YMMV / Double Dragon

General

  • Continuity Snarl: Because Technos sold the license to pretty much anyone as long as the pay was good enough, most Double Dragon games and media contradict each other and introduce several characters who do not appear in any other media. In general, DD1 and DD2 are canon, and then no one knows.

The Video Games

  • Anti-Climax Boss: Giga Skullmageddon in Neon suffers a good deal from this on higher difficulty levels: on Normal, he's a respectable challenge and about the right difficulty compared to the previous boss, but on higher difficulty levels he becomes vastly easier to kill since he mainly relies on having a high HP count but low defense: this means that since you basically need maxed out mix tapes to actually make it to him on Double Dragon difficulty, he'll take a lot more damage from your attacks than even basic enemies on earlier levels do and will go down that much more faster as a result.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The concept of Neon being an Affectionate Parody. As soon as the bright colors and retro game lampooning reared their heads in previews, the gnashing of teeth could be heard for miles. Then people played the game...
  • Awesome Music: Here.
  • Broken Base: Fans either love or loathe Neon's cheesy 80s vibe.
  • Ear Worm: In Neon: "Follow me . . . Follow me . . ."
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Abobo. He even has a fangame that's one giant NES homage.
  • Game Breaker: In the third NES game, both Lee brothers can stand back-to-back and do the Cyclone Spin Kick simultaneously. If done just right, you get a flashy new animation of their combined Cyclone Kicks. This "Double Cyclone Kick" does five times the damage of a single Cyclone Kick (roughly twice the damage of a throwing knife) and lets you mow down punks and bosses with relative ease. Just...make sure they both stay alive until the end.
    • The Flying Knee Kick and Hyper Uppercut in the second NES game are both ridiculously overpowered, although the former requires some ridiculously precise timing to pull off properly: you need to hold left or right on the d-pad and then press B and A simultaneously while your character is crouching, which only happens after landing from a jump or while your character is recovering from a fall. Once mastered though, you can mow down mooks and most bosses with relative ease.
    • The Elbow Attack in the original arcade game thanks to the easily duped AI. Normally the enemies in the game will be hesitant to approach you unless you turn your back on one of them, allowing you to catch them off-guard with the Elbow Attack, which has a decent range and always knocks the bad guys to the ground, regardless of who it is. In the second arcade game, the Elbow Punch's effectiveness is toned down a bit, but its still works to some extent.
    • Chin in general. He can and will mow down enemies in around three hits.
  • Good Bad Bugs: The famous trick for skipping Stage 2's boss in the NES version of DD1. Going far enough downstairs will cause Chin to be removed from the level data to save RAM, and the game counts him as being defeated once he disappears.
  • Mis-blamed: The misspelling of Billy's name as "Bimmy" in the third NES game is not the result of "Blind Idiot" Translation: the game's plot was completely rewritten from its original Famicom release. It's just your average typo.
    • Incidentally, when Neon made a reference to this error with Bimmy and Jammy, they are referred to as "Mistranslated Mutants". This liberty was likely taken for Rule of Funny.
  • Moral Event Horizon: When Willy guns down Marian in the beginning of the second arcade game, he goes from being a mere kidnapper to a cold blooded murderer.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • In the PC Engine version of the second game, the Mysterious Warrior dissolves into a skeleton during the ending cutscene.
    • The Mansion of Terror from the NES version makes the most of its short length with the spooky BGM and, inexplicably, a huge, sinister pair of eyes in the wall that periodically open up and stare directly at the player.
    • The music that plays during the fight against player's own shadow doppelganger in the arcade version of the second game is very eerie and frightening. Not to mention that the doppelganger itself comes out of nowhere and no explanation is given for its existence.
      • The NES version of the above theme is no less creepy.
  • Porting Disaster: The game was ported to the Atari 2600, of all systems. It's as playable as the game could possibly be on the 2600, but a beat-'em-up with only one action button leads to very shallow, repetitive gameplay and the difficulty is off the charts.
  • Sequelitis: The arcade versions of the sequels. While Double Dragon II does improved upon the original, in the sense that it was actually an upgraded version of the original, but the increased difficulty, directional-based attack buttons, and recycled stage design turned many players off. Double Dragon 3 on the other hand, replaced the game engine completely (as it was farmed out to another team) and to top it off, the U.S. version made the extra characters, special moves and weapons accessible via item shops that required the player to insert actual credits into the machine.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Suffers from this quite a bit, even by beat-em-up standards. Many people who play a Double Dragon game for the first time nowadays will find it to be rather slow and tedious compared to the majority of other brawlers.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • The Heliport stage music in II sounds very similar to Phil Collins & Phillip Bailey's "Easy Lover"
  • That One Boss:
    • Willy in the NES version of the original game, whose gun can quickly kill you in a few shots. It doesn't help that if you get killed at any point before defeating him, you're right back to fighting the twin Abobos.
  • Woolseyism: The NES version of Double Dragon III underwent a complete rewrite during the English localization. Here's a comparison between the Japanese and English scripts.

The Movie

  • Designated Hero: Billy. The movie depicts him as a hot-headed, obnoxious screwup who essentially derails all of Marian's plans and only wins by sheer luck.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Linda Lash (Koga's leather-clad whip-wielding henchwoman).
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: While the film is generally loathed, the Neo Geo fighting game based on it is considered an underrated hidden gem of a fighter in the Neo Geo's library.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Double Impact is said to be a better live-action Double Dragon movie than the official Double Dragon movie.
  • Video-Game Movies Suck: The movie is a considered a textbook example of this trope, but some of the characters and plot elements from the movie were adapted into the Double Dragon fighting game for the Neo-Geo. And it had Alyssa Milano going for it, so it wasn't completely bad.
    • On the other hand, the Jean-Claude Van Damme film Double Impact seems to had been inspired by the games and it's an even more faithful adaptation than the official Double Dragon film. Bolo Yeung, the actor who was the inspiration of Abobo's character design (so much that one of Abobo's head swaps is even named "Bolo"), even makes an appearance as a giant henchman who throws oil drums at the heroes.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: The general opinion of the decision to have Scott Wolf play Billy.

The Animated Series

  • Anti-Climax Boss: Shadow Khan, the vicious Bigger Bad is built up to be a far bigger threat than the Shadow Warriors and when he's finally released he proves it by beating them all into submission and launching a massive attack on the Dragon Dojo. To defeat him the Dragons are forced to... have Daj sick a bunch of dogs and cats on him. Not even supernatural or mutant animals, just normal ones. What this says about the threat-level of the Shadow Warriors is up for debate.
  • Anvilicious: This show is not big on subtlety. Every episode ends with a short PSA that literally tells you the message of the episode.
  • Badass Decay: Shadow Khan's Terror Warriors take a sudden decrease in threat level the second time the Dragons face them. Justified, as their first appearance ends with the Lee Twins getting armor specifically built to fight them.
    • In season 1, Sickle is decently threatening to the Dragon Warriors, but in season 2 he gets Demoted to Extra with the result that the heroes start beating him easily.
  • Creator's Pet: Daj appears midway through season 2 and suddenly devours the plot.
  • Ear Worm: The theme song. Seriously it's annoying, but it gets stuck in your head very easily.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Jimmy, for being a snarky tough guy voiced by Scott McNeil.
    • Many of the minor Dragon Warriors are decently liked for at least having personalities and flaws, unlike Billy.
  • Growing the Beard: Surprisingly, season 2 shows a lot of signs of improvement. The animation is generally smoother, there's genuine continuity and developing plotlines, more World Building, and much more characterization and development. It almost makes you wonder if the show could've improved even more in the unmade third season.
  • The Scrappy: Billy, for being a bland and stereotypical good guy, in contrast to the more colorful Dragon Warriors.
    • Daj, who drains screen time from the established characters, speaks with an incredibly annoying tone and accent, and has a ridiculous Story-Breaker Power that lets him basically save the day single-handed every time he appears.
  • Shocking Swerve: Dai Lung's former master being an actual dragon. It's foreshadowed only briefly in the episode it happens and seems to happen for no reason.
  • So Bad, It's Good
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Abobo and Willy, two of the few villains actually from the games, get trapped in the Shadow Master's mural after a single episode in favor of a bunch of original characters.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The season 1 finale reveals that Shadow Master is the Lee Twins' uncle and that he kept his sister (their mother) sealed away rather than killed. You would think this would be a big plot point or at least give Shadow Master some depth, but it's never really brought up again and the reveal does nothing to change how either the Lee Twins or Shadow Master act.

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