Lost Treasures

August 31, 2015

Episode 8: Dragon’s Lair

Dragon’s Lair: Interview with Michael J. Mika

Dragon's Lair Boxart

You might know him as the Donkey Kong Dad, the man who hacked Donkey Kong so that his daughter could play as Pauline and save Mario.  You may also know him as one of the geniuses behind the recent Social Media driven game #iDARB.  His name is Mike Mika, and we aren’t talking to him about either of these feats.  Today we will be concentrating on a much different wondrous feat that Mike was a part of: the porting of the arcade game Dragon’s Lair to the Game Boy Color.  Mike shares with us some of the complexities of such a thing and some of the haggling that had to be done with the publisher to get the game to where it ultimately ended up.

Follow Mike on Twitter: @MikeJMika
#iDARB: @iDARBgame

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Dragon’s Lair fan and although it seems that you have to hate or love the game, there is something to be said about a very particular version of the game – the Game Boy Color port.

First a quick history lesson. Dragon’s Lair was released in the arcades in 1983. It was a first in many ways. The first video game to feature orchestral music. One of the first video games to use a laser disc. And the first game that truly inspired the quick time events that we see in many games today.

The biggest difference between Dragon’s Lair and the games from the time was that the graphics were completely different since they were not generated in real-time by a computer. They were pre-done, on the laser disc and played back in a sequence determined by the computer and your actions. As such, converting the game to platforms at the time was pretty much
impossible because they did not have the graphic fidelity or a decent amount of storage to make it possible.

So when Capcom released a full motion video version of the game on the Game Boy Color platform in 2000, it was quite an amazing feat. A good chunk of the animation is present in a tiny 4 megabyte space, taking up just 0.115% of the space that the ultimate Blu-ray version does. Yet, the game works and truly retains the look and feel of the original.

If you are looking to see what I consider one of the most technically impressive Game Boy Color titles ever made, you can find an emulated version online or better yet, try and track down the original cartridge. Lead on adventurer, your quest awaits!

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About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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