The First Samurai is a platform game that involves the player on a quest as the first samurai in the history of ancient Japan to survive in a world of evil and rival swordsmen.
Eating food and drinking sake will help the player get stronger, while fire and enemy contact will weaken the samurai. The main objective in a level is to collect a set of four items which must be used to get access to the area with the end of level guardian. Magic pots serve as checkpoints and are activated with the energy of your sword. Killing a monster releases a bit of sword energy which you collect then automatically. Using a bell at the right place removes an obstacle blocking your path. The player starts out as a hermit in an ancient forest, but he eventually becomes powerful enough to fight in the villages and towns, and eventually the dungeons. The game was originally produced for Amiga with versions to follow made for Atari ST, C64, DOS and the Super NES. It was followed by Second Samurai.