Video Game: Shadow War Of Succession

"Yes, it was created by a bunch of guys who knew nothing about making video games and they laughed all the way to the bank after selling it. They were actually one of the very few game developers that made a profit that year!"
"That's exactly what it was. We didn't know what the hell we were doing and did not get much support from 3DO either. Yeah, the game stank, but we didn't fail. It made money."

Shadow: War of Succession was developed by Tribeca Digital Studios (not to be confused with Tribeca Interactive) and released in 1994 for the 3DO. It was one of the many Fighting Games that tried to copy Mortal Kombat.

The story, while silly, is not bad for a fighting game. The leader of S.H.A.D.O.W. has died, and seven of the Shadow King's lieutenants fight each other to the death to become the next mob boss.

With YouTube available, this game has recently became more known as a way of Bile Fascination. Just seeing the quality of the game and knowing it was published and sold makes the player/watcher feel weird. One multi-game strategy guide provided a list of moves and spent the rest of the section talking about how awful the game was, even in the screenshot captions.

Here is some gameplay footage and here are two videos of the Retsupurae duo poking fun at the game.

This work contains examples of:

  • Art Shift: Both the final boss and the background for the fight are hand-drawn while your character is still a digitized actor.
  • Badass Longcoat: Carlos is of the sunglasses, trenchcoat and shotgun type.
  • Clear My Name: Gabriella's alleged goal. Perhaps she was framed for the assassination of the mob boss?
  • Continuity Snarl: A lot of what the characters say don't correlate with their stories. Erika Storm was the one that tried to kill her father, not all the characters she challenges, as one example.
  • Deal with the Devil: The manual explains that this is the source of Riggs's powers. He made the deal after being killed by Carlos in exchange for the souls of the other combatants.
  • Digitized Sprites: In keeping with being a (poor) Mortal Kombat knockoff.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Of sorts. The final boss can't be fought on Beginner difficulty. There's no proper programming for this, so the game simply freezes up at the character select screen when it shows the boss.
    • Actually the game shows a portrait of said boss, with text hinting at the boss itself, then boots back to the main menu. Considering text dumps featuring said boss tend to use different portraits depending on which version is being played, it's likely the issue only affects certain locations.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The helicopter in the opening flies by the Statue of Liberty.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: The plot: Kincaid Storm, mob boss, is assassinated (with an attack helicopter), and thus all of the local underworld enforcers fight for his vacated position.
  • FBI Agent: Carlos Cortez is working undercover for the F.B.I.
  • Finishing Move: Averted. There is a moment to "finish" your enemy, but they didn't actually program any fatalities.
  • Follow the Leader: This was (or at least pretended to be) a Mortal Kombat clone.
  • Fun with Acronyms: S.H.A.D.O.W. stands for Syndicate of Hate, Anarchy, Destruction, and Organized Warfare.
  • Guttural Growler: The announcer, to such an extreme degree that the Retsupurae duo weren't even sure if that was a human voice they were hearing.
  • Hell on Earth: In Riggs's ending, S.H.A.D.O.W. becomes Satan's army and conquers the world.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Riggs's (very spammable) "Hellfire" attack sends flaming clawed hands at his opponent.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Erika gets to wield a katana for some reason.
  • Mysterious Stranger: Viper, who wears a ski mask, wants to put a stop to S.H.A.D.O.W. for some unexplained reason. Nothing else is known about him; even his ending explains nothing.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: S.H.A.D.O.W.
  • Perfect-Play A.I.: The AI opponents are more susceptible to fireballs than the usual examples of this trope, but let them get in close and they'll annihilate you in seconds.
  • Shout-Out:
  • We Can Rebuild Him: The mob boss was rebuilt into a cyborg that serves as the final boss.