This issue’s arcade game of choice is none-other than the immensely popular side scrolling beat-em up Double Dragon. The initial game was released in 1987 by Technos in Japan, and licensed to Taito for manufacture and distribution in the United States and Europe. The original game concept, in addition to
the character names, were loosely inspired by the Bruce Lee film, “Enter the Dragon.”
Interestingly, when Taito released the game internationally, they altered the original Technos Japanese storyline. Since most reading this column reside outside of Japan, we’ll focus on Taito’s international Double Dragon releases.
Martial arts masters and brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee attempt to rescue Billy’s girlfriend Marian from abductors, the Shadow Warriors. The game was playable by two players simultaneously, and in addition to using martial arts moves, the heroes could use items found in their environment such as knives, whips, baseball bats, sticks of dynamite, boulders and oil drums. Double Dragon contained a shock ending that reveals that the leader of the Shadow Warriors, known as Big Boss Willy, was none other than Billy’s own brother, Jimmy Lee. The final battle, if played cooperatively, pits both players against each other! The game was such a HUGE hit that when it was released on home consoles, the game box proudly stated, “You’ll never have to stand in line to play Double Dragon again!”
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