Dragalia Lost came as quite the surprise to Nintendo fans, as it’s the company’s first dive into an entirely new IP on the mobile platform. This came after Mario, Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing, which all made sense, but Dragalia Lost was something entirely new all together. Although Fire Emblem is still Nintendo’s strongest mobile title, based on 2018, Dragalia Lost is just second behind it. While it’s still a large gap, that’s hugely impressive for something that fans had no familiarity with prior to last year. Dragalia Lost on paper is something that is unlike Nintendo, which is why it would be the perfect IP for them to take from mobile and create a brand new RPG series for their own platforms.
For those who haven’t gotten the chance to play Dragalia Lost, or are in one of the regions where it still isn’t available, it’s important to know what the mobile title is really all about. In order to understand just how much potential this series has, we have to take a look at what makes it so much fun to begin with. Much of this is likely due in part to Nintendo’s partnership with Cygames, who has worked on a wide number of mobile titles in Japan. The core gameplay consists of going through short levels where characters fight off enemies and face a boss at the end. Combat is simple for mobile, being tap-based with special attacks charging up over time. One of the story twists is that characters are capable of transforming into dragons once the power has been charged in order to deal devastating damage. Tie this into the mobile gacha setup of rolling for various characters, dragons and even items to create a simple yet successful recipe. The difference here is that Dragalia Lost simply feels good to play. Although there’s an auto mode, players have complete control of their character including attacking. Each class of character has their own set of combos and every character has a story with often unique abilities they can learn. This alone, tied into the over-arching plot, is enough to start turning it into something more. This isn’t something that’s completely out of the question for Cygames either, as although they’ve mainly worked on mobile platforms, they’ve seen a few console titles as well including the upcoming Project Awakening planned for release this year.
There’s a lot that would need to change in moving from mobile to console, but it opens up even more opportunities. The large cast of characters could be recruited through story or side quests, while the emphasis on elemental weaknesses and strengths could be tied to specific weapons or armors. The story of Dragalia Lost is one that’s shockingly more in depth than one would think for a gacha mobile game, but it keeps players coming back because it’s so engaging. It’s hard to say which approach they would take, but the mission style would be a good place to start. These would likely be longer and maybe take on a third-person perspective instead of overhead. Characters in Dragalia already have basic combos for their attacks and these could be implemented even further through a similar upgrade structure that unlocks increased stats and combo abilities as they go. Levels would also need to be structured in a way for replayability if they include item drops from monsters for upgrades, in order to make it feel fun to replay rather than like grinding. This isn’t even taking into consideration the dragon mechanic, which could allow players to hunt down and tame or make pacts with dragons in order to recruit them as summons in battle.
One of the biggest aspects that could be added to a Dragalia Lost console title would be the online multiplayer. There are two different ways players can team up in order to take on missions. The first is in a group of four, where each player controls one character and progresses through the level together. These are much like normal levels and are a way to help one another on difficult challenges. Typically these are optional, but a fun way to play with strangers or even team up with friends. The second is the mandatory multiplayer which comes during events in the form of raid battles. These include a large boss that needs to be taken down and it’s up to four groups to take on the challenge. Instead of just choosing one character, players go in with their chosen group of four and work in tandem to take down the large boss. These fights are strategic too, as targeting certain parts of the monsters and destroying them will yield extra items. These can be some of the most challenging parts of the game, but are fun because of the teamwork it encourages. The multiplayer would be a huge welcome addition to a platform release, and could let players team up for a romp through the kingdom together.
Dragalia Lost is a wonderful mobile title that’s such a delightful surprise it’s easy to get caught off guard and end up playing it for a hours at a time. The setup is practically begging for a full console re-imagining and there’s so much going for it that it makes sense. From the shockingly in-depth story to the wonderful cast of characters, Dragalia Lost is in need of a way to spread its dragon wings further. Nintendo is set when it comes to a lot of genres, but they could use a few more RPGs to satisfy an even broader variety of fans. Dragalia Lost may still be new, but it has so much potential going forward that it will be exciting to see if they take it somewhere else or simply continue with it on mobile for the future.