Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair

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Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair
Dragon's Lair 3D - Return to the Lair Coverart.jpg
North American cover art for Xbox
Developer(s)Dragonstone Software
Publisher(s)Ubi Soft
SeriesDragon's Lair
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation 2
  • NA: November 17, 2002
  • EU: September 26, 2003
  • NA: November 23, 2004 (as Dragon's Lair 3)
  • NA: November 18, 2002
  • EU: March 5, 2004
  • NA: December 22, 2002
  • EU: March 26, 2004
PlayStation 2
  • EU: March 26, 2004
Genre(s)Action-adventure game

Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair (known as Dragon's Lair 3D: Special Edition in Europe) is an action-adventure video game released in 2002 by Dragonstone Software. The game is based on Cinematronics' 1983 laserdisc arcade game Dragon's Lair, and follows a similar story; the hero, Dirk the Daring, must enter the evil wizard Mordroc's castle to rescue Princess Daphne from Singe the Dragon. Many of the characters and locations from the 1983 original make appearances in the game, along with new puzzles, rooms and enemies. Animator and director Don Bluth, who produced the cartoon animation for the arcade original, also produced two new animated sequences for the opening and ending of the game. The game uses cel shading to mimic the distinctive style of the original.


The game is the first in the series to host non-restricted movement for the player. A mostly linear exploration of the castle is broken up with boss fights, many of which are characters from the original arcade game, but not all. Many of the rooms seen in the original are seen again, though some are modified. New mechanics are introduced by the Dragon Essences that grant new powers. Health and Mana meters are also introduced and can be given upgrades throughout the game. A crossbow is also introduced and is used as an alternative weapon and resourceful object for puzzles. Treasure is also brought into the game to act as optional challenges to complete; collecting all 100 treasures unlocks extra gameplay options such as unlimited mana, alternate character skins, and faster sword charging for use when the player starts a new game.


The story starts as the Princess Daphne is captured by the dragon Singe commanded by the wizard Mordroc. Dirk sees this as he is riding his horse, Bertram, and unsuccessfully tries to rescue her. Daphne is taken through a portal, but leaves behind an amulet that allows her to talk to Dirk as he works his way through the castle withholding her. Daphne explains to Dirk how the wizard has become extremely powerful and would be undefeatable without the help of the Dragon Essences: magical objects that grant their users abilities and are each guarded by the strongest beings in the castle. Dirk manages to find the princess and goes into battle with Singe, largely mirroring the original arcade's version of the fight. As the knight walks away with the princess in his arms, he notices a different reflection in a nearby crystal and drops her to find that she is really a dark alter-ego version of himself in disguise. The evil Dirk laughs at the hero for almost falling for his trap and goes on to explain how he is one of the beings holding an essence and that long ago, those who held the essences grew corrupt, thus a civil war between the forces broke out. Dirk defeats the alter-ego and goes onto gather the rest of the essences, but as he gains a magical set of arrows that are the only weapon capable of dispatching the wizard, Daphne begins to chastise Dirk for picking them up. Soon after, it is revealed that the Daphne speaking to Dirk up to this point was Mordroc impersonating her (much like in Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp). Nevertheless, Dirk travels to where the princess is held captive and duels the wizard, who transforms into a dragon. Ultimately, he is defeated by the magical arrows and the knight saves the princess.


Review scores
AllGameN/AN/AN/A2.5/5 stars[2]
EGMN/AN/AN/A4.5 / 10[3]
Eurogamer4 / 10[4]N/AN/AN/A
Game Informer7.75 / 10[5]N/AN/A7 / 10[6]
Game RevolutionN/AN/AN/AC−[8]
GamePro3.5/5 stars[7]N/AN/AN/A
GameSpot5.1 / 10[9]5.3 / 10[10]N/A5.1 / 10[11]
GameSpy2/5 stars[12]3/5 stars[13]N/A2/5 stars[14]
GameZone7 / 10[15]7.5 / 10[16]N/A7.5 / 10[17]
IGN6.8 / 10[18]7.4 / 10[19]N/A7.8 / 10[20]
Nintendo Power3 / 5[21]N/AN/AN/A
OXM (US)N/AN/AN/A8.1 / 10[22]
PC Gamer (US)N/A80%[23]N/AN/A
X-PlayN/AN/AN/A1/5 stars[24]
The Cincinnati Enquirer2.5/5 stars[25]2.5/5 stars[25]N/A2.5/5 stars[25]
Entertainment WeeklyN/AN/AN/AC−[26]
Aggregate score

The game received "mixed or average reviews" on all platforms according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.[27][28][29][30]

Digital Leisure's Dragon's Lair III [edit]

In late 2004,[31] Digital Leisure released Dragon's Lair III (not to be confused with the 1993 release Dragon's Lair III: The Curse of Mordread). This was based on footage taken from Dragon's Lair 3D, but using a control system closer to the original and akin to their DVD version of the original Dragon's Lair.

Reviews of this version were largely negative,[31] with CheatCentral noting: "In a nutshell, they've taken footage of someone playing Dragon's Lair 3D and turned it into an interactive cartoon, much like the original Dragon's Lair. [...] You would be hard-pressed to tell that this was an interactive version of DL3D."[31]


  1. ^ "A Knight to Remember". Computer Graphics World. Jan 2003.
  2. ^ Marriott, Scott Alan. "Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair - Review (Xbox)". AllGame. Archived from the original on 2014-11-14. Retrieved 2014-11-21.
  3. ^ EGM Staff (January 2003). "Dragon's Lair 3D (Xbox)". Electronic Gaming Monthly: 194. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-11-21.
  4. ^ Reed, Kristan (2004-03-17). "Dragon's Lair 3D: Special Edition Review (GC)". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  5. ^ Barber, Chet (February 2003). "Dragon's Lair 3D (GC)". Game Informer (118): 101. Archived from the original on 2008-03-02. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
  6. ^ Barber, Chet (January 2003). "Dragon's Lair 3D (Xbox)". Game Informer (117): 113. Archived from the original on 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
  7. ^ Bad Hare (2003-01-15). "Dragon's Lair 3D: Review for GameCube on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2005-02-14. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  8. ^ Silverman, Ben (2002-11-01). "Dragon's Lair 3D Review (Xbox)". Game Revolution. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  9. ^ Davis, Ryan (2003-01-08). "Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Review (GC)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  10. ^ Park, Andrew (2002-11-27). "Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Review (PC)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  11. ^ Davis, Ryan (2002-11-27). "Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Review (XBox)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  12. ^ Williams, Bryn (2003-01-14). "Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair (GC)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 2008-10-12.
  13. ^ Fryman, Avi (2003-01-01). "Dragon's Lair 3D (PC)". GameSpy.
  14. ^ Gibson, Jon M. (2003-02-18). "Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair (Xbox)". GameSpy.
  15. ^ Hopper, Steven (2003-01-19). "Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair - GC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2009-06-04. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  16. ^ Hopper, Steven (2002-12-05). "Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Review - PC". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2008-02-10. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  17. ^ Tha Wiz (2002-12-02). "Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Review - Xbox". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2008-02-19. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  18. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2003-01-07). "Dragon's Lair 3D (GCN)". IGN. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  19. ^ Sulic, Ivan; Goldstein, Hilary (2002-11-25). "Dragon's Lair 3D Review (PC)". IGN. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  20. ^ Goldstein, Hilary (2002-11-20). "Dragon's Lair 3D (Xbox)". IGN. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  21. ^ "Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair". Nintendo Power. 165: 156. February 2003.
  22. ^ "Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair". Official Xbox Magazine: 76. January 2003.
  23. ^ Osborn, Chuck (February 2003). "Dragon's Lair 3D". PC Gamer: 72. Archived from the original on 2006-03-15. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
  24. ^ Sessler, Adam (2002-12-18). "'Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair' (Xbox) Review". X-Play. Archived from the original on 2003-02-01. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  25. ^ a b c Saltzman, Marc (2003-01-21). "Sorry, Dirk, new 'Lair' disappoints". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
  26. ^ Walk, Gary Eng (2003-01-17). "DRAGON'S LAIR 3D Review (Xbox)". Entertainment Weekly: 87. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
  27. ^ a b "Dragon's Lair 3D for GameCube Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  28. ^ a b "Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  29. ^ a b "Dragon's Lair 3D (ps2: 2003): Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2008-09-13. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
  30. ^ a b "Dragon's Lair 3D for Xbox Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  31. ^ a b c http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/dragons-lair-3/critic-reviews

External links[edit]