Asura Blade: Sword of Dynasty
|Asura Blade: Sword Of Dynasty|
Arcade flyer of Asura Blade: Sword Of Dynasty
|Developer(s)||Y. Takahashi and team|
|Release||December 4, 1998|
|Genre(s)||2D Versus Fighting|
YMF262 (@14.32MHz), YMF278B (@33.87MHz)
|Display||Raster, 320 x 240 pixels, 8192 colors|
Asura Blade: Sword of Dynasty (アシュラブレード) is a 1998 one-on-one fighting arcade game developed and published by Fuuki. The game series had served as Fuuki's first attempt in the fighting game genre, and as a part of their own brief stint at arcade game manufacturing. It was soon followed by a 2000 sequel titled Asura Buster: Eternal Warriors.
Asura Blade's gameplay system borrows a couple of mechanics from some past well-known fighting games. It utilizes a three-button system (similar to the one found in SNK's Real Bout Fatal Fury) while having many different battle tactics such as air blocking (seen in Capcom's Street Fighter Alpha and DarkStalkers), retreating and advancing, weapon retrieving (seen in SNK's Samurai Shodown), a roll and a jump up after being knocked down, a push back from within blocking (similar to the Alpha Counter in Street Fighter Alpha), and a two-button melee attack (seen in SNK's The King of Fighters). Like many fighting games that were released around the time, Asura Blade has a super gauge system, known as the Magic Gauge, that's seen at the bottom of the fight screen and that a player is able to fill it up through either attacking, being attacked, or using special moves. Once the player is able to gain a MAX level from within the Magic Gauge, they can then initiate either a Super Move, an EX Attack (which is a powered up variation of a special move) or a Boost Mode (which bestows special traits or characteristics upon the character for the remainder of the round, but forces them to not use Super Moves, EX Attacks, and two-button melee attacks). The combo system is similar to the ones in the Fatal Fury series (particularly from Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory to the Real Bout Fatal Fury titles and Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition), where moves are chained into more powerful moves, and then into specials.
In a post-apocalyptic world where fantasy and technology are seen side-by-side with each other, legends tell of a mystical and ancient weapon known only as the "Sword of Dynasty", which is said to hold the strongest power in existence and that it can easily grant its wielder any wish they so desire. It is said that the Sword of Dynasty has fallen into the hands of a cruel and ruthless fighting warlord known only as S. Geist and that he seeks to gain full control over the world by releasing an ancient sealed beast known only as the Earth Dragon so that he can harness its tremendous yet terrible power and become an unstoppable force. Eight warriors have set out to find the Sword of Dynasty for their own personal reasons, having no idea that their paths will cross with each other and that their own battles will determine the fate of the world itself.
The game features eight playable characters, each and every one of them having both a unique weapon and a personal fighting style.
- Yashaou (Voiced by: Kyotomi Goshima): The main protagonist of the series. A hot-blooded swordsman who wields a katana while having mastery over the element of fire. Yashaou was once considered a potential candidate in being the next patriarch for his family's clan, but Yashaou didn't like the concept of it and left his family to become a traveling mercenary, willing to do any job for cash so that he can live his life from within his own terms. Yashaou decides to go look for the Sword of Dynasty after learning of a huge reward to retrieve it while eliminating its current owner from within the process.
- Goat: A rough swordsman wielding a large black zweihander blade, as well as a spiked mace on a chain he can swing from his other arm. The lost prince of a fallen country, Goat is a lone traveler/mercenary who has constant nightmares about the death of his own family. Goat believes that finding the Sword of Dynasty will enable him to overcome this current problem from within sight.
- Rose Mary: A beautiful woman wearing a tight outfit and wielding a demonic sword. She also can attack with demons for short attack bursts, and create a temporary duplicate of the blade itself. Rose Mary was once the daughter of a noble and aristocratic royal family, but after her family's kingdom had gone to war with another and lost, her father had committed suicide while her mother had died many years later from an illness. Rose Mary decides to go look for the Sword of Dynasty in an attempt to restore her family's kingdom back to its own former glory.
- Alice (Voiced by: Tokiyo Ogawa): A young girl wielding a special book that gives her control over the undead. Alice is a young necromancer who happens to be the daughter of a prestigious king and that she seeks to discover the secret of immortality. Alice believes that the Sword of Dynasty can help with her current research and thus, she goes on a journey to find it from within her own time.
- Lightning: A blonde swordsman wielding twin long blades, and as his name implies has some degree of elemental mastery with them. The head knight of a noble yet reclusive kingdom, Lightning is ordered by his king to retrieve the Sword of Dynasty.
- Taros: A large golem in that it can form parts of its body into various weapons. Taros is a robotic soldier whose current mission is to retrieve the Sword of Dynasty for an unknown party.
- Zam-B (Voiced by: Kyotomi Goshima): A strange hunchbacked man that wears a mask and a massive gauntlet that he uses as his primary weapon. He also has the ability to vomit acid onto his opponents in a blob projectile. Once the leader of a group of bandits, Zam-B has since been imprisoned and is now in the employment of Alice's father. Zam-B has been given a mission to not only go look for the Sword of Dynasty, but also to bring Alice back home as well.
- Footee (Voiced by: Tokiyo Ogawa): A female martial artist who uses her hands and feet as her weapons. The current heir to a prestigious family of legendary martial artists, Footee goes on a journey to find the Sword of Dynasty so that she can test out her own fighting skills in an instant.
There are two bosses as well and that the both of them are playable via their own respective codes at the vs. screen. However, neither have actual endings, as the game will treat you as though you're playing with whatever character you had selected beforehand when you beat the game.
- Curfue: A cigarette smoking man armed with a large pulse rifle that fires a laser beam of variant size, as well as having grenades he can toss at the opponent. A brutal and cold-blooded man, Curfue believes that only the strong can survive in the post-apocalyptic world and that he won't hesitate to eliminate anyone who tries to get in his way. Curfue works as S. Geist's right-hand man and aids him from within his current plan in reviving the Earth Dragon.
- S. Geist: A powerful warlord who is believed to wield the "Sword of Dynasty": a mystical and ancient weapon which is said to hold the strongest power in existence and that it can easily grant its wielder any wish they so desire. S. Geist's plan involved awakening the Earth Dragon in an attempt to harness its dangerous power so that he can gain full control over the world.
There were planned to be four more characters in the game also. Though searching through the game's coding reveals one to be Doppelganger, closer examination reveals this to only have been intended to be the mirror match character you fight in the "Your Shadow" stage, and not a real character.
- Cerberus: Cerberus was intended to appear as a bonus stage in the stage called "Beast Fight", which is made even more clearer and notable if a player looks at the map of the game and sees the oddly placed "Intermission" sign between the 3rd and 4th opponents. Though named after the mythical beast, the dogs only have two heads and two tails instead of three, and wear a chain harness on their backs. They attack en masse, with the player scoring points depending on how many they managed to defeat when time was up. This bonus stage ended up retooled and used in the game's sequel.
- Red Dragon, Blue Dragon, Gold Dragon: Three dragons whose name appears only in the game though the Gold Dragon's sprites appear to have been completed and left in. Judging from its appearance, most of the dragon's body would have been off screen with the player having to fight its head while it attacked with fire-based attacks. The usage of this character is unknown, though a hidden character called Dragon appears in the game's sequel, only to be a glitch mirror match character. No sprites for the dragon exist in that game either.