Double Dragon II: The Revenge is a side-scrolling beat 'em up produced by Technos originally released as a coin-operated arcade game in 1988. It is the sequel to Double Dragon, released during the previous year. A home version for the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1989 which differs drastically from the original arcade game. Other home versions were also released for the Genesis/Mega Drive and PC Engine.
The arcade version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge begins with Marian, the heroine from the original Double Dragon, being shot to death by the leader of the Black Warriors. Once again, the player assume the role of brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee, who are now tasked with the duty of avenging Marian's death. The arcade version of the game is essentially an improved version of the original title. The biggest change in the game's controls are in the replacement of the original's punch and kick buttons with two directional-based attack buttons (Left Attack and Right Attack) similar to Renegade. Pressing the attack button of the player's current direction will do a standard series of punches, while pressing the opposite attack button will perform a back kick. A few new moves are added as well, including a Hurricane Kick.
Almost all of the returning enemy characters from the first game were given makeovers and new moves which they can use against the player. The weapons that can be use by the player has also been redrawn and modify from the previous game. The steel bats and dynamite sticks for example, were replaced by shovels and grenades.
Like in the original game, the arcade version of Double Dragon II is divided into four missions: a heliport, a lumber storehouse, a wheat field, and the new hideout of the boss. Each stage has its own boss character with his own leitmotif theme. After defeating Willy (the final boss from the original game) in the fourth stage, the player will confront a double of their own character for the game's final battle. If two players reach the end together, then both will get to face their own clone for the final battle.
Nintendo Entertainment System
The Nintendo Entertainment System version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge was produced by Technos Japan and released in Japan on December 23, 1989. An English localization was published by Acclaim Entertainment, which was released on January 1990 in North America and later in the PAL region.
Much like the first game, the NES version of Double Dragon II features many drastic differences from the original arcade game. Unlike the first NES game, the game can now be played cooperatively with a second player. There are two different 2-Players Mode, A and B: the latter differs from the former, in that both players can hurt each other with their attacks. There are also three difficulty settings, which also determine the length of the game in the English version. The final mission is only available on the hardest difficulty setting.
While the premise is the same as the arcade version, the game now features story sequences before each stage which serves to advance the plot. The level designs are also completely different, with the NES version featuring nine missions instead of just four. Most of the enemy characters from the arcade version are featured in the NES version as well, while a few were replaced by new ones. Notably, the ninth and final mission is a battle against the "Mysterious Warrior", a character introduced in the NES version who serves as the new final boss. In contrast to the arcade's bittersweet ending, the NES version features a happier ending in which Marian is brought back to life after the final opponent is defeated.
The Mega Drive version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge was released by Palsoft exclusively in Japan on December 20, 1991. Unlike the NES version, the Mega Drive version of Double Dragon II is more of a direct conversion of the original arcade game, featuring the same levels and moves, as well as almost every enemy characters. The level design for Mission 2 was slightly changed in the Mega Drive.
A PC Engine version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge was also released exclusively in Japan, which was published by Naxat Soft on March 12, 1993. Released in Super CD-ROM² format, the PC Engine version is based on the NES version of the game instead of the arcade one. The story sequences from the NES version were remade and are now animated, with voice acting featuring Makoto Horikawa (as Billy), Nobutoshi Hayashi (as Jimmy), and Hiroko Emori (as Marian) among other actors.
There are other few slight changes to the game as well. While the gameplay is the same, the graphics have been remade completely and the soundtrack consist almost entirely of new music (with the exception of the final boss theme and the closing credits theme). Some of the levels designs have been altered and the order of Mission 4 and 5 (the Undersea Base and the Forest of Death) were switched. The PC Engine version allows the player to reach the final stage in any of the three difficulty settings, making the game closer to the Japanese Famicom version in this regard than its western NES counterpart. However, the ending changes depending on the difficulty setting, with the full ending shown only when the player completes the hardest setting.
Virgin Mastertronic released ports of the arcade version for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, IBM PC, Commodore Amiga, Amstrad CPC and Atari ST in 1989. The computer ports were developed by Binary Design, the same outfit that handled the computer ports of the first game.