Double Dragon (NES)

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North American box art.

Double Dragon is a beat 'em up and fighting video game developed and published by Technos and released for the NES on 1988-04-08. It was published by Tradewest in the USA. The game is a port of the arcade original, but it is so different, it can be considered a unique game. In the story, Billy Lee's girlfriend Marion has been kidnapped by the Black Warriors, and he must beat them all up to rescue her. Unlike the arcade game, your twin brother is not helping Billy along the way, but actually the leader of the Black Warriors gang.

My brother received this game as a Christmas gift the same year that I received Bad Dudes. Although, at times I preferred this game, looking back, I think I got the better game. Because we owned the game, I played it a fair amount, but I never got good enough at it to pass


I do not own this game, and I have never beaten it.


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4 4 7 7 5

Best Version: 54%

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The addition of experience points that yield better martial arts moves was a great addition.
  • The game's graphics are pretty good for 1988. Several of Shinichi Saito's backgrounds are attractive, and I like Billy's character sprite designed by Koji Ogata.
  • Kazunaka Yamane's music is quite enjoyable.
  • The added Mode B fighting game adds a bit more value to the title overall, and at least gives a little multi-player action.


  • The main gimmick of the title is that you were twin brothers fighting together, and the NES port completely eliminates that option and makes your brother the villain. This isn't just a huge deviation from the original game, but, removing the comradery of multiplayer also takes away a lot of the fun of the game.
  • I hate it when games like this set you back to a checkpoint when you die.
  • Yet another damsel in distress game with a women as reward trope at the end, but, as a bonus, you get violence against women too and women used as a pawn.
  • Since the game had been redesigned anyway, the developers could have fixed the pacing of the missions. Missions 1 and 2 are both quite short and can be finished by even an amateur player. However, mission 3 and 4 are both very long and extremely difficult.
  • The Mode B fighting game is poorly-constructed. It's not that bad for 1988 when there wasn't really anything better, but it has not aged well.
  • The manual is poorly translated (Abobo's "atomic throw" becomes, "he likes to throw bombs"), has the wrong screenshots for missions 1 and 2, leaves out Mode B entirely, and gives away the supposed surprise ending.


  • The game is ridiculously hard, even for an expert player. Making it through the game generally requires exploiting the bad AI, and using mostly elbows and jump kicks throughout the game. Also, trying to jump over pits and water is much harder than it needs to be!
  • The hidden entrance to the Black Gang's underground hideout in mission 3 is really obnoxious. Players are essentially tricked into a never-ending loop without any indication how to get out of it.


Box Art





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