Double Dragon (universe)

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The Double Dragon logo used on the NES port.

Double Dragon is a fictional universe created by Technos which began on 1987-07-10 with the release of the original beat 'em up arcade game. The series is based around twin brothers, Billy and Jimmy Lee, who are martial arts experts who have to defeat thugs for various reasons, usually involving Billy's girlfriend Marion. Technos developed a couple sequels and also licensed other companies to develop and publish ports. In the 1990s, the franchise expanded into a TV series, film, and comic book. After Technos went out of business in 1996, the franchise remained stagnant for years while the rights to the franchise changed hands several times until eventually landing with Arc System Works. Most of the games released for the franchise since Technos went bankrupt have been emulated clones and retro remakes, although the Neon title saw a major overhaul. Although not directly related, Double Dragon was influenced by the US localization of Nekketsu Koha Kunio-kun, Renegade.


I remember seeing Double Dragon in an arcade around 1988. Although I didn't have any money to play it, I enjoyed watching people dumping quarters into it and beating up the thugs in the game. That Christmas, my brother received the NES port as a gift. We played it quite a lot, though we were disappointed by how inferior it was. I never saw Double Dragon II: The Revenge in the arcade, but a friend of mine had a copy of the NES port, and he and I loved playing it together and, when we played outside, we would often pretend to be the martial arts masters in the game. That same friend rented a copy of Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones for the NES shortly after it came out, and we were both disgusted by how bad it was. I was interested in Battletoads / Double Dragon when I first saw it, but I found it to be a rather uninspired mashup. After that, I was pretty disenfranchised by beat 'em ups altogether, seeing them as rather boring. I've tried a couple other ports and games from the series and found most of them dreadful. I haven't seen the TV series or film or read any of the comics.


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