Way of the Warrior (video game)
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|Way of the Warrior|
|Publisher(s)||Universal Interactive Studios|
Way of the Warrior is a fighting game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Universal Interactive Studios for the 3DO in 1994. The game was released in North America on November 1, 1994, and later released the following year in Japan on May 26. 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 fighters were portrayed by friends and relatives of Naughty Dog employees. They each had a distinctive code name and a profile.
- Major Gaines (portrayed by T-Mike Gaines and voiced by David Shane) is a British combat soldier, his heights are 5 ft 10 in and 7 ft 3 in, his weight was 285 lbs (129 kg), he was 38 years old (which means he was born in 1956, he is also the oldest out of every fighter), his fighting style was "SAS Military".
- Shaky Jake (portrayed by Mitch Gavin and voiced by Rod Brooks) is an Australian man who wears a brown fedora and has his items, a staff and a bottle of drink which flames that came out of the mouth burns down the opponents to ashes, his height is 5 ft 5 in, his weight was 146 lbs (66 kg), he was 24 years old (which means he was born in 1970), his fighting style was "Outback".
- Konotori (portrayed by Jason Rubin and voiced by Dave Baggett), is a Japanese fighter who wears a straw hat and a blue balaclava, uses a pair of fans and has the ability to fly, his height is 5 ft 10 in, his weight was 102 lb (46 kg), he was 28 years old (which means he was born in 1966).
- The Ninja (portrayed by Jason Rubin and voiced by Andy Gavin) is a ninja with a sai and the ability to destroy opponents using his electric blast, his height is 6 ft 2 in, his weight was 190 lb. (86 kg), unbeknown to Ninja about his age, his fighting style was "Ninjitsu".
- The Dragon (portrayed by Tae Min Kim and voiced by David R. Liu) is a fighter from Hong Kong, his height is 6 ft, his weight was 164 lb (74 kg), he was 23 years old (which means he was born in 1971), his fighting style was "Kung Fu".
- Nobunaga (portrayed by Steve Chan and voiced by David Shane) is a skilled samurai from Japan, his height was 5 ft 10 in, his weight was 161 lb (73 kg), he was 24 years old (which means he was born in 1970), his fighting style was "Kendo".
- Malcolm Fox (better known as Fox) (portrayed by Chris Sanford and voiced by Andy Gavin), is a French black muscular businessman with teashades, his height is 6 ft 6 in, his weight was 224 lb (101 kg), he was 28 years old (which means he was born in 1966), his fighting style was "Muy Tai".
- Nikki Chan (portrayed by Tamara Genest and voiced by Rita Dai) is a Chinese female warrior, her height is 5 ft, her weight is 94 lb (42 kg), she was 19 years old (which means she was born in 1975, she is also the youngest out of every fighter), she and The Dragon shared the name of the fighting style.
- Crimson Glory (portrayed by Carole May-Miller and voiced by Kip Young) is an American female fighter, her height is 5 ft and 9 in., her weight was 114 lbs (51 kg), she was 24 years old (which means she was born in 1970), her fighting style was "Bar Brawling".
- High Abbot (portrayed by Jason Rubin) is a Dragon Boss.
- Gulab Jamun (portrayed by Vijay Pande), the name for the fighter is based on a milk-solids-based sweet mithai.
- Kull the Despoiler (portrayed by Andy Gavin) is the Skeleton Boss.
Production of Way of the Warrior began in 1993. Development took place over the course of 12 months on a budget of $100,000. 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 chroma key system 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 pornographic 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).
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.
Several demos were sent out to various magazines plus a non-playable demo appearing on sampler discs for the consumer. While initial response was very positive, the final product received mixed reactions from the press. 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. 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".
- "From Rags to Riches: Way of the Warrior to Crash 3". Game Informer. 66 (October 1998): 18–19. 1998.
- Jason Rubin (2004). "Fear: An Appropriate Response To The Future Of Video Game Development". Morgan Rose. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
- "Way of the Warrior". GamePro (66). IDG. January 1995. p. 32.
- "Review Crew: Way of the Warrior". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 62. Sendai Publishing. September 1994. p. 38.
- "ProReview: Way of the Warrior". GamePro. No. 65. IDG. December 1994. p. 174.
- Gameography: Way of the Warrior, Naughty Dog, Inc. Retrieved July 10, 2014