NES Works #081: Double Dragon

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By Jeremy Parish. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Technos (by way of freshman NES publisher Tradewest) follows up on Renegade with a home conversion of a massive arcade hit that plays extremely fast and loose with the meaning of the phrase "home conversion." Double Dragon on NES may as well be a completely different game than the coin-op smash, as it adds several new mechanics, expands the game environments, introduces platforming sequences, helps invent the one-on-one fighting genre, and—whoops—loses the cooperative gameplay feature that gave the game its name in the first place. The end result is a game that doesn't sit well with those who demand absolute fidelity in their arcade ports, but that nevertheless stands out as one of the most ambitious, polished, and attractive games yet seen on the platform.

From this point on, arcade-to-NES adaptations will lean heavily on the "adaptations" angle, and (along with Rygar and Punch-Out!!), Double Dragon is one of the first works to truly define what NES coin-on conversion would look like in the coming years.

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