DEVELOPER: Sega R&D2
RELEASE DATE: 01/1991 (EU), 09/1991 (BR)
“Danan, the infant who was rescued from the remains of a wrecked airplane by Jimba, a young Amazon tribesman, came home from hunting one day to find his guardian mortally wounded! What happened to Jimba? Who would do such a thing? Help Danan to find the answers — stalk the hot, wet jungles of the Amazon, putting the pieces together as you go, and avenge Jimba’s death!”
“Oh, here we go…” Can you spot the Conan wannabe?
WHAT MAKES DANAN: THE JUNGLE FIGHTER STAND OUT?
- With its ambitious (and ridiculous) story, bizarre “cutscenes,” and occasional non-linear exploration, Danan feels more epic than it actually is. To wit: the game can be beaten in 40 minutes or less, even if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
- Danan’s sprite is huge, and we all know large sprites usually make for slow and lumbering characters (see: Altered Beast). Not here. Danan controls with an elegance and grace that, frankly, doesn’t match his beefcake appearance.
- Also not keeping with his appearance: Danan’s sword, which is about as small/puny as Link’s sword from Zelda II. Hope you like your fights up close and personal.
- Time limits in platforming games are almost always awful, but Danan always gives you just enough time to make it through each level.
- Three animal buddies become unlocked once you collect enough tokens. Three tokens for the armadillo, who rolls into enemies on-screen. Six tokens for the eagle, who flies you across the level. And nine tokens for the gorilla, who replenishes your health somehow? Forget the armadillo and eagle: the gorilla’s the only useful buddy you’ve got.
- According to Hardcore Gaming 101, “Evidence suggests that Danan: The Jungle Fighter was made by Whiteboard / Santos, mostly known up to that point for mahjong games and ports of arcade titles to various consoles. Shortly after Danan‘s release in 1991, Sega bought the company, renamed it Megasoft, and put it to work on Shinobi 3 under Noriyoshi Obah’s supervision before fully absorbing it into its R&D departments” (Hugo Provost, Danan: The Jungle Fighter).
“Uh, I’m your 3 o’ clock, ma’am.” Let there be beef.
Danan: The Jungle Fighter is stuffed with ideas, but none of these ideas are fully fleshed-out. The story is nonsensical and all over the place, the animal buddies are a great idea, but only one of them helps you in any significant way, and the game is just incredibly short at four levels long; one wonders if the development team was forced to complete this in a marathon weekend. You won’t hate the forty minutes you spend barreling through Danan’s one and only adventure, but you won’t remember much from it either.
Wow. “You callin’ that glassy-eyed smile a ‘meeting?'”
Danan cordially invites this random lackey to dance.
DANAN IN ACTION!