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Video Game: Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z

"All the great warriors of my culture celebrate death. They welcome it. Dying in battle is considered a great honor… What a load of shit."
—Yaiba, the protagonist

Yaiba is a Beat' em All Action Game that came out in early 2014, result of a collaboration between Team Ninja and Sparks Unlimited, and directed by Keiji Inafune. The protagonist is Yaiba, a revived cybernetic ninja who was killed by the legendary Dragon Ninja Ryu Hayabusa and came back to life angry. Very. In his search for his arch-enemy, he will slay his way through hundreds of not particularly bright zombies.

The game features a very fast and offensive gameplay veering on the Mass Beat 'em All type, a liberal use of Action Commands, a visual aspects heavily inspired from Comic Books, and some light Black Humor, using an abundance of crudeness and profanity.

Oh, and there is Ninja Gaiden in the title, making it a Spin-Off to the series. The game was realeased in March 2014 for PS3, 360, and PC. The latter which is a first time for Team Ninja to release a game for that system.


Yaiba provides examples of

  • Anti-Hero: In the trailers. In the full game, he's clearly a Villain Protagonist and admits as much.
  • Artificial Limbs: Yaiba has a robotic left arm, which he can launch to grab distant enemies (it's connected by a chain).
  • Bloody Hilarious: Yeah, the zombies and the gore are certainly not meant to be scary here.
  • Blood Knight: Yaiba, who else?
    Miss Monday: If you think I outfitted you with all this tech just so you can get another sword through your guts, then you are dumber than a sack of-
    Yaiba: Yeah, yeah, yeah! Do you ever shut the fuck up?! Just set me loose and let me kill something!
  • Call Back :Ryu's moveset in this game is mostly based on the first modern game. He also has the Fire Dragon Ninpo and the bow from the third game.
  • The Cameo: Special pre-orders in Japan come with a skin of Beck from Mighty No. 9.
    • This same skin was offered for free at launch among several other costumes with the Western release.
  • Continuity Nod: Miss Monday's research of Ryu details his adventures from both the NES and modern trilogies. Another confirmation that the two trilogies are in the same universe and timeline.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Del Gonzo turns out to be one of these; it's foreshadowed by a number of things, such as the fact he only appears as a hologram, demonstrates an Incurable Cough of Death a couple of times, and mentions details that mean he's a lot older than he appears.
  • Denser and Wackier: The overall tone has much more in common with Lollipop Chainsaw or House of the Dead Overkill than the Ninja Gaiden series.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A truck crashing between two giant legs, on the roof a lingerie shop. Subtlety, folks.
  • Elemental Powers: A gameplay mechanic of this game, it features fire, electricity, and bile (as in zombie puke). Used for both combat and puzzle purposes.
  • Excuse Plot: The game uses a similar narrative approach as the Deadpool video game; there is a legitimate plot going on in the background, but the main character couldn't care less about it and just wants to fight things, and will even tell people to shut up whenever they try to give exposition, because they're interrupting the fighting.
  • Explosive Leash: Yaiba has been outfitted with one on his heart by Miss Monday under the command of Alarico Del Gonzo, their boss.
  • Gaiden Game: Yes, this game is a Ninja Gaiden, um, gaiden.
  • Gainax Ending: Del Gonzo has been defeated and Miss Monday manages to get the cure's formula by recording it through Yaiba's brain. Unfortunately, the two are using it as a money-making tool. It is also implied that Yaiba has lost interest in extracting vengeance from Ryu.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Yaiba can grab zombies and toss them around or launch them to do extra damage.
  • Hero Antagonist: Ryu Hayabusa, of course.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Some of Yaiba's finishers are using a mini boss's own weapon against it.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Ryu honestly believes that Yaiba has good in him despite all evidence to the contrary. This pisses off Yaiba to no end, since he's a villain and he's proud of it.
  • In Name Only: From what was shown, remove Ryu Hayabusa and the fact the protagonist is a Ninja, and you will be hard pressed to find anything remotely related to Ninja Gaiden in this game. Actually, Ninja Gaiden wasn't part of the title initially.
  • It's Personal: Yaiba joins Miss Monday and Forge Industries just to have them track down Ryu for him rather than to stop the zombie outbreak and save the world. He does however do his job thanks to the Explosive Leash that will kill him should he tries to go off-track. He also sees the zombies as his target practice to prepare himself for Ryu.
    Yaiba: Here's a question for you: Where is Hayabusa and why isn't my foot up his ass yet?
    Miss Monday: Calm down, Tiger. They'll know where he is.
  • Monster Clown: Sidesplitter, a zombie clown with cleavers for hands.
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: With Boss Subtitles; the zombies appearing occasionally do something stupid.
  • Mook Horror Show: Yaiba does get to fight Ryu (the main protagonist of the Ninja Gaiden series) again. And Ryu is pretty hard to deal with for beginners.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: The trailer for Classic Mode ends with Yaiba's sexy Mission Control throwing herself at him...only for her advances to be ignored in favor of good ol' sake.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The pirate part is missing, though.
  • Reverse Grip: How Yaiba uses what's left of his sword.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: This game easily has the most swearings in the series.
  • Stylistic Suck: The game features a retro-mode, full with 2.5D scrolling, 8-bit cutscenes and text in broken English.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: Yaiba's cybernetic arm can function as a grappling hook, has concealed blades, and a rocket thruster...and that's just what's revealed thus far.
    Miss Monday: Last, but not least, your arm.
    Yaiba: Yeah? What can it do?
    Miss Monday: Everything.
  • Villain Protagonist: Yaiba, Del Gonzo, and Miss Monday are all pretty much Card Carrying Villains.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Yaiba wields the broken katana that Ryu damaged in their fight.
  • X Meets Y: It's basically God of War meets Lollipop Chainsaw meets Deadpool.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Though the cause is yet unrevealed. Hayabusa's role in this game is trying to figure that out. He finds out that Yaiba and Monday's boss, Del Gonzo, is behind this and tells it to Yaiba.
YakuzaZombie StoriesSiren
Ninja GaidenHack and SlashNo More Heroes
Ninja GaidenBeat 'em UpThe Ninja Kids

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