Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Dragon's Lair

Dragon's Lair
Dragon's Lair

SystemAmiga
Floppy (3.5")6

ReadySoft

Amiga

Release Date: 12/1/1989
Manufacturer: ReadySoft
Original Retail Price:
Adjusted Inflation Price:
$54.95
$105.81*
 
This was the most amazing piece of software released for a home computer in years. Finally, a program that would capture the look and feel of the arcade version-more than 5 years later.

In 1989 after many months in development, Visionary Design Technologies headed by Randy Linden developed the software technology necessary to bring this game to life on the Amiga. Randy, also well known for creating the Bleem! Playstation Emulator and an excellent Commodore 64 Emulator teamed with David Foster at ReadySoft to bring this to market.

Skeptics abounded. The game was even offered to NewTek, then the king of the hi-tech video market, who passed because no one believed this would be possible.

At the time, the only feasible media format was still floppy disk and the standard Amiga format held only 880K per disk. Randy figured out not only a way to compress the video frames necessary to create the game, but also how to squeeze around 1.5 MB onto each disk.

One of the questions that people often ask about the early "full screen video" versions of Dragon's Lair is "Aren't some of the rooms missing?" and the answer is YES. Most noticeably, the Burning Ropes, Falling Elevator and Electric Horse rooms are not there. Why? Mainly because of the type of rooms they were. The Visionary team used a technique called Rotoscoping, where you essentially separate the background and foreground imagery in the game. Because those screens contained backgrounds that changed extremely from frame to frame, using delta compression techniques was not possible (saving only the changes from frame to frame). It is interesting to note that the rooms could be mirrored by changing only one byte. The entire game engine was only 8K of 68000 machine language coding on the Amiga.

Dragon's Lair Floppy (3.5")
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* Inflation data courtesy of www.inflationdata.com. Values are approximate using our own calculations.

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