It’s an amazing feat when you think about it that the popular arcade title “Double Dragon” was even considered for an Atari 2600 release, let alone actually getting into the hands of gamers in the late 1980s. While it is an interesting feat as it is, the one thing that many gamers have to complain about with it was it’s high difficulty level, and that getting past the first two screens was nearly impossible. One fan of the game named “Matthew B” decided to change that, by altering the games original coding to make it more enjoyable and playable for those looking to get into the game.

This being Matthew’s first attempt at doing a ROM hack, it is an interesting one at that. Knowing that you cannot fight with either a barrel or knife by not getting past the first few screens, he decided to make the modification so that players can finally get a chance to enjoy the game without the major difficulty level that came with it. The changes that were made to make the game easier are as follows:

  1. Enemies are easier to defeat, but increases the further along you get.
  2. Changed the first stage so that you are battling female opponents.
  3. Increased Player 1’s health level to 5 bars instead of 2.
  4. Two player games have 3 bars of health each instead of 2.
  5. Changed front screen display “TECHNOS JAPAN” to “HACKED BY MB”.


While peeking around the programs original code, Matthew took notice of some things. The health value for the enemies on the first level is also used to initialize other elements in the game, so it was difficult to change without messing up too much of the future executed code. For the following levels, he needed to edit a table, which was indexed by level value, to reduce the enemies health. Changing the character type for any level is possible, except the seconds, which appears to be used for something else. He also pointed out that whenever there is a weapon in play, there is only a single enemy on the screen. Initially, he had wanted to give the player a stick at the games beginning, but the method of drawing used led this to be impossible.

Matthew’s very first ROM hack is now available to gamers as a free download, ready for use on your favorite Atari 2600 emulator program or flashcart.

Source & Download Link: AtariAge