The The Genji and the Heike Clans wiki last edited by Mento on 11/22/14 08:29AM
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Genpei Touma Den, given the official localization title The Genji and the Heike Clans in a 1997 rerelease, is an 1986 Arcade brawler from Namco and one of the earliest examples of the genre. The player, as the resurrected spirit of historical ninja Taira no Kagekiyo of the Heike clan, must defeat the (now ruling) Genji clan which had wiped out the Heike prior to the game's events. The player runs across the screen slashing enemies and avoiding obstacles from all directions, eventually reaching a torii (shrine gate) that leads to the next level.
Genpei Touma Den was first ported to the Japanese home computer the Sharp X68000 in 1988 in a more or less Arcade-perfect conversion. It received a PC Engine port in 1990 from Now Productions, which is the version that would eventually be rereleased in Namco Museum Vol. 4, and is subsequently the version most familiar to the US. The PC Engine version was also rereleased on the Wii's Virtual Console in Japan.
The game saw a couple of console-exclusive sequels. On the Famicom, Genpei Touma Den: Computer Boardgame is a board game spin-off. The direct sequel Genpei Touma Den: Kan no Ni (best known in the US as Samurai Ghost) was released exclusively for the PC Engine and its American equivalent the TurboGrafx-16.
The Genji and the Heike Clans is a touchstone in Namco's video game development history, along with formative titles such as The Tower of Druaga and Pac-Man, and given Namco's propensity to revisit their legacy games in contemporary titles such as Tales and crossovers like Namco x Capcom, both Genpei Touma Den and its protagonist Taira no Kagekiyo have appeared multiple times as references and/or cameos.