Romancia is the third game in Falcom's Dragon Slayer series, following Xanadu: Dragon Slayer II and preceding Dragon Slayer IV (known as Legacy of the Wizard or The Drasle Family, depending on the localization). Originally released for Japanese home computers like the MSX and Sharp X1 in 1986, a version was developed for the Famicom a year later with Compile's help. This new version received a graphical upgrade as well as some additional content. Oddly enough, this version would be preceded on the Famicom by Legacy of the Wizard, which had been ported by Namco a few months prior.
The player controls Prince Freddy Fan as he discovers the titular kingdom of Romancia, learns of its troubles and attempts to recover the kidnapped Princess Serena from the rival kingdom of Azoruba.
The game received its Dragon Slayer Jr. appellation by being far more straightforward and less RPG-heavy than its forebear Xanadu, nor does it have the labyrinthine dungeons of Legacy of the Wizard. It is, however, still rather difficult in comparison to other RPG franchises of the era.
Romancia is a side-scrolling action RPG. The player moves left or right across the screen (with a few exceptions), killing monsters and finding items. Items are key to progressing, as many are required to solve context-based puzzles like a graphic adventure game. For instance, the player character is tasked with taking medicine and using it to cure many of the sick villagers, as well as purifying the local well.
The game's lack of statistics or other RPG trappings is what originally earned it the "Dragon Slayer Jr" title. Rather, the player has a simple health bar to represent their character's status and much of the game involves simple hack-n'-slash action gameplay.