Drakengard, known as Drag-On Dragoon is a series of action role-playing video games. The eponymous first game in the series was released in 2003 on the PlayStation 2, and has since been followed by a sequel, a prequel and a spin-off. It was conceived by Takamasa Shiba and Takuya Iwasaki as a gameplay hybrid between Ace Comba and Dynasty Warriors 2. The story was created by Shiba, Iwasaki, Yoko Taro and Sawako Natori, who were influenced by European folklore and popular anime series and movies of the day. Shiba, Yoko and Sawako have had involvement in every entry of the series since its debut.
The setting of the main series is a Northern European-style dark fantasy world where humans and creatures from myth and legends live side by side, while the spin-off game is set in an alternate reality leading from one of the first game's possible endings. The stories generally focus on the fortunes and personalities of a small group of protagonists either directly or indirectly connected to and affected by the events of the story. Dark or mature plot and character themes and multiple endings have become a staple of the series. Their popularity in Japan has resulted in multiple adaptions and additional media in the form of novelizations and manga.
The series is considered highly popular in Japan, having sold well and gained a cult following, though it appears to be a niche series in Western territories. The main games have become noted for their dark storylines and mixture of ground-based and aerial combat, while Nier stood out because of its mixture of gameplay styles. The series has received mixed to positive reception in both Japan and the West: the majority of praise has been given to its story and characters, while the gameplay has come in for criticisms for being repetitive or poorly designed.