ⓘ The Last Blade is a fighting game developed and released by SNK for the Neo Geo system in 1997. It was also ported to several home systems. A sequel, The Last B ..

The Last Blade

ⓘ The Last Blade

The Last Blade is a fighting game developed and released by SNK for the Neo Geo system in 1997. It was also ported to several home systems. A sequel, The Last Blade 2, was released in 1998.

The game takes place during the Bakumatsu era in Japan, and incorporates various elements of Japanese mythology with a heavy emphasis on the symbology of the Four Symbols. As such, the background music generally incorporates synthesized instruments simulating a sound appropriate to the 19th century setting, in a Western classical, pseudo-Romantic style unusual for a fighting game.


1. Gameplay

The Last Blade series is seen as a spiritual successor to SNKs popular Samurai Shodown series, due to it being a similar 2D weapons-based fighting game. The gameplay is characterised by two selectable fighting styles, and a unique combo system along with a "deflect" system which involves pressing the D button at an opponents attack. Upon deflecting, the opponent is left open to attack.

The two styles consist of two modes: Speed mode and Power mode. Speed mode allows players to chain several normal attacks into a special or desperation/super move, as well as execute a Speed Combo. Power mode on the other hand, grants the player increased damage potential exponentially and giving access to Super Desperation Moves which inflict an exorbitant amount of damage the prerequisites to performing them however, requires the players life bar to flash and have a full power bar. Power mode also allows the player to perform Super Cancels; canceling a special move into a desperation/super move but not a desperation move, with the sole exception of Awakened Kaede in the first game.


2. Characters

All of the characters in the Last Blade series are of Japanese origin, excluding Lee Rekka, who is from China, and Yuki, who is from Russia. Some characters, such as Akatsuki Musashi and Lee Rekka, are based on historical or legendary figures. A number of characters from the Last Blade series also appeared in SNK Playmores Neo Geo Battle Coliseum.


3. Ports and re-releases

The Last Blade was subsequently bundled with the sequel The Last Blade 2 for a PlayStation 2 compilation released only in Japan titled Bakumatsu Roman Gekka no Kenshi 1・2 on January 12, 2006; both games are arcade perfect emulations of the original games. The PlayStation version was re-released for PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network in Asia on May 31, 2007 and later for Vita.

It was re-released for Wii via the Virtual Console by D4 Enterprise in Japan on March 13, 2012, in North America on June 7, 2012, and in PAL regions on August 2, 2012.

A port for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux and asm.js developed by DotEmu was released by SNK Playmore as part of the Humble NEOGEO 25th Anniversary Bundle on December 8, 2015. It was released on Steam on August 31, 2016, and on on May 30, 2017.

Hamster Corporation re-released the game as part of their ACA Neo Geo series for Xbox One via Xbox Games Store on May 18, 2017; for PlayStation 4 via PlayStation Store in Japan on May 18, 2017, in PAL regions on May 25, 2017 and in North America on June 15, 2017; for Nintendo Switch via Nintendo eShop on December 14, 2017; and for Windows 10 via Microsoft Store on February 28, 2018.

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