So this morning, I find myself standing outside of work. It’s about 10:30 AM and I’m taking a ten minute break to get some nicotine into my system. Out of a mixture of boredom and curiousity, I pull my phone out and decide to check the website and lo’ what do I see?
Captain Pain, you break my heart. Does not everyone know? The only TRUE Ninja Legend is Ryu Hayabusa of Ninja Gaiden! I will rectify this… I will tell the tale…
For the quintessential no-save experience; look no further. Thanks to developer Tecmo, 1988 saw the release of this demon of difficulty on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It wouldn’t be til March of ’89 however, that us folks in North America would get our chance to sink some teeth into this maddening marvel. Ever since, any soul unfortunate enough to come into contact with it would be cursed forever. With joyous frustration.
The plot centers around the aforementioned Ryu Hayabusa, who seeks recompense for his fathers death. And he intends to cash out in blood. Before long, however– his quest for vengeance turns into one of global defense as a plot to revive an ancient demon known as “Jashin” is revealed to him.
I’d like to take this moment to point out that in the story, the demon was originally ‘defeated’ by “SHINOBI” and sealed away into two statues. If you’re gonna destroy a demon, do it right…
The game itself is quite entertaining. A side-scrolling platformer with fairly decent physics, if thats what you could call them. In his arsenal, Ryu has his trusty Katana but can also employ a variety of sub-weapons including Ninja Magic; not to mention your standard throwing-star fare.
Plenty of wall jumping and sword swinging action to be had through the games 20 levels; divided into six acts with a boss fight at the end of each act. It sounds fairly vanilla and would be if not for the insane difficulty and amazing use of dialogue and cut scenes. Quite a feat for its time.
And even beyond this, Ryu’s legend continues! The protagonist has made an appearance in the popular Dead or Alive series of fighting games as well as a reboot of Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox. Also known for its insane level of difficulty…
So I leave it in your hands, Leaguelettes. Which of these two titanous tabi wearin’ ninja heroes takes the number one slot?
Until next time!