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News - May 24, 2021

Dragons’S Lair: The Best Rail Shooter of its Time

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Donnie Grasso

@back2oldgames

Dragon’s Lair is a video game franchise created by Rick Dyer and Don Bluth. The series is famous for its Western animation-style graphics and convoluted decades-long history of being ported to many platforms and being remade into television and comic book series.

The first game in the series is titled Dragon’s Lair, originally released for arcades in 1983 by Cinematronics. It uses laser-disc technology, offering greatly superior graphics compared to other video games at the time. The game was ported to several other platforms, but as no home system technology of that era could accommodate the graphical quality of LaserDisc, several abridged versions of the original game were released under different names. The first true sequel, Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp, would only appear in 1991. While its graphics were once again praised, the poor controls and limited interactivity kept it from reaching the popularity of the original.[4]

The two main games in the series are considered gaming classics and are frequently re-released for each new generation of consoles.[6] In 2010, they were bundled alongside the unrelated 1984 Bluth Group game Space Ace in the Dragon’s Lair Trilogy which was made available across numerous platforms.

Forays into other media include a short-lived animated series that aired on ABC in 1984 and a comic-book miniseries released in 2003. Plans for a feature-length film have existed since the 1980s and have resurfaced in 2015 when Bluth launched a crowd-funding campaign to secure funds for a Dragon’s Lair movie pitch. A Kickstarter campaign was unsuccessful, and a second campaign on Indiegogo reached its target in early 2016.