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by ASchultz

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Guide and Walkthrough by ASchultz

Version: 1.0.0 | Updated: 09/12/2016

Dragon's Lair (ARCADE) FAQ/Walkthrough version 1.0.0

copyright 2016 by Andrew Schultz blurglecruncheon@gmail.com

INTRODUCTION

This is a guide to playing Dragon's Lair with the Daphne emulator on your PC. It is also "only" for easy mode, which is tough enough, and hard mode is just too hard. This guide probably works for the DVD version, too, minus a few of the bonus rooms added, but you need to move earlier. Sometimes this makes things counterintuitive, such as with the flaming ropes. You don't see Dirk backed up against the wall before he needs to grab the ropes. The emulated version works better.

I won't get into directory install details, but I'll point out the directories I have in c:gamesdaphne. You need a frame file, the ROM, and one of many image versions.

  • cache
  • DLCDROM
  • framefile
  • images
  • pics
  • ram
  • roms
  • sound
  • vldp_dl

And you can get a rough idea what goes where.

I like the Daphne emulator better because you don't have to anticipate moves so much.

I also won't discuss scoring. See http://www.dragons-lair-project.com/games/related/score/dl/easy.asp for notes: note that symmetrical rooms don't have the same points each way.

RESOURCES/STRATEGIES

http://dragons-lair-project.com/ is a fantastic resource for Dragon's Lair and all laser disc video games.

YouTube can show you a lot of the scenes in case you are curious. If the links below ever disappear, there's more than one.

Every death scene is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l464ZF5jK3Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzCBkYTdjDc is an example of scene-based walkthroughs.

There are a lot of walkthroughs, though they're not for the arcade version, but the slightly scrambled DVD version.

Taking the time to look through any walkthrough can give you an idea of how scenes start. You don't need to memorize them all, but you do need to recall them. Starting the scene right is often sufficient to reference the story in your head of how the game should go.

CONTROLS

Forward, back, left, right, sword. Dirk has a time frame where the right move will work. Sometimes it is more than one. You may also be killed if you move too early.

It's important to recognize the buzz and the tone. The buzz means the move is not correct at this time. It may be the right move at the wrong time, or it may be a mulligan or the wrong move.

The tone means the move registered. It may kill Dirk, but most of the time, it means success. In some cases, you can overwrite a move that makes a tone, which can be very bad indeed. So you can't frontload moves or switch to the new one too soon.

COMMAND LINE/GUI SETTINGS

DaphneLoader.exe works well if you have a Dragon's Lair CD. You can use the GUI to decide how many lives you get, and so forth.

daphne.exe lair vldp -framefile framefiledlcdrom.TXT -useoverlaysb 1 -fastboot -bank 1 01110010

is a command for just DAPHNE that gives infinite lives. -fastboot and -useoverlaysb are also useful. However, DaphneLoader's GUI is remarkably easy to use, so I recommend it.

I also really recommend using infinite lives until you get the hang of each room. The boulders are particularly frustrating.

BUGS

There seems to be a small bug with infinite lives if you lose too many scenarios (8 or more.) The game simply skips over later ones. This is probably because the game creators probably kept memory for at most five rooms you did not solve and couldn't really have anticipated infinite-life play. Memory was valuable back then! However, playing the DVD version directly, you will hit all these rooms. The drawback is that you have to anticipate moves a lot more.

This is a bug that works in your favor if you just want to get to the Dragon's Lair, but if you want to master every scene before winning honestly with finite lives, it means you'll need to replay to make sure of things, that you're able to solve all the rooms. It may be hard to remember which rooms you got killed on, so you may want to keep track of that separately to make sure you don't miss a room. It may be as simple as just making a notch each time you lose. Plus there will always be that one room that is mosttricy for you, and it's useful to have infinite tries at it.

WALKTHROUGH

There are 39 total rooms, counting mirror images and duplicates. But it's really more like 24, if you count all the elevators as duplicates. Sequencing is explained in detail, with pictures, at http://www.dragons-lair-project.com/games/related/sequence.asp. One thing to remember is that if rooms are visually mirrorred, the rooms are, too, but the timing may be subtly different.

There are also alternate ways through, but I wanted to give the ones that work best for me.

HEURISTICS

It's a good idea to recognize each room and know the first move. I visualized Dirk's path through each room. You don't have to know which rooms are in which set, but it helps to know which rooms start quickly and be on the alert. The elevators provide a reset. I try to just place the symmetrical rooms with the odd one out, then remember if certain rooms come early or late. Rooms do slowly get tougher or longer.

SET 1

You should be ready to push forward here, even though you're more likely to get the ropes. That's because the ropes give you more time to react.

CLOSING WALL

Push forward. You have some time to do this, but not a ton. This is clearly different from the ropes, so you can recognize it. You should notice the wall flashing forward as a last resort, if you need it.

  • FORWARD

ROPES

You can hit left (or right) depending on which way the ropes come at you, when the tone starts. You can also wait, and you'll have a split-second for Dirk to grab the ropes dramatically after an "uh oh" sequence. This isn't really fair--players probably panicked and just pushed right, with no way to know the view would shift again.

Timing here is such, for if Dirk grabbed the first rope quickly: you want to jump from a rope when Dirk extends his hand, but if you wait too long, there's no momentum to jump to the next one.

If he didn't, he must be more exact, going right just after he releases his hand.

  • RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT

SET 2

Both of these are pretty easy. One is the easiest in the game. The horse leaves you plenty of time to duck, but don't get too eager.

DRINK ME

An easy level, but it brings up a basic principle. Dirk should always find a door to the next room. In this case, the door is to the right. Drink the potion for humor or curiosity value only, and with the infinite lives cheat on.

  • RIGHT

FLYING HORSE

This is kind of odd. Dirk can anticipate the moves as long as you don't do it too far in advance. You need to be a bit more careful when you go LEFT to start, too. Just wait for the fire to flash or, with the dead end, when it shows up. There are pillars all over the place, so if Dirk avoids too early, he hits one of them.

  • RIGHT away from the fireplace
  • LEFT away from the fireplace
  • RIGHT away from the fire and pillar
  • LEFT away from the fire and pillar
  • LEFT away from the dead end wall
  • LEFT away from the fire and pillar

SKELETONANZA

I always got caught trying to kill the skulls with the sword. Dirk exits the main corridor on the same side his sword is on. Every other move is a sword. And it'd be 3 forward/sword except for how you need to avoid the tar at the end.

  • FORWARD to avoid the bobbing skulls
  • SWORD to kill the skeletal hand
  • FORWARD to avoid the tar
  • SWORD to kill the skeletal hand
  • LEFT/RIGHT (opposite side of the hand) to avoid the sword
  • SWORD early to get rid of the Crypt Creeps

=THE RIVER

This is just three sets of four alternating horizontal directions, with right at the end. You only go the same way twice, the first after getting through Ye Boulders. That's thirteen moves total, but they're not terribly hard.

Ye Boulders: start by going left.

Ye Rapids: start by going right.

Ye Whirlpools: start by going right.

Dirk has enough time to grab the chain after it flashes.

  • LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, (rapids) RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, (whirlpools) RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, (chain) RIGHT

SET 4

Either scenario should not give you any problems. Just don't confuse the simple elevator with the much darker-hued nine-stop elevator.

SIMPLE ELEVATOR (2)

This is one you have to go through twice, but it isn't mirrored. Dirk must simply jump to the LEFT at one of the three stops. However, you need to time things. I would advise letting the first stop past, then pushing left when you hear the next tone. If you're nervous about timing, then you can time the final jump LEFT.

  • LEFT

AVALANCHE

Dirk can simply keep trying to go right towards the open door until it works, here.

  • RIGHT
  • RIGHT

SET 5

This is where I start losing track of my order-memory, the first one after the elevators. None of these is too tough if you're prepared, but you do have some timing issues.

RAINBOW U=

There's a lot of time to push down each time a pool ball passes in front of you. Don't pass too soon or you'll get crushed. However, it's ok to push down if the colored ball is right in front of you, because Dirk takes time to run.

Yellow, red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple.

Finally, don't push up too soon after pushing down from the purple, or you'll get crushed, because the game re-registers your move. Wait not for the tone but for the final ball getting crushed. You actually have less time than is perfectly fair to push up to jump over the crack you could probably just walk around, but eh, well.

  • DOWN
  • DOWN
  • DOWN
  • DOWN
  • DOWN
  • DOWN
  • UP

ELECTRIC CAVE

Push forward immediately. There's a timing puzzle here next, but it's not too bad. Push forward when the door is open. You can do so three times, so don't dawdle. This caught me at first.

You can push left once the geyser subsides. There's an ominous awkward break in the video after you do, but I think that's just a bug.

  • FORWARD at the start.
  • FORWARD with the chomping door open.
  • LEFT once the geyser recedes.

BLACK KNIGHT

Dirk should jump whatever way he's facing, and he should always tumble under the path of the oncoming horse. This doesn't seem perfectly logical, but it's consistent.

  • LEFT once Dirk hears hoofbeats. Thorns will sprout up on the right.
  • LEFT again once Dirk hears hoofbeats. Thorns will sprout up on the right.
  • RIGHT after Dirk hyperventilates.

SET 6

One room is a lot easier than it looks, and the other may be the hardest room in the game if only for the timing, and it's mirrored, too.

LIZARD KING

Dirk wants to run the other way when the Lizard King raises his scepter. Then once Dirk's sword stops running away, bash the sword button.

  • LEFT
  • RIGHT at the pentagon doorway
  • RIGHT at the tall pentagon doorway
  • RIGHT at the oval doorway
  • RIGHT at the diamond doorway
  • RIGHT at the trapezoid-shaped opening
  • SWORD continually. You get no points for anything past the first time, but you still have to do it.

TWIRLING BOULDERS (2)

The twirling boulders are tricky but give you a couple chances to get through. Rather than watch them spin, I prefer to look and listen for clearer clues.

The orange (darker) boulder is the same side as hand dirk reaches out with, opposite of his sword side. Yellow is his sword side.

Which side is Dirk's sword/the yellow boulder on?

LEFT: Dirk's right hand goes out

Dirk goes ooh, ooh, ah, ah.

  • when you hear the 2nd OOH, take a very slight pause and go forward. Don't anticipate it.
  • just before 4th "ah" - you need to watch it here. The time between the "ooh" and "ah" is shorter, but the pause between the "ah" and "ah" is the same as between the "ooh" and "ah."

RIGHT: Dirk's left hand goes out

Dirk goes ooh, ah, ah, ooh.

  • you can go through quickly after 2 whooshes, but before the first ooh. This is kind of tricky.
  • ooh, ah, ah -- once Dirk finishes the third ah, and his hand goes out a bit, go forward. This is the clearest visual cue and probably the safest.

Breathing is audible in a successful push forward

  • FORWARD past the boulders
  • SWORD when the wraith flashes. Don't dawdle here. You can afford to anticipate moves.
  • BACK when the thorns pop up
  • FORWARD when Dirk is near the door

SET 7

You have a fork here between a very easy room and one that more or less just requires patience, but I know I got caught up in the arcade game, a bit too anxious to hit sword.

IF you can remember that the next rooms are tricky at the start, this helps.

WINDY ROOM

Dirk walks forward. Debris starts swirling around. All kinds of funny anachronisms. Dirk has two choices: a gem by a pit, or the door to the right.

  • RIGHT to exit the room safely.

SMITHIE (2)

Sword, sword, horizontal, sword.

Don't use your sword until a weapon flies at you, or you'll die. At least, when Dirk's sword is on the right. However, you can use the sword on the Smithie early.

The side Dirk's sword is on is the way to go when the anvil appears. However, you can also just remember to jump away from the fire, because that's sensible.

  • SWORD when the glowing sword descends
  • SWORD when the glowing sword descends
  • LEFT/RIGHT to avoid the anvil and the fire
  • SWORD when the spear rises and focus shifts horizontally
  • SWORD when the Smithie grunts

SET 8

The snake room is one you need to recognize right away, either by sight or sound. The goop room seems generic but is worth recognizing too. The tentacle room gives you plenty of time to prepare. I tend to think of this as the "icky level."

SNAKE ROOM

You need to recognize and kill the snakes pretty quickly. But when the rope flashes, push forward.

  • SWORD
  • SWORD
  • SWORD
  • start pushing FORWARD quickly so Dirk takes the rope out

TENTACLE ROOM

I remember thinking this looked impossible, but once I played through it, I realized you just gotta go where the tentacles ain't.

You need to look for what area is clear and go there. The heuristic for this is, SWORD, then go in a circle to the exit.

  • SWORD for the first tentacle.
  • FORWARD to the weapon rack, which flashes.
  • RIGHT to the door, which flashed.
  • BACK to the stairs.
  • LEFT to the bench. The clue for going back left isn't really helpful, as it comes too late.
  • FORWARD to the opening/shutting door. It doesn't flash, but everywhere else is covered.

GOOP ROOM

You sort of have to anticipate where the goop will pop up, here. It's possible to react quickly enough, but a bit of knowledge makes this a breeze.

  • FORWARD when Dirk sees the first of the goop.
  • SWORD to kill the monster that appears from the phial.
  • BACK to retreat from the goop.
  • SWORD to kill the monster in the cauldron.
  • RIGHT to get out of here through the door.

SET 9

Three four-move rooms that shouldn't cause much problem. You just have to recognize how to start. The slide room has a shot of Dirk from behind, which gives you a bit of time to recognize and prepare. The fire room looks a bit generic, but you have time to avoid the bolt from the ceiling.

GIDDY GOONS

  • SWORD to kill the goons behind you.
  • RIGHT to get away from the next ones.
  • SWORD to kill the ones that appear ahead.
  • FORWARD is optional at the end. Dirk wins either way.

SLIDE ROOM

You generally have a lot of time for actions here. With only two directions to go, it's pretty trivial, too. You need to be on the lookout at the start, as Dirk must move quickly.

  • LEFT so Dirk doesn't fall in the pit.
  • SWORD to kill the weird pink tentacled monster.
  • LEFT to avoid the reinforcements. They don't look more dangerous than the previous, but why should Dirk dawdle?
  • LEFT to enter the portal that hasn't opened yet. This is a tricky one, because it seems like the chain could open the portal. But in fact it opens up a dam and washed Dirk away.

FIRE ROOM

There are actually many alternate directions, but the trick is to know that you need to push the bench aside.

Only needing two directions works.

  • RIGHT after the first lightning/fire strike
  • LEFT after the first lightning/fire strike
  • LEFT after the first lightning/fire strike
  • LEFT to remove the bench

You can also go there-and-back, once in each direction

  • RIGHT after the first lightning/fire strike
  • FORWARD after the next lightning/fire strike
  • BACK after the next lightning/fire strike
  • LEFT to remove the bench

SET 10

Crumbling passages are a theme here. You can get good points, and though there's tension, there's also really only one way to go.

EARTHQUAKE ROOM (2)

Look for the side Dirk's sword is on. You will be zigzagging that way, with a sword to kill the spider. There are a lot of moves, but it's sideways-up 3 times, sword, sideways-up.

  • LEFT
  • UP to avoid the knives
  • RIGHT
  • UP into the pool
  • LEFT to avoid the eels
  • UP
  • SWORD to kill the spider. The clicking noise replacing the crumbling is a clue you don't need to run.
  • RIGHT to get near the door.
  • UP to escape.

After killing the spider, be careful pushing right too much. The game may think you want to push right when the blocks come to crush you. So push until you hear the tone, then stop.

BATWALK

Some anticipation is needed here, but it's not too drastic. Do the last two moves quickly together.

  • Dirk has nowhere to go but FORWARD.
  • Once the path behind him crumbles, Dirk really has nowhere to go but FORWARD.
  • The sound of bats suggests Dirk will need to fend them off with his SWORD.
  • The only open walkway is to the RIGHT.
  • Dirk needs to jump immediately to the RIGHT before that walkway collapses.

SET 11

This set has one mirrored room that requires a bit of direction-mashing and anticipation, and one that really is not too bad.

ELECTRIC KNIGHT (2)

Look for the side Dirk's sword is on. You will have plenty of time. Go opposite that way, first. Then remember you make pairs of opposite horizontal moves.

  • LEFT
  • RIGHT
  • UP (you may have to anticipate a bit here--the game gives you a split second)
  • RIGHT (no rush here, but you may wish to anticipate alternate moves from now on. Listen for the tone, then switch the way you push.)
  • LEFT
  • RIGHT
  • LEFT (you definitely want to hit this immediately after the previous. The game's a bit unfair here, but the point is, you want to stay as near the knight as possible so you can finally kill it.)
  • SWORD (you have lots of time for this)

KING BAT

  • You sort of have to guess you need to use your SWORD first. There don't seem to be many bats, but there you go.
  • The crumbing ledge pushes you LEFT.
  • You need to go UP to jump the crumbling stairs. You have a brief time after it flashes.
  • The SWORD disposes of the King Bat. Dirk will go left automatically.

SET 12

These are all graphically impressive and imaginative, but ironically, the toughest may be the shortest.

VANISHING CHECKERBOARD

This is an odd one that can take you by surprise. It's got some definite timing pitfalls, too.

  • BACK first thing to avoid the fire.
  • Wait for the fire ahead to disappear, then quickly go FORWARD so the checkerboard doesn't vanish under you.
  • Then start hitting LEFT for all it's worth. The rest of the checkerboard will disappear quickly. Forward traps you in a cage.

ELECTRIC THRONE

This is a fast but intuitive level. On the overhead view, there's only one way for Dirk to go. Then when he's on the throne, the electric current pushes him one way.

  • RIGHT as the purple circle disappears
  • UP as the purple circle disappears more
  • RIGHT as the purple circle disappears more
  • RIGHT after the throne spins

MUD MONSTERS

You can pretty much hit sword then keep nudging forward once Dirk has his sword back to get through here. The exception is to wait until Dirk has a running start to jump over the river, or he'll fall in.

  • SWORD to make the monsters back off.
  • When Dirk's sword pops back in his sheath, and the view changes, hit FORWARD.
  • When the view changes again and the monsters are at the bottom, hit FORWARD
  • Another quick view change. FORWARD.
  • Another quick view change. Dirk is between a green geyser and a brown. FORWARD.
  • A geyser flashes ahead. FORWARD.
  • When Dirk is at the end of the plank, FORWARD.
  • Dirk can go FORWARD any time to jump over the next geyser.
  • A final FORWARD with the mud monsters on each side wins.

SET 13

After this, remember there will be the ropes or closing wall. The deep elevator is darker than the normal elevator. After completing this, be prepared for the closing wall and/or ropes.

DEEP ELEVATOR

Dirk will need to jump the opposite of the way he originally faces. Well, for the first three stops. If you wait, then it reverses his direction. There are nine stops total.

This is just like the simple elevator, only Dirk has three chances. The only difference is, you get more points for the lowest or middle triad.

DRAGON'S LAIR

  • Start hitting left once Dirk oh so tastefully goes "Mmm Mmm."
  • Once the dragon wakes up, hit left so Dirk hides behind the gold pile.
  • You can hit left when you see the jars and such wobbling to Dirk's left. No need to wait or them to flash. Daphne then tells you what to do in a semi-long cut-scene.
  • When Dirk begins to duck behind the crystal pillar, hit left.
  • When Dirk is behind the wooden pillar, hit left.
  • When Dirk runs by the wooden pillar, hit right.
  • When Dirk runs past the sword, hit up.
  • When Dirk and Singe are in the picture, hit sword to get it.
  • Hit sword again to block Singe's fire blast.
  • Once Dirk blocks the blast, go forward, then hit sword.

VERSIONS

1.0.0: sent to GameFAQs 9/12/2016, Easy version complete. Undecided if I want to do Hard Mode, which is really nitpicky with timing in some cases.

CREDITS

  • Thanks to the folks at http://dragons-lair-project.com/ for having so much good information. I hope this adds to it by giving details about the when, etc.
  • Thanks to the usual GameFAQs writing gang, current and emeritus. They know who they are, and you should, too, because they get/got some SERIOUS writing done. Good people too--bloomer, falsehead, Sashanan, Masters, Retro, Snow Dragon/Brui5ed Ego, ZoopSoul, War Doc, Brian Sulpher, AdamL, odino, JDog and others I forgot. OK, even Hydrophant in his current not-yet-banned message board incarnation. I am not part of his gang, but I want him to be part of mine. Also thanks to the Facebook GameFAQs group (Ryan Harrison, Devin Morgan and others I missed) for just being there even though I'm not on Facebook much.
  • Thanks to all MAME/DAPHNE developers past and present that let me break down and play this game so it kept being interesting and challenging!
Old school guide/map writer. Also the author of text adventures Ailihphilia, Shuffling Around/A Roiling Original (anagrams,) Very Vile Fairy File, Quite Queer Night Near, The Problems Compound, Threediopolis and Fourdiopolis.