This section contains tips, tricks, secrets, and answers to common problems and questions about Drakkhen. If there's something you're having trouble with, you might find the solution here. You might also learn a few things you never knew before. There is also a Quick FAQ at the bottom for fast and direct answers to some of the game's most commonly-asked questions.
GO TO QUICK FAQ
The Glowing Road
Normally, if you were to try crossing the glowing road of arrows in the middle of the Earth Area, you would be greeted by a Dragon King and then pushed backwards out of the road once it's done talking to you. This presents a small problem early on since Princess Hordkha's Castle is on the other side of the road and you can't leave the Earth Area before you must first visit it.
The proper solution to this conundrum is to follow the road going west from Prince Hordkhen's Castle all the way until it forks north slightly and ends at a square surrounded by four arrows. Stepping into the center of the arrows teleports you to a corresponding warp point on the east side of the Earth Area, beyond the glowing road.
What you may not know, however, is that there is more than one way around this obstacle.
The first method is to approach the road, and when you see it, turn around and walk backwards into the road. When you cross over it, a Dragon King will fall out of the sky, talk to you, and push you backwards as usual, but because you're facing backwards, you'll get pushed to the opposite side. Note that you might get caught and have to be pushed backwards more than once to make it all the way across, but you'll eventually get there.
The second method is to walk all the way to the end of the road, north or south, far enough so that you're past the arrows, but not so far that you start leaving the Earth Area. Then just walk across. As long as you don't touch the arrows or exit the area, you should be fine.
Walking backwards can do more for you than just get you across the glowing road. Objects such as trees, stalagmites, building ruins, and cacti cannot normally be passed through. You'll bounce back if you bump into one and be forced to go around it. However, when walking backwards, you will pass through these obstacles as though they don't exist. Yes, it even works with those pesky tombstones that cause the dog heads to pop out when you disturb them.
Just be careful that you don't walk backwards into water because that is the one object that is not a free pass.
The Lively Inn
There's an inn that's not marked on the map where you can always find a merchant who is both selling and buying back goods. It's not on your map because, according to a wandering old man on the road who actually directs you to it, it's a new place.
To find it, take the road going west from Hordkhen's Castle until you come to the first intersection. Then turn south. On the map, it's between the two houses that are closest to Hordkhen's Castle, closer to the second one, but slightly north of it.
It is always a good idea to come here when your inventory is getting full to sell off stuff you don't need and check the merchant's wares for better weapons and armor. Don't forget that you can buy and sell items as well as weapons and armor, too.
Finding & Selling Goods
If you're in need of cash, a good strategy is to enter a castle (just about any of them will do, but Hordkhen's, Haaggkhen's, and Naakhtkha's are best when you're still early in the game), and raid them for all they're worth. Go to every room, picking up as much armor, weapons, and items that you can carry, equip the best stuff to your characters, and then leave. Return to the Lively Inn and sell the wares you don't need to the merchant. And then if you still need more, go ahead and go to a castle again for more stuff to sell. And guess what? It doesn't matter if you go back to the same one because all the items respawn once you leave the castle and return! Don't forget to fight the enemies in the castles for even more goodies, too.
Raiding castles is also a good way to replace armor that you lose in battles. Losing armor is one of the major pains of playing Drakkhen but the fact that you can often find suitable replacements for free eases that pain a little.
Pay attention to the red dots that appear in the backgrounds of the castle rooms. They usually denote a hidden item or a message that you can read. Since Drakkhen is rather light on story, you can get a lot of background information out of reading the paintings, letters, and wall carvings here and there, although some of the messages are more nonsensical than others.
The ANAK shrines are the places to go to heal your party. Even dead characters can be resurrected, and it's totally free! There is one in each area of the world and they look like a white building with a pointed roof on the map. You can also talk to the priest for some more information if you want, but sometimes all you'll get is chanting or "mumbo jumbo" dialogue.
The 6 teleporters that can be found around Drakkhen Island make instant travel from one area to another possible. There are two in the Earth Area, one at each end that make getting around the glowing road easy. There are two in the Water Area, also one at each end, for an alternate method of transporting from Haggkhen's Castle to Haaghkha's Castle without having to trek through the watery middle section of the swamp. There is also a teleporter in the northwest corner of the Air Area that instantly transports you to a teleporter in the southeast corner of the Fire Area, and vice versa.
Be sure to visit the various houses that are scattered around the overworld. (These appear as houses in the Earth and Water Areas, igloos in the Air Area, and tents in the Fire Area.) Sometimes the inhabitants will offer background story information, and sometimes they just tell you to go away, but others have important information that actually tells you what to do in some situations.
Hordkhen's Castle Secret
Several of the game's castles contain secret passages to hidden areas that can be found by activating switches. In Hordkhen's Castle, there's a room with two compass-like patterns on the floor and a pedestal with a skull between them. First step on each floor mark and read the message that pops up. Then touch the skull pedestal and a door to a hidden area will open up elsewhere in the castle.
Hordkhen's Castle contains another secret area. When you find a circular grate in the middle of the floor, walk across it to activate the switch. Unfortunately, there's nothing of interest beyond the door. I think the pentagram symbol on the floor may have had some purpose that was excised, but it doesn't seem to do anything.
Haaggkhen's Castle Secret
When you come to the second large fireplace in Haaggkhen's Castle, step into it to activate a hidden switch. You'll need to find this one to get to the area where the prisoner is held.
Naakhtkha's Castle Secret
In Naakhtkha's Castle, there's a room with two switches on the back wall. The righthand switch opens up a secret door in an earlier room of the castle. You will need to do this in order to find the hidden basement dungeon where Princess Hordkha is being held prisoner.
In case you're wondering, the lefthand switch is to open a door that locks behind you when you enter a certain room, but it's only useful if you split up your party before entering that room.
Haaggkha's Castle Secret
Haaggkha's Castle contains a library room with a book written by Methraton (or Mesrathon as it's sometimes spelled), a wise mage character who is often mentioned in the game, but never seen. There is actually a secret code embedded in the words of the book.
Numbers appear in the passage in the order of Four, Two, and Eight. This will be important later on in the dungeon to find a secret, optional area.
Deep within the dungeon you'll find a room with four switches, each has a number that either doubles when you touch it or changes back to the original number. Writing on the wall also suggests that you should remember the words of Methraton. Change the switches so they number, from left to right, 4, 2, 8, and 1. This is the order the numbers appeared in Methraton's book. Although the book did not come right out and use the number one, the "whole" mentioned in the last sentence can be interpreted as "1".
This will unlock the otherwise unlockable door in the room. In the following room, there is a Giant Dragon enemy that can be beaten if your party is strong enough, or you can just skip him and go to the next room to find some weapons and armor.
I should also point out that Methraton's message is also seen in the game's opening story sequence, although here the word "all" is used in place of "whole" to represent the number 1.
The very beginning of the game will ask if you want an explanation on how to play it. Whether or not you chose to read it, you can always access it again by using the Controller icon on the menu. Some of the tips are very useful and actually solve some of the most common problems players have with this game.
The Door Icon
Remember that no matter what, you are never truly trapped in a castle. If you find yourself in a bind, use the Door icon to immediately exit. This helps you escape rooms with no exit, bosses you can't beat yet, and even annoying glitches that cause your characters to get stuck (yes, I've had that happen to me). And it saves you from having to retrace your steps all the way to the beginning of the castle when you're ready to leave.
L & R Buttons
When you find yourself facing an enemy that is too powerful to beat at your current levels (and believe me, it will happen quite frequently) tap L & R repeatedly to run from the fight. Every single battle in this game can be run from. (Inside castles, however, you'll have to either move to another room or use the Door icon to leave.) But remember that you do have to fight enemies to gain experience and levels so that you'll be prepared to take on the bosses.
Another important use of L & R is to escape drowning if you should accidentally walk into water. One of the main complaints I see from players about Drakkhen is that if you step into the water, the characters drown and you get a Game Over. But it's really easy to prevent that if you just tap L & R and then hold down on the Control Pad.
Believe it or not, the use of L & R to escape water actually makes it possible to traverse water. If you don't wish to walk all the way around it (especially in the Water Area where the massive amount of swampland makes travel difficult), you can wade into the water, tap L & R to retreat, then hold Up on the controller to move forward a little more. When the characters appear in the water again, tap L & R, and repeat this until you've moved the party all the way across. You'll probably lose some HP in the process, but you can regain it simply by having the party stand still on the overworld or inside a castle.
The Mouth Icon
If enemies in the castles don't attack right away, try talking to them with the Mouth icon. Sometimes, they will give you extra information. Other enemies won't attack unless you talk to them a few times first. For normal enemies, this doesn't do a whole lot, it's just fun to try. However, for other characters, like the bosses and the Ninth Tear Allies, you often have to talk to them multiple times to progress the game.
The Save Icon
Quite frankly, I think the best advice I can give for being successful in Drakkhen is to save, save, and save again. You can only save while your party is on the overworld, but you can save anytime and anywhere you are on the overworld. So, save before entering a castle. Save after leaving a castle. Save after winning good equipment. Save after selling stuff to the merchant. Save before entering a new area. This guards against loss of experience, weapons, armor, items, and progress.
Q: How do I revive a dead character?
A: Go to any of the four ANAK Shrines. (House with a pointy roof on the map.)
Q: How do I find Princess Hordkha in the Ice Palace?
A: You have to hit a switch in a room to open up a secret door in an earlier room. When you find the room with two switches, move the righthand switch and then backtrack.
Q: What's the answer to the number puzzle in Haaggkha's Castle?
Q: How do I beat flying enemies?
A: Flying enemies can be tough for low-level parties. If you're strong enough to survive against them, but are still having trouble hitting them, equip a crossbow or use magic such as Fireball.
Q: Where can I buy and sell goods?
A: Go to the Lively Inn. Travel west along the road from Hordkhen's Castle and take the first intersection going south to find it.
Q: How do I keep from losing armor?
A: There isn't a 100% effective way to protect against armor loss. Your best bet is to save often and run from fights that are too difficult. Also, try to remember where you found a good piece of armor so that you can go back for it later if you want to collect it again.
Q: How do I get past the shark in the moat of Hordkhen's Castle?
A: Center a character in front of the bridge and wait for the shark to go under the moat on the left and reapper on the right. The instant it reappears, quickly run across to the door.
Q: How do I open the drawbridge to Haaggkhen's Castle?
A: Use the Unlock spell.
Q: How do I open the gate to Hazhulkha's Castle?
A: Approach the castle right after sunrise and the gate will be gone.
Q: How do I get past the guards to Haaggkha's Castle?
A: You have to rescue Princess Hordkha and have her gem first.
Q: How do I get past the guards to Naakhtkha's Castle?
A: You have to talk to Prince Naakhtkhen at his castle in the east first.
Q: How do I cross the Glowing Road in the Earth Area?
A: Take the road going west from Hordkhen's Castle all the way until it curves north and step on the teleporter to get transported to the eastern part of the Earth Area. Alternately, you can try walking backwards across the Glowing Road or going around it at the extreme north or south ends of it.
Q: How do I keep from drowning in the water?
A: The easiest way is to not walk into it, but if you do find yourself sinking, tap L & R and hold down on the control pad.
Q: I'm stuck in a castle! How do I get out?
A: Use the Door Icon on the menu.
Q: How do I beat the bosses?
A: My best strategy for beating bosses is simply to be leveled up and have the best possible equipment I can find for all four characters. Around level 5 for Hordkhen, about 7-8 for Naakhtkha, and closer to level 10 for Haaggkhen and Hazhulkhen.
Naakhtkha is the boss that gives me the most trouble. Try using a combination of weapons and magic. Fireball, Anti-Matter, and Strength are good spells to try.
If you have problems with a character getting too close to a boss and dying almost instantly, you can try making that person the leader and manually moving them farther away. Then attack with a ranged weapon like a Crossbow, or if they have it, magic.
Q: Where is the dog head enemy?
A: Bump a tombstone anywhere on the overworld to see it, but be warned that it can be tough for a low-level party.
Q: What's this "Tent Master" the people in the Lively Inn speak of?
A: They're referring to the "house" closest to Princess Hazhulkha's Castle on the map. The person in the tent at that location will tell you how to get into the castle.
Q: I have eight tears. What do I do next?
A: Go to the Glowing Road in the Earth Area.
Q: How do I get alternate endings?
A: Drakkhen only has one basic ending, but if you enter the Glowing Road with one or more party members dead, there will be an extra guitar for each dead member during Osamu Tani's credit scene. There is also a way to get all four guitars plus a "punk rocker" face to show up without having dead characters, but the requirements for this ending are unknown at this time. If anyone knows, please contact me.
Q: What is the purpose of the coffins and the pentagrams in the castles?
A: Unknown at this time. If anyone has any idea, please contact me.
Q: What is the purpose of the large stars that can be found on the ground in the Earth, Air, and Fire Areas?
A: Unknown at this time. If anyone has any idea, please contact me.
Q: Do the phases of the moon have any significance?
A: None that I'm aware of.