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Double Dragon's music is superb. In fact, it's so good that one of the British Sinclair ZX Spectrum magazines featured a bonus covertape in 1990 or thereabouts, which included some of the music from this game. Unfortunately, all the home computer conversions of Double Dragon are really terrible. I've played this game on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Nintendo Famicom, Atari ST and Commodore Amiga, and all of these versions were mediocre at best. The Amiga version had reasonably faithful graphics (allowing for hardware limitations), but the sound effects are ridiculous and the music is nonexistent. All the versions I have ever played were far too easy, allowing a first-time player to complete the game with one or two credits.

realaudio music:

Level 1 Music (462K).
Level 2 Music (286K).

Double Dragon

Double Dragon, from Japan Technos Corporation (apparently rebadged by Taito in the USA), is a standard two-player cooperative (simultaneous) 2-way scrolling (in some places, 4-way scrolling) side-on beat'em up game. The object of the game is to rescue your girlfriend; if both players survive to the end of the game, then before the game will end, one player has to beat up the other, which is a nice touch of realism.


The very start of the game... Player one is on the ground already!

The game runs on two 6809 processors and a Hitachi 63701. Music is provided by a Yamaha YM2151 FM synthesizer and a YM3012. At the time of writing (1998) there were several people working on emulators, including "Calb" of SNES emulator fame, but there are technical problems with emulating the game. The 63701 is an MC6301 code-compatible microcontroller in a very large package with lots of pins (apparently, it has 56-odd I/O lines), and 8K of internal PROM. Emulating the game may require reading out this PROM area, and I'm still not sure if it's even possible. Since my original review, I know that cloned Double Dragon ROMs have been emulated, and I think that's as close as we're likely to get.


Another scene from level 1. Walk along a little further and a HUGE guy will burst out of the wall just to the right of that car billboard.


There aren't really "bosses" in Double Dragon so much as all-out rumbles. The group of three enemies to the left of center is the first wave of the end-of-level-2 riot. Falling on the conveyor means being dragged towards the hole in the wall, where you fall to your death. It's amusing to toss enemies on the conveyor.

Double Dragon uses a horizontal low-res monitor, one or two 8-way joysticks with three buttons, and it has a standard JAMMA pinout. DIP switch settings are as below:

DIP Switch Bank A

Setting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Coins per credit (slot 1) 1 coin 1 play 0 0 0
1 coin 2 plays 1 0 0
1 coin 3 plays 0 1 0
1 coin 4 plays 1 1 0
1 coin 5 plays 0 0 1
2 coins 1 play 1 0 1
3 coins 1 play 0 1 1
4 coins 1 play 1 1 1
Coins per credit (slot 2) 1 coin 1 play 0 0 0
1 coin 2 plays 1 0 0
1 coin 3 plays 0 1 0
1 coin 4 plays 1 1 0
1 coin 5 plays 0 0 1
2 coins 1 play 1 0 1
3 coins 1 play 0 1 1
4 coins 1 play 1 1 1
Cabinet type Cocktail 0
Upright 1
Screen Invert Normal 0
Invert 1

DIP Switch Bank B

Setting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Difficulty Normal 0 0
Easy 1 0
Less than difficult 0 1
Difficult 1 1
Attract mode sound Yes 0
No 1
Bonus score 30000 every 60000 0 0
40000 every 80000 1 0
20000 only 0 1
40000 only 1 1
Number of lives 2 0 0
3 1 0
4 0 1
Free Play 1 1
Reserved Leave off 0


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