Samurai Warrior: The Battles of Usagi Yojimbo
“Samurai Warrior: The Battles of Usagi Yojimbo”, is based on a successful comic book by Stan Sakai. The hero is an anthropomorphic rabbit named Miyamoto Usagi, living in seventeenth-century Japan. Usagi is a masterless samurai (a ronin), who wanders the land, occasionally taking up work as a bodyguard.
In this game, you play as Usagi, who sword fights his opponents, bandits and ninja, who often disguise themselves as harmless villagers or priests. The aim of the game is for Usagi to rescue Lord Noriyuki, a panda who has been captured by Lord Hikiji.
The scenery beautifully detailed, and the game presents sideways scrolling action, with Usagi’s movements on the right of the screen, and the left dedicated to status information. The landscape forms an important is part of the game, with creatures lurking behind rocks or up trees. There are also rivers and chasms, which require skill to jump over safely.
The scoring system is based on karma points: good deeds increase Usagi’s karma points, while bad deeds decrease it. Each interaction with other characters must be considered in relation to karma. A larger portrait image of Usagi provides information on the mindset of Usagi. Reviewers of the game celebrated the demands on the player to think about he consequence of their actions. In addition the game requires certain etiquette to be adhered to. Usagi must bow appropriately to others, who are of the same or higher status as himself, who would often pass on information. If Usagi attacks a defenceless creature or an unarmed traveller, he loses all his karma points and he is required to commit hare-kari.
The original game, by Beam Software, was created only for the Commodore 64. Ross Harris, for Source Software Ltd, did all conversions. These were released only in Europe and Australia, due to licensing arrangements.