Return of/Super Double Dragon: The True Story
By Muneki Ebinuma for Game Kommander
Originally, several cut-scenes and stage obstacles were
produced for Return of Double Dragon (Super Double Dragon) that were meant
to be included in the final retail version. However, the developers
were pressured to rush the game out and the cut-scenes were unfortunately
deleted from the released game.
Special thanks should be given to Game Kommander for granting the Dojo permission to translate and reprint their article.
Game Kommander - http://www.ne.jp/asahi/hzk/kommander/
The initial plot involves Marian's investigation of a mysterious group known as the Shadow Warriors, who are behind the recent disappearances of several martial arts students. For Marian's occupation in the game, we received various production materials from the Double Dragon cartoon series being produced in the US and decided to make her into a policewoman in the game (Marian's patrol car and a sprite of her in uniform were programmed into the ROM, but are not actually shown).
With the evil organization threatening their friends, the Lee brothers decide to move out. As you progress through each level, the identity of the Shadow Warriors' boss is gradually revealed and eventually you'll find the location of his hideout. During production, face shots of the Lee brothers and each of the bosses were planned to be displayed before and after battles. The face shots were large and would include eye and mouth movement (a normal face for the boss would be shown when they appeared before battle and a damaged one after defeat. The graphic data was put into the rom and dialogue was inserted as well!).
For the last boss, Duke, he was originally part of another pair of "Double Dragon" twins who were also Sou-Setsu-Ken masters and partners who you would've fought in the original draft. Duke and his brother were childhood friends and former training partners of the Lee brothers as we had established, but then we couldn't do any further than introduce him alone (without his brother). Unfortunately, we couldn’t make him a Sou-Setsu-Ken master, so at least we made his original fighting style appealing (Blanka-like rolling attack and so on). Although he was given an impressive style, it's not Sou-Setsu-Ken .
Stage 1 - Las Vegas
Each stage would have the player automatically entering a door after reaching the end of a section and then start the next section. We didn't include those sequences, which is disappointing considering we had the materials to make the animation.
In Stage 1, you would've seen the elevator's glass cover being broke forcibly by the enemy halfway through the ride (only the picture of the crash was drawn).
Stage 2 - Airport
The conveyor belts were supposed to move with irregular rhythm and lead to a death trap, but the coding was lost. Since the conveyor belts no longer move, you couldn't fall into the drop zone either (allowing the player to safely head to the spiral passage). A stair was supposed to be located on the runway, in which you would use to get aboard the plane and fly off.
Stage 3 - Chinatown
The battle with the Chen brothers would've taken place inside of the three-story pagoda on the top floor. They would speak with the player and say the following line: "We are the Double Dragons from Chinatown, Chen Long-Fu and Chen Long-Biao! Only the victors of this match will prove themselves to be the true Double Dragons!" In the finished game, the battle took place on the balcony, not inside.
Stage 4 - Golden Gate Bridge
In the retail version, the rear side of the truck was omitted and made unscrollable to avoid falling. This stage's story-telling sequence was planned to be very important to the game, but it was left unfinished (In the retail version, all the dialogue was cut off. Duke and his men just disperse. There is no explanation why they’re there).
It was scheduled that Marian would make her appearance at
the end of Duke's Dojo at Chinatown in Stage 3, where she would be chasing
after the trailer in her patrol car. She would be attacked and
kidnapped by a group midway through the stage. After the kidnapping,
the game would return to the battle scene on top of the trailer, where it
would collide with a building. After the crash, we would've found out
that Duke, the boss of the group, is the childhood friend of the heroes.
Marian's patrol car would be left behind
Billy: "Duke! Don't you remember me? It's me,
After the conversation, McGwire would begin to attack, while Duke and his men disperse. McGwire leaves too during the middle of the fight. After defeating Jeff, you proceed to Stage 5, the City Slum (where the music from Stage 1 of DD1 is played).
Stage 5 - City Slum
You would enter the door on the building with the stairway. Inside was a factory with three screens of width. McGwire was scheduled to appear here and then escape again. The exit would take you to the other side of the building.
Stage 6 - Forest
The suspension bridge in the end of the stage was supposed to break apart and fall, landing on a river which would then lead to a waterfall. There was a steel door behind the waterfall, which was the entrance to the hideout. The boss, Carlem, would come out from that door.
Stage 7 - Duke's Hideout
The elevator wasn't supposed to have any invisible walls on the left or right side, meaning that it was possible to fall off the platform. When the elevator reached it's destination, the triangular jump was required to proceed up. You would proceed up in order to reach the great hall and if the player chose to continue horizontally instead, he would be zapped to the starting area instead and forced to restart.
After confronting and defeating Duke at the great hall and rescuing Marian, an evil shadow would materialize out of Duke's body (like the doppelganger from DD II) and enter the other door. Marian and Duke are left behind as the player enter the door to chase after the shadow.
All the enemies in the long passageway are the shadow (like the doppelganger in DD II). The final floor's foreground was scheduled to be set on fire. Duke's evil shadow would start reproducing itself, while tormenting the Lee brothers.
"If you defeat me, Duke will die as well. Are you willing to kill your friend with your fist? Prove that you are true warriors, Double Dragons!"
"Fail to beat me and Duke's mistake will repeat itself."
The final music is played here.
Duke's shadow dies, extinguished along the sea of fire. From out of nowhere, Duke's soul speaks to Billy and the others.
"I...I couldn't possibly control myself in this world of greed and violence. I had fallen to the world of darkness and became tainted with evil, I had already stopped being appreciative. From now on, I will never forget the memories of the time we've been together. Thank you, Billy and Jimmy. Farewell......"
Duke is shown with a peaceful face during his final breath. In the end Billy and the others are shown granting a prayer in front of Duke's tombstone. With his fist and palm united (a gesture of respect in Kung Fu), a tear rolls down Billy's cheek as he remembers his childhood...
Return of/Super Double Dragon
This article is a copyright of Game Kommander. Permission was granted specifically to the Double Dragon Dojo to reprint the article. Reprinting the article without permission from Game Kommander is prohibited.