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Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom is the first of two arcade games created by Capcom and based on the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. The game was also released on the Sega Saturn, packaged with its sequel, Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara, under the title Dungeons & Dragons Collection, although the Saturn version limited the gameplay to only 2 players. The game is set in the Mystara campaign setting.
Tower of Doom is a side scrolling beat 'em up with some RPG elements mixed in. Notable bosses include a troll that regenerates unless burned, a large black dragon, the dreaded Shadow Elf (Mystara's equivalent of the drow), a beholder, the optional superboss Flamewing (a great wyrm red dragon) and the final boss Deimos (an archlich).
The gameplay is more technical than the average on beat'em up games. In addition to the usual basic attacks and jumping it includes blocking, strong attacks, turning attacks, dashing attacks, crouching and evading. It also requires the use of careful tactics, as most enemies have the same abilities as the heroes and can outreach them, too.
As important as melee combat is ranged combat and the use of spells. Daggers, hammers, arrows and burning oils can be used as throwing weapons, and many enemies have similar weapons. Spells can be used by means of magical rings or by the two playable spellcasters (a cleric and an elf).
- The Fighter is the balanced fighter of the game. He has great reach and power, and has the highest amount of health.
- The Elf has a short reach with her sword and packs noticeably less power than the fighter, but has seven arcane spells at her disposal: Magic Missile, Invisibility, Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Polymorph Others, Ice Storm, and Cloudkill.
- The Cleric has fighting skills comparable to those of the elf. He can turn undead and use five divine spells: Hold Person, Striking, Continual Light, Sticks to Snakes, and Cure Serious Wounds. He is the most adept at using a shield, being able to block many vertical attacks that the other characters cannot.
- The Dwarf has short horizontal reach (but the best vertical reach), and he is the most powerful character in close combat thanks to his quick combo speed.
In 1999, Capcom released both D&D arcade games as a 2-disc compilation on the Sega Saturn called Dungeons & Dragons Collection in Japan. Dungeons & Dragons Collection was never released in the United States and Europe due to the Saturn's poor financial performance in both regions.
The ports had minor differences in gameplay, and also due to the limitations of the Saturn there is a maximum of two players instead of the original four.