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Shadow Dancer

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ShadowDancer S18 title.png
Shadow Dancer
Publisher: Sega, U.S. Gold (home computers)
Developer:
System(s): Sega System 18, Sega Master System, Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum
Genre: Action































Release Date RRP Code
Arcade
JP
1989 ¥?  ?
Arcade
US
1989 $?  ?



Sega Master System
UK
£32.99 9009
Sega Master System
FR
?F 9009
Sega Master System
DE
DM ? 9009
Sega Master System
ES
?Ptas 9009
Sega Master System
BR
R$? ?
Sega Master System
KR
₩? GB4010JG



Commodore Amiga
UK
£24.99[2] ?
Commodore Amiga
UK (Kixx)
£? ?
Atari ST
UK
£24.99[2] ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (Cassette)
£10.99[3] ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (Disk)
£? ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (Kixx)
£? ?
Amstrad CPC
ES (Cassette)
?Ptas ?
Amstrad CPC
ES (Disk)
?Ptas ?
Commodore 64
UK (Cassette)
£10.99[3] ?
Commodore 64
UK (Kixx)
£? ?
ZX Spectrum
UK (Cassette)
£10.99[3] ?
ZX Spectrum
UK (Kixx)
£? ?
ZX Spectrum
ES (Cassette)
?PtasPtas ?



For the Mega Drive game, see Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi.

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Shadow Dancer (シャドー・ダンサー), known as Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi on Master System covers, is an action platform game developed by Sega for the Sega System 18 arcade system in 1989. A port of the game was published by Sega for the Sega Master System, and ports to several home computers were published by U.S. Gold. Alongside The Revenge of Shinobi, this game was the first sequel to Shinobi.

A similar game titled Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi was released for the Sega Mega Drive, which features an entirely different set of levels.

Story

忍法の修行に励む若者のもとには、忠実なる一頭の忍犬がいた。 一方、都市の中心では、テロ集団が暴虐の限りをつくし、 あろうことか街のいたる所に時限爆弾を仕掛け始めたのであった。 若き忍者とその相棒の忍犬は、仕掛けられたすべての爆弾を回収するとともに、テロ集団をあやつる悪の組織を壊滅するため、果敢にも行動を開始した。
The young Ninja battles together with his faithful pet dog. In the center of the city, a group of terrorists are committing known to man, including the planting of time bombs throughout the metropolis. Our youthful hero and his canine companion courageously set out to gather all the explosives placed by the evil gang and annihilate the syndicate that manipulates them.

At the time of release, Shadow Dancer was not strictly affiliated with Shinobi in terms of plot, though the set-up is very similar to the original arcade game. The naming of the characters varies between home versions of the game, as do their motives.

Gameplay

Shadow Dancer expands on the gameplay seen in Shinobi, being a side-scrolling action game inspired by the likes of Namco's Rolling Thunder. The original game's moveset remains in-tact, however rather than saving children, the task is to defuse bombs. Most notably, Shadow Dancer adds an AI-controlled dog which can be used to take down enemies.

Versions

Master System version

Shadow Dancer on the Master System retains a lot of the arcade game's content, but simplifies the graphics and sound to better suit the hardware. Level layouts are slightly different, and the decision to use sprites similar in size to the arcade version means that fewer enemies can appear on screen at any one time. Sprite flicker is a common sight, and entire sections of levels are removed to save space.

The most striking omission in the Master System version of Shadow Dancer is the dog, which does not appear in any form at any point during the game.

Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum versions

The Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum versions of Shadow Dancer share similar cutbacks and are likely based on the same code. Both versions opt for a more zoomed-in look than is perhaps ideal, introducing extra vertical scrolling. Music is nonexistent (save for the title screen if running on a 128kB Spectrum) and sound effects are limited. Both also omit some backgrounds, presumably to save space.

The Amstrad uses more colours but the Spectrum runs in a higher screen resolution.

Commodore 64 version

On the Commodore 64, Shadow Dancer has no in-game music. While the backgrounds are simplified considerably on the C64, an attempt was made to retain the parallax scrolling, which is missing in most home versions of the game.

Amiga and Atari ST versions

Images created the Amiga and Atari ST versions simultaneously, targeting the ST first and then porting the game's contents to the Amiga, where minor improvements would be added[4]. Sega did not give the team access to the game's source code, so sprites were copied from a video of the game and touched up in the Atari ST version of OCP Art Studio[4].

As was to be expected, the two versions are very similar, however the Atari ST omits the introduction sequence to save space. Parallax scrolling is missing in both versions, as are the intermission screens.

Production credits

System 18 version

Master System version

Graphic: Yatsute Miro, Gaga
Program: M.Wakayama
Sound: K.T.
Manual: May
Special: Hagi Chan, H.Sekiguchi

Amstrad CPC version

Coding: Dave Semmens
Graphics: Doug Townsley
Software House: Images

Magazine articles

Main article: Shadow Dancer/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

CVG UK 115.pdf

Home computers print advert in














Computer & Video Games (UK) #115: "June 1991" (1991-05-11)
also published in:













  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #116: "July 1991" (1991-06-15)[5]

Physical scans

System 18 version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
73 №77, p91[6]
Arcade
73
Based on
1 review

System 18, US
ShadowDancer System18 US Marquee.jpg
ShadowDancer System18 US Bezel.jpg
System 18, JP

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
71 №1, p154Media:MeanMachinesEssentialSegaGuide Book UK.pdf[7]
73 №4, p56/57[8]
78 №23, p160[9]
71 №16, p54/55[10]
84 №16, p74/75[11]
69 №5, p40[12]
62 №3, p56/57[13]
Sega Master System
73
Based on
7 reviews

Master System, EU
ShadowDancer SMS EU cover.jpg
Cover
ShadowDancer SMS EU Cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, BR
ShadowDancer SMS BR cover.jpg
Cover
ShadowDancer SMS BR Cart.jpg
Cart
ShadowDancer SMS BR Manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, KR
ShadowDancer SMS KR cover.jpg
Cover
ShadowDancer SMS KR cart.jpg
Cart

Amiga version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
74 №45, p56[2]
82 №9, p38[14]
90 №17, p192/193[15]
Commodore Amiga
82
Based on
3 reviews

Amiga, UK

Amiga, UK (Kixx)
ShadowDancer Amiga EU Box Back Kixx.jpgNospine-small.pngShadowDancer Amiga EU Box Front Kixx.jpg
Cover
ShadowDancer Amiga EU Disk Kixx.jpg
Disk

Amstrad CPC version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
85 №17, p192/193[15]
Amstrad CPC
85
Based on
1 review

Amstrad CPC, UK (cassette)

Amstrad CPC, UK (disk)

Amstrad CPC, UK (Kixx)
ShadowDancer CPC UK Box Kixx.jpg
Cover
Amstrad CPC, ES (cassette)

Amstrad CPC, ES (disk)

Atari ST version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
85 №17, p192/193[15]
Atari ST
85
Based on
1 review

Atari ST, UK

Commodore 64 version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
89 №7, p36/37[16]
83 №56, p26/27[17]
Commodore 64
86
Based on
2 reviews

Commodore 64, UK

Commodore 64, UK (Kixx)

ZX Spectrum version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
85 №113, p14/15[18]
ZX Spectrum
85
Based on
1 review

ZX Spectrum, UK

ZX Spectrum, UK (Kixx)
ShadowDancer Spectrum UK Box Kixx.jpg
Cover
ZX Spectrum, ES

References


Games in the Shinobi Series
Arcade
Shinobi (1987) | Shadow Dancer (1989)
Sega Master System
Shinobi (1988) | The Cyber Shinobi (1990) | Shadow Dancer (1991)
Commodore Amiga
Atari ST
Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
ZX Spectrum
IBM PC compatibles
MSX
Shinobi (1989)
Sega Mega Drive
The Revenge of Shinobi (1989) | Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (1990) | Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (1993)
Sega Game Gear
The GG Shinobi (1991) | The GG Shinobi II: The Silent Fury (1992)
Sega Saturn
Shinobi Legions (1995)
Nintendo Game Boy Advance
The Revenge of Shinobi (2002)
Sony PlayStation 2
Shinobi (2002) | Nightshade (2003)
Nintendo 3DS
Shinobi 3D (2011) | 3D Shinobi III (2013)
Shinobi related media
Music
The Super Shinobi & Works (1989) | Shinobi Original Soundtrack (2002) | Legend of Joe Musashi: Shinobi Music Collection (2009) | Shinobi 3D Original Soundtrack (2012) | Kunoichi Original Soundtrack (2014) | Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (2015) | The Revenge of Shinobi (2016)
Book
Shin Shinobi Den Hisshou Kouryaku Hou (199x) | Shinobi The Complete Guide (2002) | Prima's Official Strategy Guide: Shinobi (2002) | Kunoichi Koushiki Guide Book (2003) | Kunoichi Perfect Guide (2004)