THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED BY NINJAS.
ARE YOU A BAD ENOUGH DUDE TO RESCUE THE PRESIDENT?
Well? ARE YOU? These bad sentences were uttered to Stryker and Blade, two up-and-coming bad dudes on the streets of Anytown, USA, by some military pilot/Terminator-looking dude. If someone said that to me, I’d heed my call of duty and try to rescue the president. I mean, it must be pretty serious business if the military’s asking two random guys off the street to help rescue the president, right?
If you look a little deeper, though, they weren’t just asking Stryker and Blade—they were also asking you, the player, to rescue the President, or “Ronnie” as he’s known in the arcade version. And as of yet, I’ve never been able to. But I’ve tried…oh, how I’ve tried. I’m just not good enough…or is it that I’m not bad enough? As Homer Simpson would say: “Oh Marge, don’t you know kids today? Bad means good, and to shake your booty means to wiggle one’s butt.” It’s an uphill battle, but the reward is great: a juicy thick burger with President Ronnie himself. Reagan would be spinning in his grave over this game. Of course, he was alive when this game came out, and President, no less. Perhaps this article will convince him to run as a zombie third party in the upcoming Presidential election. …But I digress.
Known as President Ronnie in the arcades.
Once you get through the thrilling story screen, you’re out on the streets, fighting for your (and Ronnie’s) life. You’ll face sneaky ninjas and other local thugs and ruffians. Actually, that’s not true; it’s just single-colored ninja after single-colored ninja. You’re armed with your fists and your kicks…and that’s really not enough. You can power up your fist for a more powerful strike, and you have some spin-kick moves, but it just doesn’t match up to Double Dragon 2.
If you manage to make it to Level 2, you’ll be traveling on the top of a super-long tractor trailer. In the arcade version, the truck is transporting ninjas, as indicated by writing on the cab and side cars. It actually looks more like a train, with the interconnected boxcars. In the NES version, its cargo remains a mystery, as the boxcars are blank, like those windowless vans with drivers promising candy in the back. If you manage to get to the cab, though, writing on the side indicates that it’s carrying…”dudes”? Why would the ninjas be transporting boxcars filled with dudes? Are these the bodies of dudes who fell before you because they weren’t bad enough? Are these a different breed of dude who fight for the ninjas? Are we fighting ninja-dudes? Does DUDES stand for Dynamically Unified Danger Exemplified Samurai? Why would the ninjas be transporting anything? They’re ninjas; they don’t drive trucks. Hell, why did they even kidnap the President? Do they have any demands, or do they just want to punish dudes?
Cut-rate DUDES delivered right to your door.
As bad (as in good) as the story is, the game itself is actually pretty bad (as in bad). There’s so many other great beat ’em ups to choose from; this one’s just a poor choice, given its gameplay, graphics, and sound. Although they’d never say it, Billy and Jimmy Lee, the Double Dragons, are pretty bad dudes, too. But, if you’re feeling extra patriotic and want to help out Ronnie (or you’re just hungry for some grilled cow patty), then suit up in your white ninja pants and tank top and take to the streets as a Bad Dude. I just can’t recommend it—though the awesome intro and win screens, and the impact they’ve had on the Internets, are certainly worth a note.
You’re welcome, Ronnie. Is my favorite Chief Justice, Warren Burger, coming, too?
Should have stopped at “BAD DUDES from Data East is one bad game.” What they hell are they talking about with “earnings” and “collections”? Side note: the “vs. Dragon Ninja” part was dropped in the NES port.