Ooo, oo ooo, I ain’t got no-body (and similar whiney singing). But that’s what makes this game so spesh — you’ve got to metaphorically and literally use your head in this game. You must be rather drunk, ’cos you’re legless (ho ho)! That needn’t worry anyone, ’cos you’re completely armless (tee-hee)! (Get on with it — Ed.)
Take control of Head, your main objective being to rescue your girlfriend from the evil Gobba’s clutches (and he clutches very tightly indeed). To accomplish this, you need to negotiate the Globoids’ territory and defeat the Nail-Heads who inhabit it. As this is the only route to your beloved, you’d better not cock it up (ooh no, don’t titter missus)!
To make your task a bit easier (hah!), bounce yourself into the air and jump over things. You also have limited firepower, in the shape of ten single shots and two smart bombs, just in case ‘the going gets tough’! (in the immortal words of Billy Ocean). You also carry a shield, which can only be used once but protects you from lethal enemy contact (ie a smack in the chops). As you bound your way through the Globoids’ territory, you come across gems. These should be collected at all costs, as you need something to offer Gobba for the return of your beloved. The more gems you offer, the better the chance of having your girlfriend returned safely.
Each level of the Globoids’ territory has to be negotiated within a time limit, and in some areas there are special portals. These put Head at the controls of a weirdly shaped spaceship, and in true pacifist style he has to whup a few enemy asses to gain entry to the next level. But don’t hang around because time is short, and your chances of rescuing your beloved are rapidly fading.
Head The Ball’s played using a standard joystick or the keyboard. To control Head, use a joystick as follows:
Keyboard controls are as follows:
By selecting option three on the main menu, the keys can be redefined. Follow on-screen instructions to set the new keys.
To bounce yourself over tall objects and across long distances (a Ia Superman), increase your bounce height using up then left or right to redirect the jump.
To change weapons, pull/press down and the current weapon status panel will cycle through Fire, Bomb and Shield. Centre the joystick (or let go of the down key) to stop cycling (where did Head get that bike from?). Pressing fire activates the highlighted weapon.
It’s not quite as tranquil in Wales as one would imagine, y’know. It’s not all male-voice choirs, leeks and idyllic mining villages. Once in a while, those flem-spraying place names cause problems, and then it’s not peace in the valleys (or the city, or the soul, whoa-oh, yeah-eah) — it’s war!
The peace summit was successful. An arms treaty has been signed and all medium-range missiles have been destroyed. All except two, that is, which have been captured by a group of terrorists, who plan to destroy the Western world unless their fellow terrorists are released from a penitentiary in the United States (cue mad laughter).
Your task, as a mercenary employed by the United States Government, is to capture the six terrorist bases in their desert outposts (okay, okay, so I lied about the Wales thing) and eliminate the missiles. Although I’m not too sure how you go about destroying two huge nuclear warheads with a spanner and a couple of screwdrivers.
The player starts off at Central HQ and their aim is to progress from there to capture all terrorist bases, three located in either direction. The two missiles have to be destroyed in their silos, found beyond the two farthest bases. This must all be completed before the count-down reaches zero, otherwise the missiles will be launched and the world destroyed (blimey!).
In-between the bases lie many different weapons, which steadily increase in speed and complexity as more ground is covered. Most of the weapons can be eliminated using the helicopter (Whirlybirds eat your hearts out). The remainder (mostly the big buggers) must be destroyed by the tank. And take note that the terrorist bases and missile silos themselves can only be destroyed by the tank (eat cordite death scumbags).
As the tank rumbles along it crosses the odd bridge, some of them are in desperate need of repair. Fear not gentle reader, because the helicopter has a winch that can be used to collect pontoons for mending broken bridges or extra ammunition from rooftops. The tank collects extra ammunition when It’s stopped on the grid at an ammo dump. Blast the swines to smithereens, the fate of the world in your hands (so don’t drop it).
On title screen:
When on a base:
Using a tank or helicopter:
Using helicopter winch:
Halt helicopter then hold down fire button (or space key) and move joystick up/down (or Q/A) to raise winch up/down.
The Brothers Lee are back, to perform their rather good Max Wall Impersonation (complete with silly walk). No, hold on, it’s Billy and Jimmy Lee, heroes of two previous Double Dragon games. It would seem that Billy’s girlfriend, Marion, has been half-inched for a third time (I bet she’s a bit sick of this by now), so the boys are back in business. Give ’em a hand! (no, not a round of applause you fool)
The kidnappers are demanding that Bill and Jim find the Rosetta Stones (a bunch of crusty old artefacts) to secure Marion’s safe release. A world cruise is in order for our heroes (hoy, this is business, not a holiday!): America, China, Japan, Italy and Egypt are visited as the Bros boldly go where no man has gone before (hmm, where have I heard that before Mr Spock?). Luckily, they have a guide to help them find the Rosetta Stones, a wrinkly old Oriental dude called Hiruko the Soothsayer (courtesy Silly Chinese Names Inc).
As expected, many of the levels have streetfighting sections where Billy and Jimmy are set upon by gangs of bloodthirsty thugs. Apart from fists and feet (they taught Jackie Chan everything he knows about the martial arts), B and J can nip into the local weapons shop and purchase a wide range of explosive devices and blunt instruments to use against the bad guys. Nunchukas, grenades, missiles, knuckledusters and more are all on offer (for the right price, of course). Though if the coffers are bare Bill and Ted... sorry Jimmy can find the odd crate or dustbin to lob around.
As well as punches and kicks, Billy and Jimmy have a range of fancy new moves at their disposal, including the Locking Heed Squeeze (ouch), Handstand Ankle Flip (eye watering time ahoy) and the pleasantly named One-Armed Headbutt (don’t try this one on your little brother or sister).
So there you have it, save Marion (yet again) and hope she stays a free woman long enough for the programmers to produce Double Dragon IV. But knowing the silly mare she will be back in the bad guys clutches soon enough.