It's the news that no one wanted to hear: The Legend of Dragoon — that is to say, the emulated version that's currently available on PS5 and PS4 — has some pretty serious technical issues. We first read about these problems over on the PSNProfiles forums a day or so ago, but with no way of knowing how widespread the bugs were, we had no choice to but sit down and play the game ourselves.
And the unfortunate reality is that these technical issues do indeed exist. The most prominent problem we've ran into is that battles can softlock the game — which is the kind of thing that makes you wonder whether anyone even tested this version of the title. These softlocks tend to occur when you make use of a character's Dragoon form — a core combat mechanic hours into the adventure — and unleash a handful of attacks.
For whatever reason, the game doesn't agree with this, and if you keep using your Dragoon forms in the way the experience intends, battles start locking up. The game still runs — the music still plays and character models remain in their idle animations — but the command menu disappears and there's no way to interact with what's on screen. You've got no choice but to either close the game or use the emulator's rewind function to return to a point before you used the Dragoon mechanic — but that's only a temporary fix, as the softlock rolls back around eventually.
Shocking stuff, but it arguably gets even worse. As discussed on the aforementioned forums, there's also some kind of memory leak to contend with. If you play The Legend of Dragoon for an extended period of time — for say, two or three hours without closing the application — you start running into audio bugs and, again, battle system softlocks.
And on top of all this, you've got a sprinkling of minor issues, like flickering environmental details, clipping character models, and light blue outlines appearing over prerendered backgrounds. Put simply, it's a bit of a mess.
Given how beloved The Legend of Dragoon is in some parts of the PlayStation community, the state of this emulation is a real kicker. We can only hope that Sony releases an update in the near future, because there's just no way this classic PS1 JRPG should have launched like this.