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Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Double Dragon

Double Dragon

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Double Dragon, so we’ve doubled our Double Dragon! The original arcade version of Double Dragon is here as our new Raiders of the Lost Arcade feature! Prefer the vastly different NES version? Don’t worry, it’s fully playable in our PlayChoice-10 cabinet!

In Double Dragon, twin brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee (also known as Hammer and Spike) must venture into the territory of the Black Warriors street gang in order to rescue Billy’s girlfriend, Marian! Trained in the martial arts, the Lee brothers are well equipped for combat with a variety of techniques at their disposal, but tracking down and defeating the gang’s leader, Willy, won’t be an easy task. Braving the mission solo or teamed up with a partner, do you have the strategic button mashing skills necessary to defeat the ruthless Black Warriors gang and save Marian?

Developed by Technōs Japan and published by Taito, Double Dragon is one of the earliest successful beat ‘em up games and is commonly considered to be the granddaddy of the genre. Although it’s technically the spiritual successor to the 1986 beat ‘em up Renegade, it was Double Dragon that defined the two-player co-op mode that became central to the genre and inspired numerous sequels and spin-offs in arcades and on home consoles. One of the most exciting features of the game was the advanced combat system, which was relatively complex at the time of the game’s release. In addition to a variety of moves that can be performed with combinations of the kick, jump, and punch buttons, Double Dragon introduced the ability for the players to arm themselves with weapons dropped by enemies, such as whips, baseball bats, and dynamite. The game’s four stages take the players through city slums, a factory, a forest, and finally the gang’s hideout, with plenty of enemies and bosses to beat up along the way.

Did You Know?

• If two players beat the final boss together, they are then forced to fight each other to determine who will win Marian’s love.

• The popular NES version of Double Dragon (playable in the Playchoice-10 cabinet) features several significant changes from the arcade version and lacks two-player co-op mode. Notable features include a level-up system with unlockable attacks, different level design, an alternative story where Jimmy Lee replaces Willy as the antagonist, and a one-on-one battle mode with two-player support.

• According to one of Double Dragon’s creators, Muneki Ebinuma, many of the game’s features were influenced by Bruce Lee movies.