is a 3D
3D computer graphics are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images...
Fighting game is a video game genre where the player controls an on-screen character and engages in close combat with an opponent. These characters tend to be of equal power and fight matches consisting of several rounds, which take place in an arena. Players must master techniques such as...
developed by Light Weight and published by Square
was a Japanese video game company founded in September 1983 by Masafumi Miyamoto. It merged with Enix in 2003 and became part of Square Enix...
Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. is a major video game company specializing in a variety of areas in the video game industry, and is a wholly owned subsidiary and part of the Consumer Products & Services Group of Sony...
for the PlayStation. The game features one-on-one armed combat. Its name refers to the Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...
ese warrior code of honor, Bushidō
, meaning "Way of the Warrior-Knight", is a Japanese word which is used to describe a uniquely Japanese code of conduct and a way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry. It originates from the samurai moral code and stresses frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and...
Upon its release, the realistic fighting engine in Bushido Blade
was seen as innovative, particularly the game's unique Body Damage System. A direct sequel, Bushido Blade 2
is a fighting game published by Square, released in both Japan and North America in 1998. It is the sequel to Bushido Blade, which had been released the previous year....
, was released on the PlayStation a year later. Another game with a related title and gameplay, Kengo: Master of Bushido
Kengo is the name of a series of video games developed by Genki. Kengo is considered a spiritual successor to the Bushido Blade game series for the PlayStation.-Kengo: Master of Bushido:...
, was also developed by Light Weight for the PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Sony as part of the PlayStation series. Its development was announced in March 1999 and it was first released on March 4, 2000, in Japan...
The bulk of the gameplay in Bushido Blade
revolves around one-on-one third-person battles between two opponents. Unlike most fighting games, however, no time limit or health gauge is present during combat. Most hits will cause instant death, where traditional fighting games required many hits to deplete an opponents health gauge. It is possible to wound an opponent without killing them. With the game's "Body Damage System," opponents are able to physically disable each other in increments with hits from an equipped weapon, slowing their attacking and running speed, or crippling their legs forcing them to crawl. Notably, the North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...
n release of Bushido Blade
had one minor graphical change: blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....
was added, replacing the yellow flash that appears during a fatal blow.
The game features eight weapons to choose from in many of its modes, including katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...
A nodachi is a large two-handed Japanese sword. Some have suggested that the meaning of "nodachi" is roughly the same as ōdachi meaning "large/great sword". A confusion between the terms has nearly synonymized "nodachi" with the very large "ōdachi"...
, long sword
The arming sword is the single handed cruciform sword of the High Middle Ages, in common use between ca. 1000 and 1500, possibly remaining in rare use into the 16th century...
The sabre or saber is a kind of backsword that usually has a curved, single-edged blade and a rather large hand guard, covering the knuckles of the hand as well as the thumb and forefinger...
The longsword is a type of European sword designed for two-handed use, current during the late medieval and Renaissance periods, approximately 1350 to 1550 .Longswords have long cruciform hilts with grips over 10 to 15 cm length The longsword (of which stems the variation called the bastard...
The naginata is one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a pole weapon. Naginata were originally used by the samurai class in feudal Japan, and naginata were also used by ashigaru and sōhei .-Description:A naginata consists of a wooden shaft with a curved...
A rapier is a slender, sharply pointed sword, ideally used for thrusting attacks, used mainly in Early Modern Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries.-Description:...
, and sledgehammer
A sledgehammer is a tool consisting of a large, flat head attached to a lever . The head is typically made of metal. The sledgehammer can apply more impulse than other hammers, due to its large size. Along with the mallet, it shares the ability to distribute force over a wide area...
. Each weapon has a realistic weight and length, giving each one fixed power, speed, and an ability to block. A variety of attack combinations can be executed by the player using button sequences with the game's "Motion Shift System," where one swing of a weapon is followed through with another. Many of these attacks are only available in one of three stance
Stance is a morpheme meaning stand, used in several ways:* to take a position in an argument, a stand on a given issue;* refers to a particular standing postureThere are also a wide variety of stances adopted in martial arts and sports:* boxing stances...
s, switched using the shoulder buttons: high, neutral, and low. The player also has a choice of one out of six playable characters
A player character or playable character is a character in a video game or role playing game who is controlled or controllable by a player, and is typically a protagonist of the story told in the course of the game. A player character is a persona of the player who controls it. Player characters...
. Similar to the weapons, each one has a different level of strength and speed, and a number of unique special attacks. Some characters have a subweapon that can be thrown as well. All the characters have differing levels of proficiency with the selectable weapons and have a single preferred weapon.
Characters in Bushido Blade
also have the ability to run, jump, and climb within the 3D environments. Because battles are not limited to small arenas, the player is encouraged to freely explore during battle. The castle compound which most of the game takes place in acts as a large hub area of interconnected smaller areas including a cherry blossom grove, a moat, and a bridge labyrinth. Some areas, such as the bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....
thicket, allow some interaction.
In addition to the game's single player story mode, Bushido Blade
contains a two-player versus mode and a link mode that supports the PlayStation Link Cable
The PlayStation Link Cable is a peripheral cable for the PlayStation console. Utilizing the serial I/O port located on the back of most PlayStation models, it allows for two consoles to be connected in order to play compatible multiplayer games on separate consoles.The cable is a 12-pin inline...
. Other single player options include a practice mode and a first person
In video games, first person refers to a graphical perspective rendered from the viewpoint of the player character. In many cases, this may be the viewpoint from the cockpit of a vehicle. Many different genres have made use of first-person perspectives, ranging from adventure games to flight...
mode. Slash mode pits the player's katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...
-wielding character against a long string of 100 enemies, one after the other.
Despite characters, theme
A theme is a broad, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Along with plot, character,...
s and weapons similar to samurai cinema
While earlier samurai period pieces were more dramatic rather than action-based, samurai movies post World War II have become more action-based, with darker and more violent characters. Post-war samurai epics tended to portray psychologically or physically scarred warriors. Akira Kurosawa stylized...
set in Feudal Japan Bushido Blade
takes place during the modern era (this is shown, for example, when the player reaches the helicopter landing pad phase set in a large city).
A fictional, 500 year old dojo
A is a Japanese term which literally means "place of the way". Initially, dōjōs were adjunct to temples. The term can refer to a formal training place for any of the Japanese do arts but typically it is considered the formal gathering place for students of any Japanese martial arts style to...
known as Meikyokan lies within this region, and teaches the disciplines of the master Narukagami Shinto. A society of assassins
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...
known as Kage ("Shadow") also resides within the dojo. Once led by the honorable swordsman Utsusemi, he lost his position to Hanzaki, another skilled member of the dojo, in a fierce battle. Hanzaki gained respect as the Kage leader, until he discovered a cursed sword known as Yugiri. He began to change, disregarding the group's honor and the traditions held by its students.
One day, a Kage member escapes the confines of the dojo with its secrets. Several other members of the society, under penalty of death, are sent to dispatch the defector, only catching up to him (or her) within the ruins of the surrounding Yin and Yang Labyrinth Castle. In single player mode the players take on the role of the escaped assassin (independent of whatever character they choose), fighting their way out by killing their comrades one by one. Elements of the game story differ with each character selected.
- Utsusemi is the former Meikyokan dojo master, having previously handed off his duties to Hanzaki. He turns his interest to training Tatsumi and Red Shadow until Hanzaki begins abusing his power.
- Tatsumi is the youngest student at Meikyokan and, although not a member of Kage, he has lived among them most of his life. His novice swordsmanship is put to the test when he attempts to escape the compound.
- Red Shadow (Hotarubi) is a skilled female assassin who joined Kage under Utsusemi's guidance. Fearing the worst for her master, she sets out to confront Hanzaki before Utsusemi can.
- Mikado is a former shrine maiden
is a Japanese term that anciently meant a "female shaman, spirit medium" who conveyed oracles from kami , and currently means a "shrine maiden; virgin consecrated to a deity" who serves at Shinto shrines.-Word:...
who eventually found her way to Kage. She leaves the group in hopes of returning to her former life.
- Kannuki is an assassin whose entire village in the Ryukyu Islands
The , also known as the , is a chain of islands in the western Pacific, on the eastern limit of the East China Sea and to the southwest of the island of Kyushu in Japan. From about 1829 until the mid 20th century, they were alternately called Luchu, Loochoo, or Lewchew, akin to the Mandarin...
was slaughtered by Black Lotus, a fellow member of Kage. Upon discovering it was by Hanzaki's order, Kannuki sets out to destroy them both.
- Black Lotus is a loyal member of Kage who strictly follows the code of Bushido. After slaughtering all the villagers in Kannuki's hometown, Black Lotus begins to question his loyalty to Hanzaki and seeks answers.
- Schuvaltz Katze (secret character): A hitman hired by Hanzaki. Uses a gun, and is thus able to use long-range attacks, putting him at a slight advantage. However he is unable to fight at all once his legs are damaged - putting the fight to an abrupt end. He is selectable after completing Slash Mode on Hard without dying, but is only in VS mode.
- Sanzaka: Powder-masked and extremely deadly. He is described as being "in a different league as the others". Uses a weapon similar to the naginata, except it has a blade on both sides.
- Hokkyoku Tsubame: A high-ranking, female assassin on Hanzaki's side. She uses a sword that is used in a similar manner to the rapier, although it is slightly wider. She is one of the faster characters, and can use "spin" attacks.
- Hanzaki: Master of Narukagami and the "boss" of the game. Uses a sword known as 'Yugiri' which he does so the same the player would a katana, except for one move - which is for the Nodachi.
- Kindachi: A hidden enemy. A silent warrior in red armour who uses a sword which seems to be a more decorated version of the Nodachi. Can be fought by Red Shadow, Utsusemi, and Mikado. He appears in Mikado's ending.
- Hongou Takeru: A hidden enemy. A young man with a sword that has a few moves for the long sword, but is otherwise unique. He is an enemy of Tatsumi's and a student a place known as "Shainto" (this is not revealed until the sequel) He can be fought with Tatsumi and Black Lotus.
The score for Bushido Blade
was created by Namco
is a Japanese corporation best known as a former video game developer and publisher. Following a merger with Bandai in September 2005, the two companies' game production assets were spun off into Namco Bandai Games on March 31, 2006. Namco Ltd. was re-established to continue domestic operation of...
is a Japanese video game developer. It was formed in 1995 by former Capcom employees. The name of the company itself is the reverse of the name of the company's founder, Akira Nishitani, who created Street Fighter II. Arika's first arcade game was Street Fighter EX...
composer Shinji Hosoe with contributions by Ayako Saso and Takayuki Aihara. It was released with the soundtrack for Square's Driving Emotion Type-S
- Reception :A week after its Japanese release, Driving Emotion Type-S had sold 46,600 copies. The game made a more mediocre start outside of Japan, with only 2,500 copies sold in the United States a week after its North American release...
, also composed by the trio, on a two-disc set in 2001
See also:* 2001 in music Record labels established in 2001-Events:*January 1**Comeback of Guns N' Roses in House of Blues**Hum disbands.*January 17 – Bass player Jason Newsted leaves Metallica after 14 years with the band....
. Unlike many other Square soundtracks of the era which were released by DigiCube
DigiCube Co., Ltd. was a Japanese company established as a subsidiary of software developer Square on February 6, 1996 and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The primary purpose of DigiCube was to market and distribute Square products, most notably video games and related merchandise, including toys,...
, the music, copyrighted by Hosoe, was published by his own Super Sweep Records company. The Bushido Blade
disc contains 23 tracks.
Much of the music utilizes the flute
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....
, as well as a traditional Japanese instrument
Traditional Japanese music is the term used to describe historical Japanese folk music, or traditional music.-Rhythm:One of the characteristics of traditional Japanese music is a sparse rhythm. It also doesn't have regular chords. In Japanese music, one cannot beat time with one's hands because...
, the shamisen
The , also called is a three-stringed, Japanese musical instrument played with a plectrum called a bachi. The Japanese pronunciation is usually "shamisen" but sometimes "jamisen" when used as a suffix . -Construction:The shamisen is a plucked stringed instrument...
. Bushido Blade
also uses voice acting
Voice acting is the art of providing voices for animated characters and radio and audio dramas and comedy, as well as doing voice-overs in radio and television commercials, audio dramas, dubbed foreign language films, video games, puppet shows, and amusement rides.Performers are called...
Voice acting in Japan has far greater prominence than in most other countries. Japan's large animation industry produces 60% of the animated series in the world; as a result, Japanese voice actors, or , are able to achieve fame on a national and international level.Besides acting as narrators and...
s such as Chikao Ōtsuka, Makio Inoue
is a Japanese voice actor. He began voice acting in the '60s, landing small roles in Astroboy, and was the actor of choice for deep-voiced, serious males in the '70s. These days, he rarely takes on new roles...
, and Hidekatsu Shibata
is a Japanese voice actor from Asakusa, Tokyo who is affiliated with Aoni Production. He was a classmate of Yasuo Fukuda at Azabu High School. He is married to voice actress Akiko Sekine....
| Track listing
| class="wikitable" style="width:100%; margin-right:-1em;">
|| Bushido Theater
|| Bushido Verse
|| Bushido Opening
|| Kannuki's Final Performance
|| Hotarubi's Final Performance
|| Utsusemi's Final Performance
|| Mikado's Final Performance
|| Tatsumi's Final Performance
|| Black Lotus' Final Performance
|| True Kannuki - Final Performance
|| True Hotarubi - Final Performance
|| True Utsusemi - Final Performance
|| True Mikado - Final Performance
|| True Tatsumi - Final Performance
|| True Black Lotus - Final Performance
|| Manufacture This Volume
|| Bushido Preview
|| Bitter Orange Light
|| Those Who Aim at the Castle Tower
|| Hiding in Shadow
|| Oikaze no Yauni
|| The End of This Samurai
|| 100 Missing People
Release and reception
was presold in convenience store
A convenience store, corner store, corner shop, commonly called a bodega in Spanish-speaking areas of the United States, is a small store or shop in a built up area that stocks a range of everyday items such as groceries, toiletries, alcoholic and soft drinks, and may also offer money order and...
s in Japan prior to its release, similar to Square's decision to presell its hit Final Fantasy VII
is a role-playing video game developed by Square and published by Sony Computer Entertainment as the seventh installment in the Final Fantasy series. It was originally released in 1997 for the Sony PlayStation and was re-released in 1998 for Microsoft Windows-based personal computers and in 2009...
Lawson, Inc. is a convenience store franchise chain in Japan. The store originated in the U.S. State of Ohio, but today exists as a Japanese company and is the second largest convenience store chain in the country....
stores. Bushido Blade
was the 25th best selling game of 1997 in Japan, selling nearly 388,000 copies. In November 2000, Bushido Blade
was voted by the readers of Weekly Famitsu
is a line of Japanese video game magazines published by Enterbrain, Inc. and Tokuma. Currently, there are five Famitsū magazines: Shūkan Famitsū, Famitsū PS3 + PSP, Famitsū Xbox 360, Famitsū Wii+DS, and Famitsū Wave DVD...
magazine as number 85 in its top 100 PlayStation games of all time. The game was later reprinted, along with a handful of other Square Enix titles, under the developer's "Legendary Hits" label. The game was also added to the PSOne Classics
roster on the Japanese PlayStation Store
The PlayStation Store is an online virtual market available to users of Sony's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable game consoles via the PlayStation Network. The Store offers a range of downloadable content both for purchase and available free of charge. Available content includes full games,...
was critically well received in North America. IGN
IGN is an entertainment website that focuses on video games, films, music and other media. IGN's main website comprises several specialty sites or "channels", each occupying a subdomain and covering a specific area of entertainment...
rated the game an 8.7 out of 10. The review stated "I can't recommend Bushido Blade
enough. Simply amazing." The gameplay mechanics were considered foreign by some, and required some practice. GameSpot
GameSpot is a video gaming website that provides news, reviews, previews, downloads, and other information. The site was launched in May 1, 1996 by Pete Deemer, Vince Broady and Jon Epstein. It was purchased by ZDNet, a brand which was later purchased by CNET Networks. CBS Interactive, which...
similarly rated the game well with an 8.9 out of 10 rating, stating "Bushido Blade
is a bold undertaking, but a remarkably successful one." In 2006, the game was ranked number 190 on 1UP.com
1UP.com is a video game website owned by IGN Entertainment, a division of News Corporation. Previously, the site was owned by Ziff Davis before being sold to UGO Entertainment in 2009....
's list of The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time. In 2010, GamesRadar
GamesRadar is a multi-format video game website featuring regular news, previews, reviews, videos, and guides. It is owned and operated simultaneously in the UK and US by worldwide publisher Future Publishing...
included Bushido Blade
on the list of the seven "'90s games that need HD remakes".
- Official Bushido Blade site at Square Enix
is a Japanese video game and publishing company best known for its console role-playing game franchises, which include the Final Fantasy series, the Dragon Quest series, and the action-RPG Kingdom Hearts series...
- Bushido Blade at US.PlayStation.com
- Bushido Blade fan site