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Dragon Lair Screenshot
Space Ace Screenshot
  • OS: Windows 98(Not recommeneded), Windows 2k/Xp, Linux
  • Cost: Open Source
  • Re-mappable keys: Yes
  • Monitor orientation(s): Horizontal
  • Emulated System(s): Laserdisc based games
  • Unique games emulated: 17 games
  • Homepage: Daphne
  • Additional Requirements: Game Roms, Video footage, Frame Files

What is Daphne?

DAPHNE is a Free laserdisc game emulator that allows one to play real laserdisc arcade games such as Dragon's Lair and Space Ace on one's PC.

How do I set it up?

Laserdisc games consisted of a traditional arcade pcb, and a laser disc player. The pcb worked much like a traditional video game, but the graphics were stored on the laser disc player, and the pcb would change to the appropriate scene based on the user's input. It is important to understand this relationship to setup daphne properly.

Once you have installed the emulator, you need three things for every game you wish to run:

  • A rom image.
  • Video Footage.
  • A framefile.

Please note: Starting at version 1.0 of Daphne, which was released in February of 2007, Daphne has the capability of setting itself up for four games. These games are Dragon's Lair, Dragon's Lair II, Space Ace, and Thayer's Quest. For these four games, all that is necessary is a DVD with the video footage on it and an Internet connection. Setting these games up with the included DaphneLoader frontend is a breeze. Once the video for the games has been loaded and the frame file generated, it should be easy to set up other frontends as well, according to the directions below.

Roms: Rom's in this one case aren't a taboo and are freely available at The Dragon's Lair Project. These are placed in the "roms" folder for daphne.

Video: Please note that an actual laserdisc player can be used instead of video footage, but it is not reccomended as shown here. Video footage, is copyrighted, as it is the bulk of the laserdisc game. You have a few (legal) options to obtain it. Firstly Digital Leisure has dvd versions of some of the more popular games available. Also you can obtain an original laser disc and rip the footage onto the pc via a laser disc player and a video capture card. In any case once you get a video source you have to rip it in a very special way. Details on how to do this are found at the Daphne homepage.

Framefile: Once the video is ripped properly you will have to make a framefile. The framefile, is simply a text file that tells daphne where the useable portion of the video file is stored. Making the file can be rather complicated but luckily details on how to do so are also available at the Daphne homepage.

Install: Once you have all three items you need to discover the command line to launch them. The easiest way to do this is to configure a single game in the included daphne loader.

Most options are your preference, but the important one is to set the laserdisc player type to "Virtual LDP" and to point to the framefile for that game. Note that to make things easier, keep all of your framefiles in a single folder and name the framefiles after the rom for said game. More on that in a minute. Anyway, once you have everything to your liking check the "display command line before launching" option in the advanced tab. Now run the game and you'll see the exact command line used to launch the game with those options in daphne. Copy the text and set it aside.

Make sure the game launched properly and if so let's look at the text which we will be using:

    daphne.exe romname vldp -framefile "framefilepath\romname.txt" -fullscreen 

Notice the pattern, and notice why we wanted to keep the framefiles named after the rom. Any front end that supports sending a custom command line and injecting the romname into the command line should support daphne natively. If not, then the command line could be sent via a wrapper.

See Also: