The bells were ringing in the dale
And men looked up with faces pale;
The dragon’s ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail.
The quote above is from one of the most distinctive descriptions of a dragon in the world of literature. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, or There and Back Again tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit who leaves the peaceful quiet of his hometown behind to defeat the most gruesome and horrific creature of them all. Tolkien’s novel has re-established the dragon as one of the most defining tropes of the fantasy genre and has helped set the basis for the origin of dragon games. Up until this day, fantastical worlds seem incomplete and lacking if they don’t feature the actual presence of these gigantic lizards or the mere memory of a time in which the fiery ruler of the sky still roamed the earth. It is no wonder then that online dragon games have become such a popular genre in recent years.
What would a fantasy world be without mythical creatures? Could you imagine the fantasy genre without dragon games? Can you think of a mythical creature that is more awe-inspiring than a behemoth who rules the skies, the earth, and sometimes even the seas? A gigantic lizard that is wise, ancient, powerful, and robust? What do regular humans have to offer against a creature that can spit fire and take to the skies, while wielding a natural armor of adamantine scales? Taking these facts into consideration it is a no-brainer that dragons have become the fearsome icons of fantastical texts.
You might think that the portrayal of wyverns in popular media is one-dimensional, but in reality the depiction of these scaly lizards is eclectic and varied. It should come as no surprise considering the historical origin of this mythical creature which is home to the folklore of numerous peoples worldwide. Each has described this legendary lizard and its powers in its own ways resulting in a many-faceted list of abilities which is constantly being modified and extended by new interpretations of the dragon. One of the classic depictions in literature is the one mentioned above. Smaug is truly unforgettable. One of the first defining visual portrayals was in Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty which in return became the inspiration for Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Tolkien’s Smaug in his screen adaptation.
In the case of the dragon games, these protagonists have not only featured in adaptations of literary or cinematic franchises, but also originated in brand-new IPs. The depiction of the scaly behemoth is quite versatile when you take the popularization of mobile games such as Dragon City into consideration. In this dragon game, you breed and raise your very own loyal companions. This concept is rather in the vein of friendly Pokémon than of fearsome monsters which are capable of setting entire villages ablaze and grill all living things to the bone within seconds. In MMORPGs, wyverns are usually portrayed in quite the contrasting manner. Take EverQuest as an example in which these fiery monsters are anything but loyal companions. Here, slaying a dragon becomes a sign of heroism, a feat of strength and courage. A similar thing can be said for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in which attacks from the sky are a constant danger.
Check out our list below for the varied depiction of this mythological creature in dragon games: