In the first episode of Stranger Things season 2, we can see that the boys are foraging for quarters to play Dragon’s Lair. Dragon’s Lair was a popular game released in 1983, giving the boys just enough time to start getting good at it. The game was an expensive prospect, requiring two quarters instead of the standard 25 cents that other arcade games of the era charged, hence their mission to find as many quarters as possible.
Dragon’s Lair featured animation from another ’80s icon, Don Bluth, who rose to pop culture prominence after directing 1982’s The Secret of NIMH, which the boys probably loved.
Also note: nobody in the history of humankind was ever actually good at Dragon’s Lair, which is one of the most notoriously frustrating and difficult quarter eaters to ever darken the doorstep of your local Aladdin’s Castle or Mr. Arcade. If you can find one today, we defy you not to put your fist through the screen after a few attempts to navigate beyond the first few stages.
Check out a complete playthrough of the game.
It’s really incredible to watch. It’s just playing it that was a nightmare.