Punch your way through Double Dragon's urban hellscape with Episode 177

Those Lee boys are at it again.

If ever you need proof of just how much the Nintendo Entertainment System dominated the gaming landscape of the late ’80s and early ’90s, look no further than Double Dragon. Born in arcades, Double Dragon influenced a generation of coin-op titles with its cooperative beat-em-up action. And yet, the version of the game that looms large in most people's memories—and the one that gets republished most frequently, including in an upcoming Switch collection of the tangentially related Kunio-kun series—is the NES version. The NES version, which loses the cooperative play mechanics in favor of a more role-playing-inflected take on brawling. The arcade Double Dragon may have shaped the direction of gaming itself, but the ubiquity of the NES meant kids spent way more time with the radically different conversion for that system than they did with the coin-op or its more faithful home ports. That's kind of weird, right?

This week, Hardcore Gaming 101's Kurt Kalata and Rob Russo join me to look at the history of Double Dragon and confirm that, yes, the series is kind of weird. But memorable and interesting. Which makes it perfect grist for the podcast grill.

Retronauts Episode 176
Double Dragon
MP3, 54.2 MB | 1:52:50

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Episode description: Jeremy Parish teams up with HG101's Kurt Kalata and Rob Russo to take on the violent, deadly history of the Double Dragon franchise (and hopefully save Marion in the process).