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Dragon Slayer is an action RPG (action role-playing game), developed by Nihon Falcom and designed by Yoshio Kiya. It was originally released on September 10, 1984, for the NEC PC-88 computer, and became a major success in Japan. It was followed by ports to other home computers, including an MSX port published by Square in 1986 (making it one of the first titles to be published by Square), and a Game Boy port by Epoch in 1990. A remake of Dragon Slayer was also included in the Falcom Classics collection for the Sega Saturn.
Dragon Slayer began the Dragon Slayer series, a banner which encompasses a number of popular Falcom titles, such as Xanadu, Legacy of the Wizard, Sorcerian, and The Legend of Heroes.
Dragon Slayer is regarded as the progenitor of the action RPG genre, and is considered to be the first action-RPG. In contrast to earlier turn-based roguelikes, Dragon Slayer was a dungeon crawl RPG that was entirely real-time, with action-oriented, hack & slash, real-time combat. In some ways, the foundations of Dragon Slayer's action RPG gameplay can already be seen in Yoshio Kiya's previous 1983 game Panorama Toh.
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, and introduced the use of item-based puzzles which later influenced The Legend of Zelda. Dragon Slayer's overhead action-RPG formula was used in many later games, laying the foundations for future action RPG series such as Hydlide, Ys, and The Legend of Zelda.