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Set in a post-apocalyptic New York, Double Dragon is the story of Billy and Jimmy Lee, twin brothers trained in the fighting style of Sou-Setsu-Ken. Together, they manage a small martial arts training school, teaching their students in self-defense. One day, Billy's girlfriend, Marian, is kidnapped off the street by the "Black Warriors", a savage street gang led by a man named Willy. The Black Warriors demand the Lee brothers disclose their martial arts secrets in exchange for Marian's freedom. The Lee brothers set out on a rescue mission to crush the Black Warriors and save Marian.

Using whatever techniques they have at their disposal, from the basic punches and kicks to the invulnerable elbow strike, as well any weapon that comes into their hands, the Lee brothers must pursue the gang through the city slum, industrial area and the forest before reaching their hideout to confront the big boss, Willy.

The NES version of this game also has an additional VS. fighting mode for one or two players. Players choose from a field of six different characters (Billy and 5 of the enemy characters) and enter into a one-on-one fighting match. Players have to punch, kick, jumpkick, and even use a weapon against their opponents until someone's health bar is fully drained. The winner is the last one standing.


Double Dragon NES A Roper throws the oil drum.
Double Dragon Game Boy Advance Level Clear
Double Dragon ZX Spectrum On the bridge
Double Dragon Atari ST Hmm, I seem to be losing...

Promo Images

Double Dragon Screenshot
Double Dragon Screenshot
Double Dragon Screenshot
Double Dragon Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "Double Dragon Advance" -- Game Boy Advance title
  • "Arcade Archives: Double Dragon" -- PlayStation 4 title
  • "ダブルドラゴン アドバンス" -- Japanese GBA spelling
  • "ダブルドラゴン" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

If There's One Game Which Makes the Master System Worth Owning... SEGA Master System ET2600 (16)
Street Fighting Brothers SEGA Master System Liam Dowds (51)
Sure, good programming can do anything on any hardware . . . if you're Capcom, not Activision!! Atari 2600 Fake Spam (94)
Say hello to the ancestor of the "beat-em-up" genre! DOS Indra was here (20905)
A Very Bad Port Atari 2600 powerstone05 (349)

Critic Reviews

GotNext Game Boy Advance Dec 12, 2004 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
1UP! NES Sep 03, 2004 90 out of 100 90
Commodore Format Commodore 64 Mar, 1994 85 out of 100 85
Computer and Video Games (CVG) SEGA Master System Dec, 1988 76 out of 100 76
Joystick (French) NES Apr, 1991 75 out of 100 75
Sega Pro (UK) Genesis May, 1992 72 out of 100 72
Retro Archives ZX Spectrum Nov 30, 2018 7 out of 20 35
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Atari ST Jun, 1989 275 out of 1000 28
Retro Archives MSX Nov 30, 2018 4 out of 20 20
The Video Game Critic SEGA Master System Dec 14, 2000 F 0


Topic # Posts Last Post
MSX Screenshots 4 Freeman (59762)
Dec 01, 2018


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Double Dragon appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Board game

In 1989, Tiger adapted this video game into a board game.

C64 version

Here's an interesting bit of trivia from the Commodore 64 instruction manual:
Dear Game Player,
During our Herculean task of cramming as many as possible of the multitude of animation and graphic elements that make up the arcade game into the Commodore 64, we were faced with a problem. To get both one- and two-player options, and to achieve the authentic feel of two-player simultaneous action, simply took more memory than we had available.
But we knew how disappointed you would be if the game didn't have the same two-player mode as the arcade game you know and love. So we came up with a memory-saving solution. We implemented sprite stacking techniques to create the animated characters (using two smaller sprites instead of one larger one to create each figure).
The resulting small gap you may notice in the characters at waist level, is the compromise that the architecture of the C64 forced us to make.
This should not impair your enjoyment of the game in any way.
The Programmers

Amstrad CPC versions

Basically two completely different versions of the game were released: a dodgy port for standard CPC 464 and superior conversion for CPC 6128 which were both developed by Binary Design. The latter was an Atari ST conversion and released for the French market. The former was ported from Spectrum and put into UK shops.


Marvel published a six-issue line of comic books based off of the video game in 1991, giving Marian an early casting as a police officer and giving the Lee brothers a very Marvelous father -- Stan!


In 1994, Universal released Double Dragon, the movie, starring Mark Dacascos as Jimmy Lee, Scott Wolf as Billy Lee, Alyssa Milano as Maria, and Robert Patrick as Koga Shuko, the evil gang leader.

As the film would have it, in the year 2007, what was once called Los Angeles is now "New Angeles", a city half-destroyed by The Big One in 2000. The city is now a metropolis out of Hell, where earthquakes and tidal waves are part of the typical day. The smog is so dangerously thick that huge fans are on top of buildings to blow it away and phone booths are oxygen booths. The Hollywood River has overflowed, making many famous landmarks mere wrecks. The urban areas that once stood in the south all the way to Long Beach are underwater. By day the police are out doing their jobs and normal people go about their lives, but there is a curfew. At night, the police and people lock their doors and the gangs emerge causing mayhem, including the "Mohawks" and the "Gloves". The only ones who go out to fight the gangs are a group of kids and teens called the Power Corps.

The movie's plot primarily concerns Shuko doing all he can to acquire the Double Dragon. While he has one half, the Lees have the other. It becomes good vs. evil as the Lees, along with the Power Corps' leader, Maria, team up for some good old butt-kicking action to defeat Shuko and prevent him from using the Double Dragon to take over "N.A." All in all, the movie was unsuccessful.


If you are playing a two-player game and both characters are still alive after you beat Mr. Big, Billy and Jimmy must fight each other to see who gets the girl. In the NES, Gameboy (and possibly other versions); it is two player but not simultaneously. Both players will play as Billy and Jimmy will remain a enemy boss character regardless. As a consolation prize however, the NES version features a "Mode B" in which 1 or 2 players can engage in a 1-on-1 fighting match with six of the game's characters using graphics more faithful to the arcade.

NES version

The NES release has a few bugs that should not have passed quality control since they can be triggered fairly easily. For example, you can climb up the wall at the end of the first level while it's obvious you shouldn't be able to. Also, the game was originally to have a staff roll (the one you see in this entry), but an invalid JSR forced Technos to abandon it during production.

References to the game

In the movie The Wizard, Jimmy is seen playing the NES version of Double Dragon at the bus station. Of course, the arcade version didn't look like that but this was Nintendo's movie so they put their Double Dragon in it.


According to the magazine Retro Gamer (issue #1), the game was Mastertronic's #7 best selling game (289.510 copies).


  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #75 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #88 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by Olivier Masse, PCGamer77, Pseudo_Intellectual, Robbb, Servo and WildKard

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