Video Game Classics: Double Dragon

In this 1987 beat 'em up adventure, players take on the role of either the blue-clad martial artist Billy Lee or his red-loving twin brother Jimmy. Taking place after several nuclear wars in post-apocalyptic New York, the story is set in the year 19xx. There, the two brothers run their own martial arts dojo and teach citizens how to defend themselves from the crime-filled streets. As a form of retribution, the Shadow Warriors gang kidnap their lady friend Marian. Hearing her call for help, the brothers run off to save their common love interest. Made to fight through never-ending waves of street punks, players must make their way through four large missions. These include a city slum, a factory, the woods, and the gang’s hideout. In this Video WatchMojo.com takes a look at Double Dragon.
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Video Game Classics: Double Dragon


Some games will live forever as Classics. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be taking a look at 1987’s iconic beat ‘em up Double Dragon.

Debuting in the arcade, it was later ported to several gaming machines, including the Nintendo Entertainment System.

As each version has been scaled to the technical abilities of their respective video game systems, let’s focus on the original arcade version of the game.

Starting the coin-operated adventure, players took on the role of either the blue-clad martial artist Billy Lee or his red-loving twin brother Jimmy. Interestingly, they were initially known as Hammer and Spike, before getting re-branded.

Taking place after several nuclear wars in post-apocalyptic New York, the story is set in the year 19xx. There, two brothers run their own martial arts dojo as the double dragon twins. Together, they teach citizens how to defend themselves from the crime-filled streets.

As a form of retribution, the Shadow Warriors gang kidnap their lady friend Marian. Hearing her call for help, the brothers run off to save their common love interest.

Immediately, gamers are made to fight through never-ending waves of street punks. To do this, players make use of basic punches and kicks, and can throw advanced attacks. These include hair grabbing and elbow punches. Plus, gamers can assist each other by grabbing their partner's opponent from behind.

Throughout the adventure, players have a set number of extra lives and must face a repetitive array of enemy characters. These include several that carry melee weapons, which you can use by disarming them.

The available weapons include steel bats, whips, throwing knives, and dynamite sticks. But you can also use large objects such as crates, oil drums, and rocks, which are scattered around the level.

Divided into four distinct missions, these include a city slum, a factory, the woods, and the gang’s hideout.

The game will end if a single player defeats the final boss. However, if two players manage to complete the game together, then they will be forced to fight each other to determine who will win Marian's affections.
Making its way to the NES and other systems, technical limitations of the time meant that players had to take turns, rather than play on-screen together. And beside bland graphics, only two identical enemies could appear on screen simultaneously.

Despite this, Double dragon has gone on to spawn multiple re-releases for services like Nintendo’s virtual console, and Xbox Live, and has been hailed as one of the most popular videogame beat ‘em ups ever created.
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