What is Daphne ?

Daphne is an emulator written by Matt Ownby which lets you play LaserDisc arcade games, like Dragon's Lair, Badlands, Cobra Command, Space Ace to mention but a few.

And what is Hypseus ?

Hypseus is the Jeffrey Clark's fork of Daphne which adds some improvements to it:

  • Updated MPEG2 decoder

  • SDL2 support

  • ...

Recalbox chose Hypseus for LaserDisc arcade games emulation.

What is a LaserDisc game ?

A LaserDisc video game is a game that uses pre-recorded video (either movie or animation) played from a LaserDisc, either as the entirety of the graphics, or as part of the graphics. Some games featured live-action videos over which sprites (cars, space-ships, ...) were superimposed. But the most popular LaserDisc games were interactive movies or cartoons, in which the player had to press a specific button or move the joystick in the right direction at the right moment to advance to the next scene.

How do I play LaserDisc Games in Recalbox?

To add a LaserDisc game, you need the two components of the game:

  • the image of the original LaserDisc, which contains the video and audio content

  • the ROM file, which is the game program

The ROM is a simple ZIP file which must be copied under the sub-directory daphne/roms.

The LaserDisc image is composed of multiple files:

  • one or more video files (*.m2v)

  • one or more audio files (*.ogg)

  • one or more index files (*.dat) - can be created by the emulator at the first run (slow operation)

  • one frame file (.txt), to associate frame numbers to video files

All these files must be copied under a directory with .daphne extension, under the daphne directory.

The first line of your txt file is also a path and should be . (just point character), modify it if this is not the case

You can also create a file with .commands extension to pass some game specific parameters to the emulator. See below for more details.

The directory, the frame file and the commands file must have the same name than the ROM file ! (only extensions differ)

Here is an example of the expected structure for Dragon's Lair:

daphne|- roms| |- dle21.zip|- dle21.daphne| |- dle21.txt| |- dle21.commands| |- *.m2v| |- *.ogg| |- ...

What is the commands file ?

As explained before, this file must be created in the directory of the game, with the same name than the ROM file but with a .commands extension. It allows you to pass additional parameters to the emulator for a specific game. Most of the time, it is filled with the -bank option, which defines settings of the game (also known as DIP switch):

  • number of credit for a game

  • number of lives for one credit

  • difficulty level

  • ...

Recommended values for popular games are described below, but you can consult the site LaserDisc Game Tech Center for complete information. Please also note that, for a same game, the DIP switch can vary from a ROM version to another.

Other parameters are also possible. Check Daphne Wiki for more details.

Example for Dragon's Lair (DLE 2.x): -bank 1 00110111 -bank 0 10011000 using this page http://www.dragons-lair-project.com/tech/dips/dle20.asp, indicates:

  • sound is always on, with narrator voice (even when not playing)

  • 1 coin = 1 credit

  • 1 credit = 5 lives

  • no test or diagnostics

  • game mode = standard

Joystick buttons

Only one joystick is supported, player 1 only.

Use the left stick to move and standard buttons for actions. For most games, only the B button is used (A for Xbox controllers, X for Playstation). Add a coin with select/back button and start the game with start button. To quit the emulator, press the hotkey button. If hotkey is mapped to an already used button (select, for instance), the pagedown button is used instead to quit.

Where can I find games ?

Some games can be directly and legally downloaded by the DaphneLoader tool of the Daphne's Windows distribution. For some others (Dragon's Lair, Dragon's Lair II, Space Ace, ...), you have to prove that you have a valid license of the game (DVD version for instance).

Once downloaded, simply copy needed files (ROM and LaserDisc image files) to your Recalbox as explained above.

Supported games and recommended configuration

For each game, the following table describes:

  • the level of compatibility with the emulator

  • the ROM recommended to use for best experience

  • the recommended content of the commands file: for normal difficulty, 5 lives, minimum credit, ...

Game name


Recommended ROM

Recommended commands

Astron Belt



-bank 0 00000000 -bank 1 01000000




-bank 0 00000000 -bank 1 10000010

Bega's Battle



-bank 0 00000000 -bank 1 00000001

Cobra Command



-bank 0 11010000 -bank 1 00010001

Dragon's Lair



-bank 1 00110111 -bank 0 10011000

Dragon's Lair II




Esh's Aurunmilla




Galaxy Ranger



-bank 0 00000000 -bank 1 00000000

GP World




Interstellar Laser Fantasy



-bank 0 00100001 -bank 1 00000000

M.A.C.H. 3



-bank 0 01000100

Road Blaster




Space Ace



-bank 1 01100111 -bank 0 10011000

Super Don Quix-Ote



-bank 0 00100001 -bank 1 00000000

Us Vs Them



-bank 0 00000000

Other games

not tested



Feel free to complete or update this list !