Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja

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Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja

Bad Dudes - ARC - USA - Flyer.jpg

Arcade - USA - Flyer.

Developer Data East
Publisher Data East
Published 1988-03-02
Platforms Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, NES, ZX Spectrum
Genres Action, Beat 'em up, Platformer
Themes Action, Martial Arts, Ninjas, Terrorism

Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja is a platform beat 'em up developed and published by Data East and originally released in the arcade in April 1988. It was later ported to about ten other platforms. The game supports simultaneous two-player cooperative game play.

In the game, US President Ronald Reagan has been kidnapped by ninjas, and only a bad dude like yourself is up to the challenge of rescuing him. You must beat up seven stages of a variety of ninjas before facing off with the mastermind, the Dragon Ninja!


Own?Yes, NES port.

I first saw Bad Dudes in the arcade room at Lakeland Arena around 1989. Although I never had any quarters to play it, I loved watching other people play the game and thought it was really cool. Later, after my brother and I bought our NES, Bad Dudes was the very first game I got for the system as a Christmas present in, I think, 1990. My brother got Double Dragon, and I found the dichotomy between the publishers — Data East for Bad Dudes and Tradewest for Double Dragon — to be interesting.


Video Game Review Icon - Enjoyment.png Video Game Review Icon - Control.png Video Game Review Icon - Appearance.png Video Game Review Icon - Sound.png Video Game Review Icon - Replayability.png
6 4 7 6 4

Best Version: Arcade

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The graphics are great for the time. The arcade's art is particularly well-drawn and the Amiga, Atari ST, and NES ports are decent as well.
  • The concept is utterly ridiculous, but in a good way.
  • Allowing two-player simultaneous play really makes the game more interesting.
  • The soundtrack is a bit short, but the songs by Azusa Hara and Hiroaki Yoshida are good.
  • The various stages give the game a lot of nice scenery and riding on the semi truck and train were especially cool.
  • The enemies are very inventive and interesting. Flaming ninjas, dwarfs with claws, hopping sword men, giants out of Mad Max: The Road Warrior, a fire-spitting Russian, etc.
  • Having several digital speech recordings like "Got it!" and "I'm Bad!" made the game seem more cool.
  • The flaming charged attack is a nice addition.
  • The boss rush is kind of cool with some of the bosses being zombies of their former selves.
  • The Famicom port added some introduction cut scenes to the bosses.


  • The controls aren't very good on any of the platforms. You can only move, attack, and jump, so your options are pretty limited, and none of them feel very smooth.
  • The game a really hard. Like most games originally designed for the arcade, it's meant to be beaten only after several dollars in quarters have been spent. Even after dozens of play-throughs and memorizing when most enemy ninjas appeared and how to safely defeat them, I still wasn't able to beat this game on the stock lives.


  • The ports to the weaker machines (Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, and ZX Spectrum) are really terrible.
  • Most of the home ports removed the ability to play two-players at the same time which isn't just less enjoyable, but also increases the difficulty of the game.


Box Art




Fan Art


Longplay - Amiga.
Longplay - Amstrad CPC.
Longplay - Apple II.
Longplay - Arcade.
Longplay - Atari ST.
Longplay - Commodore 64.
Longplay - MS-DOS.
Longplay - MSX.
Longplay - NES.
Longplay - ZX Spectrum.

Play Online

Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Arcade, Commodore 64, Famicom, MS-DOS, NES (Europe), NES (USA), ZX Spectrum


Strong female character?FailAlthough they look badass, women only exist to be beaten up in the game.
Bechdel test?FailThe women never talk.
Strong person of color character?FailThe bulk of the enemies are Asian, but none show any growth.
Queer character?FailThere are no queer characters.


Language Native Transliteration Translation
English (Arcade) Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja
English (American Home Releases) Bad Dudes
English (Europe) Bad Dudes vs. Dragonninja
Japanese ドラゴンニンジャ Doragon Ninja Dragon Ninja


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