Way of the Warrior (video game)

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Way of the Warrior
Way of the Warrior cover.png
Cover art
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
  • NA: August 30, 1994
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

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 August 30, 1994, and in Japan on May 26, 1995.

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 kill the defeated opponent in an extreme manner. The game's soundtrack consists of music from the 1992 White Zombie album La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1.


Players 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 has a standard arsenal of offensive and defensive fighting moves, combination attacks, and special moves that kill the defeated opponent in an ultra-violent manner. The game also has several hidden characters that can be unlocked with secret codes.

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


Naughty Dog self-funded Way of the Warrior with the money made from Rings of Power.[1] Production of Way of the Warrior began in 1993.[2] Development took place over the course of 12 months on a budget of $100,000.[3] ($80,000 of which came from Naughty Dog's own pocket)[4]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: Warped).[2]

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.[5]


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.[6] 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".[7]

By the standards of the 3DO, the game sold well, outdoing the 3DO port of SNK's Samurai Shodown.[8]

Next Generation reviewed the game, rating it two stars out of five, and stated that "Way of the Warrior only proves that no amount of music, 3D rendering and gore can make up for the basics like gameplay and good character design."[9]


  1. ^ Hester, Blake (22 June 2017). "Crash Bandicoot: An oral history". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b "From Rags to Riches: Way of the Warrior to Crash 3". Game Informer. 66 (October 1998): 18–19. 1998.
  3. ^ Jason Rubin (2004). "Fear: An Appropriate Response To The Future Of Video Game Development". Morgan Rose. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  4. ^ "An Interview with Naughty Dog". GameFan. Vol. 4 no. 9. September 1996. pp. 16–17.
  5. ^ "Way of the Warrior". GamePro. No. 66. IDG. January 1995. p. 32.
  6. ^ "Review Crew: Way of the Warrior". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 62. Sendai Publishing. September 1994. p. 38.
  7. ^ "ProReview: Way of the Warrior". GamePro. No. 65. IDG. December 1994. p. 174.
  8. ^ Gameography: Way of the Warrior, Naughty Dog, Inc. Retrieved July 10, 2014
  9. ^ "Finals". Next Generation. No. 1. Imagine Media. January 1995. p. 92.

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