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Box artwork for Bad Dudes.
Box artwork for Bad Dudes.
Bad Dudes
Developer(s)Data East
Publisher(s)Data East, Data East, Imagine Software
Year released1988
System(s)Commodore Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64/128, DOS, NES, Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Japanese titleドラゴンニンジャ
Genre(s)Beat 'em up
ModesSingle player, Cooperative
LinksBad Dudes at PCGamingWikiBad Dudes ChannelSearchSearch

Bad Dudes Vs. DragonNinja, also known simply as either Bad Dudes in North America or DragonNinja (ドラゴンニンジャ?) in Japan and Europe, is a side-scrolling cooperative beat 'em up developed and released by Data East for arcades in 1988.

The game was met with commercial success, becoming one of America's top five highest-grossing arcade games of 1988. The arcade version received generally positive reviews from critics, while the home conversions received a generally positive to mixed critical reception. It has since become widely known for its general premise and introductory cut scene.

The game was ported to several home systems, including the Apple II, Atari ST, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, MSX and PC DOS in 1988. Most of the ports were done by UK-based Imagine Software; Quicksilver Software developed the Apple II and PC ports. On July 14, 1989, a NES/Famicom port was developed by Data East and published in Japan by Namco as DragonNinja. In North America, the same version was released the same year by Data East USA simply as Bad Dudes. In Europe, it was released in 1990 by Ocean Software as Bad Dudes Vs. DragonNinja, although the "Bad Dudes Vs." was heavily de-emphasised in the cover art, and the home versions (excluding the NES version) were simply titled Dragon Ninja in-game, resulting in the game commonly being known by the latter title (including among the European gaming press of the time).


The game starts in Washington, D.C., where President Ronnie (based on the U.S. President Ronald Reagan) has been abducted by the evil Dragon Ninja. The game's intro states, "Rampant ninja related crimes these days ... Whitehouse is not the exception". A Secret Service agent speaks to the titular "Bad Dudes", two street-smart brawlers named Blade and Striker: "President Ronnie has been kidnapped by the ninjas. Are you a bad enough dude to rescue Ronnie?"

The Bad Dudes pursue the Dragon Ninja through the New York City streets, onto a moving big rig truck, through a large storm sewer, through a forest, onto a freight train on an old Southern Pacific line (where the titular character of another Data East arcade game, Chelnov, can be seen being transported in a frozen container in the arcade version), through a cave, and into an underground factory in order to save President Ronnie.

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