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Video Game / Rising Zan: The Samurai Gunman

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Rising Zan: The Samurai Gunman is an action-adventure Western game developed by UEP Systems and published by Agetec for the PlayStation in 1999.

If you didn't already judge by the title, it's about a Samurai Cowboy who tames the Wild West with both samurai and gunslinger skills. The game tells the story of a young man named Johnny who dreams of becoming the greatest hero who ever lived, but after an accident while exploring a gorge, he finds himself in the presence of a Japanese martial arts master (and old friend of Johnny's late father) named Suzuki, who teaches Johnny the ways of the samurai. After years of training in Japan, and mastering both the skills of a samurai and a gunman, Johnny returns home under his new name Zan and must confront a new set of enemies that threaten his hometown.

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An interesting addition to the original PlayStation's line up, Rising Zan was fairly well received in its original release for is tongue-in-check premise, its many throw-backs to classic westerns and its undeniably catchy theme tune, though much criticism was given towards the game's lackluster controls. The game is also relatively obscure, often to the surprise of many critics who felt the game would have made a very worthy franchise if it were to continue on. The game nonetheless has gained a pretty decent cult following.


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This video game contains the following tropes:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Zan's revolver may look slightly larger than normal, but can apparently load shotgun shells and missiles.
  • Anachronism Stew: Done so unapologetically that it is pointless to complain.
  • Attack Deflector: With good timing, Zan can backhand some fireballs back to the source.
  • BFS: When using Hustle Time, Zan's sword grows larger.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Zan does not need to reload his revolver, and you can spam the revolver special move as much as your spirit gauge allows you to.
  • Button Mashing: Has it in spades: the "All Button Events" and the Finishing Move after every boss fight.
  • Cattle Punk: With giant cartoony bombs, mecha, trains, coal mine cart rides, no less!
  • Combos: Of the Super Ultra Sexy kind.
  • Dark Action Girl: A few of your enemies are female ninjas clad in pink, who attacks with fans. They're actually tougher than most of the male enemies.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Two of Zan's special moves involve a spinning katana slash.
  • Expository Theme Tune: "Rising Zan, Samurai Gunman!"
  • Finishing Move: Each time you defeat a boss, you mash buttons to gain time to beat up the boss with. The more points through special moves and combos you gain while beating up the boss, the better Zan's final attack will be.
  • Giant Hands of Doom: Stage 2's All Button Event
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Ninjas clad in yellow prefers fighting you with their fists, despite their comrades using katanas or weapons. They're also among the most durable enemy, taking plenty of hits before they go down.
  • The Goomba: Animated strawmen are the first enemies you can face, where they always attack in large numbers. However they're extremely fragile, goes down in one slash, and only serves for players to practice their skills with the katana before facing against stronger ninja enemies.
  • Gorn: Wouldn't be a samurai western without it. You can dice enemies with ease with your trusty katana.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When finishing off bosses, thanks to a convenient tatami door showing up right after you finish the boss off.
  • Gratuitous English: ORE WA SUPER ULTRA SEXY HERO!!! (by Hironobu Kageyama no less)
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Most of the mooks you face.
  • Limit Break: Whoah... HUSTLE TIME!
  • Locomotive Level: The fourth level have you making your way through a train, from the back to front, within a certain time limit. You'll also encounter yellow ninjas, the first Elite Mook variety which rookie players would be caught off-guard.
  • Me's a Crowd: Zan splits into three when finishing off bosses.
  • More Dakka: Zan's gun special move.
  • Rank Inflation: From Chicken all the way to Super Ultra Sexy Hero.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: It's a Western, so this goes without saying.
  • Rule of Cool: Oh, damn yeah.
  • Samurai Cowboy: If the title doesn't give it away...
  • Shout-Out: After dealing with Push-man in the dojo, Queen Servant exclaims "Oh my god! He killed Push-man! You bastard!" before attacking you.
  • Speaking Simlish: Some in game boss enemies do this, though subtitles are provided.
  • Stylish Action: A possible Ur-Example.
  • Sumo Wrestling: The game's third boss is a sumo fighter, who attacks you with his bare hands and can soak up a lot of damage, also the Wake-Up Call Boss of the game.
  • Sword and Gun: The "Samurai Gunman" in the title kind of gives it away.
  • Technicolor Ninjas: Throughout the game you'll get assaulted by ninjas of various colours, including:
    • Green: The lowest-tier mooks available, which are the first ninjas you face in the first level after killing a few dozen strawmen.
    • Red: Armed with clawed gauntlets, they show up after their green brethens and are slightly harder to beat.
    • Yellow: Highly durable ninja opponents who prefers using their fists, who appears in the start of the fourth level.
    • Pink: Female Kunoichi ninjas who attacks you with fans.
    • Purple: The Elite Mooks of the ninjas, encountered once you've progressed really far into the game.
  • That Man Is Dead: "Rising Zan, Johnny no more!"
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The game's opening theme plays when you're finishing off bosses... giving you that perfect high when Zan slices through his opponent just as you hear "Rising Zan... YEAH! Johnny no... more!".
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Sushi, which boosts Zan's life meter.
  • Widget Series: The quirkiness of each element in this game combined.

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