The Legend of Dragoon is a JRPG (Japanese role-playing video game) developed and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation. It was released between December 1999 and January 2001 depending on where you live, coming at the end of the console's life cycle. (To put it in perspective: The PlayStation was released in 1994, Final Fantasy VII in 1997, and Final Fantasy IX in 2000, the same year the PlayStation 2 launched.) On its tenth anniversary, the game was rereleased on the Japanese PlayStation Network and is now available for North America as well (guess what's missing).

When the clash of swords echo,
The journey chasing the past ends and
The journey to know today begins.

One soul seeks another and
Pledges their sworn friendship to another.
One mystery begets the next and
The doors of fate are opened.

"You are free to sever the chains of fate that bind you..." Game Intro (x)

The Age of the Dragoon

The following is the creation story and the world's history as presented in the game manual; emphasis mine.

The Legend was born 10,000 years ago... and began with the Divine Tree. Nothing could compare to its mystical powers. It is said that this massive, yet graceful entity gave birth to all living things. One after another, races of plants, animals, and unique beings fell from its branches and life spilled forth over the land.

The 105th race born of the Tree was the powerful Dragons. These towering winged destroyers would strike terror into anyone who beheld them. In time, their Dragon Spirit would be revered and worshipped. The 106th race was the Human race. These peaceful beings lived a quiet agrarian existence in harmony with the world. The 107th race was the formidable Winglies. These flying conquerors set out to build great floating cities and gain dominion over all living things. In time, their aggression enslaved the passive Human race with little resistance.

The spirit of the Divine Tree coursed through all its offspring. The races took their place on earth, filling the desolation with lushness and activity.

But the beauty of the tree could not hide an ugly blemish in the land of floating cities. The Winglies reigned supreme. The Humans were enslaved. Divided by hatred, a battle for freedom would ensue. Both thought their very survival depended on victory over the other. According to the legend, the Humans enlisted the help of the Dragons. Drawing on magical forces, the Humans became Dragoon warriors harnessing the savage power and soul of the Dragons. Dragoons were supernatural warriors who attacked with fierce combat skills and deadly magic. They overpowered the Winglies in a bloody confrontation. The Humans prevailed. And they learned to co-exist in peaceful harmony. But beneath the tranquility lurks a mysterious prophecy. Love. Revenge. Death and destruction. A Black Monster. The emergence of another race. No one knows what its presence will bring. Eternal peace and happiness for all? Or the darkest evil imaginable?

The past and the future are about to collide. Behold your destiny...

The Main Character

The story follows Dart, a 23-year-old swordsman who lost his hometown Neet and parents to the fire and mass slaughter at the hands of the Black Monster eighteen years ago. As the sole survivor, he eventually embarked on a journey of revenge in search of the vile creature; five years later, he returns to his second childhood home Seles on the day it is ravaged only to learn that his childhood friend Shana has been abducted.

And so the journey begins anew...