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File:BadDudes 5582.jpg
President Ronnie has been kidnapped by ninjas. Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the President?
—Intro (yes, that is a mashup between the arcade and NES versions, but we wanted to mention both, okay?)

This game is BAD!. Which of course, means it's good.

A side-scrolling Beat'Em Up by Data East for the arcades and ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System. The plot, such as it is, goes as follows: There are rampant ninja-related crimes these days. And the White House is no exception. A guy who looks like he could be Duke Nukem's uncle informs you that the President has been kidnapped by ninjas, and asks you if you are a bad enough dude to rescue the President. The correct answer is to beat up an army of ninja, and shout "I'M BAD!!!", then repeat until the President is rescued. Said President thanks you for your troubles, and suggests burgers for lunch. That's the whole plot.

Tropes used in Bad Dudes include:
  • Badass: Blade and Striker naturally.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: Especially the arcade version. "Rampant ninja-related crimes these days. White House is not the exception."
  • The Cameo: Karnov, hero of his self-titled Data East game, is the first stage's boss.
  • Catch Phrase: "I'm BAD!" Or through the NES's sound system, "GWAM BAAA!".
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: In the arcade version, Player 1 wears white parachute pants, while Player 2 wears green.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Multiple mook ninjas? No problem. One boss ninja? Bigger problem.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: I mean really! A to attack and B to jump?!
  • Dare to Be Badass: "The forces of good have never been so BAD!" claimed one advertisement for the home version.
    • "Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president?" Let's find out!
  • Degraded Boss: Kusamochi Karnov and Zombie Animal. Inverted with the third boss, who is literally a Boss in Mook Clothing.
  • Doppelganger Spin: The Ninja boss in the sewer level.
  • Dragons Up the Yin-Yang: The Big Bad is named "DragonNinja".
  • Dude in Distress: The President.
  • Excuse Plot: Albeit one of legendary proportions.
  • Fighting with Chucks: One of the weapon pickups is a set of nunchucks. It's the best weapon with the longest reach and does double damage compared to the normal punch.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Part of the tough-as-nails 80's hero aesthetic.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Blue ninjas, grey ninjas, red ninjas, green ninjas, or fire ninjas.
  • Hurricane Kick: Pressing jump and attack simultaneously executes this. It makes the player more vulnerable to Collision Damage, unfortunately.
  • King Mook: The green ninja boss in Stage 3.
  • Man On Fire: The aptly named Fire Ninjas will light themselves on fire. The only way to kill one of them is to do a spinning kick on their head.
  • Market-Based Title: Known as Dragon Ninja in Japan, Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja for the American arcade release, and then shortened to just Bad Dudes on the NES.
  • Mooks: The blue ninja mooks are appropriately called "Zako Ninja" in the end credits ("Zako" means mook in Japanese). The red-clad weapon-wielding variants are called "Buki (Weapon) Ninjas", and the black-clad shuriken-throwing ninjas are called "Nage (Throw) Ninjas". There are also Kunoichis, dwarf-sized Mini Ninjas, and helmet-wearing/sword-wielding elite mooks called Kabutos.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The President was changed from Ronald Reagan ("Ronnie") in the arcade version to George H.W. Bush (just "The President") in the NES version.
    • One of the bosses is a Road Warrior/Legion of Doom lookalike named "Animal".
  • No Name Given:
    • The two player characters in the arcade version. The names "Blade" and "Striker" were given in the NES version. Averted with all the enemy characters, who are all listed in the end credits with one exception...
    • The boss of Stage 3 in the arcade version is the only one not given a name. The Famicom version's manual claims his name is Hanzo, but the names of some of the other bosses are not entirely consistent with the arcade version's (Akai Kage and Devil Pole were renamed Killer Joe and Kon Bohsai respectively).
  • Palette Swap: The three basic types of ninja mooks (Zako, Nage and Buki) are the same sprite with different colors for their outfit (blue, black and red), while the boss of Stage 3 is a green ninja who can make duplicates of himself. The Degraded Boss versions of Karnov and Animal, Kusamoci Karnov and Zombie Animal, are the same guys with weirder skin colors.
  • Power Glows: You can charge your Dude's punches to make him glow and take out enemies in fewer hits.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Another part of the tough-as-nails 80's hero aesthetic.
  • Traintop Battle: The second level.
  1. Kusamochi is a green Japanese rice cake made from a type of leaf.