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Shadow Warrior (DOS)

Lo Wang is Shadow Warrior (SW)
Genre: Action, FPS
Perspective: 1st-person
Gameplay: Shooter
Interface: Direct control
Setting: Asia, Contemporary
Narrative: Comedy
Published by: GT Interactive Software Corp.
Developed by: 3D Realms Entertainment
Released: 1997
Platform: DOS
Shadow Warrior control keys
It is well known that in 1996 the publication of Duke Nukem 3D, released on the Build graphics engine, made a big splash among gaming products, and many might think: "Well, there probably won't be any more funnier shooter ...". However, this was an erroneous conclusion. Development of Shadow Warrior began back in 1994, long before Duke was published. Even then, the developers set the bar for themselves: so that a humorous 3D shooter about a ninja master would completely "interrupt" the success of Duke Nukem. And, I must say, they succeeded brilliantly.

Build began its triumphant march back in 1995. It was still the same 2.5D architecture, but in comparison with the Doom levels, inclined planes were added, and due to the use of portal technology, it became possible to implement multi-storey buildings. Specifically in Shadow Warrior, volumetric voxel sprites appeared (in the game it was mainly a display of various selectable themes). In the first years of my acquaintance with the game, I had no idea what 2.5D was, but only then I realized: how masterpiece this game, made on an engine based on actually flat architecture, is.

Shadow Warrior has absorbed a very large number of so-called humorous "references" to films and, in general, a lot of sparkling banter over widely-rooted stereotypes about Asians and not only. The game takes place entirely in Japan. Here, Japanese culture and life are presented in a very wide cross-section: from the countryside and ancient castles to modern quarters of Tokyo, from industrial areas to offices. The peculiarities of the culture of this Asian country - buildings, interiors, patterns, paintings, etc. - are presented in a very detailed and colorful way. I think that the creation of the game was definitely not done without the participation of Japanese consultants.

The hero of the game - Lo Wang, a cheerful and strong old man, judging by his full name - is clearly of Chinese origin. Luo is the best specialist in various complex, delicate, special and delicate tasks, who is sure to be hired by any self-respecting corporation in Japan. Luo Wang's employer corporation is called Zilla Enterprises. Its owner, Mr. Zilla, has planned terrible things about forcibly changing the scheme of governing the country with the help of some dark forces. Lo Wang managed to unravel the master's insidious plans, then there was, as they say now, a personal conflict, and now Zilla does not leave old Lo in peace. In addition, Zilla in the first levels of the game dared to kill Luo Wang's old teacher - Master Li, and such things are no longer forgiven. The tie is quite simple, but what came of it? ...

Many moments in the game are exaggerated. If there are streams of blood - then by river streams for 7-10 meters, if cutting with a katana - then into several pieces at once with one blow, if the use of napalm - then a solid wall of fire, and so on. It is these hyperboles that go beyond common sense that serve as the main basis for the humor of this shooter. In Shadow Warrior, it is even possible, hiding around the corner of a building, to fire from a rocket launcher equipped with a single nuclear warhead. At the same time, the main damaging factors of a nuclear explosion are quite authentically reproduced: a light flash, shaking from the passage of a shock wave and a short-term radioactive contamination of the area in the "epicenter". Of course, absolutely all opponents of Lo Wang who got into this area on the map during the explosion will no longer be able to take part in the further gameplay. Among other games in 1997, MDK can be noted with a similar feature, where such a "new" is even specially positioned as the explosion of the world's smallest atomic bomb.

Everyone has something for the first time: the first bike, the first car, the first love ... So for me this game is the first 3D-shooter. When I first saw Shadow Warrior in 1999, I was unfamiliar with many other games and films, so I simply did not notice the various "references" and elements of banter, considering them the usual framing of gameplay. Now, of course, with each playthrough, I discover new humorous moments for myself. For example, taking the second ultrasound in the game generates the phrase Luo Wang with the mention of the name of a famous Hong Kong director. Also in the game, Law sometimes meets several anime girls who are very frivolously dressed (and often not dressed at all), so our ninja began to make vulgar jokes about them, but the girls quickly ceased to like them, and after a while after the start of the conversation "They usually undertook to shoot an ultrasound at this old vulgar ... Apparently, the insanely popular cults of anime and manga are ridiculed here. Sometimes, after using the "Newka", the protagonist even allows himself, in my opinion, impermissible comic phrases about two famous cities in Japan. This is already on the verge of a technical foul (at least in terms of the potential for publishing the game for the same Japan and with similar phrases). Rabbits also appear in the gameplay, breeding right before our eyes, there is an enemy ninja who, frustrated, can shoot himself in the mouth with an ultrasound; There is an unfortunate peasant coolie, whose debt to Zilla Enterprises is apparently infinite, and in order to pay off this debt, he is happy to blow up a box of dynamite near any enemy of Mr. Zilla. Now about one good good tradition of shooters of those years - parallels and the obligatory presence in the game of a recognizable character figurine from another game. I can tell you that in the shareware levels there is a charming creature chained and very much reminiscent of Lara Croft, whose salvation, unfortunately, is not provided, but you can easily "get" a bonus item from her with any type of weapon. Someone will consider the Shadow Warrior shooter too bloody and meaty and in fact will be right, but, in my opinion, in this game it is precisely this transcendental hyperbolization of blood that makes the player no longer be horrified, but simply smile, if the presence of even a small the amount of sense of humor ...

The game has many weapons with different modes of use. There are Japanese types - katana and shuriken, there is a "classic" four: automatic weapons (Uzi), shotgun, rocket launcher and grenade launcher. Spiked sticky bombs have been successfully applied, which, sticking like a burdock, remain on the enemy's sprite for a long time until they explode right on it. It is possible to use body parts or organs from some opponents as weapons. And this, I must say, is the most powerful types of weapons in Lo Wang's arsenal. So, the head of the green demon shoots fire and works in several modes, the most enchanting of which is the “wall of napalm”. The heart of a ripper monkey generally creates a double of Lo Wang, who, not even virtually, will regularly destroy opponents for some time until he explodes himself. Unfortunately, the humor inherent in the abundance did not help the balance of the game. Here, the main emphasis is not on surviving, thinking hard and saving ammunition, but on ensuring that Zilla's minions can be destroyed always and in the most original way with sophistication. The game environment changes from shots: walls, windows, etc. Shurikens stuck into the surface can be taken back. The cartridge cases remain on the floor. Also, the game has the ability to control various mechanisms: tankettes, loaders, boats and stationary guns. This is very convenient and very authentic.

However, the feeling remains that Shadow Warrior still went a little unnoticed for most gamers, and the reason for that was then the appearance of games with truly polygonal graphics. Perhaps another reason is the release in the same 1997 of the mega-hit - the game Blood, made on the same Build graphics engine. Arguing now which was "cooler", Blood or Shadow Warrior, is a waste of time. Both creations are undoubtedly hits. It's just that in one (Blood), the emphasis is on gloom, cruelty and extremely "black" humor. And in the other (Shadow Warrior), the Asian theme is accentuated, the outrageous hyperbole, subtle humor and mischief.

At the end of the game, the insidious Zilla still eludes Lo Wang's fair retribution, which was easily seen as the developers' claim to continue the project. Indeed, the game came out later two add-ons: Wanton Destruction and Twin Dragon. But, unfortunately, the Shadow Warrior format itself can no longer assume any guaranteed successful sequels, because it is hardly possible now to surpass the original in humor, sparkle, recklessness and the number of new products ...

I hope that I was able to compose a more or less objective and unbiased description of the game, since for me Shadow Warrior has long become a forever game, which I have not yet played, except perhaps with my eyes closed. Almost all gameplay elements deserve excellent marks here: maps, graphics, sounds and more. The balance of weapons is just a little excessive, but this game was made not in order to strain, but in order to relax, smile and now remember those wonderful golden years of the second half of the 1990s, when everything was just beginning ...


When playing the game press the ''T'' key. Type the code and press Enter.
  • SWCHAN Toggle god mode  
  • SWGIMME Gives you all items  
  • SWGREED Enable every cheat  
  • SWTREKxy Warp to level (x=episode [0=first], y=level [1 = first])  
  • SWLOC Use once, show framerate. Use again, show location in level.  
  • SWRES Change resolution  
  • SWSTART Restart level  
  • SWGHOST Toggle clipping mode  
  • SWMAP Toggle automap  
  • CONFIG Displays "help config" (?)  
  • QUIT Quits  
  • CLEAR Appears to do nothing (?)  
  • SWTRIX Turn on Bunny Rockets w/ Rocket launcher (#5)  
  • SWNAME In a multiplayer game, it changes your name.  
  • DUMPSOUNDS Says "dumped sounds to" and creates that file  
  • SOUND Plays sound file 0-999.  
  • SWWAVE Appears to do nothing (?)  
  • WINPACHINKO   Lets u win the pachinko game and get an item