Thursday, August 6, 2020

Double Dragon (Game Boy, 1990)

Is that two dragons, or one dragon with two heads? Maybe one with a head at each end?

The Game Boy Players Guide strikes again, as it introduces us to the cast of characters. Billy and Jimmy Lee are the heroes of the game (Co-op play with your friends via a Game Link Cable! Sold separately!) as they do battle with... well, from the looks of things, the Tight Pants Brigade.

Leading the Tight Pants Brigade is the nefarious Willy. And holy shit, is he nefarious or what? In that picture he's the very definition of "bad intentioned". It looks like he's smoking a cigarette, with the actual cigarette edited out.

At the very beginning we see the girlfriend of Billy (and possibly also Jimmy, we don't know what kind of relationship these people have), Marian, walking down the street. She's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Her eyes are bluer than the seven seas, and her blond hair flows in the wind like the mane of a supple pegasi. In another time, wars would be fought over Marian. She's like Helen of Troy. of course the Tight Pants Brigade kidnaps her, after a (surprisingly brutal for Nintendo) punch to the stomach.

Luckily, Billy has arrived to knock some faces! I like how the game starts you off with an enemy RIGHT BEHIND YOU so you immediately get hit if you don't react instantly. Why?

Billy dishes out powerful kicks and punches to take out foes. Unfortunately, he doesn't have any attacks that deliberately target the penis. I always aim for those when possible in these games.

The bad guys also have ladies. They're the only ones not wearing tight pants, because instead they're wearing no pants. Luckily for them, Billy Lee is a gentleman who would never hit a lady.

Especially not with a baseball ba- WHAM! BAT TO THE FACE!

What the heck, Billy? I thought you were a gentleman!

Our hero arrives at the lair of the boss. This is the notorious Adobo, recurring baddie of the Double Dragon series. He looks like an Everquest ogre, and it's safe to say that he's pure biodiesel.

You can't go toe-to-toe with Adobo without getting pummeled. However, this game operates on a 3-D plane, meaning you can approach him from the foreground and deliver super-close kicks while moving up and down onscreen to keep him from retaliating. Woe to you if you're stuck on a flat plane of movement, though.

Finally! A good groin kick! While the Tight Pants Brigade is stylish, their outfits don't afford very much protection in the junk-region.

This game is a lot of fun, but it has one HUGE failing: The jump controls. Due to the Game Boy limitations, there's no jump button. Instead, you press punch and kick together to do a flying kick that lets you sail over pits. However, you can't really control this jump, and the trajectory isn't exactly good. As a result, it's very easy to fall into pits and die on what should be easy jumps. They probably should have just left platforming sections like this out of the game entirely.

Billy Lee rides the elevator. THIS... is Double Dragon intensity!

While not as tough as Adobo, another boss-type foe in this game is Chintai. They have a LOT of health and attack with some devastating kicks. Kinda reminds me of Liu Kang.

The third stage takes our hero into the woods, where he goes on a relaxing stroll.

...until muggers leap out of the bushes and attack! What is this, Central Park ten years ago in June 2020?

Billy counters with KNEES TO THE FACE! UFC! UFC!

Another platforming section... luckily, none of these go on for very long. One positive is that the intensely bad AI causes enemies to frequently fall into pits themselves.

Here we see Billy punching Lindas in the face while Whispy Woods looks on and sprouts a boner.

Uh oh! Adobo has returned. This time you lure him to the left and knock him off the cliff in the foreground. Thanks for the tip, Game Boy Player's Guide.

This game is at its most difficult when Chintai attack several at a time. There are two particular spots where you have to fight a couple of them at once, and those were the two places where I found myself struggling. The rest of the game wasn't bad.

Losing a life means having to get past Adobo again.

This part is weird. You have to walk through a cave (at the snail's-pace walking speed) while spikes fall from the ceiling. It's weird because the spikes move with the screen as they fall. Have to just take a step back to avoid them.

Then a boulder chases you down some steps. They really went all-out with this cave, didn't they? What's next, lava?


In the immortal words of Bart Simpson, ay carumba. As if the game didn't have enough awful platforming, now we have MOVING PLATFORMS to deal with.

At the end of that, you have to hold off another Adobo until the floor collapses and he falls into the lava. This part is quite difficult; the overall challenge ramps the hell up very suddenly here. The first few stages were Kirby's Dream Land difficulty.

The final stage has you climbing a rocky cliff to reach the dark pagoda of the villains. Let's see what the Game Boy Player's Guide has to say.

Whoa, it has a lot to say. Never underestimate Nintendo Power's ability to turn a linear stage map into a full-on feature presentation.

Atop the cliff, Billy finds himself at the evil lair. Time to save Marian, whose breasts are like two scoops of ice cream from atop Mount Olympus.

A bunch of skull doors unleash foes on our hero. Have I stepped into a Mega Man game? Is Dr. Wily behind this?

...wait a minute. The bad guy is named "Willy". COINCIDENCE? ...yes.

Another Adobo fight takes place here. Only real issue is that if you move towards the foreground you'll fall on some spikes. Weird how when you knock a foe down in this game, it looks like they're laying there chillaxing.

Hell, the same thing applies to Billy. This section right here is HIGHLY irritating, as blocks pop out of the walls rapidly and ruin your day. There's no good way to get through this aside from beelining through when you first get to this section. Hesitate, and the blocks start, and it's futile from there.

In the final room, our hero battles a bunch of Chintai in what is probably the toughest fight in the game. Get through that, and you face...

...the nefarious Willy. He has a ton of health and a deadly range attack, but the fight really isn't that difficult if you use the vertical plane to stay out of his line of fire.

With that, Billy is reunited with Marian, whose nether-regions smell like Japanese cherry blossoms.

Damn you, Billy, you Seth Macfarlane-looking bastard. She could have been mine. She SHOULD have been mine! Fair Marian. Ours was a love that I was denied. Perhaps in another life, perhaps in another time, I shall cup those fair bosoms. Sometimes, I lay awake and think of Marian... and I cry.

Other Double Dragon Posts


  1. There's an NES version of this, and it starts the same way with Marian getting punched. It is susprirsing for early Nintendo. You should play the DD trilogy on the NES.

    1. I'll definitely play the NES games, and the crossover with Battletoads. And Battletoads, for that matter... there's no way I can skip such an iconic game.

  2. One of the greatest titles for a video game.
    Your descriptions of Marian's beauty are stirring indeed.
    I wonder if Bruce Lee smiled from heaven upon witnessing his 4-bit brothers Jimmy and Billy.
    Not many games have female bad guys...I'll say this is feminist.
    Figures the Chintai would be the hardest considering how flexible their kicks are in that player's guide illustration. Those kinds of guys are -always- imposing in martial arts movies.
    You have so few lives in this game that they're represented as heads taking up 6% of the screen, huh?
    Sorry to hear about the jump trouble, but the game -looks- all right. Good win.

  3. For more Abobo intensity, I recommend this:

  4. Wow, sexy. I want to be her human thighmaster.