Oddities 33: Drakkhen Weirdness!

I found something in Drakkhen that I thought was kind of unusual for a Super NES game. Believe it or not, there are alcoholic references in this game! In the Earth area, there is a tavern that is not marked on the map. When you're on the road to this tavern, a wandering man will appear out of thin air to give you directions to it. He tells you that they have good drinks at the tavern and he's clearly acting drunk the whole time. When you reach the tavern, a scene is shown of several characters holding beer mugs in the air. Here are some screenshots:



This may not seem like such a big deal today, but it surprises me because alcoholic references were removed from games like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6, and Earthbound.

Here's something else that's kind of strange about Drakkhen. When you beat the game, you'll see that one of the programmers, Osamu Tani, signed his name in the end credits with a statue of a guitar. However, if you finish the game with any dead party members, an extra guitar will appear for each member. Here is what it looks like when you beat the game with 4, 3, 2, and 1 living party members, respectively:



But that's not all! I have seen a little punk rocker head sometimes appear in the end credits in place of one of the guitars! I do not know the conditions for getting the punk rocker face to appear, so I was unable to get a screen capture of it. I do know that the number of living party members at the time you talk to the four dragon gods to end the game determines the number of guitars, because I have tested it many times. Also, none of these guitars can be seen during the actual game, even though they're shown on the desert background.

UPDATE: Rey Esteban of the Videogame Museum contacted me through email awhile ago to inform me that the ending sequence for Drakkhen that he put together for his website contained a screenshot that shows the little punk rocker head. He said I could use the screenshot for my site, but I'll just provide a direct link to the page:

Ending for Drakkhen at the Video Game Museum

The funny thing is, he clearly has all four party members alive during the ending, yet that screenshot shows all four guitars and the head. There must be some way to achieve that ending that's unrelated to having your characters being dead at the time (perhaps it's a timed thing?)

Here are some more Drakkhen oddities:


Most enemies you fight in Drakkhen are random except this giant dog's head. The only way to get this big fellow to appear is to bump into a tombstone. Bump a tombstone (looks like a silver spoon sticking up out of a mound of dirt) by centering it on your screen and moving straight forward. But I wouldn't bother doing this unless your levels are high and your equipment good because this hound of hell can easily wipe out your whole party.


Above left: ZSNES users can peel away one of the backgrounds of Drakkhen to reveal this odd little star chart behind the status screen. I don't know what purpose it serves. It shows one of the constellation patterns that can turn into a random enemy. The stars on it are actually twinkling, but it never changes.

Above Right: I wonder what is meant by "SFX" version? SF might mean "Super Famicom" (Drakkhen was originally a PC game), but what's with the "X"? And this game was made long before the invention of the Super FX chip, so it's not that, though it's kind of ironic considering the 3D nature of Drakkhen. Another possible meaning is "Special Effects version", but I don't know what's mean by that either. Did the PC version not have special effects (whatever those would even be?)



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