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Double Dragon Wiki

Marian Kelly (マリアン・ケリー Marian Kerī?), often referred to simply as Marian, and sometimes renamed as Marion,[1] is a fictional supporting character featured in the Double Dragon series. She is Billy Lee's girlfriend; a part-time martial arts instructor at his and his brother's dojo, who is usually kidnapped and held hostage by each title's main antagonistic force (mainly by the Black Warriors criminal gang), setting off the events of several games in the franchise.

History and evolution of the character

Marian is the girlfriend of Billy Lee, a martial arts master and one of the main protagonists of the Double Dragon franchise. In the first game, the Black Warriors, commandeered by their leader, Willy Mackey, kidnap Marian and take her to their hideout. Billy teams up with his twin brother, Jimmy, another martial arts expert, and both set on their way to rescue her from their evil clutches. As the series progressed, it was eventually revealed that the reason for this abduction was to lure Billy to the Black Warriors' headquarters in order to make him surrender the secrets of the Sou-Setsu-Ken arts to them, a martial arts discipline rumored to give their practitioners unmeasurable powers.

The two brothers managed to infiltrate the gang's hideout and defeated all of their enemies, including Mackey, leaving him for dead. However, when the time finally came to release Marian from her ties, both brothers engaged in a final match between themselves to decide who would be the one to take her home. The canon continuity establishes that Billy was the victor of this encounter.

Willy didn't die from his injuries, though, and after a long recovery, he reorganized the Black Warriors, now recruiting much more powerful fighters within its ranks, some of which even dwelt in the black arts.

An undisclosed time later, the gang once again cornered Marian in the city streets, but this time Willy ruthlessly assassinated her with his machine gun at plain daylight. The brothers, filled with anger, set forth once more to the Black Warriors' hideout, and once again they defeated all of their enemies. The original arcade version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge states that Marian remained dead. However, most home ports and sequels changed this event, where Marian was instead resurrected after the brothers broke the link with magical forces after defeating all the enemies (there are variations on how this event took place among the many ports and retellings of this story, but in the end, Marian always survives).

While originally Marian exclusively played the role of damsel-in-distress in the earlier titles, as the series progressed, many attempts have been made to give her a more proactive role. The first of these attempts include making her part of various entities of law enforcement, whether she is a policewoman, a narcotics detective, or even a street vigilante. In fact, there exists a set of unused sprites in the Double Dragon Advance game files where she appears in various combat poses, although these were cut from the final release.

In the NES home version of Double Dragon III, Marian was made the game's final boss, who had been possessed by the spirit of an ancient Egyptian queen called Princess Noiram (that is, "Marion" spelled backward). However, it must be noted that in both the original arcade and Japanese versions of this game, the final boss is the Egyptian queen Cleopatra instead, with no involvement of Marian whatsoever. This change to the story was made by Acclaim during the western localization of the game.

In Double Dragon Neon, after being kidnapped by that game's main antagonist, Skullmageddon, a possessed Marian aids him during his second boss encounter, hovering in the air and projecting energy blasts at the Dragon Twins. Moments later, after being rescued and after the twins defeat Skullmageddon in another dimension, Marian receives him from a long drop with a punch to the crotch.

In addition to her law enforcement roles, throughout many of the series' installments, Marian is stated to be a part-time instructor at the brothers' Dragon Dojo; and in fact, in 2013's Wander of the Dragons, a remake of the NES/PC Engine CD version of Double Dragon II, the player actually controls her in this role all throughout the tutorial, during a raid by the Black Warriors to the dojo.

More recently, Marian appeared in River City Girls 2 (WayForward, 2022), a spin-off series of Kunio-kun, a beat 'em up franchise from which the Double Dragon series derives from. This game marks her debut as a fully playable character in a beat 'em up (she previously appeared as a playable fighter in the one-on-one fighting game Double Dragon for the Neo Geo, based on her appearance in the live-action film). While she first made a cameo in River City Girls as the shopkeeper of the Downtown District shop, this time around she has a complete set of martial arts moves.

Likewise, Marian appears as one of the four playable protagonists in the 2023 beat 'em up game, Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons, where she mainly uses firearms and a bazooka to fight enemies.


Double Dragon

Marian Kelly is Billy Lee's lovely girlfriend. Billy is a young martial arts instructor who, along with his twin brother Jimmy, has a small dojo at the outskirts of the city; both brothers are masters of a secret millennial Chinese fighting technique known as the Sou-Setsu-Ken. Willy Mackey, a gang lord leader of the current dominant criminal syndicate in New York City, the "Black Warriors", wanting this knowledge for himself orders Marian's kidnapping in order to lure Billy into revealing the secrets of the Setsu Arts to him. One day, he and his henchmen ambush Marian outside the Matin garage and Williams, one of Mackey's goons, knocks her out and they take her to their hideout.

Billy and Jimmy soon arrive at the scene of the crime and decide to take off on their pursuit. After fighting numerous Black Warriors' minions and visiting several locations while on her search, they finally arrive and break into Willy's headquarters, where they defeat both him and his men. However, before setting Marian free, the two brothers engage in a fierce battle between themselves to decide who would be the one taking her home.

During the course of the series, it is heavily implied that Jimmy was involved with Marian prior to her relationship with Billy, an event that made an uneasy rivalry to grow between both brothers (which is also hinted by the final confrontation between them for Marian's affections at the end of the first game); although apparently they would always be ready to temporarily put their differences aside should the occasion demand it (such as was the case of Marian's kidnapping). This theory is further supported in Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons, where a tree with an old heart-shaped carving with Marian's and Billy's name can be found during the boss battle with Jeff, and which also has Jimmy's name scrapped on the side.

Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Surviving his prior defeat at the hands of the Lee brothers, Willy Mackey, the leader of the Black Warriors, devised a plan to get back at them by targeting the one thing they cared the most: their friend Marian. Reorganizing his gang with even more powerful members, he once again ambushed Marian on the city streets at plain daylight, although this time he brutally shot her to death with his machine gun.

The brothers, drunk with rage, once again went on his pursuit and defeated both him and the remnants of the Black Warriors, leaving Mackey for dead. After the battle, an old photograph of Billy, Jimmy and Marian hanging out together is shown, with her crying a tear symbolizing the good old times that will never come back.

This outcome was retconned in the NES/PC Engine CD versions of Double Dragon II, where if the game is completed on the hardest difficulty by beating the Mysterious Warrior at the end, before dying he leaves the brothers with the "Legend of the Shadow":

"If the illusion spreads the evil will live again.
But if two dragons soar through the sky,
an angel will fall to the Earth."

Following the prophecy, that night Marian miraculously comes back to life and she returns to the Double Dragons alive and well.

ZX Spectrum

Marian's fate in the Sinclair ZX Spectrum English computer version of Double Dragon II features certain variations from the series' main established canon. While her story also includes her assassination and eventual resurrection, like in the NES version of the game, the details of her backstory feature some interesting variations.

In the manual, it is stated that Willy and almost all members of the Black Warriors died at the hands of the Lee brothers during the events of the first game five years ago, with the only survivor being Linda. Linda managed to nurse herself back to health and then spent many years studying oriental magical arts, which allowed her to reincarnate and bring back from the dead all of her former Black Warriors comrades, including their leader Willy.

The resurrected Willy, thirsting for revenge against the Dragons, ordered his minions to kidnap Marian once again, although not willing to take any chances this time around, he immediately murdered her and placed her body inside a magical field conjured by Linda at their hideout.

Learning this, the Dragon twins once again set on their way to defeat Willy and his gang in an attempt to retrieve Marian's body from their hands. After killing Willy a second time, and having native magical powers of their own, bestowed due to their Shinto birthright, they were able to break into the magical barrier guarding Marian's remains.

At that point, however, their very own tortured souls materialized and attacked them, although the twins ultimately prevailed over them as well. This final struggle actually allowed them to draw sufficient power from the ether to enact a Shinto resurrection ceremony and bring Marian back to life.[5]

Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones

As you know by now, Marian (or Marion, which is Acclaim's English localized spelling) is Billy's girlfriend, who was held prisoner by the Black Warriors during the first game and was literally saved from death at the end of the second. In the American version of Double Dragon III for the NES, she once again serves the role of damsel-in-distress, where she's held hostage by a mysterious group demanding the Rosetta Stones in exchange for her safe return. As the story unfolds, it is eventually revealed that she has been possessed by an evil Egyptian spirit that turned her into the not-so-cleverly named Princess Noiram, and she actually acts as the main antagonist and final boss in that version of the game.

However, that's not the case at all in the original arcade and Japanese versions, where Marian is safe and sound for once, and even gives instructions on how to play through the game's manual. In both the arcade and Famicom versions of the game, the main antagonist is instead Cleopatra.

Super Double Dragon

Marian, a beautiful young policewoman, is a student of Kung Fu and part-time assistant instructor at the martial arts training school run by Billy and Jimmy Lee. A narcotics investigator, she has disappeared while attempting to infiltrate the ruthless criminal mob known as the Black Shadow Warriors.
~ Description from the English manual

Marian's involvement in the story is only barely told through the game's manual, but neither does she appear nor is she ever mentioned in the game itself. In the Japanese manual, however, the story is covered in a bit more detail and various artworks of her appear through its pages.

Double Dragon (animated series)

Marian is the newest member of the "Metro Task Force". She met Billy while trying to stop an armored car heist being carried out by Wild Willy and Abobo. She then followed him back to the Dragon Dojo and offered to make him a special deputy with the police department, allowing him to arrest people and carry a weapon (even though he was already doing this anyway). When Jimmy subsequently turned to the side of good, Marian deputized him as well.

Unlike in the video games, here Marian does not act as Billy's girlfriend. She's not even a potential love interest for either of the brothers, and in fact, she manages to butt heads with Jimmy multiple times. Nonetheless, she's always eager to work together with the Dragons to stop the Shadow Master and fight crime, and she'll stand by their side even when public sentiment has turned against them. Marian is shown to be skilled in combat, even though she's not a member of the Dragon Dojo. She was featured quite prominently in Season 1, but her role in the show was downplayed during Season 2.

She was voiced by Cathy Weseluck.

Double Dragon (film)

In the film, Marian Delario is the leader of a gang of vigilantes known as the "Power Corps", conformed mainly by teenagers seeking justice in response to the hostile environment that reigns on the streets with the rise of all the gangs. Marian, on her part, is actually the rebellious daughter of the city's chief of police.

She was portrayed by American actress Alyssa Milano.

Double Dragon (Neo Geo)

A cheerful, justice-loving, and very athletic young woman. Marian likes salad and cats. She seems like a typical girl, but she is actually the female leader of a street gang. Because of this, her strong personality and courageousness stand out, but she also has a kind and feminine side. While currently learning martial arts from the Lee brothers, she had also studied figure skating, so she fights with a tricky technique that utilizes those skills. She thinks of Billy and Jimmy as younger brothers who are always in need for help.

Marian has a unnamed sister according to Jimmy during his win quotes against her.

Her ending shows that she decided to sell medals to the Lee brothers rather than Abobo, and if they refused, she would beat them on purpose.

In gameplay, her fighting style is labelled as "Street Fighting", as her actual fighting style was Figure Skating mixed with cheerdancing and kickboxing. Marian's disadvantage is a slow startup of her moves, and her Axel Breaker is easily counteracted by players by attacking her skyward, such as the Lee brothers' Rekku Ha, Rebecca's Hichouzan, or Cheng-Fu's Hisho Kyaku.


Marian is a cheery person, and like her film counterpart, she is rebellious and athletic with a strong sense of justice. She also wants to prove her boyfriend, Billy, that she can also fight like him and his brother Jimmy, as seen in her win quote against him. Many of her win quotes have her criticizing her opponents; she calls Jimmy a kid, she body-shames Burnov for being chubby, and she dislikes Abobo for being clingy due to his usage of wrestling techniques. She only struggles in her fight with Rebecca, stating that their fight was very exhausting.

Personal data
  • Voice: Yuka Koyama
  • Birthplace: Los Angeles
  • Height: 5′ 5″
  • Measurements: B31 W21 H34
  • Fighting style: Street fighting
  • Hobbies: Window shopping, figure skating

Double Dragon Advance

Marian is Billy's girlfriend, who was kidnapped by the Shadow Warriors so that the Dragons would hand over the book of Sou-Setsu-Ken. The affection that both Billy and Jimmy hold for her seems to be creating tension between the brothers lately.

Double Dragon (mobile)

Billy Lee's girlfriend. She is held hostage by the Black Warriors.
~ Official description

Double Dragon Neon

Marian is kidnapped by Skullmageddon's henchmen because he has a major crush on her. Later on in the game, Skullmageddon turns her into "Evil Marian". Evil Marian is fought alongside Skullmageddon as the penultimate boss, flying around the room and attacking with projectiles. The Lee brothers manage to defeat Skullmageddon and free her from his control. She then uses the "Power of Love" to open a portal to another dimension, which allows them to go after Skullmageddon and defeat him for good.

Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons

She has a strong mind as a martial artist. She is a noble woman like a goddess among probationers.

Murdered by Willy, she's bringing both revenge and memory, which are the main themes of this game.

She is the one from main characters who makes the story.[6]

Marian adopts a more Oriental-like look in this game, being an instructor at the Lee brothers' Sou-Setsu-Ken Dojo. She once again becomes a playable character and is controlled by the player all throughout the tutorial, where they are taught the basics of the game and the use of special attacks (and with it, unknowingly assuring them to get the bad ending, as the player is not allowed to use any special moves during the whole game in order to get the good ending, even in the tutorial).

After going through a few lessons dealing with Black Warriors storming inside the dojo, Willy finally walks in and brutally shoots her to death with his machine gun (following the premise of the original game), setting off the event that will drive the Lee brothers in their quest for revenge for the remainder of the game.

She is also one of the four available characters in versus mode (the others being Billy, Jimmy and Jeff).

  • Body type: Woman A
  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 25
  • Personality: A strong martial artist with a girlish taste and a pure mind.
  • Features: Sōsetsuken, pestering to buy pretty things.

Double Dragon IV

In this game, Marian is kidnapped by the Okada sisters and taken to Japan in order to lure Billy and Jimmy to their turf and take them down. After the brothers are dropped down a trap door, they find Marian while escaping the area under the sisters' villa. She tells them where the sisters went and they go off for one final fight against them.

Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons

Maraian is a childhood friend of the Lee brothers and trained with them as a kid.
Sharing a similar sense of justice, she joined the police force.
Marian is mature, understanding and righteous. But she can also be rash when facing injustice.
~ Official description

Marian is one of the default playable characters in Double Dragon Gaiden. She uses a gun as a weapon. Her appearance is inspired by her design in the PC Engine Double Dragon II.[7]

Other appearances

Rage of the Dragons

This game uses the characters and settings from Double Dragon, but is deemed non-canon since Evoga, the developers of the game, couldn't get the rights of the franchise.

Renamed Mariah in this game, not much is known or mentioned about her, although the plot changes her involvement with Jimmy, announcing how they were in a relationship instead of her being with Billy. She is also long dead in this version, as shown in Jimmy's ending, in which he visits her grave with his new female partner Sonia. Jimmy is shown to not have completely gotten over Mariah's death, as seen in his ending with Billy as his partner. Billy asks him to let it go and move on with his life, but Jimmy angrily refuses.

River City Girls

Marian makes a cameo in this game as the shopkeeper of the "Swaggage" store in Downtown District. Her appearance is similar to her Neon look, but wears a tank top underneath her leather jacket and is more muscular.

River City Girls 2

Marian retains the same look as the prequel, although this time as a fully playable character.[8] By the time she and the Lee brothers arrived at River City, she got kidnapped by robots. However, this time, Marian became displeased of herself and tired of being a damsel in distress for multiple times. Ultimately, while spending her time in a prison of the robot gang's hideout, Marian worked out her body and did a soul searching to finally be able to defend herself without the Lee brothers' aid. As she finally escapes with her own hand before the Lee brothers rescue her, both Marian and Lee brothers made their decision to stay at River City, where the latter decided to open the dojo while Marian doubles her life as a local public shopkeeper, and secretly a paranormal crime investigator. Surprisingly, some of their former enemies, such as Abobo and Skullmageddon, are also staying there.

While investigating what she believes to be a paranormal threat, she is unknowingly ambushed by one of Sabu's hired men, as Sabu, through his son and Kunio's impostor, Ken, hired a mercenary witch, Blaire, to paralyze her with a fog on the latter's forest and brainwash her, although twice since Skullmageddon did it to her once back then. Ultimately, she is rescued by Misako, Kyoko, Provie, Kunio and Riki, which in turn joined them to stop the Sabu family from ruling River City.

She was voiced by Erika Harlacher in English and by Marina Inoue in the Japanese dub.


Artworks and portraits

Sprites and models


  • Acclaim's localized ports of Double Dragon II and Double Dragon III refer to her as "Marion" instead of Marian.
  • Originally, Marian had no surname in the games, but she was eventually given many throughout the various Double Dragon-related media. She was named Marian Steele in the Marvel Comics adaptation, Marian Martin in the animated series, and Marian Delario in the live-action movie. In the Return of Double Dragon manual, she is referred to as Marian Kelly (マリアン・ケリー Marian Kerī?).
  • Muneki Ebinuma has mentioned that Marian and her police car still have sprites within the ROM of Super Double Dragon.[9] However, if they exist, they are still to be found.
  • In Double Dragon Neon, Marian is voiced by Christijana York and Evil Marian is voiced by Wendy York (who also voiced Ichisumi).
  • Marian's extremely defined abdominal muscles in her River City appearances are a possible reference to her kidnapping sequence in the original Double Dragon and its various ports and remakes. In that sequence, Marian is knocked unconscious with a single punch to the stomach by Williams and is then carried off by him and his other gang mates. Presumably, Marian began training to overcome this weakness.
    • Although largely recognized as Billy Lee's girlfriend in the Double Dragon franchise, Marian's interactions with the other playable characters in River City Girls 2 imply that she not only is no longer in relationship with Billy, but was also involved with his brother Jimmy at one point as well.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Renamed "Marion" in all English localizations by Acclaim.
  2. Referred to as "Mary Ann" in all documentation of the Master System version of Double Dragon.
  3. Evil possessed self in Double Dragon Neon.
  4. Evil possessed self in Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones.
  5. Double Dragon II: The Revenge manual, pages: 2 and 3 (ZX Spectrum) at Games Database.
  6. An Introduction to Characters | Main Character at The Legend of Fighting Action Game: Double Dragon II.
  7. Interview: Double Dragon Gaiden on Modernising an Arcade Classic for a New Era at Push Square.
  8. @WayForward at X (August 19, 2021).
  9. Return of/Super Double Dragon: The True Story at Double Dragon Dojo.

External links