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Video Game / Red Ninja: End of Honor

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A silent and deadly flash of crimson.
Red Ninja: End of Honor, known in Japan as Red Ninja: Kekka no Mai (紅忍 血河の舞 Reddo Ninja Kekka no Mai) ("Red Ninja: Blood River Dance"), is a 2005 Video Game for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox platforms, created in a collaboration between the game developer Tranji Studios and the film writer Shinsuke Sato. It was published by Vivendi Games. The game's theme song was performed by Yoko Ishida.

A young girl's world is destroyed when she and her father are attacked by the Black Lizard clan. After witnessing the brutal execution of her father Ryo, the girl is brutally hung with a tetsugen ("iron string", or "wire") from a tree and left to die. Miraculously, she survives and is rescued and adopted into a ninja clan where she obtains complete mastery of her adopted weapon, the tetsugen. Pledging her undying loyalty to her new family, the girl now takes on the name of Kurenai to avenge her father's death and will go to any means necessary.

This Video Game contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: For all her Fanservice-ness, Kurenai can kick some serious ass. One command prompt that you will encounter ingame is for her to dislocate one of her shoulder bones temporarily to gain access into rooms from gaps smaller than she is. She just gives her shoulder a good pop, crawls in, and fades to black; the next scene has her perfectly fine.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The final stage doesn't have solid ground per se: you are teleported into a gigantic cavern, with a whole upside-down castle as your final area. While the boss battles that take place there are quite plain (and literally plain since the floor is technically the ceiling of the castle), the final, final area where you kill Chiyome is a small patch of green hill, a single tree and pure white nothingness.
  • Back Stab: A major gameplay mechanic. Being a ninja, you're encouraged to do this as much as possible. And there are many ways to do it.
  • Backstab Backfire: With no time to reload the superweapon and with Kurenai close enough to kill him, Genbei gets on his knees, begging for forgiveness while arguing that the Takeda clan still wanted him alive. As Kurenai looks back at Akemi's corpse, Genbei takes out a knife and tries to attack the ninja. Kurenai reacts swiftly and kills the treacherous weaponsmith, avenging Akemi's death.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Genbei and Chiyome Mochizuki.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The final battle against Chiyome places you both on a featureless plain with your target standing under a tree. They will barely fight back, and you can end the battle simply by hanging them from a tree by the neck.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Kurenai can distract soldiers from their posts and bait them for an easy kill. Unfortunately, the mechanic is either bugged or is too random, since it doesn't work most of the time. When it does work though, it's really, really satisfying to pull off.
  • Gatling Good: The MacGuffin superweapon sought after by every faction of the game is a handcrank-operated minigun. It's powerful enough to mow-down a field full of Samurais and the Shogun thought it was such a Game-Breaker that it was banned. Shame that other factions don't see it that way and will stop at nothing to seize it.
  • High-Pressure Blood
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Most of the Takeda clan, including Chiyome, saw Katsuyori Takeda as a weak leader compared to his famous father, Shingen Takeda. To compensate for this, Katsuyori concealed his father's death and set himself up as his father's Number Two, allowing him to command the Takeda clan in Shingen's name. Chiyome's discovery of Katsuyori's charade eventually leads to her Face–Heel Turn, since her loyalty was to Shingen alone.
  • Karma Houdini: Katsuyori Takeda, whose actions lead to many tragedies in the story...never gets heard from again after the story. Likewise, Oda Nobunaga doesn't face any consequences despite employing the Black Lizards for much of the story. This is likely a case of Karma Houdini Warranty, given that, in actual history, Katsuyori and his family will eventually commit seppuku while being surrounded by the Oda and Tokugawa armies, bringing the Takeda clan to an end, and Nobunaga will eventually be betrayed and killed by Mitsuhide Akechi, with the Oda clan losing much of its power in the years afterward.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: At Azuchi Castle, Kurenai finally encounters Nobunaga Oda in person. At this point, the Black Lizard clan turns against the Oda and takes over the castle, having acquired the superweapon for their own use and deciding to become a power in their own right. Nobunaga retreats with his men while Kurenai lets the Oda daimyo go, having decided that the Black Lizards are the greater threat.
  • Love Makes You Evil: After learning that her beloved master Shingen Takeda had already been dead for a year, Chiyome eventually decided that she could trust no one but herself to ensure that Shingen's ideals for Japan will come to pass. To do this, she took over the leadership of the Black Lizard clan and arranged the theft of the superweapon for her own use, planning to become a warlord herself. By the final battle with Kurenai, Chiyome gradually loses her sanity, forcing Kurenai to kill her and let her join Shingen in death. Finally at peace, Chiyome makes peace with Kurenai as she dies.
  • Ms. Fanservice: It's worth noting that Kurenai actually appeared in the October 2004 issue of Playboy magazine, in which they did a feature on female video game characters.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: All ninjas that serve the Takeda clan, including Kurenai, Akemi, Chiyome, and Zenzo, are expected to obey the Takeda daimyo's orders no matter what. Subverted by the end of the story as Kurenai destroys the superweapon against Katsuyori's orders and Chiyome abandons the Takeda to join the Black Lizards after learning about Shingen's death. With Akemi's death, Zenzo is the only surviving ninja loyal to the Takeda, and even then, he allows Kurenai to live despite Katsuyori's order that all traitors must die.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: After witnessing the superweapon's destructive power (which resulted in Akemi's death) and remembering Chiyome's words about not letting either the Oda or the Takeda have it, Kurenai makes the decision to destroy it, forsaking her loyalty to the Takeda clan in the process. Unfortunately, the Black Lizards recover the superweapon and escape, forcing Kurenai to pursue them and finish the job.
  • One-Hit Kill: These are the preferred method of taking out guards, since if you don't, they will alert all nearby enemies to your presence. You can also One-Hit Kill a guard who's already seen you by throwing your wire at his head and yanking on it just before it hits.
  • Outside-Genre Foe: The power struggle between Oda Nobunaga and Takeda Shingen, arms race and later a frantic search for a missing superweapon that can revolutionize warfare, and a band of ninjas who wish for a country they can call their own. So far, so good. But what's the deal with the four-armed demon and the upside-down castle inside a huge cavern with a lava pool inside it? There has been no inkling of supernatural forces at play and the inclusion of the demon and the final level just throws a big swerve into the whole "context" thing...
  • Razor Floss: The Tetsugen is the main weapon of the protagonist, with a kunai at the end. She can toss it at an enemy then run around slicing nearby foes with the wire. There is, in fact, a less-lethal variant of it with weights instead of a kunai and a less sharp string. You can use it to tie down an enemy (or many of them) onto a beam, hang him by his waist or leg, or go straight up homicidal and hang enemies by their heads. Sadly, since there is no practical purpose (other than to look cool) and the problems far outweigh the coolness, many players simply fall back on the lethal wire.
  • Sequel Hook: After killing Chiyome and destroying the superweapon, Kurenai strikes off on her own. Zenzo wants her to keep his tantou, saying that one day the Oda and the Takeda will be gone, and they'll be able to meet again on amicable terms. He does tell her that if they meet again and he's an enemy, she should kill him with his tantou. Hmm....
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: After rescuing Akemi from the Snake Charmer and learning that Genbei is on a prison island at Lake Biwa, Kurenai changes into a gray ninja bodysuit which is easier to move in and offers better protection. This is a sign that the challenges ahead will be even greater than before.
  • Stealth-Based Game.
  • The Man They Couldn't Hang: Kunerai was hanged when she was little, but she somehow survived.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Both forms of the Tetsugen offer this in huge doses, thanks to the ability to separately target enemy's heads, torsos or legs.
    • With the Blade, your attacks impale enemies on a successful hit. When you finish off an enemy, you will decapitate them, tear them in half or cut off their legs, depending on where you hit. If you do the third of these, the helpless enemy will continue crawling for a few seconds before bleeding out.
    • With the Fundo, your attacks entangle enemies instead. You could start by hanging them from a raised beam, either by their neck, feet, or waist. Then you can watch them die slowly, or slash at them with your kunai while they helplessly flail about. You could also back up a few steps and throw knives at them for some target practice. And of course some sadistic players will deliberately leave guards hanging in places where other guards will see, just for some sick pleasure. You can also tie a guard to a pole and do the same sorts of things. The REAL kicker is that none of this is necessary, and it's much easier to simply cut a guard's throat and move on. In fact, you often have to go out of your way go hang guards in this fashion, making it that much more cruel.
  • We Can Rule Together: Once she finally reveals herself to be the newest leader of the Black Lizard ninja clan, Chiyome offers Kurenai a chance to join her. With her former master now the same as her father's murderers, Kurenai naturally refuses, and the final battle commences.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: See Curb Stomp Battle entry above.