When finishing Dragon's Lair was awesome


I’m not sure what’s supposed to be obnoxious about that, I think it’s brilliant, especially from an 11-year-old.


I’m pretty sure that’s kind of the dream ending to anything you do as an 11 year old. I damn sure would have crowded around that game and gone out and gotten a ladder for a better viewing, I spend the majority of the 80’s convinced that game had no lair, let alone a dragon I died so quickly.


Weird, I’d never heard of a laserdisc game called Thayer’s Quest…

I was under the impression that the game’s laserdisc and the hardware it played on was proprietary to that specific game, as I wrote in the other Dragon’s Lair post. I knew rich folks had CD players in '84 (I thought DL was more like 82, though) but I had no idea Pioneer made a commercially available laserdisc player by then or there were laserdiscs at all. I was like nine years old, though.

anyway, what I remember most about this game was the lines to play being like an hour long, and that they all broke within a year.

I remember my local arcade, Gameworld in Hawthorne, CA, had the only Dragon’s Lair machine in the area (and subsequently Space Ace & Dragon’s Lair II). I was friends with the workers at the arcade, spending all my extra time and money there, and was privy to some of the exclusive details of the games. One time, the Dragon’s Lair game overheated (as these wood cabinets didn’t vent the hot air very well). Dave, the main tech at Gameworld, opened the back panel, revealing the inner workings which consisted of a hard-mounted laserdisc player and some other circuit boards. He proceeded to put the machine in “test mode” which then played the entire Dragon’s Lair disc from start to finish; every cut scene, every death, every reaction, and of course the famous “cherry popping” finale. We didn’t have internet porn back then but this, to an 80s teenager, was boner-worthy.

Stony Brook Unversity’s Science Fiction library was opposite a small, basement arcade room.

One of the machines: Dragon’s Lair.

It got broken into at one point. We figured out how to give ourselves Infinite Dirks by hitting a switch in the coin-counting mechanism. And we eventually figured out how to get it into test mode. It was entertaining watching all of those “death modes” one after the other.

As I recall, there were a couple of scenes / opponents that weren’t in the game. Also, a “ENTER SECOND CASTLE” (?) message, presumably for people who made it all the way through!

Eventually the machine got so trashed it wasn’t playable. So we in the SF club fitted an old Atari home computer into it and played cartridge games using Dirk’s screen.

LOL @ both Pesco and Doctorow posting a fantastic and wonderful story. I was just the right age to enjoy the height of arcade awesomeness, and Dragon’s Lair was one of many games which consumed my earnings as a kid. It was frustratingly difficult, but so alluring. A truly lovely story that brought those memories flooding back. Thank you both.

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I’ll be That Guy and say that Dragon’s Lair was never awesome; there’s a reason why videodisc-based arcade games never took off. If you’ve ever played a console game that had an interminable cutscene in the middle of gameplay that was unskippable, well, that was the Dragon’s Lair experience for me.


For me it’s that it looked amazing and was basically forbidden fruit since I could never get past the first level.


I couldn’t get past the first scene and i’ll tell you why. All the other games were only 10p or 20p a turn where as this game was usually 50p or £1 (I forget which) and after a couple of attempts I quickly realised that I was passing up a couple of turns on real games.

Dragon’s Lair was basically just a QTE without onscreen prompts.

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