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A valiant knight, Dirk the Daring is on a quest to rescue the fair princess from the clutches of an evil dragon.


Don Bluth


Rick Dyer (concept)

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Credited cast:
Dan Molina Dan Molina ... Dirk the Daring (voice)
Vera Pacheco Vera Pacheco ... Princess Daphne (voice) (as Vera Lanpher)
Michael Rye Michael Rye ... Narrator (voice)
Dave Spafford Dave Spafford ... Lizard King (voice)


The first laserdisc game and the first to use regular cell animation for the graphics. In this game, you play Dirk the Daring, a knight who must rescue a princess by exploring a castle filled with deadly dangers which require quick wits and precise timing to overcome. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Light years ahead of its time... Lase disc animation now. See more »


E | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

19 June 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dragon's Lair See more »


Box Office


$1,300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Although the audio was recorded in mono, 'Dragon's Lair' was the first video game with stereo sound. In the arcades, the sound effects from user input would alternate speakers. See more »


When the player dies in the room with the collapsible stairway, Dirk has a large, bulbous nose as he slides down. See more »


Dirk the Daring: [the floor is coming out from under Dirk] Uh oh.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Gameboy Color version has all of the levels but are shortened and missing some sound effects. other than that, the Gameboy Color version contains a bilingual language (English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Japanese, and Chinese). See more »


Featured in Until We Win: Dragon's Lair (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Technically impressive... and bordering on unplayable
4 August 2007 | by mstrormSee all my reviews

Disclaimers; I didn't play Dragon's Lair when it first came out (although I'm theoretically old enough to). Secondly, I'm judging this from the Interactive DVD version.

Yes, by the standards of the time, Dragon's Lair is pretty. I even remember seeing an Amiga conversion of Space Ace in the late 1980s and being incredibly impressed. But is Dragon's Lair a good game or not? By today's standards, absolutely not. So we should make allowances for when it came out right? Er, no. There are games like "Asteroids" that stand up incredibly well today because they're so playable. And then there are games like Dragon's Lair.

Although I never played it at the time, I imagine I'd have been as impressed as anyone else- if not more- by its beautiful graphics. But let's be honest; that's about all it has. Dragon's Lair's appeal was always style over substance. (It's no surprise that the Amiga conversion that so impressed me was lambasted for its lack of playability.)

Yes, the animation is quite nice (although I wouldn't describe it as outstanding). However, if Laserdisc/FMV games were so great, ask yourself why they never took off and dominated the market in the way that Bluth predicted they would? The answer is they generally have horrible playability, reliant on figuring out the correct (fixed) set of actions at the correct time, and generally being quite frustrating to play. Well, this sums up Dragon's Lair perfectly.

It's often not clear what to do, and getting past the scenes is more a question of figuring out (or guessing) what to do and memorising it. This is horribly frustrating.

There's no plot as such in Dragon's Lair, just a bunch of hazardous scenes in which our hero dies, dies and dies again. The animation clips are generally short and abrupt, almost too short to be even watchable. At least it doesn't have the incredibly bad acting of live action FMV games...

I salute Dragon's Lair for doing something technically innovative at the time, and as I said I can understand why people liked it back then. However as a game, it's bordering on unplayable, and I suspect that this was always the case. It's an insult to the truly classic video games to excuse Dragons Lair's shortcomings as a product of their time. They're not; they're a product of style over substance.

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