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Your highness on the cover art.
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Remember that really, really old game mentioned in Ready Player Two?

Sega Ninja (originally titled Ninja Princess in it's initial release) is a 1985 ninja-themed arcade game released by Sega (well, yeah, no doy).

In Edo-period Japan, an evil tyrant named Gyokuro has plans of taking over the throne, the first step being kidnapping Princess Kurumi, the Shogun's daughter, who's out on a trip with her courtiers. But surprise surprise, Princess Kurumi turns out to be a Ninja (in a game originally called "ninja princess", what a twist!) and easily escapes her captors, at which point she embarks on a solo quest to take down Gyokuro and his minions.

Gameplay-wise, Sega Ninja follows the usual style of Run-and-Gun-style arcade games popular back then (despite being set in an era before guns existed), with the titular heroine chucking shurikens and knives - of which she seems to carry an infinite amount - at various foes. Sega would adopt the template for Ikari Warriors a year later, and the rest is history.

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Sega would later release an Expansion Pack for the game, titled "The Ninja", which is pretty much a reskinned version with a new character named Kazamaru as the protagonist.


Sega Ninja contain examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The backstory above is listed in promotional materials and flyers, but nowhere in the game itself.
  • Amazon Brigade: Gyokuro's geisha brigade in the city level, an all-female legion of mooks.
  • Ambushing Enemy: One of the ninja varieties have the ability to tunnel underground and remain hidden, before leaping out to attack Kurumi when she's roughly a meter away.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: The river chase stage have Princess Kurumi boarding a log on a flowing river and trying to cross by moving to adjacent logs, while being attacked by enemies from all sides. Should the log gets out of the screen with Kurumi on it, she falls into the river and lose a life - time to respawn.
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  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Unlike other games of it's type, should Princess Kurumi lose a life, instead of dying she simply sits down and cries... and then respawns.
  • Damsel out of Distress: The game begins with the attempted abduction of Ninja Princess Kurumi, which lasts for like five seconds with Kurumi breaking free and kicking all the ass as she makes her way back to the capital city.
  • Dancing Mook Credits: How the game concludes after the final level.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Princess Kurumi seems to have a thing against shoes, spending the whole game barefoot. It's not that obvious in the game itself, but it's more evident in the cover art and official posters.
  • Kunoichi: One of the earliest examples in video games.
  • Lighter and Softer: Despite being a ninja-themed game where shurikens, kunai and knives are used and Princess Kurumi easily slaughtering mooks by the dozens, the game runs entirely on Bloodless Carnage, with enemies simply blinking out of existence.
  • Protagonist Title: In the international title, Ninja Princess.
  • Right Out of My Clothes: Early in the game, Princess Kurumi slips right out of her kimono when she's attacked, and it turns out she already have her ninja gear on underneath.
  • Shoot the Bullet: Due to the shurikens flung by enemy ninja being Painfully Slow Projectiles, as Princess Kurumi you can use your flung shuriken or kunai to knock your enemies' out of mid-air.
  • Technicolor Ninjas: This game have the most colourful depictions of ninjas, ever. They come in green, blue, navy, orange, yellow, purple, beige, you name it.
  • Wall Crawl: Ninjas have the ability to walk on walls unassisted, demonstrated by both Princess Kurumi and regular ninja mooks in the level where she must scale a castle's walls.
  • A Winner Is You: Your reward for completing the game is a single screen with this following message, though it might be justified due to being an early game:
    CONGRATULATIONS
    The Princess has Completed her adventures and regained ther Kanten Castle.
    Now let's challenge the next stage! (END)


The Ninja contain examples of:

  • Adapted Out: The game itself is slightly shorter than Sega Ninja, with the level count reduced to 14, including the climbing stage completely left out.
  • Demoted to Extra: Princess Kurumi, who is now a Damsel in Distress needed to be saved by Kazamaru, the new ninja protagonist.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Kazamaru is a rather blatant one to Kurumi from the original game.
  • Expansion Pack: Of Sega Ninja, with a new character named Kazamaru as the hero.

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