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Double Dragon Wiki

The Black Warriors (ブラック・ウォリアーズ Burakku U~oriāzu?), also known as the Black Shadow Warriors or simply the Shadow Warriors, is an evil organization in the Double Dragon series, serving as the main adversaries to the Lee brothers in most installments of the franchise.


The Black Warriors was originally a biker gang known as the "Killers",[1] until it grew in members after the nuclear war and became the dominant criminal organization in New York City. Its founder and leader was a gang lord named Willy Mackey. The group mainly operated in the form of a huge gang that ruled the city streets with an iron fist.

At some point, Willy learned of a pair of twin brothers who lived in the outskirts of the city who practiced a secret form of martial arts known as Sou-Setsu-Ken; their names were Billy and Jimmy Lee. They taught this technique to their students at their dojo to help them survive in the hostile environment that had become prevalent on the streets with the rise in power of all the gangs.[2]

Wanting to get his hands on this knowledge for himself, Willy schemed the kidnapping of Billy's girlfriend, Marian, leaving him a note saying that if he wanted to see her again, he had to bring the scrolls (or tomes in some versions) containing the secrets of the Sou-Setsu arts to him.[3] However, instead of blindly complying to his demands, the two brothers tagged along and took to the streets to rescue Marian by themselves, facing any opponents that stood in their way. After a long and arduous journey they finally arrived to Willy's hideout, where they defeated him and the remnants of his gang, and freed Marian from their clutches.

Willy survived the attack, though, and full of resentment against the brothers for this defeat, he reorganized the Black Warriors with even more powerful members (some of which who even practiced magical arts). Willy and some of his henchmen ambushed Marian on the city streets at plain daylight again, although this time he brutally shot her to death with his machine gun. The brothers, thirsting for revenge, once again went to his hideout and defeated him a second time, leaving him for dead.[4]

Time later, while the brothers were away, a gang attacked one of their dojos, presumably fatally wounding one of their best students.[5] This new group was called the "Neo Black Warriors" and their leader was none other than Jim Mackey, Willy's younger brother, who wanted to avenge his supposed death at their hands.[4] His victory was short-lived, though, as the brothers quickly dispatched both him and his new gang. In the NES version, Hiruko, a mysterious fortune teller, reveals herself to be the true secret leader of the organization.

It was later revealed that Willy survived his second encounter with the Dragons, but at that moment another gang entered the scene and had him assassinated. They were called The Renegades, a new criminal organization leaded by the ruthless Jake, another powerful gang lord. However, it was later discovered that Jake was nothing more than a pawn and that the Renegades actually had their origins in Japan, with their true leaders being the Okada sisters, Casey and Shannon, a pair of high profile entrepreneurs who in reality were criminal masterminds. Having most of Japan under their control, they were now looking to expand their territory to America. Craving to easily seize the turf controlled by Willy, they took the opportunity to put him out of the picture while he was still vulnerable. The Renegades then gathered and reorganized all the remnant members of the Black Warriors and recruited them into their own forces.

The story about the Black Warriors' foundation, activities and ultimate demise has been retold numerous times along the many ports and remakes some of the games have had (mainly the first and second installments), some adding variations, new elements and characters involved to its lore, and in some cases even introducing fantastic elements to it, such as is the case of productions like the animated series and the live-action film.

Black Warriors or Shadow Warriors?[]

Because of the differences between the arcade and certain console versions of the games (particularly the NES/Famicom versions), the exact nature of the gang and its roster tends to vary. The original name of the gang in all versions of the first Double Dragon is the "Black Warriors". However, in the localized version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge for the NES, the gang was renamed the "Black Shadow Warriors" (originally written as a separate unnamed organization in the Famicom version), a name also used for the enemy gang in Super Double Dragon;[6] and they were just called "Shadow Warriors" in Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls, the animated series and Double Dragon Advance.

As the series progressed, the name "Shadow Warriors" slowly became the predominant term to refer to this evil organization, mainly in western product releases and especially in the animated series, where it sprouted a multitude of terms with the prefix "Shadow" on them (examples include: Shadow Master, Shadow Boss, Shadow Khan and Shadow Dojo, just to name a few). Apparently, at some point the term also even influenced original Japanese developed products (e.g.: the trailer in Mission 4 and the carpet in the final room in Mission 7 in Return of Double Dragon bear insignias with the letters "SW" on them; these can also be seen in cutscenes from the PC Engine CD remake of Double Dragon II: The Revenge).

The influence of the name has even made an impact on some of the games' gameplay mechanics, to the point of the concept of using shadows having been frequently implemented in a literal sense in some of the enemies' fighting techniques. Some examples include:

  • The Double Illusion in Double Dragon II: The Revenge are literally born from the shadows of Billy and Jimmy Lee.
  • Koga Shuko, the main antagonist in the 1994 Double Dragon live-action film, frequently uses the power of his half of the "Double Dragon" medallion to transform into a shadow and freely move along the floor and walls to either escape or possess people.
  • Certain members of the Five Emperors, the main antagonists in Double Dragon Advance, use a variation of the technique used by the Double Illusion in Double Dragon II by turning themselves into shadows to attack their enemies from below. Some leave a trail of shadows as they move around and some can create literal shadow copies of themselves to aid them in battle.


Double Dragon[]

Double Dragon II: The Revenge[]

Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone[]

Known as the "Neo Black Warriors" in this game.

Super Double Dragon[]

Battletoads/Double Dragon[]

Double Dragon (TV series)/Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls[]

Double Dragon (film)[]

Double Dragon (Neo Geo)[]

Double Dragon Advance[]

Double Dragon (mobile)[]

Double Dragon Neon[]

The name of Skullmageddon's gang is never given in the game, although a press release by Majesco identifies them as the "Black Dragon Clan".



  • The name "Black Warriors" might have been inspired by the 1979 street gangs-themed film The Warriors, which the Double Dragon series takes inspiration from. However, this is unconfirmed.


  1. Sales brochure (chirashi) of the Famicom version of Double Dragon. (Japanese)
  2. As explained in the intro cutscene of Double Dragon Advance.
  3. As seen in the intro cutscenes of Double Dragon Advance and the mobile port of Double Dragon.
  4. 4.0 4.1 It was later revealed that Willy survived, although he was killed by members of another gang known as "The Renegades" in order to take possession of the turf controlled by the Black Warriors.
  5. The story varies between versions. In the Famicom version, the "Neo Black Warriors" are indeed the perpetrators; whereas in the NES version, it is implied to have been Hiruko.
  6. The gang is indistinctly called both "Black Shadow Warriors" and "Shadow Warriors" in the manual.