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The goofy, but courageous knight Dirk the Daring is on a quest to save the pretty princess Daphne. The princess was kidnapped by the evil dragon Singe and imprisoned in a medieval castle owned by an even more evil wizard called Mordroc. Now, it's only up to Dirk to use his courage and his quick reflexes to overcome the traps in the castle, if he wants to save the princess and his skin.

Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair can be considered a re-imagining of the 1983 arcade game: gameplay-wise it deviates from it significantly, being a full-fledged action platformer with unrestricted character movement. Dirk has to battle enemies, jump across platforms and hazards, and solve a few puzzles on his way. Health and mana points can be upgraded over the course of the game. Dirk can also use a crossbow to combat enemies and solve some of the puzzles. Collecting Dragon Essences scattered through the castle grants him new powers.

The game features the familiar cartoon-like style of the original version (done with cel-shaded technique), as well as many familiar locations and boss enemies.


Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Xbox Our valiant hero Dirk
Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Windows Fighting the pig-like creature.
Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Xbox Main menu
Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Windows Hunting the Lizard King.

Promo Images

Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Logo
Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Screenshot
Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Screenshot
Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "龙穴历险记 3D" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Dragon's Lair 3D: Special Edition" -- European GameCube title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

About as good as a Dragon's Lair remake can be. Windows Atomic Punch! (194)
The Dragon's Lair as it has to be done 25 years ago! Windows dan rexx (45)
Dirk is Back! Now in real 3D. High definition animation platform action! GameCube gametrader (233)

Critic Reviews

XBox Solution (XBS) Xbox Dec 04, 2002 8.2 out of 10 82 Windows Aug 07, 2003 76 out of 100 76
64 Power / big.N / N Games GameCube Mar, 2004 70 out of 100 70
N-Zone GameCube Apr 30, 2004 65 out of 100 65
NintendoWorldReport GameCube Feb 16, 2003 6 out of 10 60 GameCube Mar 31, 2004 12 out of 20 60
GameStar (Germany) Windows Apr, 2003 47 out of 100 47
Game Critics Xbox Feb 26, 2003 4.5 out of 10 45
GameSpy Xbox Feb 18, 2003 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) Windows Dec 11, 2002 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40


Topic # Posts Last Post
Let's Play Series on YouTube 1 ikrananka (1)
Mar 13, 2017



This is the first ever Xbox title to feature 1080i High Definition (HD) TV graphics mode.

References to the game

The game is featured in the 2005 movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when the in-movie filmmaking team of Tibby Rollins and Bailey Graffman interview Brian McBrian, resident convenience store arcade whiz of this game (sometimes homophonically described as "Dragon Slayer", despite a legible Dragon's Lair 3D marquee -- presumably a prop devised for the movie, as the game isn't on record as existing in coin-op format) for their "suckumentary".
BAILEY: I think I found a good subject for an interview. His name is Brian McBrian, king of 'Dragon's Lair.' I've heard he's broken every record there is. Okay, he's definitely not what you'd call lame... but I figured he'd be a good contrast to all the loser types in the movie.

TIBBY: Start setting up. Stand next to him. Pretend you're a fan, like you watch him all the time. Right. And action. Video arcade wizards are fixtures at most convenience stores. Brian McBrian is a fixture at this one. 'Dragon's Lair,' he his calling. So, Brian, you spend a lot of time here?

BRIAN: Sometimes all day.

TIBBY: So you prefer to spend most of your time here at the Quick Mart...instead of out in the real world?

BAILEY: Well, maybe he finds the world of 'Dragon's Lair' more interesting.

TIBBY: Tell us about it, Brian.

BRIAN: Well... basically, you're Dirk the Daring... in the year 1305 AD. See, the goal is to rescue Princess Daphne, who's being guarded by Singe, the dragon. See, chamber number one is the snake room -- see, snakes slither from the ceiling. You don't even get to see the dragon until chamber number 23!
Later in the film, Brian gives Bailey a GBC with its different Dragon's Lair version to play while she recuperates from leukemia treatment in the hospital.

Information also contributed by Pseudo_Intellectual

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Contributed to by Corn Popper (69166), Roger Wilco (1189) and The Cookiesh (14)