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Video Game / Sengoku (SNK)

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Sengoku (not to be confused with the 4X strategy game of the same name.) is a series of Beat 'em Up created by SNK for the Neo Geo, all of which features the protagonist fighting against the demonic forces of a mystical warlord seeking to invade Earth. It consists of the following games:

  • Sengoku (titled Sengoku Densyo note  in Japan), released in 1991. The player take controls of a Japanese ninja (player 1/Canon name: Claude Yamamoto) and an American cowboy (player 2/Canon name: Jack Stone) roaming a post-apocalyptic city to defeat the forces of an evil warlord who vowed to return after being defeated 400 years previously. The main gimmicks of the games were the player character's ability to transform at will into three other characters (an armoured kitsune, a samurai, and a ninja) and the plane switching sequences - at certain point during the levels, the character would get warped to a surreal and unsettling landspace based on Japanese mythology and fight in there for a while before being beamed back to the mortal realm. It was later ported to the Sega CD and the Super Famicom, the latter by Data East in a noticeably different form.
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  • Sengoku 2, released in 1993. The plot has the two protagonists from the first game being called back into action to defeat another time-travelling warlord. The mechanics were changed so that the player characters now always carries a sword, all transformations are available from the start.
  • Sengoku 3 (aka Sengoku Densyo 2001 in Japan), released in 2001. Made by another developer (Noise Factory), the game eschewed the surreal atmosphere and transformation mechanic of its predecessors in favor of featuring multiple playable characters with their own abilities and an intricate combo system. Notably, it was the last game published by the original SNK before its bankruptcy.

A Compilation Rerelease titled Sengoku Anthology was released in 2008 for the PC and PS2, exclusively to European territories.


Tropes that appear in the series

  • Americans Are Cowboys: The one American character is specifically stated to be a cowboy.
  • Asian Fox-Spirit: A nine-tailed fox woman is one of the bosses of Sengoku 2.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: The western cover of the first game, pictured above.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: The first game has this as a gameplay mechanic. Button Mash in front of the samurai enemies and the player character will eventually catch their sword and break it.
  • Boobs of Steel: Okuni has the biggest bust with some damaging moves that are stronger than Kurenai's.
  • Combo:
    • Notably averted in the first two games. Enemies are pushed back after one hit and most of them take two or three hits to kill.
    • Sengoku 3, on the other hand, features a deep and involved combo system.
  • Dance Battler: Some of Okuni's special moves incorporates dancing.
  • Defeat Means Playable: Two of the bosses in Sengoku 3 join the protagonists after being beaten.
  • Demon King Nobunaga: He is the Big Bad of the first game.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Kurenai, who wears toeless socks. There is also Magoichi, the boss of stage 4, and the basic katana/naginata wielding mooks in 3. 1 features the sword arms, giant swordsmen, archer, fat men, sumo swordsmen, and spear men.
  • Dual Wielding: Kurenai weilds two small swords.
  • Expy: Kagetsura is a ninja version of Haohmaru, Falcon is based off of Galford D. Weller and Vega, and Kurenai is a slender version of Mai Shiranui
  • Eye Patch Of Power: Kagetsura lost his right eye to Byakki.
  • Flunky Boss: Every boss in Sengoku 3 is accompanied by two enemies that always respawn.
  • Fragile Speedster: Kuernai has fast attacks, speed, the most combo potential, but is frail.
  • Glass Cannon: Okuni outdoes the damage of Kurenai and Falcon, but has less endurance than the former.
  • Heroic Dog: One of the summons in the first two games is an armored dog.
  • Kappa: Appear as enemies in the first game.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Byakki and Falcon. Both are hard to use and require finesse, but in the hands of expert players are fast and strong.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Okuni. Most of the her attacks are meant to keep enemies at a distance. Not to mention, she is the most difficult character to use in a game about melee combat.
  • Mana Meter: Appearing only in 3, everyone had a super meter that could be filled up to three bars. The player could gain meter faster by doing large combos.
  • McNinja: Falcon, the Spanish ninja. Also applies to the blond ninja transformation in the first two games, complete with pink tights.
  • Mighty Glacier: Kongoh has slow speed and attacks, but dishes out out huge damage and has the most grappling techniques.
  • Monumental Damage: The Golden Gate Bridge is ruined in the first game.
  • Ninja: The core cast in 3, Claude in 1, and the latter along with Jack Stone, could transform in to a Shinobi. There are ninja mooks in all three games.
  • In Name Only: Other than being a Beat 'em Up and the basic premise, Sengoku 3 has nothing to do with the first two games.
  • Reformulated Game: The little-know SFC port of the original by Data East has an overhauled Final Fight-style combat system with throws and canned combos, and changed the transformation system so that the player character simply transform at specific points during the levels instead of being able to do so at will. The level progression is mostly the same, but the sprites and background graphics were redrawn, unlike other Neo Geo to SFC ports.
  • Rule of Cool: The whole series, but in particular, Sengoku 2 has horseback fighting sequences and World War II thrown into the mix. One sub-stage is a fight on top of either a B-14 or a B-29.
  • Shoryuken: Falcon does a sword variation as a combo ender and his second ninja art called Fight Of The Phoenix does a flaming sword version.
  • Shock and Awe: Kagetsura and Okuni's ending attacks invoke this. The boss of the stage 5 has it as well.
  • Shout-Out: One of the ruined shop in the background of the 2nd level in Sengoku is named "Boutique Athena".
  • The 'Verse: According to The Other Wiki, Sengoku 3 takes place in the same universe as Samurai Shodown. Kagetsura and his brother Byyaki are descendants of Hanzo, and Falcon is a descendant of Galford.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The horseback-riding segments in Sengoku 2, Sengoku 3 has some very minor platforming avoiding spike straps. There are no pitfalls and only cause some damage to your health
  • World War II: Sengoku 2 has "194X" as one of the time periods you can go to, and one of the near-final bosses is obviously Hitler.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: In the SFC port of the first game, both player characters (named Dan and Bill) could perform a pile-driver. In 3, Kagetsura and Kongoh can perform a Izuna Drop, and a spinning pile-driver respectively, via command inputs. These move do cost their special meter.