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Here is our complete walkthru for the 1983 arcade version of Dragon's Lair by Cinematronics, set at hard difficulty.

LEGEND

U - Up
D - Down
L - Left
R - Right
S - Sword
N - No move  (Letter "N" in the "correct move" row means that making no move at all is a correct play.  Otherwise, by default, making no move will cause death.)
 

Moves colored red require particular timing and are only correct when performed at the right time, as explained in their comments.  They will cause death if performed too early / late.
Moves colored purple will cause a subsequent software error (a bug) that affects gameplay.

When two joystick moves are listed as correct (such as U and L), diagonal movement in these directions is also correct, unless otherwise noted.

All moves in the chart will cause the indicated results during the time frame when the correct move is acceptable.  Before this time frame (and after the previous move), some correct moves and "death moves" may instead cause a buzz, and some "buzz moves" may instead cause death.

NOTE:  All scenes begin with an automatic award of 49 points.

 Ropes (fire pit)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

R

R

R

R
49 SCORE 251 379 495 915
CAUSES DEATH U D L U D L U D L U D L
CAUSES BUZZ S S S S
SEE COMMENT # 40 41 41 41
40. Move when the rope has swung near Dirk. (2 chances)
41. Move when Dirk nears the end of his swing.
TOTAL SCORE: 2,089

 Ropes (fire pit) (reversed)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

L

L

L

L
49 SCORE 379 495 0 0
CAUSES DEATH U D U D R U D R U D R
CAUSES BUZZ R S S S S
SEE COMMENT # 40 (above) 41 (above) 41 (above) 41 (above)
TOTAL SCORE:  923

 Bedroom (closing wall)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

U
49 SCORE 379
CAUSES DEATH L R
CAUSES BUZZ D S
TOTAL SCORE:  428

 Flying Barding

CORRECT MOVE(S)

R

L

R

L

L

L
49 SCORE 495 495 495 495 1,326 495
CAUSES DEATH U L U R U L U R U R U R
CAUSES BUZZ D S D S D S D S D S D S
SEE COMMENT # 42 & 43 43 43 43 44 43
42. A diagonal Up/Right is also recognized and accepted as a correct move.
43. Move after the fire has appeared.
44. Move after Dirk has passed the pillar on his side and it is out of view.
TOTAL SCORE: 3,850

 Flying Barding (reversed)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

L

R

L

R

R

R
49 SCORE 915 915 495 495 1,939 495
CAUSES DEATH U R U L U R U L U L U L
CAUSES BUZZ D S D S D S D S D S D S
SEE COMMENT # 45 43 (above) 43 (above) 43 (above) 44 (above) 43 (above)
45. Move after the fire has appeared.  A diagonal Up/Left is also recognized and accepted
as a correct move.
TOTAL SCORE: 5,303

 Wizard's Kitchen ("Drink Me")

CORRECT MOVE(S)

R
49 SCORE 379
CAUSES DEATH U D L
CAUSES BUZZ S
TOTAL SCORE:  428

 Mausoleum (Crypt Creeps)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

U

S

U

S

L

S
49 SCORE 495 915 495 915 495 495
CAUSES DEATH D L R S U D L D L R U D R D R U D L R
CAUSES BUZZ   R S L U S  
SEE COMMENT #   46   46    
46. Press the Sword button after the skeletal hand appears.
TOTAL SCORE: 3,859

 Mausoleum (Crypt Creeps) (reversed)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

U

S

U

S

R

S
49 SCORE 495 2,191 495 2,191 495 495
CAUSES DEATH D L R S U D R D L R U D L D L D L R
CAUSES BUZZ   L S R U S U
SEE COMMENT #   46 (above)   46 (above)    
TOTAL SCORE: 6,411

 Pirates of the Caribbean (underground river)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

L

R

L

R

U R

U L

U R

U L


L

R

L

U R
49 SCORE 379 379 379 379 495 495 495 124 251 251 251 251 495
CAUSES DEATH U R U L U R U L L R L R   U R U L U R D L
CAUSES BUZZ D S D S D S D S D S D S D S D S   D S D S D S S
SEE COMMENT #         47 48 47 48 49 50 51 50  
47. Move to the Right before Dirk reaches the light orange strip, or else if Dirk is within the strip, move Up. (Diagonal movement is not correct.)
48. Move to the Left before Dirk reaches the light orange strip, or else if Dirk is within the strip, move Up. (Diagonal movement is not correct.)
49. This first whirlpool will not appear when the difficulty is hard; however, the game will still award 251 points after it skips over the video.
50. A diagonal Up/Left is also recognized and accepted as a correct move.
51. A diagonal Up/Right is also recognized and accepted as a correct move.
TOTAL SCORE: 4,673

 Elevator Floor (3 levels available)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

L
49 SCORE 3,255
CAUSES DEATH U D R
CAUSES BUZZ S
SEE COMMENT # 52
52. Move when Dirk is lined up
with a catwalk. (3 chances)
This scene appears twice in one
complete game.
TOTAL SCORE: 3,304

 Vestibule (small crumbling room)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

D R

R
49 SCORE 251 251
CAUSES DEATH U L U L
CAUSES BUZZ S D S
TOTAL SCORE:  551

 Boulder Trench (colored balls)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

D

D

D

D

D

D

U
49 SCORE 251 379 379 379 379 379 379
CAUSES DEATH U U U U U U  
CAUSES BUZZ L R S L R S L R S L R S L R S L R S D L R S
SEE COMMENT # 53 53 53 53 53 53 54
53. Move after a colored boulder has passed horizontally in front of Dirk.
54. Move when the gap in the floor appears.
TOTAL SCORE: 2,574

 Three Caves (jagged door / geyser)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

U

U

L
49 SCORE 915 1,326 2,191
CAUSES DEATH D L R D L R R
CAUSES BUZZ S S U D S
SEE COMMENT #   55 56
55. Move when the jagged doors are open. (3 chances)
56. Move when the geyser is at zero height. (3 chances)
TOTAL SCORE: 4,481

 Knight & Light (Black Knight / horse)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

U R

L

L

R
49 SCORE 379 1,939 1,939 2,675
CAUSES DEATH   U R U R U D L
CAUSES BUZZ D L S D S D S S
SEE COMMENT # 57      
57. A diagonal Up/Right is not correct in this instance
and will cause a buzz.
TOTAL SCORE: 6,981

 Socker Boppers (Grim Reaper)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

U

S

D

U
49 SCORE 4,026 2,191 1,326 915
CAUSES DEATH L R D L R U L R D L R
CAUSES BUZZ D S U S S
SEE COMMENT # 58      
58. Move immediately after the two socker boppers have crossed
the center path together at the same time. (3 chances)
(This is the official timing criteria as per the game software.)
TOTAL SCORE: 8,507

 Socker Boppers (Grim Reaper) (reversed)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

U

S

D

U
49 SCORE 4,750 2,191 1,326 915
CAUSES DEATH L R U D U L R D L R
CAUSES BUZZ D S L R S S
SEE COMMENT # 58 (above)      
TOTAL SCORE: 9,231

 Pot of Gold (Lizard King)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

L

R

R

R

R

R

U S

S

S

S

D S

S
49 SCORE 1,939 1,326 1,326 1,326 1,326 2,191 3,255 0 0 0 0 0
CAUSES DEATH U D R U D L U D L U D L U D L U D L D L R D L R   R
CAUSES BUZZ S S S S S S   U L R U D R U D L U L R U D L
SEE COMMENT # 59 60 60 60 60 60         61  
59. Move when Dirk puts his hands on his head.  A diagonal Up/Left is also recognized and accepted as a correct move.
60. Move when Dirk stops running.
61. A diagonal Down/Left is also recognized and accepted as a correct move.
TOTAL SCORE: 12,738

 Forge (Smithee)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

S

S

L

S

S
49 SCORE 915 1,939 1,326 1,326 915
CAUSES DEATH U L R U L R D R   R
CAUSES BUZZ D D U S U D L R U D L
SEE COMMENT # 62 62 63 64  
62. Press the Sword button when the weapon crosses overtop the line of fire
on the floor during the middle of its descent.
63. Move after the anvil begins to rise off of the floor.
64. Press the Sword button when the camera's view begins to pan towards Dirk.
TOTAL SCORE: 6,470

 Forge (Smithee) (reversed)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

S

S

R

S

S
49 SCORE 1,326 2,191 1,326 1,326 915
CAUSES DEATH U L R U L R D L U D L R L R
CAUSES BUZZ D D U S   U D
SEE COMMENT # 62 (above) 62 (above) 63 (above) 64 (above)  
TOTAL SCORE: 7,133

 Breathing Door (wind room)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

R
49 SCORE 379
CAUSES DEATH U
CAUSES BUZZ D L S
SEE COMMENT # 65
65. Move when the door flashes.
TOTAL SCORE:  428

 Tentacles & Halberd

CORRECT MOVE(S)

S

U

R

D R

L

U
49 SCORE 49 379 495 915 1,326 1,939
CAUSES DEATH U D S D L S U L S U D S D L R S
CAUSES BUZZ D L R L R U   R  
SEE COMMENT #       66 67 68
66. Move Down when the stairs flash.
67. Move when the bench flashes.
68. After Dirk has landed on the bench, move when the door opens for the first or second
time. (2 chances)  A diagonal Up/Right is also recognized and accepted as a correct move.
TOTAL SCORE: 5,152

 Mist Room (snakes)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

S

S

S

U R
49 SCORE 495 2,675 49 1,939
CAUSES DEATH L R L  
CAUSES BUZZ U D R U D L U D R D L S
TOTAL SCORE: 5,207

 Wizard's Chamber (Cauldron Wizard / slime)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

U

S

D

S

R
49 SCORE 2,191 3,255 3,255 2,191 1,326
CAUSES DEATH D L R U D L R U L R U L U L
CAUSES BUZZ S   S D R D S
SEE COMMENT #     69    
69. A diagonal Down/Right is also recognized and accepted as a correct move.
TOTAL SCORE: 12,267

 YMCA Room (flattening stairs)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

L

S

L

L
49 SCORE 495 1,939 915 1,326
CAUSES DEATH D   D R S U D R
CAUSES BUZZ U R S U D L R U S
SEE COMMENT #       70
70. A diagonal Up/Left is also recognized and accepted
as a correct move.
(This comment appears under the 4th move intentionally,
while for the easy difficulty chart, it appears under the 3rd move.)
TOTAL SCORE: 4,724

 Spiral Staircase (Giddy Goons)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

S

R

S

U L
49 SCORE 379 1,326 3,255 0
CAUSES DEATH U L R U L S U D L D S
CAUSES BUZZ D D R R
SEE COMMENT #   71 72  
71. A diagonal Up/Right is also recognized and accepted
as a correct move.
72. Press the Sword button when the giddy goons appear
at the top of the stairs.
TOTAL SCORE: 5,009

 Fire Room (lightning / bench over exit)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

R

U L

D L

L
49 SCORE 915 1,326 915 1,326
CAUSES DEATH U D L D R U R U D R
CAUSES BUZZ S S S S
SEE COMMENT #   73    
73. Move when the second bolt appears from the ceiling.
TOTAL SCORE: 4,531

 Yellow Brick Road (pool of water / spider)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

L

U

R

U

L

U

S

R

U
49 SCORE 1,326 1,939 2,191 2,675 3,255 3,551 4,026 5,000 4,750
CAUSES DEATH U D R L R U D L D L R U D R S D L R D L D L D L R
CAUSES BUZZ S D S S S   S U R U S S
TOTAL SCORE: 28,762

 Yellow Brick Road (pool of water / spider) (reversed)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

R

U

L

U

R

U

S

L

U
49 SCORE 1,939 2,191 2,675 3,255 3,551 4,026 4,026 5,000 4,750
CAUSES DEATH U L L U D R D L R U D L S D L R D R D R D L R
CAUSES BUZZ D S D R S S S   S U L U S S
TOTAL SCORE: 31,462

 Catwalk (bats)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

U

U L

S

R

R
49 SCORE 915 915 2,675 915 3,551
CAUSES DEATH D R D R U L R D L U D L
CAUSES BUZZ L S S D U S S
SEE COMMENT #   74   75  
74. Left will only be accepted near the end of the time frame allotted for the move,
and then the timing for all further moves in the scene will be shifted, requiring
them to be performed late.  (Diagonal Up/Left succeeds as Up does, without error.)
75. A diagonal Up/Right is also recognized and accepted as a correct move.
TOTAL SCORE: 9,020

 Chapel (Robot Knight / checkered floor)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

R

L

U

L

R

L

R

S
49 SCORE 1,939 1,939 2,191 1,939 1,939 1,939 4,026 2,191
CAUSES DEATH U D L U D R D L R U D R U D L U D R U L U
CAUSES BUZZ S S S S S S D S D L R
SEE COMMENT #             76  
76. Move when Dirk is in mid-jump.
TOTAL SCORE: 18,152

 Chapel (Robot Knight / checkered floor) (reversed)

CORRECT MOVE(S)

L

R

U

R

L

R

L

S
49 SCORE 2,191 2,191 2,675 2,191 2,191 2,191 4,750 2,675
CAUSES DEATH U D R U D L D L R U D L U D R U D L U D R U
CAUSES BUZZ S S S S S S S D L R
TOTAL SCORE: 21,104

 Giant Bat

CORRECT MOVE(S)

S

L

U L

S

L
49 SCORE 1,326 2,191 1,326 3,551 49
CAUSES DEATH   R D L R R
CAUSES BUZZ U D L R U D S R S U D U D S
TOTAL SCORE: 8,492

 Throne Room

CORRECT MOVE(S)

R

U

R

R
49 SCORE 1,326 3,255 2,675 1,939
CAUSES DEATH U D L D L R U D L S D L
CAUSES BUZZ S S   U S
SEE COMMENT # 77 78    
77. Move when the overhead view of Dirk appears.
78. A diagonal Up/Right is also recognized and accepted
as a correct move.
TOTAL SCORE: 9,244

 Tilting Room

CORRECT MOVE(S)

D

U

L
49 SCORE 1,939 2,675 1,939
CAUSES DEATH L R D L U D R
CAUSES BUZZ U S R S S
SEE COMMENT #   79  
79. Move when the fire directly ahead has subsided.
TOTAL SCORE: 6,602

 Mudmen

CORRECT MOVE(S)

S

U N

U

U R

U

U

U

U

U    R

U
49 SCORE 1,326 1,326 2,191 2,675 1,326 1,326 1,326 1,326  495  1,326 1,326
CAUSES DEATH U D L R D L R S D L R S D L S D L R S D L R S D L R D L R S D L S  
CAUSES BUZZ             S     D L R S
SEE COMMENT #   80 81       81 & 82   83  
80. Move after Dirk has sheathed his sword.  If you make no move, 1,326 points will still be awarded.
81. A diagonal Up/Left is also recognized and accepted as a correct move.
82. Move when the ground flashes.
83. If you move Up, you will receive 495 points and continue on to the next move.  If you move Right, you will receive 1,326 points,
and the scene will end without any further moves accepted or points awarded.  A diagonal Up/Right is not correct in this instance
and will cause a buzz.
TOTAL SCORE AVAILABLE: 14,692

 Elevator Floor (9 levels available)

CORRECT MOVE(S)
L R
49 SCORE 3,255
CAUSES DEATH U D
CAUSES BUZZ S
SEE COMMENT # 84
84. Move when Dirk is lined up with
a catwalk. (3 chances to move Left,
then 3 chances to move Right,
then 3 more chances to move Left)
BONUS SCORE:  49 points for
not jumping at the first 3 stops.
Another 1,939 points for also not
jumping at the middle 3 stops.
TOTAL SCORE AVAILABLE: 5,292

 Elevator Floor (9 levels available) (reversed)

CORRECT MOVE(S)
L R
49 SCORE 3,255
CAUSES DEATH U D
CAUSES BUZZ S
SEE COMMENT # 85
85. Move when Dirk is lined up with
a catwalk. (3 chances to move Right,
then 3 chances to move Left,
then 3 more chances to move Right)
BONUS SCORE:  124 points for
not jumping at the first 3 stops.
Another 2,191 points for also not
jumping at the middle 3 stops.
TOTAL SCORE AVAILABLE: 5,619

 Dragon's Lair

CORRECT MOVE(S)

L

L N

L

D L

U

D L

U

R

U R

R S

S

U L

S

S
49 SCORE 1,326 1,939 1,326 1,326 2,191 1,939 2,191 3,255 2,191 3,551 4,026 2,191 4,750 5,000
CAUSES DEATH   U R S   S   U R S   D L     U D L R R    
CAUSES BUZZ U D R S D U D R S U R D L R S   D L R S U S D L S U D L   D S U D L R U D L R
SEE COMMENT #   86           87            
86. If you make no move, the game will lock up, and no further input will be accepted.  The laserdisc will continue to play until the dragon's body hits the ground,
at which time the software will recover by resetting to the attract mode.  However, this error does not occur (and N is fatal) with ROM revision F2.  The correction of this error
is the only difference that exists between ROM revisions F and F2.
87. If you move Down, the software will fail to search for the death scene, and the laserdisc will continue playing from where it is for the duration of the proper death scene.
Normal operation will then resume with the content that should follow the death scene.
TOTAL SCORE: 37,251


MAXIMUM SCORES (hard difficulty)

Total possible score using 1 life  326,248
Total possible score using 3 lives 390,750
Total possible score using 5 lives 455,252

These scores are obtained by allowing both 9-level elevator floors to drop 7 or more levels,
and also by moving 'Up' near the end of the Mudmen scene instead of 'Right'.
The 3-life and 5-life scores are obtained by losing all lives but one at the last sword move of the game.

However, these maximum scores can still be exceeded 

quick reference
easy difficulty
Total possible score using 1 life  320,289
Total possible score using 3 lives 373,879
Total possible score using 5 lives 427,469
very hard difficulty
Theoretical maximum score using 1 life  377,011
Theoretical maximum score using 3 lives 441,513
Theoretical maximum score using 5 lives 506,015


ALL SCENES RANKED BY TOTAL SCORE (both hard & very hard difficulty)

 1) Dragon's Lair 37,251
 2) Yellow Brick Road (pool of water / spider) (reversed) 31,462
 3) Yellow Brick Road (pool of water / spider) 28,762
 4) Chapel (Robot Knight / checkered floor) (reversed) 21,104
 5) Chapel (Robot Knight / checkered floor) 18,152
 6) Mudmen 14,692
 7) Pot of Gold (Lizard King) 12,738
 8) Wizard's Chamber (Cauldron Wizard / slime) 12,267
 9) Throne Room 9,244
10) Socker Boppers (Grim Reaper) (reversed) 9,231
11) Catwalk (bats) 9,020
12) Socker Boppers (Grim Reaper) 8,507
13) Giant Bat 8,492
14) Forge (Smithee) (reversed) 7,133
15) Knight & Light (Black Knight / horse) 6,981
16) Tilting Room 6,602
17) Forge (Smithee) 6,470
18) Mausoleum (Crypt Creeps) (reversed) 6,411
19) Elevator Floor (9 levels) (reversed) 5,619
20) Flying Barding (reversed) 5,303
21) Elevator Floor (9 levels) 5,292
22) Mist Room (snakes) 5,207
23) Tentacles & Halberd 5,152
24) Spiral Staircase (Giddy Goons) 5,009
25) YMCA Room (flattening stairs) 4,724
26) Pirates Of The Caribbean (underground river) 4,673
27) Fire Room (lightning / bench over exit) 4,531
28) Three Caves (jagged door / geyser) 4,481
29) Mausoleum (Crypt Creeps) 3,859
30) Flying Barding 3,850
31) Elevator Floor (3 levels) (appears twice) 3,304
32) Boulder Trench (colored balls) 2,574
33) Ropes (fire pit) 2,089
34) Ropes (fire pit) (reversed) 923
35) Vestibule (small crumbling room) 551
36) Bedroom (closing wall) 428
37) Wizard's Kitchen ("Drink Me") 428
38) Breathing Door (wind room) 428

OTHER DIFFICULTY SELECTIONS

EASY DIFFICULTY
VERY HARD DIFFICULTY

 


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