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.


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.


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

First Cut.zip 26 MB

Development log

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Viewing most recent comments 3 to 42 of 67 · Next page · Last page

its a good game, i just wished i could play it online with my friends :O, i think you should add 3 different types of attack, basically were you point the sword, a bit like rock paper scissors but with skills, and also a stamina bar since vs the computer you can yust spam attack to win in lower difficultyes

First impression from gifs and a couple of videos I found was "it's basically Kiai Resonance with pixel graphics" - I was very wrong in that first impression. It's more like Nidhogg or Griefhelm combat, but even those aren't quite right to compare - this game's block/counter and dodge mechanics give it a distinctive feel. Sidestep dash animation looks a bit weird, and the flashy effect on blade clashes is a bit much (would be nice to turn that down/off). Overall though, it feels like a really cool game, great job!

Is this 2D Bushido Blade? Hell yes

I would literally pay like £10 for this game if it had multiplayer and was on steam, this has great potential and it looks stunning, it plays great and so smooth.

Hey I'll buy this game 25€ if you make a Linux build

This game is so breathtaking and somehow RELAXING! It has amazing pixelated graphics and smooth gameplay. the sounds and music are well picked that could really immerse you whilst playing.

Единственное что я понял , что я плохой самурай )).Игра супер

Really enjoyed this! Like the artstyle and the simple mechanics the game has.

In which programing language did you wrote this game?

if that game was on steam and it had an multiplayer option with network not just local it could be really great ı think you should think about that and if you can add one more mechanic to game for be much more challanging you could add if player dodges an attack after his dodge if her enemy can just block not parry juts block it could make game much more challanging and avoid the spam wins and make easier to win to the master difficult otherwise it takes like 5 min to kill one master ;-;


Very well made, sir!

can you add multiplayer?

I was wondering the same question, is there a way to play this with friends online like Nidhogg ? Is it planned ?

It would be awesome.

Nice game btw, good job !


This is incredible, dude. 

If there is anyway you could fix the issue with FATAL ERROR in Vertex Shader compilation
ShaderName: shColorReplaceBlend 

in game without needing DirectX it would make the game available to Mac users Via Winery

Hey man. I'd need to disable the option to pick robe colours. It might be doable but I'll need to figure out how to make it work. An OSX port isn't possible right now simply because I don't have an OSX device to port it on. I'll see what I can do though. I'm glad you like the game.

even just a seperate version of the game without the robes option would be considered enough for osx. thankyou so much!


This game is so good, it looks like a spam=win kinda game but if you try that tactic on the master difficulty or even duel you will notice quickly you'll get your arse handed to you so quick you don't even know what happened ^^. It requires so much more tactic than you first see on first sight and it plays amazingly well. One tip for new players, don't back yourself into the corner, you'll have a bad time xD

please make this game available on OSX it looks so fun, great job!


This game is pretty fun (I played it for 2 hours straight after downloading) I'm not 100% sure how the fighting mechanics work though. Sometimes just button smashing seems to work better than tactics (might just be me).

Some ideas: a training mode (to help people understands the mechanics) and maybe having an option for changing the speed of the enemies (so you can see what they are about to do)

I'd give this a 9/10 



(2 edits)

this game is really fun and and hard to learn even the easy bot is pretty hard to kill but thats why its fun when you get that satisfing kill due to the games difficulty i would not recommend this for casual gamers because this game is really difficult and more focused on hardcore gamers i would rate this a 10/10

Hi hi!

I had a few of my friends try the game recently and they only had positive things to say about it. To give you an idea, one was surprised to hear that the game was free and the other played 500 rounds straight.

I also really like the few changes you made since my last comment. The extra safety of being able to block neutral attacks while charging your own makes the push mechanic viable when your back is against the wall (I'm pretty sure that was added recently. Otherwise I must have missed it the first time). This makes it easier to back up during the fight and helps avoiding spam-fests.

The visuals are still amazing and I'm excited for the new survival mode. My brother suggested having enemies come from the rear and being able to turn around. I'm presonally against it, but it's an interesting idea you might want to think about.

Hey, I wanted to ask you how you achieved that river effect.

I would love to implement something like it into one of my own games.

Also I loved first cut especially the visuals


Thanks man. I see that you've been using Unity so your implementation will no doubt be different, but my river effect was made by:

- Rendering the scene.

-Rendering the scene again, but flipped upside down. This gives me the reflection of everything above the shore. I hold off on rendering UI stuff until after this is done, so the UI isn't reflected too.

- I have a simple ripple shader to distort the reflected image. It stops the reflections from looking too static.

- On top of that I have two seamless river textures I drew (so they can scroll endlessly), each is transparent and they slowly scroll sideways at different speeds. This is to give the surface some shape with shading and highlights. Since the two textures move independently, they give the impression of the waves changing shape as they move. They also darken the reflection underneath a bit.

It took a lot of experimentation to get an effect I was happy with and I redid the water textures a bunch of times. Honestly, you'll probably have an easier time doing it in Unity. Good luck dude.

Thanks for the detailed answer! I really appreciate your help! 

will this game ever come to Mac OSX?

heyeyeyeyeyeyeyey! idea i know you have a school and game is free and also you have propably not much time... but listen. you could make something like stamina system. it will not only make fighting with bots impossible to spam but also give to it more strategic combat. the idea is that every attack will be slower than the other and to attack as fast as at the beggining you just stop moving for a moment.

what do you think? and feel free not to agree with me. this is your game and my idea needs some improments on your AI and lot of work. love your work <3


Antivirus software tends to be wary of 'unsigned' executables. As an independent developer my game isn't recognized by most antivirus software so it will urge you to be careful. You can scan it all you want - it's safe.

The art is really cool. But the mechanics is a bit confusing. I tried every difficulty and all the AI could easily be beat by keep smashing left mouse button.


The AI currently has some pretty big blind spots. I've got an update in the works to improve it, and some improved mechanics. It's almost ready for release but I've been very busy for the last few months. Thanks for the feedback.

the game is very fun one thing is after playing with normal for 10 min i can beat the master easly  please make him harder

Hey dude,

I'm currently working on a update and I've been improving the AI to get rid of a few blind-spots they have. At the moment I can beat the master too easily too so I'll be sure to make him a nightmare again for the new update.

(2 edits)

thanks, he always dies because he tries to push me using his hands often

Hey, the game is very good so far, i was initally impressed how satisfying to win the round is, the animations and blood particles are so good. I especially love how it has the anime/realisim  mixture to it. I am personally a fan of high skill games with blades and the such and this game really suits me.

Thus, i have some suggestions for you, some of which may be have been already mentioned.

It's kind of hard to tell if the attack was parried or not so it would be nice to see some sparks of something to indicate a parry.

Sometimes it's also hard to tell which stance you are in since i would be looking at my opponnent, so maybe some simple sprite in a corner somewhere could show that? (like a man standing with high/mid/low stance).

As for the wakisashi, you could do 2 hit kill instead of one, though then balancing would be hard ;/

Also an empty level with a peacefull dummy so that you could test the range/speed/ etc of the weapons.

For something to keep people playing you could do infinite waves (Just continuously  spawn enemies) that would be even more satisfying (with all the blood accumulating ).

But hey, keep up the good work, i see a lot of potential with this game that you could turn into something bigger.

Hey man,

I'm currently close to releasing a new update with some improvements across the board. The parry is something I'm currently looking at as I think the mechanic needs some extra depth. I can also add a stance indicator - I imagine that'd be useful for playing with the mouse controls.

Your comment inspired me to try out a survival mode like you mentioned - that's done now, and it will be in the new update. If you thought the blood looked ridiculous before, imagine what it looks like after 10 fights in a row :)

Thanks for playing.

I am happy to hear that you're continouing the development of the game!
Yeah i am pretty excited to see the survival mode :D, all the blood effects would make it look really cool.

Also are you planning on a LAN mode any time soon? I would love to play with my friends sometimes Maybe even a 2v2 where you have 2 planes of duels (As in, it would be the same way as it is now, but 2 different depths on the screen). I know it's a bit hard to implement, especially i have no idea how it would be done in GameMaker (since i use Unity myself, previously used GameMaker a bit)

so i have suggestion, question and something to warm your heart.

when two people do an attack it shouldnt be always bouncing off, i think that parry will only work like : mid  attack can parry mid attack and low attack can parry high and high can parry low i would make sense for me.

can you do something so two players can play only on keyboard (in some cases having a mouse is unfair) because i want to play fair matches with my friends and dont hear their compleins about me having a mouse hahah.

game is awesome! its that fun and good that i am even writing a comment despite my lack of ,,english skill,, hahah

i am looking forward to new updates and you can be sure that i'll donate someting ;)

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o 

Thanks for your support.

I'm currently figuring out a way to add more depth to the parries. My thoughts were along the same lines as yours, with sword direction playing a part. We'll see how that goes. It's been awhile since I updated because I got so busy lately, but I've got another small update planned soon and I'll probably try out some tweaks to the parrying.

I'll also go ahead and add support for playing on the same keyboard. It'll be pretty clumsy but as long as everyone is equally disadvantaged then it's a good call.

A very good game. Simple yet smooth and very addictive, specially when fighting against a human opponent.

In an era in which we have a lot of useless features on games, being hard to learn how to play without any sense i encourage you to keep developing this one without loosing it´s simplicity and quick learning. Sometimes more complex doesn´t mean more fun.

Thanks for a nice and beautiful game

Thanks buddy. Simplicity is one of the key principles of the game so no worries there.

Mine keeps showing random textures or cutting to black every second or two how do I fix that?

Hello. I'm not sure exactly how to fix that bug as I haven't encountered it before, but I have a suggestion. Try opening 'options.ini' (it's in the game folder) and change the line 'VertexBufferMethod=1' to 'VertexBufferMethod=2'.

This game is fun and REALLY beautiful, but sometimes the gameplay feels a bit lacking. Fights ususally devolve into a spam-fest after the initial dash attack. This makes the push mechanic mostly useless as you're left defenseless while holding the attack key. Even if you pull it off, the time lag is the same on both the receiving side and the pushing side so you don't get frame advantage. The same can be said of both the up and down attacks. When spamming you'll parry any attack that comes at you no matter the angle. They look cool but that's about it. The dodge seems to do the exact same thing as a normal block so that doesn't really enrich gameplay either.

To fix it you could buff counterattacks. Then, blocking or dodging would give you a huge advantage over someone who only spams. The opponent would still need time to react, though. You could also add a little more knockback. That would be enough to be able to back away and charge a strike. To help with the push mechanic (because even if you get rid of spam it still leaves you very vulnerable), you'd need to give a few more frames to the person who pushes. That might make the move a bit op, though, so you'd need to play around with it (it might also be best to leave it where it is). I think adding a perfect parry/dodge system (when your dodge or parry is frame perfect you'd get an advantage of some sort) would also help enrich the gameplay. It might be tricky to balance this and it would probably lower the skill cap so this might not actually be that great of an idea.

I don't have much game making experience myself and I honestly might just be playing the game wrong, so take my comment with a grain of salt.

I'd like to see more weapons added to the game. Even if it's alot of effort to add a new playstyle right now, you could maybe make new sprites and animations using different weapons but with the same behaviour as the katana (basically just a reskin to add variety and customization). If you want to actually add new fighting styles, may I suggest a katana/wakizashi combo? The one-handed katana could be slower but have more reach, while the wakizashi is used for quick close range attacks.

My brother also mentioned adding a beat 'em up/hack 'n slash type gamemode, fighting against multiple CPUs. Maybe a more arcade-y thing with a recorded scoreboard?

Hopefully I don't sound too harsh, because I legitimately like your game. You did a great job!!


Thanks for the detailed feedback. I'm always happy to hear what people think, especially since balancing a fighting game is a tricky thing.

A lot of my balancing comes from fighting the AI and trying to prevent any one move from being too cheesable. It's always more interesting to fight a real person though and I get a lot of insights about the game from doing so. The AI always fights 'optimally' but I've seen players do all kinds of interesting things, including kicking my ass after learning the game in 10 minutes.

The intent behind the dodge is to give you a means of avoiding a hit without becoming locked into a blocking state. Ideally a perfect dodge would have you exiting your dodge just after the enemy has missed, giving you a brief window in which they are defenseless. A back and forth of parrying will lock you into a particular rhythm of attacking and blocking, and dodging ideally lets you disrupt that rhythm. The same goes for counter attacks. When fighting the AI a well-timed counter isn't a guarantee of victory, but if I chain them together I eventually find the sweet spot where the blades collide but the attack gets through anyway. Both of these things can certainly be tweaked though and it's a matter of finding the midway point between under and overpowered. The game is always a one-hit kill so I usually lean more towards under-powered just for the purposes of feeling fair.

Parrying is definitely overpowered at the moment but I feel that it's an essential mechanic to prevent ending the match in seconds due to pure luck. I wanted it to be easy and intuitive to defend yourself. At the moment I'm thinking of fleshing it out by making the directions of the strikes affect how the parry comes out. An up-strike and a down-strike colliding will cause more stun than two up-strikes glancing off of each other. In theory it'd mean you could get locked into a spamming match but then aim your strikes to gain the upper hand against someone slashing at random. That said I was never quite sure who should have priority during a parry, since reactive parrying is very difficult due to the long windup on all the attacks.

The directions of the strikes are intended to be a trade-off between range and speed. The low-attack is quicker than the middle-attack but it's also much easier to avoid due to its short range. Like most of the mechanics the difference is just a matter of a few frames but those frames can make a big difference when you're trying to land a hit during their brief recovery state.

The shove move definitely needs work. Having to hold attack while tapping a direction was intended just to reduce the number of buttons the game requires, since one of my design principles is to make it as simple to pick up as possible. It clearly causes some problems though, so I'll probably change it to a different input. Maybe pressing attack and dodge together? At the moment you skip some of the animation if the shove lands, but it's subtle and I could make the difference more obvious. My friend also keeps insisting that I put the dash mechanic back in (from a much earlier build) but I replaced it with the charged hits awhile ago and I'm not sure if it would be redundant since the dodge already lets you step out of danger.

Anyway, by all means feel free to give me feedback on the mechanics. It's extremely valuable for polishing the game.

I like your idea for a different weapon style, I'm just apprehensive about balance - especially regarding fast weapons. Usually you balance fast weapons by making them do less damage but in a one-hit game I'd have to find other ways of making them feel fair. Different playstyles are definitely something I want to attempt but it would be the most work out of any potential additions. Foolishly, I designed the player customization by just putting all the different combinations together on multiple sprite sheets instead of using layers in-engine. I'll have to overhaul that system if i'm going to be adding a lot of new player animations, otherwise I'll have to import an absolute ton of images.

Your brother will be happy to know that I've been planning an 'adventure' mode for a while (it's actually the reason I added player customization in the first place). I'm not quite sure how it will turn out but the idea is that you'll fight a bunch of simpler AI on the way to a boss AI.

You don't sound harsh at all, thanks for playing and for letting me know your thoughts.

(1 edit)

One interesting suggestion of mine, it's been quite a while since I've commented on this really cool game too btw, but here's one good suggestion. Since the game already has a very good blood splatter effect and what-not, you think that the kills could have some physics behind them too? That would beautiful, I'm not saying that the kills now are bad, or unintriguing, but it would be pretty cool to see something like this. Huge props on your game man, lovin' it a lot. PS: Some more weapons would be cool too, like a nodachi, and a naginata, you probably wouldn't add these considering that this is mainly focused on katana blade duels, would be pretty cool tho.

Hey dude, thanks for commenting. It has been a while since my last update because I got busy with school again but I do plan on continuing soon. 

By physics, are you referring to things like ragdoll effects? I'm always interested in giving the game more impact so you can be sure I'll be tweaking the kills over time. I've been thinking about adding new weapons or fighting styles since the beginning but it would be a huge undertaking so for now it will likely remain as just katanas. I do like the idea of different fighting styles (I particularly like the idea of a drunken-boxing style of swordplay) but keeping everything balanced would be my number 1 priority.

Anyway, thanks for sticking around. I really appreciate it.

Sorry for the late-ass reply, and no problem man, I always love sticking around with these sorts of games, and yes, I do mean ragdoll effects. And honestly not a surprise or problem that you'll just stick with the katanas, no problamo. New fighting styles sounds hella dope though, love the ideas of your own man, looking forward to other things you'll be adding too.

Amazing game you got here, but I would like to recommend the following. First, fixing the menu, it is kinda hard to navigate with that menu, add background too like a scenery or some sort. Second, a story will be good because you should put a reason why he is fighting with those men, like for example those men burned his village or something that's why he's haunting them for revenge, it's only an example though. Third, better character and sword customization, add different kinds of clothes that he will use, like armors and stuff, put a set of wakizashi too if you find it cool. About the sword customization, you should let players change the color of the sword's handle or add some different swords lmao. Fourth, add a durability bar for the katana below your character, when the katana's durability is exhausted, he'll use the wakizashi as a replacement for the katana. That is all, I really, really want to see your game progress at this point. I'll comment again if I got new ideas. Thanks for the game :D

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm still figuring out how I'm going to proceed; some of your ideas line up with my plans, some don't, but we'll see how it turns out down the line. A little story mode is definitely something I'm interested in, plus fixing the menu and more customization. I'm glad you like it.  :)

Thanks for noticing my comment, Im looking forward to your game :D Goodluck bud!

Wow, amazingly fun, captivating. You really nailed the feeling of suspense even on mouse and keybord. Love to see what this turns into, care to add boken and other weaponry to? This can be huge! much love!

Thanks! I'm still figuring out where it will go. It would be great to add some new weapons but it might require another overhaul of the player sprites and a lot of testing to keep it balanced. We'll see how it goes. I've considered adding a boken for a while since it would only require changing the sword colour and adding a 'knocked out' animation.

Okay, this is awesome.

(4 edits)

AMAZING game. beautiful artwork amazing combat. however this game must have multiplayer. if you add online to this it will be A M A Z I N G. i know you probably have other things to add but consider adding multiplayer sometime. ALSO consider adding different swords and achievements. again wonderful game amazing work

Thanks man. Adding networking is a lot of work but I might just give it a shot sometime.

Why does the level go red for some rounds? Is this a easter egg?

Yes. There's a small chance that you'll end up in one of the 'blood' stages.

How do I play 2 player?

You need to have a controller (either xbox or ps4) and a keyboard.

How do I play 2 player?

Why then i press start game is throw error?

What does the error say?

Sorry,game work now i just didnt download DirectX Sorry again

I thought it might be that. I'm glad it's working for you.


Great video, thanks!

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