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Arcade History -- Dragon's Lair #00001 57

Posted by michael
from the "drink-me" dept.
Noah Zoschke writes: "For the 'Buy it now' price of only $25,000, you can purchase the first Dragon's Lair arcade machine, serial #00001, ever made. The bidder states that the machine is in excellent condition considering it has resided in Don Bluth's office, and never been in an arcade. The bid at the time of posting is $4,150."
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Arcade History -- Dragon's Lair #00001

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  • If it's been in Don's office since DL was created, how did he get it?
  • Considering the guy's also selling a GE Vintage Wall Clock and National Geographic maps from the 1950's, I'm guessing he's either going through hard times or he's cleaning the closet.
  • Its stories like these that make you realize others have bigger troubles than you. Here I was depressed because I might lose my house after being dot bombed for months, but that pales in comparison to having to part with the first ever Dragon's Lair arcade game. He has my condolances. Maybe if we all donate some cash to him he can hang on to this priceless treasure!

    :) Seriously - now I can tell my wife I finally found an antique I actually want for the house! And at $25K its a steal!

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Saturday June 16, 2001 @04:43AM (#147466) Homepage Journal
    Probably bought it on the old Mail In/Punch Card version of eBay back in the 80's

    I never could get the hang of these "Follow the Story" games, I was too much into free will, short playing times and low scores.

    Anecdote: A friend and I knew patterns to Pacman and used to go up to a bar with a table version. We'd start with a beer and 300K range scores, then dip down as we got progressively drunk (also spilling popcorn all over the screen area at opportune moments, since loser had to buy next pitcher.) Scores floored at about 1,542. By the time we could get back above 250K we figured it was safe to drive back home.

    --
    All your .sig are belong to us!

  • by JiveDonut (135491) on Saturday June 16, 2001 @04:52AM (#147467) Homepage
    If you bid "right, left, up, left, right, left, right, sword, sword" you slay the bidder and move on to the next bid.
  • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Saturday June 16, 2001 @05:12AM (#147468) Homepage
    I have never heard of arcade game collectors being big into serial numbers. The amount of space they take up means most people have two or three at most. If you have to sell one machine to buy a new one, serial numbers are probably not your priority.

    Of course some idiot with a fat wallet may read about the auction on Slahdot and bid the box up, but given the vintage the machine is already way over bid. If the instant buy is $25K the guy probablky thinks he will get $10K at least.

  • Yeah, but you get lousy feedback, especially if you accidentally slay the seller.

    --
    All your .sig are belong to us!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Don Bluth did games and animation. See -> http://us.imdb.com/Name?Bluth,+Don for a listing of some of their stuff and http://donbluth.com/index.html for the company.

    Dragon's layer was really ahead of it's time. See http://www.dragons-lair-project.com/games/pages/la ir.asp for some of the cool stats on it. There are videos sounds and promotional material.

    pingmeep
  • The seller's email address is an AOL account. Makes the auction lose about 99% of it's legitimacy, if you ask me :)

    OTOH, he has 29 positive and 0 negative feedbacks -- most from over 6 months ago, which (while not stellar in the world of ebay) isn't too bad. I'd say he'll deliver, if someone is dumb enough to meet the obscenely-high reserve price!
    JMR

  • I never understood the popularity of that game. Spent till my last dime on it, however, trying to understand it.

    --

  • Well I am a fan of the original, I can remember wasting dollars at the local arcade. Alas I was very pathetic at it, but loved watching other talented and more coordinated people save the princess. Oh those distant memories.


    But know there is a new version coming out, and game play is improved (severely limited in previous edition) and it is fully 3D. Goto www.dragonstone.com [dragonstone.com] and check out new 3D Dragon Lair, I know I will use my hard earned cash to purchase it when it comes into my local computer store.

  • by mike260 (224212) on Saturday June 16, 2001 @05:57AM (#147474)
    From the auction description:
    Created by Cinematronics, it broke new ground in arcade animation and interactivity.

    Yep, it certainly broke new ground in interactivity - it was possibly the least interactive video game ever, roughly on a par with The Matrix DVD.
  • This post is a "3, insightful"!?? Slashdot reader prejudice, inferiority complex, and self-importance has reached a new level. Kuro5hin was right. Oh...let me mod myself fo you: 1, Troll.
  • Ebay doesn't even try to stop stolen merchandise from being sold with AID OF THEIR SERVICE. Hope you sleep well, knowing you have a stolen arcade game in your living room.
  • by raygundan (16760) on Saturday June 16, 2001 @06:19AM (#147477) Homepage
    You are quite right of course-- it is *exactly* as interactive as a DVD. The original was just a laserdisc player that skipped to the right part of the video when you did something. Which made the game more than a little boring. (to me, anyway)

    But you can actually get it on DVD:

    http://www.digitalleisure.com/pr981106.html [digitalleisure.com]
  • I remember DL. The first of the few laserdisk games that were made. The only other one I remember other than this involved flying a fighter/bomber aircraft. "Take out that bridge!" Anybody remember that game?
  • You mean the seller, right? Unless the thing's already been sold. In which case, why would you be posting this on Slashdot?
  • by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Saturday June 16, 2001 @06:37AM (#147480)
    According to postings in rec.games.video.arcade.collecting, he's been trying to sell this unit for quite some time now. He's been asking $5k for it. It seems that demand just isn't high enough... but of course, a Slashdot posting never hurts!

    To agree with a fellow poster, yes, serial numbers have almost no impact on the value of an arcade game. But in this particular case, this is supposedly *the first* laserdisc arcade game. Gotta be worth something to a laserhead (laserdisc arcade game collector). But not $25k.
  • And get this [ebay.com] instead.

    You could even write #000001 on the CD and stand up while playing it if you wanted.

    ________

  • According to the Dragon's Lair Project [dragons-lair-project.com],
    Astron Belt was the first laser disc arcade game ever created, but unfortunately, constant delays kept it from reaching the US arcades until late 1983.
    Another 1983 LaserDisc game was M.A.C.H. 3. Both Astron Belt and M.A.C.H. 3 featured computer graphics overlayed on top of LaserDisc footage (unlike Dragon's Lair).

    Finally, it's LaserDisc, not Laserdisk.

  • M.A.C.H. 3
    I thought it was better than the cinematic laserdisc games because it was more like a regular video game than a "follow the bouncing ball" like Dragon's Lair and Cliffhanger.
    Though I gotta give props to Cliffhanger because the animation was from Miyazaki's "Cagliostro!"
  • Another 1983 LaserDisc game was M.A.C.H. 3.

    Military Air Command Hunter.

    I guess this moment is the reason I've had that in my head for almost 20 years.

  • It's always been my opinion that the mid-80's downturn in videogames (the time between Atari and NES) had two causes:
    • Dragon's Lair
    • Warner's mismanagement of Atari
    The populace loved the eye candy of Dragon's Lair, but of course quickly tired of its limited gameplay. The games with good gameplay couldn't at the time come up with graphics good enough to lure in the general public. Thus, there was a sugar high, and then withdrawal.

    The few people that were still interested in gameplay over eye candy were denied their supply. Demand was there, but supply ran out because the dominant player in the industry, Atari (console, home computer, and coin-op), was driven into the ground by Warner mismanagement.

    It's like a nuclear missle killed the classic videogame era, and Dragon's Lair was one of the two launch keys. Yup, I want Dragon's Lair #0001.

  • Some liked Dragon's Lair, some liked Space Ace. My game of choice in this genre was "Cliff Hanger".

    The only problem is that it being much, much less popular, it disappeared before I could complete it. I never made it past the Ninja attack (somewhere around story sequence 5).

    I did see someone complete it once....



    --
  • For those who are interested, I found this site a while back, which gives a detailed history of video games through the ages.

    http://www.pong-story.com/intro.htm [pong-story.com]

    Remember Pong?

    --CTH


    ---
  • I think what made Dragon's Lair ahead of its time is that it managed to get thousands of little boys to pump quarters into a game that would kill you within seconds, while still convincing you that you should reach for another quarter. I don't think I ever got past the first screen, but I could feed a small nation with the change that I poured into this thing.
  • No, it's true. I use eBay frequently to sell stuff, and people with webtv and aol email addresses are the most likely to be clueless.

    Though somebody selling a 25k arcade machine prolly knows what he's doing :)


    He who knows not, and knows he knows not is a wise man
  • Cliff Hanger, unless I am mistaken, was based on Castle of Cagliostro, a movie directed by none other than the great Hayao Miyazaki (of Princess Mononoke fame). He clearly knew how to direct action already by that time. The movie is far and away the more satisfying experience.

    Anyway, I remember plunking pounds of quarters into this machine and never getting more than halfway, then one day I was possessed by the Force and finished it in one miraculous session of random twitches.

    Lap-disolve to fifteen years later, scanning the video store for work by my new favorite movie-maker, pick up Cagliostro.

    Nostalgia rising! Rising!
  • I bet he wishes he sold it last August then...
  • It's not the same. I own that - one of my first CD-ROM's. It is billed as being "the complete arcade game", however it is lacking the one scene where you swing on the chains that are on fire.

    So, I guess they were protecting the obviously lucrative market of selling old arcade games!
  • There was also Firefox. I know it had various scenes from the movie (like the takeoff from Russia, and the landing/takeoff on the ice flow.) I seem to remember that for the most part it followed the same flow everytime - like when you are racing down the ravine.
  • It's not serial numbers so much as rarity of a machine. Games like Major Havoc, I,Robot, Quantum (all Atari games, incidently), Blaster, anything in a duramold cabinet, and Computer Space are examples of these types of games. All of them had extremely low production numbers; hence their high asking prices. Then there are other games that are simply high in demand (Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man cocktail cabinets, Atari Football, Asteroids, Tempest, Battlezone, etc) and fetch high prices. OF course, with the economy slowing down, only the high demand machines are selling for anything NEAR their worth. Everything else is being stripped out and sold for their parts, as whole machines low in demand don't sell for much these days.

    Quantum is an especially high demand machine. People have paid $500 for just the cabinet, AFTER it's been converted to some crappy JAMMA game and painted over!

    Brian Deuel
    Pinballs Plus
    http://www.pinballsplus.com
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Don Bluth had to close down and auction off his entire Phoenix animation studio last year after Titan AE bombed, part of the industry-wide animation bloodletting that continues to this day. It is sad to see that he has come down to auctioning off his prized posessions just to scrape up some cash, if that is indeed the case.
  • Ed Rotberg (creator of Atari's Battlezone, Blasteroids, and many other games) recently auctioned off a couple of his prototypes, and HE had an AOL mail account. Kinda makes this statement look ridiculous to me.

    Brian Deuel
    Pinballs Plus
    http://www.pinballsplus.com
  • I'd have to agree.

    In fact, I recall about a year or two ago when I got my Dragon's Lair machine, that there were pieces available on eBay fetching extrodinary amounts.

    IIRC, a board went for like $450, and side decals went for $250.

    As to the OP of this thread who mentioned serial numbers, there ARE instances where the game collectors will go nuts over the 00001 machines. Somewhere on the net is a page that was put together when the very first Tempest was discovered by a collector.

    There's information and pictures about that Tempest here [gamearchive.com], discovered by Brad Martinson. Some of it looks like it may have been a prototype machine or something.

  • No, it's really not funny. It hasn't been funny the last 5,000 times people have done it. It's about as funny as "all your base are belong to us" is now. It's funny the first couple of times but then everyone starts to say it and then it becomes lame.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    .. a guy I used to know who'd sail Thistle #1 (a thistle is a racing dinghy, 17 feet long, three-man crew, horribly overpowered). Once when he signed up for a race, the RC person said, "boat number"?
    "One" he replied.
    "Uh, no, I mean the three- or four-digit number on your sail" she said.
    "One" he replied.
    She looked at him and asked, "Is your boat like all these others?"
    He answered, "No, ma'am, all these boats are just like mine."

    -- Guges --

  • As to the OP of this thread who mentioned serial numbers, there ARE instances where the game collectors will go nuts over the 00001 machines. Somewhere on the net is a page that was put together when the very first Tempest was discovered by a collector.

    I would not be surprised by the first Tempest machine fetching a high price, Tempest was a first generation machine with some pretty exotic hardware.

    I would quite happily pay $25K for an Apple I. But I would not pay more than $50 for an Apple II even if it was an ultra rare model.

  • Major Havoc was great! Totally captivating at the time, compared to the other pablum that was around.
  • Are you kidding? That's probably when the seller got, and now has to sell it because his own dot bomb is in the toilet, and he needs the money for name brand ramen, not the generic store brand.

  • I know this is gonna come off like a troll but I don`t care,
    I always thought Dragons Lair sucked, by todays standards it would be called an interactive video
    and marketed to children. It wasn`t any more of an arcade game than that one where you shock
    yourself while smoke pours outta uncle Fester`s ears. It was a complete waste of quarters.
    Arcades are dead! And someone should take a chainsaw to that machine and put it outta it`s misery.
    Consider how many teenager allowances it absorbed, that money could have been spent on useful
    stuff like drugs and beer or acne ointments.

    Also at least there was some kinda decent program behind games like Pac-Man, Galaxian, ...
    Even if the AI wasn`t the greatest you can still respect what the programmers were working with
    at the time.

    I can`t imagine that Dragons Lair consisted of much more than a shitload of rom packed with
    video and a very simple little routine. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.
  • Try this [digitalleisure.com] instead.
  • David Kirsch and I went to an arcade near his old apartment in Vancouver and I watched him play all the way through on his second quater.

    He obsesed over it.

    Course, then he went on to obsess over Quake...

  • Consider how many teenager allowances it absorbed, that money could have been spent on useful stuff like drugs and beer or acne ointments.

    motherfucking WORD. But then again, you gotta laugh a little about the fact that people not only poured tons of money into the game for years, but now some luckey bastard is probably going to spend $25,000 on it.

    -
  • I know the guy who's auctioning this machine, and I will tell you that not only is this auction for real; that machine is for real, I've personally seen the serial number, and played that actual machine, it does work and it's in amazing condition considering the age of the beast...
  • "I would not be surprised by the first Tempest machine fetching a high price, Tempest was a first generation machine with some pretty exotic hardware." Yep. First color vector game. Not only that, but Tempest REALLY taxed the (shoddily-designed) monitor. The drawing of the vectors offscreen pushed REAL hard on the deflection circuitry. I've rebuilt dozens of those old WG 6101's. Nothing like deflection transistors frying, and the beam shooting the back of the cabinet... BZZZZT! Or even better, the high voltage section of the monitor failing, and sending 120v surging through the low voltage section, frying the zener diodes... ZZZZZZZZAPPP! But, I've digressed too far offtopic.... Brian Deuel Pinballs Plus http://www.pinballsplus.com
  • AMEN!

    I've been handed a copy of the DL source code. Surprise, surprise... its written in BASIC

    10 IF JOYSTICK=UP THEN GOTO 100
    20 IF JOYSTICK=DOWN THEN GOTO 200
    100 REM show screen "insert coin"
    200 REM play video segment A

    I hated the gane too - way too restrictive. I agree - by today's standards it would be called an interactive video.

  • This game has a few features that are unique to the other Dragon's Lairs out there. For one, it has a control panel with instructions on it, a feature not found on the other Dragon's Lairs. For another, the side art on the side of the machine appears to be a different shade of green. And of course, since the machine has sat in Don Bluth's office, that is also an appealing aspect. There may be other subtle differences not readily available from the photographs.

    One thing to point out though is that this is not the first ever Dragon's Lair created. There were various prototype cabinets with different control panels/marquees created and there were also prototype laserdisc created with different footage. Pictures of this prototype stuff can be seen on the Dragon's Lair Project [d-l-p.com] .

    I don't know any serious laserdisc game collector who wouldn't love to have this game sitting in their home. But I also think you'd have to be a fool to spend $25k on the game. I think it's worth $3000 at most, and last I checked the bidding was up to $5000.

    A quick word on the ports of Dragon's Lair : In my opinion they are not very faithful to the arcade and I would encourage people to avoid the temptation to describe the Dragon's Lair ports as being "just like the arcade!" The CD-ROM and DVD ports are more like new games that use the same footage as the arcade. As near as I can tell, the creators of these games did NOT have an arcade machine available for reference.

    Feel free to visit my Dragon's Lair emulation project. [rulecity.com]
  • I doubt that Ms. Pac-Man would get that much demand. It's not a rare machine at all, since so many were made after the success of Pac Man. I've seen fixer-up Ms. Pac Man machines (that would need a new monitor/joystick) for about $200 or less if you are willing to help the seller move it. I think there's one in every small sub-shop in Baltimore. On the other hand, WORKING vector games are rare and damn expensive. Even the old Vectrex system will get you quite a bit on ebay, around $200. And that's due to the high failure rate of the displays.

  • Dragon's Lair an artform?!? A cool game? Man, that game sucked!You spent 20 minutes admiring the graphics and $2 to realise that losing wasn't your fault. Pretty graphics do not a arcade game make;Give me 'Pong' or 'PacMan' or 'Galaga'.Not Dragon's Lair.

    Any if anything ever was a money-making scam, it was this piece of snobbish software.


  • "I doubt that Ms. Pac-Man would get that much demand. It's not a rare machine at all, since so many were made after the success of Pac Man."

    You are absolutely correct about the numbers of Ms. Pac-Man machines out there. But the demand for them is high, and this has driven the price for them up. As an operator, I refuse to pay more than $200-$300 for a working one, and even THAT is stretching it. But people who want one (especially the cocktails) will pay top dollar. Example? We took five Ms. Pacs to an auction. Of those five, only two worked, and two of the others were empty cabinets. We got $450 for one empty and $475 for the other! The working machines went for $800 and $950, respectively. The other machine (non-working but complete) went for $600.

    Take a look on eBay and compare the prices sometime. It's crazy.

    Brian Deuel
    Pinballs Plus
    http://www.pinballsplus.com
  • I meant to hit preview. Does Slashdot randomly alter button position like WinZip? :^) *sigh*

    It's always been my opinion that the mid-80's downturn in videogames (the time between Atari and NES) had two causes: Dragon's Lair Warner's mismanagement of Atari

    That and the price of 74LS "glue" chips going through the roof. You had to sell your soul for a good source of 74LS245's! The place where I was working stipped QIX and Aztarac boards for parts -- except the two QIX clone boards in my closet. My analog colour Atari ST monitor works fine with that hardware. I should do something with all of that.

    The populace loved the eye candy of Dragon's Lair, but of course quickly tired of its limited gameplay.

    I always thought that the game should have handed out food-pellets for good moves like any other rodent-trainer game.

    The games with good gameplay couldn't at the time come up with graphics good enough to lure in the general public. Thus, there was a sugar high, and then withdrawal.

    1984? CGA/HGC graphics. 1985, Amiga and Atari ST, but only at the begining of the learning curve.

    Another trend was the close-out of US shops (who did the hit-or-miss gameplay games) in favour of the Japanese parents (who did formula cash earners). i.e. The close-out of Taito America (QIX) in favour of Taito Japan. I really wish I'd asked Paul Moriarty (pres. Taito America) why even the clone QIX boards had an RS232 port on the board when I had the chance.

    The few people that were still interested in gameplay over eye candy were denied their supply. Demand was there, but supply ran out because the dominant player in the industry, Atari (console, home computer, and coin-op), was driven into the ground by Warner mismanagement.

    Console? Like the Atari 2600? (or whatever it was) Eeeh!

    It's like a nuclear missle killed the classic videogame era, and Dragon's Lair was one of the two launch keys. Yup, I want Dragon's Lair #0001.

    In terms of game play, it was a rodent-trainer game. It cost $4-5,000 so arcade owners (a greedy lot) jacked up the dificulty levels. ("What? He can play for more than five minutes? Fix that!" "Uh, but he spent $$$ getting that good." "Yeah, so?!") And it didn't really have an ending, just a stopping.

    I don't know if DL caused the slump, but it was one of the signs of death of arcade development.
  • 1984? CGA/HGC graphics. 1985, Amiga and Atari ST, but only at the begining of the learning curve.

    Atari tried to screw Amiga and thus lost the Amiga and had to make the not-as-fabulous Atari ST. Had Atari had Amiga, and had Atari remained a single company, there would have been a great flow of coin-op-ports to the Amiga.

    Console? Like the Atari 2600? (or whatever it was) Eeeh!

    No, the 5200 and especially the 7800, which was originally due to be released before the NES.

  • How is the rote memorization of moves in Dragon's Lair any different from the wildly popular fighting games, where each character has different unique moves that require rote memorization to master?
  • Well, it is three hours until the end of the auction, and very few people are probably going to read this message, long after it has scrolled off of the Slashdot front page.

    I saw a twice retracted bid for $10k, which made me highly suspect that the reserve was at $10k. Sure enough, it was, and with a bidder with SOME feedback history, and who bids on Fendi money holders. (To most everyone else out there, Fendi is a ritsy Italian brand.)

    Looks like this thing is finding a new home. And possibly making a page in arcade history. No vintage arcade game has EVER gone for this kind of money.
  • He're an informal slashback:

    The last bidder was the person described in my previous message. His 'winning' bid went unchallenged. And, as mentioned, this is the most a vintage arcade game has gone for, ever.

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