"Twin brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee learned to fight before they could walk. Martial arts and street smarts carved them into the baddest fighting machines in the big city. But now Billy is faced with his greatest challenge - to save his girlfriend Marian from the evil clutches of the mysterious Shadow Boss and the lethal gang of thugs known as "Black Warriors." As a master Ninja you'll punch, head-butt and high-kick gutter slime into submission. Knives, whips, baseball bats, rocks, oil drums and dynamite are your weapons. Rat-infested slums, toxic factories and brutal back alleys are your combat zones. It's non-stop, high-voltage action culminating in an epic battle with the Shadow Boss - Billy's own twin brother, Jimmy!"
Double Dragon is a beat ‘em up video game released for the first time in 1987 by Technos Japan Corporation. The series feature two twin brothers, Billy and Jimmy Lee, as they fight against different rivals. The game was followed by sequels and was released for incredibly lots of other platforms over the time.
The versions for NES came in 1988, while the Game Boy version was published in 1990. Other games were published for Master System, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Lynx, while the sequels were published on even more platforms. The first game had a remake published for iPhone in 2011 and one for Game Boy Advance in 2003.
The two main characters were also featured in other games, including the NES version of Super Spike V’Ball, WWF Superstars, River City Ransom, Battletoads & Double Dragon, Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer and Rage of the Dragons.
The player can control either of the twin brothers as they fight in the turf of the Black Warriors in order to rescue Marian, a girl whom both of the fighters were in love with. Each character has its own set of skills and attacks which can be performed by using the joystick and three action buttons individually or in combination. Players can throw punched and kicks, but also grab hair or throw elbow punches. The game can also be played by two persons in the same time. In this case the second player can help the first one by grabbing their partner’s rival from behind.
Each player begins the game with a certain number of lives. If he gets hit by the enemies, their life gauge will deplete. If the life gauge reaches zero or the player runs out of time, one life will be lost.
There are not too many enemies during the game. The player will face certain enemies all the time. The available weapons in the game are steel bats, whips, throwing knives and dynamite attacks, but also oil drums, cardboard boxes and rocks, which the players can pick up and throw.
The game has four levels. The first one is a city slum, then a factory, then the woods and then the hideout of the boss who has to be defeated in order for the player to finish the game. If there is only one player, the game will end when the boss is defeated. But if there are two players, then after the boss is defeated the two brothers will have to fight each other.
The game was very popular and due to its popularity was later on followed by spin-offs. Double Dragon was listed as one of the 200 Greatest Games of their time by Electronic Gaming Monthly. The huge toy store, Toys “R” Us, reported the NES Double Dragon game was sold out in the first two weeks after the release in the United States.
Other games by Tecnos Japan
Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone
The original martial arts adventure continues - all the hard-hitting arcade action is at your command! Battle your way across the globe with awesome special moves and lethal weapons straight from the arcade! Whether it's a swirling Hurricane Kick or a staggering One Armed Head Butt, you have what it takes to crush ruthless enemies in the Double Dragon adventure of a lifetime! Battle across America, China, Japan and Italy to your ultimate challenge in Egypt!
Double Dragon 2
The Double Dragons - Billy and Jimmy Lee - are back to avenge the loss of Marion! In their quest to defeat the evil Shadow Warriors, the martial arts duo are challenged in 9 incredible missions, facing ruthless street gangs, nunchaku-toting ninja and giant mutant warriors! The non-stop action winds its way through construction sites, alleyways and underwater hideouts complete with secret elevator shafts, spiked ceilings and razor-sharp mechanical claws!
Double Dragon 5
Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls! Featuring 12 big lightning-fast characters! Four to six special moves for each fighter! Set your own strength, defense and more. Three different fighting modes. Secret moves and codes! Customizable controls. Unique final moves. Hot rock music tracks and 130+ sound effects!
High School Soccer - Kunio Kun
Nekketsu Koha Kunio-kun is a video game franchise started by Technos, the company that made the Double Dragon franchise.
It's no secret that those body slammin' Double Dragon boys, Billy and Jimmy, (also known as Spike and Hammer), have been through the video mill a time or two, or three. Now, at last, they're in first-class graphical form on the Genesis in an original, knuckle-busting adventure.
Take That, Street Scum
Billy's girlfriend, Marion, has been beaten and taken hostage by a group of street thugs. Always the honorable bad boys, Billy and Jimmy set out to free her from her captors and give them a taste of their own painful medicine. Punching, kicking, jabbing, knife stabbing, baseball whacking, you name it, it all happens during the four levels of gut-busting action.
If you select the single-player option, you hit the streets as Billy. If you prefer to play Jimmy, plug the control pad into the second slot and off you go. They both have identical moves.
ProTip: When two or more thugs close in on you, which is often, use a combination kick and elbow jab to get them off you.
The three basic moves are a simple kick, a punch, and a jump-punch. Each move corresponds to a Controller button. The super moves, such as the elbow jab and the flying roundhouse kick, require simultaneous button press combinations, but they're real sure-fire scum busters.
Fighting the Good Fight
Accolade's done an excellent job of translating this arcade-based version of Double Dragon into the Genesis format. The "fist fly-boys" have all their moves down pat and they're easy to control.
This, combined with the two-player simultaneous option, makes DD really hot. What more could you ask for? Maybe another level or two. Then again, perhaps Accolade's just trying to keep us hungry for more.
Stay dose to the walls when you're near a bridge or spiked pit area. The direction controls are very sensitive and if you're fighting too dose to the edge, you'll either fall in or be knocked in.
Double Dragon is a beat ‘em up side scrolling game that revolutionized the genre back in the late 80s, leading to many sequels, spin offs and other companies creating their own geat ‘em up games.
The story is pretty shallow, but at least it’s there. Two brothers, Billy Lee and Jimmy, are powerful martial artists living in a city overrun by the Black Warriors gang. When the two refuse to train them to be stronger fighters, Billy Lee’s girlfriend Marion is kidnapped and he sets off to rescue her, defeating all crooks, thugs and henchmen he encounters.
In Double Dragon, you play as Billy Lee as he fights various enemies that appear on the screen, using basic and, later, more complex moves. As you beat up your foes, you gain experience and unlock more abilities, like a jump kick, and you can also take any weapon that they drop and use it against them. It should be noted that there can only be two enemies on the screen at once, and you cannot carry the weapons that you picked up over to the next part of the stage.
There is also a so called co-op mode, which is actually playing the game in turns, instead of side by side. Aside from this, Double Dragon also features a “versus” mode, which lets you pick between Billy Lee, Jimmy and five other antagonists from the game and fight. This mode can be played alone or against another player.
The graphics may not seem all that impressive right now, but back in the 80s, they were pretty top notch. The previously mentioned “versus” mode also uses bigger and more detailed sprites instead of the tiny ones from the beat ‘em up part of the game. The levels are decorated to the best of the technology’s ability, and, truth be told, you wouldn’t play this game for the graphics.
To sum up, Double Dragon was and still is a shining example of how a beat ‘em up should be done and, although there were many versions available at the time, they all followed the same pattern. As mentioned, the visuals aren’t the key point of interest, but the nostalgia and the desire to see how it all began.
Double Dragon features:
- RPG-like system which gradually unlocks more moves
- Versus mode which lets you fight the computer or another player
- Co-op mode which lets you take turns with a friend