( USA / Cinematronics / 1983 Arcade )
Ever wonder what the order was for the different scenes in Dragon's Lair? Some people say it was random, some people say it wasn't. Some people have a general idea of how it was, and some people don't. Below you will see the actual scene sequencing for Dragon's Lair. There is no guesswork here.... this is the way it was whether you remember it that way or not :) Review diagram 'A' below and then read the General Information section at the bottom of the page. The information should answer any question that you may have.
|1a - Fire Pit (ropes)
1b - Fire Pit (ropes) (reversed)
2 - Bower (bedroom / closing wall)
|3a - Flying Barding
3b - Flying Barding (reversed)
4 - Wizard's Kitchen ("Drink Me")
|5a - Mausoleum (Crypt Creeps)
5b - Mausoleum (Crypt Creeps) (reversed)
6 - Pirates of the Caribbean (underground river)
|7a - Elevator Floor (3 levels) (see text below)
8 - Vestibule (small crumbling room)
|9 - Boulder Trench (colored balls)
10 - Three Caves (jagged door / geyser)
11 - Knight & Light (Black Knight / horse)
|12a - Socker Boppers (Grim Reaper)
12b - Socker Boppers (Grim Reaper) (reversed)
13 - Pot of Gold (Lizard King)
|14a - Forge (Smithee)
14b - Forge (Smithee) (reversed)
15 - Breathing Door (wind room)
|16 - Tentacles & Halberd
17 - Mist Room (snakes)
18 - Wizard's Chamber (Acid Creature / Cauldron Wizard)
|19 - YMCA Room (flattening stairs)
20 - Spiral Staircase (Giddy Goons)
21 - Fire Room (lightning / bench over exit)
|22a - Yellow Brick Road (pool of water / spider)
22b - Yellow Brick Road (pool of water / spider) (reversed)
23 - Catwalk (bats)
|24a - Chapel (Robot Knight / checkered floor)
24b - Chapel (Robot Knight / checkered floor) (reversed)
25 - Giant Bat
|26 - Throne Room
27 - Tilting Room
28 - Mudmen
|7a - Elevator Floor (9 levels) (see text below)
7b - Elevator Floor (9 levels) (reversed) (see text below)
29 - Dragon's Lair
The following text is very intensive, as it was originally written as a technical guide at the request of Digital Leisure, while we at D-L-P.com were assisting them with their first "arcade authentic" CD-ROM release of Dragon's Lair. In other words, this wasn't intended to be a casual web read when we wrote it.
There are three cycles in a full game. The three columns in this diagram above correspond to these three cycles. For the first cycle, the CPU randomly chooses one scene from the top row, then proceeds to pick one scene from each successive row. For example, a game always randomly begins with a flaming ropes scene (1A or 1B) or the closing brick wall in the bower (2). The second scene of any game will always be the flying barding (3A or 3B) or 'drink me' (4), etc. When the bottom row is reached and twelve scenes have been played, the first cycle of the game is over. At the end of the first cycle, scene 7A (elevator floor) is always played. (There is never random selection of a scene in the bottom row.) Further, this is the only time in the game that the player is allowed to drop through all nine levels in scene 7A. The other two 7As which appear earlier in the fourth row of the diagram will always only allow a player to drop through three levels, after which the scene will otherwise cut to Dirk crashing to the bottom.
When the first cycle is over and 7A has been played successfully, the CPU returns to the top of the diagram for the second cycle, and randomly continues again with scene 1A, 1B, or 2, choosing from whichever two scenes were not played in the first cycle. All scenes played during the first cycle are now out of the shuffle for the second and third cycles. In effect, the CPU "crosses off" the numbers in the diagram as they are played. No scene, (except 7A, which is played three times in a full game, and appears three times in the diagram), is ever chosen more than once (on easier difficulty settings*) unless a player dies in that scene (explained later). Note that mirror images of the same scenes (A & B) are considered separate scenes by the CPU, and are both played during one full game. At the end of the second cycle, the CPU always chooses scene 7B (elevator floor, second appearance on the laserdisc) from the bottom row. This is the only time 7B is played during a game, and it is always played at this point. A player is allowed to drop through all nine levels in scene 7B. When 7B has been played successfully, the CPU returns to the top of the diagram for the third cycle.
During the third cycle, all the final remaining unplayed scenes from each row are now chosen. There is no further random element to scene selection during the third cycle. At the end of the third cycle, the CPU plays the dragon's lair (29), unless a player has died in any previous scenes in the game. Scenes that a player has died on must be replayed and completed successfully before playing scene 29. Whenever a player dies throughout the three cycles of the game, the next life begins with a new scene. The CPU proceeds to the next scene in the next row in the diagram (beginning with that scene's resurrection / skeleton intro animation). The scenes that a player dies on are queued, (an unlimited lives game queues a maximum of 8 scenes for each player), and these scenes are replayed later, immediately after the third cycle, before entering the dragon's lair (29). They are replayed in the same order that the player originally encountered them. If a player dies in any scene on the second try, that scene repeats again immediately, and it keeps repeating until it is completed, or until the game is over. When the scenes a player died on are completed successfully, scene 29 is played until it is completed, or until the game is over.
Two exceptions to the above paragraph are scenes 7A and 7B (elevator floor). Whenever a player dies on the nine-level versions of scenes 7A or 7B in the bottom row of the diagram, that scene must be replayed immediately until it is completed successfully, or until the game is over, before the CPU will return to the top of the diagram to select a new scene to begin the next cycle of the game. If a player dies on either three-level version of scene 7A in the fourth row of the diagram, that scene is not replayed again immediately, it becomes queued for replay after the third cycle of the game, and the CPU continues with a scene from the fifth row. If a player dies on both of the three-level / fourth-row versions of 7A during one game, the scene is queued twice for replay after the third cycle of the game. A nine-level / bottom-row version of 7A or 7B is never queued for replay after the third cycle.
There are three columns and thirteen rows. One full game contains 39 scenes, three of which are scene 7A. In total, the elevator floor appears four times in a complete game. The CPU does not play the segment of Dirk on the drawbridge. The game opens with a shot of the castle, then a shot of Dirk running through the gates, then a scene from the first row. The crumbling vestibule which appears on the disc after Dirk has run through the castle gates is treated by the CPU as a separate scene in itself (8).
* The hardest difficulty settings have very hard versions of certain scenes (timing-wise) that are randomly thrown into the shuffle, replacing other scenes in the diagram, causing some repeat play.
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