Double Dragon Game Comparison
Released: 1987 | Genre: Beat ’em Up | Publisher: Taito
Platforms: Arcade, NES, Master System, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Amiga, Atari 2600, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Megadrive, Atari Lynx
The legend of Double Dragon
Double Dragon is a Taito published game from 1987, developed by Technōs Japan. It’s the spiritual successor to Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun (released outside of Japan by Taito as Renegade).
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Double Dragon was one of the most popular beat ’em ups around, no doubt providing inspiration for many of Capcom’s releases not long after this.
You take control of martial artist Billy Lee, or his twin brother Jimmy (also known as Hammer and Spike in the supplementary materials for the American arcade release). So, as they fight their way into the turf of the Black Warriors gang in order to rescue Billy’s love interest, Marian.
The player character has a repertoire of martial arts techniques which they can perform by using the joystick and three action buttons (kick, jump, and punch) individually or in combination. Techniques range from basic punches and kicks to more elaborate attacks such as throws and elbow strikes.
When playing with another player, one can grab an opponent from behind, allowing the other to attack unimpeded. However, caution should be taken, though, as some enemies are able to do the same thing to the players. The player begins the game with a certain number of extra lives and a life gauge which depletes as the player takes hits, and must complete each stage within a time limit. One life is lost if either the life gauge or timer reaches zero, or if the player character falls off the bottom of the screen or into a hole, river, or bed of spikes.
Finally, certain enemies carry melee weapons, which can be knocked out of their hands and picked up to use against them. So, available weapons include baseball bats, whips, throwing knives, and dynamite; in addition, rocks, oil drums, and boxes can be found in certain places.
- Williams: A low-ranking member of the gang, who can use bats, knives, and dynamite.
- Rowper: Another low-ranking member, who can use the same weapons as Williams and also throws rocks, oil drums, and boxes.
- Linda: The only female member, and the only one who will pick up or carry a whip; she uses no other weapon.
- Abobo: A tall, bald, shirtless gang member who can throw heavy items.
- Jick: The boss of the first stage, identical in appearance to Abobo except for the addition of a beard, sunglasses, and a Mohawk hairstyle.
- Jeff: The boss of the second stage, who is a head swap of the Lee brothers.
- Willy: The leader of the gang, and the final boss. He carries a machine gun whose bullets can instantly kill Billy and Jimmy, and he never drops it when knocked down.
In the arcades...
Double Dragon was a monster hit on the arcades across the globe, selling over 10,000 dedicated arcade cabinets in the USA alone, between 1987 and 1988, Double Dragon was the highest grossing game of that time, with many people queing for this machine. Later on, Taito America were negatively impacted by the illegal production of printed circuit boards of the game.