Doulbe Dragon II The Revenge – “Roar of the Dragon” (Kazuhiro Hara and Nobuhito Tanahashi)March 20, 2010
Double Dragon II: The Revenge was a pretty cool beat ’em up for the NES/Famicom in the late 80s. Fight gangs of street thugs to avenge the death of Billy and Jimmy Lee’s girlfriend, Marian. There were different versions for the arcade, NES, and PCE, but the NES version was given a remixed soundtrack released 20 years ago in March 1990. The original soundtrack was composed by Kazunaka Yamane (River City Ransom, The Combatribes) and arranged by Kazuhiro Hara (Final Fantasy X-2) and Nobuhino Tanahashi (Darius Gaiden). Slightly Dark uploaded the album as part of their ’20 Years Ago Today’ series, and it’s some pretty cool synth rock that also mixes in some chiptunes and a vocal version of the title theme, “Dead or Alive” sung by Manami Morozumi. It’s a pretty cool album, and I’m glad to see SD feature it on their site.
“Roar of the Dragon”, the final boss theme, is my favorite piece on the album. The track feels a lot like “Eye of the Tiger” and so is a pretty epic rock piece to end the game with. The remix is another early example of the ‘theme, variation, guitar solo, theme redux’ found in many game mixes, and it’s a pretty solid formula. The live guitars, sax, and keyboards sound great, and there are also some fighting sfx from the game in with this track in a couple places. They’re not distracting because they sync so well with the music, and instead give a pretty awesome battle atmosphere to the piece and making it a little more intense. And of course the song has to end in a big explosion – which just makes the track all the more cool.