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Heroes of Might and Magic: Quest for the DragonBone Staff is a simplified tactics game developed by 3DO in 2001 for the PlayStation 2. The game is essentially a remake of the 1990 release King's Bounty with the graphics switched to 3-D models with a shifting perspective of the battlefield, and all of the names of the various towns and villains have been changed.
Quest for the DragonBone Staff primarily involves tactics-style gameplay assembling groups of creatures together into an army that is positioned on a grid-based field of combat. A simplified engine drives a basic comparison of attacker to defender strength with the number of troops decreasing as "damage." The player is charged with the task of moving around on a overworld map in real time, assembling armies via spawn points (one creature type per spawn point) and laying siege to various castles to reclaim pieces of a treasure map. The player has a limited time frame to accomplish the overall quest, with its length being configurable as part of the difficulty setting.
The number of armies the player can control at a time is regulated via cost both initial and with monthly upkeep (differing based on unit strength), and a leadership value which the player increases over time with found rewards on the overworld map. The higher the player's leadership and monthly income is, the better and larger the armies the player can hire and control. The player is also able to garrison conquered castles, although those forces are not under direct control.
King Argus has been poisoned, and only the DragonBone Staff can save him. Unfortunately the only known map to the staff has been stolen by the evil dragon Malazak, and he has broken it up and given the pieces to his villain followers holed up in castles spread across four continents. You must take the role of hero as either a barbarian, knight, paladin, or sorceress and build an army to scour the four continents and lay siege to the castles of the enemy. You race against a ticking clock to piece together the map, recover the staff, and defeat Malazak before the king succumbs.