It's fair to suggest that Laserdisc is now best remembered for its contribution to gaming, a number of well-received arcade games leading to the Full Motion Video interactive movie fad of the early-90s. And that, boys and girls, is what we shall be discussing today.
Here are the most significant Laserdisc games of all time. So, that's good.
Essentially, Electro Sport's Quarter Horse was the same idea, but holds the distinction of being the first game released on Laserdisc, tantalising arcade owners with the promise of "installing a real racetrack in your amusement area".
Ha ha; "amusement area".
Electro Sport described itself as "The Rolls Royce of Video Entertainment", which might've been overstating the quality of its products.
Generally - and mistakenly - regarded as the first Laserdisc arcade game, Astron Belt was nevertheless the first non-gambling laserdisc game. It used original footage from a number of classic sci-fi movies - including Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Roger Corman's Battle Beyond The Stars, and obscure Japanese space opera Message From Space - as a backdrop, atop which a fairly rote shoot 'em up was slathered.
Though it came out in Japan in 1982, its release in America - via Midway - was delayed due to licensing issues over the movie clips. In the interim, it had been beaten to market by a number of other laserdisc games.
Which - ironically - made its trousers fall down!
A few years later, the same show was opened by Bernie Winters and his dog Schnorbitz, and some friends of mine told me that some local toughs had shouted abuse at Bernie and tried to kick Schnorbitz. That has nothing to do with Dragon's Lair, probably.
Created by Rick Dyer, who was inspired by Atari's classic Adventure, it was originally a prototype called The Fantasy Machine. After seeing Sega's Astron Belt, Dyer switched development to more of an interactive movie, with animation from the company founded by ex-Disney animator Don "The Kissin' Booth" Bluth.
Despite its high cost, and issues with the durability of its hardware, Dragon's Lair almost single-handedly aroused a suffering arcade industry.
There was a follow-up - escape from Singe's Castle - released on home systems, and an arcade sequel in 1991 which refined the technology. By the point it was released, the market was drowning in Laserdisc games.
Working with the development team, Eastwood re-recorded lines from the movie, and loaned a scale model of the Firefox jet to Atari to be animated into the game. The team sifted through 30-40 hours of footage recorded for the movie's flying sequences, whittling it down into the 30-minutes worth included on the Laserdisc. What lucky punks!
Though ambitious, it was something of a comedown after playing Dragon's Lair, and thus was Atari's one and only Laserdisc game.
Nevertheless, it was popular enough to spawn a short-lived animated TV series. For children.
Sega reused the hardware for a beat 'em up follow-up, Holosseum, featuring four characters; Chen, Garrison, Dompayagen, and... Dave.
See also Cineworld's 4DX system, which "improves" the classic movie-going experience by making it feel as if the person behind you is constantly shaking your seat, and spraying his spores into your face.