Dragon's Lair

aka: Dragon's Lair: The Return Adventure, Sullivan Bluth Presents Dragon's Lair

Critic Reviews 39% add missing review

VideoGame ( )

Neste jogo, o importante é não errar o caminho, e conhecer as estratégias das partes mais difíceis.

May 1991 · NES · read review

Top Secret ( )

Gra jest bardzo ładna, lecz wymaga cierpliwości. Upłynie sporo czasu, zanim do perfekcji opanujesz ruchy na poszczególnych planszach. Cala gra spowita jest w tajemniczym, gotyckim nastroju. Bardzo ładny motyw przewodni - brawa dla układu odtwarzającego muzykę - i zręczna grafika: zachęcają do zabawy. Postacie są duże, nasz bohater zajmuje około 1/3 wysokości ekranu. Polecam dla cierpliwych.

Mar 1993 · NES

N-Force (86 out of 100)

This is a difficult game but it'll keep you coming back for another bashing. Hours of action guaranteed.

Jun 1992 · NES

Total!! UK Magazine (83 out of 100)

This game is great, but only because it's a little bit different. If you're after fast action, or complex challenges then you're in for a surprise. Even so, I reckon most of you will be intrigued by this unusual adventure. You'll be tearing your hair out when Dirk croaks it for the umpteenth time, but you can guarantee that it'll only be a matter of seconds before you're back for more!

Mar 1992 · NES · read review

Nintendo Magasinet (Sweden) (3 out of 5)

Den omfattande grafiken i Dragon's Lair gör spelet extremt slött. Dessutom finns det så många problem i spelet att det är ungefär som att lära sig spela ett svårt stycke musik: men spelar på tills man kommer till ett svårt ställe, men kommer av sig. Efter ett par försök kommer man förbi det svåra stället, som man nu har lärt sig, men kommer av sig på nästa svåra ställe. Och så vidare. Dragon's Lair är alltså absolut inget för nybörjaren eller den otålige.

Feb 1992 · NES

Video Games (50 out of 100)

Dragon‘s Lair ist ein ganz schön harter Brocken - eigentlich auch unfair. Beinahe jede Szene muß auswendig gelernt und mit pixelgenauen Aktionen gemeistert werden. Mit Reaktion alleine kommt man nicht sehr weit. Interessanterweise macht genau dies den (leicht perversen) Reiz des Moduls aus. Dragon‘s Lair pendelt ständig zwischen motivierend und frustrierend, wobei sich nur Profis angesprochen fühlen sollten. Dummerweise gibt‘s auch kein Paßwort oder ähnliches, so daß man bei jedem Versuch aufs Neue durch bereits bekannte - und damit langweilige - Szenen läuft. Bestenfalls für Hardcore-Gambler.

Apr 1992 · NES

Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) (16 out of 40)

This is an insult to one of the most spectacular laser disc games ever.

Mar 1991 · NES

NES Center (4 out of 10)

Ständig unterforderte Profis, welche nach einer wirklichen Herausforderung suchen, sind mit Elite's Modul eventuell gut beraten, alle anderen ersparen sich mit einem großen Bogen um Dragon's Lair eine Menge Frust und Ärger.

2001 · NES · read review

Mean Machines (21 out of 100)

It looks absolutely delicious on the outside, but once you taste what's inside you feel rather ill. It looks and sounds impressive[...]. Once you've played it, though, it's true vileness is swiftly revealed. It seems like a platform game at first, but it's not - it's a slow-paced multiple choice trail-and-error game where you have to solve each situation by using critically-timed presses of either the directional pad or the fire buttons. Dirk doesn't move fast enough to escape death if he makes one false move (he moves one slow pace at a time) so you have to remember every single correct step through the entire game and execute each one perfectly to succeed. Because you basically have to do exactly the same thing every time you play, it doesn't take long for this strict routine to become utterly, utterly tedious - especially since progress is made unbelievably frustrating due to the often illogical and stupid combination of moves required to succeed.

Jan 1992 · NES · read review

Retro Game Reviews ( )

Dragon's Lair is an interesting attempt at moving an animated FMV game into a side-scroller but it's miserable to play due to the utterly horrendous controls. As it stands it's completely unplayable and easily one of the worst games on the NES.

Sep 15th, 2015 · NES · read review

Defunct Games (F)

This home console Dragon's Lair actually made me sympathize with the original arcade game. I liked the animation and attention to detail, but couldn't get past the terrible gameplay and cheap deaths. This is one adventure where even Dirk the Daring would give up on.

May 22nd, 2012 · NES · read review

Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library ( )

As it stands, most won’t have the patience or “skill” required to even make it past the game’s first screen, where Dirk must defeat a dragon to enter the castle itself by throwing dozens of knives at it. This is a blessing in disguise.

2016 · NES

Questicle.net (F)

If a game doesn’t want you to play it, I say, why enrage it any further? Who knows what other horrors await me within the actual castle?

Nov 2011 · NES · read review

Gaming since 198x (0 out of 5)

Drangon's Mair, c'est le rythm game avant le rytme game, la torture nazie, avant Hitler, bref, le jeu auquel vous ne jouerz jamais parce que je suis là pour vous avoir sauvé. Je suis un peu le Clark Kent de la presse vidéoludique quand on y pense.

Jan 12th, 2009 · NES · read review

The Video Game Critic (F)

Actually, it's worse than the arcade because you have a lot more options available at any given time. It doesn't help that Dirk is so freakin' unresponsive - it takes a full second for him to duck after you press the directional pad down. The stage objectives are completely counter-intuitive, and luck plays a critical role. The very first screen involves crossing a bridge to enter the castle, and I was so baffled that I had to resort to a walk-thru just to survive it. Dirk is so fragile that even jumping into a wall causes him to shatter into a pile of bones! Dragon's Lair for the NES is a complete debacle, and I can't imagine anyone deriving any degree of enjoyment from this.

Sep 10th, 2004 · NES · read review

Player Reviews

Lives up to the legacy
by Joakim Kihlman (274)

The Good
If I'm to be completely honest, I didn't actually like anything at all about this game. I loved it in my mind, until I tried it. I read a review which, much like this one, didn't have much good to say about this game, but I loved the pictures of it, and in my head this seemed like a good game.

I really wanted it to be a grand adventure, with smooth animations and atmospheric castle-interiors. I imagined a game where you could actually control Dirk in a way much like the old Prince of Persia, which was actually also converted to NES.

In my mind, Dragon's Lair was not only playable, it was magical.

The Bad
What happened was I tried the game. I consider it one of my luckiest days when I got to borrow this game from a friend. Not because the game was good, but because it saved me the shame and sorrow of having bought it myself.

This stinking pile of crap is utterly unenjoyable on every level there is. Fist of all, Dirk is virtually uncontrollable, since the game is so painfully slow. With all those big sprites flooding the small screen, things move slower than a 90-year old stuck in barrel of tar. Even the first screen takes forever to get through since the controls are so imprecise and you move so slowly you will die lots of times, even if you know exactly what to do and how to do it. And what happens the second you get to the second screen? Well, some prisoners starts chucking bombs at you for no apparent reason. Shouldn't they be happy and rejoice at the sight of a possible rescuer?

If you get through this game, you have not only the patience of an angel, you really can't have even the tiniest shred of life. If you do, you will find millions of frustrating things you'd rather do than play this awful excuse for a game.

This is just as horrible to play as the previous installments of this series. Avoid it, for the sake of your sanity.

The Bottom Line
Extremely difficult and far from worth the trouble. This game is just as bad (although not nearly as good looking) as the previous games in the series.

Apr 28th, 2008 · NES

What a bad game looks like!
by Arejarn (7528)

The Good
The highlights about this game are only the range of good graphics and slightly(and i mean slightly) medieval music. Sadly, just because the graphics are good doesn't mean the game itself is good. That's just about it!

The Bad
How can I start? Well, about everything in existence can kill you! Snakes coming out of the wall, exploding walls and deadly doors( yes, deadly doors!). Your character is too slow despite the fact he has a princess to rescue! The actions are too slow and it takes Dirk the Daring(or should I say Dick the daring) to even crouch down. Now let's talk slightly more about the levels. In the first screen, you see a normal platformer WITH good graphics, but wait, before you can get into the castle, the door closes. Now in order to get the door to open, you have to kill a dragon that comes out from a moat (the surrounding river around a castle). First question, how do you kill the dragon? When you throw your daggers, they fly right over the dragon (bear it in mind, the dragon is small and shelters in the moat through the bridge). But when I try to duck in order to hit it, the goddamn thing crouches under the bridge. Yeah, if you're a beginner, you'll be wondering what the developers were smoking! I mean it's good to have a clever AI in an NES game, but come on! How are beginners supposed to know they're supposed to get all the way over to the left of the screen (while dodging fireballs, yes, don't forget we still have mr. Dragon to deal with). Then when you're at the left side of the screen, you have to still dodge fireball while throwing daggers while standing up! Of course this wouldn't be a problem for me, but the fireballs can kill you in a matter of SECONDS! So when we finally kill the dragon, we just have to hop our way to the entrance (there are even holes in the bridge!) That's when I turned off my system and gave up with this FREAKING GAME!!

The Bottom Line
This game should always be played on an online emulator for free instead of being bought! If you want a good platformer, well this just won't be up your street. Don Bleuth's creation has made a terrible leap to the NES and it will always be remembered, for being a piece of crap! Oh and be thankful that I have given you a runthrough of the first screen, you'll need it, just in case you ever want to play this game (despite the warnings of many people including me). So, what does this game get, 1.4/5 stars!

May 16th, 2008 · NES

Good Graphics can't save this game
by Dracula_Marth (18)

The Good
the Graphics are great. They are really close to the actual arcade game, despite some washed-out colors. also, the music fits the mood, which is always a plus.

The Bad
I know that it would be impossible to make a port of the arcade game on the NES, but what was done instead is terrible. Dirk moves at the pace of a snail, and dies instantly from anything, even though he has a life bar. I have honestly tried to get past even the first part of the first area and can't.

The Bottom Line
It is a terrible game. You'd be better off finding a port of the original arcade game.

Feb 4th, 2008 · NES

Plus 13 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by chirinea, JudgeDeadd, Alaka, Tim Janssen, lights out party, Patrick Bregger, SlyDante, Riemann80, Alsy, RhYnoECfnW, Big John WV.