Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp
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|Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp|
|Developer(s)||Sullivan Bluth Interactive|
ReadySoft (Amiga, ST, PC)
ReadySoft (Amiga, ST, PC)
|Platform(s)||Arcade, CD-i, DVD, Blu-ray, iOS, PlayStation 3, Wii, DSiWare, Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS, Macintosh, Switch|
June 16, 1991
Amiga, ST, DOS
Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp is a 1991 laserdisc video game by the Leland Corporation. It is the first true sequel to Dragon's Lair. As with the original, Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp consists of an animated short film that requires the player to move the joystick or press a fire button at certain times in order to continue. It takes place years after the original Dragon's Lair. Dirk has married Daphne, and the marriage has produced many children. When Daphne is kidnapped by the evil wizard Mordroc in order to be forced into marriage, Dirk's children and his mother-in-law are clearly upset by the abduction of Daphne, and Dirk must once again save her.
Home ports were announced for the Sega Saturn, Philips CD-i, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, and Atari Jaguar CD. Only the CD-i version was released. The game was later ported to the Wii as part of the compilation release Dragon's Lair Trilogy. A PlayStation 3 port was released on June 1, 2011. A Nintendo Switch port of the Wii Dragon's Lair Trilogy compilation was released on January 17, 2019.
Dirk the Daring must find and rescue Daphne with the help of a well-spoken time machine. It seems that the time machine is (or has been) possessed by the brother of Mordroc, the foul wizard that has kidnapped Daphne. Dirk travels through several dimensions and historical eras searching for Daphne, some inspired by classic stories and fairy tales such as Alice in Wonderland and Sleeping Beauty, to prevent Mordroc from enslaving Daphne to his whim with the dreaded Death Ring. Voice actor Michael Rye reprises his role as the narrator in the attract sequence, as he did with Dragon's Lair as well as Space Ace.
Gameplay differs from the original in two important ways. First, it follows a linear sequence of events which flow one into the next, as opposed to the randomized sequences of rooms from the first game; "dying" in the sequel also forces the player to resume from a checkpoint in the level rather than starting a randomly different level as in the original. Second, golden treasures are scattered throughout the game; getting each treasure is required to reach the final scenes. If the player misses any, at the end of the game it loops back to the first treasure missed. As well, unlike in the first game, the actions the player must do are prompted by a brief flash of what Dirk should use or where he should go next. However, to retrieve a golden treasure, the player may need to make a move in a direction other than what is flashing.
Development on the game began in 1983 after the success of the original Dragon's Lair, and finally reached arcades eight years later, hence Leland Interactive's credit on the title screen, although a commercial from Don Bluth Productions featuring completed animation from stage 3 in the game had aired on television in 1984. Actually creating the game's animation took three years.
The Amiga, Atari ST, and DOS versions of Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp were released in November 1990, and cost £44.95. The home computer versions of Dragon's Lair II by ReadySoft were developed over the course of 'about' a year. In a January 1991 issue of British gaming magazine The One, The One interviewed David Foster, the founder of ReadySoft and a programmer for the home computer versions of Dragon's Lair II, for information regarding the game's development. Dragon's Lair II spans six floppy disks, and Foster expressed that this is due to higher resolution imagery than previous laserdisc games by the Bluth Group, such as Space Ace.
Due to the arcade version of Dragon's Lair II having been unreleased at this stage in development, the game's home computer versions were made using a VHS tape as a reference, as opposed to a laserdisc. Foster expressed in regards to this that "Conversion is obviously easier with the laser disc as you can get a good quality freezeframe. We digitise a series of images from the laser disc, then we separate the foreground from the background, giving each element to the respective artists to touch up, which includes outlining all the characters ... when you're converting from a high-resolution laser disc to a lower resolution screen a lot of detail is lost, so a lot has to be put back in." The conversion is then edited to match the 16-colour palette to that of the original footage, and compressed; Foster stated that "On average it takes about two hours of 68030 computer time to compress a single frame - that's thousands of computer hours in all. So we have four machines with 25Mhz processor speed working on it - two Great Valley Products[circular reference] '030s, a Commodore '030 board, and an Amiga 3000."
- Stage 1; Singe's Castle - Dirk is terrified and horrified to death of his angered mother-in-law trying to smack him with a rolling pin or toss destructible objects towards him for her revenge on him because of the kidnapping to his married Princess Daphne by Mordroc. He must flee from her while getting past several creatures and obstacles in the deceased Singe's old castle, including a ravenous snake wearing a Tam o' Shanter, in order to reach the time machine that will allow him to pursue Mordroc.
- Stage 2; Land Before Time - In prehistoric times, Mordroc takes a moment to taunt Dirk as he battles pterodactyls, a T-rex, and two bat-winged centaurs that carry Daphne away. As this happens, the tiny island they are on gradually crumbles into the sea. – "Connections-Reference: The Land Before Time (1988)".
- Stage 3; Dirk in Wonderland - In 1865, Dirk is materialized in Alice Liddell's house and goes through the looking-glass that hangs over the fireplace. While being dressed as Alice by enemy characters, he tumbles into Wonderland where he faces Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Queen of Hearts, her army of playing card soldiers, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, the Jabberwock and the Cheshire Cat. – "Connections-Reference: Alice in Wonderland (1951)".
- Stage 4; Garden of Eden - In the Garden of Eden, Dirk has to escape from guardian angels, the advances of Eve the fat Lady, two snakes (one wanting to eat Dirk and the other a smooth-talker), and finally, the ruin of Eden itself when Eve accidentally eats the forbidden apple.
- Stage 5; Beethoven's Creative Gust - In 1808, Dirk is shrunk to the size of a mouse in Ludwig van Beethoven's study, where he must avoid the predations of the composer's constant playing the piano with his hands, his wicked hungry cat and the sheer chaos of his creative gust.
- Stage 6; Ancient Egypt - In Ancient Egypt, Dirk finds what appears to be Daphne (wrapped completely in linen bandages) but is actually Mordroc in disguise, leading Dirk on a wild goose chase as he explores an ancient tomb while narrowly avoiding poison gas, spiders, giant bats, corrosive acid, scarabs, and a giant mummy.
- Stage 7; The Ring - At his castle, Mordroc puts the Death Ring on Daphne's finger, which transforms her into a monstrous banshee. Dirk must avoid the monstrous Daphne's mindless attempts to devour him. He must get the ring off her finger, restore her to normal, and defeat Mordroc at the same time. In addition to the alternate scene in the non-arcade version, Dirk has to remove the ring from Daphne and throw it at Mordroc.
- Final Stage; Daphne Awakens - Although Mordroc is defeated, Dirk must fight off Mordroc's last surviving minions, who are trying to get their revenge on him for defeating their master, so that Dirk safely escapes the crumbling castle with Daphne.
During the course of the game, the player must find and collect "treasures" in order to reach Mordoc. In the Director's Cut version of the game, gathering all the treasures offers an alternate, shorter and easier second-to-last stage. In it, Dirk must get the Death Ring and then throw it at Mordroc. This also includes three death scenes that were not used in the final release.
Around the time the Arcade was out, an abridged version was released for the Amiga home computers by ReadySoft. It included only some of the scenes and most stages were absent altogether. It included the introduction reaching the machine, followed by the prehistoric stage, the Garden of Eden, and the final stage.
The game was followed by Dragon's Lair III: The Curse of Mordread also by ReadySoft. It presented an original storyline with Mordroc's sister, the evil witch "Mordread". She arrives at Dirk's and Daphne's home, and absorbing both the house and Daphne into an orb. This game incorporated the stages of Wonderland and Beethoven's piano from Time Warp but also included some original sequences: an intro, a stage on a pirate ship, a stage in the time realm, and an original ending.
Dragon's Lair II was released on DVD in 1998.
Following the release of Dragon's Lair and Space Ace in high-definition for Blu-ray, Digital Leisure said they were working on a Blu-ray version of Dragon's Lair II for some time in 2008. The disc was released on June 2, 2009.
An easter egg on the Space Ace Blu-ray allows the player to play the first scene of Dragon's Lair II in Blu-ray format.
PlayStation 3 release
Dragon's Lair II was released on the PlayStation 3 on June 1, 2011.
Nintendo Switch release
Released as Dragon's Lair Trilogy (includes Dragon's Lair, Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp, and Space Ace)
Computer Gaming World called Dragon's Lair II "an exceptional program which suffers from uninteresting game-play". The magazine criticized the game for, like its predecessor, being "a long series of trial and error" instead of testing the player's ability. The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the CD-i version a 7.25 out of 10, commenting that it looks and plays just as good as the arcade version, and praising the addition of collectable items. One of the reviewers dissented with the majority opinion, saying that FMV games had lost their novelty and that the game was lacking in interaction. GamePro gave it a rave review. They applauded the sharp and colorful graphics, absence of slowdown, high frame rate, realistic sound effects, and outstanding controls, elaborating that "The CD-i's circular directional pad gives you quicker, more accurate button presses that help you get past every snake, dragon, and mother-in-law in sight."
- Nesbitt, Brian (January 1991). "Who Dares Wins". The One. No. 28. emap Images. pp. 116–118.
- "News: Dirk Does it Again!". The One. No. 26. emap Images. November 1990. p. 16.
- "Review Crew: Dragon's Lair II". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 65. Sendai Publishing. December 1994. p. 46.
- "Dragon's Lair 2: The Daring Dirk Returns". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 86. Ziff Davis. September 1996. p. 84.
- "Release Liste". Video Games (in German). No. 46. Future-Verlag. August 1995. p. 43. Archived from the original on 2018-09-14. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
- Gore, Chris (August 1995). "The Gorescore - Industry News You Can - Upcoming Jaguar Software Titles". VideoGames - The Ultimate Gaming Magazine. No. 79. L.F.P., Inc. p. 14.
- Great Valley Products
- "Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp for Amiga (1990)". MobyGames. Archived from the original on 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
- Greenberg, Allen L. (March 1992). "As the Worm Turns". Computer Gaming World. p. 74. Archived from the original on 2014-08-18. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- "ProReview: Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp". GamePro. No. 67. IDG. February 1995. p. 106.
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