Dragon's Lair Arcade Game!

So I have an original Dragon’s Lair, and Space Ace (they use the same cabinet for those that aren’t familiar) and I had to put them in storage during Katrina. WELL, long story short, the storage unit flooded, and my cabinets were ruined. So what am I doing to do with all this original hardware, the PCB, the laserdisc player, that cool ass 3 sided marquee?

Well, I’m gonna use my Lowrider 2 to reproduce my cabinets! Left side complete, just need to add the blocking and cut the right side and other panels. I’m currently cutting the bottom, and the top as I type this.

There were a few ‘depth’ issues, mostly because I forgot to level my gantry before I started the cut. Anxious I guess. Impatient, you know how it goes. I’m going to keep this thread updated as I make progress, because 100% of it is being cut on the Lowrider 2.


Use of a tool that give gratification to make a toy that does the same cant wate to see the finished products.

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Can’t wait to see it. An arcade cabinet is on my list of dream projects.


@timonjkl Honestly, it was the SOLE purpose of building the LR2! haha Since then, I’ve (by I, I mean the wife) has come up with millions of projects for the machine!

@vicious1 You should! I know you’re an engineer, but if I can help in any way with cabinet plans, or electronics, etc, please don’t hesitate to hit me up! I can see yours now tho, in my mind… HUGE 6 player cabinet, with the V1 logo glowing on the sides of the cab… Yea, that’s gonna be sweet!


Spinning lasers and bumper 660’s all in a stainless cage​:robot::exploding_head:


All of it seems pretty fun to me. I like doing really nice wiring so all those buttons seem awesome, a little carpentry, some programming. 6 player…all that wiring might get a little old, 2 sounds good. :smiley:

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I used to be a cabinet wireman for Siemens Energy, I learned how to train wires so neatly, and with my OCD, I tell ya, you can really spend ALOT more time wiring the dang thing than actually building, or playing it haha But honestly the wiring is my favorite part too. You see something so big, and you see all the lights, but there’s really not a lot of wires in one. I always thought they wasted more wood making the cabinets than they needed to. But man the memories…


Not bad for 4 hours cutting time. I got a lot cut in a short period. I really need to learn how to add ‘enough extra’ to my tool paths to cut all the way through LOL Razor knife ftw!

Anyway, that’s all I’ll post today because I’m going home! Gonna shower, have some dinner, chill out in the AC, and maybe watch some tube.


Wow. Great progress today. I am excited to see it. An arcade cabinet is also on my dream project list. I should probably just build one so I can figure out everything I want in my dream cabinet.

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Are there any non-obvious best to know about designing one? Like the base should always have wheels, or there should be plenty of access in a certain area? Power management?

I’m assuming most custom cabinets would be based on a computer, and an lcd screen.

Honestly, I never put wheels on mine. As easy as that would make moving them around, I always go for the leg levellers. You know, the pads with the studs that you screw into the plate to adjust. But I also have carpet. So wheels may be good for you if you have hardwood floors or something you don’t want scratched up.

As far as design, it depends on the type of games you’re wanting to play. If you’re into the street fighters, and the Mortal Kombats then best advice, minimum 2 player control panel, 6 buttons each plus the 2 joysticks. You can map them to play almost anything in that configuration.

OR… Here’s an idea, since you have a CNC machine… You could build your cabinet, I’d design it around the type of monitor you’re planning on putting in it. Then, you make a control panel system that you can add/remove with latches. Have your keyboard encoder mounted on each control panel, then your entire control panel becomes plug and play. Unplug the usb, remove control panel, install Bigger/Smaller control panel, plug in USB, you’re back up and running. Have like a 4 Player, 6 button each, control panel for when the friends wanna come over and hammer on some xmen, or a simple ms pac type control panel with a joystick and couple of buttons to play the real classics. Even set up a control panel with a trackball. When you need it, unplug, detach, attach, plug in. :smiley:

The easy approach for access would be a back door. Since you’re not building a machine for a route, I’d make the front coin door area my access panel. Like, put the entire thing on a piano hinge or hidden hinges or something. When you need to open it, you dont 'even have to move your cab, just pop open the front.

Computer, Raspberry Pi, multi boards, this day and time, so many ways to run an arcade machine it’s not even funny. The Jamma multi boards are the most maintenance free way of doing things. Plug it in, and go. No updating, etc. Then there’s the harder method which is emulation on a PC… That can get rough on you in time tho. Computers can be so finicky… And then, there’s the Pi. That’s a nice lil’ system for arcades. Buttons are a touch intimidating to setup if you’re running more than MAME, but right out of the box mame configs work on most encoders.

Power could be as easy as a power strip inside the cab, and a PC power supply, or switchable power supply.


Ohhh, slick!


That is great info. And very interesting to read.

I like swappable control panels. I love mechanical keyboards, linux, and vim too, so I would probably want one that was just a keyboard and a linux box. Not for games, just for coding in style :slight_smile:


Tell your boss you got a new stand up desk!


HAHAHAHA! Loophole in the system! haha

I have a realy old broken link for a “Doc’s Mame cabinet” that had modular controls and blank panels that used cat-5 connectors and could be changed out with no tools.images unnamed
Now when i search for it all i find are pinterest pins that lead to dead ends. Maybe Internet Archive would have the original articles.


I mean, you can build one with a circular saw and a jigsaw technically.

The biggest problem with arcade cabinets is the sheer size. They take up so much room if you don’t have a dedicated space for that sort of thing which is why I recently got rid of my 3 (original ms. pac-man in a pac-man cabinet, original frogger and arkynoyd in some basterdized case)


Bummer Lou… You are right.

I’m sure someone could, but I have had a bad track record with my jigsaw.

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Hoping to be in a larger workshop in the next 4 - 5 years and at that time I think I’ll build a couple of small counter-top models. Maybe even a cocktail-table style asteroid and/or ms pac-man for the office space that will be in that shop. Good place to hang out at and waste some time.


I can’t cut a straight line to save my life… Enter… The lowrider v2! lmfao

Thinking back… Had I thought about it in time, I coulda just bought some 1/4" plywood and made templates, since I have to build 2 of these cabs, a flush trim bit and a template probably woulda been the better approach. But, I’m learning my machine too, so… Still a win win I think.