Danan: The Jungle Fighter


SYSTEM: Sega Master System



GENRE: Action

RELEASE DATE: 01/1991 (EU), 09/1991 (BR)


(Manual courtesy of SegaRetro)




“Danan, the infant who was rescued from the remains of a wrecked airplane by Jimba, a young Amazon tribesman, came home from hunting one day to find his guardian mortally wounded! What happened to Jimba? Who would do such a thing? Help Danan to find the answers — stalk the hot, wet jungles of the Amazon, putting the pieces together as you go, and avenge Jimba’s death!”


“Oh, here we go…”                                                 Can you spot the Conan wannabe?   




  • With its ambitious (and ridiculous) story, bizarre “cutscenes,” and occasional non-linear exploration, Danan feels more epic than it actually is. To wit: the game can be beaten in 40 minutes or less, even if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
  • Danan’s sprite is huge, and we all know large sprites usually make for slow and lumbering characters (see: Altered Beast). Not here. Danan controls with an elegance and grace that, frankly, doesn’t match his beefcake appearance.
  • Also not keeping with his appearance: Danan’s sword, which is about as small/puny as Link’s sword from Zelda II. Hope you like your fights up close and personal.
  • Time limits in platforming games are almost always awful, but Danan always gives you just enough time to make it through each level.
  • Three animal buddies become unlocked once you collect enough tokens. Three tokens for the armadillo, who rolls into enemies on-screen. Six tokens for the eagle, who flies you across the level. And nine tokens for the gorilla, who replenishes your health somehow? Forget the armadillo and eagle: the gorilla’s the only useful buddy you’ve got.
  • According to Hardcore Gaming 101, “Evidence suggests that Danan: The Jungle Fighter was made by Whiteboard / Santos, mostly known up to that point for mahjong games and ports of arcade titles to various consoles. Shortly after Danan‘s release in 1991, Sega bought the company, renamed it Megasoft, and put it to work on Shinobi 3 under Noriyoshi Obah’s supervision before fully absorbing it into its R&D departments” (Hugo Provost, Danan: The Jungle Fighter).


“Uh, I’m your 3 o’ clock, ma’am.”                           Let there be beef. 



Danan: The Jungle Fighter is stuffed with ideas, but none of these ideas are fully fleshed-out. The story is nonsensical and all over the place, the animal buddies are a great idea, but only one of them helps you in any significant way, and the game is just incredibly short at four levels long; one wonders if the development team was forced to complete this in a marathon weekend. You won’t hate the forty minutes you spend barreling through Danan’s one and only adventure, but you won’t remember much from it either.




Wow.                                                                     “You callin’ that glassy-eyed smile a ‘meeting?'”



Danan cordially invites this random lackey to dance.





Posts created 353

9 thoughts on “Danan: The Jungle Fighter

  1. I always had a soft spot for Danan. Nice review – I like the new format (and I imagine a dot point review could be easier to write) but I miss the rating at the end!

    1. Hey Rom, thanks for the feedback. I’ll be doing reviews in slightly different formats for the foreseeable future… gotta find the right one.

  2. The new review format is cool, though I’d still utilize ratings, after all it’s all your opinion and you can have whatever opinion you like. I remember Danan quite well, since it came out here in Europe. It wasn’t too bad, and you could kill what are essentially cyborg nazis in this game, from what I recall; that’s always a plus!

    1. Thanks cccmar. I doubt this will become the new format, but I’ll take what you say about ratings into account.

      As for Danan, at least it’s a little more ambitious than the average Master System game around this time.

    1. Appreciate the comment. I know it’s a little less personal, but I was just experimenting. Not sure where the format is headed next.

      1. Sure, I only meant it as constructive criticism. I look forward to this experiment, I suppose you’d say, to see what styles you try and what sticks.

  3. Very nice review and very thorough information. I have a soft spot with this game as it was my first video game, being Master System my first console. I enjoyed it immensely, even though I bought it without any knowledge of the game. I do not regret having bought it. I remember trying to beat it without killing anyone as it was so short. It also improved my vocabulary as my English was a lot worst back then.

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