Lost In Translation/Last Blade, The

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The Last Blade
Neo-Geo marquee.
No screen shot.
The Last Blade control panel.
Manufacturer SNK
Released 1997
Control
Method
8-way Joystick
4 Button(s)
Main CPU Neo-Geo
68000 (@ 12.000 MHz)
Z80 (@ 4.000 MHz)
Sound CPU Stereo
YM2610 (@ 8.000 MHz)
Video
Details
Raster (Horizontal)
320 x 224 pixels
59.19 Hz
4,096 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 25 ROMs
65,601,536 bytes (62.56 MiB)
MAME ID lastblad · lastblda · lastsold

About The Game

The Last Blade is a one-on-one fighting, Japanese weapons-themed arcade video game featuring beautiful artwork and sound. Twelve selectable characters and two end bosses.

Additional Technical Information

Players : 2

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 4

=> [A] Weak slash, [B] Strong slash, [C] Kick, [D] Repel

Trivia

Released in November 1997.

This game is known in Japan as "Bakumatsu Roman - Gekka no Kenshi" (translates from Japanese as 'Bakumatsu Romance - Swordsman In The Moonlight'), and in Korea as "The Last Soldier".

Parts of Gekka no Kenshi was based on the manga 'Rurouni Kenshin'.

The Bakumatsu period of Japan (1860-1899) represents the opening of Japanese ports to foreigners. The Last Blade is set during this time period and you can see Europeans in some backgrounds, as well as some European dress influences on some characters.

This game has a lot to do with Japanese religion. In what little understanding of Japanese culture, there are four gods in Japanese mythology : Seiryuu (blue dragon), Suzaku (red phoenix), Byakko (white tiger) and Genbu. Each god is associated with a direction : Byakko with west, Seiryuu with east, Genbu with north and Suzaku in the south. The four gods also seem to be portrayed in an identical manner : Suzaku is often seen as a renegade of sorts, Genbu is often wise, Byakko seems to be strong and Seiryuu seems to be the role of the protagonist. To this end, the four characters that are avatars to these gods in Gekka no Kenshi (Kaede, Okina, Shigen and Kagami) seem to fit the gods themselves to a tee (Kaede to Seiryuu, Okina to Genbu, Shigen to Byakko and Kagami to Suzaku). However, there may be one (unintentional) reference to the entire fighting game itself. These four characters may very well represent the four popular styles of characters found in nearly fighting game :

Kaede is a Shotokan-style character. This type of character, of course, is the earliest type of fighting game character (as early fighting games always had the protagonist be proficient in some form of karate). However, ever since the release of "Street Fighter II - The World Warrior", a Shoto-character refers to a character with similar moves to that of Ryu and Ken from that game, or more specifically, a character with a projectile and a built upper. Kaede fits this property well : his Ittou Hayate is a projectile (much like Ryu's Hadou Ken) and his Ittou Kuuga is a built upper (like Ken's Shoryuu Ken). Of course, Kaede may also be a nod to that of SNK's first fighting game protagonist (Terry Bogard) as well : his Kasshin Fukuryuu super is in the style of Terry's Power Geyser. To this day, many fighting game characters are known as Shoto characters - their simplicity can't be beat.

Shigen is a large character. Large characters come generally in two flavors : the power character and the grappler (Shigen himself is a mix of both). Power characters generally don't move much but deal lots of damage per hit. Grapplers are those whose special moves are mainly throws. These characters tend to last longer because of their size, but have a weakness that they have either short range or are slow (or, in the case of some characters, overly complicated moves).

Okina may be described as a turtler. This may seem like an inside joke (Okina, in his profile, refers to his family as a bunch of turtles), but it sometimes make sense.

Jokes aside, turtlers are not exactly a type of character, but a type of player. That is, a turtler is a player who tend to block attacks a lot.

Charge characters (i.e. those whose repertoire of moves are mainly charge moves) generally fall into this category, as it is often that they need to remain in a blocking position in order to get their charges and counterattack.

Over the years, there have been many incentives to stray away from this style (as well as derivatives thereof, such as ticking), such as guard breaks, overheads, low attacks, shorter charges and unblockable moves.

Granted, the turtler is not as big as a factor as it used to be (the most popular character in "Street Fighter II - The World Warrior" was Guile because of his turtling and ticking abilities), but Okina's reference to turtles remains.

Kagami, of course, continues SNK's tradition of making cheap-ass characters for final bosses.

Akari and Juzoh are the comedic relief characters in the Gekka series : Juzoh is seen in Akari's stage if Akari is fighting (and obviously, if Akari is not fighting Juzoh). Likewise, Akari can be seen in Juzoh's stage if Juzoh is fighting (and if Juzoh isn't fighting against Akari).

Soundtrack releases :

Bakumatsu Roman - Gekka no Kenshi / SNK Shinsekai Gakkyoku Zatsugidan - Pony Canyon / Scitron - PCCB-00287 - Dec 17, 1997

Tips and tricks

Play As Musashi

At the character selection screen, press C(x6), B(x3) and C(x4). You must input the correct button sequence in LESS THAN FOUR SECONDS!

Time Attack Mode

Insert a coin, hold A+B+C+D and press Start.

Alternate Costume Colours

Press Start when selecting a fighter at the character selection screen.

Series

  1. The Last Blade (1997)
  2. The Last Blade 2 (1998)

Staff

Executive Producer
H. Matsumoto
Producer
Akira G.
Director
Kim-Ken
Wakama2
Swery 65%

Front Designers

Kaede
Tony Oki
Sumicho
Y. Kashiba
Okame Kiyoshi
Amano
Rolly (R)
Moriya
Heitarou
Musashi
Ponta
Yuki
(c)Fukatsu
Akari
Pinkey
Okina
Horipu-
Gowada"
Ichikawa
Shigen
Terarin.
Juroh
S. Reiko
Shikyoh
Shige
Washiruka
H. Taniguchi
Zantetsu
S. Sasada
Kagami
Ishii303#
Lee
Yuko

Back Designers

Juroh & Washizuka Stage
Take Pyon
Lee & Kagami Stage
Muramama
Yuki & Shikyo Stage
Daisuke
Moriya & Zantetsu Stage
Eiko
Kaede & Akari Stage
Wadamo
Amano & Shigen Stage
Hidena J
Okina & Musashi Stage
Simiji
Sound
Yassun
Tate Norio
Brother Hige
Zoe
Okan
Tool Staff
K. Miyazaki
M. Hashimoto
O. Daimon
T. Kanehiro
K. Hamamoto
Adjusters
Kiyoshi Asai
Game King
M-Panic!
Programmers
Yuritaro
Hiropon-MK2
Naoyan

Demo Section

Direction
Swery 100%
Graphics
Wadamo
Programming
Naoyan

Voice Actors

Musashi Akatsuki
Franky Nakamura
Hyo Amano
Akio Ohtsuka
Genbu no Okina
Shigehumi Nakai
Akari Ichijou
Mayuko Omimura
Kaede
Kouji Suizu
Shinnosuke Kagami
Makoto Awane
Juzoh Kanzaki
Taison Ohya
Lee Rekka
Jun Hashimoto
Moriya Minakata
Jun Hashimoto
Shigen Naoe
Enma Ito
Shikyoh
Monster Maetsuka
Keiichiro Washizuka
Katsuyuki Konishi
Yuki
Hazuki Nishikawa
Zantetsu
Ohtomo Ryuzaburo

Cabinet and Artwork

Ports

Consoles 
SNK Neo-Geo CD (1998)
Sony PlayStation (1999)
SNK Neo-Geo Pocket Color (2000)
Sony PlayStation 2 (2005, "NeoGeo Online Collection Vol. 2 : Last Blade 1 & 2")
Computers 
PC (2000)

Soundtrack Releases

Album Name Catalogue No. Released Publisher Comments
NEO GEO DJ Station in Gemudora night ! SCDC-00029[1] 2000-07-19 Scitron CD version.

References

The contents of this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The sources used include MAME (version 0.113u2) and history.dat (revision 1.28 - 2008-10-18).
Please see http://www.arcade-history.com for credits.