|“||One half of the dire duo, the 'Boss has waited so long to see the Dragons fall. Now, with the Dark Queen's help, he's sure it'll be curtains for 'em all.||„|
|~ Official description from the manual|
The Shadow Boss is one of the two main antagonists in Battletoads/Double Dragon, representing the Double Dragon side of the two franchises. He is characterized as the longtime nemesis of the Lee brothers, who joins forces with the Dark Queen, the Battletoads' own arch-nemesis, to defeat their common foes.
The Shadow Boss is a vicious, muscular fighter in a dark blue armor with spiked shoulder pads and a dark blue skull-like mask. In Battletoads/Double Dragon, he is treated as the leader of the Shadow Warriors, having teamed up with the Dark Queen to take over the world. He acts as the penultimate boss of the game, being fought on his hideout after the 'Toads and the Double Dragons destroy the Colossus, the Dark Queen's space battleship.
He shows up as the boss of Level 6, appropriately titled "Shadow Boss Showdown", which is set inside the basement of an abandoned building. Throughout the stage, he can be seen lurking behind the columns in the background until eventually showing up to confront the player. His techniques include a teleportation move, a rolling attack where he turns into a giant spiked ball, and a grab move in which he holds the opponent by the neck and punches them repeatedly on the head.
In the NES and Genesis versions of the game, when he's defeated, the Shadow Boss's body starts reducing until he's half his normal size, turns into a shadow and then disintegrates completely; however, he's shown to have survived the encounter on his defeated aftermath dialogue (although his armor is in a very mangled state). In the SNES version, his whole body disappears in a fiery explosion and his empty armor gets scattered all over the place.
- Since the developers at Rare were not familiar with the Double Dragon storyline and characters, the Shadow Boss is not based on a particular enemy, but rather is a loose amalgamation of various characters from the earlier games. He serves as the nemesis of the Lee brothers in the same way Willy did in the original arcade game, while the "Shadow Boss" name itself apparently comes from Jimmy Lee's title as the secret leader of the Black Warriors in the NES version of that same game.
- The Shadow Boss bears some similarities to Burnov from Double Dragon II: The Revenge, as they both are masked shirtless wrestlers, have an attack involving grabbing their opponents by the head and then pummeling them while they're defenseless, do a shoulder tackle (a move seen in later incarnations of Burnov), and they both disappear when they are defeated, leaving behind their masks. However, whereas the Shadow Boss has a lean, muscular build, Burnov is normally portrayed as obese.
- In the NES, Genesis and Game Boy versions of Battletoads/Double Dragon, the Shadow Boss has a move where he briefly disappears, leaving his mask behind, and then materializes again. This move is reminiscent of when Burnov is defeated the first time, leaving his mask and garments behind, only to reappear a moment later.
- According to a rumor, developers at Rare had only seen the intro for Double Dragon II, where Burnov appears along Willy and other members of the Black Warriors during Marian's assassination cutscene, and probably due to his menacing appearance they assumed he was the leader of the gang, which could be the reason why the Shadow Boss resembles Burnov. Nonetheless, seeing how the Shadow Boss also borrows some of Burnov's trademark moves, this would suggest that they had at least some knowledge of his fighting techniques. All of this is mere speculation, though.