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The original arcade release of Dragon's Lair in 1983 achieved widespread acclaim, containing 22 minutes of full-screen animation from famous Disney animator Don Bluth. The most significant laserdisc game ever created, it grossed 32 million dollars in its first eight months and spawned countless merchandise and a TV show. Released in December 1990, the NES version of Dragon's Lair shares only one similarity with the arcade version: there are a thousand ways to die. In fact, these days, the NES version is maybe the most well-known, as an example of one of the most "unfairly" difficult and punishing games of all time.

 

Best time, European version: 0:05:51 by Pierre 'KartSeven' L'Hoëst on 2012-08-04.

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Author's comments:

This is my first submission to SDA. I never expected to beat the former record by such a gap ! Initially my plan was to reach around 0:06:15 - 0:06:20, but by dint of practice, I realized under 0:06:00 could be possible. I'm extremely happy with this run ; of course it's improvable (by finding new strats, or with more luck against the 2 last bosses or with Lizard King), but I'd be surprised if someone reaches under 0:05:30 someday... I'd like to thank Claire who gave me the idea to do this speedrun, and guys like Kirkq, Wizphix and M_88 who helped me a lot with their videos !

[The Drawbridge]
You need 10 daggers to kill the dragon. My strat is 7 then 3. I use the 2 daggers when I kneel down on purpose ; I noticed that if you stand up too fast after the dragon shoots his fireball, the dragon has time enough to launch a second fireball before dying, and you'll lose time to kneel down another time. These 2 daggers are just here to give me a timing to stand up at the right moment. Thanks to that, I can kill the dragon before he launches another fireball, and I can directly walk to the door.

[The Entrance Hall]
You can think I lose time by keeping my Gold Bonus (as Lizard King didn't appear). That's right, it means I don't skip the Gold Bonus screen. But it helps me to go a little faster in next level, you'll understand why.

[The Gold Mines]
In this level, I usually take 8 Gold Bonus with my strat. As I kept the first one taken in previous level, the trick is to take one more Gold Bonus (the one over the second moving platform) to have precisely 10 Gold Bonus at the end of the level. Thanks to that, the Gold Bonus screen will be passed faster than with 8 Gold Bonus. The way I pass the last moving platform is very tricky, but with practice, I can reach a solid successrate here. Surprisingly a Gold Bonus is added to my total, even if I don't jump directly on it (and you can notice it doesn't disappear) ! I don't know if it's a bug or something else, but you can try, it works every time ! I couldn't beat the trolls faster than that : it's hard to kill the one to the left at his first appearance, but I managed to do it here. Otherwise you lose around 2 seconds to wait his second appearance and kill him.

[The Hall Of The Grim Reaper]
The first hidden energy isn't really necessary, but as I don't lose time by taking it, it's safer. The Reaper can be beaten faster with more luck (for example if he shoots only low fireballs). A more aggressive strategy is also possible, but I think it requires some luck too.

[Singe's Cavern]
Until the very last moment, I planned to jump over the third baby dragon, but it's very tricky. And even if it's faster, I realized I lost this benefit because of the second flying dragon (who drops something like a rock), as I have to wait him just after I killed the sixth baby dragon, to move safely to the next island. So I switched to a safer strat. Against Singe, I counted the number of hits, so I knew what I was doing at the end, don't worry. ;-)

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