Dragon Spirit is a vertical shoot-em-up that owes many of its mechanics to Namco's earlier arcade hit Xevious. The most direct similarity is that the dragon has two forms of firepower: A fireball that hits aerial enemies and a bomb that hits ground-based enemies.
The dragon can power up by collecting eggs: Red eggs will increase the power of the dragon's fire breath while the blue eggs allow him to grow an additional head, effectively doubling its damage output as well as increasing the coverage. It's possible to have up to three heads in total. In addition, there are also various weapon power-ups that provide a temporary boon such as larger flame spouts or enemy-seeking fireballs.
Dragon Spirit saw many home conversions for both computers and consoles. The NES version, Dragon Spirit: The New Legend, made many modifications to the game.
A sequel, Dragon Saber, was released in arcades two years later.