After the enormous success of laser arcade game Dragon’s Lair, Rick Dyer and his RDI Video Systems company created another groundbreaking laser coin-op game in 1984, called Thayer’s Quest. Its story was more closely based on Shadoan, the Tolkien-esqe source material that Dyer had conceived earlier and from which he had spun off Dragon’s Lair.
Thayer was an astounding attempt to produce a sword & sorcery RPG epic for the arcades. Eschewing joysticks and buttons, Thayer had a full-size membrane keyboard mounted on the cabinet, which players used to input choices during the game. At the start, you could enter your name, and then be personally referred to via speech synthesis. Shown on the keyboard were various inventory items that Thayer could use at certain spots to advance the plot. The game even had a save game system, where the last ten players could return to continue their progress after losing their last life.
The innovation found in Thayer’s Quest makes it a very special and unusual arcade game indeed. Posted below is our gameplay video.
For more information on Thayer’s Quest, Dragon’s Lair and the rest of the 80’s laser game craze, consult your local Dot Eaters entry.