An early-1980s laserdisc arcade game
inspired by the smash-hit success of Dragon's Lair
. Cliff Hanger used redubbed footage from the Lupin III anime Castle of Cagliostro
, with a couple of scenes from Mystery of Mamo
. Only a few hundred copies were made, making the game, and the laserdisc within it, hard-to-find collector's items.
Like Dragon's Lair, the Cliff Hanger game had a laserdisc within it, which switched tracks to control the story based on how the player manipulated the game's controls, in a manner not unlike one of today's DVD games, or a choose-your-own-adventure book. Since the game was based on a movie with a linear storyline, however, there were only two "plot branches"--succeed and continue the storyline, or fail and die. Because it used the standard laserdisc format of the day, the Cliff Hanger disc could be played all the way through from start to finish when placed in a normal laserdisc player.
Cliff Hanger's success is due in no small respect to the enthralling and action-packed storyline of Castle of Cagliostro, directed by anime legend Hayao Miyazaki. Unlike arcade games where one played simply to play, Cliff Hanger lured quarters out of gamers' pockets with the enticement of a continuing story, and was probably partly responsible for the movement from never-ending to storyline-based games that soon followed.