Who Wants Some Wang? (Shadow Warrior)
alt : Who Wants Some Wang? (Shadow Warrior)


As a PC gamer of the 90's I loved Duke Nukem 3D as much as the next man and whilst we awaited the much fabled sequel (a notorious story in gaming) we had Shadow Warrior! (SW)

I first heard about SW after seeing the tiniest of clippings in a games magazine. It was two screenshots and some text but it looked awesome and knowing it had been created by 3D Realms I was eager to play. However, as it was for me back then, it would be a while before I managed to actually play the game. But when I did it was much fun.

Now since the game has been revisited some 15 years later, I felt it time to revisit this classic for this website. For those having never played you are lucky as it is now freeware and available to all.

In this feature will be in-depth look at the history of the game, the gameplay, screenshots and instructions on how to download and play the original version on modern PC's and an overview of the new 2013 remake.

Note: The detail for this feature relates to the original DOS version of the game which should serve as a basis for the newer ports now available described further down this article.

Shadow Warrior

Case Quote


Click image for larger.



It was the success of Duke Nukem 3D prompted 3D Realms to create a few more titles that used Ken Silverman's BUILD 3D engine.

Development of SW began in 1994 with 3D Realms stating the game had a simple goal: to surpass everything that Duke Nukem 3D was which had enjoyed a wild success. This would be tough to accomplish.

I have heard the game to be some sort of spiritual successor - but I do not agree since 3D Realms were talking about a true sequel to Duke Nukem 3D soon release and other games were produced that used the BUILD engine such as Blood and Rise of the Triad.

The BUILD Engine

The BUILD engine was created by Ken Silverman and powered some highly successful games starting with Duke Nukem 3D. It became the most successful engine of the era with some 12 games using it.

Other BUILD games include Blood, Powerslave/Exhumed and Redneck Rampage series and TekWar.

Other engines have been derived from various ports of BUILD.

BUILD Engine Games
Blood (DOS) Exhumed / Powerslave


Exhumed / Powerslave

History and technical details can be found at http://advsys.net/ken/build.htm and a video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSVzn0F3pyQ.

To improve over Duke 3D, the game used Voxels (basically volumetric (3D) pixels. ergo small cubes) instead of traditional sprites (flat 2D images) for elements in the game.

Shadow Warrior Sprites vs Voxels
Pixels Voxels



These would be for weapons and usable inventory items, transparent water, climbable ladders, and assorted vehicles to drive (some armed with weapons). Curiously they are not enabled by default.

Shells drop and remain on the floor from weapons such as UZI's and shotguns.

The levels were structures were improved with True- Room-Over-Room which is the placement of a room directly above another, something that was only simulated in earlier games/engines.

Traditionally, DOS games used a MIDI device on soundcards for backing music during gameplay. SW however, dropped this in favour of CD audio which give a much wider range of instruments possible and better quality, and presumably because more people used CDROM drives than soundcards with more advanced MIDI capabilities.

Lo Wang was voiced by John Willam Galt.

The game also came with 3DFX/Voodoo (3D accelerators) support from launch and were gaining in popularity at the time.

3DFX / Voodoo Accelerators

Early 3DFX Logo


SW was released in May of 1997 published by GT Interactive for the PC (DOS) and keeping in tradition of the era, the first episode of the game comprising of four levels was released as shareware.

Later that year (August 1997) Mark Adams ported SW to Mac OS.

It seemed that 3D Realms had succeeded with their efforts as reviews of the game were highly positive earning excellent review scores making the game a true PC classic.

However, not all were not pleased with the game stating it reflected badly on East Asian society.

For the UK version the shuriken weapon was changed from stars to darts.

Unfortunately Duke Nukem 3D's success and the world waiting for its sequel (but that is another story) probably over shadowed the game so much that SW never became as successful despite the positive reviews and being technically better.

Indeed, it was an ambitious game. Some of its features would not be seen in games for years later. Examples are turrets and vehicles that the player can drive freely, climbing ladders and weapons multiple firing modes. It marked the first use of a Sticky Bomb in an FPS - something that would not catch on until Halo several years later.

Also PC gaming was still a relatively small section of the market at the time thus it was not ported to any consoles of the day (Saturn, N64 and Playstation) though perhaps a Saturn version would have been easier considering the BUILD engine had already been ported when Duke Nukem 3D was, and SEGA were happy to have these mature titles on their platform but I digress.

A year later an expansion pack was released entitled Twin Dragon and years later Wanton Destruction. There is a third unreleased entitled Deadly Kiss.

Two novels were also published For Dead Eyes Only was written by Dean Wesley Smith and You Only Die Twice by Ryan Hughes.

On April 1, 2005 3D Realms released the source code for SW's engine under GPL. The timing of the source release lead to believe it was an April fools joke however, it spawned its first source port a day later entitled JFShadowWarrior and had the improvements of JFDuke3D and Linux support.

Shadow Warrior Classic Redux, along with the two expansion packs, was released on Steam and features some improvements to the graphics.

The full game became freeware for all to enjoy and is now included in some of the game centric Linux distributions. Download links at the bottom of the page.

The release of the source code has led to the development of several enhanced ports that are playable on modern PC without issue. Some are detailed below.

s A Modern Version of Shadow Warrior (JFSW)

A Modern Version

In May 2013, developer Devolver Digital announced the game would be available for free on Steam for a limited period. This was because a previous scheme where players redeemed keys for it on Facebook had been abused. Such was the popularity of the game perhaps? Shortly after, they announced the game would forever be free on Steam.

SW for iOS was released December 19, 2012 by 3D Realms and indie developer General Arcade.

SW endures as being a lesser known title from an era of great FPS's but this would well change soon.


In 2013, Flying Wild Hog resurrected the game and in October a new incarnation of SW was released for the PC.

Shadow Warrior (2013)


Lo Wang. Master ninja assassin for 20 years. A shadow warrior. Shadow warriors are the best of the best, and Lo Wang was the best of the shadow warriors. Every top company in Japan had a shadow warrior...a protector, a negotiator, a cleaner.

Lo Wang worked for Zilla Enterprises, a conglomerate with control in every major industry. Too much control.

Power corrupts, and Matser Zilla's organisation was corrupted to the core.

Lo Wang discovered Master Zilla's demonic scheme to rule Japan using creatures summoned from the dark side. A man of honour, Lo Wang quit. But one as powerful as Wang either must be on your side, or no ones's side. Master Zilla unleashes his creations for their first test: to kill a single man, a shadow warrior...Lo Wang.

Taken from European manual.


You take the role of Lo Wang complete with his exocentric personality and plenty of commentary with the action. Anyone familiar with Duke Nukem 3D will pick the gameplay up immediately.

The game is very violent with plenty of blood splats, exploding corpses where appropriate yet with a tongue-in-cheek humour akin to a bad kung-fu movie that comes through nicely. There is less smut than Duke Nukem 3D but it is possible to catch young girls in compromising positions and Lara Croft in a bad situation!

Like many of the First Person Shooters (FPS) of the era, gameplay revolves around finding ever coveted keys to make progress and exit to the next area. Whilst shooting through levels loaded with beasts there will be puzzles to be solved some of which will utilise many of the interactive mechanics as radio controlled cars and Pachinko machines.

alt : Shadow Warrior DOS PC

Video is shamelessly embedded from Youtube. All credit to the video owner. No infringement intended.

The action will take place over a variety of terrains such as Subways and Forests, Mountains and Temples, and the levels are fairly large. Each will have several secrets to find which will be most beneficial and it may be necessary to blast a hole in a wall to get to them.

There are four difficulty settings and SW presents a reasonable challenge with a fair few frustrating moments where being caught off guard will result in instant death as some enemies are devastatingly powerful and knowing where cover is needed.

Beyond single player mode is a basic multiplayer mode called Wangbang but in this particular version it is obsolete. The modern versions of the game (described below) allow for a few multiplayer modes.

Graphics are good for the time but will obviously look dated these days but they are pleasant enough.

Differing with most DOS games or the era, SW uses CD audio rather than any MIDI device for background music. The music is fitting and atmospheric with the sound effects well suited.

As a package it is great because it comes with the tools needed to design own level maps, utilities and bonus content in the form of game demos.

Main Menu

When the game loads the main menu is displayed. It has the following items.

New Game - Start a new game. Select the episode to play and then a difficulty level must then be selected from:

Tiny Grasshopper (Easiest)
I Have No Fear
Who Wants Wang
No Pain No Gain (Hardest)

Play On Ten - Play a multiplayer game known as a Wangbang (Deathmatch) on the Ten Network, Obsolete.

Load Game - Resume a previously saved game.

Save Game - Save a game. Can be done at any point in a level.

Options - Adjust various aspects of the game. Detailed below.

Cool Stuff - Detail on a special offer. Obsolete.

Quit - Exit the game. (Return to DOS)

Options Menu

Press ESC at any point during the game to display the main menu. The following items are located under the Options selection.

Screen Menu

Screen Size
Border Tile

Mouse Menu

Mouse Speed
Mouse Aiming
Invert Mouse

Sound Menu

Music - Toggle background music on and off.
Music Volume (will be greyed out if no CDROM drive detected)
Sounds - Toggle sound effects music on and off.
Sounds Volume
Flip Stereo

Kid Mode

Kid Mode - Toggle. Most offensive content will be removed,
Change Password.

Messages - Toggle.
Shadows - Toggle.
Auto Run - Toggle.
Crosshair - Toggle.
Auto Aiming - Toggle.
3D Sprites - Toggle. Enables better looking graphics for objects. (Voxels).
Level Stats - Toggles a display in the top-right of the screen that will display how many kills out of the total have been achieved and how many secrets out of the total have been found.

Controls - Default - Keyboard

SW supports keyboard, mouse, joystick and gamepads and controls are customisable.

The default keyboard only mode is described below.

Main Keys

Main Keys



Arrow Keys


SHIFT+Arrow Key

Run in the direction pressed.


Toggle Auto Run.

ALT+Arrow Key

Strafe in the direction pressed.


Fire selected weapon.


Open doors and use items.


Toggle Map Modes. See below.

A and /?







180o turn.

[ or ]

Select inventory item.


Use selected inventory item.


Drop caltrops.


Drop flash bomb.


Launch gas bomb.


Use Medkit.


Activate Night Vision.


Drop Smoke Bomb.

#'s 1-10

Weapon selection. See below.


Previous Weapon.


Next Weapon.


Holster Weapon


Aim Up and Down


Look Up and Down

Keypad 5

Centre View.

Other Keys

Other Keys




Pauses the game.


Escape back to the Main Menu.


Displays help and game story.


Save game.


Load game.


Sound and music settings.


Screen resolution changes.


Quick save.


Chase view.


Toggle messages on/off.


Quick Load.


Quit to DOS.


Brightness adjust.


Take screenshot in .PCX format.

Multiplayer Games


Remote taunt/ridicule using preset sounds.


Send pre-defined macro messages.


Sends a message to all players.


See co-op view.

The Status Bar

Ever present during gameplay will be the status bar. Described left to right the items are:

Status Bar

The Status Bar

Health - Shows Lo Wang's health. When at zero he will die. When killed, Lo Wang will return to the start of the stage.

Armour - Shows percentage of armour remaining. The higher the number the more protected from damage he is.

Weapons - Shows the status of Lo Wang's weapons. Each weapon displays two numbers separated by a /. The first number is the amount of ammo being carried for that weapon, and the second is the maximum amount of ammo that can be carried for that weapon.

If the numbers are brighter that the others then it is the currently selected weapon. It is of medium brightness then it is in possession but not currently selected. If it is dark is has not been found yet.

Ammo - Shows the amount of ammo left for the currently selected weapon.

INV (Inventory) - Shows the percentage and status (if applicable) of the currently selected inventory item. To change between them use the [ and ] keys.

Keys - Show the keys currently in possession.

Note that the status bar can be removed from the screen when using the maximum window size.

Maximum View

Maximum View

The Automap

Pressing the TAB displays the map. Pressing TAB again will toggle the wire frame and the solid map.

Shadow Warrior Map Views/Modes
Wire Frame Map Wire Frame Map

Map 1

Map 2

Whilst in map mode, zooming is done with the + and - keys.

Pressing F will activate follow mode and more of the surrounding map can be seen.


Lo Wang's arsenal of weaponry includes Japanese themed weapons such as shurikens and heads/hearts.

Weapons are selected by pressing keys 1 to 0. Ammo for them is found scattered throughout the levels.

Some weapons have more than one firing mode selected by pressing that number more than once. Some weapons will have rapid fire abilities when the CTRL Key is held.

Beware when using explosives as it is possible to kill yourself.







The Katana is a powerful weapon that can slice right through the lower ninja's. Unfortunately its only useful at extremely close range. It is also useful for destroying objects within rooms.

1 x2

Fists of Fury

Lo Wang's powerful fighting skills can be used at close range to punch the life out of enemies.


Darks / Shurikens

Small hand held darts than can be thrown at enemies. Three can be thrown at a time. A minimum of three are needed to use.

These only inflict a small amount of damage.


Riot Gun

A quad barrel shotgun. Shoots a concentrated blast through one barrel that will knock an enemy off their feet.

3 x2

Riot Gun

Fires all four barrels quickly but with a wider spread. Inflicts slightly less damage.



High speed machine gun. After collecting another, two can be wielded at the same time. Beware that reloading both takes few seconds when you will be vulnerable.


Rocket Launcher

Shoots explosive rockets.

5 x2

Rocket Launcher - Heat Seeking

After finding a heath seeking card, the next five rockets fired will track enemies.

5 x3

Rocket Launcher - Nuke

A devastatingly powerful weapon. After finding a Nuke Bomb and activating, there will be a short countdown before the weapon is ready.

Find cover at significant distance to the target otherwise Lo Wang will not survive. There is also some lethal smoke that lingers for a few seconds afterwards.


Grenade Launcher

Launches 40mm explosive shell that bounces a few times before it explode.

It's a great weapon for dealing death in hard-to-reach places such as ledges and around corners. Be cautious that the projectile does not bounce back!


Sticky Bombs

A sneaky weapon. This small spiky explosive sticks to almost any surface including enemies. After priming, the bomb will detonate when its motion detectors sense something nearby.

These can be detonated from a distance by shooting at them.


Rail Gun

A classified top secret weapon it can shoot a piece of metal at near light speed propelled via a magnetic field.


Guardian Head

Devastating in the right hands. Spits fire. Watch enemies burn!

9 x2

Guardian Head - Whirlwind of fire.

Will kill anything in a wider radius.

9 x3

Guardian Head - Magical Napalm

Spits devastatingly powerful napalm across the ground.


Ripper Heart

A squeeze of this will summon forth a Zombiefied version of Lo Wang that will kill with reckless abandon for a short period of time.


These items are used immediately when touched.





Red armour adds 100%, Grey armour 50%

Fortune Cookie

Gives a 50% health boost to a maximum of 200% but also with a clever little message inside.

Heat Seeker Card (Used with Rocket Launcher)

Small red circuit board upgrades the Rocket Launcher so that the next five rockets will be Heat Seeking.


Needed to advance through levels. These will be in the traditional metal design and electronic keycards.

Nuke (Used with Rocket Launcher)

Once found and detonated will cause a massive range of destruction. Larger enemies will rarely survive and smaller ones vaporized.

Small Medkit

Adds 20% health to a maximum of 100%.

Inventory Items

These items are carried until they are used. They can be activated via their own hotkeys or by cycling through inventory items using the [ and ] keys and pressing ENTER.

Inventory Items






Small razor sharp talons of metallic death that lie on the floor when thrown. There, when stepped upon will inflict damage and enemies will cry out in pain.


Flash Bomb

Blinds nearby enemies for a few seconds leaving them more vulnerable to attack as they stumble about.


Gas Bomb

Once dropped it will briefly spew gas that chokes enemies nearby. This is a good way to clear out a room full of monsters.

Beware that it can rebound/bounce.

These can be used tactically during multiplayer games to protect an item.



A portable health pack that carries an extra 100% health. When Lo Wang is low on health, select this to restore.


Night Vision Goggles

These government issue goggles can illuminate living things in the darkest of areas. Use sparingly as there are allot of dark and gloomy areas throughout the game.


Smoke Bomb

Renders Lo Wang partially invisible for a few seconds. Useful for killing monsters with the element of surprise.



Facilitates repairs to damaged vehicles that are encountered such as tanks, forklifts and other broken machinery. The kit is activated by pressing SPACE/OPEN on the control panel of a broken vehicle usually indicated by rising steam.

Other mechanics include Panchinko machines which can reward items such as flash bombs and fortune cookies when played.

Monsters and Hazards

SW has a rather tough line up of enemies many of which have the ability to kill LW in one attack.

In addition to the enemies detailed below there will be booby traps such as falling ceilings, fireballs blasted from holes in the walls and statues.

Any explosives such as barrels will cause injury if nearby when exploded.

Shadow Warrior Enemies/Monsters



Brown Ninja

Weakest. Can do all player actions (climb, duck, hide behind boxes). They are equipped with UZI's and darts. Will suicide from lack of honour.

Red Ninja

Can do all the above but armed with rockets.

Green Ninja

These are partially visible till death and fires an UZI or two types of magical napalm with flash bombs.

Orange Ninja

Tougher and can launch heat seeking rockets.

Grey Ninja

Tougher and can launch grenades.

Shadow Ninja

Toughest. These are near invisible and use two types of magical napalm and can use blinding flash bombs.

Use night vision goggles to locate them.

Ninja's on occasion will also commit suicide after inflicting a certain amount of damage. They will hold their shotgun in their mouths and blow their own brains out!


Walks around with a box of powerful explosives. They pose no threat from a distance but will inflict major damage if nearby as they detonate their boxes. These can be used to your advantage as the explosion can obliterate enemies.

Coolie Ghost

Some Coolie's will spawn a spectral ghost after they make their ultimate sacrifice. These apparitions float around phasing in and out of existence and between will heave nasty globs of bloody goo.


Big ape-like monster that jumps around and can cling to walls including the ceiling where they wait to drop.

They also charge at full speed and begin ripping flesh. If they get too close they can rip out hearts.

Baby Rippers

Smaller faster versions of Rippers and spit green goo and are very hungry.


These are tough to kill. In close range they fight with swords, switching to fireballs when further away.

After killing, their decapitated head can be used as a weapon.

Female Ninja

These are tough girls carrying a lethal crossbow which they use at far range. When closer they will launch sticky bombs.


These are patches of green goo roam around the floor and will consume almost instantly if touched.


These denizens of the deep look like normal Koi but have plenty of razor sharp teeth. They pose a real threat only in groups.


These overgrown yellow jackets will do minor damage individually but in a swarm can be deadly.

They move erratically and fast making them a tricky target to hit whilst they continuously sting away your health.


Will not attack but are vulnerable. Do with them what you will.


Various mines are littered about the game that will detonate when Lo Wang is near.

These can spew caltrops, poison gas, explode, launch grenades or flash bomb.

Ancient variations of these are called Accursed Heads.


Automated machine gun turrets that spray bullets when near. They can be disabled with a fair amount of punishment such as three rockets.


Serpent God

Be well prepared for battle with one of these Gods.

This is a four-armed evil snake-like creature of Zilla himself. He can shoot devastating energy balls from his eyes, and when attacked, will spawn a circle of exploding Accursed Heads. These heads will launch towards Lo Wang in order to protect their evil master.


This giant nightmare of a sumo warrior carries vengeance. His mass grants him a powerful stomp than can damage sending shock waves towards. A clap of his giant hands will unleash Accursed Heads towards.

These guys are especially tough and hold a surprise or two.


This will be the final battle of the game.

Prepare well, Lo Wang, and heed all that Master Leep has taught you.

CDROM Control

The game allows control over the CDROM drive for listening to tunes whilst playing.

Press T during gameplay to display the command line interface where commands and cheat codes can be entered. The following commands relate to CD's.

CDROM Control



cd on

Re-enables the CD audio system after the cd off command.

cd off

Shuts down the CD audio system.

cd reset

Resets the CD audio system. Useful if changing CD's or insert the CD after you have already run SW.

cd play (track number)

Plays the specified track one time.

cd loop (track number)

Plays the specified track repeatedly until it is manually stopped or another track is started.

cd stop

Stops the currently playing track.

cd resume

Resumes playback of a stopped track.

cd eject

Ejects the CD (For CD Players that do not have a manual eject button).

cd remap (track 1) (track 2) (track 3)

Allows specifying the order in which audio tracks are played. If the CD audio system is told to play track 1, it will instead play the first track specified.

cd info

Reports information about the CD such as the number and types of tracks on the disc, what track is playing (if any) and the playback volume.

Note these controls may not be possible depending on the environment the game is being run.


The levels of the game are divided into two episodes.

There will be a boss encounter at Level 4 of Episode 1 and levels 10 and 20 of Episode 2.

The following screenshots were taken using DOSBox with the original games 800x600 resolution.

Episode 1 - Enter The Lo Wang

Seppuku Station

Level 1: Seppuku Station

Zilla Construction Zilla Construction

Level 2: Zilla Construction

Master Leep's Temple Master Leep's Temple

Level 3: Master Leep's Temple

Dark Wood Of The Serpent Dark Wood Of The Serpent

Level 4: Dark Wood Of The Serpent

Episode 2 - Code Of Honour

Rising Sun Rising Sun

Rising Sun

Killing Fields Killing Fields

Killing Fields

Hara-Kiri Harbour Hara-Kiri Harbour

Hara-Kiri Harbour

Zilla's Villa Zilla's Villa

Zilla's Villa

Monastery Monastery


Raider of the Lost Wang (leads to secret level) Raider of the Lost Wang (leads to secret level)

Raider of the Lost Wang (leads to secret level Shanghai Shipwreck)

Sumo Sky Palace Sumo Sky Palace

Sumo Sky Palace

Bath House Bath House

Bath House

Unfriendly Skies (leads to secret level) Unfriendly Skies (leads to secret level)

Unfriendly Skies (leads to secret level Auto Maul)

Crude Oil Crude Oil

Crude Oil

Coolie Mines Coolie Mines

Coolie Mines

Subpen 7 Subpen 7

Subpen 7

The Great Escape The Great Escape

The Great Escape

Floating Fortress Floating Fortress

Floating Fortress

Water Torture Water Torture

Water Torture

Stone Rain Stone Rain Stone Rain

Stone Rain

Shanghai Shipwreck (Secret Level) Shanghai Shipwreck (Secret Level)

Shanghai Shipwreck (Secret Level)

Auto Maul (Secret Level) Auto Maul (Secret Level)

Auto Maul (Secret Level)

Expansion Packs

Twin Dragon

This was released for free in July of 1998 created by Wylde Productions and Level Infinity and has music from Castles Music Productions.

The game reveals that Lo Wang has a twin brother called Hung Lo and whom he was separated with when very young. He is an almost polar opposite whose dark goal is to destroy the world. Similar to Master Zilla he uses creatures from a dark realm, criminals (underworld) and some remnants of Zilla's army to further his goal.

Lo Wang must battle though his minions, reach his palace and defeat the evil Twin Dragon Hung Lo.

It consists of 13 new levels with new sounds and artwork and the new final boss Hung Lo.

Twin Dragon Expansion Pack
Twin Dragon Twin Dragon

It can still be found today at http://www.moddb.com/games/shadow-warrior/downloads/twin-dragon and with the recent Steam release.

Wanton Destruction

This was created by Sunstorm Interactive and released in 2005 for free. The reason for such a delay was that the creator had been hired by 3D Realms as a Level Designer for Duke Nukem Forever after presenting four maps several years prior.

The expansion continues Lo Wang's adventures after the original game. He visits his relatives in the USA but forced to confront Zilla's forces again.

The game climaxes with a confrontation with Master Zilla above the streets of Tokyo.

It consists of 12 new levels, new artwork, and a few new enemies such as the human ones, though they still act like their original counterparts.

Wanton Destruction Expansion Pack
Wanton Destruction Wanton Destruction

It can still be found today on the 3D Realms website amongst others and with the recent Steam release.


3D Realms have provided an official walkthrough and locations of all secrets on their website at http://www.3drealms.com/

Below is a list of official cheat codes and some development codes.

Press T to begin a message and then type the following during gameplay.

Cheats and Tips




Enables God mode, gives all items and ammo.


Enables God mode.


Gives all inventory items.


Level warp. xx is the level number.


Toggle Full Map. Automapping Off.


Toggle clipping.


Makes Lo Wang win each time he uses one of the machines.


Bunny Rocket mode. Rocket launcher will shoot bunnies.


Can change name during a Multi-Player game.


Restarts current level.


Quits game.

Development Commands


Increases the screen resolution. This can go much higher than 800x600 which the F5 key allows.


Loads another .cfg


Displays the frame rate. When entered a second time will provide the location within the level.


Saves the map. Creates SWSAVE.MAP file.

CD PLAY [Track No 0x]

Plays the specified CD track where x is the track no. e.g 08.

CD LOOP [Track No 0x]

Endlessly loops specified CD track where x is the track no. e.g 08.


Play CD Audio.


Stop CD Audio.


SW is a pure DOS game. The CDROM has a Windows installer for the game but this program copies the files and simply creates the various shortcuts. The game generally runs fine under Windows.

For reference, these are the original system requirements.

Pentium 90Mhz
65.5MB Hard Drive Space
100% Soundblaster compatible
256 VGA Graphics
DOS 6.2 or higher
Optional mouse, joystick or gamepad.

The CDROM is not required to play the game once installed.

Using Dosbox

SW will not work correctly under Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7 and simply will not execute on an x64 based computer.

It is possible to play under modern versions of Windows such as XP, Vista and 7 (including the x64 versions) by using DOSBox - a free DOS emulator which you can obtain from http://www.dosbox.com. It runs hundreds of games very well and is constantly under development. There are also versions for other platforms such as Linux and Mac.

DOSBox can seem complicated to use but these instructions are the minimum in which to get the game running without issues. There is plenty of in-depth information on the DOSBox website.

Setting up network games is possible but rather tricky. Its recommended to use one of the modern remakes instead.


Download and install DOSBox. You may need Administrator privileges to do this.

Installing SW

Method 1: Copy the game files.

Create a folder on the hard drive where you want the game to be stored. For example, c:\oldgames\sw

Open the SW CDROM using Windows Explorer. Enter the SWINST folder and copy all of these files into the folder just created on your hard drive. The TEN folder is not required and can be deleted.

Highlight these files, right-click, select properties and make sure they are not marked as read only.

Launch DOSbox and enter the commands shown to run the setup program.

Shadow Warrior DOSBox Setup

Mount Drive C. Mounting Drive D is Optional if wanting the CD audio. Switch to the SW folder just created.

Shadow Warrior DOSBox Setup Shadow Warrior DOSBox Setup

Setup Soundcard

Shadow Warrior DOSBox Setup

Setup Screen

Shadow Warrior DOSBox Setup

Save and Launch

Method 2: Using the DOS Installer

The only advantage to this method is seeing some extra screens that describe the bonus content on the CD.

Shadow Warrior DOSBox Setup

Mounting drive D is required. Launch Install.

Shadow Warrior DOSBox Setup

Run Setup

Shadow Warrior DOSBox Setup Shadow Warrior DOSBox Setup Shadow Warrior DOSBox Setup Shadow Warrior DOSBox Setup Shadow Warrior DOSBox Setup

Setup soundcard and screen then launch like in Method 1 above.

Running The Game

To run the game, launch Dosbox and there commands shown in the screenshots below.

Shadow Warrior DOSBox Launch

Mount Drive C. Mounting Drive D is Optional if wanting the CD audio. Switch to the SW folder and load SW.exe.

For reference, the screenshot below shows the command line switches for the game.

Shadow Warrior Command Line Switches


The last version of the game is version 1.2.

This is also the version of the freeware download so patching is unnecessary. There is also a patch to remove the shurikens thus making the game the UK version.

For reference, patches can the official 3D Realms website.

3DFX Version

Probably now an obsolete version of the game. Version 1.1 of the 3DFX executable includes the updates of version 1.2 of the standard game.

This version runs at a default higher resolution of 512x384 up to 800x600. It adds some improvements in the picture quality but should you have a slow processor then it will make the game much smoother. More RAM is required for this version also.

It should be compatible with Voodoo 1, 2 and 3 chipsets although I could not get the game to execute with a Voodoo 3.

There is a separate Readme for this version on the CDROM which has some useful information when running into issues.

Shadow Warrior 3DFX
Shadow Warrior 3DFX
Shadow Warrior 3DFX
Shadow Warrior 3DFX

Shadow Warrior 3DFX

Unlike the standard version, a CDROM with a valid track 2 must be present for the game to launch and the glide2x.ovl file must be present to play.

Note: The 3DFX version uses a separate setup program and settings along with separate save files which cannot be used on the standard version.

There are some versions of DOSBox that emulate Voodoo chipsets (3DFX) but these are not emulated through Dosbox officially.


The soundtrack for the game was composed by Lee Jackson whom also composed the soundtrack to Duke Nukem 3D, There is no official soundtrack. What follows is a list of tracks that are on the CDROM.

A special song entitled Lo Wang's Rap was included on the CD. It is made up of sound bits of the outtakes from recording Lo Wang's voice for the game. It is played in the games credit sequence after completing the game.

A backing track was recorded and the vocals adjusted to simulate rapping.

It was released as an MP3 on 3D Realms website in 1999. You can download it below.

The audio tracks on the CD are as follows.

Shadow Warrior Soundtrack Track Listing





Data Track (Do not play)





Okinoww!a - Reprise



Everybody Off!!!






Leep's Prophecy



Love Field



Nin Nin Gets His









Thunder Winds



A Game Of Chants



Shadow Raver



Lo Wang's Rap



The ports detailed below are of high quality and have good performance on older PC's even using integrated graphics and support multiplayer modes. You will need some files from the original game which can be sourced from the freeware version or original CDROM. Refer to the documentation of each.

Shadow Warrior Classic Redux

Shadow Warrior Classic Redux

This is the official version from 3D Realms and purchased via Steam. It is also available for Mac and Linux.

This version is described as the definitive version as it features remastered visuals and two massive expansion packs and some Steam achievements. It is powered via OpenGL and DOSBox for running on modern PC's.

Official website is at http://store.steampowered.com/app/225160/

The store page also has artwork and guides. It is great value for money.


One of the first ports of the BUILD engine to Windows (Win32) and subsequently the game.

It features OpenGL, high resolution textures and a version for Linux.

Thankfully, it is very simple to get running. It has low system requirements and as of October 13, it runs fine under Window 7 x64 with very modest hardware.

As of 2005 it is still described as work-in-progress. The official webpage of the project is at http://www.jonof.id.au/jfsw. It is also the home of JFDuke3D and JFBuild. Source code is also available.

JFShadowWarrior JFShadowWarrior


SWProasm is an OpenGL port for SW. This is a modified version of Jonathon Fowlers Shadow Warrior (JFShadowWarrior).

It is a small Windows program and very simple to get running. It has low system requirements and as of October 13, it runs fine under Window 7 x64 with very modest hardware.

It has many more options compared to JFShadowWarrior for graphics, sound but much more so for customising games and multiplayer support. Ninja star shurikens are enabled by default.

SWP (Pro ASM) Setup

To enable the original Katana slash animation, on the main menu select game options, more, and disable the Ninja Sliced Hack.

It is currently on version 4.3.2. The official webpage for the project is at http://www.proasm.com/sw/swp.html. A setup guide can be found at http://swcentral.weebly.com/swphowto.html



Described as a bold re-imagining of the original, this version has been created by independent studio Flying Wild Hog (Hard Reset).

Reviews have been very positive so perhaps we can hope for a sequel or perhaps this studio should be considered for making the next Duke Nukem game if there is ever to be one.

It focuses on the story of Lo Wang when he started working for Zilla.

Shadow Warrior (2013)

Click image for larger.

Shadow Warrior tells the offbeat tale of Zilla Enterprise's corporate shogun Lo Wang as he is ordered to acquire a legendary blade of limitless power by his deceitful employer. Betrayed and left for dead, Lo Wang learns of the blade's connection to ancient gods from another realm preparing to push our world to the brink of destruction. Now the reluctant hero must become legend through a masterful combination of gun, blade, magic and wit to uncover the truth behind the demonic invasion and banish evil back into the darkness.

Shadow Warrior (2013) Screenshots
Shadow Warrior (2013)
Shadow Warrior (2013)
Shadow Warrior (2013)
Shadow Warrior (2013)

The game is Steam powered therefore a Steam account is required in order to play.

These are the official Minimum System Requirements.

OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
Processor: 2.4 GHz Dual Core Processor or higher
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 3870/NVIDIA 8800 GT or better
DirectX: Version 9.0cHard Drive: 8 GB available space

There are already several patches for the game that fix several issues. Unfortunately its rather large and adds to the install time.

The graphics of the game are superb so a decent video card is recommended. Audio is very well implemented also.

A special version exists with extra weapons and digital artbook. It was available exclusively from Game.

There is no news on any console ports at the time of writing though based on the above specifications it is not outside the realm of possibility though why games for XP are still being produced is anyone's guess. It lead to several issues when I tried to run this on Windows 7 x64.



Duke Nukem 3D Atomic Edition - Games of the Month Archive

Duke Nukem 3D (SEGA Saturn) - Games of the Month Archive


3D Realms Official Website


This is the place to obtain the freeware version of the game. There are also MP3's and patches available.

Shadow Warrior 2013 Official Website


Plenty of media for the reboot of the game.

Retro Spirits Games Review


An excellent review of the Redux version.

Obtaining the Linux Distribution

Shadow Warrior was included in the 4M Linux Game Edition distribution. There are several other types and frequently updated. More information and downloads can be found at http://www.4mlinux.com

Eidos Official Website


Ports of other FPS's of the era


A look at other FPS's that are now available to play.

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