Old School Head-Chopping by DJAMES

On-line portfolio

Weaponlord SNES & Genesis, Developed by Visual Concepts, Published Namco Hometek, Inc.


Weaponlord, the first true weapon-to-weapon fighting game. Featuring many fighting innovations including "Thrust Blocks", "Guard Drops", "Weapon Breaks", "Deflects" and a host of other ground breaking elements, this game was work of passion and in hind sight an overly ambitious project. After 18 months of slaving and the Visual Concepts Team and my design group finally released this 24 meg monster in October 1995, right on the heels of the Playstation release- DOH!!


What did I do on this project?


The informal "real world" look at what I did:

  • Working at Namco as Product Manager/Designer, took over the development of a prototype SNES game. This game was scraped due to technical issues (4 player) and re-born as Weaponlord!
  • Working with VC's Steve Chiang (lead programmer) and Alvin Cardona (lead artist), we began to flesh out the technical and artist vision for the game. I spent the first 4 months juggling projects while designing the "weapon" system with Steve, and Alvin kicked ass on fleshing out "the look" prototype. After the design was done, the base look and technology was set, Namco decided to add the Genesis version as part of the development for a simultaneous release.
  • I was promoted to Producer about the time that we started to realize that there was no way we could possibly hit the target date with even the completion of the assets, not to mention the final "tuning" of the fighting system and moves- the most important thing in any finished fighting game!
  • The scripting pipeline was a major bottle neck, so we rented a crash pad in Marin and myself, Dave Winstead and Fred Corchero moved "on-site" at VC for the last 7 months of the project.
  • I learned and designed extensive expansion to VC's tools and began character scripting while Dave and Fred made sure the game played right and matched the design. This would be the birth of the character scriptor position I would go on to found and promote at future employers for fighting and adventure fighting projects like Buffy, Tenth Degree and now my own studio and game: CrunchTime Games' Shred Nebula!
  • In the end, Steve would import the moves then hand them of to me. I was the sole scriptor and personally touched every move, branch and collision in the game. If it was too hard or too powerful, it was my fault!

The formal version of the additional roles I played:

  • Designed and directed all aspects of fighting system and game engine features. The upcoming XBLA SHRED NEBULA (by my company CrunchTime Games) will mark my 4th such major game/fighting/action engine ( the RAK ENGINE -Roaming Arcade Killer ).
  • Directed the creative development of the design, story and world/universe.
  • Championed peripheral research and support, including X-Band compatibility. As a result WeaponLord was the 1st packaged title to feature the X-Band logo.
  • Supervised the preparation of materials for marketing efforts and created product overviews illustrating the "hooks" for campaign strategies, hired Simon Bisley for the cover art and directed the development of the Instruction Manual.
  • Headed PR efforts for Weaponlord, acquiring several premier covers including Game Pro and Nintendo Power. Negotiated an exclusive "The making of WeaponLord" series featured in Game Pro. Planned and executed a "challenge the master" press tour involving all major magazines, resulting in higher ratings and additional in-depth strategy coverage.


Favorite Scene in the game:

"This is when Korr defeats Zarak and the prophecy of the Warrior's Moon is realized. The moon would turn blood red and claws would animate gripping the moon. This is what becoming "the WeaponLord" was all about."


Below are sample videos of Weaponlord Gameplay. Click on the thumbnail to open them in the browser.

Size: 608KB

Korr: "Thrust Block" system example: Korr (in blue) Uses a "thrust block" (an aggressive block) to deflect an air attack, then "thrust blocks" again against a standing attack and retaliates with a quick 2in1 combo- cutting off the other Korr's hair (on last hit).

Size: 954KB

Korr: Weapon to Weapon demo: Both Korr's clash swords repeatedly. The blue Korr does executes a "weapon break" blow at the end by intentionally clashing weapons and 2in1'ing into the weapon breaker special. This was an expert tactic designed in the fighting system.

Size: 372KB

Korr: Korr does a "power deflect" (special move that deflects most incoming attacks) opening up Jen-Tai, then combos into a frenzy. This is a good example of the kind of "flow" a player could get into once they started to link moves together.

Size: 1,095KB

Bane:Similar to the above Korr example, Bane does his "power deflect" knocking Divada out of her teleport and manages to follow-up with a nice jump-in combo.

Size: 1,521KB

Korr: Death Combo System: Each character had special moves that when landed in a combo at the end of the game would turn into "Death Strikes". This is what a skilled player could do, link multiple "death strikes" to form on long brutal "death combo".

Size: 2,109KB

Bane: This was one of Bane's longer "death combos".

Size: 2,028KB

Talazia decaps, brain-busts & pulps the body.

Size: 1,451KB

Extended version of above thrust block movie, Korr knocks down enemy,  crosses-up on the get up and then combo’s into a take down.. it cuts off but the rest was a low Fierce Forehand 2in1 into the Frenzy for mega hits & a blow out!


Below are sample videos of Weaponlord production art. Click on the thumbnail to open them in the browser.
These are character scans from the official Manual for the SNES version of the game.


Here are samples of concept art created for Weaponlord. The first few images are cover art and logo created by Simon Bisley, and the rest are character art created by the production team.


Glen Kim painted conceptual paintings for the backgrounds that appeared in the game. Here are two of the eight paintings he did.


These images are the mandatory "fun" images, created with graphics from other games.


The Unreleased Commercial!

Here is the extended version of the commercial that never aired! When you watch it, the short commercial ends at the point Korr is screaming, then it goes into a very long extended music video that was actually sent out to EB customers.