|Dragon Nest: Warrior's Dawn|
|Directed by||Yuefeng Song|
|Produced by|| Michael Yijun Wang|
Stanley Hao Tian
|Written by|| Terry Izumi|
|Screenplay by|| Ran Zhuo|
|Based on||Dragon Nest|
|Art Direction||Grant Major|
|Animation Direction||Mike Johnson|
|Music|| Adrain Lee|
|Distributed by|| Mili Entertainment|
Huaxia Film Distribution Company
|Release dates||31 July 2014 (China)|
|Running time||90 minutes|
Dragon Nest: Warrior's Dawn (龙之谷·破晓奇兵, Pinyin: Lóng zhī gǔ·pòxiǎo qíbīng) is a Chinese-American animated film and first part of a trilogy of movies loosely based on the game Dragon Nest. It is a retelling of the events that took place during the Black Dragon Raid.
The movie was announced during ChinaJoy2012 with the name Dragon Nest: Rise of the Black Dragon (龙之谷之黑龙崛起).
The plot focuses on Lambert, a young vigilante from Calderock Village and Liya, Nerwin's bodyguard. The central themes of the movie are said to be adventure and love, and it's intended to appeal to a public of all ages.
On August 8th 2014, the sequel with the temporary name Dragon Nest 2 was greenlit and set to be released in Summer 2016. Later in September of the same year the title was revealed to be Dragon Nest: Throne of Elves.
Altera is a land divided among humans, elves, beasts, and dragons. Decades ago, the elves and humans drove the beasts and dragons back into the Black Mountain. Evil thrives on darkness and draws strength from it. Rage and fury gather in the gem possessed by the Black Dragon Karas, waiting for the Dragon to reawaken.
For years, humans and elves have been fighting for territory. And because of this, they cannot see the common enemy and the greater evil coming their way. No one but the Elf Princess Nerwin can see the growing storm and thinks Altera's only hope is to forget the past and ally with the humans. Accompained by two guards, Nerwin heads to Saint Haven but it's intercepted by Elena, a treacherous elf exiled long ago, and one of her guards killed. Left with only her guard Liya, Nerwin resumes her travel to Saint Haven.
In Calderock Village Lambert, one of the members of the local vigilante group has a run-in with some beasts that were planning to attack Calderock but manages to escape with the help of his hounds Swordy and Shieldy and heads on his cart to warn the people of Calderock. In his way back to the forest to catch up with the monsters he is cornered by them instead, but it's rescued by Barnac from his ship. Aboard the ship, Barnac taunts him and surprises him with a sword match until they are stopped by Geraint. Lambert realizes the man he was fighting was his idol the mercenary Barnac, and the blonde man with him was the famous hero Geraint and it's overjoyed. Geraint introduces Lambert to his sister Argenta, who is playing with Swordy and Shieldy. Lambert teases Barnac that he owes him a sword.
In the Saint Haven Royal Castle, Nerwin, tries desperately to convince the human king to ally. Sorceress Karacule and cleric Terramai start arguing with each other and the king, infuriated, requests them to stop so Nerwin can continue with her explanation. Nerwin shows the king her magical map that can display the current state of the world as proof of the Black Dragon Karas reawakening but the king is highly exeptical. To Karacule's surprise, Nerwin knelts before the king and she follows her. Terramai admits Nerwin and Karacule are right and kneels with them, but the king still refuses to trust Nerwin's magic.
Barnac, Lambert, Geraint and Argenta arrive the kingdom of Saint Haven and Barnac takes Lambert to Berlin's smithy for a new sword. Lambert has a very clumsy encounter with an elf, Liya, and they start a chase across Saint Haven. They encounter a group of monsters who were preparing an ambush and reclutantly work together to stop them. They are soon aided by Geraint and Argenta. A goblin manages to light the bombs they had prepared to destroy part of the city walls and let an army of goblins and an orc enter. Lambert and Liya resume their fight, but they are stopped by Geraint as he noticed captain Velskud coming from behind and was about to strike. The orc is killed by Velskud and the Saint Haven Royal Army enter the city.
Velskud, Geraint, Barnac and Argenta, heads to the Saint Haven Royal Castle. Velskud enters the hall followed by Kuke to explain the recent attack on the city and present the orc helm to the king. They are joined by Geraint, Barnac and Argenta and beg the king to accept Nerwin's request. The king reclutantly agrees. A ceremony is held to conmemorate the alliance. Lambert is unable to find his hounds, and it's revealed that Barnac gave them to Berlin in exchange for his sword]]. Lambert promises he will return for them as soon as they are done with the Black Dragon Raid.
Liya noticed a strange shadow in the Saint Haven Royal Castle balcony and rushes towards it, with Lambert tracing behind. They end up walking by the dinning hall and decide to enter for Liya to warn Nerwin about her recent findings, and are given some food by Barnac. The group, except Argenta, is visibly stressed as they are worried about how powerful the Black Dragon Karas can be. Geraint explains that they need to remove it's jewel in order to kill it, and the group starts arguing about which faction should guard the jewel while Argenta just smiles at the scene. Lambert interrupts the argument pointing out how childish everyone looks. Lambert suggests a way to organize the teams in the Dragon Slayers and pulls Liya who was eating from under the table. They are ignored and kicked out of the dinning hall by Kuke. Liya admits that Lambert's confident performance was impressive, but it's annoyed by his arrogance.
Later that night, Velskud is joined by Elena in the dinning room balcony, who turns out to be the shadow Liya saw earlier. Velskud is planning to get the jewel under the orders of Elena. The drunken king goes to the balcony and tells Velskud to get the jewel for himself and he will be made general. Elena shows herself and tells the king that the future king, Velskud, doesn't care about being a general. The king sees Elena and orders Velskud to dispose of her, but instead Velskud kills the king.
Under the cover of darkness, Terramai, Karacule, Nerwin, Barnac, Geraint, Argenta, Velskud, Lambert, and Liya travel to the Black Mountain on Barnac's ship. Lightning strikes the ship and while Lambert tries to retrieve the sword that slipped from his hand, accidentally strikes the ship’s wheel. The ship crashes and the group is forced to continue the journey on foot.
Along the way, they pass throught the Ruins of Lost Time which are perpetually obscured even during the day. Liya explains that the first war between elves and humans took place there, where she participated 50 years ago and suggests the team to take another path. Lambert ends up falling from the cliff into the ruins and the group follows, with Elena trailing closely. The spirits of Liya's comrades manifest and Nerwin explains that without sunlight, they feel lost and just wander full of despair in the ruins. The group is intercepted by a sole bat, who doesn't do much but mock the group. The bat notices Geraint and Argenta aren't humans. The bat attemps to bribe the group for all their gold and possession for it's silence, but the group refuses and it decides to go the enemy side to ask their price for information about the group's location. The group fights the bat and it's ultimately caught by Liya and Lambert. Karacule sets the bat on fire and the group resume their travels.
Liya grows impressed of Lambert and the feats they have achieved together, so she decides to teach him archery the next time the team stop to camp. Liya lectures Lambert about battle, and he holds her hand. Liya is worried Lambert is unable to realize his talent. Lambert promises Liya that he will not disappoint her.
Geraint and Argenta discuss about how Velskud has started to suspect about them after the encounter with the bat. Geraint is confident he can trust Velskud and he will understand, but Argenta warns him that it's most likely that they will be considered enemies if their true identites are discovered. Geraint is willing to accept this fate. The group start to search for the entrance to the Black Dragon Karas lair in in a desolate area while putting up with a snow storm. Velskud starts persuading Geraint about how instead of destroying the Black Dragon jewel, they should use it's power in the name of justice. Geraint refuses and stands for his original plan of destroying it, as he knows the jewel has the power to corrupt minds. Geraint finally senses the door the rushes to it's location alerting the team, but it's blocked by ice. Argenta and Karacule make him back up, and Karacule cracks the ice with a fire attack. Nerwin identifies the symbol of the dragon race carved in the entrace and everyone realize the place is meant to lock something. Nerwin suggests to take another route but, hidden from the group, Geraint uses his powers to unlock the door and every passes. Elena keeps trailing the group, talking about the Ancient Dragon, Chaos Dragon and Beyond Dragon.
Inside, Geraint explains that in that place, the souls of Dragons wait for their masters. The group is ambushed by monsters that are presumed to be guardians of the place they just entered. They escape by caving the exit in, but Geraint and Argenta stay behind. While the others are outside, Geraint uses the power of the jewel in his chest to awaken the Gold Dragon encased in ice but is interrumpted when Terramai causes an explosion to crumble the place. Argenta and Geraint rush to the exit and reunite with the group. From their position, they notice the Dragon Slayers army about to engage with the Black Dragon Karas minions and realize they are late. Karas awakens, and the group despairs as they realize their efforts have been in vain. Geraint and Argenta secretly leave the group. Off screen, Argenta and Geraint retrieve the Gold Dragon and Silver Dragon.
The minions of the Black Dragon Karas ambush the group and they are forced to retaliate. Barnac, Nerwin, Velskud, Terramai and Karacule find a temporary refugee. Lambert is overpowered by monsters but is saved by Liya. Two ogres intercept them, and Liya is killed in battle when she changed her target for the ogre that was about to kill Lambert instead of the one that was attacking her, aware that she was gonna receive a killing blow from it's mace by doing so. Infuriated, Lambert uses the strength he had left to kill the ogre that killed Liya. Barnac, Nerwin, Velskud, Terramai and Karacule engage in combat again while Lambert holds Liya's corpse. Geraint and Argenta return, and Geraint turns into the Gold Dragon to save his allies.
The group is alarmed at the appereance of the second dragon, but Argenta convinces them that it's just Geraint and he is still on their side. Geraint transforms into a stage in-between human and Dragon and apologizes with everyone, explaining that they are in fact Dragons with the mission to protect the world. The group is reclutant to trust them, and Argenta argues back that if it weren't for them everyone would be death already. Argenta tells Geraint to give up and leave them. Geraint calls Velskud for his support, but he is in shock and just gives him a twisted smile. Suddenly Black Dragon Karas shows up and Geraint turns back into a Dragon. Argenta laments she still cannot transform into the Silver Dragon and help. Lambert remembers the myth about Dragon jewels being able to bring back someone from the death and joins the fight. While Geraint fights Karas from the sky, the rest of the group does it's best to fight from land. Karas overpowers Geraint, and Argenta manages to transform just in tame to save Geraint, however, she is knocked out of battle. The team's efforts finally pays off and Karas is defeated. As Karas falls from the sky and disintegrates, it's waste covers Nerwin, Karacule, Barnac, Terramai, Argenta and Velskud.
Lambert rushes to Geraint and begs him to allow to use Black Dragon Karas jewel to save Liya. Geraint allows Lambert to use his own jewel instead while he uses Karas for support, but asks him to be quick as Karas jewel can corrupt him. Lambert uses Geraint’s jewel on Liya’s body. Velskud goes to Geraint and attacks him, injuring his eye, steals Kara's jewel and admits being the one who killed the king. He reveals it was Elena who adviced him, and goes on speaking about how his ideal world without monsters and dragons will become reality. Nerwin tries to convince Velskud that he is being manipulated as Elena was the cause of the war between humans and elves and she cannot be trusted. Velskud hesitates for a moment, but ultimately decides that all dragons must die and prepares to kill Geraint. Lambert throws his sword, preventing the blow. Lambert returned Geraint’s jewel, and as the team is too weak to fight he is left alone to face Velskud. Suddenly Velskud is corrupted by Karas’s jewel, unable to do anything he mutates into a monster, Velskud laments his new form and that the jewel won't be able to be used for justice. Velskud must be killed before he transforms into a dragon, but his mind is as well corrupted and he cannot stop himself from violently attacking Lambert. Liya, who is now alive attacks Velskud by piercing him with an arrow, but this startles him and attacks Lambert more violently. Velskud manages to stop himself and allows Lambert to pierce him through the chest with his sword. As he walks back to the end of the cliff, Velskud apologizes to Geraint, and throws himself to his death.
Liya surprises Lambert with a kiss. Lambert tells Liya that he finally found what he is fighting for. Ships from the army arrive to pick them up. Barnac laments his ships and all the money lost. Elena is shown to have retrieved the Black Dragon Karas jewel and oversees the group, saying that they should enjoy peace while they can.
Lambert goes back to Calderock Village with Swordy and Shieldy.
Ever since the Black Dragon rose in the continent of Alteia, Lambert’s life has been a tragedy. He lost his homeland and family when he was young, causing him to have the dream of vanquishing the Black Dragon. But he knew of his limits and that it was not the time yet, and that he needed to get more strength.
Perhaps, it would be a good choice if he went and fought some monsters that-ok stupid… But he does not know what he will truly be facing.
- Voiced by Xu Jiao
As a follower of the Elf Princess Nerwin, she is an experienced archer. Of course, age does not leave its mark on elves, so her true age is a secret. Liya has all of the elves’ personality traits - sharp, quick, and there is practically no one that could escape from her arrows or catch up to her.
Elves and Humans have been uneasy with each other, and most elves do not trust humans at all. Liya still retains some of her childish personality, until she met Lambert, and then she realized that humans are more irritating than the legends have foretold.
Barnac, with his huge amount of strength, tends to act first before thinking. When he was young, he became a well known warrior in the King’s Army, but as the Black Dragon’s army assault continued, the leader of the army gave up in the face of the Black Dragon’s power and decided to stop resisting. Barnac objected, and was kicked out as a result. Barnac gave up hope of ever trusting the king, and decided to raise his own army. But as the evil becomes stronger, any remaining warriors decide to not risk their lives to earn gold, and left the battlefield to reunite with their families, and Barnac was alone again.
The present Barnac only cares about gold, if there is gold toh pay him, he is able to use his incredible strength, if there is none, forget about any discussions!
- Argenta is voiced by Jing Tian
The true identities of the Dragon Clan are considered a closely guarded secret. After the rise of the Black Dragon, Geraint and Argenta became travelers to help the poor, and they became a force of power to fight against the Black Dragon.
Even though Geraint witnessed the history of the kingdom, and had seen all the evil and injustice, he still bore hope towards humans, being optimistic and kind. He fights for justice but has never wanted to be rewarded for his actions. Unlike her brother Geraint, Argenta resents the actions of mankind, having known the humans’ greed and selfishness, therefore, she maintains a distance from them.
- Voiced by Xia Zi Tong
Mysterious, sexy, and tending to speak harsh, Karacule also has the air of a queen about her. She hates the Clerics and humans that reside in the castile for their fake kindness, and does not trust them, refusing to communicate with them,and concentrates on training in Lotus Marsh. But the fangs of the Black Dragon reached Lotus Marsh, shattering the peace.
When Nerwin brought the idea of having a human alliance to attack the Black Dragon, an angry Karacule joined Nerwin’s camp with some trepidation. To her, the Black Dragon is not the only enemy.
Under the immense pressure of the Black Dragon, the Queen of the Elves raised the idea of requesting help from the King of the humans, but met with intense resistance - the conflict between humans and elves is not over yet and the reason behind this is due to the betrayal of humans in the past.
Nerwin therefore opted to visit the King of the humans herself, gathering some of her trusted archers and liya, and headed to Saint Haven.
Over the years, Terramai has seen the lands polluted by the Black Dragon’s acts. He saw that the King of the humans was not taking action at all, and his heart is conflicted. Underneath his cold and unsmiling exterior belies a heart burning with the flames of justice.
- Voiced by Hu Ge
The young captain of the Imperial Knights, Velskud, having defeated the army of the Black Dragon and strengthened the territory of mankind, became famous as a result. He has also earned the trust of the King.
Velskud and Geraint often fight side by side and are seen as battle brothers. The cold and strict Velskud only reveals a kind side when Geraint is present.
Dragon Nest: Warrior's Dawn was originally planned as a traditionally animated film, however it was later decided to make it with 3D computer-animation.
The film features a brand-new score not based in any of the music pieces of the game composed by Adrian Lee.
The main theme of the movie, "Gem of Love" was composed and performed by singer Keely Hawkes.  A Chinese version retitled "After Dawn" was adapted and performed by Jane Zhang. The song "Soldier of Your Love" by Keely Hawkes plays during one of the movie sequences.
After the movie reveal, it was announced that Akon would be in charge of the soundtrack, however no further statements were made and any mentions of Akon were removed from Mili Picture's website.
Distribution rights were soon sold to North America, Southeast Asia and Europe after the movie announcement, setting up a possibility for a synchronized global release. However, the movie was eventually delayed for each different language release. It's original release in China was expected on 6th of June 2013, but it was delayed until late Spring 2014, with the tentative date being 20th of May. The movie finally premiered in China the 31st of July 2014.
The movie was presented at Cannes Festival in 18th of May 2014. Before and after the movie release several merchandise was made available, including a model kit of the Nautilus and an Argenta figure. In June, a contest was held in the official Dragon Nest China site that invited players to design their own movie poster with high quality assets provided. The artbook The Art of Dragon Nest: Warrior's Dawn containing all production and concept art was released in the 1ts of July 2014. Collaborations with the games Chain Chronicle and BloodLine where players could obtain cards based on the movie characters ran for a limited time.
A dungeon in which players could join the Six Heroes and Liya, taking Lambert, to fight Black Dragon Karas and watch a special cutscene was temporarly opened in the Chinese version of Dragon Nest. Lambert and Liya themselves were stationed in Saint Haven and could be interacted with.
In Chinese movie theaters and conventions, life sized figures of the Six Heroes were put on display. One of the Argenta figures currently sits at the entrance of Mili Pictures' own cafeteria in their studios in Shanghai. In several countries perks were offered for watching the movie, like in-game items and photos with cosplayers.
In January 2015, an art exhibition and virtual reality theme park was temporarly opened in China. Several garage kits and merchandise were available for sale. A poster with the very first official art of Dragon Nest: Throne of Elves was on display.
The film received mixed to positive reviews. The film was praised for it's animations, detailed character models, character design, camera, sound design and musical score. The simple and straighforward storytelling was met with a mixed response, as some reviewers cited it as one of the movie's strong points and others as a weakness. Complains lie in the characters and relationships that due to the size of the cast and running time of the film were left underdeveloped. People not familiar with the game's counterparts of the characters found the size of the cast overwhelming. The voice acting of the English version has been harshly criticized both for the quality of the performances delivered and the lack of proper lipsync.
- The Ninth Beijing international University Student Animation Festival - "Golden Petal", Best Animated Film Image Award.
- The Tenth Annual Hollywood US-China Film Festival - "Golden Angel", Outstanding Film Prize.
- The Canadian International Film and Television Festival - Best Animation Creative Vision Award.
- China Film and Television Technology Institute - Best 3D Animated Film Award.
- Tianma Cup Chinese Animation Awards - Best New Director.
- Jinding Cultural and Creative Industries Awards - Best Visual Image Award.
- The movie's first half seems to take inspiration from the original Beginning of a Legend scenario.
- The Chinese version of the movie features a credit sequence with art of locations of the movie then cuts to the scene with Lambert and his hounds Swordy and Shieldy back at Calderock Village, then resumes the credits playing "After Dawn" by Jane Zhang in the background while pictures of the production team, Dragon Nest fans and cosplayers are displayed. This credits sequence was removed from the international version and instead just a simple background with credits roll. The extra scene with Lambert and his hounds plays until the credits end.
- Because the movie dubbing for the release in Singapore, Philippines and Europe was handled by a North American studio, the names used for certain characters were taken from the North American localization of the game which are unfamiliar to the Players in this region.
- Ironically the main character, whose game counterpart was renamed to Liam in the North American version of the game, kept his original name.
- The same script was used to make the Russian, French and Latin American Spanish dubbing, carrying over the issue as the Latin American and French playerbase use the European and SEA servers and the Russian server has it's own localization.
- Dragon Nest: Warrior's Dawn official site (Chinese)
- Dragon Nest: Warrior's Dawn at Mili Pictures official site (English)
- ↑ http://baike.baidu.com/subview/2468022/2468022.htm#10
- ↑ http://lady.163.com/14/0513/13/9S4KVALN00264M4F.html
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- ↑ http://www.milipictures.com/en/about.html
- ↑ http://www.milipictures.com/en/about.html
- ↑ http://www.milipictures.com/en/about.html
- ↑ http://www.milipictures.com/en/about.html
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- ↑ http://weibo.com/2811419124/Dt6yw6NEF?from=page_1006062811419124_profile&wvr=6&mod=weibotime