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This document is mostly intended for new users, to answer the questions we frequently see in here and in the Facebook group. For that reason, we'll try and keep things fairly light, technically.

How do I play games on the Dragon?


Back in the day, most games for the Dragon were released on cassette tape. A few were published by DragonData on cartridge. A tiny number were released on disk, although more have been distributed that way since.

Using Cassette Tape based Software

Loading Tapes

For a truly old school experience, you can buy original games on eBay and load them from tape using a simple tape deck and the tape leads provided with the Dragon. Plug one end of the lead into the TAPE socket on the Dragon and plug the black cable into the headphone socket. If your tape recorder has a socket called 'REM', plug the smallest jack plug into that. Turn the volume on the cassette deck to about 7, and follow the instructions on the game. Normally you would enter 'CLOAD' or 'CLOADM', then press play on the tape. (If you plugged the REM cable in, you could press play before entering CLOAD, and the tape will start automatically). The Dragon is pretty reliable at reading tapes but if the game continually doesn't load you might want to consider loading a digital image of it.

Tape Images

There are two common ways of encoding a tape to create an 'image' of it. First is as a WAV file. This is simply a digital recording of the tape. The second is a CAS file. Here the WAV file has been processed and the data extracted. This has the advantage of being a smaller file, and one that can be processed by scripts to extract information from it.

Loading Images and Using Tape Emulators

WAV files can be played by any device capable of playing audio files, for example mobile phones, MP3 players and laptops. The operation is very similar to loading real tapes (described above). Connect the black lead of the cassette cable to the headphone socket of the device you're using to play the WAV file. Type 'CLOAD' (or 'CLOADM' if that fails) and play the sound file. You may need to adjust the volume until it loads.

Using Disk Based Software

Using ROM Based Software