DRAGON'S LAIR: THE LEGEND / Ubisoft / Gameboy
So, how do you shrink a massive Laserdisc arcade game to a Gameboy cart consisting of 1/10 of a megabyte? Apparently you convert the game into an odd little side-scroller that revolves around timing jumps to collect "Lifestones", of which there's a shit ton lying about (usually in dangerous and inconvenient areas) for our hero Dirk the Daring to collect.
There would actually be an attempt to shrink the original arcade game down to the Gameboy Color, but "The Legend" isn't it. The arcade port was the game I was looking for, and apparently I didn't notice the distinction of this one being for the GB rather than the GBC. This one is fundamentally just a very long platform-jumping contest with background areas sometimes loosely based on scenes from the original arcade game.
I guess it's not a horrid game, but it's so simplistic, and also frequently frustrating that I can't imagine many people really getting into this (or having their RAGE abated if they thought they were buying the arcade port and accidentaly got this one instead.) Dirk gets 10 lives to roam about the rather large, contiguous game world and try to collect something like 100 of these Lifestones, which are usually floating above terrain that will kill you if you miss a jump over it. Part of the problem with the game is that it's not always clear what type of ground will kill you and what won't; you can jump off a big tree to the ground below and not die, but step off a mine cart onto some tracks and it's lights out. I don't think Dirk ever manages to get his sword out of the sheath either; if he does it must be pretty far into the game. Both buttons seem to make you jump, so I assume that's all you ever do in the game.