Arcade Video game published 35 years ago by Data East Corp.

Listed in MAME

Dragonninja screenshot

Dragonninja © 1988 Data East.

Dragonninja is a sideways scrolling platform beat-em-up for one or two players in which the US president, President Ronnie (based on ex-U.S. president, Ronald Reagan), has been abducted by the nefarious DragonNinja clan.

Players take on the role of two government agents - 'Blade' and 'Striker' - who must fight their way through 7 enemy-packed levels to defeat the DragonNinja and save the President.

Each stage must be completed with a set time limit and initially the agents can only punch, kick and jump, although they can execute powerful spinning kicks and have the ability to charge themselves up with "inner energy" - by holding the punch button - to throw a powerful, long-range flaming punch that hits all opponents in front of the player.

Players will also come across weapon power-ups in the form of knives and Nunchuks. Player health can be replenished by picking up the drinks cans (resembling Coco-Cola cans) that also occasionally appear. Clocks can also be picked up to extend the stage's time limit.

At the end of each stage, players must defeat powerful end-of-level bosses, the first of which is Karnov, who was the star of his own 1987 video game of the same name.

For the game's 7th and final stage, players must re-fight all of the bosses from the previous stages, before finally confronting the Dragon Ninja himself. Defeating the Dragon Ninja frees the U.S. president and the game is over.

Goodies for Dragonninja
Click to enlarge
(members only)

Main CPU : Motorola 68000
Sound CPU : MOS Technology M6502
Sound Chips : YM2203, YM3812, OKI6295

Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 2


Dragonninja was released in April 1988 in Japan.

This game is known in US as "Bad Dudes vs. Dragonninja".

'Bad Dudes' acquired something of a cult status, due in no small part to its tongue-in-cheek humour; such as the game's introduction by a Secret Service agent informing the player that 'President Ronnie has been kidnapped by the Ninjas. Are you a bad enough dude to rescue Ronnie?' After saving the President, Reagan appears in the Oval Office and delivers the line : 'Hey Dudes Thanks, for rescuing me, let's go for a burger...'.

The game includes a cameo appearance by "Karnov" (a hero in his own Data East game), who oddly enough, appears as an enemy boss rather than the good guy this time around!

The trucks on the second stage say 'Kikuchi Co., Ltd'. Kikuchi Co is a real company established on November 1953 in Japan. It manufactures and sells automobile body frame components and it is affiliated to Honda.

Polystar / Datam released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Deco History Scene I : Data East Game Music Scene One - H25X-20008) on September 25, 1988.


Here is a list of ports released in Japan. For non-Japanese ports, please see the non-Japanese version entry; "Bad Dudes vs. Dragonninja [Model 1US34]".

japan Nintendo Famicom (1989) "Dragon Ninja [Model NAM-DN-5800]"


Game's ROM.