Shadow Warrior

aka: Lo Wang is Shadow Warrior, Ninja Master, SW, Shadow Warrior 3D, Shadow Warrior Classic
DOS Specs [ all ]
See Also
Buy on DOS
$13.45 used, $39.99 new at eBay
Buy on Macintosh
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(prices updated 9/26 9:37 PM )

Description official descriptions

Lo Wang has been working as a Shadow Warrior (a bodyguard and mercenary of sorts) for the powerful Zilla Corporation for years. But when he discovered the evil Zilla's plan to summon monsters from other dimensions and conquer the world, he left in disgust. Realizing that Lo Wang might jeopardize his plans, Zilla sends his assassins after him.

Shadow Warrior is a first-person shooter similar in style and gameplay to Duke Nukem 3D. The game set in a generic "Asialand", which looks like China and Japan conflated together. It features deliberately immature and politically incorrect humor, as well as a protagonist who delivers regular one-liners, commenting upon the situation at hand. Much of the humor is derived from over-the-top, stereotypical portrayals of Asian culture (e.g. scantily clad young women drawn in Japanese anime style).

The player has to complete several levels, fighting enemies and occasionally solving puzzles on the way. Though the game primarily focuses on exploration and combat, puzzle-solving plays a larger role than in most other contemporary shooters. There are also a few sequences that allow the player to drive vehicles, some of which have mounted weapons. Like Duke Nukem 3D, the game's environments are interactive, allowing the player to manipulate or destroy scenery and many objects, often revealing secret areas. On a technical side, the game introduces climbable ladders, true room-over-room situations, and voxels (instead of sprites) for weapons and inventory items.

Enemies include evil ninjas with various weapons, "coolies" which carry a crate of dynamite and blow themselves up when near the player character, female assassins with crossbows, and many more. To combat them, Lo Wang can use a variety of weapons and items. Weapons include: Lo Wang's fists, a katana, shuriken, a riot gun, an Uzi (two of which can be equipped and used at a time), a rocket launcher firing heat-seeking or nuclear missile, a grenade launcher, sticky bombs, a railgun, and even some enemy body parts. Many of these weapons have a secondary firing mode. Lo Wang can also find and use gadgets such as caltrops to leave in the enemies' way, or gas bombs to choke foes who happen to be near it.

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Credits (DOS version)

29 People (19 developers, 10 thanks) · View all



Average score: 69% (based on 34 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 91 ratings with 5 reviews)

Lo Wang is not the best FPS character around these days

The Good
Shadow Warrior is the second game by 3D Realms that uses the Duke Nukem 3D Engine. Besides the interface looking good, it basically has the same layout as in Duke Nukem 3D: Health and Armor on the left side, Ammo and Inventory on the right, and a list of weapons in the middle. The only difference is that there is a compass above the information.

In Shadow Warrior, you play Lo Wang, a trained specialist in martial arts. Wang used to work at a corporation known as Zilla Enterprises. Unfortunately, due to crime and corruption, Wang made the mistake of leaving the corporation, and as a result, Zilla Enterprises has built an army of monsters that will take over Japan, with some of them going after Wang. Some of the enemies include ninjas, coolie, coolie ghosts, rippers, and hornets.

This is where “Lo Wang Speak” comes in. When you waste enemies, more often than not, he’ll start to say something like “Oh Look! You coming apart”, “you’re not half the man you used to be”, or “Oh, you little tiny dick”. Other parts of the game you hear “Lo Wang Speak” is where he interacts with NPCs (Non-Playing Characters), and you’ll meet the first batch of them in level three, and look like anime chicks. When Wang attempts to strike up a conversation with them by saying such lines as “Lo Wang soap you good”, “You want to wash Wang, or do you want to watch Wang wash Wang?”, or “Hello? What died down here”, all they do is say “piss off” or “you jerk”, and shoot you. Then there’s the old woman in a later level who tempts Wang to pash her, by saying “Give me a little kiss Lo Wang” and giggling. Another bit of interactivity is where you get to drive tanks or boats equipped with their own machine guns. This way you can shoot a load of enemies at once.

You’ll also have the chance to solve some puzzles in order to get past an obstacle in your way. In level one, for example, you have to play with one of the toy cars carrying a silver key, and you have to get it into an open gap, so that Wang can grab the key off its back. Speaking of keys, in each level, you must collect different keys of different colors (red, bronze, gold, silver, yellow, or green) that correspond to the color on one of the doors in the level.

When he says at the start “You no mess with Lo Wang”, he is not joking. He will start his quest in his own apartment somewhere in downtown Japan, and go on a bloody rampage through subways, construction sites, temples, bathhouses, prisons, boats, and airport terminals. Besides his sword, Wang starts out with a set of shurikens, which he can throw to slice enemies. Other weapons include the fist, riot gun, Uzi, grenade launcher, missile launcher, and heat seeker. When Wang decides to stand and do nothing for a while, a fly will buzz around him, causing Wang to catch him with chopsticks.

The Bad
Shadow Warrior comes with two episodes. The shareware episode “Enter the Wang” only has four levels, while the episode designed for the full version “Code of Honor” contains eighteen levels. I found that some of the levels are difficult to pass, that I had to use the no clipping cheat.

The Bottom Line
This game is good, but Duke Nukem 3D is better. ** ½

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2002

Who wanted some wang? (The japanese Duke Nukem)

The Good
The build engine in SW has been updated and there are a lot more of possibilities to interact with everything surrounding you (you can drive vehicles like tanks "!", use remote controls and lots of funny stuff to do) there is also an interesting option were you can toggle 2D objects to 3D objects, not very good looking but it's a detail. There are also lots of humor, you will hear through all the game lots of quotes by Lo-Wang in a pure Duke-ish style (You no mess with Lo Wang!)

The Bad
If you just only want action some of the puzzles in the game might frustrate and bore you, there are not only key-finding puzzles, so some more a bit more complicated... Sometimes i found myself entering a room and getting killed at the instant by a bunch of monsters, the monsters are real though sometimes.

The Bottom Line
An interesting game that has not received very good reviews, maybe because it's more of the same? or because those reviewers haven't played it enough to discover the little jewels this game hides? Anyway it's real funny and challenging. Cowabunga!

DOS · by Depth Lord (934) · 2004

Do not play this game.

The Good
First, let me say what was good about this game. The graphics were pretty good, better than Duke Nukem 3D's but on a par with Blood. The jokes in in Shadow Warrior were funny, and having the ability to drive various vehicles was also a good innovation, but could not make up for the game's defects.

The Bad
Where do I start? The weapon selection in this game was absolutely horrid. The twin Uzi's were and heat-seeking missle launcher were good weapons, but the rest were bland and unoriginal. Shadow Warrior's item selection was confusing at best; I could never figure out which did what, so I rarely used them. In that area alone the games is inferior to Duke Nukem 3D. The enemies were not very interesting, unlike other games, and were difficult to defeat at times, due to the fact they could damage you quickly. Also another aspect of the game I did not like was the fact that there was to much platform jumping. At several points in the game, this irritated me so much I almost quit.

The Bottom Line
I would have to be paid to play this game. I would recommend staying away from it.

DOS · by Mr. Hapton (13) · 2004

[ View all 5 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Intro & Cutscenes? Unicorn Lynx (180491) May 9th, 2010



In Great Britain this game was partially censored: they took out the ninja star weapon (shuriken) and reduced the gore levels.

Cut content

In the Master's Dojo, there is a picture of four Hentai girls (naked anime women) but only three of them can be found throughout the level. The graphics of the missing girl are still in the data files where she can be seen plunging a sword into her belly (presumably at the feet of her dead master).

Development history

Shadow Warrior was in development way before Duke Nukem 3D hit the store shelves, but as evidenced by pre-Duke ads it originally was a much more "serious" game. Duke's success as a politically-incorrect, off-the-wall shooter prompted a re-focusing of the game's content. So Lo Wang was created (originally the main character was an avenging angel kind of character), the story and levels were rewritten, and the weapons were modified (originally you had one Uzi, and threw only one shuriken, plus your arsenal included a crossbow, a lightning-throwing gauntlet, and an assortment of spells.

German index

On August 30, 1997, Shadow Warrior was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.

Graphics engine

Shadow Warrior uses the same Build engine as Duke Nukem 3D, but has some additional enhancements over that version, like transparent water, colored lighting, and reflective floors.


As an example of the game's subversive humour, the main character's name is Lo Wang. Wang is actually a slang term meaning penis. Consider the possibilities when Lo Wang says to a bunch of geishas "so, you want to wash Wang or you want to watch Wang wash Wang?" Also at one point in the game it is mentioned that Lo Wang has a brother, Hung Lo, continuing the same style of humor.


There were two novels based on Shadow Warrior. You Only Die Twice by Ryan Hughes, and For Dead Eyes Only by Dean Wesley Smith. Both were published by Pocket Books.


In the Seppuku Station level, head to the snack area (enter into the station via the door that has to be opened with the gold key, go down the luggage chute directly across from the door, and head into the conveyor on the left immediately exiting the first chute). Look at the little fliers all over the column in the room, and you'll see one of Lina Inverse of Slayers.

References to other games

In one level, Lo Wang comes across a female character chained to the wall that bears a striking resemblance to Lara Croft of the Tomb Raider series. He utters, "I guess she raid her last tomb!"* In the Bath House stage (level 12), you're treated to a nice display of explosions just before the level starts. Lo Wang makes a comment when they end about how it looks like something Duke Nukem would do.

Source code

On April 1, 2005, 3D Realms released the full source code, based on the 1.2 version, under a restrictive GPL license. The data files can be used for entertainment and education purposes, but they remain licensed/copyrighted and are not to be redistributed. There is no official support, but the company has opened a new dev forum on their website.


Shadow Warrior has a feature that wasn't present in any of the other Build games, it supports voxels. Voxels are kind of like 3D pixels (i.e., cubes), and 3D objects constructed out of voxels don't have the ugly, blocky look that polygons give them. Ken Silverman finished a rudimentary voxel engine just in time for Shadow Warrior, and it was added to the game. You can enable voxels in the options menu, and it makes all game objects 3D at the expense of a lot of memory.

Wanton Destruction add-on

Soon after the release of the game, an add-on pack by the name of Wanton Destruction was announced, but ultimately cancelled. In September 2005, Anthony Campiti, from the Sunstorm company, which was developing the expansion, found the code back and passed it on to 3D Realms. Owners of the original v1.2 registered version can now download it for free. It contains 12 new missions and 4 multiplayer maps. The more in depth story about this can be read here.

Despite their note, it is possible to play the add-on with JonoF's Win32/Linux port without having the original DOS version installed. Either run the setup, and search for a WT.GRP file on your hard drive (it'll be in a temp folder), or use an archive program to extract the file from the setup EXE without running it. Nevertheless, 3D Realms offered a token of good faith by reducing the price of the original game to $10.

Information also contributed by Andy Voss, ClydeFrog, Maw, Satoshi Kunsai, Sciere, Tomer Gabel, Xoleras, and Zovni

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Related Sites +

  • Crap Shoot
    A humorous review on PC Gamer
  • IGCD Internet Game Cars Database
    Game page on IGCD, a database that tries to archive vehicles found in video games.
  • JonoF's Shadow Warrior Port
    A port using Shadow Warrior's source code that adds native Windows and Linux port using a Build engine port, OpenGL rendering support and True-colour textures support.
  • RTCM
    The largest Build Game resource website!
  • Shadow Warrior
    official game page at the 3D Realms website from late 1996, preserved by the Wayback Machine
  • Shadow Warrior - Coming from 3D Realms
    game development page at the Apogee/3D Realms website, snapshot preserved by the Wayback Machine
  • Shadow Warrior Central
    Keeping Shadow Warrior Alive Since 1999! A Shadow Warrior resource website.
  • Wang's Dojo
    One of the most comprehensive Shadow Warrior sites available. Has many Total Conversions (TC's), files, patches, demos, screenshots, tricks, cheats, latest info about the "Shadow Warrior Scene" and tons more!

Identifiers +


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Windows added by lights out party. Macintosh added by Scaryfun. iPad, iPhone added by me3D31337.

Additional contributors: Andy Voss, Kate Jones, Xantheous, Dae, Alaka, Maw, lights out party, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger, MrFlibble, Victor Vance, Rob G.

Game added November 5th, 1999. Last modified September 28th, 2023.