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One machine above all turned heads when it first appeared in the local arcades, you would be lucky to even get a glimpse of it. As crowds milled around to get a look in, the problem became so great that arcade owners even installed extra monitors on top of the cabinets so that addicts could view the action from further a field.
Intro Screen for Dragon's Lair
What I have just described is almost unimaginable in todays sad apologies for arcades, but back in 1983 this is just what happened when Inharmonic released the incredible Dragon’s Lair starring ‘Dirk the Daring’.
Our Hero 'Dirk the Daring'
The game was like appearing in your own cartoon where you controlled the main character and dictated what happened to the gameplay by your lightening quick responses to situations that you found yourself in.
An example of some of the top quality animation
If you became the the 'King' on this game arcade immortality was assured, slaying the dragon in front of dozens of peers, and on monitors up high for all to see could hardly be bettered back in the day. So, credit after credit would be pumped into the game as you strove to complete your mission.
The infamous Skeleton Screen
On your quest you would encounter beautifully animated enemies such as rabid rodents, massive marbles, black knights, swinging blades and skeleton hands. The climax was an encounter with the evil dragon itself 'Singe'. But the pain was more than worth the reward which came in the delicious figure of 'Daphne'. Daphne was blonde, wore a tiny figure hugging outfit and wanted to be saved, by you, (note to author at this point, remember this is a cartoon and calm down).
The gorgeous Daphne
Cinematronics had a massive hit on their hands and rumours abounded in the industry that this technology was the saviour that the arcade game industry had been searching for. That's because in 1983 the Video Game industry was on the verge of collapse and Dragon’s Lair was seen as a kind of saviour. But the flip side to the coin and the negatives unfortunately far out-weighed the positives.
The final encounter with 'Singe'
Secondly people lost interest when they had seen 'Singe' defeated and ultimately the games that followed on were not as well received within the gaming community. Games such as 'Space Ace', 'Cliffhanger' etc, thus the revenue tumbled, which (as a result), only fuelled the collapse of the arcade game industry instead of helping extinguish it as planned.
An example of dreaming on!
Overall Classic Game Rating - 7.5