Double Dragon Review, (The Original) Nintendo NES Game

Double Dragon is one of the first side scrolling beat'em up games, very popular in the arcade platform.  Really, this is the first released game in the ever-popular series of double dragon games. 

 The Double Dragon series became very popular on most gaming platforms

Especially in Arcades across America, in the 80s and Double Dragon Review90s.  It seemed every video game console during the time period listed had a version or two of double dragon.  So let's pop in double dragon for our Nintendo NES and write a Double Dragon Review. Here is another great review from our friends at vintage is the new old.

The story of the game

You play as two brothers fighting your way through the black warrior's gang in order to rescue Marian, who you see getting captured in the opening scene of the game.


I will first admit, when I put the game into play with my little boy, we could not play two players at the same time. What the heck, how can a beat'em up game not have 2 players playing at the same time.  This certainly was a feature the arcade game had, but seemed the port to the Nintendo NES missed out on this.

The game is kind of funny of sorts, it’s a side scrolling game and your enemies always come from either the left or right side of the screen.  It can be a little annoying that if you kick an enemies butt and knock him out of the screen, you cannot continue the beating until he comes back into the screen. 

The object of the game is to fight your way through each level, beating up all the enemies in your way until you reach the final level boss. Surprising with this NES game, if you do die, you can start the game back at the point where you died.  Many NES games, you have to play the entire level just to make it back to the point where you died.  Many enemies through the course of the game yield weapons, which you can use against them.  Many of the weapons include; a bat, knife, whip chains etc.  You can only hold on to the weapon as long as you continue fighting characters that have this particular weapon you are using. 

The weapon disappears

As soon as you reach a new batch of enemies, that may be using a different weapon.  The more you advance through the game, the more your character develops into a better fighter.  Meaning, if you complete the first level of the game, you will be equipped with the ability to do a jump kick. 

So the further and further into the game, the more your skills evolve and the easier it can be to beat up your enemies. It seems funny that the first level boss, is tough to beat at first.  Then, once your skill level evolves, you encounter the first level boss throughout the rest of the game.  This time he becomes easier and easier to beat, this is also similar with the other end level bosses.

Conclusion: This game definitely has some software limitations

With regard to the amount of enemies which can be on the screen at the same time. Not to mention this game in the arcade you could play two players at the same time, while on the NES version only one player could play at a time.

It seems with playing NES games; they were about honing your skills during game play, which can be frustrating at times.  However, double dragon is good in the fact you can continue right where you died, which is nice.  Looking back on the game, it is maybe revolutionary in being one of the first genres of beat'em up games.  I think I would pass on playing this game again, and look at playing other beat'em up games where two players can play at the same time.  This is why the sequels of double dragon may be the way to go. Read our other great articles about the Nintendo NES.


Looking around on the Internet, there are a few cheat codes you can use to your advantage.  Many of the cheats you'll find don't really seem that useful, there are however two cheats, which could be handy.  These include, how to bypass the level two boss, and how to evolve your fighting skills faster.

  • You can bypass the second level boss once you reach him.  You do this by back tracking down the latter which you climbed up to reach him, continue down the latter until he is not on the screen any longer.
  • If you punch your way through the first level without kicking any enemies, this will enable your fighting skills to evolve quicker.

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Friday, 09 June 2023