One of the many [[FightingGame fighting games]] [[FollowTheLeader that tried to copy]] ''Franchise/MortalKombat''.

Released by Universal in 1995 for the [[UsefulNotes/ThreeDOInteractiveMultiplayer 3DO]], ''Way of the Warrior'' was one of the first Creator/NaughtyDog creations. It was largely made in basements and houses of the developers, using their friends to represent the digitized, live-action fighters.

The plot revolves around a one-on-one fighting tournament in a mountaintop citadel in the Himalayas. The tournament is held once every century to determine the best fighter in the world. Said fighter is then given an entry in the "Book of Warriors," a compilation of the life stories and fighting techniques of the world's greatest fighters. The rest of the world either prospers or falls into despair in line with the good/evil alignment of the last winner. This now presents a problem as there is only one more blank page in the book, and the final winner will tip the scales towards good or evil forevermore.

The game's soundtrack is by Music/RobZombie, specifically the ''White Zombie'' album ''La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1''
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!! This game provides examples of:

* AllThereInTheManual: The instruction book had fairly fleshed out bios for the cast, many of whom knew each other to various degrees before being invited to the tournament. Among other things, the Ninja is pals with Major Gaines, and long-time enemies with both Konotori and the Dragon.
* AnimeChineseGirl: Nikki-Chan.
* AWizardDidIt: The Book of Warriors is "written by magic, in the blood of champions." Presumably, said magic is why the book influences the world along the path of good or evil depending on the alignment of the last fighter entered.
* BonusBoss: With some trouble, you could fight [[{{Palette Swap}} palette swap]]s of Fox, Dragon, and Major Gaines; beating them would net you a fight with Gulab Jamun.
* BreathWeapon: Shaky Jake shoots fire out of his mouth. Blame the Jim Bean.
* BruceLeeClone: If not this, what else would you call Dragon?
* CastFromHitPoints: Major Gaines loses life while roided up.
* ConspicuousCG: Kull [[spoiler:and the High Abbot]].
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: High Abbot and Kull can cast every Skull Magic spell.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: One stage is set on a platform floating on a pool of [[strike:orange Jell-O]] lava.
* CultSoundTrack: One of the selling points (And arguably the only thing that people still like) about this game was the soundtrack by Music/WhiteZombie.
* DemBones:
** Kull the Despoiler.
** The guardian of the Book of Warriors, also the announcer, is disembodied talking skull.
* {{Determinator}}: Kull, who is not actually part of the tournament ladder and seems to come back through sheer willpower.
-->'''Kull:''' Not even ''death'' shall keep my name from the Book of Warriors!
* DigitizedSprites
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The ninja character bears the descriptive moniker of... ''Ninja''.
* {{Expy}}:
** Mortal Kombat pastiches are: Ninja (based on the Ninjas (Scorpion, Sub-Zero, etc.), but also given the ability [[ShockAndAwe to perform Lightning attacks]] similar to that of Raiden), Konotori (Having an appearance similar to that of the aforementioned thunder god, but having a play style and techniques much like those of [[WeaponizedHeadgear Kung Lao]] and [[CombatHandFan Kitana]]) and, to lesser degrees, Dragon and Fox (based on Liu Kang and Jax). One might also claim Shaky Jake as being a copy of Kano, but it is an aversion and [[HilariousInHindsight merely coincidental]] as Kano wasn't portrayed as being Australian until the 1995 Film/MortalKombat movie and in canon in 2000's Videogame/MortalKombatSpecialForces.
** Franchise/StreetFighter and FinalFight pastiches include: Nikki Chan (Chun-Li), Major Gaines (based on Guile), [[SecretCharacter Gulab Jamun]] (based on Dhalsim), and Crimson Glory (Poison).
** Nobunaga is likely a tribute to the Videogame/SamuraiShodown series by Creator/{{SNK}}.
** The aforementioned Shaky Jake is an obvious copy of Film/CrocodileDundee, even including the line of "This is a Knife!"
* FollowTheLeader: From ''Mortal Kombat'', of course. Supposedly, this game was made to secure seed money from publisher Universal Interactive Studios for the creation of ''Crash Bandicoot'' in exchange for a ''Mortal Kombat'' killer.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The graveyard stage comes up early in the tournament ladder; the final boss is in the background.
* HurricaneOfPuns: The entire cast went heavy on the puns, except for [[TheVoiceless Fox.]]
** The fatalities seem to attract this:
--> '''Konotori:''' [Decapitating the opponent] "What's the matter? Lose your head?"
--> '''The Ninja:''' [Disemboweling the opponent] "You don't have the guts."
--> '''Shakey Jake:''' [Impaling the opponent on his staff] "Stick with it!"
** To a lesser extent, Skull Magic:
--> '''High Abbot:''' [Performing the shrinking spell] "''Low'' Abbot!"
* IaijutsuPractitioner: Nobunaga.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: The [[spoiler: High Abbot]] is essentially this.
* JumpPhysics: The characters leap like they're on the ''moon''.
* MeaningfulName: Major Gaines gets major (muscle) gains from his super mode.
* MirrorMatch: Referred to as a "Shadow Match," your character's mirror is a translucent shadow instead of the traditional pallet swap.
* NotDrawnToScale: The game tried to mimic ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown'''s scaling backgrounds and combatants depending on their distance from one another, but there's very little consistency in how the fighters get zoomed. At one point, one character will tower over another; the next they will be evenly sized.
* PublicDomainCharacter: Nobunaga...[[OdaNobunaga Nobunaga, Hm...]]
* ShapedLikeItself: Kull the Despoiler's fighting style is listed as "Despoiler." The announcer also announces the beginning of the fight against him as "Kull!" instead of "Round 1."
* SigilSpam: A [[http://www.goatstore.com/photos/Other/3DO/463032_Way-of-the-Warrior_logo+disc_00.jpg three-sided Yin-Yang]] is featured prominently in the game, including on the announcer's forehead. The third side is red and bleeds over the other two. He helpfully explains that it represents good, evil, and the suffering caused by the conflict between them.
* ShoutOut: The Book of Warriors is the Necronomicon from ''Franchise/EvilDead''.
* SuperMode: Major Gaines, thanks to modified steroids, can grow bigger and stronger using a special command.
%%* UnderwearOfPower: Gulab Jamun.
* TheVoiceless: Fox, who's voice track consists of various grunts. He was supposed to have normal spoken lines, but the voice actor became unavailable at the last minute and they decided to go with the grunting.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Dragon and Major Gaines.