5 Reasons ‘Bad Dudes’ is the Ultimate 80s Video Game

by Newton Gimmick on June 23, 2013

in Memorygasms, The 80s

In the 1980s there were a lot of wild concepts that seem strange from the modern perspective. Many of these ideas and trends spilled over into the world of video games. However, there’s only one video game that embodies them all. That game is Bad Dudes! Are you a bad enough dude to read this article?

Presenting 5 Reasons Bad Dudes is the Ultimate 80s Video Game:

5. Ninjas

Sure, lots of games had ninjas, but in the 1980s ninjas were a staple of video games. No game has more ninjas than Bad Dudes. Sometimes the entire screen is filled with ninjas. In fact you fight ninjas on every level. The game is even technically called Bad Dudes versus Dragon Ninjas!

You fight Ninjas in the streets. On top of trucks. On top of trains! In the forest! In the sewers! Ninjas, everywhere! You even fight a ninja in a helicopter, you know, because why the hell not?


4. Karnov

Karnov is one the strangest characters in video game history and he’s an 80s icon all too himself. For no real reason, Karnov shows up in Bad Dudes.

He’s technically a boss bad guy, but it’s hard not to imagine that Karnov just wandered into the Bad Dudes and the guys just had to fight.

This fire breathing badass is just another reason that Bad Dudes is the ultimate 80’s game. You don’t see Karnov showing up Dr. Mario!


3. Blade and Striker 

The two main characters of Bad Dudes are Blade and Striker. A lot of people mistake them for cheap ripoffs of Billy and Jimmy Lee from Double Dragon. But screw that, Billy and Jimmy were originally called Spike and Hammer, but softened up and let us know that those were only aliases. Blade and Striker? That’s the name God gave them. Why? Because they ain’t no Dragons, they’re BAD DUDES!

Bad Dudes weren’t ninjas. They were two guys in sweat pants, wife beaters and fingerless gloves, who could punch and kick their way to rescuing the president. And screaming out “I’M BAD” when they accomplished something awesome. Did Billy or Jimmy ever appear in the Steve Martin movie Parenthood? Did Steve Martin ever call the Double Dragon guys, bad dudes?

And I quote: “Oh, well. They’re bad dudes. That’s why they call the game “Bad Dudes.”


2. Self-immolation Ninjas

In a game that has you fight a guy who may or may not be Shredder as well as chicks in fishnets and a ninja for every color of the rainbow, it’s hard to stand out. But Bad Dudes ups the ante. First, they have you PUNCH A DOG IN THE FACE and then you meet up with a ninja who sets himself on fire! That’s right, these dudes are so bad that the only way to stop them is set yourself on fire and see if that helps.

And what does our faithful heroes do when faced with the self-immolation ninjas? The same thing you did to the 900 other ninjas! You punch them in their stupid face and shout, I’m Bad!


1. Presidential Cheeseburgers

The Bad Dudes not only get to save the President, they have a cheeseburger with him to celebrate. Because apparently when you get kidnapped by ninjas and then rescued by a couple of bare knuckle brawlers, the only thing you can think about is Jack-In-The-Box. Seriously, instead of congratulations, this game offers you a cheeseburger! What could be more 80s than that?

While Bad Dudes never technically had a sequel, it did have an NES port that came after the original President was no longer in office. So on the NES version, you get to have a cheeseburger with George!

Since the President changed, clearly this is not just a port, but rather, the true sequel. Ninjas once again kidnapped the President, but you beat their faces in and have some more burgers just like you did last year!


Purveyor of pop culture, toy enthusiast and award winning amateur scientist, Newton Gimmick founded and currently runs InfiniteHollywood.com. One of many web writers not afraid to profess his love of 80s cartoons, toys, pseudo sports and Jell-O. What makes Newton unique from the others? He does it all from the comfort of his custom Denver: The Last Dinosaur Snuggie.


Hail Mary September 23, 2013 at 1:50 am

Is that supposed to be an American flag behind George in the “sequel”? It looks to me like he’s the president (or PM) of England!

Captain Rex September 29, 2013 at 12:29 am

What a great game. Thanks for the memories!

Howard Decker September 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm

It was an underappreciated game. Thank you for the comment!

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