Dragon's Lair
Walkthrough
Version 1.5
Copyright 2009 by ktwo
E-mail: ktwo[at]graffiti.net

Last updated : September 2:nd 2009




***********
* Content *
***********

 1. Introduction
 2. Version History
 3. Story (from the NES manual)
 4. Basic Gameplay
 5. Controls
 6. Items
 7. Enemies
 8. Cheats
 9. Walkthrough
10. Ending
11. High scoring strategy
12. Acknowledgements
13. Copyright Info
14. Feedback




*******************
* 1. Introduction *
*******************

Welcome to the first walkthrough for the American version of Dragon's Lair 
for NES. Although it has come to my attention that the American version 
differs in some regards from the PAL-version, I hope that this guide can 
satisfy frustrated players with only the PAL-version as well.

The game is probably most famous for the dragon under the bridge in the 
beginning. People thought this was hard and put away the game even before 
entering the castle. I guess many of you did the right thing, because that 
was only the beginning. Inside the castle dwells pure evil... Before you 
check this game out, you should be aware of that Dragon's Lair has a 
reputation of being one of the tougher Nintendo games released. To complete
this game, you need lots of dedication to learn where all the traps and
enemies appear, but also a huge portion of luck. 

Even though there exist different opinions, most Nintendo players agree on 
that this game is one of the worst NES-games ever made and I am probably 
prepared to understand them to some extent. Your hero, Dirk, is extremely 
awkward and weak and there are so many cheap hits that you don't know if to 
laugh or to cry after a while. So why have I chosen this game to write about 
then ? Well, I'm particularly interested in challenging Nintendo games and
how to complete the them. Since Dragon's Lair fits well in on this 
description and the fact that very little information can be found about it 
on the Internet convinced me to make this effort. Also, even though some 
parts are very hard to get through, there are sometimes tricks to make it 
easier. Therefor I think this walkthrough can still be of some use.

I'm not sure if my walkthrough ever will be read, but to all of you obsessed 
souls out there who dare to confront this reincarnation of the old man, I 
demand you to equip yourself with a will of iron, nerves of steel and 
lightning reflexes. If you accept this extreme challenge, I hail you by the 
metal of death !




**********************
* 2. Version History *
**********************

1.5 (09-02-2009) :
      Added a nice strategy for the second bosses (the mine trolls). The new 
      method is both easier to perform and faster. Courtesy to Xandier for 
      sharing this finding with me and the public.

1.41 (11-01-2006) :
      I changed email adress (I curse home.se) and I also changed some parts
      in the introduction. I have come to painful insight of the the 
      relentless difficulty that offers Snake Rattle 'n Roll. It would not be
      right to speak of Dragon's Lair's difficulty without mentionning Snake
      Rattle 'n Roll.

1.4 (03-17-2006) :
      Added a hint sent in by Luke J Martinez on how to get the highest score.

1.3 (11-14-2004) :
      Well, I guess I learned my lesson - you should never call something the
      final version. Thanks to Egil Kollind (I'm terribly sorry, but I've lost
      your mail, so the spelling might be different), I have included a new
      feature for the candles. Although it doesn't make the game much easier, 
      it is definitely a must to include in a walkthrough. Very cool indeed
      that the game has something that looks like secrets.

1.2 (07-21-2002) : 
      Thanks to the very kind contribution of LaVey, the story as well as 
      the correct names of the items, levels and some enemies have been added. 
      I am also very greatful to Maxx, who enlightened me on how the 30-lives 
      cheat code works. I have also fixed a few things myself here and there.
      Although spelling and grammar faults are probably numerous, I feel 
      confident enough about the content to call this the final version.

1.1 (05-20-2002) : 
      Mainly some spelling and grammatical changes as well as some redrafts. 
      If I don't get any mails with new information, this will be the final 
      version. 

1.0 (05-06-2002) :
      The original version




**********************************
* 3. Story (from the NES manual) *
**********************************

From deep within Mordroc's Castle, a foul stench rose up to mix with the 
cold, damp midnight air; the telltale sign of the evil wizard's pet 
fire-breathing dragon, Singe; the reeking breath of the beast that guarded 
the Princess Daphne in the dark and deadly caves far below the surface. Dirk 
the Daring walked steadily toward the castle gate. He felt no fear. Fear was 
for cowards, not the most courageous knight in the land. No other would dare 
enter this perilous castle where Mordroc had imprisoned the helpless 
princess. But then, no other could match Dirk's unrelenting love for the 
beautiful Princess Daphne. There was no other possible course of action. Now 
was the time for heroes. Now was the time to enter the Dragon's Lair. 




*********************
* 4. Basic Gameplay *
*********************

I would class this game as a mix of an ordinary 2d-platformer and a 
memorygame. You have very small chances of getting past most of the 
obstacles, if you haven't memorized their exact position and the right
strategy to get past them. 

Your goal is to, as the knight Dirk, get through an introlevel and four 
standard levels, composed of different enemies, bottomless pits and quite a 
few traps. Each level ends with a bosslike sequence. After each level you 
will find yourself going down a shaft on an elevator. On one of the four 
stops on your way down, you'll find the entrance to the next level. To 
accomplish your mission, you have 6 lives at your disposal, but no 
continues, passwords or saves. I suggest that you use your lives wisely, 
because I have only found three extra lives and Dirk is very fragile... 
Dirk is equipped with an energy meter that is lowered by some enemies, but 
also by throwing the weapon he's equipped with. Most of the time you can 
however be prepared for instant death upon impact with an enemy or trap.

The main thing to do is basically to try and stay alive and complete the 
game (definitely easier said than done). For those who are easily amused, 
I mention also that there is a High-score list. During normal gameplay,
you won't even be close to the highest score, so I suggest you don't 
bother too much about it. Believe me, the game is challenging enough as it
is. If you still want to have a go for the high score, you can check out
section 11, which is about a high score strategy. Once you beat the game, 
you can also try to find all the secret items that are revealed by using 
the candle.




***************
* 5. Controls *
***************

Left:     walk/crawl left
Right:    walk/crawl right
Down:     get down on hands and knees
Up:       rise
A Button: jump, two different heights possible
B Button: shoot weapon
Shift:    pause game
Start:    use candle




************
* 6. Items *
************

I don't know who, but someone left some items in the dungeon. Perhaps the 
not so lucky predecessors of Dirk ? The items are found in blocks with 
letters on. All the blocks will be back if (rather when...) Dirk dies. The 
content depends of course on the letter and is as follows (numbers in 
parenthesis represent number of times found in each level, including level 
0) :

A - Axes : 
      two times stronger than the dagger, try to keep these, same 
      trajectory as the daggers. The best weapon (0, 2, 1, 3, 1)

C - Candle : 
      used to light up a dark part of level two, but also use it during 
      level 1, 2 and 3 to make hidden items appear (0, 0, 3, 0, 0)

D - Daggers : 
      your first weapon, fly in a nice parabol towards the ground, but
      too weak. The worst weapon (0, 1, 0, 2, 1)

E - Energy : 
      can almost refill half of your lifebar (0, 1, 1, 3, 0)

F - Fireballs : 
      strong like the axes, but much slower to throw. The second best
      weapon (0, 2, 0, 2, 0)

G - Gold : 
      adds one gold bag to your collection (1, 2, 12, 6, 2)

L - Life : 
      adds an extra life (0, 0, 1, 2, 0)

P - Points : 
      gives you 400 points. I suggest you walk past this one without wasting 
      your time... (0, 1, 2, 5, 1)

Every time you finish a level, you get 10 bonus points for each gold block 
you've found and been able to keep (you will lose them all if the Lizard
King bumps into you). Note that a gold bag found in an earlier level will 
give bonus points even after completing a later level. But anyway, who cares 
about the points ?




*************************************************
* 7. Enemies and traps (in order of appearance) *
*************************************************

Note I :
      some of the enemies are not mentionned in the manual and their names
      are therefor my inventions. The invented names are marked with (*).
Note II : 
      all enemies who throw / spit / emit something do this to the left. 
      Hurry to the right of them if it's possible !
Note III : 
      all enemies you can kill / destroy, except for the Lizardking, give 
      you 40 points (be it a bat or Singe) !


Collapsing Floor : 
      bears a moving Dirk, but makes him fall through if he stops. Instant 
      death. (level 1 and 3)

Vampire Bats (black) : 
      fly in a sinusoidal path towards our hero. One of few enemies that 
      doesn't kill Dirk right away (but 11 of them will). Can be killed by 
      one dagger. Regenerating. (level 1 and 2)

The Drawbridge Dragon (*) : 
      lives under the bridge in the introsequence. Shoots fireballs. Instant 
      death. Can (and must) be killed by 10 daggers. (level 0)

Prisoners (*) : 
      throw stones (can be destroyed by your weapon) which mean instant 
      death upon impact. Can not be killed. (level 1)

Poisonous Snakes : 
      spit poison at Dirk. Instant death. Can be killed by 3 daggers. The 
      first boss is 8 serpents. (level 1)

Rising And Falling Gateways : 
      instant death. Can not be killed. (level 1)

Moving Blocks : 
      goes up and down like the rising and falling gateways. Instant death, 
      but you can "overlap" with them quite a bit, meaning you can start 
      crawling under them before they go up in the roof. Can not be killed.
      (level 2)

Vampire Bats (red) : 
      like the black bats, but need three knives to be killed. (level 2)

The Mining Car Trolls (second boss) : 
      two redskinned and bearded stone throwers, who hide in two mining 
      cars. Instant death. The number of daggers needed to kill them seems to 
      vary from time to time. Normally it is somewhere between 15 and 30 for 
      each one. (level 2)

Floating Skulls : 
      two types exist. One of them acts exactly like the black bats. The 
      other variety flies up and down while spitting stones and blocking the 
      path for Dirk. Instant death. If hit by a weapon they stand still, but 
      continue spitting stones. Be sure to hit them when they are high up so 
      you can get past under them ! (level 3)

Swinging Wall Pendulums : 
      cool trap which rotate 360 degrees in the third dimension. Instant 
      death. Can not be killed. (level 3)

Ghosts (*) : 
      fly up and down in a regular pattern (down, up, down, up, rest 3 
      seconds and repeat). Pass below when it settles for a moment on the
      top. Instant death. Can not be killed. (level 3)

The Grim Reaper (third boss) : 
      shoots fire with his finger and emits skulls of the first variety from 
      his head. Can take six fireballs before going back to where he came 
      from. (level 3)

Flying Baby Dragons : 
      hatch from eggs on the last level and fly against Dirk while spitting 
      fire in front of them. They will home in on you and must therefor be 
      killed by 4 daggers or 2 axes/torches. They increase the speed if you 
      wait too long. (level 4)

Swamp Bubbles (*) : 
      drains energy. Can be destroyed by one dagger. (level 4)

Singe (fourth / last boss) : 
      blows smoke, either high or low, in the direction of Dirk, while 
      regularly emitting baby dragons. Instant death (what did you expect ?). 
      Can be killed by 20 axes (but seems to prefer living at Dirk's 
      expense). (level 4)

The Floating Lizard King (Mordroc) : 
      comes sometimes flying on the levels to steal your gold (and energy), 
      but can then be killed by 8 daggers. His appearance seems to be rather 
      randomized, although I can't recall ever having met him on level 3 nor 
      when I haven't had any goldbags left (that's a good reason for leaving 
      them alone). You can also meet him in his treasury (read below for more 
      info), although I strongly advice you not to go there, where he can't 
      be killed and where you die instantly upon impact. (level 1, 2, 4 and
      the treasury)




*************
* 8. Cheats *
*************

By typing BATS on the High-score list you will start the next game with 30 
lives. This cheat works unfortunately only on the PAL-version. I don't 
think there is a corresponding code for the American version.




******************
* 9. Walkthrough *
******************

Note :
      To lighten up the text, I have sometimes used shorter names for some 
      of the enemies. These are as follows : 
            Collapsing Floor               - bad floor
            Vampire Bats (black)           - (black) bats 
            Drawbridge Dragon              - dragon 
            Poisonous Snakes               - snakes / serpents
            Rising And Falling Gateways    - gateways 
            Vampire Bats (red)             - (red) bats
            Mining Car Trolls              - trolls 
            Floating Skulls                - skulls (I and II) 
            Swinging Wall Pendulums        - pendulums 
            Grim Reaper                    - reaper 
            Flying Baby Dragons            - baby dragons
            Swamp Bubbles                  - bubbles
            Floating Lizard King (Mordroc) - Lizard Ling



Level 0 - The Drawbridge
========================

Go right until you're two steps right of where the chain holds up the 
bridge. Kill the black bat that appears and jump right, upon which the 
drawbridge dragon will come out from below. Turn around, jump back, duck 
and crawl to the left of the screen. Turn around to the right, rise and 
throw a few daggers at the dragon. Quickly duck under the fire spit out by 
him. Repeat until the dragon is no more. Enter the castle while avoiding the 
regenerating bats.



Level 1 - The Entrance Hall
===========================

Hidden items (in order of appearance)
-------------------------------------
to reveal the hidden items, just use the candle at the indicated place.

A - right before the first two gateways
P - right after the first two gateways
F - after the third prisoner
A - before the second set of two gateways
F - after the last prisoner


Walkthrough
-----------
Walk immediately just to the right of the first prisoner and wait until the 
second one has thrown two stones in front of your feet. Hurry behind the 
second prisoner and be prepared to take out a serpent that will appear just 
after him. Crawl under the two gateways (watch out for the pattern of the 
second one) and rise up. Advance and anticipate a serpent that will soon 
appear. Go to the right of the stone throwing prisoner and wait for him to 
throw two stones before trying to get the energy (if you need it). The step 
right next to the prisoner marks the FIRST CONTINUE POINT. 

Continue past the hole that spits out bats and be prepared for another snake 
just after the fourth prisoner and another one upon jumping down the ledge 
you're on. Light the candle to find some hidden axes and then crawl under 
the first of the two gateways in front of you (same pattern as the second 
gateway you passed a little earlier), rise, jump over the small pit and wait 
for the prisoner to throw two stones before you crawl under the second 
gateway. Continue crawling (to avoid the bats) until you reach another step. 
This step is the SECOND (and last) CONTINUE POINT. 

Wait for the last prisoner to throw his two stones and continue to the 
right. If you somehow missed the axes before, you can light your candle to 
find hidden fireballs just above. Crawl under another bathole and then rise 
and walk to reach the first boss.


Boss 1 - The Eight Snakes
-------------------------
Start throwing your weapons as soon as the boss music begins. When you kill 
the first serpent (it's the same kind of serpent you've already met - three 
daggers or two axes / fireballs will do the job) another one will appear to 
replace it. Stand still and kill it and two more snakes to the right in 
this way. The fourth will not be replaced and you can now begin your fight 
against the one to the left. Kill it and then hurry to the right. A new 
serpent will come out near the roof. Jump and throw daggers to kill it. Two 
more snakes will then appear to the left. Kill them too and exit to the 
right to enter the first elevator shaft.


Elevator Shaft 1
----------------

Note : 
     the elevator shaft will be the same whether you redo a level or if it's 
     the first time you get there.

You will go down a shaft on an elevator that makes four stops along the way 
down. At each stop there is a possibility to jump off onto a ledge (if you 
go all the way down, the elevator will stop and you need to jump of in order 
to continue). The ledges at the odd stops (1 and 3) are always to the right 
and the ledges at the even stops (2 and 4) are always to the left. This is 
important to know, since the stops are very short and you need to be 
prepared when it's time to get off. In the following shaft-sections I will 
just refer to each stop as 1, 2, 3 and 4 and tell you were they lead. Let's 
begin with the first one !

1 - Level 1
2 - Level 2
3 - Level 0
4 - The Treasury



The Treasury
============
I start out by strongly recommending you not to enter this room ! The game 
is already hard enough without this painful place. Even though I consider 
this room to be completely useless I will describe what to do here anyway. 

So, upon entering the room, the Lizard King will fly against you, but this 
time instant death awaits you if he touches you. Your goal is to get under 
the King and get to the right side of the room, climb the throne and jump 
and catch the blinking gold block (be sure to jump when it's lit) to the 
right of the throne. Then you need to get back under the Lizard King and 
exit to the left (you can not exit crawling, the same goes for all other 
levels, you have to walk out). To keep the King from killing you, you need 
to constantly throw your weapon at him. He will then stop his attack and 
slowly move backwards. This is the time to move a _few_ steps forward. After 
a while he will try to attack you again, but just keep throwing your weapons
at him to keep the distance. To get under the Lizard King is a very delicate 
task. There are two ways to do this. The first way is to stand on the bottom
ledge and jump up and down while throwing daggers. He will then fly up a bit 
and, if you are very accurate and very lucky, you can crawl under him. The 
second way is to climb up and stand on the throne and repeat the same 
tactics, but this time walk, instead of crawl, under him when he is high up 
in the air. If you manage to get out alive (you need to get the gold block 
to be able to exit) you will be at the top of the same shaft you entered the 
treasury from.

If you haven't lost any goldbags (you haven't bumped into the Lizard King 
during the game), you won't get any gold bags even if you collect the 
blinking gold block (but you will still need to get it in order to open the 
exit). 

A few final words of advice. If you for some reason missed the level 
entrance, I suggest you jump down the shaft rather than enter this place.
You will then restart at the top of the shaft with one life less - a very
wise decision considering the alternative. I can't stress enough that to 
get out alive of the treasury is extremely hard and the result is so 
incredibly lame that I feel like crying when thinking about it. Why would
you even consider getting back the gold that Mordroc will take from you
on the next level anyway ?



Level 2 - The Gold Mines
========================

Hidden items (in order of appearance)
-------------------------------------
C - in the opening in the roof between the first two moving blocks
P - two blocks to the right of the hidden C
P - after the first set of two moving blocks
A - before the first pit
L - after Singe's Dragon's Breath


Walkthrough
-----------
Get down on your knees and start crawling to the right towards a moving 
block going up and down. Get under it and light the candle in the cavity
right after, if you need to refill the candle. Continue under a set of two 
moving blocks right next to eachother, while avoiding the bats as much as 
you can. Go down a few steps and continue crawling under another set of two 
moving blocks (FIRST CONTINUE POINT) and a lonely moving block. 

You will soon come to a set of two moving platforms. Before riding the first
of them, light the candle to get axes if you need. In order to ride these, 
you need to _walk_ as it moves over the pit ! I repeat, you can not stand 
still and hope that the platform will transport you to the other side. Once
you reached the second platform, you're at the SECOND CONTINUE POINT. 

A third pit with a set of upwinds (referred to as Singe's Dragon's Breath in 
the manual) coming up from it will now be in front of Dirk. Make a big jump 
when a new set of winds starts to blow and cross the pit by pressing right on
the controller. This has to be done pretty quickly though. Then light the 
candle to reveal a hidden extra life ! Jump up two steps and continue 
crawling to the right. Suddenly it will become dark, but don't worry, just 
continue to the right until you stop. Rise and light the candle. In front of 
you is a bridge that is shooting out and going back over a gap. Cross it, but 
be careful not to go to fast - there is chance to fall into the pit if you 
don't slow down once in a while. Take the candles and the energy and continue 
down a few steps to another two moving platforms. Cross them and be careful 
not to go too fast here too. The platforms don't stop when they change 
direction, making it sometimes difficult to time the boarding on the other 
side. If you finish off by a small jump, you can avoid this problem. The 
light will come back once you are on the other side of the second pit and 
you have arrived at the second boss.


Boss 2 - The Mining Car Trolls
------------------------------
The second boss are two trolls, each hiding in a mining car. They hide 
and reappear as follows: hide _about_ four seconds, throw one stone, hide 
_about_ one second, throw another stone, hide four seconds etc. They appear
alternatively, with the rear one appearing first, then the front one, etc.

When the fight starts, crawl so that your face covers the vertical bar of 
the mining car stopper. Wait until the rear troll has thrown his first two
stones. Advance as far right as possible while crouching. Then rise and turn 
around. If you moved too far, you will "bounce" back. Then rise and move two 
steps to the right before turning around. If done correctly, you will now be 
in a safe position to the right of the rear troll. Just fire away with your 
weapon from that position. You will hit whichever troll that is up. 

Note : there does not seem to be a fix number of hits to take the trolls
out with, but it varies between something like 15-30 daggers. It seems to 
me like you need less hits if you hit them every time they appear. Or maybe 
some hits cause more damage than others ? This is indeed a bit strange...


Elevator Shaft 2
----------------
1 - Level 0
2 - Level 2
3 - Level 3
4 - The Treasury



Level 3 - The Hall Of The Grim Reaper
=====================================

Hidden items (in order of appearance)
-------------------------------------
P - under the second arc from the start
A - under the third arc from the start
G - before jumping on the ledge of the first pendulum
E - after the first set of two pendulums
L - after the axes
F - before the second ghost
E - after a hard passage with two skulls II
P - before the visible daggers
A - over the first floor support after the visible daggers
E - after the hidden axes
P - under the second arc after the skull II garding a big pit
P - under the same archway as the above P


Walkthrough
-----------
Light the candle under the third arc from start if you need axes. Then walk 
and take out the skulls as they appear, but be sure to stand on a place 
where the floor is supported from below, otherwise you will fall through the 
it. You will soon come to a skull II, which you should hit when high up in 
the air (jump and throw weapon). On the next ledge, which has a good floor, 
you will meet your first pendulum, this one is easy although you will die if 
it passes you even if you duck. Then make a small jump to the next ledge, 
without getting to far in on it. This ledge has a set of two pendulums 
mounted in height. Just duck and follow the lower one on your hands and 
knees. Light the candle now if you need energy and then stay down as the 
skulls will miss you. Be careful as you continue (that is : don't stop in 
the middle), since there is some bad floor (the last one for a while) right 
before the next ledge, where you'll meet your first ghost. Walk (not crawl) 
under it and duck as soon as you jumped down to the next ledge (to avoid 
the Skull I). Right after the axes, there is a hidden extra life if you 
light the candle. Then comes another set of two pendulums. You need to jump 
over the lower one in order to progress. Pass another ghost and be prepared 
for an annoying passage over a pit. Make a low jump to get on the moving 
platform (FIRST CONTINUE POINT), follow it and jump off with another low 
jump. You can't avoid the daggers on the other side, but it doesn't really 
matter. 

Pass another ghost and jump down to a new ledge with a set of two pendulums. 
Pass them by jumping over the lower, duck under the upper and quickly jump 
over the lower one again. Then stay as close to the pendulums as possible. 
You'll see another skull II, but he can't hit you if you placed yourself 
right. Hit him as high up as you can and move as far right as possible on 
the floor support. Ignore the fireballs, since it will expose you to some
unnecesary danger. Be careful with the bad floor and continue to the next 
floor support, where you're out of reach for the second skull II. Throw a 
weapon to stop it and then walk under it. Just to the right is some hidden
energy if you use the candle. Fall down the ledge and pass another pendulum 
and remember the extra life (easy to get). You will need it, because the 
next section is tricky if you don't know how to do it ! But first you crawl 
under another ghost and another high pendulum (SECOND CONTINUE POINT). 

Walk off the ledge and light the candle when standing on the first floor
support after the daggers. This will reveal hidden axes. It is extremely 
important to get those ! You can also get some hidden energy right after. 
When you're done, continue walking past the bad floor and stop on the floor 
support right before the pit. Over the pit are two moving platforms, which 
will stop as soon you land on them. Time your jump so you first land on the 
upper platform. Move to the right to see a skull II, that you should stop 
as high as possible (as usual). Then fall down to the lower platform, from 
which you hopefully can reach the other side. If you first land on the 
lower platform, you'll make it utterly difficult for yourself. It is 
possible to make the jump to the other side, but you need to have an 
extreme precision to stop the upper platform as close as possible to the 
right side of the pit. That is because you must finish off by a low jump if 
you don't want to jump into the stones from the skull II. Watch out for bad 
floor as you move on. You will reach a ghost and a set of pendulums. Even 
though the ghost and the pendulums seem to be close together, you can stand 
between them. To get past the pendulums, you jump over the lower, duck 
under the upper and jump over the lower again (same pattern as a bit 
earlier). Then get past a skull II on the other side (CONTINUE POINT 
THREE). 

Jump on the moving platform behind the skull II and jump off it on the other 
side. Another skull II will then appear, but if you walk under it right away 
it will not kill you. Now prepare yourself for the Grim Reaper !


Boss 3 - The Grim Reaper
------------------------
The Reaper is blue and the only vulnerable part is its head. From its finger 
it shoots out sets of four fireballs (the first time only three), either 
high or low, while emitting skull I from its head. 

If you come all the way here, you should be able to bring this one down as 
well. Simply duck (in this way you can avoid both the low and the high 
fireballs) and wait just below his shooting finger. Once he's done with a 
series of fireballs, jump once and aim at his head. Then avoid the next set 
of fireballs and repeat. Six fireballs will be enough.


Elevator Shaft 3
----------------
1 - Level 4
2 - Level 1
3 - The Treasury
4 - Level 3



Level 4 - Singe's Cavern
========================

Hidden items
------------
No hidden items on this level. :-(


Walkthrough
-----------
I'm not sure why this level is called a cavern, because it looks more like
you're in a swamp than anything else, but nevermind !

If you have the axes or fireballs, this level should be doable, but with 
the daggers, you're definitely in for some trouble. Duck and shoot as soon 
as you enter to kill a newly hatched baby dragon. A little further awaits 
another one, which will hatch as you approach it (you can't kill it if it's 
not hatched). Go back and duck when you see it starts hatching to get more 
time to throw weapons at him. Jump over some water while trying to avoid the 
bubbles. If you have the daggers, you need to do a small jump to the ground 
(not stay on the upper ledge). Otherwise you can be almost certain to be 
skelletized by the next baby dragon. If you have the axes / fireballs you 
can do as you please ! Kill the third baby dragon and continue. There are 
axes here, that are almost impossible to avoid as you will soon see (but 
since it's the best weapon, we don't mind, do we ?). Hatch the fourth baby 
dragon and hurry back over the water and wait for it there. Jump over to 
the island it hatched from, to find the fifth baby dragon. Hatch it, go 
back, wait for it, kill it, but you know that by now don't you ? The sixth 
awaits you on the next island as well as the seventh (FIRST, and only, 
CONTINUE POINT). 

The eigth is on the island after and the ninth another island away. After 
the ninth it is time for a critical moment in the game. On the next island 
you'll see a dagger block. If you pick that one up, you can just as well 
reset the game... To avoid taking it, do this : at the boundaries of the 
ledge you're standing on are some black, vertical lines. Stand so your toes 
are between the first and second lines and then jump. As you land on the 
next island, you'll hatch the tenth (and last) baby dragon, so you need to 
jump back in order to kill it, before doing this precise jump again. 
Continue to the right to face Singe.


Boss 4 - Singe
--------------
Prepare yourself for a _very_ hard and uneven fight against what most likely 
is the hardest enemy ever created for a Nintendo game. Hopefully you have 
the axes. If you don't have the axes, you still have a microscopic chance to 
beat him, but it's sort of like finding the famous needle in a haystack... I 
would just reset and retry to save time if I were you. Singe is a green, 
firebreating dragon with a brewer's drop, who fills the right hand of the 
screen from bottom to the top. Even Dirk looks small in comparison to Singe. 
Luckily for Dirk, Singe does not move around and spit fire, but sits calmly 
and puffs smoke in Dirk's direction while emitting baby dragons from his 
enormous belly. I will straight away tell you why Singe is so incredibly 
hard. The small smokepuffs mean of course instant death to Dirk and they 
come flying quite fast against you. For a normal hero, this would not be a 
problem, but for Dirk, who is so incredibly slow and badly controlled, they 
are extremely hard to avoid. The first couple of times you'll have about a 
50-50 chance to survive each smokepuff (either you duck under or jump over, 
depending on if it has a high or a low trajectory). If you consider that you 
have to avoid something like maybe, let's think positively, 50 smokepuffs to 
beat him, you'll have about one chance in 10^15 (1 with 15 zeros after it, 
or one million billions if you prefer) to beat him. Add to this the baby 
dragons who kill you once every now and then. The baby dragons add much to 
the difficulty if you use daggers. What I can help you with is a general 
strategy against Singe, but even then it will be extremely hard even for the 
most skillful player to win (although a lot of training will definitely help 
you).

When the screen starts to flash and Singe appears, turn around and hurry 
almost as far left as possible and then face him again. The first few 
smokepuffs are often the hardest to avoid, so stay concentrated. If it's a 
low one, jump over it and throw a few weapons against his head, the only 
vulnerable part of Singe. If you are too far to the left, you're weapons 
won't reach far enough and you'll have to approach Singe one step or two. 
If it's a high one, duck to avoid it. At the same time you can take out the 
baby dragons. In the beginning it seems to me that the smokepuffs are puffed 
out rather randomly, making them hard to foresee. If you manage to survive 
the first, let's say, ten puffs maybe, Singe will blow more and more high 
puffs and very rarely two low ones in a row. That is why the beginning is 
harder. Now, here is a piece of advice that I find useful. Always stay down 
after a high smokepuff, but as soon as Singe opens his mouth, you rise and 
if it's a low puff you jump over it, while you go back down if it's a high 
one. If it's a low one on the other hand, you won't have enough time to 
duck, rise and jump if it comes another low one. I normally cross my fingers 
and duck anyway, because I find it very hard to do the right thing if I'm 
standing when Singe puffs. The advantage is that you will stay focused 
during all the battle and you can continue shooting the baby dragons while 
rising. Also, this prevents you from pushing the wrong button by mistake. 
You can actually control Dirk pretty well while he's rising. I know that 
this strategy sounds a bit weird, but try it and I think you'll see what I 
mean. However, don't forget that this will be a very hard fight anyway and 
you'll have to be prepared to die and die and die and ... just to get to 
that one lucky time when everything works. Good luck !




**************
* 10. Ending *
**************

To give or not to give ? That is the question. Since a complete 
walkthrough needs to contain all interesting info about the game without 
leaving anything out, I say give.

The very cheap ending (I guess noone was supposed to get this far) simply 
consists of a small picture with Dirk holding Daphne in his arms and the 
text (in the same italic as on the High-score list) "Congratulations ! Our 
hero has triumphed ! Daphne is saved from Singe´s evil clutches. May you 
both live happily ever after ?...". Yep, that's it ! No credits, nothing 
more. Then you get to enter your name on the High-score list (if you have 
enough points, that is) and you're back at the title screen again.




***************************
* 11. High Score strategy *
***************************

In this section I present a fool proof strategy on getting the highest
score. I publish it with courtesy of Luke J Martinez. Thanks for your
empathy Luke !

"It is possible to achieve a score higher than Singe's 89,999 points. 
Many people may be amazed this is even possible, and furthermore, the way 
to attain this fate is so obvious, it can easily be overlooked, which is 
another reason I enjoy Dragon's Lair.

One can start at the beginning of the game by not moving Dirk at all, but 
by throwing a knife at the bat that appears and keeps reappearing over 
the moat. Everytime the bat is hit 40 pts will be added to one's score. 
Keep hitting the reappearing bat with a knife over and over, all while 
not disturbing the serpent under the moat. Getting the best high score is 
tedious and takes several hours & lives, but I eventually reached my goal.

I believe a better location is in the snake's lair (second level), at the 
first hole in the wall spewing bats, also known as the "first checkpoint". 
Three come out at the same time here compared to the one bat at the moat. 
There is also an Energy nearby. Just be sure to die before the checkpoint 
so to start at the beginning of the level again.

It is also important to leave enough points to earn for the rest of the 
game, otherwise achieving a score of over 99,999 pts will result in the 
resetting of one's score, meaning the score will roll back to zero! A good 
time to stop hitting the bats over and over is when a score of 90,000 pts 
is achieve; the typical score one acheves when playing unconsciously is 
5,000 pts, or less, therefore, hardly ever over 5,000 pts. Leaving room 
will allow one to accumulate other points throughout the rest of the game, 
because sometimes earning points is unavoidable, like when defeating Death 
and Singe. Without this knowledge beating Singe's score can be tricky!

Here is the rundown: 562 bats will be hit every life that is spent. Three 
lives will be needed to reach 90,000 pts, therefore 2,250 bats will need to 
be hit. Throwing knives is an expenditure of energy, so don't hold the 
button down to recklessly throw them; limit one knife to one bat."




************************
* 12. Acknowledgements *
************************

This is the first walkthrough I've ever written and I'm sure it's the last 
one as well. This walkthrough is written entirely by me, but I have tree
contributors and a few more acknowledgements to do. First of all I would 
like to thank LaVey Charkus Veros and Maxx a million times for the very 
much needed help with some info found in the manual and for clearifying 
how the 30-lives cheat code works, respectively. Also, good work Egil for
finding out the secret use of the candle and Xandier for coming with an
improved way to beat the mine trolls. Thanks also to CjayC for posting 
this walkthrough on gamefaqs.




**********************
* 13. Copyright Info *
**********************

Please do not post this walkthrough on your web site without my permission. 
This is supposed to be a free guide, so don't sell it. I don't mind if you 
copy and paste this information for personal use, but if you want to use it 
for any other purpose, you need to contact me first. You are under no 
circumstances aloud to change any if its content. Thanks!

Encryption seal : 
      [228 -313 416 -518 617 -717 824 -941 1053 -1150 1226 -1289 1342]

This seal contains a secret message that proves I'm the rightful owner of 
this document, so please don't try and break any of the rules above ! 
Without the right matrix, one that I have randomly chosen, you won't be 
able to decipher the message.




****************
* 14. Feedback *
****************

Do you have any feedback on this walkthrough ?  Is there something I 
missed ? Since I'm writing this walkthrough in a foreign language, I would 
also very much appreciate all grammatical or spelling errors you can find 
(I'm sure there are tons of them). You can contact me at ktwo[at]graffiti.net 
with feedback and questions.