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Shadow Dancer

From Sega Retro

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

n/a

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































Release Date RRP Code
Arcade (System 18)
JP
¥? ?
Arcade (System 18)
US
$? ?





















Sega Master System
UK
£32.99More...[4] 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
£24.99More...[7] ?
Commodore Amiga
UK
(Kixx)
£? ?
Commodore Amiga
ES
? ?
Atari ST
UK
£24.99More...[7] ?
Amstrad CPC
UK
(Cassette)
£10.99More...[8] ?
Amstrad CPC
UK
(Disk)
£? ?
Amstrad CPC
UK
(Kixx)
£? ?
Amstrad CPC
ES
(Cassette)
?Ptas ?
Amstrad CPC
ES
(Disk)
?Ptas ?
Commodore 64
UK
(Cassette)
£10.99More...[8] ?
Commodore 64
UK
(Kixx)
£? ?
ZX Spectrum
UK
(Cassette)
£10.99More...[8] ?
ZX Spectrum
UK
(Kixx)
£? ?
ZX Spectrum
ES
(Cassette)
?PtasPtas ?



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.


In the Master System version, main character is named Takeshi in manual and Fuma in the attract sequence (no relationship to Joe Musashi is mentioned in either case) and tasked with preventing a terrorist organization (named "Asian Dawn" in the manual) from taking control of an orbital space weapon system.

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. All bombs in the level must be defused to get to the next level.

Players' main method of attack is throwing shurikens. If too close to the enemy, player will either slash the enemy with sword or kick or punch them. Touching an enemy who is not attacking will push the player back. Certain defused bombs will turn shurikens to burning shurikens, causing double damage.

There is no energy level and player will lose a life is he is hit by enemy projectiles or melee attacks and will be forced to start the level from the beginning.

Most notably, Shadow Dancer adds an AI-controlled white dog (named "Yamato") which can be used to take down enemies. By crouching, dog will start barking and by pressing the attack button, dog will attack the nearest enemy and hold him until player can kill the target. However, if player takes too long, enemy will simply push back the dog. If damaged, dog will shrink and won't be able to assist the player until he grows back to normal size. Certain enemies, such as guys with green shields and ninjas armed with swords are immune to dog attacks.

Player can use ninja magic during battle which will kill all regular enemies or seriously damage the boss. Player can use Tatsumaki (Whirlwind), Fire Dog or Butsuzo (Buddha) magic. Beside the different attack animation, all magic cause same damage. Game randomly assigns a magic to player at the beginning of each level.

Gameplay

Missions

Notavailable.svg Mission 1 : Airport
Takes place in an airport. After securing the main building, players will have to eliminate the terrorists in the apron and then fight the boss inside an airplane. Boss of the level is a large enemy who wears a samurai armor who is believed to be a robot. He attacks using bouncing fireballs and can only be hurt by attacking his arms when he raises it to throw fireballs. This is the same boss from the Mega Drive version.
Notavailable.svg Mission 2 : Train Yard
Takes place inside a train yard and later on a moving train. Players will face a armed locomotive which fires energy bolts. This boss can only be hurt by hitting the flashing optic sensor which goes up and down across the locomotive's front armor.
Notavailable.svg Mission 3 : Sewers
Starts in a ruined building and later continues in a alligator infested sewer. Boss of the level is a tall, leotard wearing woman who attacks the player with steel slabs. She can only be hurt when she is throwing the slabs, which she will have to deactivate the shield protecting her. Might be the same boss from the third level of the Mega Drive version of Shadow Dancer, only with different attacks and slightly different clothing.
Notavailable.svg Mission 4 : Launch Facility
Takes place inside a spaceport. Boss of the level is a woman(?) carrying a naginata. She can only be hurt after she swipes her weapon, which will make her vulnerable for a second.

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. Unlike the arcade version, players cannot backtrack during either side scrolling or boss sections, limiting player to a very small section of the screen during the boss fights.

The most striking omission in the Master System version of Shadow Dancer is the dog as an active character, but it is still available as a game mechanic. When a valid target is onscreen, the player must crouch. While crouched, the ninja magic icon will slowly transform into a a dog head. When the icon is completely full, it will move to the target enemy's location. Pressing attack will cause the dog to appear out of nowhere and attack the enemy. If no valid target exists, the icon will not move and pressing attack while crouched will perform a normal attack. Dog can be called only three times each level.

Master System version retains the first person shuriken throwing bonus rounds but the one between the second and third level is the same bonus round used by the Mega Drive version, which makes player to jump from a tall building and attack ninjas in a downward shoot 'em up fashion.

Just like the Master System version of Shinobi, Ninja magic cannot be used during boss fights. In addition to the previously mentioned problem of being confined to the small section of the screen makes the boss fights even more difficult than the arcade version.

A small oddity, in the Master System version, player always bows to boss before the boss battle.

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

Climax ( under the name of Images Software Ltd[2][9]) 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[10]. 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[10].

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

ShadowDancer System18 US Flyer.jpg

System 18 US flyer

ShadowDancer System18 JP Flyer.jpg

System 18 JP flyer

ShadowDancer Computers IT PrintAdvert.jpg

Home computers IT print advert

CVG UK 115.pdf

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)More...[11]

Physical scans

System 18 version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
73 More...[12]
Arcade
73
Based on
1 review

System 18, US
ShadowDancer System18 US Marquee.jpg
ShadowDancer System18 US Bezel.jpg
Shadow Dancer System 18 US Manual.pdf
Manual
System 18, JP
Notavailable.svgNotavailable.svg
Instuction card(s)

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
71 More...Media:MeanMachinesEssentialSegaGuide Book UK.pdf[13]
73 More...[14]
78 More...[15]
71 More...[16]
84 More...[17]
69 More...[4]
62 More...[18]
Sega Master System
73
Based on
7 reviews

Master System, EU
ShadowDancer SMS EU cover.jpg
Cover
ShadowDancer SMS EU Cart.jpg
Cart
Shadow Dancer SMS EU Manual.pdf
Manual
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 More...[7]
63 More...[19]
82 More...[20]
90 More...[21]
83 More...[22]
Commodore Amiga
78
Based on
5 reviews

Amiga, UK

ShadowDancer Amiga UK Disk.jpg
Disk
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
Amiga, ES

Amstrad CPC version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
85 More...[21]
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 More...[21]
Atari ST
85
Based on
1 review

Atari ST, UK

Commodore 64 version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
89 More...[23]
83 More...[22]
83 More...[24]
Commodore 64
85
Based on
3 reviews

Commodore 64, UK

Commodore 64, UK (Kixx)

ZX Spectrum version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
85 More...[25]
ZX Spectrum
85
Based on
1 review

ZX Spectrum, UK

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

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Master System
 ?
CRC32 3793C01A
MD5 C2055D5C66DD3944B99642C18032EBC4
SHA-1 99A5995F31DCF6FBBEF56D3EA0D2094EF039479F
512kB Cartridge (EU)

References

  1. http://www.climax.co.uk:80/retro/shadowdancer.htm (archived: 2002-04-18 03:59)
  2. 2.0 2.1 File:NewComputerExpress UK 144.pdf, page 48
  3. File:Sega Arcade History JP EnterBrain Book-1.pdf, page 101
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sega Pro, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-20), page 40
  5. Sega Power, "December 1991" (UK; 1991-10-30), page 11
  6. Ação Games, "Maio 1991" (BR; 1991-05-21), page 8
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 ACE, "June 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 56
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Computer & Video Games, "January 1991" (UK; 1990-12-15), page 155
  9. http://www.climax.co.uk:80/retro/index.htm (archived: 2002-04-16 18:23)
  10. 10.0 10.1 File:CUAmiga UK 011.pdf, page 35
  11. Computer & Video Games, "July 1991" (UK; 1991-06-15), page 70
  12. Commodore User, "February 1990" (UK; 1990-01-26), page 91
  13. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 154
  14. Hobby Consolas, "Enero 1992" (ES; 199x-xx-xx), page 56/57 (48)
  15. Joystick, "Janvier 1992" (FR; 199x-xx-xx), page 160
  16. Mean Machines, "January 1992" (UK; 1991-12-27), page 54/55 (54)
  17. Player One, "Janvier 1992" (FR; 199x-xx-xx), page 74/75 (74)
  18. Sega Force, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-20), page 56/57 (56)
  19. Amiga Power, "June 1991" (UK; 1991-05-23), page 82,84 (82)
  20. Raze, "July 1991" (UK; 1991-05-30), page 38
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Joystick, "Juin 1991" (FR; 1991-xx-xx), page 192/193 (192)
  22. 22.0 22.1 Zzap!64, "May 1991" (UK; 1991-04-xx), page 68/69 (68)
  23. Commodore Format, "April 1991" (UK; 1991-03-21), page 36/37 (36)
  24. Zzap!, "Maggio 1991" (IT; 1991-xx-xx), page 26/27 (26)
  25. Sinclair User, "July 1991" (UK; 1991-06-15), page 14/15 (14)


Shadow Dancer
ShadowDancer S18 title.png

Main page | Comparisons | Maps | Hidden content | Magazine articles


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)
Nintendo Switch
Sega Ages Shinobi (TBD)
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
Shinobi: The Fear Pavilion (1994) | Shin Shinobi Den Hisshou Kouryaku Hou (199x) | Shinobi: The Rise of Hotsuma (2002) | Shinobi The Complete Guide (2002) | Prima's Official Strategy Guide: Shinobi (2002) | Kunoichi Koushiki Guide Book (2003) | Kunoichi Perfect Guide (2004)