Way of the Warrior (video game)

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Way of the Warrior
Way of the Warrior cover.png
Developer(s) Naughty Dog
Publisher(s) Universal Interactive Studios
Director(s) Jason Rubin
Producer(s) Jason Rubin
Andy Gavin
Designer(s) Jason Rubin
Andy Gavin
Programmer(s) Andy Gavin
Artist(s) Jason Rubin
Composer(s) Rob Zombie
Platform(s) 3DO
Release date(s) NA 199411November 1994
JP 19950526May 26, 1995
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Way of the Warrior is a fighting game released in 1994 for the 32-bit 3DO. It was developed by Naughty Dog and it received a "17+" rating for its violent content. The game was originally released in the U.S on November 1, 1994, and later released the following year in Japan on May 26 (the latter featured Japanese speech, though all of the text was in English like the U.S version). The game's soundtrack consists of music from the 1992 White Zombie album La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1.

Developed by Naughty Dog for Universal Interactive Studios, Way of the Warrior features high resolution graphics, characters with detailed storylines, and ultra-violent finishing moves. Players have to combat different fighters, their own character's "shadow", and two bosses to achieve complete victory. Each character has a standard arsenal of offensive and defensive fighting moves, combination attacks, and special moves that kills the defeated opponent in an extreme manner.


Players had to combat nine different World Warriors, his or her character's shadow, then defeat a dragon (High Abbot), and then a skeleton (Kull) in order to be sealed into "The Book of Warriors." Each character had a standard arsenal of offensive and defensive fighting moves, combination attacks, and special moves that killed the defeated opponent in an ultra-violent manner. The game also had several hidden characters that could be unlocked with secret codes.


The characters were portrayed by friends and relatives of Naughty Dog employees. They each had a distinctive code name and a profile.

  • T-Mike Gaines as Major Gaines (and hidden character, Major Trouble; both voiced by David Shane)
  • Mitch Gavin as Shaky Jake (voiced by Rod Brooks)
  • Jason Rubin as Konotori (voiced by Dave Baggett), The Ninja (voiced by Andy Gavin) and the voice of High Abbot (Dragon Boss)
  • Tae Min Kim as The Dragon (and hidden character, Black Dragon; both voiced by David R. Liu)
  • Steve Chan as Nobunaga (voiced by David Shane)
  • Chris Sanford as Malcolm Fox (and hidden character, Voodoo; both voiced by Andy Gavin)
  • Tamara Genest as Nikki Chan (voiced by Rita Dai)
  • Carole May-Miller as Crimson Glory (voiced by Kip Young)
  • Vijay Pande as Gulab Jamun (a special hidden character, Swami)
  • Andy Gavin as the voice of Kull the Despoiler (the final, Skeleton Boss)


Production of Way of the Warrior began in 1993. During that time Naughty Dog was bankrupt, and barely had any money to finish the game. Friends of the company were enlisted to portray the game's characters. As Naughty Dog could not afford a bluescreen or any kind of motion capture backdrop, a yellow sheet was glued to a wall in the developers' apartment. However, the apartment turned out to be too small. To film the moves in the game, Jason Rubin had to open the front door and shoot from the apartment hallway. The neighbors mistakenly believed that the crew were filming kinky adult films. Pillow cases and sheets, various items within the apartment, McDonald's Happy Meals and inexpensive knick knacks were used to create the costumes of the characters. To round out the experience, Jason Rubin joined in and participated by portraying two of the characters in the game. After the game was completed, Naughty Dog presented Way of the Warrior to Mark Cerny of Universal Interactive Studios (now the defunct Vivendi Games). Cerny was pleased with the product and agreed to have Universal Interactive Studios be the publisher of the game, as well as signing on Naughty Dog for three additional games (which would later become Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped).[1]

Early print advertisements that appeared for the game mocked its intended competitor Mortal Kombat, and boasted that characters would have up to 9 fatalities each.

Naughty Dog later worked with American Laser Games to develop an arcade version of the game; prototypes were built and tested, but were never released. Aside from the controllers, the arcade version was identical to the 3DO version, and even used a 3DO Interactive Multiplayer system for hardware.[2]


Several demos were sent out to various magazines plus a non-playable demo appearing on sampler discs for the consumer.[citation needed] While initial response was very positive, the final product received mixed reactions from the press.[citation needed] The reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game an average score of 3.75 out of 10, praising the graphics, animation, and fatalities, but panning the controls, especially the difficulty in pulling off special moves.[3] GamePro gave the game a negative review, citing dull character design, long load times, small sprites, weak sound effects, and shallow challenge. Contradicting EGM, however, they asserted that "Executing the special moves is not hard".[4]

By the standards of the 3DO, the game sold well, outdoing the 3DO port of SNK's Samurai Shodown.[5]


  1. ^ "From Rags to Riches: Way of the Warrior to Crash 3". Game Informer 66 (October 1998): 18–19. 1998. 
  2. ^ "Way of the Warrior". GamePro (66) (IDG). January 1995. p. 32. 
  3. ^ "Review Crew: Way of the Warrior". Electronic Gaming Monthly (62) (EGM Media, LLC). September 1994. p. 38. 
  4. ^ "ProReview: Way of the Warrior". GamePro (65) (IDG). December 1994. p. 174. 
  5. ^ Gameography: Way of the Warrior, Naughty Dog, Inc. Retrieved July 10, 2014

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