Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja

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Arcade cabinet ad.

Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja is a platform beat-em-up developed and published by Data East and original released in the arcade in April of 1988. It was later ported to about ten other platforms. In the game, US President Ronald Reagan has been kidnapped by ninjas, and only a bad dude like yourself is up to the challenge of rescuing him.

I first saw Bad Dudes in the arcade room at Lakeland Arena around 1989. Although I never had any quarters to play it, I loved watching other people play the game and thought it was really cool. Later, after my brother and I bought our NES, Bad Dudes was the very first game I got for the system. It was a Christmas present around 1990. My brother got Double Dragon. I found the dichotomy between the publishers, Data East for Bad Dudes, Tradewest for Double Dragon, to be interesting.

Review

Good

  • The graphics are great for the time. The arcade's art is particularly well-drawn and the Amiga, Atari ST, and NES ports are decent as well.
  • The concept is utterly ridiculous, but in a good way.
  • Allowing two-play simultaneous play really makes the game more interesting.
  • The soundtrack is a bit short, but the songs are great sounding.
  • The various stages give the game a lot of nice scenery and riding on the semi truck and train were especially cool.
  • The enemies are very inventive and interesting. Flaming ninjas, dwarfs with claws, hopping sword men, giants out of Mad Max: The Road Warrior, a fire-spitting Russian, etc.
  • Having several digital speech recordings like "Got it!" and "I'm Bad!" made the game seem more cool.
  • The flaming charged attack is a nice addition.
  • The Famicom port added some introduction cut scenes to the bosses.

Bad

  • The controls aren't very good on any of the platforms. You can only move, attack, and jump, so your options are pretty limited, and none of them feel very smooth.
  • The game a really hard. Like most games originally designed for the arcade, it's meant to be beaten only after several dollars in quarters have been spent.

Ugly

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Maps

Screenshots

Fan Art

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English (Arcade) Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja
English (American Home Releases) Bad Dudes
English (Europe) Bad Dudes vs. Dragonninja
Japanese ドラゴンニンジャ Doragon Ninja Dragon Ninja

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