Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (video game)

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Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
Cover art of the Atari Jaguar version
Developer(s)Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Publisher(s)Virgin Interactive Entertainment (Europe)
Acclaim Entertainment (North America)
Atari Corporation (Atari Jaguar)
Designer(s)Dave Semmens (Sega Master System version)
Artist(s)Doug Townsley (Sega Master System version)
Composer(s)Allister Brimble (Atari Jaguar, Sega Master System, SNES)
Game Gear
Atari Jaguar
Master System
Super NES
ReleaseSuper NES:
  • NA: July 1995
  • EU: February 23, 1995
Sega Genesis:
Atari Jaguar:
  • NA: November 1, 1994
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is a multiplatform fighting video game based on the film Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, which is a semi-fictionalized account of the life of Bruce Lee.


Players control Lee, and must defeat the sailor from the dance in Hong Kong, the chefs from the Chinese Restaurant in San Francisco, the martial arts master who challenges Lee, amongst others to progress through the game, recalling major action scenes from the film. However, the video game leaves out valuable plot information from the film and most of the romantic content between Bruce Lee and his future wife.

Players can use a variety of martial arts moves to defeat their enemies and build up a chi meter, which can help unleash special moves on their opponents. The player has three continues, and if lost, they must fight The Phantom (the personification of Bruce's fear who takes the form of an armored Japanese Samurai) to continue, though he is near invincible. They face The Phantom Samurai again at the end as a final boss.

The game supports up to three players simultaneously, playing through the game co-operatively, or against each other in a battle mode. Characters other than Bruce Lee are not playable, and so the additional players only control clones of Lee, differentiated by different colored trousers.

Version differences[edit]

The Jaguar version has considerably more frames of animation than the Super NES and Genesis versions without running any slower, resulting in smoother animation. However, the Jaguar version predates the release of the Team Tap, and thus only supports up to two players.

Master System and Game Gear versions[edit]

The Master System and Game Gear versions are a platformer / beat'em up game, rather than a one-on-one fighting game as Super NES, Genesis and Jaguar versions.


Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story received mixed reviews. While the game was poorly received in the U.S., it was a very different perspective in Europe.

Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Jaguar version a 4.4/10, calling it "More or less your run-of-the-mill action fighter game". They commented that the game was released too long after the movie (which came out well over a year before) to benefit from the license.[1] Atomic Dawg of GamePro similarly commented that the game "lacks fire", elaborating that the graphics are moderately impressive, but the gameplay is crude and requires little skill due to the limited set of moves.[2] French magazine Player One, however, gave it 80%.[3] French magazine Joypad gave it 84%, regarding the controls better than those of the 16-bit versions.[4] Next Generation reviewed the Jaguar version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "Nothing truly amazing, but still good fun."[5]

Reviewing the later Genesis port, Johnny Ballgame of GamePro criticized the unimaginative graphics and weak music, and summarized "There's nothing special about this fighter".[6] Next Generation reviewed the Genesis version of the game, rating it one star out of five, and stated that "Virgin was right on the money when it decided not to release Dragon. If only Acclaim had a conscience then we wouldn't have had to waste our time reviewing this retread of a game."[7] Mega force gave the Genesis version 85%.[8] Player One gave the Genesis version 82%.[9]

GamePro's Tommy Glide was no more pleased with the Super NES version, saying that the game has weak graphics and sound effects, and is so simplistic that it is more of beat 'em up than a true fighting game.[10] A critic for Next Generation said the Super NES version plays much better than the Jaguar version, but that the game is still poor. He elaborated that "this is the only fighting game we've ever come across that not only has no special moves to speak of, but also enables you play as only one (count it, one) character, namely Bruce Lee, even in VS mode." He also criticized the fighting system, and gave it one out of five stars.[11] Super Power, by contrast, gave the SNES version 84%[12]

Entertainment Weekly gave the game a C- and wrote that the characters are very stiff, and more resemble Rock'Em Sock'Em Robots than graceful martial artists.[13]


  1. ^ "Review Crew: Dragon". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 66. Sendai Publishing. January 1995. p. 46.
  2. ^ "ProReview: Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story". GamePro. No. 77. IDG. February 1995. p. 102.
  3. ^ http://download.abandonware.org/magazines/Player%20One/playerone_numero049/Player%20One%20n%B049%20%28Janvier%201995%29%20-%20Page%20113.jpg
  4. ^ http://www.abandonware-magazines.org/affiche_mag.php?mag=84&num=1803&album=oui
  5. ^ "Finals". Next Generation. No. 2. Imagine Media. February 1995. p. 92.
  6. ^ "ProReview: Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story". GamePro. No. 86. IDG. November 1995. p. 78.
  7. ^ "Finals". Next Generation. No. 9. Imagine Media. September 1995. p. 102.
  8. ^ http://www.abandonware-magazines.org/affiche_mag.php?mag=40&num=8906&album=oui
  9. ^ http://download.abandonware.org/magazines/Player%20One/playerone_numero047/Player%20One%20n%B047%20%28Novembre%201994%29%20-%20Page%20146.jpg
  10. ^ "ProReview: Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story". GamePro. No. 89. IDG. February 1996. p. 74.
  11. ^ "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story". Next Generation. No. 10. Imagine Media. October 1995. p. 128.
  12. ^ http://www.abandonware-magazines.org/affiche_mag.php?mag=20&num=3271&album=oui
  13. ^ "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story". EW.com. Retrieved 2018-11-04.

External links[edit]