Dragon's Lair Review

This is a conversion of the laserdisc arcade game Dragon's Lair for the Jaguar CD. As Dirk the Daring, your mission is to rescue Princess Daphne from an evil dragon. But first, you must descend into the dragon's castle and make your way through 30 rooms that are filled with traps, enemies, and other hazards. Because this is an interactive cartoon made up entirely of short video clips, you do not directly control Dirk. At certain points in the animation, Dirk will need to perform actions such as moving a certain direction or swinging his sword. Press the correct button(s) at the right time to clear the danger and move on. For example, a level may require you to first jump forward (up on the control pad), attack an enemy (B button) and then go through a door (right on the control pad). If you make a wrong move or time it incorrectly, you will be "treated" to a clip of Dirk's (sometimes humorous) demise. Some rooms may require only one or two actions, while others are more complex. A lot of trial and error will be required to learn how to clear all of the rooms.

The graphics are excellent overall, although the video is slightly pixelated. The sound is also very well done: The voices and sound effects sound great, with the exception of Daphne's horrible voice acting. As with most FMV games, the control is the major sticking point in Dragon's Lair. Not being in direct control is certainly limiting, but the game is still playable within those limits. It's also worth noting that the pause button doesn't always work as it should. Sometimes it will pause, while other times it will mess up your place in the current room and restart it.

Dragon's Lair certainly isn't for everyone. Those who expect it to play like a normal game are going to be very disappointed. But if you can accept the limited controls, you'll have a better time. Dragon's Lair may not be the best game around, but it does provide a few hours of enjoyment.


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