Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dragon's Lair

For those of you who don't know (and I pity you) Dragon's Lair was a stand-up arcade game that came out in the 80s. It was a unique game in that the graphics were far and away better than anything we had ever seen before. They were like an animated movie. It was spectacular. It was also insanely hard. I don't know anyone who's has ever made it past the first few minutes of gameplay. Your character Dirk approaches the door of the castle and....you die. I had no idea how. You just died. As I shoved quarter after quarter in the machine I (finally) managed to sidestep the daggers that came out and open the door after which...I died. Over and over this went. I bet you I would blow $20 in quarter on this game...every time I saw it. And I never did get past that door. I was both infuriated and obsessed.

I won't tell you how much time and money that I wasted on Dragon's Lair when I was a kid. It was more money then time though. When your gameplay experience is only 10 seconds long it doesn't add up to much time playing. But the graphics kept drawing me back. As you know I'm an animation junkie and this was Don Bluth's work. I loved this game and I hated it.

This was actual gameplay graphics

When Jeff and I were in Disney World we went to DisneyQuest, their four story arcade. After you paid the door admission, all the games were free. I parked myself at Dragon's Lair and managed to get past the door to find the skeleton, which killed me. Jeff pulled me away to ride the bumper cars or something, and for that I thank him. Otherwise I could still be standing at that machine today, trying to see what's beyond that skeleton.

It was Jeff who saved me again as we stood in GameStop and I noticed that they now have Dragon's Lair for the Wii. It's the original game, plus sequels for $25 used. I begged. I pleaded. I whined. It wasn't pretty. I wanted that game. It was Jeff who pulled me away again. But I still think about it. Playing Dragon's Lair on the Wii, able to spend as much time as I need to advance in the game. Finding out what the sequels were like. Although I'm still confused as to how you can have sequels for a game no one ever won...or played more than 10 minutes on.


Keith said...

I've seen people beat it, so it IS possible. And I beat Space Ace myself, which was just as hard.

Cat B said...

You've actually seen it beaten? Wow! I've never seen anyone make decent progress in it.

Although maybe it's just me. I've never tried Space Ace but I assume I'd have just as much issue with that one.