I have the HD-DVD version and it's plagued by the same problems as the DVD versions in that to ameliorate the bad seek times of modern optical drives compared to the laserdisc drive in the arcade machine, rather than keep the sequences in order when you died, it just seeks to the nearest scene when you die so you can't just do trial and error to finish a scene. So you could be swinging vines and catching on fire, and then go to the ball rolling scene and get crushed, and then go to the water scene and drown.
It's the reason I haven't finished the game yet as you can't just methodically learn the scenes.
As far as I remember, this was the way it was in the arcades. The game would move you to a new scene once you died. Of course, the game would have you repeat the scene that you died on eventually as you had to successfully complete them all to get to the ending scene.
I know if you download Dragon's Lair for the iPhone or PS3 the game lets you choose if you want to play the Arcade version or the "Home" version. I know the Home version has 1 or 2 extra scenes, but I can't remember if the Home version makes the scene progression linear or not.