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Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Phil South
Chris Bourne

A laserdisk game on the Speccy? You're pulling my dirk. No, it's definitely no joke, this really is Dragon's Lair on the Spectrum. Q. How on earth do you compact 10 million megabytes of graphics and sound, a Walt Disney cartoon and orchestra, onto the small (yet v. humble) Spectrum? A. You don't. You take the scenarios and multiload simplified versions of each. Ah! But does it work, this megagame in a micro machine? Nope, I'm afraid not, but then you can't have everything.

Dirk's adventures in the Dragon's gaff are too hard, basically. I suppose you could say it's an accurate representation of the original in that respect. Oh yes, it's exactly like the coin-op version in another respect too. Your control over the hapless Dirk seems limited to merely guiding his progress, rather than actually having any real control over him. I find this aspect particularly annoying! If you make a game so hard that it doesn't allow anyone but the writers past the first level, there's little point in drawing any other levels, is there? They could be the most brilliant screens in the world, with the most scintillating gameplays, but unless some poor berk can have a fair shot at getting to them, you might as well forget it. The graphics on the bits you can see look really good, but have the feel of straining to appear sophisticated when they're really not doing that much.

If you can be fagged to persist, I'm sure you'll prove me wrong, by discovering the hidden depths to the gameplay and the glory of the final graphic effect. But frankly I think it was a bad idea to attempt a conversion of this magnitude, unless you were sure to produce a workable game. Shame.