Japanese video game developer and publisher. Their most famous games are Rygar, Ninja Gaiden (or Ninja Ryukenden in Japan), Tecmo Super Bowl, Dead or Alive (a Virtua Fighter clone), and Monster Rancher, a disk-driven Pokemon clone. Their games are among the best on the market, although they dozed off in the mid 1990s.

One odd switch that they did were the roles of Rygar and Ninja Gaiden's Ryu Hayabusa. Rygar's supposed to be a take no prisoners warrior, and Ryu's supposed to be a stealthy ninja. Yet, Rygar gets to liesurely explore his world, and even though he encounters hundreds of monsters, he can avoid all but three of them. Ryu, on the other hand, has to run a straight path in a short time limit, kill about ten bosses per game, and can't really avoid killing the boss' henchmen either.

Also, Tecmo tended to make their arcade and console games different. In the arcade, Rygar was a straight-forward, timed action game with a lot of yo-yo moves (that's what Rygar used for a weapon!). On the NES console, Rygar was a non-linear exploration game with fewer yo-yo moves. Ninja Gaiden was a Double Dragon-style brawler in the arcade, while it was a Castlevania clone on the NES. Also, Tecmo made another brawler with Altered Beast-style morphing called Tecmo Knight.

Tecmo also made great continue screens. Tecmo Knight showed the knight in the mouth of a huge monster slowly closing its jaw, which the knight was trying, but failing, to hold open. Ninja Gaiden arcade showed Ryu tied down to a table with a bansaw descending upon his chest.

Today, Tecmo has befriended Microsoft to make Dead or Alive 3 exclusively for Xbox. While working with Microsoft has pros and cons, it's interesting to see a Japanese company work enthusiastically on an American platform, when 10 years ago the opposite was the norm.

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