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Concerned for his people, King George, ruler of the Northern Hemisphere, seeks advice from his two sons, William and Edward, who could not be more different in their convictions and personalities. To help save the kingdom and counter the famine, William proposes to set sail for the unsettled islands in the South of the kingdom. They could be developed and farmed, which would supply the people with both land and food.
- William Riley is the older son of King George and the heir to his throne. He is friendly and helpful by nature and he has a knack for the expansion and improvement of settlements.
- Edward Riley, the younger of the two sons of King George, is a very impulsive person. His desire to challenge himself and others often ends up causing trouble if he is in over his head.
- King George is a wise old man, a true King. As the protector of his people he is deeply affected by the plague and suffering in his nation. In an attempt to help his people he sends out his two sons to support his kingdom. The Sultan is the beloved leader of his people. He is very friendly and cosmopolitan. The Sultan is the devoted father of his land.
- Nasira is the daughter of the sultan, famous for her beauty. Growing up in the oriental palaces of her father she has learned many things and has become an open minded young woman. However her education in the arts and sciences has also given her a deep seated curiosity. While her brother was born into the role of Sultan, his older sister Farasha was forced into standing behind the throne instead. As a proud and strong-willed woman she was never satisfied with such a position and has often looked disapprovingly on the actions and decisions of her brother.
- Evelyn was born on board a ship and spends most of her life on deck. As the daughter of a famous explorer she knows more about navigation and exploration than most people. She is very adventurous and lives to see and experience new things but she can also be quite impatient at times.
- Cornelius B. Devenport is a long standing advisor to King George. He has intimate knowledge of all bureaucratic and financial matters and joins William on his quest. He can be a bit dry and humorless but his wisdom and experience are invaluable when building settlements.
Dawn of Discovery employs the classic Anno
god-game style gameplay. However, it uses a control system specially designed for the the Wii and DS input devices to make the game as accessible as possible.