Dragon's Lair

a game by Sony Imagesoft, Advanced Microcomputer Systems, and Motivetime Limited
Genres: Action, Platformer
Platforms: SNESSNES, GameBoy Color, PC, 3DO, Atari Jaguar, NESNES, GameBoy
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 11 reviews, 13 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Dragon Games

Here ye, all Dragon slayers! It has come to our attention that unemployment amongst ye of the dragon slaying profession hath gone through the roof. Well, ye need look no further, nor does thou need to scanneth the want ads. We have the opportunity thou seeketh.

Charcoal Breath

If your blood runs hot at the mere mention of lizardly goings on, then Data East has a side-scrolling, action/adventure SNES game that should singe your sinuses. Dragon's Lair is here, and although it's not a true portover of the classic animated laserdisc arcade game, it has the feel and fun of the medieval mishaps that made the original a smash hit.

ProTips:

  • Beware of the boiling battlement pots! The ground around them is very slippery. If Dirk isn't careful, he'll end up doing the Camelot trot right off the ledge.
  • If you're having trouble finding the right exits on dungeon levels (there are sometimes more than one), try to drop all the way to the floor and look for water. Swim to the right to find the real exit.

Dare to Be Different

In this alternating two-player game, you recreate the role of Dirk the Daring. Dirk must battle through five Stages with 25 levels of nail-biting, sword-swinging 100 action in search of his beloved Daphne, who's been kidnapped by the evil Mordroc. As Dirk, wind your way through Mordroc's castle by fighting across the embattlements, into the interior, and finally into the rank, reptilian bowels of the castle. In one hand, you carry your trusty sword; in the other, an assortment of Dragon-slaying items, such as Axes (very weak), Knives (better), and Shurikens (the best). You also discover, in true adventurer fashion, an assortment of goodies, like shields, 1-ups, weapons, and coins.

  • Don't break the crystal while you exit from the first dungeon. If you do, you'll receive the axe, which is ineffective against the powerful snake boss on the next level.
  • Be very careful when you throw shurikens -- one miss and your weapon boomerangs back at you.

Dragon's HO!!!!

You're gonna need all the weapons you can acquire and more to battle the ugly assortment of characters hangin' out around your homeboy. In addition to the snakes, bats, monkeys, and a very persistent, annoyingly-accurate dragon, there are haunted anvils, false floors, burning ropes, and other inanimate dangers. You actually have to think to get past some obstacles, unlike some hack and slash games. Warning: If you like your fighting straightforward, you might find Dragon Lair's puzzles a frustrating jaunt.

Anvils that don't vibrate when you move near them are safe to touch. You'll need to move these GEUTLY to cover unseen fires below you.

Dungeon Drudgery

Dragon's Lair has a few nicks in its shield. The game requires you to make some fairly difficult leaps of faith, which show you what it's like to fall off a castle. The graphics, though clean and well-animated, tend to be repetitive and the levels don't change (Battlement, Interior, Dungeon).

All in all, the challenge of this game should attract arcade slashers, while the cartoony graphics will appeal to kids. Hopefully, you're up to the quest, because Daphne's time runneth ever shorter.

Download Dragon's Lair

SNES

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed

GBC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

3DO

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Atari Jaguar

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

NES

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

Gameboy

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

This fantasy adventure romp, featuring animated graphics from American Tail supremo, Don Bluth, was first glimpsed as a coin-op almost as far back as the invention of money, and has since drifted around in various console and pc guises before finally arriving on cd-rom. Unfortunately, it's a move which can only be described as utterly pointless. When the original game first appeared, the general consensus was that Bluth's animators had spent so much time and effort making it tip-top in the looks department, that they forgot to include anything remotely resembling interesting gameplay. Now, with the original footage restored, it looks even better than ever, but is a victim of maddeningly disjointed action which simply fails to keep the player's attention.

A dazzling array of facial expressions

The object of the game apparently is to take on the role of dashing knight Dirk The Daring, a man blessed with such an excruciating range of facial snarls that it's almost a relief when he's ripped to shreds by bats or gobbled up by giant pools of bubbling blue slime. The task at hand is to rescue the Fair Princess Daphne, who has been kidnapped by Singe the Dragon and carted off to his castle. Dirk has to make his way through 35 rooms before reaching the dragon's lair where the potential love of his life is being held hostage. This involves battling off all kinds of bizarre oddities with a simple flick of his sword or simply by being a big girl's blouse and jumping out of the way. Of course, if Dirk just used a choice facial expression on all the lizards, bats and many-tentacled things lurking in dark castle crevices, then they'd probably all flee and the game would be over far more quickly. Oh, if only things were that simple...

The main problem with all this is that possible buyers are likely to be swayed by the lavish title sequence, which features a number of the game's best looking scenes and gives you the impression that this is going to be mouthwateringly good. And admittedly, the graphics are hard to fault and really have gained something on their transition from console to cd.

The game is logically divided into scenes, each set in a different room, which vary from The Snake Room, which sees our hero slicing away at various stripy serpents, to the Checkerboard Room in which he has to dodge electrocution at the hands of the sinister Black Knight. The action moves along frame by frame, with speed varying according to your system - choose from either six or twelve frames per second, or you can simply switch to auto mode and allow the game to select the appropriate speed for your hardware. It's important to get this right because slower hardware forced to play at twelve frames will result in awkward pauses, inexplicable speeding up of the game and possible loss of sound. Alternatively, if you play at six frames per second by mistake, Dirk will lollop around in irritating slow motion. Fine tuning is also on offer, which is supposed to make the graphics look even more razor-sharp than before but, despite a painstaking process which takes 30-60 minutes to complete, the on-screen quality of the game looked no different than before.

Unfortunately, the speed you choose is not going to make a blind bit of difference to the overall flow of the game. The tasks and obstacles to overcome in each room are indeed limited, meaning that each scene is annoyingly short and, just as you're happily getting into the swing of things, you escape out of the nearest exit to freedom. Rather than going straight into the next room, however, the game chooses that moment to tell you how many of your five lives you have left (a move it also makes when you lose one) and displays the fact on screen for what seems like all eternity, meaning that any chance of becoming engrossed in the action is automatically lost.

Carry on for absolutely ever

When you are eventually defeated, endless continues allow you to pick up where you left off rather than going back to the beginning. This can prove a problem as some of the scenes, in particular the maddening Metallic Ball Room in which Dirk has to avoid various electrified spherical objects, are unbelievably difficult to complete. On most of them, though, a simple process of elimination and lateral thinking will tell you which key to press or joystick move to make to get out of danger and, although this may take time, most of the levels are reasonably easy to master. This does mean, of course, that any repeat plays will be a simple matter of going through the motions, making the appropriate move where necessary and discovering no major surprises other than the ones you encountered the first time. Yawn. One advantage, however, is that the rooms are randomised and appear in a different order every time you play so, if one particular location is proving tricky, you can simply start all over again and hope it doesn't come up. This is a way of seeing some more of the fantastic animation, but it quickly backfires when you realise you once again have to go through the painstaking process of going through all the rooms you completed on the previous game and heroically smashing your way through the castle - only to discover that, yes, it still takes longer to find out how many lives you have left than it does to actually go about losing them. If Princess Daphne had any sense she would realise from the evidence shown here that, instead of popping up in scenes now and then acting like a complete squealing sap waiting for her saviour, she should in fact smack Singe The Dragon squarely in the chops and head off in search of a proper man. (After all, when did you last see Dirk The Daring listed as one of Britain's 50 Most Eligible Bachelors?)

What it boils down to is something of a buy-at-your-peril syndrome. If you're a cartoon addict or one of those people who will be bowled over by the look of it, then you will find this more than fits the bill. However, if you're one of the majority who doesn't think that way, you would be advised to divert your hard-earned 50 quid in the direction of something more time-consuming. Not a complete and utter dud, just not in the least bit exciting.

The quarter-crunching coin-op from way back is now on its way for the Jaguar system! Join Dirk the Daring as he ventures into Singe the Dragon's home and tries to rescue Princess Daphne. Along the way he will match wits with the diabolical Lizard King and the Black Knight. Can you guide Dirk to victory?

Now, this arcade smash hit is available for the Game Boy! Accompany everyone's favorite knight, Dirk the Daring, as he battles his way through evil Mordroc's castle. To successfully vanquish the deadly fire-breathing dragon and rescue Princess Daphne, Dirk will have to avoid countless traps and creepy creatures in this remake of an epic video adventure.

Loosely based on the one-time laser disc hit, Dragon's Lair pits Dirk the Daring against the evil Wizard Mordroc! Princess Daphne is being held prisoner in Mordroc's trap-ridden castle. To rescue her, Dirk must face Singe, the dragon that is holding her in its lower chambers.

Instead of the linear laser disc game play, Dragon's Lair now plays like an action game. No more simple joystick movements while the story takes care of itself! You are in full control of Dirk.

The levels hold secrets that only the bravest adventurers will find. To succeed, Dirk must find the hearts and crystals needed to keep his body in top condition.

People say:

7

Wow! Lately it seems like developers have found some untapped power in the GBC hardware, because there's no way a game like this should run so well on this little handheld. Maybe all the extra effort reflects certain companies' desires for a Game Boy Advance license. It's astounding how authentic Dragon's Lair Looks and plays. Unfortunately, once the shock of seeing what is tantamount to full-motion video running on the little Game Boy screen wears off, reality comes crashing down. Go left, go right, push the attack button, repeat ad nauseum. These FMV titles are little more than a digital game of Simon Says with pretty graphics, and Dragon's Lair is the worst offender of the bunch. The game is over way too fast. Also lacking is the sound, and I don't just mean music. Decent sound effects of any kind can't be found in this cartridge. It might be because all that animation takes up so much space. Tragically for Capcom, Dragon's Lair is hardly worth buying outside of getting a somewhat cool showpiece for your GBC, or for a low-budget trip down memory lane.

  • # of players: 1
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Available: November 1993
  • Theme: Action
  • Number of Levels: 27

About 10 years ago, Dragon's Lair was released in the arcades and changed the way we play games. It was the first laserdisc video game that utilized actual cartoon footage. Back then, players could only dream of the possibility of playing a home version. Now with the capabilities of the Sega CD, it has become a reality.

Readysoft has made a near-perfect translation of the arcade classic in which Dirk must rescue Princess Daphne from the evil fire-breathing dragon. Everything from the music track and sound effects to the incredible animated footage that made the arcade game so popular are packed in here. Prepare to embark on the greatest of Sega CD adventures!

  • Manufacturer: Ready Soft
  • Machine: Sega CD

Frustration abounds in this CD version of the arcade classic. You have to have pinpoint accuracy to be able to survive this one, and believe me, it will definitely make you very angry! Still, graphically, the game is very well done.

From deep within Mordroc's Castle, a foul stench rises up to mix with the cold, damp midnight air. In the deadly caves far below the surface, the evil wizard's pet fire-breathing dragon, Singe, guards the captive Princess Daphne. You, Dirk the Daring, walk steadily toward the castle gate. You feel no fear - but then, fear is for cowards. Mo other would dare to enter this perilous castle where Mordroc has imprisoned the helpless princess. But for you, there is no other possible course to take. Now is the time for heroes. How is the time to enter the Dragon's Lair.

Put on your armor and get ready for a thrilling medieval quest from Data East. Venture into the castle of the evil wizard Mordroc. You must help Dirk the Daring rescue the beautiful Princess Daphne from the hideous beasts guarding her in the dark and foreboding dungeons. Hidden traps, lizards, and shadow knights will try to stop you along the way. Twenty-four enchanted levels await you if you dare ...

People say:

6

This game has some great graphics, fluid animation and real challenge, but I dislike the controls. They have a sluggish response that prevents any real quick action to develop. What is here, however, is really pretty fun, although intense action freaks might be disappointed, I liked the scope of this adventure.

7

Don't expect to blow through this game in one sitting. While it isn't an extremely difficult game, it is more frustrating until you master the way the game controls. The graphics are top notch and the sound is quite respectable though. Learn the controls and anticipate the enemy and you'll do OK in this game. Not bad!

4

The graphics and animation are top notch, but the main problem with the cart is the sloppy game play. There is very little control over your character and split second reactions are impossible. I think they should of made this more like the arcade version, instead we get a side scrolled that does get frustrating.

3

Although the game isn't at all like the old arcade coin-op, the side scrolling action is about average as games go. The graphics are colorful but the game just doesn't have the control that is needed to keep me interested. I die but not because I make a mistake. I hate having to anticipate ahead to even out bad controls.

A new Gameboy game from the makers of Solstice, Dragon's Lair-The Legend, is the "jumper" fan's dream. The levels are huge (Level One is partially shown here), and jumping skills are a must. With numerous pits, spikes, platforms, and acid pools, this game requires superb timing, technique, and reflexes.

The object of Dragon's Lair-The Legend is to collect 194 pieces of the Lifestone, which have been scattered throughout the kingdom. Although unguarded, these pieces are usually out of reach or hanging dangerously above sharp spikes or electrified rails. Luckily, the plants and animals will help carry Dirk over or around such pitfalls.

Once Dirk has collected all the Lifestones pieces, he must journey to the knight waiting deep within the incredible Dragon's Lair, the largest and most difficult area of them all.

The all-powerful Lifestone has been shattered into 194 pieces. Only Dirk the Daring can possibly find all of the pieces and reform the Lifestone to rescue the princess! Sporting highly detailed backgrounds, Dragon's Lair for the Nintendo Gameboy hand-held system tests your jumping skills and ingenuity to the limit. Some pieces are placed precariously above hazards, so make your jumps carefully!

People say:

5.0

Dragon's Lair on the GameBoy is slightly more playable than the NES version, but it still doesn't have the right mix of great graphics and solid action. The quest becomes repetitive almost immediately and even t though there are some nice sights, I the game needs more punch.

4.0

I actually liked playing the GameBoy version better than the NES cart. At least I didn't get frustrated. There is a lot of jumping to do and timing is critical but not as critical as the NES cart. It looks good and plays as one would expect from the GameBoy.

3.0

Jump around and collect little square objects called lifestones. Does this sound like Dragon's Lair to you? Nice graphics won't help this one in my book. Overly repetitive in concept and in game play. I guess I'll have to wait for this game to come out on the 'other' system.

5.0

Sadly, graphics are the only thing that save this game. The backgrounds are spectacular and game play is good, but the concept is questionable. This game would fare better under a different name; it just isn't Dragon's Lair! Too much repetition doesn't help either.

Dirk, Daphne, and the Dragon. No, it's not an afternoon soap opera, it's Dragon's Lair, the animated arcade game. Now it's been ported over to the 3DO, and it could be a showcase of that machine's capabilities.

High, Low, and Mid-Evil

Dragon's Lair is the story of Dirk and his damsel, Daphne, who's distressed because she's being dissed by a Dragon. The dauntless Dirk, who's daring, dashing, but dim-witted, does everything he can to deliver Daphne from the Dragon's den. Decked out with a deadly sword and some dance-like moves, Dirk dodges danger to deliver Daphne from her demise. The Dragon does not desist, but instead decks Dirk's dangerous drive to the Dragon's den with deadly traps and dastardly demons.

Whew! Say that ten times, and you'll really be ready for Dragon's Lair. This point-and-press adventure is similar to others in this genre, in that you must guide your hero to different points and keep him out of trouble. Not as similar are the text-less, humorous situations that Dirk gets himself into, or the pleasure of playing a well-crafted interactive ' game. Although sometimes the path before you is lit by an ethereal glow, most times you're on your own figuring a way out of danger and into the Dragon's Lair. It sounds challenging, but Dragon's Lair is actually a bit simplistic.

The real squeeze in this version of the game are the annoying controls. The 3DO version of Dragon's Lair only lets you press the pad in one direction at a time, so forget about stabbing the button to get a response. If you over-press a button, you'll end up feeding the moat-monsters for sure.

A Sight for Sword Eyes

The graphics in this version of Dragon's Lair are super clean, with no flicker, slow down, or loss of animation. Every line around the animated characters is clear and well-defined. The colors leap off the screen and into your living room.

The sounds are awesome, with each grumble, mumble, or exclamation from Dirk coming across loud and clear. There's little music, but there's plenty of other castle calls, like moaning spectres, chattering skulls, and hissing snakes.

Dragon Your Behind

If you loved this game in the arcade, grab yourself a copy for old time's sake. If you've never seen Dragon's Lair, you'll still enjoy the truly interactive feel of the game. However, like all adventures of this sort, once you've played through, you've played through, so don't expea the adventure to change when you're done. Still, because of frustrating control problems, you may never make it out of the Dragon's Lair anyway.

Snapshots and Media

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

Atari Jaguar Screenshots

GameBoy Color Screenshots

GameBoy Screenshots

3DO Screenshots

PC Screenshots

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    Andy said on Forum:

    This is a quite amusing platform game, And if your a monty pyton fan then you'll love the the graphics too, Think The Holy Grail and you see what i mean.