Like so many children of the 80s, I was obsessed with video games. The thing about this obsession -- some may aptly call it an addiction -- is that it wasn't just about playing for hours on one's Atari or (if you were a bit of a snob) Intellivision. This was the golden age of arcades. So, the best games cost 25 cents a pop. Places like Chuck-E-Cheese (before they turned into places where you played pseudo-gambling games to earn tickets) were havens for those of us willing to waste countless quarters just to feel the thrill of electronic mayhem, if only for a few fleeting moments.
Notice how the young folks in the above photo are lining up to play their favorite game? That's how hooked we were. No instant gratification for us 80s kids. We gathered around and waited our turn.
The game that I was the most in awe of was different from all the rest. It was called "Dragon's Lair." And everytime I went to the arcade, this game possessed the longest lines and the largest audience.
This game was different for two reasons. Reason #1 -- it was two quarters! 50 freakin cents. By 80s economics that meant that I was giving up two candy bars just to have a turn. Reason #2 -- it was animated, yes Gloriously Animated by Disney veteran turned rogue, Don Bluth. And since I passionate cartoons, Dragon's Lair was a case of love at first sight. Here's the "trailer" that would play as the machine waited to gobble up your money.
Unlike games such as Joust, Asteroids, and Ms. Pac-Man (my first foray into feminism), I never got very good at Dragon's Lair. It could never figure out the timing. However, I loved the hilarious ways poor Dirk the Daring died.
If you were like me and endlessly failed to play the way all the way through, just so you could watch the entire animated film, you'll be happy to know that someone posted all of the scenes on YouTube. Hooray for the Internet!