The Dragoon hails from Kirby Air Ride, as one of two Legendary Air Ride machines in the game, along with Hydra. The Dragoon could only be attained in the City Trial mode of the game; additionally, before it could be used in the actual mode, the player had to collect three pieces of the machine. Like its appearance in Brawl, players could attack each other to steal pieces of the Dragoon from each other; furthermore, a probability built into the game chooses whether or not the pieces will spawn or not. In actual gameplay, true to being a legendary machine, Dragoon has the highest flight stat of all machines, as well as very high stats in all other areas.
In order to use the Dragoon, one must find all three pieces (Dragoon Part A, Dragoon Part B, and Dragoon Part C). Collecting one of the parts causes a unique soundbite to play and a small picture of that part to appear to the left of that character's icon at the bottom of the screen. Once the player has collected all three pieces, the Dragoon is assembled and the character flies off-screen, from where they can aim where they want to attack with the control stick. The item will automatically fire after ten beeps are heard; however, it can be fired at will before this point by pressing the attack button. If a character is hit, they will take 40% damage and will almost always be one-hit KO'd. Dodging the attack is difficult unless the defenders can predict when the attacker will charge, though possible. In Brawl and Smash 4, it is possible to survive the attack by using attacks that grant armor; in Ultimate, it ignores armor. The Dragoon can be aimed anywhere but off-screen which allows players to easily avoid the attack by simply moving off-screen on a stage such as Wii Fit Studio, though the body of the Dragoon can still manage to hit a player if they aren't careful.
While a character is holding a piece, they can be attacked which may force them to drop a piece they have; a character can also lose all pieces they have by being KO'd. If the character revives, the parts they were holding will fall back onto the stage. In a team Smash, multiple players on the same team can collect the Dragoon pieces. In Brawl, the Dragoon will not activate if multiple players on the same team each collect a piece, but this was changed in Smash 4 so that the player who collects the third and final piece will receive the assembled Dragoon.
The Dragoon can only be assembled once per match (except in Event 13: Dragoon Strike in Brawl), and the parts may not all necessarily appear during a match at all. It also never appears in the Subspace Emissary during play, but Kirby uses it in a cutscene to bring down the Subspace Gunship.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, if any Daybreak parts have appeared, no Dragoon parts will appear until the Daybreak is assembled and used, or all Daybreak parts are sent off-screen. Similarly, if any Dragoon parts have appeared, no Daybreak parts will appear until the Dragoon is assembled, or all Dragoon parts are sent off-screen.
Stages of firing
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In Super Smash Bros. 4
The Dragoon also appears as a Legend-class support spirit.
The Dragoon's Spirit Battle uses a Kirby puppet fighter and is fought on the Pilotwings stage. During the battle, Kirby has increased move speed, referencing the Dragoon's high speed stats. Also, the Dragoon Parts appear and will be pulled toward Kirby, referencing how the Dragoon must be assembled by collecting its parts.
Role in the Subspace Emissary
Shortly after the destruction of the Halberd, Kirby uses the Dragoon to destroy the Subspace Gunship by flying at full speed through the massive weapon while the other smashers have it distracted. Kirby then uses the Dragoon to enter Subspace along with the rest of the characters.
Names in other languages