Dragonstone was originally called Darkstone, but Core decided that Dragonstone was a better title. I had intended it to be a follow-up to Darkmere, using the same engine and a similar style of graphics. It was to have involved Ebryn's son on a quest to find the source of the original dragon in Darkmere. But, as with most things, it was taken in a different direction and a japanese CRPG style viewpoint was implemented, and the game turned into something else. I tried very hard to keep a similar graphic style to that used in Darkmere but with the reduction in sprite size and the different viewpoint I don't think it was totally successfull.

I left Core Design before the coding was finished and I never did see the final game, but I am told it wasn't a classic! Years later while I was still at Bethesda Softworks I met a reviewer who very much liked Darkmere, but said that Dragonstone was a Darkmere "wannabe". Despite that, I felt that many of the graphics I did for this game were rather good for their type. My main influence would be "the chaos Engine" by the "Bitmap Brothers" as I thought that was the best example at the time of this style of graphic.

Although I was somewhat disappointed with the final result I believe Dragonstone was an interesting attempt at a console RPG on an Amiga. My next game would be Daggerfall, the award winning CRPG, from Bethesda Softworks. Graphically Dragonstone had some highpoints but I still would like to try a true sequel to Darkmere one day. Time will tell.

Throughout the game there is a strong dragon motif. There were to be a total of four dragons that ruled the Island where the game comes to its climax. Only three of the dragons remain. Bryn's father, Ebryn, destroyed the forth dragon many years before.
The dragon motif was carried throughout the game as is shown in this detail from the game's status panel. You may also notice a similairty to the dragon that is drapped over the title of this website. That dragon also came from Dragonstone and it appeared over the dialogue screen.
As with Darkmere a story told in vignette style graphics also informed the player about the background story. Here Malthar, the mage from Darkmere, makes a re-appearance.
Here Malthar finally passes to the the next realm after once again creating the legendary sword that Ebryn used in Darkmere. In a Obi Wan Kenobi kind of cheat, I intended him to reappear throughout the game in spirit form. Turns out he just ended up here hosting the Dragon's Eyrie! And a fine job he does too.

Here are some typical screens from the game. The isometric viewpoint of Darkmere gives way here to a more forward, "Zelda" style view. A reduction in sprite size also goes some way to creating the console feel that the programmer wanted. Although the story stayed somewhat faithful to my original idea other things were added and it was not a true sequel to Darkmere.

Here some examples of the characters designed for the game. I' ve blown them up so you can see the pixels are little more clearly. This closer to how they would look on the Amiga.
Here is another example of the vignette style story telling we did at the beginning of the game .

Graphics: Mark Jones
Code: Unknown at this time
Music: Martin Iveson
Design : Mark Jones and others

© Core Design Ltd. 1994

All graphics on this page are copyright Core Design/Eidos