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Video Game / Double Dragon Neon

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You don't just dare to play this game, you Double Dragon dare.

Double Dragon Neon is a 2012 Double Dragon game developed by WayForward and published by Majesco. As a 2D Beat 'em Up, Neon strives to be both a parody and homage of its predecessors—with a bit of '80s pop culture parody, to boot.

Brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee must go through a series of levels to save the abducted Marian from the evil Skullmageddon. While the game lacks a deep plot, it more than makes up for that with loads of in-jokes, challenging gameplay, and excellent music.

Neon is available on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, Steam, and now the Nintendo Switch.

Double Dragon Neon contains the following tropes:

  • '80s Hair: In pure Double Dragon style.
  • Ace Pilot: Parodied with Roxy, who talks and dresses like some old school air ace. Even yells stuff like "Mayday!" or "Losin' altitude!" when beaten.
  • Action Girl: Linda, Ichisumi, Shun, and Roxy. And Marian at the end.
  • Affectionate Parody: This game is not a love song. It's a power ballad to beat 'em ups, the Double Dragon series, and the 1980's.
  • Alliterative Name: Everywhere in this game.
    • Million-Missiled Meddler Killacopter.
    • Thorny Tripled-Threat Marian II
    • Expensive Experiment Giant Tank
    • Sadistic Seductress Linda
      • The only characters who don't have this in their subtitles are Skullmageddon (Your Worst Nightmare and Bone and Metal), Ichisumi (Most-Refined), Hoverbizzle (Gyroscopic Jerk), Bao Boshi (Arcane Shadow Magicker), Mecha Biker (Super Combat Bot), and Evil Marian (Skullmageddon's Girl?!)
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you die in the fight against Giga Skullmageddon, rather than having to start the entire level from the start, you merely restart from the section just before the fight. In addition, you restart with two lives, so if you had less than that when you started the fight, you've actually got an advantage. And finally, there's a hidden area right at the beginning of the section that contains additional extra lives, although whether or not you'll manage to find it is another matter entirely.
  • Artistic License – Space: Played for laughs on the Airlock level, which requires the Lee brothers to go outside the pressurized parts of the spaceship. They panic when they realize there's no air, then take a deep breath and (presumably) hold it for the duration. The shopkeeper points out that this is a really bad idea if you talk to him enough.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Skullmageddon, oh so much.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The Giant Tank. Skullmageddon lampshades it.
    Skullmageddon: IDIOTS! Don't let them near the giant, glowing red weak point! (Beat) Why does it even have a weak point? Couldn't you have put a cover on it?
    • Also present in the Marian II boss fight, but the plant only exposes its weak point after you destroy both of its pods.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: The Giant Tank ends up being this.
    Skullmageddon: Millions of dollars in R&D and this is the best we can do?
  • Bad Boss: Skullmageddon seems like this, taking money out of Williams' salary when you destroy his tv's.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Abobo regularly breaks through walls, as well as the Tape Worm.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: A particularly silly example.
    Billy: The endless vacuum of space! I'd better hold my breath.
    Jimmy: Good idea, bro!
    (They proceed to do so.)
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Skullmageddon is essentially a ridiculously silly 80's cartoon supervillain, note  but he is also a legitimately rock hard fighter. Then his One-Winged Angel form takes it up to eleven.
  • Big Bad: Your Worst Nightmare, Skullmageddon.
  • Boss Subtitles: All enemy characters get these, from bosses to mooks. Many of them are also Alliterative Name type nicknames: "Cartwheeling Cannon Fodder Williams", "Expensive Experiment Giant Tank", "Your Worst Nightmare Skullmageddon", etc.
  • Bottomless Pits: They show up occasionally. More than once are you able to knock enemies (mostly Williamses) into them.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Ultimately Skullmageddon's plan in order to get a date from Marian.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Skullmageddon does this at times.
  • Cannon Fodder: Williams' full title is "Cartwheeling Cannon Fodder Williams".
  • Catchphrase: Abobo likes to shout his name as he appears. Billy and Jimmy have several of their own (especially when using the baseball bat).
  • Cherry Tapping: There's an achievement for killing an enemy with the key that you can use to unlock chests. Normally, when it's used out of a chest's proximity, Billy/Jimmy thrusts the key into the air (dealing little damage to anything in its way), confusedly turns it, faces the screen and says "What the?"/"What the butt?"
  • Cloning Blues: Averted with Bimmy and Jammy, who don't seem to have the mental capacity for such concepts.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Billy and Jimmy are palette swaps once again, much like they were in the original arcade game (before having their different hair styles and switching colors).
  • Combination Attack: A less than chivalrous example, you can have one brother kneel behind an enemy and the other bro push them over.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: It doesn't matter how many of the kunoichis (each named Shun) the Lee brothers fight at once, they will go down.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Called "Bro-op".
  • Crazy-Prepared: Spoofed in the Giant Tank fight, where Billy claims they actually trained for this with an anti-tank technique. Subverted in the Marian II boss fight when Billy points out to Jimmy that they never trained for killer plants with animal heads.
  • Creator Cameo: A strange example: hitting the punching bag in the beginning of the 7th level exactly 87 times teleports you to another part of the stage, except now everyone's heads are replaced with the series creator Yoshihisa Kishimoto's: completing the area nets you an achievement and sends you back to the beginning of the stage.
  • Critical Existence Failure: The Lee brothers and enemies alike will continue fighting no matter how many boots, fists, floors, and weapons they've taken to the face.
  • Crosshair Aware: Skullmageddon's symbol is used as a crosshair for the Killacopter, Giant Tank, and Giga Skullmageddon's attacks. For the Marian II boss, you're supposed to use the shadows of the falling bones as crosshairs to be aware of.
  • Crunch Tastic: Billy and Jimmy describe destroying gravestones in an obligatory Night of the Living Mooks level as both "tombular" and "desacreatious".
  • Damsel in Distress: With a dose of Brainwashed and Crazy. The plot is based around saving Marian again.
  • Degraded Boss: Abobo, natch.
  • Dem Bones: Skullmageddon is, in his own words, "a magical skeleton".
  • Deus ex Machina: Marian just so happens to have gained the power to send the Lee brothers after Skullmageddon after he escapes for the second time. Plus, the portal turns them into super powerful Ro-Bros that can take down any mook with a single punch.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Played with in regards to Billy and Jimmy. They play identically and have access to all the same stat and special move upgrades, but due to the random drop nature of the Mixtape leveling system, the two bros will very likely have different stats and special moves by the end of the game.
  • Do Not Drop Your Weapon: Bao Boshi's magic staff, and Skullmageddon's sword seem to be the only two enemy weapons you can't pick up.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After getting kidnapped and brainwashed by Skullmageddon, Marian eventually gets to return the favour after the credits roll. How? By striking him in the groin as he plummets to the ground!
  • Dragons Up the Yin Yang: It's a special move.
  • Dual Boss: Mistranslated Mutants: Bimmy and Jammy
    • A semi-example. During your second Skullmageddon fight, Evil Marian assists with attacks and buffs, but you only ever have to fight Skullmageddon himself.
  • Dual Wielding: Shun dual wields knives, Ichisumi dual wields fans.
  • Dumb Muscle: Bimmy and Jammy, complete with stereotypical "dumb voices".
  • Elevator Action Sequence: More like Bio-engineered Plant Bulb Sled Action Sequence.
  • Evil Knockoff: Bimmy and Jammy are brutish, but dim clones of Billy and Jimmy.
  • Exploding Barrels: A common object alongside the normal throwable barrels.
  • Expy:
  • Eye Scream: The "Continue?" screen features Billy chained to a post with Skullmageddon preparing to gouge his eyes out. The screen goes red just before the moment of impact.
  • False Reassurance: The very fact that Skullmageddon refers to the Giant Tank as his "least-vincible creation."
  • Flash of Pain: Bosses (or parts of them in the case of Giant Tank/Marian II) flash orange when hit and rapidly flash on their own when low on health.
  • Follow the Bouncing Ball: During the credits song.
  • Genius Bruiser: Parodied with Abobo, some of the things he says if he kills you are "Abobo need to study for tests", "Abobo have degree in physics", and "Abobo ready to pass the bar". The shopkeeper even mentions that he's working on his master's thesis.
  • Giant Mook: Abobo is a big target and slow to attack, but if he grabs you, it ain't gonna be pretty.
  • Grenade Hot Potato: If you're quick enough, you can pick up and throw back the grenades enemies throw at you.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: Billy and Jimmy occasionally shout things like "Touchdown!" or "Hole in One!" when smacking enemies around with the baseball bat.
  • Guide Dang It!: Many of the secrets are ridiculously obscure (punch a punching bag 87 times and no more than that, crouch at a specific spot 7 times), although most of them are hinted at if not flat out spelled by the shopkeepers if you talk to them enough times.
  • Hammerspace: Mostly averted: weapons mooks come with are shown on their hip (in the case of Linda and whips). Billy and Jimmy cannot store away weapons and items at all.
  • Harder Than Hard / Numerical Hard: two difficulty levels above the the default Normal called Dragon and Double Dragon, both of them greatly increasing all enemies' stats.
  • Helicopter Blender: Twice in the second confrontation with the Killacopter:
    Skullmageddon: (while the chopper is tilted so far forward that it blows everything into a pit)...okay, we're back. Now you'll really be defeated—PERMANENTLY!
    • If you play the level a second time...
      Skullmageddon: Of course helicopters can fly upside down; don't be ridiculous. (Killacopter descends on the battlefield upside-down) SHRED THEM!
  • The Hero: Billy, joined by Jimmy in bro-op.
  • Hulk Speak: Abobo, Bimmy and Jammy.
  • Hurricane Kick: The Cyclone Spin Kick.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Picking up soda pop instantly heals you. And batteries instantly refill your Sosetitsu gauge.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Normal, Dragon, Double Dragon.
  • Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt: You expected them to leave this out?
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: The Lees don't fire the guns their enemies drop, they just use them to pistol-whip (or as they'd call it, "hock a Luger") their enemies and throw them at them.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The game is made of this trope, but Skullmageddon's entire deal with finding a girlfriend is this. To be sure, Marian is a very attractive woman, but so are those who serve in his legion, who from all accounts are willing to die for him. He's even introduced with several Ichisumi fawning over him. There really wasn't a need to kidnap a girlfriend, which was the impetus for the Double Dragon wanting to kick his butt, with so many lovely eligible ladies in waiting.
  • Intimate Healing: Implied by the mix-tape theme for the Healing Touch special move.
  • Joke Item: Two of them:
    • The hair pick does a whopping 1 damage when it hits someone, and then notably sticks to their hair. Using it on every enemy will get you an achievement/trophy. When used on Skullmageddon (which will net you another achievement), it somehow pins his metal hat to his bone head (which he lampshades when he tries to remove it).
    • The key, which is used to open treasure chests, gives you an achievement if you manage to defeat someone despite its pitiful damage and ridiculously slow animation that involves Billy or Jimmy jabbing it forward, trying to unlock thin air and then spreading their arms and going "What the!".
  • Just Plane Wrong: well, Just Helicopter Wrong: the Killacopter performs maneuvers that are flat-out impossible, like trying to inflict Helicopter Blender on Billy & Jimmy by flying upside-down about six inches off the ground. Underscores just how much the game runs on Rule of Cool.
    • At least in the case of flying upside down this is actually a case of Reality Is Unrealistic. 6 channel CCPM model helicopters do this and even crazier things. [1] There's no reason full a size helicopter couldn't do the same if it had a high enough power to weight ratio and a pilot crazy enough to attempt it.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The fireball.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: You can punch downed enemies (regardless of whether you knocked them down yourself, they fall down from the sky on fire or are thrown off their malfunctioning hoverbike) for large amounts of damage, although with some enemies it often results in you getting hit by their wakeup attack if you don't do it as quickly as possible.
  • Launcher Move: Using a weak attack on a stunned enemy will launch them up with an uppercut.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: At the end of the game, during bro-op, Billy and Jimmy fight for Marian's affection, complete with her cheering them on in the background.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Lampshaded after the Mecha Biker. The Spaceship they're on starts to fall back to Earth, and Billy shouts in surprise, "Woah! I didn't know he was a load-bearing robot!"
  • MacGuffin: Marian.
  • Madonna-Whore Complex: Invoked between Marian and Linda or Evil Marian.
  • Magic Music: Baddies drop cassettes which grant special moves and stat boosts.
  • Man-Eating Plant: A boss. Genetically spliced from a shark and a tyrannosaurus.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: According to the Shopkeeper, all the ninja girls, the Shun enemies, you fight are his daughters and he taught them to think the Lees' fighting style is inferior.
  • McNinja: Shun.
  • Mooks: Lampshaded with one of Williams' death messages: "There's more where I came from!"
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Gyroscopic Jerk Hoverbizzle. Comes in two flavors: Spinning and Explosion.
  • Musical Pastiche: The ability-granting mixtapes are homages of songs, genres or artist style, including:
  • Mythology Gag: Mistranslated Mutants Bimmy 'n' Jammy, referencing the misspelling of Billy's name in the intro of Double Dragon III.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Skullmageddon's is either this or hilariously cheesy. For some, it's both at the same time.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: Linda's dominatrix gear has a slit in the middle that goes all the way down to her pelvis.
  • No Name Given: Averted. Every character has a name, and most get it splashed across the screen during their introduction.
  • Oddball Doppelgänger: Bimmy and Jammy are hulking, dimwitted clones of Billy and Jimmy.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Billy's reaction to Marian getting kidnapped.
  • One-Hit Kill: One of Giga Skullmageddon's attacks: he dashes offscreen and a targetting symbol appears on the ground: if you're standing on it when he returns, he proceeds to attack you repeatedly, instantly emptying out your lifebar no matter how high your HP and defense are.
  • One-Steve Limit: Billy and Williams.
  • One-Winged Angel: Bone and Metal, Giga Skullmageddon.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Skullmageddon is described as a "super lich", and is apparently a master of time and space.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Relentless Revenant Jiang Shi is based off of Chinese zombies.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Of the stupid type: if Bimmy manages to kill Billy, he'll sometimes say "Bimmy is best Bimmy!" The other half of the time, he does get it right and claim to be the best Billy instead.
  • Ow, My Body Part!: Skullmageddon usually pairs this with various bones.
    "Ow, my tibia!"
  • Palette Swap: More to differentiate between multiples of the same mooks on screen, or to fit the theme of the level.
    • Narrowly averted with the Lee brothers themselves, as this version gives them slightly altered hairstyles and expressions on top of their palette swaps to differentiate them further.
  • Pistol-Whipping: The only way the Lee brothers use Williams' gun.
  • The Power of Love: How Marian sends the Lee brothers after Skullmageddon after he escapes time and space.
  • Punched Across the Room: The One-Inch Punch special move does a short-range attack that knocks enemies backward.
  • Pungeon Master: Skullmageddon loves him some bone puns.
  • Rake Take: Several stages have large boards with an X on one end: stepping on the X causes the other end to fly up, catapulting any enemies standing on it high into the air. They're often positioned so that you can either juggle the enemies back and forth between 2 such boards before they have a chance to get up or quickly fling annoying enemies (such as Shun) into a pit.
  • Recycled In Space: There are two levels that literally take place in space.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Billy is red; Jimmy is blue. Subtly reflected through Billy's emotive expressions versus Jimmy's muted expressions.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Healing Touch deals additional damage to "liches and super liches."
  • Rewarding Vandalism: From trash cans to mailboxes to light poles to sacred monuments to gravestones, everything seems to have soda, batteries, or cash in them. Lampshaded when you destroy said monuments when Billy shouts "Sacrilegious!" in the same excited way he'd shout "Awesome!"
  • Running Gag: In the battles against Skullmaggeddon, attacking him will yield shouts of, "Ow, my X!", where X is the name of a bone (tibia, ulna, phalange, etc). Since he's, you know, a skeleton and has no Useless Spleen to be punched in.
  • Sequel Hook: Skullmageddon will return one day to antagonize YOU, Billy and Jimmy!
  • Shout-Out: Director Sean Velasco voices the over-the-top villain Skullmageddon, doing a dead-on impression of Skeletor's cheesy, Large Ham voice from the original 1980's He-Man.
    • Also, the giant Man-Eating Plant boss "Marian II" looks almost like and is named similarly to Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.
    • The final stage has many similarities to the final dungeon of EarthBound (1994). Namely that the main characters are robotized and enter one-way time portals to chase the final boss.
    • The "Continue?" screen is a shout-out to Ninja Gaiden and Final Fight's similar continue screens which show your hero in mortal peril (unless you insert more quarters/press start!)
    • The "Key attack" mentioned above is a reference to Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. In fact, the game oddly contains so many references to Konami games instead of its own parent company one would think the developers were making a sequel to Violent Storm.
    • The "Mistranslated Mutants" Bimmy and Jammy; the former name is a nod to the typo in the NES version of III where Billy is called "Bimmy".
    • When buying things from the shopkeeper, he may respond with "Heh heh...thank you"
      • The final area just before the final fight with Skullmageddon also has an invisible ladder that leads to an area with 3 treasure chests and extra lives, much like the invisible platform that rains down powerups right before Dracula in Super Castlevania IV.
    • The 4th level boss, Mecha Biker, is basically Mega Man in every sense of the way: he's referred to as a "Super Combat Bot" (referencing the animated series' theme song), rides around on a red jetbike much like Rush (Sometimes even shouting "RUSH!" as he tries to run you down with it), shoots 3-shot bursts and charge shots, slides around and even explodes like Mega Man when defeated. His boss arena also has a pair of rising gates leading up to it with a short corridor in between them, and yes, you can jump through the gates and have Billy freeze in midair during screen transition. Finally, the platform the battle takes place on resembles the Mega Man boss introduction screens in both overall color and the borders on top and bottom of it.
    • Each type of mixtape you can get includes a short version of the song in question, most of which have fitting music genres.
    • The boss Skullmageddon appears to be a homage to Super Shredder, the final boss of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. This is up to and including his boss theme having a lot of snare drums and slap bass in it similar to the sound Roland synthesizers produced when used in Konami's soundtracks, teleporting when approached, and flashing colors when near death.
    • The "go" indicator arrow familiar from other beat'em-ups is basically a modified Power Glove.
    • When you hit an enemy with a baseball bat, the Lees may yell "Boink!!"
    • The fake band Mango Tango, performers of "Neon Jungle", may be a reference to the 80's band Bananarama, as the song resembles that band's style.
    • One of the achievements is "You did what?!" and its flavour text reads "You got 50000 on Double Dragon?!" You get it by doing exactly that, although in this case it's money instead of points.
    • Skullmageddon's throne room looks like the Emperor's throne room from Return of the Jedi.
    • The collectable Mythril is based on the Mithril from J. R. R. Tolkien's works, Tolkien's Legendarium
  • Sibling Team: Billy and Jimmy have got to work together to save Marian. They seem to be vitriolic best buds as they insult each other a lot and fight over Marian's affection.
  • Sidekick Creature Nuisance: Fuzzface, who only appears if you crouch in a specific spot repeatedly. The bad news: It's a creepy oversized bee thing with googly eyes that constantly stare at the screen, an annoying voice and once you make it appear, it keeps following you around until you beat or quit the game. The good news: it periodically drops lots of life and energy recovery items which is extremely useful on higher difficulty levels and you can hit it by "accident", which makes it shout out in pain or say that it "knows you didn't mean to do that".
  • Sigil Spam: Skullmageddon's symbol is everywhere.
  • Spikes of Villainy: On full display in the rematch with Skullmageddon, where he grows giant spiky pauldrons that are each about as big as his entire torso. Somehow his sword is even more extreme, which actually looks pretty intimidating as it grows densely packed spikes all along the front. The intimidation effect is mitigated dramatically by Skullmageddon prefacing the fight by complaining about how badly you beat him and that all he wanted was a date with Marian.
  • Spy Catsuit: Shun's outfit for the Lab levels and the Neon Fortress.
  • Steampunk: Acro-Dynamic Ace Roxy sports this design with a large, brass jetpack.
  • Stripperific: Many of the female outfits leave little to the imagination.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: A lot.

  • Synthwave: Neon embraces the aesthetic in visuals and soundtrack alike.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The final battle with Skullmageddon.
    • Also a game mechanic. You don't have styles and special abilities, you have rockin' mix tapes! that give you something similar.
  • Throw a Barrel at It: Oildrums and explosives.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Lindas will sometimes cry out "Punish me!" when they're defeated.
  • Totally Radical: It wouldn't be the 80s if the characters didn't speak the part.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: Billy and Jimmy recognize Skullmageddon's dojo as a trap, but head in anyway. Then it starts to launch into space, prompting Billy to say "Aw man, it was a trap.".
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: The Bao Boshis carry and use staffs that the Lee brothers cannot pick up after defeating them.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Marian when you first meet Skullmageddon.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: The first time you fight Skullmageddon:
    Skullmageddon: Time to make a marrow escape! (jumps through a plate glass window in the background into space) Bone voyage!
  • Villain Song: It ends on an epic one.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Hoverbizzles are annoying to deal with, especially with other enemies present, but unlike human enemies, you can throw them right away without stunning them first which also kills them instantly, turning them into convenient projectiles to use against other enemies.
  • Whip of Dominance: Linda's weapon of choice is still a whip, but now she has a dominatrix-themed outfit and attitude to complement it.
  • World of Ham: The silliness of the '80s is both embraced and multiplied exponentially.
  • World of Pun: The game thrives on this. When Skullmageddon isn't making enough skeleton puns to make Brook think he's being excessive, the Lees and the normal enemies also use them liberally, mostly when using various weapons and during cutscenes for the former and during their entrance and if they manage to deliver a killing blow for the latter.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Pretty much every guy in the game, from the opening intro where Williams sucker punches Marian in the gut and carries her off, to Billy and Jimmy beating the crap out of the whip-wielding Lindas. You can even hit Evil Marian yourself during the second to last fight with Skullmageddon to interrupt her otherwise unavoidable attacks.
  • You Bastard!: Upon defeating Skullmageddon in the final battle, he congratulates the player in crushing his dreams in having a girlfriend of his own.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Skullmageddon says this just before you fight the Mandroid.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: At the end of the second stage, you find Marian chained to Skullmageddon's throne, but he has her taken away before fighting you, then jumps out the window afterwards. After his spaceship crashes back to Earth, the pursuit continues.