Double Dragon retrospective: A singular creation | NES Works #081

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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. Video Works is funded via Patreon ( — support the show and get access to every episode up to two weeks in advance of its YouTube debut! Plus, exclusive podcasts, eBooks, and more!


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