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Game music of the day: Double Dragon

Game: Double Dragon

Song: Title Screen

Composer: Kazunaka Yamane

       
Above: Title Screen from Double Dragon

In the mid 80s, there was no beat 'em up more popular than Double Dragon. It was a no frills, walk right and punch everyone in the face affair that somehow captivated millions of gamers, both in the arcade and in the eventual NES and Sega Genesis ports. The gameplay may not hold up to today's standards, but the music, especially the title screen, will be amazing forever.

The embedded track comes from the NES version, and just so happens to be the first game song I remember listening to and thinking, "Man, I love game music." All of these game music articles, all my imported CDs, all my gigs of personally ripped VGM can be traced back to this one song. Sure, there were other impressive tracks (like say the Zelda title screen) around before Double Dragon appeared, but something about this specific song pulled me in for life.

Most of the in-game songs are fairly strong, though Mission 4 tops 'em all by picking up the tempo and just going all out nuts with the NES' limited audio channels. If this ain't face punchin' music, I don't know what is.

Sadly, I bet thousands of people think of this garbage cartoon instead of the actual games. I was a bit too old to even give it a chance, but I'd like to think that everyone hates it as unconditionally as I do. The show led to Double Dragon V, a fighting game that more or less finished off the franchise, forever entombing the series in the limitless wastes of '90s animation.

But hey, that old NES music was pretty good!

 

Game music of the day: Metroid II
Ending theme by Ryoji Yoshitomi

 

 

Game music of the day: Mirror's Edge
Still Alive by Lisa Miskovsky

 

 

Game music of the day: Billy Hatcher
World Select by Mariko Nanba

19 comments

  • elpurplemonkey - September 1, 2010 7:52 a.m.

    I loved the cartoon as a kid. I guess I was the perfect age for it. And I actually remember watching (and enjoying the movie.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey0jzo7S1Js Goddammit kids are stupid.
  • shyfonzie - September 1, 2010 3:03 a.m.

    Aww, it's a personal Brett Elston memory. Here is the beginning of a friendship that will last a lifetime.
  • philipshaw - August 31, 2010 11:24 a.m.

    Yeah this music is awesome, best music to beat people up to. But I was of the age to get enjoyment out of the carton but I still hated that shit show
  • vadorsoul - August 31, 2010 7:54 a.m.

    I have a suggestion for game music of the day: Azure dreams. damn good music
  • Tenfey - August 31, 2010 4:52 a.m.

    I may or may not have used a tennis racket to pretend I was playing the Double Dragon NES title theme music on a guitar. Details are sketchy.
  • DannyZuko - August 31, 2010 4:38 a.m.

    Brett, you mentioned the shitty 90's tv show (which I love Dearly) Yet you forgot the travesty that was the 1994 feature film Double Dragon starring Mark Dacascos, Scott Wolf, Robert Patrick (the T-1000), Alyssa Milano and And Dick? They even had a real life Abobo! For shame Mr. Elston!
  • toastile - August 31, 2010 4:22 a.m.

    Yay, Double Dragon is the shizzle. Terrific.
  • Aeshir - August 31, 2010 2:44 a.m.

    The fuck, they didn't use swords that much in the game. This cartoon is bullshit.
  • JoeMasturbaby - August 31, 2010 2:30 a.m.

    ive never even seen the double dragon show. All i remember from DD growing up is my brothers and i played it a lot and my friend and i always tried getting over 50,000 points like Jimmy Woods did in The Wizard. man we were so lame (rad)
  • Strangleme - August 30, 2010 11:50 p.m.

    Fuck yea Brett!!! I can't get enough of the Game Music of the Day articles!!!
  • mshdpotatoes - August 30, 2010 11:48 p.m.

    Without fail, you post some game that I played the crap of when I was younger and had loved the music. These articles usually come a nice big dose of nostalgia.
  • 510BrotherPanda - August 30, 2010 11:22 p.m.

    What the heck was that Random Black Kid there for?!? And I'm getting tired of old man, dragon and magicked sword Chinese stereotypes.
  • IsaacFenix - August 30, 2010 11:20 p.m.

    That cartoon had all the hallmarks of a crappy 90's cartoon: Disproportionally muscular hero? Check. Bullcrap Asian philosophy? [See 1:19 - 1:24] Check. Token black kid? Check.
  • Chewrocka - August 30, 2010 11:13 p.m.

    So I was a child of the 90's and the only NES(or any video games) I got before N64 was a week or 2 with my grandma's NES. Double Dragons 2's simple facing punching, and girl face punching, blew my young mind and I tried to recapture the facing punching with the garbage cartoon but it never really lived up (or made sense at all).
  • CH3BURASHKA - August 30, 2010 11:03 p.m.

    Sounds a bit Mega-Man-ey. Never played it.
  • NathanXplosion - August 30, 2010 11:01 p.m.

    First game I ever played, loved it back in the day. Played it all the time on my brother's Sega Master System.
  • DarkTone - August 30, 2010 10:49 p.m.

    Love this game, great music and no Bimmy in sight
  • Crabhand - August 30, 2010 10:41 p.m.

    I'm not too familiar with Double Dragon, but that music sounds freakin' epic for a title screen. I'll never get tired of the genius of NES-era tunes.
  • batmanboy11 - August 30, 2010 10:37 p.m.

    Another great game music of the day! Keep these articles coming!

Showing 1-19 of 19 comments

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