Rage of the Dragons (レイジ・オブ・ザ・ドラゴンズ Reiji Obu Za Doragonzu ) is a 2002 tag team head-to-head fighting game released for the Neo Geo hardware by Playmore (currently known as SNK Playmore). The game was developed by Japanese company Noise Factory, co-developed by BrezzaSoft and chiefly-designed by the Mexican team Evoga.
Plot and characters
There are a total of fourteen playable characters in Rage of the Dragons. The player can select from one of the seven default pairings, or create a custom pairing with nearly 80 possible combinations. The player will see a hidden ending if they complete the single player tournament with a Billy and Jimmy pairing.
- Billy Lewis (North America)
- A famous street racer and master of Ryu Zui Ken. He hasn't seen his older brother, Jimmy, ever since the death of Jimmy's girlfriend, Mariah. Partner: Lynn
- Jimmy Lewis (North America)
- After the death of his girlfriend, Mariah, Jimmy abandoned his brother and became a famous street fighter, both for the money and the thrill. He returns to Sunshine City after feeling the resonance of an evil dragon spirit. Partner: Sonia
- Lynn Baker (China)
- A Chinese American, Lynn has trained with both Jimmy and Billy Lewis. She is a master of Ryu Zui Ken. Partner: Billy
- Sonia Romanenko (Russia)
- Sonia was a highly skilled assassin. After leaving her life as an assassin behind, she meets Jimmy Lee and falls in love with him. Partner: Jimmy
- Radel (Norway)
- Radel is one of the last members of the great clan of dragon hunters. He has developed his skills to help those in need. Partner: Annie
- Annie Murakami (Japan)
- Annie Murakami was born into an ancient family of psychics. Early in her life, the leader of the family noticed that her psychic abilities were exceptionally powerful. He hoped that she would play an important role in the future of the family and the world. Despite her young age, she was tasked with helping Radel find and defeat Johan. Annie, along with her black cat named Qui-zi, traveled with Radel, leaving home and her insular life for the first time. The novelty of the outside world has left her fascinated. Partner: Radel
- Cassandra Murata (Japan)
- Cassandra grew up in an orphanage. There she met Oni Inomura and the two became close. They realized that they both possess strange powers and see each other as siblings. They were forced to leave the orphanage after Oni burned it down. After leaving the orphanage they begin to travel. During their travels, Oni is compelled to fight. It is an urge that he cannot ignore. During one of these fights, Oni is severely wounded, leaving Cassandra to find help for him. With Oni wounded, Cassandra seeks out Elias Patrick for help. Elias quickly notices the strange energy that both possess. They agree to travel together, but their time together does not last. One night, Elias noticed Oni assaulting Cassandra in order to satisfy his hunger for battle. They were forced to flee, continuing on their journey by themselves once more. Partner: Oni
- Oni Inomura (Japan)
- Oni travels the world with his sister Cassandra in an attempt to learn the truth behind their past. He constantly struggles with his powers and urges. Partner: Cassandra
- Pepe Rodriguez (Mexico)
- José "Pepe" Rodríguez is a Mexican Fighter. After finding a scroll from the god Quetzalcoatl, his fighting abilities advance considerably. Partner: Pupa
- Pupa Salgueiro (Brazil)
- Pupa is a young Brazilian girl and Pepe's friend, who is searching for her missing older brother. She is trained in Capoeira and often uses a wrench when she fights. Partner: Pepe
- Alice Carrol (England)
- Alice was born into a wealthy and prominent family in London. At the age of 10, tragedy struck her family. Her parents were brutally murdered, leaving Alice in a state of shock. When she was found, she was covered in blood and unable to tell the investigators what had happened. Some involved with the investigation into the murders suspected the young Alice of being responsible, but they could not prove it. Due to this suspicion, and her depression and erratic behavior, she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for observation. The doctors were unable to do anything for her. Alice would remain in the hospital until she met Elias Patrick. Elias immediately recognized that Alice was possessed by an evil spirit and the doctors would not be able to help her. He became determined to help the young girl and took her under his wing. Partner: Elias
- Elias Patrick (Ireland)
- After the death of his family, Elias devoted his life to eradicating evil. He has studied exorcism tactics in order to eliminate any evil he finds. Partner: Alice
- Mr. Jones (North America)
- Mr. Jones is loosely base upon Kareem Abdul Jabar. He is a self-proclaimed disco fanatic and movie star who developed his own variation of Jeet Kune Do. Partner: Kang
- Kang Jae-Mo (South Korea)
- While he was ridiculed for his size when he was young, he eventually became a famous wrestler. He has dreams of becoming an actor someday, and is good friends with Mr. Jones. Partner: Mr. Jones
There are also two boss characters in the game, who are fought by the player at the end of the single player tournament. Unlike the regular characters, these bosses only fought by themselves, having no partners.
- Abubo Rao (India)
- A once glorious fighter and former member of the gang that ruled Sunshine City. He was plotting to one day overthrow his boss until Jimmy and Billy barged into their turf and defeated them. He was personally defeated by the older brother and bore a grudge against him ever since.
- Johann (Italy)
- The leader of a big underground cult in Sunshine City, Johann is also a former disciple of Lynn's grandfather and the current possessor of the Black Dragon, an evil entity destined to wreak havoc on the land.
Rage of the Dragons features a tag team system, in which the player takes control of two characters and can switch between one or the other during gameplay. The character who is not being controlled will slowly recover part of his or her energy while the other is fighting. The player can perform special combos in which both characters attack an opponent at the same time for added damage.
An auxiliary meter located at the bottom of the screen that slowly fills up when an attack connects with an opponent. When the meter is full, special moves can be performed (e.g.: counter attacks, super moves, etc.).
Evoga originally envisioned Rage of the Dragons as a sequel to the Neo Geo fighting game version of Double Dragon released in 1995. However, they were unable to get the intellectual rights for the characters (which were purchased by the company founded by former Technōs Japan staff Million, the developers of Double Dragon Advance), and thus Rage of the Dragons was turned into a homage to the Double Dragon series instead of an official sequel. The two lead characters in Rage of the Dragons, Billy and Jimmy Lewis, share their names with the protagonists of the Double Dragon series, Billy and Jimmy Lee, while Kang is based on Burnov from Double Dragon II: The Revenge, and the boss character Abubo is based on Abobo from the original Double Dragon. Two supporting characters, Linda (Abubo's female assistant) and Mariah (Jimmy's girlfriend), are also based on Double Dragon characters.
Jimmy, Lynn, Elias and Mr. Jones would later appear as hidden guest characters in Power Instinct Matrimelee, a fighting game also produced by Noise Factory. Coincidentally, Atlus, the company that originally produced the Power Instinct series, published Double Dragon Advance for Million.
- Rage of the Dragons at Wikipedia - Original version of this article.