Last Saturday, Dragon Nest: Warrior’s Dawn has premiered the first of its three movies at SM Megamall. Titled, Dragon’s Nest: Warrior’s Dawn tells the events of the Black Dragon Raid fifty years before the actual start in its online game counterpart. There wasn’t much of a crowd, but clearly, most of its spectators have played Dragon Nest at some point (probably still do up to this day).
In highlight, the movie focuses on the heroic party of misfits, particularly on Lambert, Liya, Geraint, and Velskud. The group marches on an adventure to stop the awakening of the Black Dragon and to seek its gem for entirely different purposes, albeit personal. Majority of what was told in the movie are mirrored from its game counterpart, while some were tailored most likely to fit in the 90-minute timeframe.
While playing on the elements of fantasy, action, comedy, and romance, Warrior’s Dawn attempted to cater to both its target audience (DN community), as well as non-players who might be interested on what Dragon Nest is all about.
Not reading any online reviews prior to watching the movie, we were expecting excerpts from the game soundtrack to somehow fit in (Erutaaaan!), but despite our disappointment, the timing and execution of the background music as well as its sound effects were satisfactory. We’d listen to its official soundtrack again if we get a chance to.
Edit: After a bit more of research, we found out that the producer for this movie is also the same producer behind High School Musical. Figures, lol.
Visuals, Design and Battle Choreography
If we’d choose a word to describe these aspects, we’d say it’s a rollercoaster. Some scenes are elegantly detailed (mostly scenes with Liya), while others were poorly made like the rest of the budget was drained out and the staff had to make do with the little money and time they have left (Geraint’s battle scene is a good example of this). Character designs (rather, the costumes) are mimicked as how they were made based from their game counterparts. The facial expressions on some scenes raised our eyebrows every now and then; still, we grade it as somewhat passable.
The battle scenes, on the other hand, were great. We were reminded of the scenes from the animated movie Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children (perhaps some of the choreography ideas were born from there too). The camera shots were okay, but the excessive use of slow-motion shots got into our nerves at one point.
Characters and Plot Development
We’d be nitpicky if we expect the movie to cover even the tiniest detail as told from the online game, but for those who do not have much knowledge on the game lore, the character development would appear rushed and lacking. There was not a lot of involvement with the rest of the supporting characters, especially Argenta and Nerwin. Argenta was seen to be one of the most interesting characters in the game, and yet, in the movie, she plays a shadow role behind Geraint and the rest of the party. Her indifference towards humans might have been the focus behind her passive personality, but hopefully, we’ll be able to see more in the upcoming sequels. Nerwin, however, appeared as if she was only there as a figurehead for the elves.
Similarly to how the character development feels rushed, the story execution also served as generic, with a stereotypical few plot devices up in its sleeve. As if catering towards a very young audience (inb4 DN is for kids), some people who are not immersed with the game lore might find it bland and mediocre. Fans might find a bit of redemption in it, though– getting a peek in one of the most important events in the game’s history will totally hook a player’s fancy.
Overall, Dragon Nest: Warrior’s Dawn is a great Movie-As-A-Service™ (MaaS™) for the DN community. It doesn’t kick you off your chair, but it tickles you where you’d expect it to.