Double Dragon Trivia
1001 Video GamesThe Arcade version of Double Dragon appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Board gameIn 1989, Tiger adapted this video game into a board game.
C64 versionTwo C64 versions exist, the original Melbourne House release by Binary Designs and a later, rare cartridge only release by Ocean, ported by Imagitec Design. Here's an interesting bit of trivia from the US Commodore 64 Mastertronic/Arcadia (Binary Designs) instruction manual:
A NOTE FROM THE PROGRAMMERS:
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.
Amstrad CPC versionsBasically 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.
ComicMarvel 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!
MovieIn 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.
MultiplayerIf 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 versionThe 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 gameIn 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.
SalesAccording 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)