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Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone

aka: Double Dragon 3, Double Dragon 3: The Arcade Game, Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stone
Moby ID: 1841
Arcade Specs
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Description official descriptions

The final game in the trilogy.

Billy and Jimmy Lee are returning from martial arts training when their paths cross a fortune teller. She tells them of a great evil in Egypt, their strongest adversary yet, and how the Rosetta Stones can aid them.

This game features weapon shops where Billy and Jimmy can buy power-ups, tricks, energy and extra lives to aid them in their quest.

Power-ups make Billy and Jimmy twice their size, increasing their damage done and range of attack.

The character graphics have changed, moving away from cartoon style graphics to more realistic looking characters.

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Credits (Arcade version)

11 People




Average score: 58% (based on 28 ratings)


Average score: 2.9 out of 5 (based on 67 ratings with 2 reviews)

A decent beat-em-up for fans of the genre or the series

The Good
-->Detailed VGA environments and colors, really showed what a VGA card was capable of

-->Introduction music is cool

-->Fairly challenging without being impossible

-->Ability to utilize different characters in the different countries the missions take place in is cool

-->The first decent Double Dragon game for the PC, unfortunately, it was also the last.

The Bad
-->No in-game music

-->Sound is seriously lacking (low-fi adlib sound effects)

-->Character animation is stiff and jerky

-->Collision detection can be off at times

-->The enemy AI seems a bit too fond of cheap tactics, crowding around you for a cheap beatdown

The Bottom Line
Billy and Jimmy Lee, the "Double Dragons" from NYC set out on a new quest, this time to seek out the Rosetta Stone. The adventure starts in the city with the player taking control of Billy Lee, putting the hurt to the local street thugs. As you travel from China to Greece to Egypt, you will encounter shops along the way that allow you to exchange coins for more energy, to buy more moves such as the famous "Cyclone Kick", and to buy alternate characters like Sunny and Chin.

If you have played and enjoyed Double Dragon games in the past, or enjoy beat-em-ups, you will most likely enjoy this title as well. While I had several beefs with the game, such as the lack of in-game music, and the choppy character animation, DD3 remains at its core a decent game, if you can tolerate its few issues.

DOS · by Ryu (50) · 2004

So bad the dragon's dead

The Good
In many ways this game does good on graphics, with impressive scenery, smooth scrolling and decent sprites. The music is catchy, even if it lacks the traditional slums theme. The shop is a neat little feature to give powerups that are not available anywhere else. Thankfully you can return to a shop you visited previously. It's a relief that you can stock up on health if you afford it. To add to the gameplay, you can try playing as twelve different characters, but the US port of the game had the misfortune of making them selectable during a continue instead of the start.

The Bad
Everywhere, the gameplay is a complete car wreck. The frame rate is so bad, choppy and stuttering, it feels like you're playing a stop-motion video game. Hit detection is all but non-existent with the enemies prone to making mince meat out of you with little you can do to have a decent fighting chance. There's no easy way to execute your moves and there are almost no weapons to extend your range of attack. Enemies take practically forever to defeat and there are no health bars for clear indication. Having three players doesn't do much to even the odds.

Storywise, this game's plot does not make a whole lot of sense. Straying from the trend of Billy and Jimmy rescuing a damsel in distress, they are now looking for an artifact already discovered in 1799 and currently in the British Museum. The good old ultimate goal is to find lost treasure and give it all away to charity, thanks to some random fortune teller. Also the plot does not explain how the Oyama, Chin and Urquidez families became involved.

The Bottom Line
This game cannot really compete with more sophisticated beat-em-ups of the time such as Final Fight and Streets of Rage. I've given praise where it's due, but for the most part, this third entry of the Double Dragon series isn't worth the effort to finish. Even the NES conversion doesn't do justice. It's as bad as the 1994 Double Dragon movie. If you're a sucker for spending all your loose change to finish this game, you've picked the right arcade cabinet.

Arcade · by Kayburt (27387) · 2021


Subject By Date
Trivia says the NES version is a different game. Alaka (100686) Apr 5th, 2015


Arcade Version and Development

The original arcade version of the game was not developed by Technos Japan, the developers of the first two arcade games and their Famicom/NES counterparts. Instead, Technos contracted the game to an outside developer called East Technology and produced the game with the western market in mind. As a result, the arcade version of Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones bears little or no resemblance to the previous games.

In addition to a new graphical style and a world tour-theme, the arcade version features a shopping system where players could purchase power-ups such as extra men (from one of four character types or families), weapons, special techniques, extra energy and speed by inserting additional tokens to the machine. The game version bombed as a result of this feature and when the game was relocalized for the Japanese market, the shopping feature was removed and a player select feature (which was originally planned for the US version) was implemented to the game.

When the time came to develop a Famicom/NES version, Technos Japan decided to work on the game themselves. While the first two NES games took a few liberties with their arcade counterparts, they still retained the same gameplay and appearance as the original versions. The NES version of Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones on the other hand is almost a completely different game as its arcade counterpart. The NES version is the only version made by Technos Japan.


Found in the program executable: "Greetings to Naja. For support during the troubled times this program also gave me."


The Adlib music in this game was converted to Adlib by the brilliant Adlib masters (and former C64 demogroup) Vibrants.

Information also contributed by Corn Popper and Johnny Undaunted.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Macintrash.

Commodore 64 added by Quapil. Game Boy, Genesis added by Kartanym. Antstream added by firefang9212. ZX Spectrum, Atari ST added by Martin Smith. Arcade added by LepricahnsGold. Amiga, Amstrad CPC added by Katakis | カタキス.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Terok Nor, quizzley7, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger, ZeTomes.

Game added June 30th, 2000. Last modified September 8th, 2023.