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Dragon Slayer IV: DrasleFamily (MSX2)

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Title Screen

Dragon Slayer IV: Draslefamily

Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: Nihon Falcom
Platform: MSX2
Released in JP: 1987

CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.

Dragon Slayer IV for MSX2 is the second version of the game released in Japan. After the initial Famicom/NES version (retitled as Legacy of the Wizard outside of Japan), the MSX2 port was made with some alterations, especially to Lyll's area of the dungeon map. The later MSX version reused code from the MSX2 version, but mostly used the original Famicom dungeon map.

Unused Sprites

The game's graphic tiles include 4 monsters which are never seen in the game in enemy groups 4 and 7. They do not have any associated color or behavior, so they are shown in grey here. These appear in the game data for all 3 versions of the game. This includes:

  • Bee form of the giant enemy, which would show if its behaviour allowed it to climb a ladder.
  • Monch, an intelligent monkey (named in guidebooks).
  • An unknown humanoid with a helmet.
  • An unknown goat-like humanoid.

Ds4 monster unused msx2.png

During the introduction and on the character select screen, some sprites are seen of the family at home. However, there is a redundant set of sprites showing the family in additional poses, such as facing up and down. This may have been intended for the ending sequence, like in the Famicom version, but instead only a few of these sprites are ever used, only for the character select screen.

Most of the side-facing sprites are merely duplicates of the introduction set. Xemn and Maia have downward-facing sprites seen on the character select screen. Xemn, Pochi and Dawel have unseen side-facing sprites that are not duplicates of the introduction set, and one of Dawel's unused sprites is even missing his eyes. Similarly Geera has a downward-facing bow that is different from the version in the introduction set.

Ds4 family unused msx2.png

Many unused 8x8 background tiles contain what appears to be the Japanese character ア enclosed in a box. This unused marker tile appears in many places across the tile data, and is contained in all 3 versions of the game.

Ds4 tile empty msx2.png

Music Test

Dragon Slayer 4 - Drasle Family (msx2) soundtest-1.png Dragon Slayer 4 - Drasle Family (msx2) soundtest-2.png

Hold Select + Shift + : and turn on the game. At the title screen, you should get a message: "こんかいは おんなのこVERSIONは ありません そのかわり・・・". This message apologizes that there is no "girl mode" this time, which is a reference to a similar code to play as the princess in Dragon Slayer III: Romancia.

On the character select screen:

  • To restart the music, press SHIFT on the portrait left of the door.
  • To change the music, press SHIFT or Z to the right of the door, at the same height as the portrait but directly above Geela.

16-Colour Graphics Capability

The MSX2 background tile data is 4 bits per pixel, allowing all 16 colours of the palette to be freely used for backgrounds. However, only the last 3 colours + black were used in all of the background map art. These are remapped to a subset of 3 colours + black for each 16x16 tile on the visible map. This was done to emulate the limitations of the Famicom/NES background hardware, and make the port from that console easier.

A demonstration of 16-colour tiles using an editor.