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Ikari Warriors

aka: Arcade Archives: Ikari, Arcade Archives: Ikari Warriors, Ikari
Moby ID: 6739

Description official descriptions

Ikari Warriors is a vertically scrolling action game where one or two players fight their way through a variety of terrain, such as jungles, rivers, and ruins. Along the way different weapons can be found, including machine guns, grenades, and rocket launchers.


  • アーケードアーカイブス 怒 -IKARI- - Japanese PS4 / Switch spelling
  • 怒 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Commodore 64 version)

6 People



Average score: 63% (based on 33 ratings)


Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 115 ratings with 4 reviews)

The revolution will occur in slow motion!

The Good
Some of the more frequent criticisms of Ikari Warriors strike me as too harsh. The graphics are often knocked for being blocky and a little garish (blues, greens, and even gasp pinks, all thrown together in a rather tacky mess). True enough, but this is a first-generation NES title after all. Besides, a little unrealistic color variation makes the levels seem less monotonous as you plow through them.

The music and sounds are a little weak, but not bad. Sure, it’ll make you want to hit the mute button and listen to your stereo, but the same thing could be said about 90% of the other 8-bit games out there.

Conceptually, this game really ought to work. It’s just enough of an evolution of the Commando template to stand on its own. It adds 360-degree movement and firing (including grenades) capability, limited ammunition, playable vehicles (tanks, choppers), and—perhaps most importantly—a two-player cooperative mode. These additions combine to create a rather different experience from Commando. It suggests a slower, more thoughtful breed of shooter that rewards patience and conservatism over adrenaline and quick reflexes.

The Bad
The cold, hard truth, though, is that Ikari Warriors is still a bad game. Why? Because it is simply far, FAR too difficult. And I don’t mean “difficult” in the way all 1980s arcade games were difficult. I mean pull-your-hair-out, stomp-your-feet, maddeningly difficult. This is one of the hardest games I’ve ever encountered, period.

You only start out with two lives, and one hit kills (even counting friendly fire!). This wouldn’t be so bad if you had the usual advantages that shooters give the human player: faster speed, greater firing range, unlimited ammo, etc. Alas, in Ikari Warriors, the swarms upon swarms of CPU enemies are given all of these advantages instead.

Yes, you can hop into tanks and helicopters to help even the odds, but that just gets at the problem here—it merely keeps you in the game. Usually an arcade game will give you a superweapon so you’ll have a few brief moments of unbridled power over your enemies, allowing you to rip everything onscreen to shreds until you return to normal status. Not so in Ikari Warriors. Tanks simply allow the player to compete on an even footing with the computer. Which means that losing your tank almost guarantees your game is over, so you might as well go ahead and hit the reset button.

It’s a crying shame that Ikari Warriors is so woefully unbalanced. If this were a movie, you'd want Arnold Schwarzeneggar to be your warrior hero. Instead, you're stuck with his dumpy little "twin," Danny Devito. The movement of your soldier is so slow and cumbersome, it destroys whatever considerable appeal this game might have had to shooter fans.

The Bottom Line
Ikari Warriors might be the most unnecessarily bad game I have ever played. It is unquestionably influential, but that doesn’t make it worth playing.

NES · by PCGamer77 (3158) · 2011

Solid conversion, retains the feel of the arcafe version, but easier.

The Good
Being a huge fan of the superb IKARI Warriors arcade game, I eagerly awaited this PC port by Quicksilver. The graphics are fairly faithful to the original, with a nice colourful EGA version, and good use of the limited CGA palette. The scrolling is very well done for its time and is very smooth compared to other PC arcade action games released around this period. Game play is just as good as the arcade version, with all the same weapons, the tanks, and a great two-player version and four levels of mayhem. The control has been simplified to firing in the direction your player is moving in, but this still works very well and is nice and easy when using the keyboard.

The Bad
The music is very annoying, fortunately it can be turned off. The graphical area is only a small window on the screen, and therefore not as much detail is on screen as the arcade and Atari ST versions. The action is slower than the arcade version also, and only 4 enemies at a time appear on screen which makes the difficulty level a lot easier than the arcade version. After you master the game it is possible to keep playing it through (it loops back to the start) 4 or 5 times until your score clocks itself and goes back to zero or you get bored and turn it off. And the cool plane crashing in the jungle intro isn't here either.

The Bottom Line
A furious, second-generation version of Commando, with cool weapons, great jungle-based level design, tanks and a great two-player version. Nice looking graphics and it retains the great feel of the arcade version. Its very cool chasing around grunts in a tank and running over them!

PC Booter · by Anthony Bull (24) · 2003

The thinking man's, one man against against a whole army game.

The Good
Like any genre in time there is always an influx of games jumping on the bandwagon or trying to improve the genre, Ikari Warriors is just like many, many games. We all know the plot, one man (or two men) has to walk up the screen with a gun and grenades and take on a whole army to face the boss and kill him.

With many other titles which include games like Commando, Mercs or Who Dares Wins II, you keep moving, shooting and never stopping till you get to the end of the level. Well I ask you say, what makes Ikari Warrriors on the Commodore 64 different. I'll tell you.

The game is just one giant level and the big difference to me is that rushing forward will have you killed in seconds. This game is all about patience. As you move forward a collection of soldiers, tanks or helicopters appear from all directions in a set formation. Some soldiers keep running but the majority will stop in a set position. Here you can now plan your attack. Once they are killed you move forward again and again.

Another reason not to rush are mines. A mine will start flashing a warning if your a couple of steps away so nice slow progress in in order. The power-ups the soldiers leave behind do make a good difference.

For a change in scenery, tanks can be climbed into and driven up country. These offer you good protection but can still be destroyed by mines, grenades or other tanks. Once hit you do have a couple of seconds to abandon the vehicle before it explodes. Likewise, running out fuel causes it to explode as well.

The Bad
Although this is one of my favourite games there are a few niggles. When you lose a life you lose all your power-ups and later on in the game there are some situations when these make life so much easier. In a two player game you can shoot your buddy, which when in the heat of battle can be frustrating.

The Bottom Line
If you just want to play and not think with random enemies then Commando is for you. If you want a game to allow you to progress slowly and really feel that you have deserved the distance you've covered then Ikari Warriors is for you.

Commodore 64 · by Hello X) (11585) · 2012

[ View all 4 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Ikari Warriors appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

BPjS/BPjM index

On June 30, 1988, Ikari Warriors 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.


The Ikari Warriors (Ralf & Clark) would later appear as playable characters in SNK's The King of Fighters game series with brand new looks and moves. Interestingly enough, on the first KOF (where teams are country-based), the Ikari Warriors represent Brazil.

C64 version differences

There are two completely different C64 conversions of the game. The US version was done by Quicksilver. The European version was done by Elite. The European version has better graphics, sound, and gameplay. It also uses the upper and lower screenborder and doesn't use the whole horizontal resolution to imitate the vertical look of the arcade.

ZX Spectrum version

Wondering why the Spectrum version was released so late, especially considering that the ST and Amiga versions were released first? So are many Spectrum enthusiasts. Famed programmer David Perry worked on a version that was due for release in late 1986 - no one knows for sure why this version was scrapped, and a different version not released for another 18 months.


  • Commodore Format
    • November 1994 (Issue 50) – #32 The All-Time Top 50 C64 Games

Information also contributed by Martin Smith , nudgegoonies, and Xoleras

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

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Amiga added by EboMike. NES, Atari ST added by PCGamer77. PSP, PlayStation 3 added by Lain Crowley. Arcade added by 666gonzo666. Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 added by Rik Hideto. Commodore 16, Plus/4 added by FatherJack. Antstream added by firefang9212. Atari 7800 added by RKL. ZX Spectrum added by Kabushi. Amstrad CPC added by Игги Друге. MSX added by koffiepad. Windows added by Jeanne. Apple II added by rcoltrane.

Additional contributors: Oyn, Zovni, Alaka, Игги Друге, Rik Hideto, FatherJack.

Game added June 16th, 2002. Last modified September 1st, 2023.