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Nightshade: Part 1
The Claws of Sutekh
Nightshade (NES) Coverart.png
Developer(s) Beam Software
Publisher(s) Ultra Games
Platform(s) NES
Release date(s) NA January 1992
Genre(s) Action-adventure game
Mode(s) Single player

Nightshade is an action-adventure game game released in 1991 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was developed by Beam Software and published by Ultra. The game was meant to be the first part in a series, but no sequels were ever made; however, it served as the basis for Beam Software's 1993 game Shadowrun.[1]



The game takes place in a fictional urban city called Metro City. As the story unfolds, the city's local superhero named Vortex is outnumbered by gangs and killed. With the city's protector murdered, the crime grows rapidly. Soon enough the city's crimelords start fighting over control of the city, until a villain named Sutekh takes control, combining all the gangs into one. With the city completely overrun by Sutekh and the other crimelords (Rat King, Goliath, Lord Muck, and Ninja Mistress), it is soon devoured in crime. A vigilante named Mark Gray (alias Nightshade) decides to step up and take the law into his own hands, vowing to rid Metro City of crime.

Outside of the occasional violence, the game is actually somewhat light in tone (even Nightshade himself is constantly being called "Lampshade" by everybody) and rife with various popular culture references. The ending gives credit to people for the "bad jokes".


The game had a unique feature; along with the action sequences and point-and-click game elements, there was a "popularity meter" that would go up or down as Nightshade performed good deeds well or poorly. Higher popularity meant greater recognition by everyday denizens of Metro City and allowed Nightshade access to more areas. The game also included fighting segments, that required quick button responses.

The game's first deathtrap

Instead of a save feature or extra lives, the villain Sutekh would throw Nightshade into a deathtrap. The first four traps each had a solution and Nightshade would escape back onto the streets of Metro City (minus some popularity points). The final one does not, and the player would have to start over from the beginning of the game. Additionally the game begins with Nightshade tied to a chair, next to which Suketh has placed a small bomb. While technically not a deathtrap (the bomb, if not escaped on time, does not do lethal damage) this introduces the trap escape, problem solving element early on.


  1. From Darkness Comes Nightshade! (Hero's Theme)
  2. Cancer, Eating Through the City's Heart (Underworld & Alleyways)
  3. Cast Iron Moustache (Lord Muck's League of Unreasonable Gentlemen's Turf)
  4. Ug the Human Steam-Shovel (Goliath's Thugs' Turf)
  5. Ashes of the Ancient Ninja Mistress, Kitchee-koo (Ninja Mistress' Turf)
  6. Adolescent Irradiated Samurai Rats (King Rat's Tat Men's Turf)
  7. The Claws of Sutekh (Sutekh's Speeches)
  8. 16-Ton Manglewurstle (Nightshade is Free!)
  9. Cloying Grasp of Evil, Inc. (Sutekh's Minions' Turf)
  10. Mark Gray is... Nightshade! (Nightshade Emblem)
  11. Captain Utterly-Invincible's Force Gloves (Scuffle)
  12. Absolute Bonified Legend Material Status! (Ending)
  13. Splork! (Game Over)


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