Call it "The Lighter Side of Gaming", if you will, but "JoySchtick" just sounds so much cooler! Join Tim Snider through his irreverant (and completely true) misadventures in videogaming.

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“Seriously dude, I heard the Princess gets buck-assed naked if you win,” Roger swore.

We turned our attention back to the “Dragon’s Lair” game that they were setting up in our local arcade. Princess Daphne was squealing in terror and clutching her chest as the attract mode played on. Roger had that gleam in his eyes.

According to legend being discussed amongst the hormonally charged youth of 1983, if you won the game and killed the dragon, Daphne “popped out” of her sheer gauze nightie and you could see everything. Roger was determined to see some animated videogame boobies.

Keep in mind, after all, this was 1983 and we were years away from the pneumatic charms of Lara Croft and the Dead or Alive volleyball players. The hottest thing in arcades was imagining what Pauline from “Donkey Kong” might have on underneath her calico dress.

My buddy Roger, God love ‘im, was a perv when we were growing up. While the rest of us were trying to catch a glimpse of something in the bra section of the Sears catalog, Roger had his own subscription to Playboy. So the rumored disrobing of Daphne was something he was determined to prove or disprove.

Roger skipped school for an entire week, just so he could hone his DL-playing skills at the mall arcade without interruption. Since we didn’t have the Internet back then, you couldn’t very well look up the walkthrough for the game. So, Roger learned every move, every button push, and every timed response via trial-and-error. He became the local  “Dragon’s Lair” savant.

At the end of that week, he had that game DOWN. At his best, some of his favorite DL stunts included:

* Playing through the entire game, without a mistake, on one Dirk.

* He had the timing of some of the sequences so ingrained that he could play through them WITH HIS EYES CLOSED, using only the sound effects as his cues.

* He once played until he got to the Lair scene, trying to draw a huge crowd around the game. Once Daphne began talking, he muttered “Meh, I’m bored,” and walked away to play “Satan‘s Hollow,” leaving the 400 people watching him complete aghast.

* Sometimes, he’d get to the Lair scene and, while maneuvering through it, would turn to a small child watching nearby. He’d ask, “Wanna kill the dragon?” When it was time for that final, game-ending Sword-button push, he’d have the kid do it. That child could then spend the rest of the day bragging that he was the one who killed Singe.

Anyway, I was with Roger that Saturday night when he finally got to the Lair for the first time. As Daphne explained about the key and that “the dragon keeps it around his neck,” I stole a glance at Roger. Yup, he was staring at her animated buttcheeks. He was more than convinced that those nudity rumors were correct.

After several attempts in front of a crowd  (numbering in the low zillions), Roger got Dirk to hurl his sword into Singe’s chest and the dragon fell to the ground. The crowd cheered as Daphne leaped into Dirk’s arms, and Roger elbowed me in the chest, his eyes glued to the screen.

Daphne kissed Dirk on the cheek.

A heart appeared around them.

Game over.

Attract mode began.

The crowd wandered off to play “Pengo” or “Hat Trick,” while Roger stood there dumbfounded. Before we left, he made sure to ask the manager whether the laserdisc player was working properly. (It was.) The rumor put to rest, his quest had ended.

I’ve lost touch with Roger over the years, but last I heard he’s still questing for hidden videogame nakedness. Go online and you may see his name on some of the message boards. He’s the one asking for the “Tomb Raider” nudity code.

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Last updated: Monday, July 04, 2005 10:03 PM