Anyone who grew up in the 1980’s remembers Double Dragon. It was one of the first beat em up games to be introduced into the arcades. In many ways, the game was a clone of Techno’s gritty thriller, Renegade, so you can’t technically call it the first, but it was definitely one of the most influential and earliest beat em’ ups to have been introduced.
Taito may have borrowed a bit from Technos, but they did add a few improvements to Double Dragon. For example, you can sneak attack an enemy in the game and then pick up the weapon that they dropped. The game also allows two players to team up and beat the snot out the bad guys together. Double Dragon would go on to inspire a sequel, as well as a host of knock offs from other game manufacturers.
The game was created by Yoshihisa Kishimoto, (whose also affectionately known as the grandfather of arcade beat em ups), in the arcade world. Next year, Double Dragon turns 30 years old. We have two copies of the game in our library and it’s consistently rented out by our members. I wonder if Yoshihisa thought that operators would still be making money on his game when he designed it 3 decades ago?