The Sword of the Samurai wiki last edited by BeachThunder on 07/24/14 07:40AM View full history


Sword of the Samurai is a 1989 action strategy game from Microprose Software, made by much of the same team that made the similar Covert Action. The gameplay consists of a combination of several different phases as players rise in the ranks of feudal Japan, which is achieved, similar to Covert Action, through various mini-games. Through the success of these mini-games, players' favor rises and their chance to succeed their superior increases. The eventual goal of the game is to become shogun and unite Japan. Politics play a large role in this, from marrying the right woman, to knowing when to bow down to a stronger rival.

Game Phases

  • Samurai - As a Samurai, players hold only a small fief and control only a small band of soldiers. The first goal is usually to find a wife to bear children, and then to rise through the ranks of respect by either amassing a strong army or committing honorable acts. If successful, the player's hatamoto will name you as his successor.
  • Hatamoto - As a hatamoto, players have a much bigger fief, and thus control a much bigger army. Gameplay is otherwise almost identical to the Samurai phase.
  • Daimyo - The final phase; the player's armies are bigger than ever and players now are given a strategic map of all of Japan, and can conquer enemy territories. Now, players must manage quarrelling and malcontent underlings, and either peacefully subdue or forcefully conquer the opposition in the quest to unify Japan.


  • Dueling - A one on one sword fight. Players are able to block and swing a sword in various directions, in addition to moving about a small play area. It comes in several scenarios, including training, killing cornered assassinations, or even duels from wandering swordsmen. Failure can often lead to death. Victory grants honor.
  • Melee - Viewed from overhead, players are confronted with a multitude of enemies they must defeat. Like dueling, it comes in a variety of differing scenarios, such as infiltrating mountain bandit bases to save damsels in distress, sneaking into a rivals castle to assassinate him, or defending a village from bandit attack. Victory can grant honor, or in the damsel in distress case, a bride.
  • Battle - A strategy mini-game viewed from an overhead perspective. Players are either on the offensive, or the defensive, and can pick from a few different formations and approaches to begin with. The player's army starts off as pure infantry, more varied troop types become available as the player's troop count grows. Eventually players will control archers, horsemen, and arquebuses (very early pre-musket guns). The attacking side always marches towards the defending side, and the side that either eliminates or routes the enemy wins. Victory often grants more territory, and thus a larger army.

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