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''Dragon Slayer'' may look archaic to modern players, but back in 1984, when it was first released on the [[{{PC88}} NEC PC-8801]], many players must have agreed with the intro screen which proclaimed it to be "a new type... unlike any other game you have played on your computer." For this ''Dragon Slayer'' was one of the very first {{Action RPG}}s, and it set the precedent for many future games in the genre by NihonFalcom.

The concept of role-playing in ''Dragon Slayer'' is quite rudimentary: there are no {{NPC}}s, and the player character appears to be a generic adventure hero. The game consists of tile-based levels called "phases." In each phase you start out at your house, wandering around trying to find first a sword, then coins, potions to increase magical power and various useful items which can only be carried one at a time. You can gain experience from fighting the endless waves of increasing tougher monsters, which eventually lets you use spells and move diagonally but does not make you stronger in combat. What does increase your strength is finding orbs by unlocking chests and bringing them home one at a time. The objective of each phase is to kill the dragon's three heads and recover the four crowns it guards.

Ports of ''Dragon Slayer'' were made for various systems, with many of the monsters redrawn as entirely different creatures. The {{MSX}} version was produced by {{Square}} in their pre-''FinalFantasy'' years. The GameBoy version was made by Epoch (who had earlier ported it to their ill-fated SuperCassetteVision console); this version was the first to feature smooth (but painfully slow) scrolling, and was followed on the same platform by a GaidenGame produced without Falcom's involvement. Finally, a VideoGameRemake for the SegaSaturn appeared in the Falcom Classics collection, featuring substantially improved graphics and music and considerably lowered difficulty.

''Dragon Slayer'' was the start of a long series of games. Most of these were {{Non Linear Sequel}}s, bearing as little relation to each other as they did to the original, and many of these games had sequels of their own and later remakes which dropped "Dragon Slayer" from their titles. Therefore, here is a list of all subsequent NihonFalcom games that carried the ''Dragon Slayer'' name:
* ''DragonSlayerIIXanadu''
* ''Dragon Slayer Jr: Romancia''
* ''[[LegacyOfTheWizard Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family]]''
* ''Dragon Slayer V: Sorcerian''
* ''[[KisekiSeries Dragon Slayer VI: The Legend of Heroes]]''
* ''[[KisekiSeries Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes II]]''
* ''Lord Monarch''
* ''[[DragonSlayerIIXanadu The Legend of Xanadu]]''
* ''[[DragonSlayerIIXanadu The Legend of Xanadu II: The Last of Dragon Slayer]]''

Not to be confused with the 1981 movie ''Film/{{Dragonslayer}}''.
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!!''Dragon Slayer'' contains examples of:
%%* AWinnerIsYou
* BagOfSpilling: The player's stats are reset at the start of each phase.
%%* BedsheetGhost: They steal stuff.
* ChestMonster: Chests sometimes contain {{shinigami}}.
%%* ClownCarGrave
* DenialOfDiagonalAttack: Until you get 30,000 EXP, only your enemies can move and attack diagonally.
* EscapeRope: The RETURN spell.
%%* EverythingTryingToKillYou
%%* HeartContainer: Coins.
* InventoryManagementPuzzle: Except for coins and potions, only one item may be carried at a time.
* LevelMapDisplay: Available through the MAP spell.
%%* PlayerHeadquarters
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: An ear-piercing version of Antonin Dvorak's Slavonic Dance op. 46 no. 2 (or a hyperspeed version of Dvorak's op. 46 no. 7 in the GameBoy version).
* TimeStandsStill: The FLASH spell freezes ''all'' enemies.
* TyrannosaurusRex: Oddly, it's the second weakest enemy in the {{PC88}} version.
* VideoGameFlight: The FLY spell is acquired late in the game.
* WithThisHerring: Except in the Saturn version, you start out without a sword.
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: After killing the dragon, there's more challenge left than you would think.
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