Sengoku (known in Japan as Sengoku Denshou, loosely translated to "Legacy of the Warring States") is a belt-scrolling brawler developed and released by SNK for arcades (running Neo Geo MVS hardware) on February 12, 1991.
SNK's first beat-'em-up, Sengoku pits two unnamed protagonists against feudal Japanese hordes invading a modern-age city (similar to Alpha Denshi's Ninja Combat) from the spirit world. Along with their martial arts skills, they can possess various swords and magical attacks (by obtaining special colored orbs dropped by enemies) and can temporarily transform into one of three ancient warriors (obtained by defeating certain enemies).
It was also released for the Neo Geo AES for all regions during their respective launch dates and ported to the Neo Geo CD on March 17, 1995. It was also ported to the Super Famicom (by Data East on September 19, 1993) and Mega CD (by Sammy on December 28, 1993), both released exclusively in Japan. It is the first game released on the Neo Geo to receive an official third-party port for another home console.
The game received two sequels, all three of which were later released in the 2009 compilation Sengoku Anthology for the PlayStation 2 and PC. The game was also released as part of the SNK Arcade Classics 1 compilation in 2008, and the Neo Geo version was added to the Wii's Virtual Console in 2013.
Enemies occasionally drop power-ups that provide various benefits:
- Green Orbs: Heal a small amount of damage.
- Red Orbs: Gives the player a sword temporarily, increasing their damage output.
- Cyan Orbs: Gives the player two swords, increasing damage further.
- Purple Orbs: Gives the player a slower but more powerful two-handed sword.
- Yellow Orbs: Gives the player a ranged magic attack that can hit distant enemies.
In addition, the player is able to transform into three forms: A quick but less powerful wolf form that can damage enemies by leaping; a strong samurai form that towers over most enemies; and a ninja form that can beat enemies into submission with its fast attacks. These can be selected and used in game, but only sparingly. In the Super Famicom version, these transformations appear randomly alongside the orb power-ups and wear off after a while.