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Dragon Slayer
Developer(s)Nihon Falcom
Designer(s)Yoshio Kiya
SeriesDragon Slayer
Platform(s)FM-7, NEC PC-8801, MSX, X1, Super Cassette Vision, Game Boy, Sega Saturn
  • JP: September 10, 1984
PC-9801 & FM-7
  • JP: October 18, 1984
  • JP: July 15, 1985
Super Cassette Vision
Game Boy
  • JP: August 12, 1990
Sega Saturn
Falcom Classics
  • JP: November 6, 1997
Genre(s)Action role-playing

Dragon Slayer (ドラゴンスレイヤー, Doragon Sureiyā) is an action role-playing game,[2][3] developed by Nihon Falcom and designed by Yoshio Kiya.[4] It was originally released in 1984 for the PC-8801, PC-9801, X1[1] and FM-7,[5] and became a major success in Japan.[6] It was followed by an MSX port published by Square in 1985 (making it one of the first titles to be published by Square),[7] a Super Cassette Vision by Epoch in 1986 and a Game Boy port by the same company in 1990 under the name Dragon Slayer I (ドラゴンスレイヤーI, Doragon Sureiyā Wan). A version for PC-6001mkII was in development but was never released.[8] A remake of Dragon Slayer is included in the Falcom Classics collection for the Sega Saturn.[9]

Dragon Slayer began the Dragon Slayer series, a banner which encompasses a number of popular Falcom titles, such as Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu, Sorcerian, and Legacy of the Wizard. It also includes Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes, which would later spawn over a dozen entries across multiple subseries.


Dragon Slayer is an early example of the action role-playing game genre, which it laid the foundations for.[2] Building on the prototypical action role-playing elements of Panorama Toh (1983), created by Yoshio Kiya and Nihon Falcom,[10] as well as Namco's The Tower of Druaga (1984),[11] Dragon Slayer is often considered the first true action role-playing game.[2][3] In contrast to earlier turn-based roguelikes, Dragon Slayer was a dungeon crawl role-playing game that was entirely real-time with action-oriented combat,[3] combining arcade style action mechanics with traditional role-playing mechanics.[11]

Dragon Slayer featured an in-game map to help with the dungeon-crawling, required item management due to the inventory being limited to one item at a time,[7] and featured item-based puzzles similar to The Legend of Zelda.[2] Dragon Slayer's overhead action-RPG formula was used in many later games.[6] Along with its competitor, Hydlide, Dragon Slayer laid the foundations for the action RPG genre, including franchises such as Ys and The Legend of Zelda.[7][12]


  1. ^ a b Falcom Chronicle, Nihon Falcom
  2. ^ a b c d Kamada Shigeaki, レトロゲーム配信サイトと配信タイトルのピックアップ紹介記事「懐かし (Retro) (Translation),
  3. ^ a b c "Falcom Classics". GameSetWatch. July 12, 2006. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  4. ^ John Szczepaniak. "Retro Japanese Computers: Gaming's Final Frontier Retro Japanese Computers". Hardcore Gaming 101. p. 3. Retrieved 2011-03-29. Reprinted from Retro Gamer, 2009
  5. ^ "Dragon Slayer". Oh!FM7. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  6. ^ a b Kurt Kalata, Xanadu, Hardcore Gaming 101
  7. ^ a b c Kurt Kalata, Dragon Slayer Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine, Hardcore Gaming 101
  8. ^ Szczepaniak, John (21 October 2022). "Poor Pay, Underage Staff And No Credits - Digging Into Falcom's Dark Past". Time Extension. Hookshot Media Ltd. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  9. ^ "Falcom Classics". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 102. Ziff Davis. January 1998. p. 58.
  10. ^ Sam Derboo (June 2, 2013), Dark Age of JRPGs (7): Panorama Toh ぱのらま島 - PC-88 (1983), Hardcore Gaming 101
  11. ^ a b Jeremy Parish (2012). "What Happened to the Action RPG?". 1UP. Archived from the original on 2015-01-12. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  12. ^ John Szczepaniak (2016), The Untold History Of Japanese Game Developers, Volume 2, pages 42-49