Classic Games: Double Dragon Arcade

1987 must have been a great year for video games as another one of my top 5 classic games comes from that year.

Double Dragon, the beat ’em up that starred the martial arts brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee (or Hammer and Spike) who fight their way through streets of bad guys to save Billy’s girlfriend Marian.

This epic single player play through from arcadegamesfreak shows the full story.

and this two player play through from Games Archive shows the ending with both brothers fighting each other for the affection of Marion.

What an unusual ending for a game built on brotherly love, come on Double Dragon.. Bro’s before Pixels!

The ending was changed on the NES version (mainly because there was no 2 player co-op) so that it turned out that Jimmy was actually the leader of the gang they were fighting all along. Which still makes no sense, but hey.. video games in the 80’s, am I right?

This still has fond memories for me as one of the first beat ’em up games I’d played on arcade. My friends and I found the graphics at the time to be absolutely mind blowing. The fact that you could pick up a chain or baseball bat that an enemy had dropped and use it against them in a seemingly 3D environment was next level compared to most other games of the time and with limited access to arcade cabinets there was always a long line to play it.

The two player aspect of the game was brilliant, although you could play single player, you would often wait for your best friend to really get the most out of your 40 cent credit. Duo play is a thing that we almost take for granted in todays games, especially with online multiplayer so readily available.

The game was so popular it appeared on several gaming consoles and even sprouted a few sequels as well as a cartoon series. In 1994 they even tried to do a major motion picture, which goes down in history as a great example of why people shouldn’t make movies from video games especially when they base it so loosely. I will admit I owned this on VHS and have watched it a heck of a lot. It’s probably more to do with my teenage obsession with Alyssa Milano than the quality of story though.

Double Dragon The Movie

In a post-apocalyptic California, brothers Billy Lee (Scott Wolf) and Jimmy (Mark Decascos) are highly trained martial artists living in the ravaged city of New Angeles. The pair have been trained by Satori (Julia Nickson), who took them in after their parents died. When Satori finds herself pursued by evil overlord Koga Shuko (Robert Patrick), who’s intent on possessing her mystical dragon medallion, the siblings are charged with protecting it from Shuko and his henchmen. 

If you love classic games and want to read about Wonder Boy in Monster Land click here

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Buy the movie loosly based on the game “Double Dragon the Movie”:

double dragon

If you want to relive the classic arcade this is a good way to do it but make sure your TV still has these plugs.

71Hq7f5TXgL. AC SL1500

Alternativly a Pandoras Box should have it, but hopefully we’ll see that legendary team at Arcade1Up do a licenced machine as well. They’ve done some really cool small sized cabinets of classic games like Mortal Kombat, Pac Man and NBA Jam and are currently working on a TRON cabinet.

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