Dragon's Lair(ドラゴンズレア,Doragonzu Rea?) is based on the laserdisc game of the same name; it is a 1990 platformer released for the Nintendo Entertainment System and developed by the MotiveTime group. Plotwise, the game is identical to the original.
The game is a side-scroller with the character's walking pace being relaxed by comparison to other such titles. Dirk can walk, crawl, or jump forward, and he has an array of weapons that he can discover and use to dispose of enemies. The controller layout is reversed from other mainstream NES titles, with Select functioning as the Pause-button while Start is used for the Candle object (which helps reveal hidden weapons). Also, B is used for jumping, and A for attacking (the input of the A & B buttons is almost always the opposite in similar NES games).
Due to the game's sluggish pace and the fact that most enemies are able to instantly kill Dirk with one touch (only the smallest enemies, such as bats, drain Dirk's life bar instead of killing him outright), the game received extremely negative reviews for its high difficulty level. The game is not unbeatable, but requires the player to learn the timing of the game's enemies and obstacles through repetition. The game's poor controls, lack of checkpoints, and finite number of lives, however, makes this nearly impossible.
Another factor adding to the game's immense difficulty is the fact that the player can only lose five lives before being forced to start the entire game over. Also, in between levels, the player is taken to an elevator that travels between different floors, like in the arcade game. If the player gets off at the correct floor, they can continue the game. If the player gets off at the wrong floor, they are forced to replay a previous level.
After the Dungeon section the player must go through an elevator stage where the player dodges falling rocks and must jump out at the appropriate floor to enter the next level. The player cannot explore freely, but instead jumping on the wrong floor forces him to replay the previous level. The Lizard King's throne room is located at the bottom and can be entered anytime to recover all the gold that the Lizard King has stolen from the player. Unlike everywhere else, here touching the Lizard King leads to an instant death. Artwork for the game was provided by Don Bluth, animator of the original Dragon's Lair laserdisc game.