Girl!!! Knife!!! Fight!!!: Don Quixote

By Quintin Smith on November 26th, 2010 at 12:30 pm.

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Obscure finds don’t come any more sinister than this. Sent in by RPS reader Martin “The Wet Sleuth” Kingsley, Don Quixote is a Korean indie game about girls cutting on one another. According to this blog post there’s also some kind of inpenetrable plot involved, but in terms of what you’re actually doing, you are trying to kill another girl with a sharp object and gradually grinding your way towards new moves it the finest Korean gaming fashion. Footage below.

There’s some genuinely interesting stuff going on here. Fans of the basically-perfect Bushido Blade (or its sad cousin, Kengo: Master of Bushido) will recognise a one-hit-death system that causes fights to concentrate on parrying, blocking and feints. More of this sort of thing, developers!

If you want to take a step further into Don Quixote’s seedy world, getting the demo working is a labour of love. Basically you get it here (it’s gomanna.zip), and then you download a messenger program created by the same guy with a compatible login system. Full instructions in that blog post again.

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97 Comments »

  1. DevilSShadoW says:

    Cut me in!

  2. Shazbut says:

    This reminds me of that Simpsons episode where, because of budget cuts or something, Krusty is forced to show a cartoon from WW2-era Germany instead of Itchy and Scratchy.

    Looks v. interesting, but really quite nasty and sinister. Not that that’s a bad thing.

  3. KillahMate says:

    Excellent graphics and animation, potentially great combat, and sinister in an interesting way. Not bad! Keep us informed, please.

  4. JimRyanor says:

    Does the winner get to drink absinthe at the fly honey warehouse afterwards?

  5. Vadermath says:

    Korean? Which Korea?

  6. Zwebbie says:

    Finally, a game that does justice to the book.

  7. Blue Cheese Rocket says:

    Almost poignard.

  8. AndrewC says:

    Super Street Fighter: Nega Misery Girl Tournament 2! This is fun, like imagining the alternate history of games if it wasn’t ruled by adolescent testosterone.

  9. Giant, fussy whingebag says:

    So… what does this have to do with Cervantes’ famous work? Did they just think it sounded cool?

  10. ceebux says:

    Minus The Bear title reference? Quinns, you’re a fine wine.

    • battles_atlas says:

      +1

      I still don’t believe that the Minus the Bear guitarist was previously of Botch, even though I know it to be fact. What a switch in direction that is. Kind of makes me hate MtB for taking him away from his true calling though.

    • Matt says:

      You can still hear it in the tap-tap-tapping guitar style… at least on the first album+EP. Haven’t heard any of their later stuff.

  11. EALouise says:

    I was going to try to make a joke about women and knives and penetration, but then someone’s leg fell off, so it didn’t seem appropriate.

  12. KillahMate says:

    Ooops. From the blog link:

    The game, however, is at its core conceived as an online grindfest, and before you’ll be able to pull off anything like it is shown in the trailer below, you’ll probably have a lot of leveling to do in the final game, whenever it is released.

    Well crap. Interest gone.

    • Dominic White says:

      Given that what we saw in that video was ‘running away, then turning around and swinging your sword once’, I somehow doubt you’ll need to grind for hours in order to do that.

    • Jahkaivah says:

      @Dominic White

      Given the kind of game this is? Just being able to run might be a high-level move.

      Really can’t tell whats significant untill we’ve played it.

  13. SnallTrippin says:

    God I loved Bushido blade..

  14. wvanh says:

    Are all bicycles in Korea that big?

  15. EthZee says:

    Knife Fight! You’re gonna fight for your liiife!
    Knife Fight! You’re gonna fight with a kniiiife!

    UPDATE: So I installed the messenger thing and made an account. I’ve played it twice, once winning and once losing. Thoughts:

    1. It’s not as Bushido Blade-ish as Quinns thinks. It might just be the demo, but the characters take a lot of damage before they keel over (unless you cut off a limb? The second time I played I didn’t put up as much of a fight as my opponent did when I lost, but I cut off an arm and that seemed to be a win). There’s no health meter, though, it seems that the game uses bloodstains as an indicator. (although that can be switched off in the settings, done by unsheathing weapons and facing the screen (W to unsheath weapons, W again to look at the screen)

    2. It looks pretty, very atmospheric (there’s some more graphics settings that let you put on artsy film filters over the thing, though some of them make it difficult to see what’s going on).

    3. It’s quite difficult, though I am usually fairly pants at beat-em-ups. The simplified controls make it easier to learn, however. It seems that at least in the demo, it’s a survival mode; you defeat the first girl, another one arrives to fight you, and so on until you lose.

    4. Yeah, it’s a bit weird to play; I was cringing at some of the attacks, it’s not nice. (I realised in the second playthrough that my opponent was using a hammer. Argh) It reminded me of the film Battle Royale, for some reason. I’m not going to praise the theme any more in case people start thinking I’m a psychopath. (Even though I really think there need to be more knife-fight games)

    Honestly, we need a sequel (spiritual, or otherwise) to Bushido Blade; I never played that game, but I do think the idea of a fighting game where the weapons actually do damage would appeal to me. It always bugged me that you could slap someone silly with a magic katana in Soul Calibre to no effect whatsoever.

    • Baines says:

      If you want a spiritual sequel to Bushido Blade, try Deadliest Warrior. While it has a life bar, taking a javelin to the face is still a one-hit kill. According to the Gamasutra interview, the similarities to Bushido Blade were intentional.

      Deadliest Warrior does have a life bar, but it seems to be more in place to prevent you from surviving too many hits than to allow you to survive many. One of the quirks of Bushido Blade’s system was that you could survive seemingly any level of grievous bodily injury as long as you could continue to avoid all immediately lethal blows. This was rare in Bushido Blade simply because so much was lethal, but you could get some weird situations.

      I’m somewhat disappointed that there hasn’t been a true revival of Bushido Blade’s style. While Deadliest Warrior does the combat fairly well, you still get restricted to enclosed arenas. Bushido Blade let you run freely throughout a level, where you could attempt to take the various terrain (as limited as the PS1 allowed) to your advantage. It was closer to having a sword fight in an FPS level than a typical fighting game arena.

    • mujadaddy says:

      I’m not seeing any mention of Bushido Blade 2 here. EASILY better than the first, if for nothing else than getting rid of the annoying knee-capping (which was cute the first few times you did it, but was no way to actually run a game).

    • mujadaddy says:

      Now I’ve read Quintin’s review of Bushido Blade, and I’m wondering what on earth made him think that BB2 wasn’t good.

  16. Navagon says:

    I kinda like the art style. But I don’t get the whole girls hacking each other up fetish thing.

    • EthZee says:

      Rule 36.

      I’m not sure that this game is explicitly a hacking-up-girls fetish thing, though. It’s pretty gritty, but it’s more visceral than explicit gore-porn. Happy Wheels has more explicit gore than this.

      Also, question; would the game have been more or less weird if it had been two guys? Or a guy and a girl? I think guy on guy would have been fine for most people, but would guy vs. girl have been worse?

    • Dufake says:

      Kill Bill is great, and there’s a pool of blood in it.

      A girl would have HER reason to kill, so does a man with nothing to lose.

    • EthZee says:

      You know what, I’ve still not seen Kill Bill. I think I will ask for it for Christmas.

    • Navagon says:

      @ EthZee

      Maybe I’m being unfair, but this just reminds me of another Korean game that saw you undress women as you hacked them up. This isn’t gory or pornographic at all, but it still seems to have the whole hacking up young girls thing going on.

    • EthZee says:

      Well, that sounds like it crosses over into explicitly catering to guro-fetish fans. I’m not sure about this one; I mean, if the demo were all it were, then maybe. But it seems that the developer apparently has a lot more planned for it.
      There might be a hint of fetish about it, though; it’s hard to gauge whether this title is designed as a game, designed to cater for the guro audience, or maybe a mixture of both.

  17. clownst0pper says:

    Bushido Blade was so good. The tension knowing you could die in a single stroke was brilliant. I also liked the hilarity when you’d crippled someones ankle.

  18. nullpointer says:

    Ah bushido blade… that game was ace
    I can still see the bamboo forest arena with like 10mins of just avoiding blows with a broken leg.

  19. Dufake says:

    I get it how it works.

    Actually it’s a very easy game once you understand how to slash the hammer girl.

    The first lesson:
    Forget about fancy up and down attack.

    Try to master the forward combo and backward combo.

    The second lesson:
    Once the hammer girl is dead.
    If you click the korean word on the screen.
    It will spawn another hammer gal.
    Your health will not be healed, watch it.

    The third lesson:

    Spawn one, kill one.

  20. panther says:

    Controls for those who are going to gave it a crack like me:

    Left click = attack
    S + Left click = low attack
    Right click = block
    A or D + W = jump
    A or D + W + Left click = jump attack
    A or D + right click = dash
    A or D + Left click + right click = grab
    A or D + W + Left click + right click =step over back & attack
    Left click + W or A or S or D = Hold left mouse button with movement for combination attacks

  21. panther says:

    IMO would be a better game if, like in the trailer, it was over quicker. Fights are too drawn out and just feels like another street kombat 4: dead or alive

    • panther says:

      just to reiterate, I want a fighting game without a health bar.

    • EthZee says:

      Yes, I agree. We need more beat-em-ups where fights are damaging as you’d expect them to be. Limbs that, if damaged, get harder if not impossible to use, and where bladed/melee weapons kill.

    • Quine says:

      It’s depressing that in an era of fast computers capable of chucking scads of polys and tons of physics around we’re still largely stuck with the same style of abstract ‘health’ system from back in the days of D&D. There’s really no excuse for it beyond it becoming a self-fulfilling part of the genre fan service the RPG have come to expect. Oh, and it makes MMOs easier to code, I suppose.

      Bushido Blade was such a welcome departure from the norm that it’s criminal it hasn’t been done better since* in single-player/small co-op RPG combat systems. Where are the games where armour blocks/deflects at a detailed level of resolution, where momentum physics means you can actually shield charge an opponent, and where a lucky swing or arrow can take someone down, even if it is the heroic adventurer? It would make combat a lot more tense, interesting, and worth planning an approach to than the usual bar-whittling process currently in vogue.

      *Props to Mount and Blade for moving that way, at least.

  22. Pod says:

    Where do I know these sound effects from? Especially the one that changes stances or whatever was happening there.

  23. UsF says:

    Is there something like Bushido Blade for PC? (Not talking about emulation)

  24. Jake says:

    Great graphics, so nice to see a game like this not using glossy web 2.0 styling, though I guess it isn’t Flash.

  25. MrEvilGuy says:

    I feel as though the title may imply some spoilers in the plot. Maybe I’m just over-analytical.

  26. Melf_Himself says:

    That’s not a knife…. These two swords right here, that’s a knife.

  27. heretic says:

    Took me several goes to kill the first opponent… its not easy! Died half way through the second one.

    I found that as I’m attacking if I press left and right click alternatively I can somehow manage to inflict more damage, maybe the AI thinks I’m blocking when I press right click hence stops blocking and tries to attack which makes my ongoing combo succeed.

    Very nice atmosphere though, I hope the final game has a gentler learning curve though.

    The hammers and knives bring to mind the Election triad movies from Hong Kong or Old Boy even, with that 2D fighting scene.

    Sharp and blunt object violence is a lot more shocking than gun action.

    There should be more stuff like this.

    • heretic says:

      Actually it’s not so hard once you get the hang of it, think I managed around 25 kills before keeling over, got up to level 36 with an attack of 52 (or smth like that)

      not sure how leveling up works, as I definitely killed a lot more than 36 opponents.

      anyway as you kill more you get stronger it seems and killing is easier.

      there is also a fatality like move if you keep hitting attack while the girl is dying, then you get to hit her again :D

  28. GaGrin says:

    Those of you who like health-bar-less, quick fighting games really should give Lugaru a go.

    Not for everyone what with the animal-people theme, but its got some pretty brutal unarmed combat, extremely lethal once the weapons are out and trying to fight more than one opponent at once is a real headache since, unlike in 99% of games, they’ll attack you at the same time instead of lining up for you to kill them one by one.

    • OldRat says:

      Weapons? Bah, that’s easy stuff. You can just take those away. Trust me, you haven’t seen the nasty side of Lugaru before you get the goddamned idiotic idea that you totally should try to kill the alpha wolf barehanded on insane difficulty.

      If you want to feel what it’s like to fight the Terminator, that’s probably the closest you can get. No matter how many times you smash him down, he’ll keep coming. He’ll just keep coming. And then you make one mistake and he smashes you into bunny paste. If the skull-pulverizing blow didn’t kill you, smashing into a wall even harder will.

      It was good.

    • Torgen says:

      Hmm, Think I may need to look for a Lugaru demo.

  29. geldonyetich says:

    If you ask me, this game looks rife with the erotophonophilia / autassassinophilia / acrotomophilia you can see in some Eastern media.

    Oh, the terrible fetishes I had to browse through in Wikipedia to try to track down the right words for it.

    • Deacon Blues says:

      Let’s reverse the political correctness for a moment and consider that assuming that anything featuring a female is intended to be erotic is itself misogynistic.

    • A Thousand Times says:

      @Deacon
      This.

    • geldonyetich says:

      Just because I’m theorizing this might be a fetish game doesn’t mean I assume things are erotic whenever they involve women. I actually arrived at that conclusion after seeing the content of the gameplay movie, comparing that with the style of some of the media I’ve seen and/or heard of from that part of the world, and coming up with there being enough correlation for this to be a pretty good theory.

    • notheadsbuteyesrollhere says:

      you all don’t get laid enough

  30. Thiefsie says:

    Looks… interesting

  31. Anon says:

    Bushido Blade is the best fucking weapons based fighting game ever.

  32. Quests says:

    saw the picture
    hoped for:
    a “lesbian puzzle adventure”
    got disappointed in both themes.

    now what do i do?

  33. nmute says:

    there really is no hope is there.

  34. bakaohki says:

    The registration is totally weird, but I got through it; here are my thoughts:

    1. the game looks absolutely georgeous, hand drawn, detailed. But: only two characters, pretty much the same animations and outfit, same background. The magic wears off after ten minutes or so.

    2. I grew up on fighting games (from SF2 to Killer Instinct and Tekken, you name it): the control scheme is very weird. It works, but it’s wierd and it has no reason to be so. Even if there’s a configure keys option, which I couldn’t find, I had to plug in my external mouse, because mashing the two mouse buttons on my notebook was no fun (in short: you can press a/d/w/s together with a mouse button; button one attacks, button two jumps back or blocks).

    3. Fighting mechanics suck: most of the time the easiest thing to do is a frontal attack, a slashback and a jump back – and basically that’s it. I killed two opponents (the two same “classmates”) then I accidentally ran out of the screen where I obviously died. In most fighting games if you block an attack successfully, you can do a counterattack (most of the time even the animations are made like this), but here we have no such timeframe; again, it is annoying. Also note that no combos, no chaining (well, a 2-3 chain exists, but it doesn’t feel right).

    4. The columns in the foreground are god damn annoying; even with transparency… also note that the other girl always has a small hammer, while the playable one a knife. I couldn’t get the kendo-thingy seen in the demo and I could not interact with anything on the screen.

    I wanted to record a video of the gameplay (the trailer is way too short), but decided it doesn’t worth it, sorry.

  35. bakaohki says:

    Just one more thing: it’s *not* like Bushido blade – but that’s okay.

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