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Dragon's Lair

Platform(s): Nintendo DS, PSP, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action/Adventure

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Dragon's Lair' (NDS) Also Coming to PSP

by Rainier on Jan. 3, 2008 @ 2:16 a.m. PST

Dragon's Lair is an action/adventure game where you fight your way through the castle of a dark wizard who has enchanted it with treacherous monsters and obstacles on a quest to rescue the fair princess Daphne from the clutches of an evil dragon.

Dragon's Lair, the world's first full-animation laser disc video game - debuted in 1983 and features Dirk the Daring, a rather clumsy knight that must make his way through the castle of an evil wizard to save the beautiful Princess Daphne. The game's visionary team of creators (Don Bluth, Rick Dyer, Gary Goldman, John Pomeroy and Chris Stone) was astounded by the public's overwhelming enthusiasm and witnessed lines as long as several city blocks as people of all ages waited to play the game. Currently, Dragon's Lair is one of only three games on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution (the other two are Pac Man and Pong).

United Coders, developers of the Nintendo DS version of the game, are currently putting the final touches to the NDS version, and is currently seeking a publisher for a version of the game on the Sony PSP. In exchange for funding the development and intellectual property cost of Dragon’s Lair for PSP, the publisher will be granted the global publishing rights for the format. United Coders expect to begin development of Dragon’s Lair for PSP in February with a release date of Christmas 2008 on the platform.

The story of Dragon’s Lair is classic: “Dragon’s Lair: The fantasy adventure where you become a valiant knight, on a quest to rescue the fair princess from the clutches of an evil dragon. You control the actions of a daring adventurer, finding his way through the castle of a dark wizard, who has enchanted it with treacherous monsters and obstacles. In the mysterious caverns below the castle, your odyssey continues against the awesome forces that oppose your efforts to reach the Dragon's Lair. Lead on, adventurer. Your quest awaits!”

According to Hans Olsen, the Executive Producer and Lead Programmer, the PSP version will feature, like the NDS version, two distinct modes of play:

“From a players perspective you can choose to play an arcade accurate version simply called Arcade mode, or you can opt to play the more unique Director’s Cut mode. The Arcade mode is exactly what its name implies; a genuine arcade accurate version of the 1983 arcade game with LEDs for scores, featuring the same semi-randomness of the scenes being played. The Arcade mode was implemented to maintain the current hardcore fan base of Dragon’s Lair, which is quite large in numbers, and naturally also because never before has there been an arcade accurate version on any handheld."

"The Director’s Cut mode is very different. One difference is that the Director’s Cut mode features 5 lives instead of the typical 3 lives for Arcade mode. Another difference is that Director’s Cut mode features extra scenes, such as a scene where Dirk the daring has to cross a drawbridge and avoid getting killed by tentacles. This video footage existed in 1983 but was never used in the North American version, only in the European version of the arcade. In Director’s Cut mode, this is always the very first scene you play, as it gives a nice introduction to the player beginning the adventure. The laserdisc from 1983 had a lot of video footage that was never made available to the player in 1983. All this extra footage is now available in Director’s Cut mode, and the amount is quite substantial. Another important difference is that back in 1983, the game played somewhat “semi-random”; some scenes, such as the falling platform, was played no less than 4 times during a single game play session! To new players who has never played Dragon’s Lair before, it’s highly confusing that you need to play the same sequence over and over again, and unlike Arcade mode, the Director’s Cut mode is based on a more linear adventure approach where the scenes are not really played semi-random, but rather in a specific sequence carefully conceived and invented by our Technical Producer, Dave Hallock, who is, without doubt, the worlds leading expert on Dragon’s Lair. Dave Hallock is also one of the few people who has ever reversed engineered the original ROMs, and improved flaws in the original game from 1983."

" But this is only the beginning! In addition to an extra scene, more video footage, more lives, and more logical scene sequencing, the Director’s Cut mode also features a unique scrolling castle showing new players how they are currently progressing throughout the adventure to save princess Daphne. In Director’s Cut mode, you don't play to achieve the highest score; scores doesn’t exist in Director’s Cut mode! You play to save the princess, and the game play experience for a player who has never played Dragon’s Lair before will love the unique Director’s Cut mode. In Arcade mode you have the old-school audio effects, while in Director’s Cut mode we have added more “modern” audio effects to the game. Director’s Cut mode is also the only mode featuring the unique Sony PSP features."

" To summarize, the Arcade mode is for the hardcore fan who wants to play the game from 1983 – unedited from 1983. Director’s Cut mode is aimed at new players more familiar with the Sony PSP as a handheld, but no prior experience to Dragon’s Lair, who seeks an arcade adventure experience featuring fantastic visuals and unique controlling mechanisms “, Olsen concludes.


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