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Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Double Dragon II was released in 1990 for the NES. The Double Dragons, Billy and Jimmy Lee, are back to avenge the loss of Marion. The twins fight the ultimate battle between good and evil. A battle where not only their lives are at stake, but the fate of the entire world!

 

Run (Death Abuse): 0:11:22 by 'sinister1'

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Thanks to the SDA crew for this great site.

Run History:

This run is the product of what I first thought was a cruel twist of fate. After my 12:01 deaths run was approved I wanted to make a no deaths run and was planning to submit once I got around 12:15 or less. The idea was to have both deathless and deaths runs up simultaneously. My first good no deaths time was 12:01 which just so happens to be EXACTLY the same time as my previous deaths run. This presented a problem because Mike Uyama informed me that the deaths run will be obsoleted.

At first I was annoyed at how I could randomly get the exact same freakin time (which has never even happened until now). I mean how could it not have been a few seconds faster for sub 12:00 or a few seconds slower to be a nice complement to my 12:01? After my initial annoyance and disgust subsided, it hit me. I realized the beautiful truth...this was a sign that my work on this game was not done. Sub 12:00 had to be achieved and I knew I could do it. I actually developed a few new strategies for this run some of which you will get to see. Others will just be described in the comments since I did not execute them correctly.

I am pretty pleased with this run and all told I managed to save 39 seconds. Most of my mistakes were not too costly and I did execute pretty well in some spots. The best part for me about this run time is that I actually completed the entire game faster than the original 1 player TAS done by Fobbi on Intermediate difficulty in 11:22 (timing ends with final hit). I think 11:0x is definitely possible but I am not going to be running this game anytime soon. If someone comes along and beats my time I will return and go for sub 11:00 which is the Holy Grail for this game but requires the mission 6 glitch to be performed or near perfect execution in all 9 missions.

Here are my old times/new times (best times)

Mission 1: 1:35 / 1:23 (1:19)
Mission 2: 1:21 / 1:15 (1:14)
Mission 3: 0:29 / 0:29 (0:24)
Mission 4: 1:34 / 1:31 (1:28)
Mission 5: 2:01 / 1:48 (1:36)
Mission 6: 0:56 / 1:01 (0:45 using the glitch, 0:50 without)
Mission 7: 1:53 / 1:58 (1:47)
Mission 8: 1:34 / 1:25 (1:18)
Mission 9: 0:38 / 0:31 (0:31)

Total time: 12:01 / 11:22 (10:24)

Run (Multiplayer, Death Abuse): 0:12:13 by 'sinister1' and Joe 'jprophet22' Corbin

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Thanks to the SDA crew and everyone who loves Double Dragon II.

tl;dr cliff notes: My best friend came (playing Jimmy Lee) to visit me (playing Billy Lee) from halfway across the country and we did a speedrun together in a very limited amount of time. The game is really difficult in 2 player mode due to lag, additional randomness, 29 extra enemies and increased chance for runner error. There are advantages to 2 player mode that make up for the increased difficulty somewhat. Skip down to Mission descriptions or read on if you want more details.

Sometimes 2 players are better than 1. This is, and is not one of those times; a paradox if you will. In terms of entertainment value this certainly exceeds what 1 player runs can deliver. In terms of speed, not quite, but it's still pretty darn fast. At first I thought this run was just a dream because the chances of being able to get two people with enough skill together for a long enough time all while having enough luck just could not happen. But...jprophet22, the guy who did the 1 player TAS of this game in 9:38 happens to be my best friend. It also happens that he has skills beyond the frame-by-frame world of TAS. He came to visit me recently and we had a very short time to conceive a close to optimal strategy, practice it, and execute it. We got a lot of useful strats from adelikat's 2 player TAS, and ended up deciding that B mode was better than A mode after testing both. I played the role of Billy Lee (blue) since I had extensive practice and would be carrying more of the work load. Jprophet played Jimmy Lee (red) and took about 5 minutes of practice before he was doing continuous knees despite having not played the game on console since the early '90s.

Here is a list of differences between a 1 player (1p) and 2 player (2p) run of this game:

Advantages:

  • Screen scrolling: This cannot be controlled very well in 1p but in 2p you can always take advantage of this. It ensures that enemies come out close to one of the players and get disposed of quickly or can be used to manipulate enemy actions.
  • Knee the other Lee: Not a massive time saver but it sure beats walking. Can be used in any area that has a lot of walking before the next set of enemies appear ( Missions 2, 5, 6, & 8 ) and most notably in Mission 6 to skip the first set of platforms entirely.
  • Teamwork/Contingency plans: Being able to perform 2 tasks at once like 1 Lee takes out enemies while the other tosses the explosives they drop so neither of them get hit. There are several advantageous backup plans where 1 player will come to the others aid if things go wrong. In 1p you just have to suck it up and lose time when you get knocked down, but not in 2p.
  • Entertainment value: This run seems much more entertaining to me than a 1 player run mainly due to the synchronized ass kicking and additional tricks/glitches.

Disadvantages:

  • Lag: When there are 4 or more sprites on the screen the game will lag. This rarely occurs in 1p but in 2p it happens in every single mission but the last one. The lag has the inherent disadvantage of making you lose time, but it also makes the knee (which is already difficult to execute) even harder to time, and limits the strats you can use in certain places. This game is all about timing and when that gets thrown off due to lag it causes a lot of problems.
  • Additional enemies: If I counted correctly there are 29 additional enemies that you have to deal with in 2p mode. Some of them may only cost a second or two, but others most notably the 2nd Illusion and 3rd set of Ninjas in Mission 8 can really cause problems.
  • Platforming: It is a lot more difficult to try and platform when you are all over each other and the platforming in this game is already tough as it is.
  • Additional randomness: The enemies are fairly predictable in 1p but in 2p forget it they just do whatever the heck they feel like any time they want. Solid execution goes a long way to prevent this but when you mess up the randomness gets magnified in 2p.
  • Human error: There are now two people that have to execute consistently throughout the same run which is obviously less likely than in a 1p run. This is the biggest inherent challenge in 2p.


On to the run itself:

  • Mission 1 - Into the Turf (1:23)
    This is about the outer limit of what we would accept for mission 1. The main advantages here are screen scrolling especially at the beginning against the ropers and then on the top floor against the Williams and Burnov. The mistakes in this mission were all made by Jimmy Lee (me) who failed on the 4th Linda and the 3rd set of Williams.

  • Mission 2 - The Heliport (1:12)
    This is probably the easiest mission in the game. The advantages afforded by B mode are enough to ensure this mission is always faster than in a 1 player run. We do pretty well here only having a slight hiccup in the beginning when Billy Lee gets hit (actually my fault) and cannot climb up the pipe to take care of the 4th Roper. It negated the 2nd death of the level for me which is normally used to save time (see 2 player TAS). Other than that it was a great run of the mission.

  • Mission 3 - In the Chopper (0:31)
    You would not believe what a nightmare this mission is compared to 1 player. It has lag, randomness out the wazoo, and it can get very messy very quickly. We struggle a bit with a few errors but recover nicely and finish the mission in a decent time.

  • Mission 4 - Undersea Base (1:49)
    This is one of the more difficult missions along with 7 and 8. There is just a ton of lag and a lot of things can go wrong. The advantage of controlling screen scrolling in the beginning is nice but we manage to mess up on the enemies. We get pretty lucky in the next section at the bottom of the elevator because the lag on those Right arms and Arnold is unreal. At the end we still did not have an optimal strategy (and it showed) but we do now and if we ever run it again this mission will be a lot better.

  • Mission 5 - Forest of Death (1:46)
    Even though this mission is long it is not that difficult. Most of the randomness and lag can be controlled for and we had good strats. The best of which is having Jimmy Lee wait on the vine to freeze the enemies at the top. We finally discovered how to get OoB in this game but it is completely useless in saving time. Since it does not cost time and goes with the optimal strat we got to include it. I messed up the knee boost and Arnold but other than that it was a pretty solid mission.

  • Mission 6 - Mansion of Terror (0:53)
    Death as a shortcut at the beginning of this mission is the #1 reason to use 2 player B instead of A. You get to save time AND avoid one of the biggest run killers in the game. I like 2 for 1 deals and this one paid off with a nice quick run for the low cost of 1 Jimmy Lee.

  • Mission 7 - Trap Room (2:09)
    This mission is not easy no matter how many players you have. We executed pretty well here with some minor stuff going wrong like the gear room and Arnold. Make no mistake though, this is a solid mission.

  • Mission 8 - Double Illusion (1:57)
    This is the most difficult mission in the game for 2 player mode. It always seems like things are going so well and then come the Ninjas and Illusions. We did not yet have the best strats for that portion and it cost us dearly.

  • Mission 9 - Final Confrontation (0:32)
    A small quirk that most people do not know about is that you can get extra lives in 2p B mode by reaching the 9th mission. I am not sure if it is a glitch or if the programmers intended it but it happens (even if 1 of the 2 players dies before mission 9). Notice that my life total jumps from 2 to 4 as the fight begins. Sometimes both players get 1 extra life and other times Billy Lee just gets both (not that they are needed).

    We use a modified version of the TAS strategy here effectively until I get a little too excited and jump early allowing the Shadow Warrior out of the trap. I have to admit we got super lucky to finish him off so quickly once he got out. What a great way to finish the run.

I must say I am surprised that we were able to achieve a run of this quality in such a short time. I am certain sub 12:00 would be achieved had we had more time to work on this as we must have had less than 100 resets. We will certainly improve this run next time jprophet22 comes to town but that might be a while, so until then enjoy this 2 player run.

Here are the mission times with our best times in parentheses:

Mission 1: 1:23 (1:17)
Mission 2: 1:12 (1:11)
Mission 3: 0:31 (0:29)
Mission 4: 1:49 (1:30)
Mission 5: 1:46 (1:45)
Mission 6: 0:53 (0:51)
Mission 7: 2:09 (2:09)
Mission 8: 1:57 (1:46)
Mission 9: 0:32 (0:32)

Total time: 12:13 (11:28)

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