reach, namely the Wizard and Elf, will have an easy time hitting this boss. Just watch its movements and do not get greedy when attacking or the Wraith will slam into you.

k. Stage 11: Battle in the Fort

Expect plenty of skeletons and lizardmen in this stage as well as a few archers that jump in from the side of the screen. Nothing new appears in the fort aside from the boss, so stick to the skills you have learned on your way here.

===Boss: The Great Draconian===

Quick sword thrusts and the ability to fly, then dive bomb the player make up the Draconian’s signiture moves. He can also raise his shield and charge across the screen or extend his sword to hit the player from a great distance. Use jumping attacks to hit this boss once or twice, then quickly walk up or down to avoid his counters. Despite his fancy moves, the Great Draconian is easy to defeat using jump attacks along with hit and run tactics.

l. Stage 12: Castle Garenos

This short stage is home to some red skeletons that can inflict quite a bit of damage as well as another dragon rider. Aside from that, the castle is very brief and there is little of note here.

===Boss: Royal Knights===

Remember the Black Knight from Stage 9? The Royal Knights move and attack just like him, except there are two of them. Jumping and attacking works about as well in this battle as it did in the confrontation with the Black Knight, however it is more difficult to control the Royal Knights due to the fact that they jump around. Consequently, getting pinned between both Knights is a constant danger. Stay mobile and get hits in whenever possible. Keep jumping to avoid the caltrops these guys throw. When one of the Royal Knights dies, the other will speed up significantly, so be prepared to react quickly as the battle draws to a close.

m. Stage 13: The Dark Wizard

Imps will fly across the screen during the first part of this stage. Use your magic spells to clear them away and get extra loot. The imps often drop gems and healing items, so it is worth sacrificing some HP to kill them. Both the Elf and Wizard are well suited to imp killing, because their weapons can hit them fairly easily. Lizardmen attack in force after the imps, so be ready for a difficult battle. 

A wizard will appear when you reach the gate. While he is not the boss, he is still quite dangerous thanks to his ability to teleport around the screen and cast spells. The wizard’s lightning spell hits anything on his plane and jets of flame come out of his staff. He warps away after taking damage, so ranged characters will have an easy time interrupting his attacks. Melee fighters should try to catch him when he uses his staff or cast spells to damage him.

===Boss: Dark Wizard===

The Dark Wizard is one of the toughest bosses in the game. He can send gouts of flame along the floor towards the player or cause it to erupt around him, making it difficult for melee characters to hit him. In addition to his explosive spell, he can also send fireballs into the air that crash down around him. When low on HP, the Dark Wizard will sometimes summon a series of blue orbs that encircle him for a few moments before launching themselves at the player.

Ranged characters will have an easier time hitting this boss than melee characters as long as they line their shots up with his shadow, but they will still need to watch out for his spells. Melee characters are far more vulnerable to the Dark Wizard’s magic and should stand on top of his sprite so they can attack him in the air from a relatively safe position. You can interrupt his spells by using your own magic and I recommend doing so when he summons his blue orbs if you have enough health.

n. Stage 14: A Cave in the Woods

Fishmen attack at the start of this level, so be ready to move out of the way of their leaps, then counter attack them. Be sure to break all the chests in this stage, because one of them has an upgrade hidden in it. 

===Boss: Ice Wyvern===

The Ice Wyvern should be familiar, since he is just a blue version of the Wyvern boss from the start of the game. That said, the Ice Wyvern can freeze the player with his breath attack, so be careful in this battle. You will also want to watch out for spear toating lizardmen that assist the Ice Wyvern. Try to clear out any lizardmen that pop up so you can focus on the boss.

o. Stage 15: Underground Labyrinth

Mummies, red skeletons, and slimes inhabit this nasty stage. Fight defensively and try to conserve your lives in this dangerous cave, because you are close to the end of the game. Check behind the foreground for hidden items as well.

===Boss: Cyclops Duo===

This battle can be easy or brutal depending on your luck and character choice. You will have to fight two Cyclopes at once and these guys can easily beat you down by throwing stones or rushing you. Try to focus on one Cyclops at a time to kill it as quickly as possible and keep moving to herd the giants into positions where you can avoid their attacks easily.

p. Stage 16: Golden Limestone Cavern

This stage is really simple: collect treasures in preparation for the last battle. Watch out for mimic chests as you loot this area.

===Boss: Gildiss (Red Dragon) ===

Gildiss is fairly difficult as bosses go in this game. Only his head and claw are vulnerable to damage and both move around quite a bit. He will often breathe jets of flame that do a lot of damage. Worse yet, his flame attack has a fair bit of range and Gildiss can move his head around while spewing flame. Aside from that, he will use a fireball attack that hits a wide area on rare occasions as well as a claw grab. The claw will shake for a few seconds before attempting to grab a player. Interrupt the claw grab by using magic when the claw shakes or starts moving towards the player. This also works on Gildiss’ fire breath. Shields can block fire breath, but it will not happen often with autoblock on and manually blocking can leave you open to a claw grab.

Try to stay in the center of the room to draw Gildiss’ head out, then attack it from behind if you are a melee character. Ranged characters should keep moving and plink away at the head or claw whenever possible; getting behind the head is also wise for ranged characters. Gildiss has a lot of health, so this battle can really drag out. Play defensively and take time to move his head into a vulnerable position to win.

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5. References

Sadly, I had difficulty finding info on this game and what I did discover was often questionable in terms of accuracy. That said, there was one fairly decent guide that helped me figure out how blocking works. The author seemed knowledgeable about King of Dragons in general, so it is worth checking out his work if I was unable to answer a particular question. Finally, I have to credit Nintendo Power for giving me clues to how to find extra Credits.

Lord Zero’s Walkthrough:

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/snes/588422-king-of-dragons/faqs/6273

Nintendo Power Issue 60 May 1994

I took a look at the write up for King of Dragons in Nintendo Power to get an idea of how the hidden items worked. The coverage for this game is brief and some of the stuff it says is just wrong, so take Nintendo Power’s advice with a pinch of salt if you refer to it.

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