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Retro Game Club Discussion Thread - 03 - Ninja Gaiden [community]

Ninja Gaiden. What can I say about Ninja Gaiden on the NES? The original NG in the arcades (also available on the Virtual Console) was a beat-em-up in the same vein as Final Fight, in which you played as Ryu Hayabusa, a ninja with an arsenal of three different moves and who could only use his sword for a limited time after grabbing a power-up. Awesome, right?

Tecmo didn't seem to think so either. And so when it came time to bring the game to the NES, which had no hope of ever running a decent post, Tecmo decided to instead make a completely new original game, an action platformer instead of a brawler. The game has a strange resemblance to Castlevania: close range weapon, sub-weapons activated by holding up when attacking, having to hit candles or lanterns to find these weapons and ammunition... even the HUD bears a resemblance. But Ninja Gaiden is a much faster-paced game, and its hero is much more agile: he can run, change direction mid-jump, grab on walls and, if you are dexterous enough, climb them.

The game has a reputation for being balls-hard. The "problem" here is that as agile as Ryu is, the enemies are not limited to close-range weapons and some of them, such as birds and bats, are even faster than the hero. Plus, they respawn immediately should you backtrack even a millimeter when you kill them. But victory is nonetheless possible, if only by memorizing the levels as you get pushed into the omnipresent bottomless pits over and over again.

Oh, I almost forgot: the story in this old NES game is actually worth talking about. Ryu is not on a quest to save a princess from some villain, but is trying to elucidate the mystery surrounding his father's death. This story was told through cutscenes which were simply amazing at the time. They were detailed, well directed, and full of intrigue. Negative Worlders, you may just play through this game for the story.

Then again, you probably won't.

Why not add Ninja Gaiden (NES) or perhaps even Ninja Gaiden: Arcade to your collection, and indicate you are currently playing it?

List of Awesome:
X‑pert74 (beat the game overnight!)
ludist210 (beat the game also overnight? What's going on!?)

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Posted: 04/29/11, 08:40:34  - Edited by 
 on: 10/27/11, 08:06:55
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TriforceBun said:
Hey now. Mind the language.

I should clarify what the List of Awesome is: the LoA is not about beating the game, it's about... community spirit. We want people to play together, and be supportive, and beat the game themselves. Yeah, and the fact that I put my name in huge bold letters in the RGC02 isn't be bragging, it's just a reflection of my huge commitment to the RGC... yeah, we'll roll with that.

So I started the game, and saw that I had a save state at 5-2. I reset and started over, and now after about an hour, I'm back at 5-2. That's enough for tonight, I believe.

Something about the story bugs me: the demon has been asleep for 700 years. The temple was built 2000 years ago. Yet the CIA agent says the temple was built to contain the body of the demon... doesn't add up, unless it took people 1300 years to defeat the demon, and the demon let that temple stand all this time and never did anything about it.
Posted: 04/30/11, 09:31:16
Wow, I just realized Level 6 is the last level. If I'd known that I would have just gone for it tonight. Oh well, tomorrow.
Posted: 04/30/11, 09:31:34
@Guillaume That is suspect. There are some things about the story which aren't clear (probably because its translation), but the translation in general is better than most games at the time. It certainly blows the original Zelda games' translations out the water, for instance.
Posted: 04/30/11, 12:06:04

As TriforceBun said, it's pretty deceptive, especially due to the dick move of being sent back to 6-1 when you die against the boss. Unless you're playing on an emulator, then I guess you can save-state your way through it pretty painlessly.
Posted: 04/30/11, 18:48:37
I'll join you guys tonight.
Posted: 04/30/11, 19:42:08

Level 6 is also tough as nails, mostly because of the boss sequence. Once you get their patterns, it's not so bad.
Posted: 04/30/11, 20:27:59
Hah, I got you again, Ninja Gaiden!

That wasn't as bad the second time.

I pretty much have Act 6 more or less memorized so it wasn't too much trouble getting to Jaquio. The form that always tore me up was the second form, though, when he's flying above the air. But the key is to get there with as much Ninja Power as possible, and the Art of the Fire Wheel. Fortunately, that weapon is the very last candle in the game and hard to miss. I showed up with something like 69 Ninja Power (insert Butt-head laugh here) and it pretty much tore the guy to pieces without me taking much damage. I lost after that but it wasn't much trouble to get back there with the Fire Wheel and finish the job.

Ninja Gaiden III is even tougher though, what with its lack of continues and built-in design error where all enemies do twice as much damage as in the JPN version.

But still, another successful game completed in the Retro Game Club! Ninja Gaiden: not as bad as the first time.
Posted: 04/30/11, 22:29:13
Aw man, you guys are too quick. Kinda demoralizing!
Posted: 04/30/11, 22:32:47
Well, I beat 6-2, but I couldn't help myself and read Panda's spoiler and now am completely demoralized.
Posted: 04/30/11, 23:09:37
OMG! I forgot that I had downloaded this on the VC way back when it was first released on the VC.

Hell, I know I must have at least checked it out, but I know I have never really played this game. I think the only reason I downloaded it was cause of all the hype plus it was one of the games they mentioned alot in the movie, "The Wizard".

I'll try a little bit of this game and post my impressions later. Hell, its a boring saturday afternoon and I've got nothing better to do.

Edit: how do we really know that people really beat the game? they could be lying and all that. Anyways, I will be back later and talk about the game.
Posted: 04/30/11, 23:38:08  - Edited by 
 on: 04/30/11, 23:41:10
Well, I got to the end boss but he made short work of me. That's enough for today.
Posted: 05/01/11, 00:07:27
Well, I just played it for a bit. Up to 3-2 and enjoying it so far.

This was definitely one of those games that was more popular with other people back in the day, even though I recognized the quality in it. I remember renting it as a kid and never quite getting the hang of the wall-sticking. Nowadays it strikes me how just similar Ninja Gaiden is to Castlevania, a game I played a lot more. I guess that's obviously the same engine, but I'd forgotten how similar they are. You're busting candles for item drops. Bad guys are throwing swords up in the air at random, etc. Still, that's one hell of an engine for the NES.

In a way, I'm kind of glad that I'm not very good at Ninja Gaiden. It's sort of a pure NES experience for me to be playing such a well made game and not know what's coming up next.
Posted: 05/01/11, 00:25:33
@gamewizard65 Oh, I beat it; trust me
Posted: 05/01/11, 02:36:28
I just got Ninja Gaiden (arcade) finally. This game kinda sucks. It's slow and repetitive, with only a couple different attacks you can do.
Posted: 05/01/11, 04:36:20

I figure you beat it. It would be a stupid thing to lie about.
Posted: 05/01/11, 06:32:41
I beat it blindfolded, while pleasuring three supermodels. At least they said they were supermodels. I wouldn't know, I was blindfolded. But they sounded like supermodels.
Posted: 05/01/11, 06:42:54
Yesterday made it to 5-3 and it took me quite a while. God damn, it's getting tough!

Random thoughts:
how the fuck to birds do more damage than Ninjas or machine gun dudes?
Some ledges you have to approach slowly because some fucking bat is there to fuck you over if you jump right away. But other ledges you have to jump n slash as soon as possible because there's an edge-hogging enemy ahead. Trial and error...
Game controls really well. Fast and fluid. I wanna speed run this (could probably be beaten in under 30 minutes, right?)
Surprisingly good cut scenes/presentation for an NES game
Posted: 05/01/11, 19:54:34
I got to Malth, for what I think is the first time in my life! I don't think I ever got past 5-2, so... that's something.

But Malth... maybe I'm missing something, but is there any way to avoid his attack?
Posted: 05/02/11, 02:59:34
@Guillaume Not that I know of; I just run up to him and hit him as often as possible. It's easy to kill him before he drains you of all your health this way.
Posted: 05/02/11, 03:06:07
@Guillaume There is a way to. But don't worry about it.
Posted: 05/02/11, 03:14:27
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