back to article Taito's Double Dragon

It was the summer of 1989 in a not-so-sunny Prestatyn Pontins, so the majority of our holiday's evenings were spent in the resort's arcade hall. Being my first foray into the seedy underbelly of cutting-edge - well, for 1987, when the game debuted, at least - videogames, one of the first arcades I ever played was the side- …


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  1. SuperTim

    Me too...

    I spent many an hour playing that in Prestatyn. For a run-down miserable holiday camp they had a great arcade. The holidays of my youth were not the same without a little bank bag full of Florins to feed the machines with! I completed 1942 and got the maximum possible score on Air Inferno but always ended up on PacLand for some reason I am yet to fathom.

    1. K
      Thumb Up

      Re: Me too...

      Ditto, I wish somebody would do an update for Pacland, its the perfect sort of "time wasting" games for a tablet.

  2. Richard Wharram

    Elbow > *

    For some reason all the baddies were totally happy to be elbowed.

    As such this was not really a great game.

    1. Alan Bourke

      Re: Elbow > *

      Yep, you can get all the way through this game just by reverse-elbowing everyone.

      1. myarse

        Re: Elbow > *

        Yup, and it's blinkin short as well when you just elbow everyone. Only problem is I only really figured this out later when I played the ST port after spending to much real moneypences getting not very far in the arcade.

  3. tsdadam


    I vividly remember this cab at my local leisure centre (among other places), where they had the volume turned up to 11. The high-pitched 'ching' noise as you kicked a knife out of the air is a joy to behold :)

    Double Dragon 2 was also a great game. Who can forget 'Pogo' and timing the jump and kick just right to get the helicopter kick.

  4. Simon Buttress
    Thumb Up

    I loved elbowing them

    Grabbing their hair and kneeing them in the face was a win as well. Or throwing the knifes at them.

    Me and my mate used to complete the game on 1 life. We had no life at the time.

  5. MikeyD85


    Is what this game is. I remember the two player "deathmatch" mode on the NES was excellent fun.

  6. Citizen Kaned

    loved this game...

    i looked forward to our junior school swimming sessions just because the school we went to had this.

    they also had daily thompson's decathlon too :)

    never realised about the elbow thing. it was much more fun to pick up stuff and hit people. baseball bats were in DD werent they? or was that the next one? bah, hazy memory!

    1. Bush_rat

      Re: loved this game...

      Yes the baseball bats were DD, but the chain was the best weapon, followed closely by the bat

      Ahh good times...

  7. chipxtreme

    Elbow'ing your way through was a little bit harder in DD2 as the button combo changed depending on which way you were facing, or was that DD3? Used to love this game, for 10p you got all the way to the end, these days arcade games are £1-2 a go and usually after a minute or two they want that again.

    1. Andee

      Yep, that was indeed DD2 -- the three buttons depended on whichever way you faced (which to a lesser extent was the case in DD1 whenever you performed a flying kick), DD3 was rubbish though.

  8. typeo

    I wasted many an hour playing Double Dragon 2 on the Amiga. This type of game was a great along with alternatives such as Silkworm.

  9. mark 63 Silver badge

    This and 'Rastan Saga' were the games where 10p would see me to the end, therby getting 25 mins play for 10p !

    1. Bush_rat


      My dad showed me how he could go through all the ranks and change the rank to just a black icon and have 32 spare lives all using $1 in 20 minutes.

  10. Tom Clark

    Good game != good film

    There was a film based upon this as well...

    It's possibly the most shocking piece of celluloid vomit I've ever had the pleasure of watching.

    The game was, and still is, awesome tho.

    1. Andee

      Re: Good game != good film

      True, it was no Street Fighter. Van Damme and Kylie FTW!

  11. Alex Walsh

    Aaaah, those high-waisted, skin tight jeans.


  12. Valerion

    Double Dragon?

    More like Double Entendre:

    The game tasks Bimmy Billy and Jimmy Lee with reaching Willy's base and both giving him a good hard seeing to.

    Even in the final showdown when Willy is furiously pumping out projectiles all over the place

  13. The Serpent

    Yes the elbow thing was something of a cheat, but it was perfectly possible to mistime it, at which time you would be rewarded by watching helpless as a couple of Abobos would play catch with your limp on-screen representative.

    I was always impressed at the time by the versatile combat system where seeming background objects could be used as weapons, the weapons of enemies were easily turned upon them and, as mentioned somewhere above, the move you executed was determined not only by the punch or kick button but by your distance from your opponent. I recall enjoying that feature in one of DD's spiritual descendants Golden Axe.

    1. Richard Wharram

      Golden Axe

      Now that was a TRULY great side-scrolling beat em up ! :)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I actually discovered this on Mame32 in the early Noughties, resulting in many a late night! :-)

  15. mickey mouse the fith
    Thumb Up

    Fantastic game

    I used to love this game, although the last level with the spikes and pushy-out walls was more luck than skill (i used to jump constantly in the vain hope of fooling the collision detection, not sure if it worked or was just chance).

    There were a few places (the coveyor belt for one, and the big guy near the bridge as well) where you could trick the enemies into running off the edge and killing themselves as they tracked you in pretty much a straight line.

    If you were really sneaky, you could get some of the weapons to follow you when the screen full scrolled between sets of enemies rather than loosing them, if I remember correctly you chucked it forward as the last bad guy in that scene died.

    Wasnt this the sequel to Renegade?, another violent head kicking game.

    The Amiga version of DD2 had really good music if i recall.

    1. Andee

      Re: Fantastic game

      Yeah, Renegade is classed as it's spiritual predecessor, as Another World was to Flashback, which actually came out a year prior, which itself was a Westernised remake of a Japanese beat 'em up Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun (I think I pronounced that right!). I did have Renegade for the Amstrad, and it was a surprisingly competent conversion (the version of DD I had on the Amstrad was abysmal), and it had a funky 8-bit soundtrack which really did work magic with the Amstrad's sound chip, and the animation was excellent. Ditto Target: Renegade, it's true sequel.

  16. A 31

    good memories

    Spent so much money trying to finish that game, only worked out the elbowing afterward ^^ ,the tunes were brilliant, there are great music remix made by Vertexguy on youtube.

    incidently, saw the remake on PS3 which is quite fun to play.

    1. Andee

      Re: good memories

      Double Dragon Neon is phenomenally good fun, and is not only a great homage to the original game, but also a great love letter to the 1980s. It also has one of the best soundtracks I've heard in a game.

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