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How Daring of You!

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I think a lot of people my age remember going into the arcade and hearing the booming voice emanating from across the room, almost always over the sound of every other game it seemed; but that's probably just kid-memory, extolling the virtues of saving a princess, slaying a dragon and earning the name Dirk the Daring.

I loved Dragon's Lair. Yes, it was never a cheap game to play financially but MAN did it have some pretty damn cheap gameplay. Still, I loved it. If you've touched the game, Dragon's Lair has one of the simplest concepts out there. You're playing Dirk's reactions, as opposed to playing his actual actions. So, when a skeleton comes to attack you, a light would flicker in the direction you needed to move the joystick which would then trigger one of two animations. A success or failure. In the event that you needed to swing your sword, it too would flicker and you'd hit the one button on the cabinet. So, ostensibly, it was one giant QTE.

The gameplay itself wasn't really the draw, not for me anyhow. The draw was the look of the game. It was hand drawn by Don Bluth - former Disney animator and director of An American Tale and The Secret of NIMH (among others). It was the first time I remember playing a game that looked exactly like a cartoon (it wouldn't be until the very recent Cuphead that I'd get that feeling all over again). Dragon's Lair also had the high honor of being a laserdisc-based game, so it had that going for it.

Every since I played the game, I wanted more of that world. Daphne, Dirk, Mordroc...they were these beautifully animated characters that I got first-hand interaction with! Of course I wanted more! In the mid-80's, there was a Dragon's Lair cartoon but it barely lasted a year and while it did incorporate some of the aspects from the game (namely, when going to commercial they would show the various options Dirk had, exactly like in the game, and then would show the outcome before showing the "right" choice) it wasn't exactly what I had hoped for. 

Well, Don Bluth and Gary Goldman (the original creators), are back with a Kickstarter. But it's not a kickstarter for a new Dragon's Lair game. It's for a feature-film!! They're asking for $550k in order to draw a pitch for the studios as the total cost for animation like this will be somewhere north of $50 million for a feature-film.

I truly hope they succeed. The creators (and owners of the IP) are directly involved, they're going with the animation that made Don Bluth a legend in his own right and I could not be more thrilled. I've wanted more Dragon's Lair for years and this may be our last best-chance to achieve that. They've got some fantastic backer rewards (and some not so much). I hope that you'll take a gander at this, especially if Don Bluth's films have ever meant anything to you.