Apparently yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the revolutionary video game Dragon’s Lair. What made Dragon’s Lair different is that instead of it using computer graphics, it was a fully 2-D animated cartoon from Don Bluth studios that ran on a laser disk.
Here’s what Wikipedia says about Dragon’s Lair:
Dragon’s Lair is a laserdisc video game published by Cinematronics in 1983. It featured animation created by ex-Disney animator Don Bluth.
Most other games of the era represented the character as a sprite, which consisted of a series of pixels displayed in succession. Due to hardware limitations of the era, artists were greatly restricted in the detail they could achieve using that technique; the resolution, framerate and number of frames were severely constrained. Dragon’s Lair overcame those limitations by tapping into the vast storage potential of the laserdisc, but imposed other limitations on the actual gameplay.
The success of the game sparked numerous home ports, sequels and related games. In the 21st century it has been repackaged in a number of formats (such as for the iPhone) as a “retro” or historic game.
It is currently one of only three video games (along with Pong and Pac-Man) in storage at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
I still remember when the game was released they did a story about it coming to my hometown on the evening news. My dad knew I’d love to see and play the game, and I think was fascinated at that new technology himself, so he drove me to the one QuickTrip in downtown Tulsa, Ok that had the game first so I could play it. There was a huge crowd there and everyone wanted a look at it. It was the first game I can remember that cost $0.50. We got in line and waited… for a long time. But finally I got to play it. And I was terrible, but you knew this was a leap forward in video game technology.
Yes, I DO have a full set of the action figure series from the short lived AnJon company. I have them at my office at work. I thought that appropriate since I work for a video game company.
Now technology has advanced so far in the 30 years since I have the exact ROM of this game playable on both my phone and tablet. To this day when ever I play Dragon’s Lair I remember that Saturday 30 years ago.
||Posted by Julius Marx