This classic Shoot 'em Up by SNK featured two Rambo-esque commandos, Ralf Jones and Clark Stillnote , who fight their way through hordes of troops, tanks, mines and helicopters to reach the village of Ikari. The arcade game featured a rotary joystick, which could be turned to have the hero fire in eight directions, while moving in any direction the player likes.
The game was actually a follow-up to an earlier game called TNK III, in which Ralf battled enemies inside a tank. A sequel to that game was released for the NES called Iron Tank.
Two direct sequels, Victory Road, where our heroes are Trapped in Another World, and Ikari III: The Rescue, where they were sent on a mission to rescue the president's daughter, were developed, but neither caught on as the original game did.
Though the series itself died, its heroes live on: Ralf and Clark themselves eventually got a redesign and were included in the then-Massive Multiplayer Crossover The King of Fighters '94. They've stayed on that series as recurring characters, then in 2006, they returned to their Run-and-Gun roots when they appeared in Metal Slug 6. They have since been mainstays in both series'.
Ikari Warriors contains the following tropes:
- A Winner Is You:
YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED THE MISSION. YOU ARE THE VERY PREVAILER THAT PROTECT RIGHT AND JUSTICE. I WOULD EXPRESS MY SINCERE. THANKS TO YOU. TAKE GOOD REST! -GENERAL KAWASAKI
- A mild case with the first arcade game, which just had a short text message congratulating you on saving whichever Distressed Dude appeared in your region; not a great ending, but also not too out of the ordinary for the time. Though the ending does have one odd quirk in that when the victory fanfare has finished playing, the player character(s) will suddenly explode, leading to a Game Over screen — presumably a quick and hackish way of preventing the game from hard-locking whenever anyone beats it.
- The NES port of the first game, on the other hand, has one of the more notorious 8-bit endings out there. You defeat the final boss (which, to the port's credit, is a much more worthy final battle than the arcade original), then the game rewards you with the following message:
- The second NES game practically qualifies as having No Ending; after you defeat the final boss, the game immediately cuts to a very abbreviated staff list, then after ten seconds or so kicks you back to the title screen.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: As seen under A Winner Is You, the ending to the NES version was mistranslated in truly spectacular fashion — and an Up to Eleven version of the Japanese arcade original's ending, which was similarly mistranslated, but much shorter:YOU DID IT! CONGRATURATIONS! GENERAL KAWASAKI NEVER FORGET YOUR GLORIOUS SURVIVAL. NOW YOU HAVE HONORABLE PRIZE. 1,000,000 POINTS!
- Bottomless Magazines: Averted. Even normal bullets in the first game were limited.
- Canon Immigrant: A remake of the first Ikari Warriors for Japanese mobile phones features Leona from the KOF series alongside Ralf and Clark (in their KOF designs). The remake is appropiately titled Ikari: Leona Gekitohennote .
- Cheat Code: In the NES version of Ikari Warriors, you could press A, B, B, A after dying to resurrect yourself. This could result in game breaking though as you spawned where you died which occasionally meant you might spawn inside a building sprite and be unable to escape or die.
- The NES version also contains a level select code which requires pressing 32 buttons.
- Dub Name Change: For the U.S. versions, Ralf and Clark were renamed Paul and Vince. It wasn't until the KOF series that they were called by their original names internationally.
- Ralf and Clark's commander, General Kawasaki, was renamed Colonel Cook in the US arcade version. General Kawasaki was named after Eikichi Kawasaki, the founder and president of SNK, while Colonel Cook was named after Leland Cook, the co-founder of Tradewest, which distributed the game in the US.
- Gainax Ending/Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: This◊ is the final boss of the first game note . Yes, that's right, it is a nazi-demedaled corpse lying on a throne. Why? God only knows.
- Gender Flip: The President's son in the arcade version of Ikari III is replaced by a daughter in the NES version.
- Genre Shift: The first two games were shoot-'em-ups, but Ikari III was an overhead beat-'em-up.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: In Ikari III, Ralf and Clark are initially limited to punching and kicking, and have to find guns (with limited ammunition) as power-ups.
- Amusingly enough, the opposing enemy army also relies on nothing but their fighting skills, with a few exceptions.
- The Greatest Story Never Told: The arcade version of Ikari III's ending is this where even though Ralf and Clark saved the President's daughter and fought their way through a terrorist organization, nobody will ever know about it. Subverted in the NES version where it's national news and they're public heroes.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: The enemy soldiers in Ikari III occasionally throw their own compatriots at you.
- Guide Dang It!: Nothing left to do at the end of stage 3 of the first NES game? Try a grenade on the lower-right corner of the desk's shadow...
- Instakill Mook: Ikari III has many, especially enemies with guns and elites with super fists that kill you with one hit, despite you having a life bar. Makes it much harder considering that it's a beat-'em-up.
- Marathon Level: The game consists of one very long seamless stage, although you can informally divide it by the areas with different background music. While the NES version has four stages, each of them are practically as long as the Arcade's only stage.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: The first two games, where the two musclemen die in a poke and use guns and projectiles to fight back.
- Nintendo Hard: The NES version, especially, stands out as one of the most difficult games on the platform.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: In the first game, one poke instantly kills the bare-chested heroes. The second game depends on port (e.g. in the arcade port, one poke kills you; in the NES version, you have a life bar but just one life).
- One Bullet at a Time: The original game sometimes has two enemies throw a red grenade, but they only explode one after another rather than at the same time.
- Pin-Pulling Teeth: Depicted on the cover of the 1986 Amstrad version.
- Point of No Continues: The arcade version places it after you defeat the Big Bad, but somehow get killed because of a stray enemy. If it's your first time seeing that place, it looks like you're approaching a bigger bad, but that's really a person you need to rescue.
- As a variation, the NES version disables revive cheat code mid-way through level 3.
- Recycled IN SPACE!: Ikari Warriors is TNK III WITH A COMMANDO INSTEAD OF A TANK!.
- Shout-Out: The game's Japanese title, "Ikari" (without the "Warriors") was taken from the name of the Japanese dub of Rambo: First Blood Part II ("Rambo: Ikari no Dasshutsu", or "The Furious Escapenote ).
- Some Dexterity Required: In the NES version, the level select code is this: Up, Down, A, A, B, Left, Right, A, B, Up, A, Down, Right, Right, Left, B, Up, Left, A, Right, B, Left, Right, A, Left, Up, A, Down, A, Right, Left, B, Start at the title screen, before the demo starts. It was erroneously stated in the book, "How to Win at Nintendo (Games)", that the code has to be done while Ralf and Clark are firing.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: The Japanese version implies the South American insurgents are actually neo-Nazis, and their leader is Adolf Hitler's cadaver, wired into various computers and gun turrets.
- Tank Goodness: The tanks are Immune to Bullets, and can easily blast away enemy infantry. However, a single explosion from a grenade or shrapnel will cause them to blow up.
- Total Party Kill: When you die, your character is invulnerable and automatically walks forward until the middle of the screen. Normally, you can deal with threats, but in one position, he walks over a trigger that fires an enemy artillery shell that kills the character as soon as control is regained and invulnerability has worn off. Repeat for each remaining life.
- Transplant: Believe it or not, Ikari Warriors wasn't even Ralf Jones' first game. That distinction goes to the even more obscure arcade game TNK III (aka TANK). However, it was the first game he appeared with his constant partner Clark Still.
For tropes related to Ralf and Clark themselves, see the King of Fighters character sheet.