Dragon’s Lair was a laserdisc game released by Cinematronics in 1983. The Disney like animation was created by a former Disney animator named Don Bluth. Dragon’s Lair was considered to be such a technological breakthrough and success, that it is one of 3 games in storage at the Smithsonian. Although the laser disc allowed for fantastic graphics, game play was extremely limited. The game was essentially a series of vignettes whereby the user would have to make the right decision at exactly the right time to progress to the next level, such as “go left” and “go right”. Regardless of its simplicity and extra coin to play, people would line up at the arcade to play this game.
The plot of the game was simple. Dirk the Daring was to rescue Princess Daphne from Singe the evil dragon. Singe had locked the princess in Mordoc the Wizard’s castle, and if the player made the correct “reflex” decision for the bumbling Dirk. In the final stage, Dirk rescues the Princess from a magic bubble by getting the key to the bubble from around the dragon’s neck by killing him. In order to do this, Dirk must pull a magic sword from a stone and swing it at the right time. Once the Princess was rescued, the game was over.
There were tons of home and PC versions released of this game, and it was popular enough to warrant the release of a sequel in 1991 (Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp). Dragon’s Lair 3D: Return to the Lair was created in 2002 for contemporary systems like the Xbox, Gamecube, and PlayStation 2.