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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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Ah, yeah, I beat him! And 6-1 is rather painless, but why do I get the feeling that my journey will end at 6-2? I got to that jump that the AVGN ranted about, but I can't even attempt it, the birds ravage me before I can do anything. Arrrgh!

Posted: 05/02/11, 04:00:57  - Edited by 
 on: 05/02/11, 04:08:04
To do the Pit of Doom:

Use the game's friggin' cheapness against it for once. Just like the Nerd points out, you can have the cross-thrower glitch off the platform by walking to where it inches backwards off the edge of the screen and disappears. Then inch forward, DUCK the bird (don't attack), then blaze through the next couple of platforms. The bird will slide off-screen and the jerk jumpy ninja will breeze right on by and into a pit.
Posted: 05/02/11, 05:53:49
There's a bat that comes from behind when I'm inching forward, though.

Anyway, I will stop playing for tonight, or else I won't sleep all night.
Posted: 05/02/11, 06:22:19
@Guillaume Here's what I do to get past it: @X-pert74

EDIT: To elaborate on my direction there, you run to the left after the bird spawns, then you jump right over the bird.
Posted: 05/02/11, 07:08:27  - Edited by 
 on: 05/02/11, 07:10:00
Yes, this works too. Just make sure you don't make any other enemies reappear! There're a ton of baddies in this screen and I'm hard-wired to avoid backtracking for any reason in Ninja Gaiden because of its super-finicky respawning.
Posted: 05/02/11, 08:07:31

I don't understand how your technique is possible without making the ghoul respawn...
Posted: 05/02/11, 08:12:39
You just run far enough back to build up space to still land on the platform, and also to lure the bird down far enough so as to be able to actually clear the jump over him. You have to make sure not to run too far back, as that will make the ghoul spawn again.
Posted: 05/02/11, 08:22:35
I didn't get to play as much as I would have liked this weekend. I got to 3-3, but couldn't get past the boss in about three tries. Any suggestions on how to take him out?

I never owned this one as a kid. I had buddies that had it, but I'm fairly sure I never played it past the first level back in the day.

I liked the cut scenes. Nice and stylish. Gives the game a good ambiance.

What's with some of the bad guys? It starts with fairly normal urban looking bad guys in a street setting. Sword-wielding dudes, boxers, and running dogs. Then it just gets weird in world two, where you've got sword-throwing mummy looking dudes, machine gun toting soldiers, and what appears to be American football players all on the screen at the same time. Apparently in world 3-2, you're running around on clouds. You've just got to appreciate the utter strangeness of things. Love it.

Oh, and the Castlevania comparisons are right on. Very similar play experience.
Posted: 05/02/11, 18:35:10

Nice, another noob! Too many intimidating Ninja Gaiden pros in this thread!

For the third boss, I simply stayed on one side and wailed away when he landed in front of me. And you can destroy the bullets he shoots with a well-timed strike of your sword, so...
Posted: 05/02/11, 18:50:45
When I was a kid, I thought you were running around underwater in 3-2. Apparently you're on a mountain.

The boss of that stage is one of the hardest in the game. Try using the Art of the Fire Wheel sub-weapon (the fiery one that arcs upward) to whittle down his life as he jumps over you.
Posted: 05/02/11, 18:58:03
@chrisguy @TriforceBun Clouds? Underwater? I always recognized it as a snowy mountain.
Posted: 05/03/11, 00:01:18
You know... Jiaquo doesn't seem so damn hard at first glance but for whatever reason I can't get his pattern down.

I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad that I can get through stages 6-1 to 6-3 with only two game overs now...
Posted: 05/03/11, 06:18:37
@CPA Wei


You should be happy. I've got e-penis envy.
Posted: 05/03/11, 06:24:16
@CPA Wei For years I couldn't get his pattern down, but I finally did okay dodging his attacks when playing the game again for this club. I beat him my second try.
Posted: 05/03/11, 06:35:56
Haha... trust me... it's from many many many Game Overs before that :(. I've had plenty of practice...
Posted: 05/03/11, 06:48:02  - Edited by 
 on: 05/03/11, 06:48:15
So... I bought Ninja Gaiden tonight and I was playing it simultaneously with my friend who came over and played it on an emulator on his computer, though the version he was playing was different, it was a compilation with slightly better graphics, aesthetically at least.

We were both going about the same pace, and now I'm at 4-3 and he's at 5-1.

I'm having a lot of trouble with the boss at 4-3, any advice?
Posted: 05/03/11, 06:49:47
@Paleo_Orca He must be playing the Super NES Trilogy game, then.

As for the boss, that's the one with the jumping demon dogs, right? I usually just hide out in one corner to dodge attacks/jumps from the faster of the two, while I slash away at the slower one. I also jump up to pop in some swipes on the faster one too. Eventually one will go down, then the last one left is a sitting duck.
Posted: 05/03/11, 06:58:52

The weird thing is... a third one appears when I have one almost killed, and then it gets really hard not to get hit.
Posted: 05/03/11, 07:00:54  - Edited by 
 on: 05/03/11, 07:03:39
Made it to 5-3 before the ninjas wearing jet packs and throwing throwing stars discouraged me.
Posted: 05/03/11, 07:03:48  - Edited by 
 on: 05/03/11, 07:10:54
chrisbg99 said:
Made it to 5-3 before the ninjas wearing jet packs and throwing throwing stars discouraged me.
Thankfully, those horrid enemies only show up a couple of times in the whole game.

Paleo, that's weird with the 4-3 boss. I never had that happen.
Posted: 05/03/11, 07:07:26
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