November 26, 2015
Created by · Dave Hallock
Hardware adaptation · Shaun Wood
Beta testing · Tony M. Victorino
Hover your pointer over the large textDL2E is here! on this page for detailed information.
The "DL2E" software is a Dragon's Lair II Enhancement. With DL2E loaded onto a Merlin MultiROM board, and a video source, your Dragon's Lair (or Space Ace) game can play Time Warp the way it was supposed to in 1984!
Alternate climax scene to be restored!
If you didn't know, Time Warp has an alternate climax scene, which the Leland Corporation (alone) decided to cut from their arcade version of DL2. The Dexter laserdisc replacement device will be able to use an extended video file to add this missing scene back in! Using Dexter, DL2E plans to restore the animators' original game design where collecting all the magic items during the game will trigger the appearance of this alternate scene. More details on this are below.
QUESTIONS SO FAR? Hover your pointer for answers...
VIDEO OF DL2E IN ACTION
Here is a gameplay demonstration, and there is another video below that focuses on the collection of items during the game.
CHOOSING BETWEEN MERLIN-1000, MERLIN-8000 & MERLIN-DX FIRMWARE
The version of Merlin you need depends on which laserdisc player (LDP) or other video source (Dexter) you're going to use. Hover for details.
It's a shame that Leland cut a scene from the film before pressing their DL2 laserdiscs. I'm excited at the ability to offer Time Warp's alternate climax scene with Dexter, which makes it the preferred version of DL2E. And, in addition to Dragon's Lair, Space Ace and Time Warp, the future just might even bring more games to your Merlin, Dexter and Cinematronics hardware combination! Not to mention that all games in a Merlin-Dx system are completely switchable on the fly from the game's control panel, without ever needing to open your game cabinet! So, consider the benefit of Dexter as a long term solution for aging players and discs, and save the DL2 discs for people who need them in their Leland cabinets.
Dexter's video will also include literally dozens of authentic, 1984-style still-images for all of DL2E's text requirements... as if the game had been released in 1984.
(as opposed to using Dexter's character generator to superimpose text)
ITEM COLLECTION VIDEO
Here is a demonstration of DL2E performing perfectly elegant transitions to the item collection sequences using the LD-V8000. Notice the hammer in particular... even the super fast-moving background art is frozen in precisely the correct spot! These sequences were designed & animated to be completely seamless, both when they start and when they end.
The digital frame buffer of the LD-V8000 should always be enabled with DL2E to prevent black-outs. For Dragon's Lair, some people prefer the screen to go black after completing a scene, because the changes of environment in that game can sometimes be abrupt, but there is no occasion during Time Warp where the action looks better with a black-out.
ENHANCEMENTS Hover for details...
Here are some of DL2E's enhancements, as compared to the Leland Corporation's 1991 arcade game.
And these are some enhancements that DL2E brings to the general style of the original Dragon's Lair and Space Ace games.
Press start, and watch the video for flashes of light. Move Dirk towards the flash by tapping the joystick in the correct direction, then let go. When Dirk's sword flashes, press the sword button. If your input is accepted and is correct, you will hear a tone. If your input is accepted but is not correct, you will hear a flat version of the tone and lose a life. If your input is not accepted at all, then you will hear a buzz sound - try again. A correct action will never be accepted before the flash occurs. All moves must be made after the start of the flash. Magic items that you can collect will appear during the game and flash separately, causing two flashes at once. Choose wisely!
Every correct action is worth a base 500 points. This amount increases by collecting magic items. Each item will add 50 points to the base. For example, after you've collected 3 items, you'll get 650 points for every correct action. The magic items themselves are also worth points. Your first item is worth 5,000, and additional items will continue to increase in value (by 500 each for the laserdisc versions of the game, and 1,000 each for the Dexter version). Each item's value will flash in your score display as Dirk picks it up. Magic items can become very valuable, which is crucial for earning extra lives. Finally, there is one more bonus score. Complete an entire level* without losing any lives, and you will get a 1 point bonus! That might sound silly, but it may actually be the most interesting score of the game. Without it, the last digit of your score always remains a zero. These 1 point bonuses represent how many levels you've completed without any mistakes. When your game is over, you can easily see how many it was. And of course, this means that the maximum possible score for DL2E can only be obtained by never losing a life!
*Each 'level' ends with the activation of the time machine.
See the DIP switch settings chart below for the available options. When the feature is activated, a bonus life will be awarded at the selected score intervals. A chime will be heard with each award.
For the Merlin-Dx version of the software only: In addition to maximizing score, the magic items can also affect the ending of the game. If you collect every item, Daphne will be protected from the Death Ring.
DIP SWITCH SETTINGS
Remember that the switch numbers printed in white on your game's PCB run from 0-7, and not 1-8.
Switches A4, A6, B0, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5 are only used with the other games in the Merlin MultiROM.
There is no recommended setting for the starting lives and extra lives.
However, here is the suggested order for how the settings rank in terms of game difficulty,
based upon averages of how soon lives can become available for use during the game:
|Setting (easiest to hardest)||Maximum lives attainable|
|5 lives ‑ extra @ 70K||9|
|5 lives ‑ extra @ 80K|| 9|
|5 lives ‑ extra @ 100K|| 8|
|3 lives ‑ extra @ 50K|| 9|
|3 lives ‑ extra @ 60K|| 8|
|5 lives ‑ no extra|| 5|
|3 lives ‑ extra @ 70K|| 7|
|3 lives ‑ no extra||3|
THE ALTERNATE SCENE
Here are all the details about it! There are no spoilers in the next paragraph.
The alternate scene is designed to replace the segment that the Leland Corporation called 'level 7' if Dirk collects all the magic items during the game. The intended variable nature of this scene is the only reason that a break exists in the animation between what Leland called 'level 7' and 'level 8'. (These are not supposed to be considered two different levels. The complete game has 7 levels.) The sole purpose of the break is not to start a new level, but to act as the seam where both versions of the climax could converge and transition smoothly into the last half of the level. For some reason, Leland totally scrapped this concept and even went so far as to cut the alternate scene from their laserdiscs. Boo! (There is still PLENTY of empty space left on the DL2 disc.) To make matters worse, Leland then incorrectly identified the break in the animation as the start of a new level, and called it 'level 8'.
Each of the following pop-ups will now slowly progress to completely spoiling the alternate scene.
Here is another video, in which beta tester Tony M. Victorino plays through a few levels of the Merlin-1000 version of DL2E.
I'm told that the hovering pop-up text boxes on this page do not work with some touch devices.
Here is a link to all the text that appears in the pop-up boxes.
Check out the D-L-P forum discussion of DL2E that started in July 2015.
This initial release of DL2E is version 1.0, and an additional digit is shown in the score display when the game is turned on:
1.0.0 is the Merlin-Dx version
1.0.1 is the Merlin-1000 version
1.0.8 is the Merlin-8000 version
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