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Dragon's Lair Dragon's Lair - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Dragon's Lair - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


Dirk The Daring travels, searching through a castle for Princess Daphne who has been kidnapped by Singe The Dragon. Cinematronics' first laserdisc game done by former Disney animator, Don Bluth. Very popular.

Dragon's Lair was produced by Cinematronics in 1983.

Cinematronics released 33 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1976. Cinematronics was based in United States.

Other machines made by Cinematronics during the time period Dragon's Lair was produced include: Zzyzzyxx, Freeze, Jack The Giantkiller, War Of The Worlds, Solar Quest, Hovercraft, Brix, Cosmic Chasm, World Series Baseball, and Space Ace


Name Dragon's Lair
Developer Cinematronics (United States)
Year 1983
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 7647
Class Wide Release
Genre Adventure
Conversion Class unique
External Device LDP - Pioneer LD-V1000 or Pioneer PR-7820
# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 2
Game Play Alternating
Control Panel Layout Single Player Ambidextrous
  • Joystick: 8-way
  • Buttons: 1 - Sword
Sound Unamplified Stereo (requires two-channel amp)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
Control Panel Dragon's Lair Control Panel Image
Side Art Dragon's Lair Side Art Image

Game Introduction

In this animated laserdisc game, the player assumes the role of Dirk The Daring, a heroic knight armed with a sword, who searches through the Haunted Castle in an attempt to rescue the beautiful Princess Daphne from the evil Singe The Dragon. In order for Dirk to accomplish his goal, he must get to The Dragon's Lair. As he travels, he will have all kinds of obstacles to overcome and he will be confronted by all kinds of fearsome fiends like The Lava Monsters, The Giddy Goons, The Crypt Creeps, The Lizard King, The Smithee, The Grim Reaper, The Black Knight and others.

The joystick is used to give Dirk directions and the button is used to have Dirk strike his sword. Wrong decisions by the player cause immediate death to Dirk, but the right decisions give him miraculous survival.

When Dirk has reached The Dragon's Lair, he will find Daphne trapped inside The Magic Bubble and guarded by Singe. The key to The Magic Bubble is tied around Singe's neck, so Dirk must kill him to get it. Dirk must avoid Singe and then get to The Jewel Stone where The Magic Sword is embedded in. Afterwards, Dirk must pull The Magic Sword from The Jewel Stone and use it to kill Singe. If Dirk succeeds, he will get the key and unlock The Magic Bubble and free Daphne. After Daphne has been freed, she leaps into Dirk's arms, he catches, then she kisses him and he grins modestly while she smiles lovingly at him. Afterwards, the game is over.

Game Play

In Dragon's Lair, you do not control Dirk, rather you direct him in what to do. Areas on the laserdisc are accessed according to which command is given. The game has 38 to 42 different episodes with over 1,000 life-and-death situations and over 200 different decisions to make. It has been comfirmed from a video taped game that it takes about 12 minutes to complete the game if you know all the moves.

The object of the game is to help Dirk reach The Dragon's Lair, slay Singe and rescue Daphne, but once you complete this task, the game, the quest and the story are all over because there are no higher levels of difficulty. Basically, there is really no reason to obtain a high score, even though points are scored based on how far you can get and how well you can do.

From an objective viewpoint, the game looks a bit rushed in places, with a lack of logically flowing animations (the snake room, and the tentacle room, for example). A few scenes were not shown or played in the game, including the drawbridge, the "Ye Boulders" sign before the rapids, and the scene after the battle against the Knight. The European release of this game differed in gameplay. The scenes were played in the order they are stored on the laserdisc, and the game started on the drawbridge scene that was cut from the North American version. However, in a laserdisc classic trilogy pack for home computers entitled "The Dragon's Lair Deluxe Pack" that contained Dragon's Lair, Dragon's Lair II, and Space Ace, the missing scenes where put back in.

Contrary to popular belief, both Dragon's Lair and Space Ace did contain diagonal movements. In some cases, these movements were simply the combination of two acceptable moves, while in other cases the diagonal move was distinct (for example, during the whirlpool segment, moving to the right or left is acceptable, moving diagonal up-right or up-left is acceptable, but simply moving up results in death). In all cases, the diagonal moves were optional, and there was always a 4-way alternative. The '91 re-release of Space Ace contained some diagonal moves that were required.

Dragon's Lair KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 4.05 (25 votes)

Fun Factor: 4.02

Overall Like 4.30
Fun (Social) 3.39
Fun (Solo) 3.91
Collector Desire 4.50

Technical Rating: 4.34

Gameplay 3.30
Graphics 4.96
Originality 4.79
Sound/Music 4.57

Personal Impressions and Technical Impressions each account for half of the total score. Within the Personal Impressions category, Like carries a little more weight than the other factors.

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More pictures


When Dragon's Lair was first released, not only was it the first animated laserdisc game (it was actually the second game to use a laserdisc), it was also the first video game to look like a movie and be treated like a movie.After all, it was animated by Don Bluth and other animators who used to work for Disney.

The animation for this game took six years in the making.

The animation staff used their own voices for their characters instead of hiring professional actors, in order to keep the costs down. In fact, the animation alone cost over a million dollars. They also used several Playboy magazines as a reference guide for drawing Daphne.

Cabinet Information

This game has a unique three-sided marquee. Instead of being silk screened, the graphic was printed on cloth and then glued on to a frame. In the back of the cabinet, there is the standard access door, as well as a seperate drawer in the bottom that holds the laserdisc player. Score, lives, and credits are shown on an LED display above the screen.


It is possible to convert this game to Space Ace by swapping the laserdisc and the EEPROMs.


Shown also is a picture of a PR7820 laser disk player that was inside original Dragons Lair cabinets.


Additional Information:

Versions Currently Available - iOS/Android/PC/Blu-ray/WII/PSP/DS/Xbox/PS3:

The "Dragon's Lair 20th Anniversary Box Set (3 DVD Set)", sometimes marked PS2/Xbox compatible, can be used with the Daphne emulator system. Read More

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Dragon's Lair Census

There are 14,831 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,505 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 164,882 machines (6,918 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 317 known instances of this machine owned by Dragon's Lair collectors who are active members. Of these, 282 of them are original dedicated machines. 11 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 24 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 5 active VAPS members with a Dragon's Lair machines for sale. There are 3 active VAPS members with a Dragon's Lair circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - Very Popular - There are 41 active VAPS members currently looking for Dragon's Lair.

This game ranks a 69 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 70 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census want list records.

Rarity and Popularity independently are not necessarily indications of value. [More Information]



Early in the production run, the PR-7820 laser disc player was used. The game PCB uses a Z-80 processor and will have either 4 or 5 ROMs.


The laserdisc player is a limited-life device and it should be treated as fragile at all times.

A kit is available by a company called Hi-Tech Mechanical/Electronic that allows the original Pioneer LD-V1000 or PR-7820 to be replaced with any one of the latest Sony LDP series laserdisc players. The LDP-1200, LDP-1450, LDP-1500, LDP-1550 and the LDP-2000 are the most common compatable Sony LDP series laserdisc players. For more information on the laserdisc player conversion kit please visit:


  1. Dragon's Lair
  2. Dragon's Lair II


Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. Arcade Treasures Kurtz (ISBN 088740619X) Page: 111; Color photo
  2. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 160; Color photo Price guide: No
  3. Arcade Fever Sellers (ISBN 0762409371) Page: 122; Color photo
  4. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 160; Color photo

Additional References (logged in members often see more)

  1. 3D Model (External): Dedicated

eBay Listings

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Ebay Compatible Application

New Wave’s Dragon’s Lair Overhaul Red Edition

Auction ends in: 1 week, 11 hours


New Wave Toys Dragon's Lair X Replicade Overhaul Edition Arcade 1/6

Auction ends in: 3 weeks, 6 days



Auction ends in: 4 weeks, 4 hours


Dragons Lair Marquee Game/Rec Room Display Light Box

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New Wave Toys RepliCade Dragon's Lair Limited Edition 12" Arcade Machine

Auction ends in: 3 weeks, 6 days


Dragon's Lair original monitor, working with good color

Auction ends in: 3 weeks, 6 days


Auction Results

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Auctions Recap

Year Count Median $ Average $
2018 1 5,546.00 5,546.00
All Years 1 5,546.00 5,546.00


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