Tuff E Nuff. Jaleco (1993) Super Nintendo

Known as Dead Dance in Japan.

Have you ever played a game that is truly forgettable? I am not talking about Driver 2 on the PS1. Where you played it 20 years ago, but sort of forgot about it over time. I forgot I had been playing Tuff E Nuff 15 minutes after beating it. I was looking at my notes for the game thinking whats Tuff E Nuff? It was only an hour or so later when I looked at my mobile phones internet to see I had left a webpage open with the moves on that it began to sink in I had spent a couple of hours playing it.


Arrrr, jeez… Right. Tuff E Nuff is a Tournament Fighter with a “story” which I’ll come to later. You take on the role of one of 4 playable characters and assault the ladder format tournament punching and kicking your way to victory fighting ever more ninja-ey people until you get wafflestomped by the final boss.


My 2 key tests

Read our site before? You may have noticed I have 2 requirements for Tournament Fighters. I appreciate I am not that good at them, but that should never stop me being able to have fun playing a game. I don’t want competitive play, but I want to spam an hadouken or two. Tekken gets this right, so does Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. I can pick up those games and play around, do some daft moves and at least experience the game with the kid gloves on by figuring out a few of the special moves for the characters. So my first test is “Can I do a move” and the answer is no. As alluded to in the intro I had to read up on the game to find out how to do a basic fireball, Like Mortal Kombat 1 the moveset is very limited with only 3-4 moves per character. I could figure out the rising leap kick for Kotono, but other than that I couldn’t pull off a move until I read the instructions.

But you know what, the difficulty of pulling the moves off wasn’t actually the main issue I faced. It was actually landing a fucking move. On easy, the enemy just dodges. Fair play to them as nobody wants a flaming fireball to the noggin. So they just jump over it, regardless of how well timed I think it is.

It leads to that age old “jump kick” tactic to win. There is nothing the enemy will do to counter this, land a kick and you have pretty much won as you spam this ad nauseam till you win.

If… IF… It wasn’t for the shonkey as shit hitboxes. It seems almost impossible to land an attack unless you’re standing on the enemies toes. The characters must be hard as fuck because a punch missing by a fraction of a pixel doesn’t even get a flinch out of them. They are truly bad ass.

My second test is… Can me and a mate pick up and play and have fun. With the resounding NO being screamed. The hit boxes and lack of fun moves to play around with simply means there is no point in trying.

Well this is an easy way to get Vortz and Kotomo in a screenshot.


You get a intro cutscene and scrolling text explaining this but: Robbed from Wikipedia.

Set in 2151 in a post-apocalyptic Earth. To the inhabitants on Earth it seems like the only chance for a decent life is to fight, in a “survival of the fittest” scenario. A man named Jado finds a powerful blue fighting armor and calls himself “The Fighting King“. With it, he quickly gains control of the world. Using his newfound power, he erects a tower with six guards. Many try to take Jado’s power away, but they die in their attempt. Some weeks after the building of the tower, a tournament is held all over the world to see who is the strongest. Of the many fighters, only four people are chosen. Now they need to fight each other to see who is going in the tower. The plot dialogues of the Story mode and the final epilogues were excluded from the North American and European versions.



There are only 4 playable characters in single player mode:

  • Syoh: Brawler, so the jack of all trades. Is in the Tournament to carry on a fight he was having with Zazi pre-war.
  • Zazi: Syoh’s rival, just a pallatte swap of Syoh.
  • Kotono: Fast Ninja lady. Fast as hell, weak as shit. jado killed her father and wants revenge.
  • Vortz: Big lad, so slow. Is looking for “somebody”
  • Beans: New York street punk. Bit of a nob.
  • Dolf: Libyan bloke you fight in a missile silo. Uses a rocket launcher like a nob.
  • Rei Mizuno: Fast ghost ninja lady.
  • Gajet: Another big lad. Also the one Vortz is looking for.
  • Shirou: Bullshit magic ninja number 2.
  • K’s: Generic robot. Has metal arms so hits hard.
  • Jadoh (The Fighting King): Final Boss. MEGA NOB.

This would be a fantastic final boss stage


It isn’t all bad, when you are whomping your enemy their face will get progressivey more bloody just like in Art of Fighting.


Tuff E Nuff is truly forgettable. I have to keep going back and playing to see if it is truly as bland as I remember and every time I do it vanishes from my memory. Failing my two tests aren’t always a sign that a game is poor but they are a worthwhile consideration for people who are looking to have a bit of fun in a fighter. The moves are lame, the AI is poor, the characters forgettable, and a truly dull and bland roster of NPCs.

Tuff E Nuff isn’t bad. It isn’t broken. It would struggle for mediocrity.

Pros: Face gets damaged

Cons: bland, and utterly forgettable


Back in the Day:

Tuff E Nuff was praised for being a competent Street Fighter clone scoring 78-83%, with one magazine giving it the second-best Fighter on the Super Nintendo! So… Yeah. Some guy loved it.

I'm awesome. I write about videogames occasionally but spend most time painting and playing Warhammer in varying formats.

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Posted in Super Nintendo

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