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Game info

Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp

GenreAction Adventure
DeveloperSylvian Bluth
Reviewed byndial
Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp is an impressive 1991 laserdisc video game released for the arcades by the Leland Corporation, and later ported to several home-based systems such as the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, PC (MS-DOS), Apple Macintosh, Philips CD-I and the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer. It was known for its gorgeous animated graphics and fantastic sound, but its huge difficulty and rather minimalistic gameplay (much like its predecessor) made it rather mediocre!
DragonAn evil wizard has kidnapped Daphne and used a ring of mystical power with which he can manipulate the strings of time. Dirk's only chance to save her is his trusty sword and a rusted old time machine, which he must use to dive into the time stream and chase after his love. Unfortunately, in typical Dirk style, he'll probably end up getting lost along the way. In Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp, you control Dirk the Daring as he makes his way through time. Time Warp is the sequel to the phenomenally popular Dragon's Lair, Rick Dyer and Don Bluth's famous early-'80s laserdisc game. Like that title, Dragon's Lair II is completely cell-animated by Don Bluth's company. You don't precisely control Dirk the Daring. Rather, you move the joystick or push the sword button at a time in the cartoon when you must act, usually a moment of danger for Dirk. You control Dirk reactions to the events that unfold throughout the game. You don't directly control Dirk's movement but rather you must make the correct moves at the appropriate time for Dirk to survive the scene. This means that just by pressing "Right" doesn't mean Dirk will move right. If you fail, the game cuts to a scene of Dirk dying and you must try again.
Unfortunately, the gameplay is nothing more than a memory test of the correct joystick movements at the right moment in each scene. But the whole presentation (visuals and sound) worth every cent back then, even as a six-disk animated demo! This game is damn hard to beat too.

As expected, the Amiga port offers wonderful graphics, being similar to the Atari ST, Philips CD-i, DOS and 3DO conversions! Of course, there are several details and colors missing from the original laser-disc version, but still looks great even with the use of only 16-to-32 colors on screen. With bags of variety in the perspectives and viewports it makes excellent viewing for a couple of minutes. The animations are based from the laser-disc arcade version, being cut of course due to the limitation of the disk-version sizes. Take a look at the impressive screenshots and you'll realize what I mean.
The sound is also good, featuring digitized sound effects and synthesized soundtracks to accompany particularly eventful scenes. I've used this game early in 90's to impress my friends but nothing more than that, as the game was too difficult to play!
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Gameplay sample
Comparable platforms
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS
Atari ST
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz
MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM.
GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once).
SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs
The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
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