A downloadable game for Windows

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A small fighting game I'm working on.

Face off against a friend or fight the computer.

This game can be played with a gamepad, a mouse and keyboard or just a keyboard.

Multiplayer can be played with either 2 gamepads or 1 keyboard and 1 gamepad.


This game is not dead, but updates are irregular. I've gotten a lot of views after the last couple months and a lot of very positive feedback. Everyone has been very kind in their comments and ratings, so thank you all.

I've got several unreleased projects that I work on whenever I'm feeling inspired and First Cut just happens to be the one that came far enough to release.  You can expect to see more updates eventually, as well as new projects when they're finally polished enough.


Gamepad (xbox):

X = Attack

A = Dodge

D-pad = Move/Aim Sword

RT + direction = Shove

Gamepad (playstation):

Square = Attack

X = Dodge

D-pad = Move/Aim Sword

R2 + direction = Shove

Mouse and Keyboard:

Left Click = Attack

Right click or C = Dodge

Mouse = Aim Sword

WASD = Move

Middlemouse or V + direction = Shove


Z = Attack

X = Dodge

Arrow Keys = Move/Aim Sword

C + direction = Shove

How to Play:


Pressing attack will perform a horizontal attack.

Holding up while you attack will perform a high vertical attack.

Holding down while you attack will perform a low vertical attack.

Holding the attack button will let you delay your attack.

Holding your attack will charge your movement speed when you release it.

Pressing forward twice while holding attack will shove your opponent away.

You can cancel an attack before it begins by dodging.


Incoming attacks can be blocked by holding your sword at the correct height.

If you press attack immediately after blocking you will perform a counter attack.

When two attacks meet in the air they will be parried.


There are two kinds of dodge:

A normal dodge will duck under a horizontal attack, but you will be vulnerable to vertical attacks. You can block while ducking.

Pressing up while you dodge does a sidestep. You will avoid vertical attacks but will be vulnerable to horizontal attacks. You cannot block while sidestepping, but pressing down will change your dodge into a duck.

Holding the dodge button will let you stay down until you release it.

If you press attack while dodging you will counter attack after getting up.

The first attack to connect will win the round.

More About:

This game is a prototype and is rough around the edges, especially the menu.

Let me know in the comments if you have any feedback or suggestions about the gameplay.

If you find any bugs or crashes please leave a comment so I can investigate.


If you get this message:

FATAL ERROR in Vertex Shader compilation
ShaderName: shColorReplaceBlend

D3DXCompile failed - result

You need to update DirectX. Try this:


I've found that occasionally the game will run slowly on certain machines for no reason. If the game is sluggish try opening the options.ini file in notepad and changing the line:




This might fix the problem.


Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

First Cut.zip 26 MB

Development log

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you know those games that absolutely NAILS the type of genre it tries to be? this is it

Is there a way to make this game full screen?

Yes, it is in the options.


Hey, man! I love your game and I made an account just to write to you! I've played it with my girlfriend for hundreds of rounds already, and I'm pretty sure we'll be playing it for thousands. It's an easy to learn, hard to master game that you can play on and off for years on end, and the short time investment required for a session makes it great for those with busier lives that maybe just want to feel like they've played something with a loved one that day (That's not me, but I can see the value because my girlfriend sometimes asks to play this after she comes home from work  at 23:00. We've played dozens of games together, but this one is perfect for that purpose.).

This is coming from a guy that finished hundreds of games and that also spent probably over 30.000 hours in competitive games like For Honor, DotA, Titanfall 2, CoH etc. and after all that experience I STILL think that your game is a gem! I've had more fun with this than with recent AAA titles!

Now I'm not a game developer and I don't know what it would take, but I really think you should try to release this at least on Steam and GOG for around $5. All you would have to do, in my opinion, are 3 things:

1. Add a quit button.
2. When you get the rematch/return screen, make it clearer which one is selected by maybe adding an arrow before the one you selected. I intuitively thought it was the blue one, since it pops out more.
3. There's a bug in this version that the second player can't change clothing color at all, it's always a pale green. The rest of the customization settings work correctly. I tested it on 3 different computers to make sure it's not an isolated issue. If you don't have the time to check it out, I'd appreciate it if you could tell me where the game saves customization settings, so I can maybe change the color manually from the config file or registry, since me and my girlfriend will be playing this for a long time.

If you release it and the game takes off in sales, then maybe invest some extra time to do some other things you want to do, but they are not absolutely required. I'm also a freelancer in another field and a serial procrastinator and perfectionist and trust me - it will never be perfect for launch for your own standards, but it's great for other people, and that's what matters!

I will personally contribute with $60 to this page if you make these changes. It's not a big amount, but my intention is to show you that people value your work and maybe encourage you to release it on some platforms. If I'm willing to pay $60 for it, then there are certainly other people that are willing to pay $5 for it.

I hope you see this message. I wish you all the best!


Hey man, sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. Thanks for writing all this, it's always encouraging when someone has had fun with one of my projects. I actually created this game so my friend and would have another fighting game to play so it's great you're enjoying the multiplayer.

I appreciate your thoughts on the future of the project too and my intention is to someday create a more polished variant for a commercial release. I'd ideally like to get some kind of online working first though.

Those changes sound easy enough to fix up and I'll try to address them sooner than later this time around. I had a small patch planned months ago with some extra control options but I ran into a few technical issues that roadblocked me. I've been working very hard on a singleplayer project that will hopefully be ready to demo soon and that has been eating all my time lately.

Thanks for taking the time to reply to me! I wish the best of luck to you with all of your projects! Just take care not to overwhelm yourself with too many, I know I have this problem sometimes.

I'm looking forward to your next update! My girlfriend will be very happy to be able to change colors! I offered her my starting position, but she already got used to the right side of the screen by then.

For us, First Cut is awesome because I'm much more experienced at games than my girlfriend and I just smash her in most competitive games, but in this one she will always win a decent amount of rounds and feel good about it (we usually play to 15 or 20 wins a few times in a row). The one hit kill system and quick attacks are what make it possible, making the skill gap between us smaller. Sometimes she even beats me when I spend a few rounds practicing my blocking to give her an extra chance. When we played Mortal Kombat 9, it was not fun for her because she would very rarely win a round, but in First Cut we're both having a blast every time we play it, and we play it with visitors too.

for some reason my game isnt opening anymore, i try to open it, and show that inicial red screen with that red circle, and then the game stop running for some reason, please someone help me


i got a virus


how did i get a virus from a itch.io game

i didnt so might be ur browser idk

You most definitely did not get it from this game.


the thing is its windowed besides that its awesome 👍👍

if you go to setting you can make it fullscreen

the game is very nice and background and the noise and can u make it to be able to full screen?

bruh, go to settings and change it to fullscreen

well didnt know

i love this game greatest game to play with death metal in the background:)


really like this game, really helps me calm down when im stressed

would be pretty epic if you keep updating it and adding new stuff


just amazing, no words to express it honestly. i freaking love it. every aspect of it.


Great game I would love if you continue expanding it


the scenery is very beautiful. I was fascinated. I missed an animation of the samurai wiping blood from the sword. congratulations for your work

I wish you luck (and good health), really love the game and I hope you will expand on it!

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This game is amazing, and tbh I really think that a lot of people will enjoy it! The only thing I would add is maybe some post-kill dismemberment stuff? For example, say you kill your enemy and he falls to his knees. You could then proceed to do a mid height slash and decapitate him. Idk, just a thought

Well, I found this game randomly,  I uploaded it on my YouTube channel

been playing it for hours now its so Good !

Seems like you can beat any AI by just spamming attack as neither hit when both characters attack. Should probably fix that?

Its good, but some animations need more anticipation and exaggeration. If you wonder what am I about, check 12 principles of animation. I really like the grass being cut and reflections.


I created a online multiplayer guide. This method requires steam  but it is completely free with pretty good latency. I apologize if the audio isnt that good but I kept the guide very simple and straight forward. Hope this helps you guys!

Hey man, thanks for putting this together. I might give it a shot myself.

Bruuuh its insanely cool! Nice visuals, nice combat, tonns of blood everywhere what else do you need? Good job, keep it up

Finally got around to making the Subreddit. If your interested please join https://www.reddit.com/r/FirstCutTheGame/ ! The sub is meant to be a place where we can come together and discuss this amazing game as well as hopefully figure out a way to play online multiplayer ( Parsec might work for now) . I am definitely open to suggestions as well since I have never moderated before.  

(1 edit)

Love this game so much. But how the crap do I beat the Master!!!!! I've only one once with luck. I wanna kill that Master damn it!!! (literally after I said that I killed him 3 more times. So nvm lol I got his asss)

Surprisingly fun and difficult. Really great!


I just played it and it's awesome :D i would love a tournament online mode. I wanted to try it out with a friend during the quarantine but i checked it didn't have an online mode T.T

It's a relaxing and great experience

It’s great but it would take a campaign, a shop.

Deleted post

hi drasnus i would like to chat to you privately do you have an email or contact detail

THIS GAME IS GREAT!!! i could totally see this as a fully fleshed out game, add more customization and maybe like a store or something of that nature where you could buy cosmetic gear like samurai armour or maybe different weapon types. 

i absolutly love this game, keep up the great work!!!

this needs to be on steam as a full game

as in more content amazing game btw


Amazing game and amazing ambience.

luv the gore xD

but is it normal that the mouse just gradually goes up by itself?

(1 edit) (+1)

Hi, that's not normal. The game works by locking your real mouse to the center of the window (to stop clicking outside the window and losing focus) and it checks for any attempts to move it up or down and applies them to the game-cursor. If it keeps drifting then you might have a mouse problem, a driver problem, or some weird conflict I didn't account for.

(1 edit)

I dont know what to reply xD. Ive tried messing around with the options but nothing has seem to come into affect.


Edit: Btw what game engine did you use for this.


Hello Drasnus and anyone else reading this comment

I have been playing your game for a few weeks now and I absolutely love it. I have played fighting games all my life, but this game is something quite special. This is game is the purest fighting game I have ever played. I love the way that it feels and I made an account specifically so that I could write a comment.

(If you are thinking of downloading this game, do it. If you like fighting games, definitely do it.)

I don't know how to describe it exactly but I think that it is interesting that instead of pre-made combos and special moves, this game demands a type of execution that is focus on lethal precision and creative patterns. I know that on the surface it seems like a spam fest but I think that when 2 really good players that have mastered blocking and counters come together, it will be extremely tense. 

 I am at the point now where I practice against the Duel AI. It seems that the AI is tweaked to counterattack a lot which is good for practice but I definitely find myself wanting to challenge a less methodical enemy. The master AI on the other hand seems a bit strange. They are able to stutter step in an inhuman way and feel much more like a computer. So far I think the Duel AI is the more rewarding option. It may be an interesting option to have a "Rival" option which features an AI that learns from its mistakes and gets better at beating you over time.

I apologize for having such a lengthy comment. I really do enjoy this game though and I hope it gains all the attention it deserves.


What sort of tweaks or game play changes have you had on your mind lately in terms of combat ?

Will there ever be mod tools to inject things like custom stages or music?

Will there be a way to save color options ?

Will there be alternative control layouts ?

What do you think of a short and quick stab attack that is triggered by holding that back button ? That would be a fourth attack that is faster and shorter ranged than the Low Vertical Attack but is also blocked by neutral sword height. 

Would you be okay with a First Cut reddit ?

Would you consider using Rollback Netcode and GGPO for online matches ?


I love this game too.

Also just saying about your quick stab attack is that katanas were really never meant to stab. They are agile and graceful, a mediaval broadsword is more for cuts and stabbing.

(1 edit) (+2)

Hi man, thanks for writing this up.

Purity was a design goal from the start so I'm really glad you picked up on that. I wanted to make a game that was easy to learn and felt intuitive, but with a high skill ceiling.

You're right about the Master AI, that one is borderline a joke of mine since I wanted to make an insane challenge. The AI works via a series of timers that determine the frame on which it is allowed to act, and the higher those timers the easier it is to beat. Without the timers the AI can pretty much counter you perfectly and defeating it becomes more about finding blind-spots in my own code. I think the master can respond to any threat or opportunity within like 4 frames or something.

I initially made this game so I could have something new to play with a friend, but once I put it online I found the vast majority of players didn't have the setup for local co-op and instead fought the computer, which led to a few new features like the survival mode and a few AI re-writes. Designing AI for this game is tricky because of the simple design - you find one single mistake and punish it, and so the AI needs to make enough mistakes to feel fair without falling for the same tricks every single time. It's why some AI fights can go on for so long and feel spammy as you try to find the sweet spot, and why the lower difficulties are so easy to beat. I could probably add some kind of new system under the hood like 'pressure', to make the AI gradually make more mistakes if you are aggressive.

>What sort of tweaks or game play changes have you had on your mind lately in terms of combat ?

Currently I've got a mini-update in the works after a long hiatus. Someone below asked for keyboard-only multiplayer the other day and I remembered I'd already promised that like a goddamn year ago, so that feature is coming soon, along with some improvements to keyboard-only controls in general. I'll probably add a new background or something too since I like to have some eye-candy with each update, even if it's small.

In the long run I'm not totally sure. The game has always been a hobby of mine, which is a great way to develop since there's no stress and no pressure to update a game everyone plays for free. It really helps to prevent burnout which has happened to several of my projects before. The bad part is that updates are inconsistent, but as a result the updates I do make are driven by pure inspiration and every time I think I'm done with it, I end up coming back with some little piece of tech I suddenly want to add.

I guess the shove might need some work? I don't have a lot of data on how useful it actually is for players but it seems like a fairly risky maneuver at times and whenever the AI does it and misses you've basically got a free kill.

>Will there ever be mod tools to inject things like custom stages or music?

GMS isn't really equipped for traditional modding, but you got me thinking I might be able to add a custom background/music folder and load content from there. The background one would theoretically be quite easy to make and I could add a template image in the folder to establish the ground level, resolution, etc.

>Will there be a way to save color options ?

Sure, I could add that to the current ini that autosaves. I was thinking for the longest time I'd like to tweak the colour options anyway since everyone seems to default to the hottest pinks and most nuclear greens and it hurts my soul to look at it.

>Will there be alternative control layouts ?

In the short term I mentioned the new keyboard options. I'd like to add custom keybinds but I'll have to gut the main menu and start from scratch. It's a mess of spaghetti code right now and changing setup stuff is a complete nightmare. Just adding a couple more pre-set schemes was bad enough.

>What do you think of a short and quick stab attack that is triggered by holding that back button ? That would be a fourth attack that is faster and shorter ranged than the Low Vertical Attack but is also blocked by neutral sword height.

It's worth a thought. As MajorFlop mentioned, I always saw katanas as slicing weapons without any use for thrusts, but I was also thinking that a thrust with a katana would still slice along it's edge. I'll mull it over (probably for a good long time).

>Would you be okay with a First Cut reddit ?

Of course, though I'm not so sure it'd get much traffic. :)

>Would you consider using Rollback Netcode and GGPO for online matches ?

I'd love to, but I don't know the first thing about network programming and the game would need re-written to account for delta-time and all the latency-management stuff that goes with networking. If I ever did get that far you could be sure that I'd put the game on Steam and actually try to promote it instead of just letting it sit on here.

i believe in you, keep up the great work. youve got one thing that a shit ton of creators dont use in games anymore, keep putting passion in your work man, its why this games so great. 

It's worth mentioning that every single known style of traditional Japanese swordsmanship includes thrusting techniques. Also, there's actually 2 different "styles" of cutting, and the katana is an extremely capable "draw cut" weapon in particular, but without losing the ability to thrust or perform cuts through impact force. Elements of the katana's design cater to all kinds of sword techniques, but it is biased in favour of slashing cuts as the "best" use of the weapon.

(1 edit)

Hi I wanted to know if someday a version with multiplayer on the same keyboard will happen. I dont have a gamepad and its really hard to find games with a multiplayer like that.

the game is really fun and even though it can be hard i like the challenge and the way you fight, my only complaint is that the controlls on controller are kinda annoying since you move with dpad and change your stance with dpad. but other than that this is really well made and keep up the good work.

I love this game so much. It so satisfying to win and I love the atmosphere. It's just my go to game now when I'm bored. 

Lovely stuff, I have to admit. The simple backgrounds and the change of weather and time for each background is just enough for multiple enjoyable playthroughs, trying to get the highest score you can. I enjoyed the music as well, it fits the game pretty well. The only question I have to ask is that, will there be a feature where two players can play on the same keyboard? I know remapping the controls was already talked about down in the comments but I was curious anyways. Specifically for stuff like Parsec, where you can do local co-op I mean. Completely understandable if you don't want to, I enjoyed the game nonetheless. Hopefully you're doing well in this outbreak. Cheers!


I really liked your game. If I were not poor, I would donate a lot. :D

A hug from Brazil.


Hi! You've done a magnificent game. I was so exited and  i wrote a short soundtrack for battles. Here you can watch it  - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mY40dov_vDAwi_UVU9aknkpzWR-QrC0t 

if you like it, i can do a few more tracks.

P.S. I want to asc you about permission to use video from this game to make a small music clip for youtube

Hi, I'm impressed! This fits the vibe really well and it's like a more fast-paced take on what I attempted with the stock tracks. I'm currently busy with another project right now but we could talk about more tracks sometime later in the future.

Please feel free to use footage for your video.

Cool! So you can take the track from this link https://drive.google.com/open?id=1guqL_F1QwP7WZwEBFQx2w0PtPOlKCE9C
And i'll be happy to make some music in future) just write me here bolivarcolas@gmail.com

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