Chances are that you have probably watched Season 2 of 'Stranger Things' already. I mean, It's hard not to watch something this good over a weekend. The second season would be hard to be bad with the same cast and all...and the same directors/writers as the first. And yes, it still BLEEDS everything eighties.

I was alive in 1984. For those of you that don’t have personal experiences from that particularly era you can still live through it with film, TV, books, games, music and even old photo albums. Regardless of what decade someone spends most of their childhood in, it exists in the looming cultural/societal shadow of the preceding era through media, fashion and other accoutrement left behind. One example of history I would like to touch on is 'Dragon's Lair'...one of the most memorable computer games of all time.

Video games have come a long, long way since the days when Space Invaders seemed like a technological wonder, and arcade games were staples in every halfway decent mall, bowling alley, skating rink and 7-11. For anyone old enough to have frequented these establishments in the mid-eighties, you'll undoubtedly remember the stir 'Dragon's Lair' caused when it was released. The game was always surrounded and being worshipped by a crowd of teenage wasteoids. You knew they were going to kick your ass and laugh when the game did the same, but you just had to try. You would push your way to the cabinet and stand your ground, just to ensure you got next. I vividly recall seeing the local game with a second television monitor mounted atop the cabinet so that the crowds of people standing around could still see the game playing even from a distance, and when anybody made it to the end to face off with the dragon there's was a clamor of excitement.

The concept was considered dope for the time: The main character, Dirk the Daring, sought to rescue Princess Daphne from Singe the Evil Dragon. Even though the actions were simple, Dirk would be dead if the action wasn’t done at just the right time. A joystick controlled the movement in several directions, usually right and left, but also up and down. A sword button could be pushed so that it would swing out and strike. Lights would flash and chimes would sound to give hints. They would indicate directions to exit a room or creatures to kill with your sword. There were even more complicated moments without chimes, including following patterns on a tiled floor or running from a large rolling marble so that other marbles would smash into it.

As the first laser disc game on the market, 'Dragon's Lair'  brought something new, and quite  frankly, it blew my mind the first time I saw it. It was virtual nectar from the future. At home, you would dream that you were Dirk the Daring. Those deaths, that violent yet enchanting universe, The impact they had on your psyche was undeniable. They were the most extreme animations you had ever seen. They made you face humanity's frailty without the snuff. Visceral and breathtaking. You wanted back in ASAP after the game over screen. Nowadays, you don't have to give up two games of Frogger just for a few precious moments with this interactive cartoon of epic-ness, it has been re-released over and over again (get it on Steam, y'all). Grab a port of it or just watch a play through on YouTube. Lead on adventurer, your quest awaits!

-Dagobot



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Tags: dragons lair , Stranger Things , Don Bluth