Video Game / N
Ninjas, gold, and homing missiles — Nintendo Hard at its finest.

"N, 'the way of the ninja', is a highly advanced system of spiritual, cognitive, and physical training. It emphasizes pacifism, humility, and the need to traverse a series of 5 rooms before the end of your lifetime; a feat known only as 'beating an episode.'"

N is a platformer made in Flash. You control a tiny ninja who has the gift of speed but unfortunately this causes him age faster, much faster, but the joy of collecting gold makes him so giddy he lives longer. The goal is to get to the exit door which you must flip some switches to open. You can collect little gold squares which add time to your lifespan. Baddies of every sort frequent the levels.

Somewhat recently, the game saw a revitalization as three separate Mission Pack Sequels for the Nintendo DS, PSP, and Xbox Live Arcade all titled N+ . All of them are still just as tricky as the original. The game soon found revitalization again on the PlayStation 4 (and eventually Steam) years later as N++, adding even more new features.

After more than five years, the original N has been updated to version 2.0! Obtain it from here.

Not to be confused with the enigmatic man from Pokémon Black and White.

This page is probably the best thing to use as your bookmark for TV Tropes, as it has a One-Letter Title.

This game has examples of:

  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: If you complete all the 500 levels, all you get is to select a custom color for your ninja. It's worth it anyway.
    • Actually, getting through the fifth/sixth column unlocks "Overclock Mode," which speeds up everything in the game by a ridiculous degree. Some levels, in fact, may be impossible to defeat with human reflexes.
  • Ascended Glitch: The later columns, especially the 80s column (which contains user-created levels), includes some levels designed to use what were originally bugs, such as 86-3 "Pressed for Time" and 88-1 "Twisted". And bug-solutions are most certainly not discouraged on the high scores list. The authors were also apologetic that certain bugs couldn't be reproduced for N+ .note 
  • Attract Mode: The original's main menu cycles through prerecorded plays, showing typical mistakes that players make during the game. By the third installment, it has become guaranteed that the ninja will never finish a level on the title screen.
  • Black Comedy: The ragdoll physics can generate lots of this. Like getting blown to giblets by a mine, then seeing your remains bounce up and down on a trampoline. Only for them to be shocked away by a passing robot.
  • Booby Trap: Some levels contain traps like this, like mines hidden behind bouncy blocks or switches that shut the player in / release enemies hidden behind gold.
  • Butt Monkey: The demo player on the title screen is always killed by a stupid mistake.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Averted, despite being the only ninja the PC is fragile as a newborn. Made of glass.
    • Alternatively, you could argue it is played completely straight - the PC is exactly one ninja, on a mission, and is able to get through hundreds of devious and deadly rooms and steal large amounts of gold, without so much as a scratch.
  • Cranium Ride: Thwumps are only electrified on one side of their square bodies. In many levels it's necessary to perch on or wall-jump off an inert side to reach your objectives.
  • Crosshair Aware: Watch out for the targeting reticules of the Gauss turret. Unlike other examples, the targeting reticule actually indicates the angle at which the turret will shoot - if the ninja is anywhere on a straight line with the turret and crosshairs when the turret decides to fire, the ninja will still get shot with extreme prejudice.
    • The turrets know this, too; if the ninja is in such a straight line as mentioned above, the turret will shoot, regardless of whether or not the ninja is actually in the crosshair.
  • Death Course
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist
  • Directionally Solid Platforms: In every single direction, no less.
  • Difficulty Spike: Starts with a few easy, training-oriented levels to get you acquainted with the controls and mechanics. After that, it's game on.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You
  • Have a Nice Death: In the DS version of N+. NICE ONE
  • Homing Projectile: The missiles fired by the missile turret will track the player, but they need some room to do a 180° turn. They also try to take the shortest path between themselves and the player, no matter if walls are in the way.
  • Instant-Win Condition: If the exit is open, touching it means you win the level. Even while falling at terminal velocity to splatter a fraction of a second later.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Played with. Turrets/Drones use Gauss Cannons, machine guns, lasers... Pretty much everything what is on stock.
  • Level Editor
  • Locked Door
  • Ludicrous Gibs or something very like it: Oh, no, you don't just die. Depending on how much is going on the screen, you could get dismembered, bounced around repeatedly, burned, shocked, sliced in half, thrown, smashed, and blown up... all at the same time.
    • Oh and if you get hit with the right conditions, you can either A)Get blown up and have your gibs pinned halfway through a wall and have it spit blood for all eternity, B)Get your BODY forcibly pinned halfway through a wall and have it spit blood for all eternity or C)Get shot THROUGH the wall and fall out of the game.
    • It's fun to watch.
    • Also, the gibs themselves can trigger further mines or get shocked by enemies.
  • Malevolent Architecture
  • Made of Plasticine - The ninja will spew blood pretty much whatever hits him, and often explodes if blown up or simply crushed.
    • Blowing up when crushed somewhat Makes Sense In Context, though, as the "crushing enemies" (Thwumps) are electrified on the side with which they try to crush the ninja.
  • The Many Deaths of You: As mentioned above
  • Ninja Needs Gold Badly
  • Noob Cave: The beginning handful of levels are very simple, barren, and devoid of traps to give the player ample time to get accustomed to the controls and game mechanics right before being crushed like a grape, repeatedly.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Indeed, it's that sudden stop at the end. Memorably, you can still Wall Jump even when sailing at speeds fast enough to kill you — and if you wall-jump up a chute quickly enough, you can kill yourself by hitting the ceiling too hard (complete with blood splatter).
  • Nintendo Hard: Personifies this once you get past the first dozen or so levels.
    • The trailer for N 2.0 takes it further with the slogan "We put the N in FUN, you'll add the FU"
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Any injury from collision or being shot, zapped, or crushed will kill you.
  • One-Letter Title
  • Press X to Die: "k" is a suicide command for when you've hopelessly screwed up the screen.
    • This becomes literal in the DS version of N+ , as pressing the X button commits suicide. Once dead, it also becomes the "Press X to return to main menu immediately" button. So, be very careful when you press it otherwise you may lose your progress.
  • Ragdoll Physics
  • Reality Ensues: Why yes, you can accelerate to incredible speeds while running and jumping around. Collide with the walls or ceiling when moving fast enough, however, and it will turn out quite deadly for you.
  • Selective Gravity: Gravity essentially only applies to the player character.
  • Shout-Out: N++ gives one to That Mitchell and Webb Look, of all things. One of the "options" in the corresponding menu is called Numberwang. It can be changed between one of a few arbitrary numbers, though it doesn't actually seem to affect the game.
    • The Thwump drone is an obvious reference to the Thwomp enemies from Super Mario Bros., right down to their enemy behavior.
  • Super-Persistent Missile: Shaking them off is an exercise in futility—the launchers will just launch another one.
    • However, the launchers only fire if they have a clear shot at the ninja.
  • Timed Mission: You have 90 seconds, plus 2 seconds for each gold piece you collect, to complete each group of five levels. It doesn't really matter as much as you'd think - every one of your countless deaths resets the timer.
  • Wall Jump
  • What the Hell, Player?: Pressing K to commit suicide causes the game to say "Harsh, guy!".
  • Wire Fu: The jump physics simulate this, as appropriate for a ninja. You can leap great distances and apply a certain amount of acceleration/deceleration midair.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: Even colliding with a wall too fast will result in your death. It's that kind of game.