🕹️ New release: Lunar Lander Beyond

John Romero's Daikatana

Moby ID: 1678
Note: We may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made via eBay or Amazon links (prices updated 4/23 2:58 AM )
Included in See Also

Description official descriptions

Hiro Miyamoto is a martial arts instructor and a member of an ancient clan of fighters. One day he learns that Kage Mishima, a sworn enemy of his clan, has gained possession of the Daikatana, a magical sword that allows its bearer to travel through time. As a result of Mishima's quest for power, a devastating disease is threatening humanity. Hiro and his friends must venture into different time periods, retrieve the sword, and defeat Mishima.

Daikatana is a first-person shooter using the Quake II engine. The game is divided into four episodes of several levels each, each episode taking place in a different time period: far-future Japan, ancient Greece, Dark Ages Norway, and near-future USA. The game uses cutscenes and text to tell the story. Two AI-controlled characters accompany Hiro throughout the quest, helping him in battles and also requiring protection. In addition to several different firearms, the Daikatana itself, which the player acquires in Episode 2, can gain experience and grow stronger as it is used. The game includes a multi-player deathmatch mode.


  • 大刀 - Japanese spelling

Groups +




See any errors or missing info for this game?

You can submit a correction, contribute trivia, add to a game group, add a related site or alternate title.

Credits (Windows version)

165 People (140 developers, 25 thanks) · View all



Average score: 57% (based on 49 ratings)


Average score: 2.6 out of 5 (based on 83 ratings with 12 reviews)

A challenging FPS, and I'm having fun with it.

The Good
I believe the strongest point of this game is the fact that it almost appears to be 4 different games in one box. There are four different time periods which feature different foes, weapons, maps and design. If you don't like one, play on, because the next one will be completely different. The levels feature many hidden areas reminicent of Doom and Quake 1. I believe the graphics to be good and framerates to be good as well (p2-450, 128 ram, w/Voodoo 3000). Background music is good to very good in areas. Medusa level music really added to the atmosphere. Also there is actually a story that goes along with the game as it progresses, which many FPS lack, that adds to the experience.

The Bad
Savegem crystal system requires you to have picked up a crystal to save the game. Crystals can be accumulated, but it will force numerous replays on some areas that you would prefer to be done with. Some bugs in the sidekick A.I., as has been mentioned, being killed in closed doors, if you tell them to "get" something that is out of reach, they will continue the attempt even after being recalled. Manually configuring voodoo card support.

The Bottom Line
This is a game that was originally created and was supposed to be released sometime shortly after Quake 2 was. Many problems forced numerous delays This game has received a lot of publicity and many had very high expectations of it. It took a very long time to produce and anyone interested can read a good story about it on gamespot. Many have developed a personal dislike for some of the people involved due to some of the publicity practices (slogans) released through the years, as well as other reasons. If you are expecting Unreal or Quake 3 graphics, then you don't understand what all this game has been through and need to understand the delays involved. Graphics are better than Quake 2. If you like FPS and don't have any pre-concieved notions about the game, and have some patience, you probably will like the game. A patch is soon to be released that will address many of the (constructive) complaints made about the game.

Windows · by Mr. Natural (2) · 2000

It's not that bad!

The Good
1. Bang for your buck. For $30, we're looking at 16 GIGANTIC levels in four worlds with different styles for each group.

  1. The Discus of Dadelous. It is the coolest weapon since the BFG.

3.Level design. The design is quite good. The way the levels are laid out is excellent.

  1. Multiplayer. The multiplayer levels are some of the best I've ever seen. There unbelievably tight.

  2. Sidekicks. I liked them.

This is an addendum to address something I found a personal attack that made me sick. <<The bovine, mothlike fanboys forcing themselves to love Daikatana are entertaining...in a sad, pathetic sort of way.>> First thing, I am not forcing myself to like Daikatana. I am never affected by hype. My personal opinions are created solely from the game. Secondly, if you find me entertaining, good for you! Just don't share it with everyone, or you come off like a jerk. And also, I have an opinion. Last time I checked, an opinion can't turn you into a moth or a cow. Now, I have a sense of humor, and believe me, this isn't humor.

The Bad
1. The Swamp. So bad it is scary. The epitome of bad level design. They probably hired a second grader for this level.

2.Ultimate Gas Hands-'Nuff Said

The Bottom Line
OK, so it's not the second coming, but it's not as bad as some make it out to be.

Windows · by emerging_lurker (160) · 2000

Merely Average

The Good
Intersting storyline. The nod to Nintendo's founder. Weapons are varied in certain levels, the ad campaign ION Storm ran (even though it killed this game), Romero's hair .

The Bad
Graphics, repetitive level design, cliched and rather racist side-kick characters, the insects and frogs, the hype.

The Bottom Line
This game would have been just as bad, that is to say it's par for the shooter course, had it not taken nearly half a decade to produce. Romero may have tried to re-invent the shooter, but came up well short of his mark. It's still the same find key, open door, shoot anything that moves gameplay from other mindless shooters. But not as good as more recent titles.

The hype surrounding this game didn't help either. No game could live up to the "do all end-all of gaming" moniker this game had going for it. Romero should have stayed with id. At least no one hated their lackluster titles (Quake2).

Windows · by Matt Grosvenor (1) · 2003

[ View all 12 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Should I try it? Unicorn Lynx (181775) Dec 30, 2011
incite PC gaming's Daikatana preview / interview video Foxhack (32100) Aug 19, 2007



Long before Daikatana was released, an ad for it was run in several magazines stating "John Romero's Gonna Make You His Bitch." Needless to say this upset quite a few folks.

Daikatana Deathmatch

In April 2007, a fan team released Daikatana Deathmatch (DKDM), a multiplayer-only modification stripping the game from all the single player parts to reduce the file size for players who only want the multiplayer part. It still requires a full copy of the game to play. The link can be found in the related links section.


Daikatana was in development for 3 years, exactly. The reason for the long development cycle was the switch to the Quake II engine. Romero decided to switch because of its colored lighting, among other graphical goodies, but when he finally received the source code, it was nothing like he pictured. Overall the story of the game's development and Ion Storm in general is as epic and profound as anything in the game. Check the related links for The Story of Daikatana.


The characters' sound files used in this game are not encrypted in any way. They're ordinary mp3 files which can be found in the data/sounds/voices folder of the Daikatana directory. There's quite a bit of unused dialogue in there which never made it into the full game. It seems the enemies and the player's two sidekicks were supposed to have more ambient dialogue (e.g. combat taunts, waiting sounds) than what was eventually used.


There are four Dopefish hidden in the game, one per time period.

German Windows version

In the German version enemy blood was colored grey, gore effects were removed and various human enemy modes changed, e.g. into robots or with an added mask to hide their face. A detailed list of changes can be found on schnittberichte.com (German).

Nintendo 64 version

The Nintendo 64 version misses violence in comparison to the original Windows version, e.g. purple instead of red blood. The PAL version was even cut further: the blood was replaced with sparks and civilians are immortal.


In the lobby of the Mishima Funeral Home/Crematorium, there's some solemn funeral-type music playing. This is really a slowed down version of the famous e1m1 music from DOOM.


As the sounds and dialog are not encrypted, one creative mixer was able to rearrange the dialog, add a little fake stuff here and there, add some bump-and-grind music, and came up with a long MP3 that sounds as if the two guys in the game were "engaging" the female sidekick. Computer Gaming World called it "the ONLY redeeming feature of Daikatana".


Daikatana sold 200,000 copies and had budget of over $10 million.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 2001 (Issue #201) – Coaster of the Year
  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 03/2005 - #8 Biggest Disappointment
    • Issue 02/2006 - #7 Hype Disappointment

Information also contributed by Alan Chan, bkaradzic, Kalirion, Kasey Chang, Sciere, WildKard and Zack Green.


MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Romero's Aftermath
Released 2015 on Windows
Killing Sun
Released 2020 on Windows
Released 2019 on Nintendo Switch
Released 1997 on Windows
Knife Hit
Released 2018 on iPad, 2018 on iPhone, 2020 on Android
Keen: One Girl Army
Released 2020 on Windows, Macintosh, Nintendo Switch
Akai Katana
Released 2010 on Arcade
Akai Katana
Released 2011 on Xbox 360, Windows, 2022 on PlayStation 4...
Sands of Salzaar
Released 2020 on Windows

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 1678
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Matthew Bailey.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Andrew Hartnett, John Romero, Sciere, Ms. Tea, DreinIX, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Frank Sapone, aKro.

Game added June 18, 2000. Last modified April 2, 2024.