The Last Blade

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The Last Blade
Last Blade (cover).jpg
Developer(s) SNK
Publisher(s) SNK
Platform(s) Arcade, Neo-Geo CD, NGPC, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Dreamcast, PlayStation Network, Virtual Console
Release date(s) Arcade
  • NA December 5, 1997
NeoGeo
  • JP January 29, 1998
  • NA January 29, 1998
PlayStation
  • JP February 25, 1999
Neo-Geo CD
  • JP March 26, 1998
  • NA March 26, 1998
NeoGeo Pocket Color
  • JP March 16, 2000
  • NA March 31, 2000
  • EU 2000
Genre(s) Fighting game
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Neo Geo (474 Mbit cartridge)
Display Raster, 320 x 224 pixels (horizontal), 4096 colors

The Last Blade, released in Japan as Bakumatsu Rouman: Gekka no Kenshi (幕末浪漫 月華の剣士?), is a fighting game developed and released by SNK for the Neo Geo system in 1997. It was also ported to several home systems. The Last Blade and its sequel, The Last Blade 2, are considered by some to be two of the most accomplished games available for the Neo Geo system.[1][2]

The game takes place during the Bakumatsu era in Japan, and incorporates various elements of Japanese mythology (with a heavy emphasis on the symbology of the Four Symbols). As such, the background music generally incorporates synthesized instruments simulating a sound appropriate to the 19th century setting, in a Western classical, pseudo-Romantic style (unusual for a fighting game).

Gameplay[edit]

The Last Blade series is seen as a spiritual successor to SNK's popular Samurai Shodown series, due to it being a similar 2D weapons-based fighting game. The gameplay is characterised by two selectable fighting styles, and a unique combo system along with a "deflect" system which involves pressing the D button at an opponents attack. Upon deflecting, the opponent is left open to attack.

The two styles consist of two modes: Speed mode and Power mode. Speed mode allows players to chain several normal attacks into a special or desperation/super move, as well as execute a Speed Combo. Power mode on the other hand, grants the player increased damage potential exponentially and giving access to Super Desperation Moves which inflict an exorbitant amount of damage (the prerequisites to performing them however, requires the player's life bar to flash and have a full power bar). Power mode also allows the player to perform Super Cancels; canceling a special move into a desperation/super move (but not a desperation move, with the sole exception of Awakened Kaede in the first game).

Plot[edit]

Characters[edit]

All of the characters in the Last Blade series are of Japanese origin, excluding Lee Rekka, who is from China, and Yuki, who is from Russia. Some characters, such as Akatsuki Musashi and Lee Rekka, are based on historical or legendary figures. A number of characters from the Last Blade series also appeared in SNK Playmore's Neo Geo Battle Coliseum.

Reception[edit]

The Last Blade games were very well received by Neo Geo fans, with many considering the series to be among the finest fighting games SNK ever produced (along with Garou: Mark of the Wolves).[1][2] Both Last Blade games have proven enduringly popular in Japanese arcade game centers, the second game regularly featuring in fighting game tournaments.

References[edit]

External links[edit]