Dragon Breed is a horizontally-scrolling shoot-em-up arcade game produced by Irem in 1989. It ran on M72 and M81 hardware and was well-received by critics at the time.
The player's character is a human who rides a large, green, flying Chinese-style dragon. The dragon is invincible, capable of blocking most enemy projectiles and damaging enemies on contact; the human, however, is not, but is armed with a forward-firing crossbow.
The dragon's body is very flexible and responds to the player's movement, enabling the player to use the dragon as a mobile shield or as a whip-like weapon. You can also circle the tail around a group of enemies to kill them. The tail of the yellow or blue dragon can be coiled around the player to offer almost complete invulnerability for a limited time.
The dragon can also spit fireballs, in a manner very similar to the Wave Cannon from R-Type. By holding the fire button down, the dragon will build up fire in its mouth; the longer the button is held down, the more powerful the fireball will be. There are four levels of fireball power; at its strongest, the fireball resembles a dragon's head. The game also contains some platforming elements - the human is able to dismount on horizontal platforms.
Power-ups can be acquired by shooting small green dragons that appear intermittently throughout the levels, or they can be collected from the ground on foot. The power-ups resemble lanterns with a coloured sphere in the middle.
There are four different power-ups, each of which provides a different weapon to the dragon. Collecting multiple power-ups of the same colour makes that weapon more powerful. The dragon changes colour depending upon which power-up has been collected.
Red - enables the dragon to breathe a flame. The flame gets longer if more power-ups are collected.
Arcade screenshotYellow - enables the dragon's body to fire tiny yellow crescents in all directions.
White - enables the dragon to produce up to four miniature dragons, which home in on enemies.
Blue - enables the dragon to fire downward bolts of electricity from its underside.
Source: Wikipedia, "Dragon Breed", available under the CC-BY-SA License.