Gameplay video (listen to dem 8-bit walking sounds playing The Entertainer!)
DRAGN SLAYER IS UNLIKE ANY OTHER GAME YOU HAVE PLAYED ON YOUR COMPUTER!
This month marks the 30th anniversary of the original "Dragon Slayer" - an action RPG designed by Yoshio Kiya and developed/published by Falcom (best known in the West as creators of the Ys and The Legend of Heroes series, as well of their high quality soundtracks and arranged albums). It was first released for the NEC PC-8801 in 1984 and ported to many other systems, like to the MSX by Square a year later (yes, that same Square!). It became a success in Japan, and in the same way Dragon Quest is considered the blueprint for turn-based JRPGs, Dragon Slayer is, along with games like Tower of Druaga, Hydlide and Dragon Buster, considered to be the progenitor of the emerging action RPG genre and often credited for pioneering the action RPG genre, and essentially laid the foundations for future game series such as Falcom's own Ys and The Legend of Zelda. It also was, along with the original Xanadu, the game that put Falcom on the map.
Of course, all this leads into the question of what *is* the Dragon Slayer series. The Dragon Slayer "series", which it originates from the original Dragon Slayer, is one of the oldest RPG series in Japan, and it serves as a label that many future Falcom games produced/designed by a man called Yoshio Kiya (who left the company sometime around 1994) were released under . Despite the connection in name, every sub-series is its own "game series", and it's pretty much its own thing and completely unrelated to each sub-series of games in terms of gameplay, plot, music and characters (save for a few cameos here and there).
Falcom's commemorative 30th Anniversary book Falcom Chronicle claims the original PC-88 version (i.e. the very first one) was released on 10 September 1984, but apparently that's incorrect according to the venerable Sho, the admin of Dra-Sle-Labo - a Japanese site devoted to the series. As such, we don't exactly know the exact date the original game was released, other than sometime in September of 1984. :(
Here's a list of games that are officially considered part of the Dragon Slayer line (i.e. produced/designed by Yoshio Kiya and developed by Falcom themselves):
Here's an updated chart with most Dragon Slayer related games (produced by Kiya himself/developed Falcom themselves or not) up to Sen no Kiseki II and Tokyo Xanadu, as I’ve seen a lot of people asking about what this whole The Legend of Heroes/Dragon Slayer series is on many Kiseki/Trails/Ys/Falcom threads. Needless to say, this chart is more updated and correct than XSEED's very own chart from 2011 and pretty much anything else you'll find out there. There may some conscious omissions and/or an error or two in it, but it should suffice for anyone wanting to know more about the strange construction regarding how the series goes according to Falcom.
1 - Dragon Slayer (1984)
2 - Xanadu (1985)
2.1 - Xanadu Scenario II (1986)
3 - Dragon Slayer Jr: Romancia (1986)
4 - Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family (also known as 'Legacy of the Wizard' on the West) (1987)
5 - Sorcerian (1987)
5.1 - Sorcerian Additional Scenario Vol.1 (1988)
5.2 - Sengoku Sorcerian (1988)
5.3 - Pyramid Sorcerian (1988)
6 - Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes (1989)
6.1 - Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes II (1992)
7 - Lord Monarch (1991)
7.1 - Advanced Lord Monarch (1991)
7.2 - Lord Monarch Original (1996)
7.3 - Mona² (Monarch Monarch) (1998)
8 - The Legend of Xanadu (1994)
8.1 - The Legend of Xanadu II: The Last of Dragon Slayer (1995)
Feel free to discuss your experiences with games related to this long-going series and/or recommend your favorite games!
(Also - yay, my very first thread on GAF! And what a better way to do so than brag about how awesome Falcom is! :D)