Sunday, December 6, 2009

HG101 Digital Archive Project - Double Dragon

Double Dragon was unquestionably one of the most popular NES games in the late 80s. The series eventually grew less popular as the years progressed - no one really liked Double Dragon III, and while Super Double Dragon was far from bad, it also didn't quite command the same respect. This didn't stop the media blitz of Double Dragon stuff in 1994, at least a few years after its prime, with a live action movie and 26 episode cartoon series.

I haven't seen the movie, honestly. It's out on DVD and so won't be part of this archive project here, but you can check out the Nostalgia Critic's review for some insight into that bit o' disaster. The cartoon series is something different entirely - the movie very vaguely got things right, but the cartoon takes the concept of two brothers fighting crime and runs off in its own direction. For instance, they both wield swords! That shoot lightning! Also, they drive around in a car and fight all kinds of ludicrous Saturday morning cartoon villains! It's really bad. It actually went on for two whole seasons for a total of 26 episodes.

What's even worse is that someone, somewhere realized that the cartoon was so greatly removed from the game series that they made their own completely new, completely different video game to tie it in together. They even had the audacity to stick a numeral on it - Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls, released for the Genesis, SNES and Jaguar. It eschewes the side-scrolling co-op beat-em-up action in favor of one-on-one fighting, which was the style at the time. It's also really bad. The Mexican designed rip off Rage of the Dragons for the Neo Geo is, somehow, a substantially better game in every regard. (Not being sarcastic - I actually REALLY like Rage of the Dragons. It's not all that popular amongst the SNK set, but something about the character designs, the flow, the crunchiness, and music really comes together. Never got ported, though a version of its spiritual successor, Goketsuji Ichizoku: Matrimelee, hit the PS2 awhile back.)

Anyway, here's two episodes for download from one of the tapes. I bought a few more so except some more eventually, some day.

The Price of Oblivion
Judgment Day


  1. I actually owned the Double Dragon comics for quite some time. They were just as horrible. No shock there though.

  2. I remember this was so freakin' bad, haha.

  3. I remember that cartoon. You forgot to mention the cheesy armor the main character have.

    Speaking of Double Dragon, when is that game series getting an article here?

  4. the cartoon was my first intro to the series, so when i played the games i was disappointed

  5. On an episode of the 90's "Weird Science" show, the main characters had action figures made of them, which were slightly repainted figures from the Double Dragon cartoon line.