LGR – Ikari Warriors – PC Booter Game Review


[MIDI music plays] [typing] Back in the 1980s, one of the most common types of
game to see for personal computers was the arcade port. Sometimes they were awesome. Sometimes they were aw-FUL. And sometimes they were Ikari Warriors, the arcade game by SNK released in 1987 by Data East USA and ported by Elite Systems, Ltd. The box is pretty typical stuff for back then, promising arcade realism at home, and shoving in your face the idea that the game is the most amazing thing to
happen in the history of humanity. It also provides some pretty
darn good-looking screenshots, which sure do get me psyched
to play the game because, frick, this looks exactly like the arcade version. Speaking of the arcade version, it exists. Ikari Warriors, or I-kari Warriors– iRobot Warriors, iPad Warriors, however you pronounce it– was first released to arcades by SNK in 1986. The game featured two Rambo-ripoff manly men, hailing from the man-filled
manscape of Northwest Mandia from the year 1980-Man, and was in fact SNK’s first major hit in the USA. While it was essentially a tweaked
clone of Capcom’s Commando, Ikari Warriors had a pretty little innovative gimmick. Its cabinet featured rotary joysticks, which could not only be pushed in
eight directions like most other joysticks, but also rotated, so the player
could move in one direction and fire in another. This version of the game is actually
not a DOS game but a PC booter. What this means is that the game
bypasses any existent operating system and runs the game by simply inserting the
floppy and booting your IBM-compatible PC. No messy command-line stuff required. Inside the box, you get a PC booter disk itself, in this case on a 5¼-inch floppy, even though the box says it contains a 3½-inch. It lied. You also get a manual, which is pretty typical black-and-white crap. It actually states that it’s for the
Commodore 64 and 128 on the front, though inside you get some basic instructions for the IBM PC, Apple II and,
of course, the Commodore ports. Mine also came with this little sheet of paper, which appears to be part of a
map from The Legend of Zelda. I don’t think this was supposed
to be included, but who knows? Maybe you get to grenade Link in this game. That would be awesome. [PC speaker music plays] The game starts with a
pretty simple selection of players and your control method and, uh… Okay, uh, what…is this? Ikari Warriors in the snow? Did nuclear winter happen while I wasn’t looking? What happened to all those awesome colors? The “arcade realism at home?” Ah. “Screens shown are from arcade version. Computer version may vary.” No, you don’t say? Arcade realism at home… Well, I guess that’s technically true. There’s arcade realism on the back of the box, which is in your home. All kidding aside, it seems this
PC version of Ikari Warriors only utilizes CGA and EGA graphics. Though I don’t know why they didn’t
choose the other color palette for CGA, as the warmer tones would’ve
made a lot more friggin’ sense than the winter wonderland
you’re forced to walk through. You can switch over to EGA which provides a much better selection
of colors, all things considered. And I’d highly recommend it
unless you just like the game looking like a bowl of Dippin’
Dots melted on your screen. As far as the gameplay itself goes, it’s not too shabby for a PC port of the time. Actually, I’d say it’s pretty frickin’
awesome once you get over the fact that you don’t have those sweet
rotary arcade joysticks to use. You use the numpad on the keyboard
to move your Rambo wannabe around, so that gives you your cardinal
directions plus diagonals. It takes some serious getting used to since the only way to aim
is to move in that direction, And due to the lower resolution and differing screen ratio from the arcade game, you have a much smaller play field. But before long, you do get used to this, and thankfully the game is made a bit easier to compensate for all of these changes. In addition to the movement keys,
you have the Z, X, and C keys, for your action buttons like shooting, getting in and out of vehicles
and tossing grenades. It’s an acceptable enough layout, but I do wish you could
change the key configuration as I prefer my hands to be a little
bit closer together on the keyboard. But whatever. It doesn’t get in
the way of the main attraction and that is killing dudes, using guns, explosives, tanks, and sheer testosterone ejaculation. It may not be as intense as the arcade game, but it totally gets the “solid gameplay feel” down pat. This is just one of those games that I always
intend to play for maybe a few minutes or a couple of rounds. But before I know it,
it’s a half-hour to 45 minutes later and I haven’t even realized it. Once you get past that initial clunkiness, you get into a certain groove of pattern learning,
danger dodging and mayhem that’s just satisfying to
experience time and time again. It’s just a freakin’ cool game, and it’s one of my favorite classic arcade games, even though I honestly suck at it. And it’s got support for two players. So if you want to bring a friend along to get frustrated and volatile, then feel free! So, yep. Ikari Warriors on the PC has some flaws, but taken
as an overall experience, I’d say it succeeds as an arcade port for the PC. It’s just plain fun and as far as I’m concerned,
that’s really what counts in the end. Even if the “arcade realism at home” promise is a bit far-fetched. [PC speaker music plays]

100 comments

  • Kevin Jay

    I feel better knowing I'm not the only one with the original Half-Life box.

    Reply
  • LGR

    I'm a partner with Curse Network on YouTube. Retroware TV is now one of several sites certain videos of mine are posted on, but it's not a contractual partnership like Curse (no money coming from RWTV like Curse, etc).

    Reply
  • -=tAz=-

    The half of a zelda map is the best thing in that box. My friends and I used "Ikari" as a synonym for "retarded" because of all the bugs in the game (NES version, which was a rip off $48 bucks, or about $120 in 2012 adjusted dollars, or 1/2 month of newspaper delivery profits). Any game as bad or worse than Ikari warriors was considered too Ikari to bother playing.

    Reply
  • Cvija

    Hey, I remember a game on Sega Megadrive that played exactly like this.

    Reply
  • Roobar

    The last bit of music kinda reminded me of South vs North game. If you haven't reviewed it yet, please review it!

    Reply
  • DirtyKameSennin

    The NES game Guerilla War looks like this but even if it's kind of a ripoff I liked it better. Ikari Warriors were pretty choppy on NES imo and I don't like that PC version any better. : /

    Reply
  • Hunter Shelburne

    My birthday is 12/7/198MAN

    Reply
  • Smedis2

    We now need IPad warriors.

    Reply
  • Luzur

    i have actually finished Ikari Warriors on NES, which is a feat in itself.

    Reply
  • pmarin

    I am totally sure you have already reviewed this game!

    Reply
  • Icebears4ever

    Nice, by the way are you gonna review the new stuff packs coming to The Sims 3?

    Reply
  • Sam Of Spades

    HAH! I remember playing this on the original Nintendo! Spent many hours with my best friend trying to beat this game, we never did and always ended up dying horribly, but we always had so much fun! Great review, as always. Thanks for this blast from the past!

    Reply
  • linuxlove4004

    Didn't you already do a review on this game?

    Reply
  • LGR

    About three years ago, yeah. It was taken off my channel a good while back now, so I figured I could revisit it. Removed it due to its usage of Star Wars music and because it was riddled with inaccurate factual statements about the game.

    Reply
  • linusevosonic

    I liked the C64 Version cause of the wonderful SID Music. This IBM Version looks boring.

    Reply
  • Phaytal Error

    The Commodore 64 port was very good considering the hardware limitations and the SID chip tunes rock (although the UK C64 port was better than the American release, the American release is good!). The Amiga port was visually very well done having decent arcade quality graphics.

    Even the ATARI 2600 got a port of this game… and yeah… that port is "horrible", but still it's okay I guess, considering how very limited the hardware is on the Atari 2600.

    Reply
  • -=tAz=-

    One could say that about almost any game that's on both platforms πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • tombert

    Ah, I was wondering where that review went. It's too bad it had to go…I thought it was one of your funnier reviews.

    Reply
  • superjuca55

    The PC was usually behind other platforms in terms of arcade conversions or original action/platform games until the begginings of the 90s, when VGA and sound cards became cheap. Even 8 bit systems like the NES and C64 had better conversions sometimes. The PC was top for strategy and flight sims though.

    Reply
  • LGR

    Helps to watch the whole video before commenting πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Bloodthr0e

    If you don't have an old floppy disk computer, you can get the arcade Ikari Warriors on the PS3. Unfortunately, there is no 2 player option and it uses the shoulder buttons as one of the two rotary joysticks. That was so you could play it on your PSP which has only one joystick.

    Reply
  • siskavard

    I love CGA graphics. It's because of nostalgia. My family had a CGA monitor for the longest time. I love the ugliness.

    Reply
  • plan7a

    πŸ˜€ – great review, interesting that there are player a & player b and the one player is player b… think 2 player would be difficult if together – so would be turn based I guess – else the keyboard would be difficult to use. So hated it when other formats were used for screenshot artwork, as it meant you didn't get what you thought you were. ZX Spectrum games often did this too. A bit like some cheap DVDs & VHS Videos do, often indicated a deleted scene or a different film altogether.

    Reply
  • creativetasks

    1:03 instant favorite

    Reply
  • johhhnson johnes

    Great job man

    Reply
  • TheKayliekong

    Those 2 are named ralf and Clark and they are In the newer installments of metal slug

    Reply
  • LynsanityXOXOXO

    I am not even a fan of video games .. I just watch this channel for his voice <3

    Reply
  • Roflcopter4b

    Please, PLEASE do Tie Fighter at some point.

    Reply
  • vancereloaded

    Oh no! You've been reviewing so long you've developed Alzheimer's! πŸ˜›
    Some serious Deja-Vu there. But it's a nice update. : ) The EGA mode looks pretty good, compared to the Dippin'Dots mode.
    And in case no one else mentioned this, when it comes to games made by Japanese companies, or words that are meant to be 'Japanesey' (GINSU KNIVES!), the vowels are the same as those in Spanish, so i is always "ee", like in bee. or glee. or pee.

    Reply
  • CaptainRufus

    Interestingly enough another retro Youtuber covered all editions of this game this week. The ST and Amiga had very close to arcade graphics. Sad how computers costing around 1/2-1/3rd that of a PC in the 80s-early 90s utterly demolished PCs for any sort of gaming…

    Reply
  • PCGamer77

    Three different Ikari Warriors videos appear in my subscriptions within a couple of days. This cannot be mere coincidence…

    Reply
  • LGR

    The Ancient Order of the Ikari Warriors Alliance has spoken. Heed our warnings, friend, or forever be marked as tank fodder.

    Reply
  • christo930

    Gotta love that arcade realism PC speaker sound!

    Reply
  • christo930

    That's because these other systems were specifically designed to play games and manipulate graphics and sound with hardware based sound and graphics, albeit at a much lower resolution. Where these other systems failed were their being labeled and marketed as home computers, having little expansion capability, couldn't support novel, lantastic, and other popular networks at the time and didn't support token-ring at all, which nearly every large corporation was locked into through mainframe.

    Reply
  • Nik Neuy

    lol rambo is being attacked by medical surgeants in ega mode

    Reply
  • CaseofGlass

    I do remember old review you had as well. Didn't know it was removed…Ah how the times have flown.

    Reply
  • RogerThat

    Good review, very bad playing πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • toedCarnivore2

    can you play spyro the dragon πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Unlimited1Ups

    The sound effects are BOSS. They should have called it "Bleep-Bloop-Bleep Warriors"

    Reply
  • LGR

    They often contained some kind of customized subset of an operating system on-disk, yes. Similar to how many Apple II games included some ProDOS code on its booter disks. Very handy for playing the games on configurations with different operating systems, so long as the BIOS and hardware were compatible.

    Reply
  • Serpico's Beard

    I remember a lot of C64 and ZX Spectrum games used to feature arcade screenshots on the box and then the actual game would look like shit too.

    Reply
  • ThePressurizer

    Haha, Back in the day publishers could get away with a lot more …

    Reply
  • theshak

    I love how your Duke Nukem accent comes through sometimes lol

    Reply
  • MCP90

    i think it use cga and ega because vga wasnt so popular at the time (or it either exist at the time of the relase of the game)

    Reply
  • Anime Reviews

    As always you reviews are entertaining. I LOLed at the Zelda map, but I'm almost completely sure you knew you were getting a lousy "PC port" when you bought it. I remember these ports from my childhood and we always knew the PC version will be inferior to the arcade.

    Reply
  • LGR

    Oh of course, but I like to play things up for nostalgic laughs. I remember being shocked the first time discovering that these ports lied on the boxes as a kid, and I've never forgotten that experience.

    Reply
  • censor2112

    Speaking of rambo ripofs there was a rambo game exsacly like this

    Reply
  • PocusUK

    Hah I had this on my Amiga500 (it had the arcade gfx) my friend and I would always laugh at the strange giant palm trees that the plane crashed next on the intro

    Reply
  • Lee

    In the 80s was a fan of Commando in the arcades, so when Ikari Warriors came out I bought it for the Spectrum 128K. Great game but really wanted a rotary joystick, I can't remember if one was released for the Speccy.

    Reply
  • NoctemOUT

    Is that "4D Boxing" in the background there? I seem to remember seeing that game on shelves way back when.

    Reply
  • LGR

    4D Sports Boxing, yes. Intriguing little game.

    Reply
  • Eternal

    Deus ex

    Reply
  • delatroy

    Testosterone ejaculation @[email protected]

    Reply
  • Morahman7vnNo2

    Cool! A Commodore PET!

    Reply
  • cubajon

    George Forehead FTW!

    Reply
  • Kyle Cerlan

    0:39 sees Deus Ex on shelf brb reinstalling deus ex

    Reply
  • DuduKrazy

    Where did the hair go?

    Reply
  • 5U7UR3DASHAMAN

    I had a copy of animal crossing come with a memory card with data from the not yet existing legend of zelda twilight zone…
    yeah..
    dont kno whats up with freaking japanese products and random zelda things stuffed into them!

    Reply
  • Dan Hoang

    ABBA

    Reply
  • machinesbreathe

    I had this for my Tandy 1000 TL back in '88. You will be happy to know that Tandy Graphics are also supported though there is no title music, which, according to the video, I probably wouldn't have missed it that much.

    Reply
  • Alebone

    IPad warriors πŸ˜€

    Reply
  • OnekiKai

    Where did the hair go? (You should see the AVGN review on the NES version. =P)

    Reply
  • JohnSTF72

    Well,they mostly used arcade screenshots back then toο»Ώ make you think it looks 'just like the arcade'.Then you took it home and you were (usually) treated with dissapointment.On the graphics department at least.But if the gameplay was close or spot-on,any graphical deficiences were pretty much forgiven.

    Reply
  • bar barian

    I guess if you were getting frustrated repeating the same part of the game, you could always swap the colour pallet and pretend it was a different level…
    Just found your channel by the way and i love it, subbydubbydoo!
    All the best man

    Reply
  • Matrilwood

    Gotta love the old days, where false advertising wouldn't get you slapped with a lawsuit and/or a Metacritic score of 0.5

    Reply
  • Vincent GR

    CPC and ZX versions were the best.

    Reply
  • davidmreyes77

    The PC Street Fighter 1 was the same in the sense that the box artwork shown screenshots of the arcade game, but in fact looked nothing like it.

    Reply
  • jacobson084

    Games released on PC in the 80s were so laughable. Fortunately things changed in the early 90s when Doom came out and other computers (Amiga, Atari) bit the dust πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Kyle Gregory

    Would anyone be able to give me a few pointer for a good video game review because I'm going to make my first video game review tomorrow

    Reply
  • Niklas Pihl

    I actually like the CGA version, but I do prefer the EGA version.
    Did you play this game on a Tandy computer? Great review!!

    Reply
  • KitaHavada

    ABBA! oh wait wrong chanel

    Reply
  • RAQUAAHWA TheCodedtestament

    The best version is the original arcade title, but the NES port is pretty good too. Probably the best thing is the co-op game play. There is also a memorable stage where all the enemies look like Player 1 and 2.ο»Ώ

    Reply
  • mason s.

    I realize the game is probably too old to try for an early version of Wads + mouse, but they do have another forty-odd keys to use. Β Are the designers really to lazy to implement a Robotron-style aimimg system?

    Reply
  • ZRDR

    I take it this is better than the NES port?

    Reply
  • Robert Phoenix

    Had the C64 version and my nephew had the amstrad version. Both rocked due to the multiplayer co-op mode. And both of those versions looked lightyears better then this DOS version as far as I remember.

    Reply
  • xj0462

    i actually managed to beat the arcade versio(well, the PSPS Mini port) thru sheer virtual quarter pumping

    Reply
  • RRW

    I'm not sure if I'd get it either way, but out of curiosity, how would you get games like this working on a modern PC? Does it need some kind of VM, or can you still just boot into it (assuming you somehow had a modern PC that can read 5.25" drives)?

    Reply
  • LyingSecret

    I know this video is older now, but how would you play two player on this game? Two keyboards? or is it just life/turn based?

    Reply
  • EXITMUSIC2011

    I used to work with the guy who wrote the Atari ST version!

    Reply
  • RedShirt Rookie

    It lied

    Reply
  • darkmage07070777

    "Maybe you get to grenade Link in this game; that would be awesome!"

    Holy crap, I wish Newgrounds was still big so that I could hope to see an Ikari/Zelda spoof based on this.

    Reply
  • Deist

    That first street fighter was horrid. I remember buying it at Sam's club and the game looked nothing like it did on the back cover.

    Reply
  • draggonhedd

    HOw does the CGA mode look over composite video? Maybe it used the color trick.

    Reply
  • Niambi Allah

    Aw I remember playing this

    Reply
  • Dude Man

    Fun fact, SNK game The King of Fighters has the Ikari Warriors.
    Ralf Jones and Clark Steel!

    Reply
  • ZoneCracker

    Played the NES version! Great memories! ^^

    Reply
  • arranmc182

    I can let the graphics issues slide as it does offer PC Booting of the game thats a nice touch

    Reply
  • LazlowFromSpace

    Where did their hair go????

    Reply
  • Matt Ring

    I asked my dad to order me the Nintendo port of this game off Amazon (I'm paying for it with allowance money). Still waiting dad, if you're reading this! Summer vacation don't last forever, and this is probably my last one!!!

    Reply
  • Anagnostis79

    I had this on the CPC and it rocked. It also had a sequel called Victory Road. I don't know if it was ported to the PC. You should check it out!

    Reply
  • Tularis

    Amiga version was best

    Reply
  • Zero Kurapika

    So where is Leona ?

    Reply
  • nightsong81

    ζ€’ – "Ikari" [ee-KAH-ree] Origin: Japanese. Meaning: Anger, rage, fury. What Rambo shoots at you to turn you into a frog.

    Reply
  • Peace, Love and Guns

    Dang. The nes version was objectively better!?

    Reply
  • Mober Ember

    ABBA ABBA ABBA ABBA

    Reply
  • LOUDcarBOMB

    2:43 I bet someone wished for a nuclear winter I bet.

    Reply
  • Leon Douwma

    Up, Down, A, A, B, Left, Right, A, B, Up, A, Down, Right, Right, Left, B, Up, Left, A, Right…..

    Reply
  • Grumpy Modeler

    I'm from the future. Did you ever play Alley Cat?

    Reply
  • nycoshouse

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ysyug1RPkdo

    Reply
  • sheepthehack

    The ATARI ST version and AMIGA versions were almost ARCADE PERFECT!!!! There was no fucking excuse for this NOT to look amazing on a damn PC!!!!

    Reply

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