Recorded at the end of the 2002 Dragon's Lair Limited Edition Laserdisc is over 8 minutes of test animation that was used in the prototype Dragon's Lair arcade game and then left on the cutting room floor.  These 12 scenes are substantially different, in that there are usually multiple branching opportunities within them, as well as multiple conclusions to half of them.  For users of this disc, and users of the Dexter Laserdisc Replacement with the video from this disc, the DLE 2.x prototype DIP switch setting (B7=ON) makes these scenes playable, and swaps them in to replace their standard animation counterparts within the normal game.

prototype DL control panel The gameplay controls differ for the prototype mode.  Like the prototype arcade game cabinet, this game mode uses the original design concept of an "ACTION" button on the control panel instead of a sword button.  The "ACTION" button causes Dirk to use his hands.  Any time that you want Dirk to grab something, use something, or manipulate anything with his hands, you must press "ACTION".  When a monster is present, then generally, the "ACTION" button causes Dirk to draw and use his sword.  The joystick is only for directional movement.  If you try to use the joystick to move Dirk into an object that you want him to handle with his hands, you will only hear a buzz sound, or else you may even lose a life!

Q & A
Q.  How did you determine how to program the prototype scenes?

A.  Although no official records or software could be provided by the game's creators, much research was done to determine the original plan for how these scenes were designed to play.  We have a handful of articles from 1983 that describe the play of the prototype game and actually reveal some of the moves.  The original prototype gameplay instructions were studied.  The action in each video segment was carefully analyzed, and nothing was assumed or taken for granted or face value.  The coding written on the clapboard images between the video segments generated a sequential pattern which gave insight into the intended progression of each segment and how they should branch.  Finally, in some dire cases, by consensus with consultants, we decided to mix in some of the standard animation into certain prototype scenes in circumstances where there were critical deficiencies in the available prototype footage.  (For example, there is no prototype death scene for the Cyclops Worms under the drawbridge, nor any prototype footage of Dirk choosing the red flask of liquid.)  Given what was available, we feel that DLE 2.x offers the most respectful yet complete arrangement of this material.

Q.  In prototype mode, why don't the game play instructions appear during the attract mode?

A.  The on-screen instructions describe the use of the sword button, but the prototype game mode has an action button, so the instructions are not shown.

Q.  I need some help.  What are the moves?

A.  If you are stuck, contact Dave Hallock.  It's too complex to try to describe every branch point and list them here in text.

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