Home News Forum                            

Play your favorite classic games and more with the GameEx front end. Read more.

dlairf: MAME ROM Information.


Dragon's Lair (c) 1983 Cinematronics.

Dragon's Lair is THE original laser disc video game, the video and sound sequences for the game are stored on a LASER DISC. This unprecedented game lets a player participate in an animated AND INTERACTIVE motion-picture experience.

Dragon's Lair is the first game born to the new generation of video games. This unprecedented game is the first motion-picture type fairy tale you interact with.

As Dirk the Daring, a player's goal is to rescue the princess. The adventures along the way are horrible and terrifying, but, a skilled and brave knight, like honor and truth, can prevail.

A player has a choice of 5 moves at any given time. A complete game of Dragon's Lair requires more than 200 correct moves. Timing is critical! Dirk can be too hesitant or too eager to make a move. Only experience and a good memory enable Dirk to complete his mission.

The game opens with the dark visage of a foreboding castle looming in the distance. The next thing you know, you are Dirk, running across the castle drawbridge. The gate clangs shut behind you, and your quest to kill the dragon and save Princess Daphne has begun!

More than 40 possible episodes will be presented to you. Some require many fast repeated moves; others will require fewer, more calculated moves.

Dragon's Lair can be a 1-or 2-player game. If 2 play, 2 twin knights engage in mortal combat with the same demons until they both die (use up their lives), or until one rescues the fair princess from the dragon's lair.

At the beginning of the game, if the player makes a wrong move and loses a life, a new scene will appear at random. Later in the game, a scene that is not completed properly is repeated until it is mastered. Also, when a player loses a life, the scene stops, the screen turns blue, and PLAYER 1 or PLAYER 2 is displayed on the screen, along with that player's number of remaining lives.

As you play the game you may find that sane scenes are repeated, but the image is reversed on the screen (the scene is reversed on the disc, not by the hardware).

Princess Daphne appears during the game, in distress and crying for help. She is unattainable until the end.


The images for the game are stored on a laser disc, a type of storage device. Dragon's Lair uses a laser-disc player made by Philips (model 22VP 932/00) and a Z80 microprocessor to generate the images and action required for game play.

Most of the sounds you hear during game play originate from the disc.

The control panel :

SWORD BUTTONS : Causes Dirk to draw and use his sword.

JOYSTICK : Controls Dirk's movements. Dirk moves in the direction that the joystick is pointed. In some instances, moving Dirk to an object causes him to do something with that object.


Released in June 1983.

The attract mode of the game displays various short vignettes of gameplay with the accompanying narration : 'Dragon's Lair: The fantasy adventure where you become a valiant knight, on a quest to rescue the fair princess from the clutches of an evil dragon. You control the actions of a daring adventurer, finding his way through the castle of a dark wizard, who has enchanted it with treacherous monsters and obstacles. In the mysterious caverns below the castle, your odyssey continues against the awesome forces that oppose your efforts to reach the Dragon's Lair. Lead on, adventurer. Your quest awaits!'

Dragon's Lair was one of the first games to use the then-new Laserdisc format. It was the first game to have feature-quality animation (exactly 22 minutes of full animation at a cost of 1.3 million dollars). This set it apart from the other arcade games of the day which had very primitive graphics.

The animation was done by Don Bluth Studios, which also did feature-length animated movies such as 'The Secret of NIMH' and 'An American Tail'. Don Bluth was a former Disney employee who left to start his own company. To keep the cost as low as possible, they decided not to hire professional voice actors. Instead they all pitched in and did the voices themselves. Sound Engineer, Dan Molina was the voice of Dirk the Daring. Vera Lanpher, head of assistant animators, was the voice of Daphne. The narrator was Michael Rye and the musical score was created by Christopher Stone.

Dirk only speaks twice. Once, he mutters 'Uh, oh' when the platform begins to recede during the fire-swinging sequence, and exclaims 'Wow!' when first entering the dragon's lair.

Dragon's Lair had a huge impact on the arcade industry in 1983 (grossing more than 32 million dollars in the first eight months in the arcades). It was so big that quite a bit of merchandise was produced. Dragon's Lair books, buttons, trading cards, stickers and toys were just a few of the many different items that could be purchased.

Marvel Studio produced a Saturday-morning TV-show based on the game. The TV show, produced by Ruby Spears, debuted in the fall of 1984 on ABC and lasted only 1 season.

There was also a Dragon's Lair feature film that was planned, storyboarded, and written but never put into production. The film was to be called 'Dragon's Lair - The Legend'.

The 'Hover Joust' scene and 'dirk turns into a skeleton' death scene was parodied in an episode of the animated television show Family Guy in 2009

Dragon's Lair has been parodied in a sketch on the television show Robot Chicken.

KOTO, an Italian synth group released two Discs in 1988, KOTO 'Dragons Legend' and KOTO 'Dragons Megamix'. The remix music themes include takes of the audio from the attract mode of Dragon's Lairas well as some dialogs of Daphne in game. The themes are Dragons Legend, Dragons Legend (Dub version) and Dragons Megamix.

Greg Sakundiak holds the official record for this game with three starting lives with a score 374,954 points on July 20, 1985.

Judd Boone holds the official record for this game with five starting lives with a score of 558,724 points on October 31, 1983.


* Rev. A : use the Pioneer PR-7820 only, 5 Chip set.

* Rev. B : use the Pioneer PR-7820 only, 5 Chip set.

* Rev. C : use the Pioneer PR-7820 only, 5 Chip set.

* Rev. D : use the Pioneer PR-7820 only, 5 Chip set.

* Rev. E : use the Pioneer LD-V1000 only, 4 Chip set.

* Rev. F : use either players, 4 Chip set.

* Rev. F2 : use either players, 4 Chip set.


Because the monsters and traps to be overcome are so numerous and constantly changing, it is not possible to list the range of scores awarded for each one.


* Hints :

1. React! Often the player will be given a visual cue as to which direction to move. These cues are often presented as a flashing light, flashing tunnel, flashing rope, or flashing door. In general, the player should move toward a flashing object.

2. Remember, even though the player may know the direction to move, the timing of his move is critical.

3. The player must react to fire -- it is his enemy. He should not linger too long near fire, and in general, he should move away from blazing fires.

* Unlimited Lives : On some versions of Dragon's Lair the programmers left a secret Easter Egg that allows you to have unlimited lives. To access it, wait for the Attract Mode to begin, then hold the joystick UPLEFT and press the Sword button while inserting your quarters. Release the joystick and then select 1 player. You will now have unlimited lives until you complete the game.


1. Dragon's Lair (1983)

2. Dragon's Lair II - Time Warp (1991)

3. Dragon's Lair 3D - Return To The Lair (2002, PC CD-ROM)

4. Dragon's Lair 3 (2004, PC CD-ROM)


Animation by : Don Bluth

Gameplay designed by : Victor Penman, Marty Foulger, Darlene Waddington

Programmed by : Mike Knauer, Vince Lee


* Consoles :

Colecovision (1984)

Nintendo Famicom (1990)

Nintendo Game Boy (1990)

Nintendo SNES (1992)

Panasonic 3DO [JP] (Mar. 26, 1994, "Dragon's Lair [Model FZ-SJ0153]")

Sega Mega-CD (1993)

Phillips CD-I (1994)

Sega Saturn

Atari Jaguar [CD] (1995)

Nintendo Game Boy Color (2000)

Sony PlayStation 2 (2000)

Microsoft XBOX (2001)

Nintendo DSi (2010; as a downloadable DSiWare game)

Nintendo Wii (2010; as part of Dragon's Lair Trilogy)

* Computers :

Commodore C64 (1986, "Dragon's Lair" / 1987, "Dragon's Lair II")

Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1986, "Dragon's Lair" / 1987, "Dragon's Lair II")

Amstrad CPC (1986, "Dragon's Lair" / 1987, "Dragon's Lair II")

Commodore Amiga [3.5''] (1988)

Atari ST [3.5''] (1988)

Apple Macintosh [3.5''] (1988)

PC [MS-DOS, 3.5'' / 5.25''] (1990, "Dragon's Lair")

PC [MS-DOS, 3.5'' / 5.25''] (1991, "Dragon's Lair - Escape from Singe's Castle")

PC [MS Windows 9x, DVD-ROM] (1997)

PC [MS Windows 9x, CD-ROM] (1997, "Dragon's Lair Deluxe Pack")

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2001, "Arcade Authentic Version")

* Others :

DVD-Video (1998)

DVD-Video [PS2 & XBOX Compatible] (2002, "Dragon's Lair 20th Anniversary Special Edition")

Google Play (2012 - Digital Leisure)


Game's rom.

Machine's picture.

MAME Info:

0.110u4 [?]

0.74u2 [Nicola Salmoria]

0.63 [?]

0.35b13 [Nicola Salmoria]

Artwork available


* Dump Laserdisc


- 0.144u6: Replaced 'Laserdisc Analog' sound with 'Pioneer LD-V1000' in dlair, dlairf, dlaire and dlaird, with 'Pioneer PR-7820' in dlairc, dlairb and dlaira and with 'Phillips 22VP932' in dleuro and dlital.

- 0.143u4: Changed VSync to 59.940057 Hz.

- 0.143: Re-added Z80 (2.5MHz) CPU2.

- 0.142u3: Removed Z80 CPU2.

- 0.139u2: Changed VSync to 60.054442 Hz in clones Dragon's Lair (European) and (Italian).

- 0.137u2: f205v added correct ROMs to clone Dragon's Lair (Italian).

- 0.129u4: Changed Custom sound to Laserdisc Analog.

- 0.127u7: Added 2nd Z80 (2.5MHz) CPU.

- 0.127: Aaron Giles added DISK_REGIONS to all laserdisc drivers. Changed visible area to 704x480.

- 0.126u5: Changed visible area to 720x240 and VSync to 59.940052.

- 0.121u1: Changed palettesize from 9 to 16 colors in clones Dragon's Lair (European), (Italian) and Space Ace (European).

- 30th September 2007: Mr. Do - A few months ago, Jcroach finished up the vector job for a Dragon's Lair scoreboard. I wasn't in too big of a hurry to release it, as the games still aren't working yet; plus I didn't have a speaker cover for it yet. Well, I finally got the speaker cover, so here it is. The games still aren't working, but at least you'll have the artwork when it's ready. The scoreboard is used in Dragon's Lair, Thayer's Quest, and for cabinets that were converted to Space Ace. (Still looking for a dedicated Space Ace scoreboard, btw. Let me know if you find one. You can see one here). Also included in Thayer's Quest is a scan of the keyboard, so you know what you're doing. And thanks to Ad_Enuff for that nice little graphic to finish off the speakers.

- 0.113u2: Changed VSync to 59.940000 Hz.

- 0.111u4: Added clones Dragon's Lair (European) and (Italian). Changed VSync to 59.939999 Hz.

- 0.111u3: More updates to the laserdisc emulation, based on more complete understanding of how the discs are encoded and how they will eventually be stored [Aaron Giles]. Added Custom sound (2 channels) and changed VSync to 59.940060Hz. Added dipswitches 'Engineering mode' and 'Service Mode' and removed 'Diagnostics' and 'Joystick Feedback Sound'.

- 12th December 2006: Aaron Giles - I'm looking for someone, preferably in the U.S., who owns an original Dragon's Lair laserdisc and is willing to loan it out for a couple of months. Either contact me via my webform (http://aarongiles.com/email.html), or reply to this post. Thanks!

- 4th December 2006: Aaron Giles - It should be pretty obvious with the update to the Dragon's Lair driver in 0.110u4 that something is brewing on the laserdisc front. There has been a lot of discussion over the years about how to make it happen, what video formats to use, etc, etc. In the end, it seemed that nobody was ever happy enough with the proposed ideas to actually take them and run. But with the discs and equipment getting older and older, and my (relatively) recent success in reading an NFL Football CED (http://www.cedmagic.com/featured/nfl.html) (thanks to Tim's (http://arcadecollecting.com/) help), I figured it was finally time to just pick a direction and move forward. One of the big stumbling blocks is that pretty much all existing video compression algorithms are heavily patented. Which means that for freely developed and freely available software, there isn't really a good way of utilizing standards such as MPEG. Plus, MPEG hardly qualifies as 'archival' quality. For this reason, MAME will be going its own way, but it won't be straying too far from the usual paths. The container format for the data will be CHD (which originally stood for Compressed Hard Drive, but has since been redubbed as Compressed Hunks of Data). Each frame, including audio and video data, will be a fixed length (some frames will have one fewer audio sample due to rounding, but this is easy to compute). The video frame rate, height, width, audio sample rate, and number of channels will be encoded in the CHD metadata. Each frame is independently compressed. Audio data is stored as multiple 16-bit channels at an arbitrary sample rate (we will be shooting for 44.1kHz stereo during sampling). The audio data is compressed losslessly using Huffman-compressed deltas. This gives a nice compromise between storing the data raw and doing something more complex and aggressive like FLAC. Audio data is just a drop in the bucket anyway from a data rate perspective, so why skimp? This compression may also be used in the future for CHD-CD's with audio tracks, and for systems that read/playback tape-based data. Video data compression is still being fine-tuned, and is waiting some good quality source data to experiment with, both animated and filmed. At a minimum, a lossless compression based on Huffman-compressed per-channel (Y,Cb,Cr) deltas will be available. This is essentially what HuffYUV does. I have also written a lossy DCT-based compressor that is tuned for archival purposes rather than bit rate limiting. That is, with an MPEG compressor you specify your data rate, and the compressor quantizes the DCT coefficients to fit the data rate. With our video compression, you specify a maximum error and a maximum average error for each channel, and the compressor tweaks the quantization on each 8x8 block indepedently to ensure that those criteria are met. The source material will be sampled at DVD resolutions (720x486 for NTSC video) in 'uncompressed' form - which is actually slightly compressed in that it is 4:2:2 subsampled, so each Cr and Cb sample covers two pixels horizontally. This is oversampling for laserdisc video, but it's better to have more data than not enough data. This effectively gives you 16 bits per pixel uncompressed, or 720 x 486 x 2 = 699,840 bytes per frame. Add in a frames' worth of audio data (assuming 29.97fps) at 44100Hz gives an extra 5886 bytes, for a total per-frame average of 705,726 bytes (5.4 MBits) per frame. Once you start multiplying that out, it's a lot of data: 20.6 MB/second, 1.18 GB/minute, or 70.9 GB/hour. Most video game laserdiscs are CAV, which maxes out at 54000 frames, or just over 30 minutes. Lossless tends to give you between 2:1 and 3:1 compression.
Going up to lossy with medium deltas (up to 4/256 per component) gets you closer to 4:1 and 5:1 compression with almost no visible difference. Increasing the max deltas beyond that helps further with compression, but it definitely starts to become visible. Not everything is nailed down yet, and it will probably take a couple of months to materialize, but those are the basics. The first game I'm looking at is obviously Dragon's Lair, but coincidentally, I just received in the mail a driver for the American Laser Games series (http://www.dragons-lair-project.com/tech/pages/alg.asp) of shooters as well, which were all run on an Amiga 500 with a genlock. Fortunately, the Amiga emulation is pretty decent these days, so things are progressing well there. Now that the basic system is up and running, I'm hoping others can help get the rest of the laser games moving forward. In 0.110u4 I included support for a couple of common laserdisc players. Even though you can't see any video yet, you can at least watch their operation to see if things are working properly. In 0.110u5 I'll have support for the Sony LDP-1450 (http://www.dragons-lair-project.com/tech/ldguide/sony.asp) laserdisc player and the ability to display dummy frames (each frame is solid color and gets a unique Cb/Cr value) so that you get a little better sense of the operation. And hopefully in the next month or so, I'll have the first video running at last...

- 0.110u4: Added Dragon's Lair (US Rev. F2) and clones (US Rev. A, Pioneer PR-7820), (US Rev. B, Pioneer PR-7820), (US Rev. C, Pioneer PR-7820), (US Rev. D, Pioneer LD-V1000), (US Rev. E) and (US Rev. F). Removed the old Dragon's Lair version. Aaron Giles rewroted the Dragon's Lair driver from the schematics. Added new module machine\laserdsc.c which has laserdisc emulation for the PR-7280 and LD-V1000 laserdisc players. Full emulation of the laserdisc is pending support for CHD audio/video and high quality rips, but you can operate the game and see the frame numbers that would be displayed. Added built-in layout to display the scores, lives and credit information. Changed Z80 clock speed to 4MHz, VSync to 48Hz and added AY8910 (2MHz) sound. Added dipswitches 'Coinage', 'Difficulty Mode', '2 Credits/Free play', 'Lives', 'Pay as you go', 'Diagnostics', 'LD Player', 'Sound every 8 attracts', 'Demo Sounds', 'Unlimited Dirks', 'Joystick Feedback Sound', 'Pay as you go options' and 'Difficulty'.

- 0.74u2: Added Dragon's Lair (Cinematronics 1983).

- 0.63: Added Dragon's Lair (Testdriver).

- 1st September 2001: Mirko Buffoni added support for the Dragon's Lair video. However, it only works with the DVD-ROM version and only in Windows, so inclusion is unlikely.

- 0.35b13: Nicola Salmoria added Dragon's Lair (Testdriver).

Other Emulators:


Recommended Games (Knights):


Demons & Dragons


Dragon's Lair



Dragon Buster

The Tower of Druaga

Ghosts'n Goblins

Ghouls'n Ghosts

Ghouls'n Ghosts (Mega-Tech)

Vs. Castlevania

Castlevania (PlayChoice-10)


Dragon Unit

Dark Seal


Crossed Swords

The King of Dragons

Knights of the Round


Wizard Fire

Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom

Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara

Light Bringer

Action Hollywood (Excaliwood)

Sol Divide

Knights of Valour

Knights of Valour Plus

Knights of Valour Super Heroes

Knights of Valour 2

Knights of Valour - The Seven Spirits

The Crystal of Kings

Romset: 32 kb / 4 files / 17.2 zip

MAME XML Output:

       <game name="dlairf" sourcefile="dlair.c" cloneof="dlair" romof="dlair">
              <description>Dragon's Lair (US Rev. F)</description>
              <rom name="dl_f_u1.bin" size="8192" crc="06fc6941" sha1="ea8cf6d370f89d60721ab00ec58ff24027b5252f" region="maincpu" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="dl_f_u2.bin" merge="dl_f2_u2.bin" size="8192" crc="dcc1dff2" sha1="614ca8f6c5b6fa1d590f6b80d731377faa3a65a9" region="maincpu" offset="2000"/>
              <rom name="dl_f_u3.bin" merge="dl_f2_u3.bin" size="8192" crc="ab514e5b" sha1="29d1015b951f0f2d4e5257497f3bf007c5e2262c" region="maincpu" offset="4000"/>
              <rom name="dl_f_u4.bin" size="8192" crc="a817324e" sha1="1299c83342fc70932f67bda8ae60bace91d66429" region="maincpu" offset="6000"/>
              <disk name="dlair" status="nodump" region="ld_ldv1000" index="0" writable="no"/>
              <device_ref name="ldv1000"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="maincpu" name="Z80" clock="4000000"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="ld_ldv1000:ldv1000" name="Z80" clock="2500000"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="lspeaker" name="Speaker"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="rspeaker" name="Speaker"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="aysnd" name="AY-3-8910A" clock="2000000"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="ld_ldv1000" name="Pioneer LD-V1000"/>
              <display tag="screen" type="raster" rotate="0" width="704" height="480" refresh="59.940057" pixclock="28636362" htotal="910" hbend="0" hbstart="704" vtotal="525" vbend="44" vbstart="524" />
              <sound channels="2"/>
              <input players="1" buttons="1" coins="2">
                     <control type="joy" ways="8"/>
              <dipswitch name="Coinage" tag="DSW1" mask="3">
                     <dipvalue name="3 Coins/1 Credit" value="1"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/1 Credit" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Unused" value="3"/>
              <dipswitch name="Difficulty Mode" tag="DSW1" mask="4">
                     <dipvalue name="Mode 1" value="4"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Mode 2" value="0" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Engineering mode" tag="DSW1" mask="8">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="8"/>
              <dipswitch name="2 Credits/Free play" tag="DSW1" mask="16">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="16"/>
              <dipswitch name="Lives" tag="DSW1" mask="32">
                     <dipvalue name="3" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="5" value="32" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Pay as you go" tag="DSW1" mask="64">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="64"/>
              <dipswitch name="Service Mode" tag="DSW1" mask="128">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="128"/>
              <dipswitch name="Sound every 8 attracts" tag="DSW2" mask="1">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="1" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Demo Sounds" tag="DSW2" mask="2">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="2"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unlimited Dirks" tag="DSW2" mask="4">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="4"/>
              <dipswitch name="LD Player" tag="DSW2" mask="8">
                     <dipvalue name="LD-PR7820" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="LDV-1000" value="8" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Difficulty" tag="DSW2" mask="144">
                     <dipvalue name="Increase after 5" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Increase after 9" value="16" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Easy" value="128"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Easy" value="144"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Hard" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Easy" value="16" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Easy" value="128"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Easy" value="144"/>
              <dipswitch name="Pay as you go options" tag="DSW2" mask="96">
                     <dipvalue name="PAYG1" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="PAYG2" value="32"/>
                     <dipvalue name="PAYG3" value="64"/>
                     <dipvalue name="PAYG4" value="96" default="yes"/>
              <driver status="preliminary" emulation="preliminary" color="good" sound="good" graphic="good" savestate="unsupported" palettesize="0"/>

emumovies.com      Retro bytes Portal           Bookmark and Share

Developed by: Spesoft  Headsoft     Terms of use     Privacy    Advertise