Contents of the DRAG4.DOC file
The Dragon's Domain IV
(C) 1992 Ed T. Toton III
All Rights Reserved.
Special thanks to Erik McClenney, for his aid with the adlib sound system
used by this game. He introduced the source code to me, and showed me how to
As you may have noticed, not a whole lot of the text xhanges from one
game to the next here in the documentation. But look through it anyway! There
are important hints and details listed within! An example is that you must
type "DRAG4 /A" to run the game with the adlib stuff enabled!
Welcome to The Dragon's Domain IV!! The original episode was inspired by
ADVENTURE on the Atari game systems ages ago. The concepts and goals are
quite simple indeed, but actually accomplishing it is a different matter.
You will have to face many perils in your quest. 3 great dragons are waiting
to stomp on you, and many other creatures gaurd key points in your quest,
including skeletons, fire elementals, ogres, ghosts, and more. (Sound's
The backgrounds are now bitmapped, allowing for more detail than in
previous games. The game now supports ADLIB!!!!!!!!!! Right now it is only
in the form of sound effects, but Dragon's Domain V will implement
To all of you who think a decent game absolutely must have scanned oil-
paintings, high-res, ultra-colorful, mega-detailed, high-speed graphics, all
in one package in order to be fun, I think this game and it's successors will
prove you wrong. It is not a combat-based game (although it has plenty of
fighting to go around). It is a pathfinding/labyrinth/puzzle/strategy game.
You will find many challenges. There is much strategy involved in slaying
those pesky evil dragons. You will need to find your way through the mazes,
and discover what items will aid or hurt you in your quest. The task is not
easy. Your best friends will be your weapon, and the save-game feature.
THE FUTURE OF DRAGON'S DOMAIN:
So far Dragon's Domain has seen MANY improvements. With each new episode,
I create new I/O routines to make things faster, more effecient, and more
visually stunning. Being shareware, it is expected that these games will not
be as spectacular as off-the-shelf commercial games. However, I do intend to
continue to make things better.
Dragon's Domain IV will be the last one set in the "traditional" Dragon's
Domain style. What I mean is that there will be no more "room-by-room"
exploring, for one. The background will be fluid, scrolling to allow the
character to remain centered in the viewport (which will be smaller than
the one used now, to allow for speed, and more status area around the sides).
This same graphics routine also removes all flicker! No more flickering
dragons or torches!!
Also, there will be background music, and there will be no more of this
thing where there is only one of each object. There will be many weapons
available, they will break, and you'll be able to find replacements. There
will be treasure, and other such stuff.
All in all, Dragon's Domain V is being planned to break the ice and start
a new era in Dragon's Domain's history. Of course this probably means there
will be no more bat (aw, such a shame, is it not?), unless I find a good
way to keep him worked into the plot.
Dragon's Domain V may not be advertised as such. It will probably bear a
new title, and have "Dragon's Domain V" as a sub-title. It will be so
advanced compared to the other games that I felt it deserved it's own name.
It may be a while before it is released, since a lot of planning is required,
and the work moves slowly.
This game requires DOS 3.0 or greater, and at least 512k RAM (total).
The graphics are simple in appearance, but drawn using a new technique I
have designed using XOR operations and virtual screen memory. Also, this
game has a much improved map system over the first one. The entire map
is loaded into memory at the beginning of the game, and so very little disk
access occurrs during game play. More features are built in, including
a save/load game system.
It is recommended that this game be played on a 286 12mhz or better with
a 28ms hard-drive or better. The lowest it has been tested on is a 286-12
with a 17ms hard-drive, and the highest is a 486-33 with a 13ms drive.
The minimum you need for it to look really good (no flicker) is a 386-20 DX.
I apologize about the flicker of the dragons and the spotlights in the
games for those of you who are using 286's and 386-SX's. There was little
I could do. The new XOR routines are faster and there will be less flicker
than the original releases of the previous games. Although it hasn't been
completely eradicated. In Dragon's Domain V it has been fixed.
For those who are curious, Dragon's Domain IV has gotten to be a big
project, consisting of a main Turbo-Pascal file of 2992 lines of code
(about a fifth of which is inline assembly), 7 assembly files, several
units of my own design, and various other programs to allow me to edit
and create the data files. The directory devoted to this totals to 79 files,
the smallest of which is 7 bytes and the largest is 89,920 bytes.
RUNNING THE GAME:
To run the game, simply make sure all of it's files are in the same
directory and type DRAG4 at the dos prompt. The controls are extremely
simple. You use the cursor keys/number keys to steer your guy. SPACEBAR
is your fire-button. In the beginning of the game you have a stick to
use as a weapon (very weak), and later you can get the sword.
To pick up an object, simply walk into it. You can carry as many keys as
you need, but all other objects can only be carried one at a time. You will
automatically drop what you have when you try to pick something new up
(keys are permanent, there is no way to get rid of them).
BTW- it IS ok to put all four Dragon's Domain games in the same
directory. It has been designed to do that.
IMPORTANT!!!!!!: If you want to have AdLib sound, and you have an AdLib
music synthesizer card, then you must run the game with the '/A' switch!
Ex- "DRAG4 /A"
D: Drop Object (from slot 1)
Q: Quit Game
S: Save Game
L: Load Game
T: Toggle "accelerated time" mode.
F1: Drop object from slot 1
F2: Drop object from slot 2
F3: Drop object from slot 3
F4: Drop object from slot 4
F5: Drop object from slot 5
Long long ago, in the land of Tikki-tikki-nowbanna, there was a powerful
wizard. He was a very good wizard. He defended the land for many centuries
against evil. One day, his dragons (Fexdon, Rantor, and Kellwith) turned
against him and took the sacred chalice and hid it. With the chalice gone,
the wizard was all but powerless. Many evil creatures quickly sprang forth
and covered the countryside.
These were the last of the dragons. Once, they were a powerful and honorable
race, not evil in the least. But the last three dragons resented being
"controlled" by a wizard (they forgot that the agreement was that they would
get paid, and could leave whenever they wanted to). They then turned to a life
A hero arrived to help save the land from emminent domination by the evil
dragons. Soon the chalice was returned, and all was good. Many years passed,
the old castles were rebuilt and repainted, and many changes occurred. After
a long time, the dragons returned. They have aged quite a bit (so did our
favorite hero for that matter, but that's a different story). The town elders
devised a plan. The idea was to retrieve the eggs that the dragons have laid.
Since the dragons weren't live too much longer, these eggs are the last hope
for restoring the proud race of GOOD dragons. The eggs were retrieved,
and have since hatched.
While the eggs were incubating, the evil dragons waged war on the humans.
The war was long and hard, and the cities were completely destroyed. Finally
the dragons fell, and the cities were rebuilt.
Shortly afterward, our favorite hero grew weak, old, and ill. Normally such
heroes are granted the privelige to drink from the chalice, and thus restore
their vitality, but the chalice was lost in the war. One of the new young
dragons, the red one, recovered the chalice to aid the one who has saved the
people so many times.
Unfortunately, soon after the war, an evil wizard named Mordenz has come
to power in the area. He has summonned many foul creatures to stop you. He
has also reanimated the dead evil dragons, which are now large powerful
After our hero was rejuvinated, the evil wizard retreated to the
underworld. No one knows for sure what is down there. The underworld can
only be accessed by 8 teleportals. You must find Mordenz's spellbook, and
also retrieve the mirror and the orb. the orb has the power to activate
the mirror, through which the spellbook must be banished into the
netherworld. It is rumored that Mordenz is using this spellbook to snatch
dragon eggs from the past that had gotten splattered, and is thus saving
their lives and raising these dragons to start an evil army of dragons.
You must navigate many mazes. To aid you in these dark mazes, a torch and
a candle and a lantern can be found. Six castles lay ahead of you, each
locked with it's own key of the same color as the castle. Do you have what it
takes to defeat the evil beasts and recover the items?
Note- Remeber there are several new objects out there. Some will help, many
are useless. ALL do at least SOMETHING. And in any event, the bat will pick
them up and move them whenever he may encounter them! This includes items
(suchas the chalice) that you have already retrieved! Beware!
1. Get the spellbook back to the room you started in.
2. Get the orb there too.
3. Get the mirror there also.
4. Keep from getting mangled, diced, brutally murdered,
slayed, and so forth.
-If the bat is carrying something that you want and you have something
else that you DON'T want, you can place it in front of him and he will do
-Don't be afraid to SAVE OFTEN!! You must save often and reload if you
lose more energy than is necessary in a confrontation. It is very
difficult to win the game if you don't do this!
-The dragons rarely hurt you if you stand AS CLOSE as possible to the edge
of the screen in a doorway. Likewise, if leave objects there, the dragons
are just as unlikely to move them. The bat and the young purple dragon CAN
find them there though.
-NO ONE will move the mirror, spellbook, orb, keys, or lantern until you
have. If you move one and leave it somewhere, it's just as likely to be gone
when you return as any other object.
-Unlike previous games, EVERY object does SOMETHING.. As to whether it
helps or hurts, we leave that up to you to discover.
-There is a "master key" out there that may help you. It will open all
-BE CAREFUL with the master-key. If you drop it, you can get stuck
somewhere with no way out and will have to reload or start over. This is
especially true if you drop it IN the gateway, and then continue on to the
other side, thus letting the gate close ON the key, trapping you on the
-The sword isn't the all-powerful weapon it used to be. So be careful
with it. It is legend that there arre magical swords out there. It is
believed that the sword of accuracy is only slightly better than the
normal sword, and it can be identified by it's blue color. The other is
the sword of strength, which is quite a bit better than the normal sword.
-Legend also has it that there are two magical shields out there as well.
One is enchanted (good), and the other is cursed (bad)..
[Remember that all percentages listed below are approximations made
by various scholars and mages based upon old records, and the true
accuracy of the data can not be known for certain.]
The dragons are an ancient race of giant creatures. They are warmblooded,
yet have the skin and basic architecture of a reptile. Some have wings,
others do not. This is a trait that may be passed from parent to child,
whether or not the parents were winged themselves. Color also is not
completely dependant on the parent. While it is fairly likely that the
young dragons will be the same color as one of it's parednts, it is also
quite possible it will be a different color.
Dragon offspring come from eggs. The eggs have a leathery skin, much like
the eggs of various reptiles. What makes them unique however is that the
eggs have wrinkled/scaley surfaces, and are the color of the dragon contained
within. Dragons are about the size of an average adult human when they first
hatch. Young dragons grow quickly and eat large quantities of food. Despite
the size they must reach, they are full grown by about the age of 20, and
become mature between the ages of 20 to 30 (assuming they aren't one of the
ones that don't grow, as described below).
Although dragons are quite intelligent, they tend to be very absent minded,
stubborn, and have quick tempers. They are often egotistical, yet clever.
They can easily manipulate the simple minded, yet at the same time, the
more intelligent humans can often manipulate the dragons with flattery and
offers of gold. Dragons LOVE gold. Not all dragons are egotists, and not
all can be manipulated. Likewise not all are intelligent either, but the
above description will hold true in part or whole to most dragons. It is a
common misconception that a dragon's physical and mental attributes are
directly related to it's color. There does however seem to be a SLIGHT
correlation between a dragon's personality and it's color, due to a possible
genetic link. There is a chart below showing the general tendancies towards
various traits for each color. Remember, these are stereotypes and tendancies,
Dragons somehow manage to speak english, and sometimes several other
languages as well. This has been a subject of mystery for centuries, since
their mouth structures are obviously quite different than that of humans.
Those that can speak and are rather intelligent may be capable of spell-
The usual size for an adult dragon is approximately 30 to 50 feet in
length, head to tail, when fully outstrretched, and they usually stand about
12 to 16 feet high. Not all dragons are like this. Some stop growing soon
after birth, staying about human-sized. Others may grow to an enormous
length. In fact there are some ancient skeletal remains of a dragon in the
southern mountains so large that the average adult dragon can stand erect
completely inside one of the eye-sockets of the skull. One can only speculate
about what caused such an occurance.
Dragon's come in various shapes as well as sizes. There are several
possible configurations. Usually about 75% of dragon offspring have the same
shape as one of it's parents, the others will have any of the other possible
configurations. These different shapes include numbers and types of limbs,
existance of and number of horns, whether it has spines along it's back,
size of claw-nails, type of tail (such as a forked tail, arrow-head tail,
etc), and so forth.
As far as limbs are concerned, all dragons have two, four, or six limbs.
If it has only two, they will be wings about 90% of the time, otherwise they
will be powerful legs. If a dragon has 4 limbs, 80% of the time it will be
two strong hind-legs and two arms/front-legs (usualy arms), and the remaining
20% have two legs and two wings. Of those that have 6 limbs, two are
hind-legs, two are wings, and the other two are arms/front-legs (again,
usually arms). The two most common configurations are 6-limbed, and 4-limbed
with no wings, thus most dragons have two legs and two arms (with or without
Whether or not the front limbs are in fact arms or front-legs, they will
always have a decent level of manipulative ability. Fairly often, of those
who have wings and no other front-end limbs, there will be fingers on the
wings, much like a bat. Thus the dragon will still be able to grasp and hold
objects, but not while in flight.
Horns, spines, claw length, tail type, scale size, and so forth are all
fairly random. There is no telling what a dragon will be shaped like in those
respects. One must wait for the dragon to hatch and then see for one's self
in order to know. So in respect to these attributes, it is quite rare that
two dragons will be the same.
Dragons also slightly have the ability to change color. Don't get me wrong,
a red dragon will always be red. But Dragons will have their color darken or
lighten depending on their state of health and the weather.
As you can see, dragon genetics allow for quite a large amount of diversity.
Every single dragon carries the genetic code for all of the possible traits,
thus allowing any combination to occur in it's offspring. However, since
certain traits are dominant in itself, those traits are more likely than
others to be dominant in it's children. Hence 75% of baby dragons resemble
one of their parents in color and limb configuration.
The dragons were once a proud and honorable race. They worked with humans
often. Both races shared a set of mutual benefits from aiding one another.
The race of dragons quickly diminished as a plague worked it's way through
their society. Xanton the wizard tried hard to cure the disease, as it was
his job to protect and serve his people in times of such dire need. He
worked VERY hard. Eventually he concocted the formula, but only in time to
save the three remaining dragons. These three maintained a slight resentment
towards Xanton for not being able to save the rest of the dragons, yet at
the same time were quite thankful for their lives, and felt an obligation
to Xanton. They agreed to work for him, with a payroll of gold peices, paid
by the hour.
As time lagged on, they started to forget their sense of loyalty. As they
aged, they grew bitter and felt that Xanton was "controlling" them. They
decided to move up in the world by conquering it, and thus left the castle
of Xanton. Xanton was powerless to do anything, since they stole the chalice,
which was Xanton's only connection to the ethereal plane, the source of all
paranormal and magical energy.
The chalice was soon retrieved, but the dragons were not yet vanquished.
Realizing that they were not to be with the world for much longer, and
would soon pass on, they quickly set upon themselves to try to raise young,
and start a powerful army of dragons.
There was but one chance left if there were to ever be peace between the
humans and dragons. Four eggs had been laid. Green, red, blue, and purple
were the colors of the eggs. The purple egg hatched, and the young purple
dragon had already started a life of mischief. The other three eggs were
recovered. Since then the three evil dragons fell in battle.
Now the recovered eggs have hatched, the yound red dragon (you) has a great
quest ahead of him. You will have to face those same 3 evil dragons that our
hero fought before, YOUR PARENTS! They are back from the grave! Will they
EVER give up??!?!?
[Note- About 20 to 30 percent of all dragons will at least slightly
fall under their appropriate color-definitions below. Only about
5 to 10 percent actually fit these descriptions to the letter.
After all, these are mostly stereotypes, and have only slight
manifestations. Again, this is based off of old records kept
by humans, and the true accuracy can not be ascertained.]
Blue: - Blue dragons are quite intelligent, employing spells more
often than other dragon types, and are usually quite honest
and honorable. However, they are usually stubborn and once
their mind is set, there is little one can do to change it.
Green: - Green Dragons are often greedy and clever enough to satisfy
that greed. They are often the con-men and the theives of
the dragon's domain. They are also the show-offs and class-
clowns, but it is usually tolerated, since they will only do
dishonorable acts behind ones back, thus with a little caution
they can be kept under control. They are good fighters.
Cyan: - Cyan dragons tend to be heavy on the absent-mindedness. They
have a poor memory capacity, and thus the ones capable of
spells often forget how to cast them, thus such dragons
will usually keep a spellbook. They are witty and humorous
however, and enjoy games.
Red: - Red Dragons almost always have very hot tempers. They are
strong and powerful dragons (since they are constantly
involved in tests of strength, they work out and keep in
shape), but a little on the dim side mentally. They can be
rather self centered, but have a strong sense of duty.
Purple: - These dragons tend to be a little more egotistic than the
others, and rather tame. They don't get angered as easily
as others, but once they have been pushed too far, they are
relentless in retaliation. They have a strong sense of
justice and retribution.
Yellow: - Yellow dragons are often lazy and laid-back. They aren't
terribly strong (since they never do anything), nor are they
terribly intelligent. Thus the only jobs they usually perform
are secretarial, or they act as body guards for humans who
can't afford to hire a red dragon.
Grey/white: - These dragons are the sages of the Dragon's Domain. They are
wise and intelligent. They make fantastic spell-casters, and
commanding officers for military operations. They have great
strategic and logic abilities.
Young: 0 - 10 (very young)
11 - 20
21 - 30 (adolescent)
Adult: 31 - 120
Old: 121 - 180
181 - 220 (very old)
221 - 300+ (ancient) *
* AVERAGE Life expectancy for COMMON dragons is roughly 180 years,
although several will live longer. There are enough who live only
to an age between 120 and 180 to compensate the average for the
few who live to an age up to 300 or more. There is a legend of a
few HIGHLY magical ones that are dormant beneath the mountains
in large subterranean caverns, in a nearly immortal state.
Rantor: Undead Red Dragon
Fexdon: Undead Green Dragon
Kellwith: Undead Blue Dragon
Targil: Young purple dragon
Seflor: Young red dragon (you).
Xanton: Good Wizard
Mordenz: Evil Wizard
Things this sequal does better than the first in the series:
1. The bat is MUCH more visible.
2. Elementals emit light in dark places.
3. The torch/candle/lantern is needed to illuminate dark areas
4. The dragons and especially the bat can carry objects.
5. There are 32 objects in the game (the first had 8).
6. The map is stored in one data file instead of 50 ascii files. This has
many advantages: A. Game speed, since it is loaded ONCE.
B. Disk space
C. More portable
D. Easier to design maps (from my point of view)
7. You can SAVE and LOAD games.
8. Accelerated time function allows you to travel large distances
9. FASTER loading of images at program's beginning.
10. New IO routines make for faster and less flickery animation.
With each new episode in the Dragon's Domain series, many improvements
are made to the software system it uses. Dragon's Domain IV is being
planned and I intend to use bitmapped backgrounds instead of the present
vector-based maps, which means the graphics will look much better!! I'm
also thinking of added MANY new objects, both enchanted and cursed, and
I may use a map much larger than the present one. If you have any
suggestions, feel free to contact me by mail or modem (my BBS number is
listed at the end of this documentation-file).
1.1 - A little clean up to fix the map.
NOTICE: (BIG change over previous versions!!)
This program is being distributed on the "shareware" concept. It is by
no means completely free. If you think the program is of use to you, please
send a registration fee of $5. If you think that is rediculous, then send
less (or more for that matter). If you hate the program or found too many
bugs, write me and tell me, and include a graphic explanation (but don't
be too harsh!! Heheheh). In any event, write to:
Ed T. Toton III
7101 Talisman Lane
Columbia Md 21045
And WHY should you register it?
1. To support my continuing efforts to bring you some level of
functional programs. If I get no cash, you get no improvements
in these programs, and I won't be encouraged to make new and
2. To get that warm glow for knowing that you supported the author
of at least one of the many shareware programs you probably use.
3. To find out if there is a newer version. All you need to do is
ask! But letters with money take priority!
4. You could be sick and demented and thus register everything you
get your hands on.
NOTE- Whether you register it or not, and would like a copy of the latest
version, send me a blank disk and include return postage. I will then
send it to you with the latest version of all the games in the series.
I can handle 360k 5", 1.2mb 5", 720k 3", and 1.44mb 3" disks.
This program is provided "AS IS" and I make no gauruntees about it's
performance. I will not be and can not be held responsible for any damages
incurred during it's use. It's on a "use at your own risk" basis. Nothing
at all should happen, the program is harmless, but I have to say it anyway.
Using the program AT ALL means that you agree to these terms.
This program may be freely distributed (which is actually encouraged)
AS IS. No one may modify this program in ANY way. ESPECIALLY where names
and credit is given, and INCLUDING all the documentation and data files.
It may NOT be used for comercial or profit-turning ventures of any kind,
including sale by disk vendors, without the written consent by ME, with
ONE exception. Disk vendors MAY sell it without my written consent ONLY
if they charge no more than $4 higher then the cost of the disk, AND they
register it first. NOTHING may be added to it either. NO BBS ads are
allowed EXCEPT as zip comments, or as a single SEPERATE text file.
If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, criticisms, donations,
remarks, praise or opinions, please write! I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!
(the address is listed above).
If you are curious about where these games came from, or how you can get
more of my software, or whatever else, please feel free to call my BBS!
Here's the stuff:
Sorcerer's Quarters BBS
24 hrs/day, 7 days/week
I can also be contacted on Prodigy,
my account code is: RHJD10B
(note that it may take some time
before you get a response though)
Ed T. Toton III