- Apr 24, 2015
Welcome to the Lee Brothers Support Thread!
Who are the Lee Brothers?
Those of us who grew up in the late '80's and early '90's will remember the Lees as the second biggest pair of siblings of gaming. For those who may have missed the golden days of 8bit gaming, the Lee twins, Billy and Jimmy, are the protagonists of the classic Double Dragon series.
Trained in the Sosetsuken martial arts, Billy and Jimmy are formidable fighters with an '80's flair.
Much like Ryu is "Mr. Fighting Game" and Cloud is "Mr. RPG," The Lees are both the faces of their own gaming genre, the Beat 'Em Up.
What is Double Dragon?
Released in 1987 in arcades by Technos, Double Dragon featured Billy, and his brother Jimmy, plowing through countless members of the Black Warriors gang on their quest to rescue Billy's kidnapped girlfriend, Marion.
While the arcade was a smash hit, most of us will fondly remember the series from its numerous ports on nearly ever console of the time, most notably the NES version. To this day, the game still sees releases on new platforms including the Switch.
Regardless of platform, the gameplay of Double Dragon centered around beating up enemies as you tear through each level. Players had a variety of punches and kicks at their disposal, along with grabs, aerial acrobatics, pummels and an assortment of items to batter down their foes (starting to sound familiar?). Each level consisted of a trek from left to right, stopping from time to time to take down waves of thugs. Platforming elements were also smattered throughout the game as well; with the Lees having to avoid bottomless pits, spiked floors, booby traps and more.
Some versions of the game, such as the NES, also featured a level-up system in which new attacks and abilities were unlocked as the character got stronger.
Of course, the biggest draw of the game was it's co-op. Two players could take on the role of each brother and clean up the streets together.
The game received its first sequel in 1988 with Double Dragon II: The Revenge, and then was followed in 1990 with Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stones.
By this time, the series was nearly a household name. Along side numerous home versions of each title, Double Dragon had its own tv show, comic book line, action figures and even a Hollywood motion picture.
While the quality of several of the non-game endeavors weren't exactly great, it does go to show how big the series was in its heyday.
The Lees are no strangers to crossovers either. In 1993, the teamed up with Rare's Battletoads in Battletoads & Double Dragon for the NES, SNES, Genesis and Gameboy. Billy also made a cameo appearance in 1989's arcade, WWF Superstars (although not playable). Billy and Jimmy also took to sports in Super Spike V'Ball for the NES and had their own fighting games in the form of Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls (based on the television cartoon) and Neo Geo Double Dragon by SNK. While it may have had liberties taken to character names to deal with loss of the license, SNK followed up its fighting game with Rage of the Dragons, which is part of the series in all but name.
In 2012, after a noticable drought of installments (excluding more ports), Wayforward revived the series with Double Dragon Neon. Neon, like most modernizations, brought the series to HD with birght '80's-inspired graphics and a fantastic retro-style soundtrack by Jake Kaufman. The tone of the series took a major turn as well, moving away from the more serious post-apocalypic setting to fully embracing the cheesiness of its decade of origin. The game is comical and fun to play, and still available on PC for those who wish to jump into the series (or give it a revisit).
Just last year (2017), Double Dragon saw its most recent installment with Double Dragon IV. Instead of the flashy 3D graphics of Neon, this installment goes back to the NES-style graphics and more serious presentation.
The series is still alive and kicking (pun intended) and you can even find some of the games on the Switch.
Well, you can't have "Double" Dragon with only one Dragon. However, instead of making an Echo fighter, Jimmy would be an alt for Billy in the vein of Olimar and Alph. In the series, Jimmy is a palate swap of his brother, even having the same voice in Neon, so this treatment would make sense. Give the Lees a handful of pallets for Billy and some for Jimmy, with the announcer/cheers being the only difference, and you get two characters for the price of one.
What can they bring to Smash?
Being martial artists and brawlers, the Lees are right at home in a fight. Don't worry Ryu fans, their style is very different from his and would not play like him. They could be heavily offensive focus to match their more aggressive method of fighting.
To keep true with the Beat 'Em Up fashion, they could be tooled toward taking on multiple foes and stand strong in FFA matches. Like in their games, they could have the ability to strike behind them with a unique back tilt and smash attacks that come out faster than turning around with normal attack. Their attacks could also be easy to cancel from to be able to change targets on the fly (of course, consideration to prevent unfair combos are a must). Jabs could also be chained into grabs (again balancing must be considered) to further emulate their in-game fighting style.
In addition to punching, kicking and grappling, they can also pull abilities from Neon such as buffing teammates/tripping up foes with the High Five or a palm strike that does knockback but heals both user and target, which could be utilized in team battles or a tricky KO move that heals you as well. Other fancy martial arts moves, such as the Cyclone Kick, could be implanted as well.
Cosmetically, the cheesy '80's vibe from Neon would be a lot of fun to carry over. Like in Neon, the Lees could make bad one-liners and use "totally tubular lingo." Plus mullets, sweet sweet mullets.
In addition, you get all the bells and whistles of including another beloved classic series. Some great music, an interesting stage and possibly an assist trophy (Abobo anyone?).
Third-Party characters don't have much of a chance getting in.
Sure, it might be a long shot, like most characters on this board if we're to be honest, but it's still fun to talk about.
So if you're interested in these two gaming icons joining the other titans of gaming, drop on by!