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Video Game / The Ninja Kids

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The four Ninja Kids

The Ninja Kids is a side-scrolling arcade Beat 'em Up made in 1990 by Taito. It received no ports until its inclusion in the Taito Legends Compilation Rerelease in 2005. The story is about an evil sect trying to summon "The Satan" on July 1999 (as foretold by Nostradamus), and only a group of four ninja can stop them.

Pretty standard fare for a videogame, except for the fact that almost every character is a puppet. No, not People Puppets, just regular (?) puppets. Everything about this game is very tongue-in-cheek, though, so it also can be seen as a Stealth Parody of typical cheesy brawler storylines and settings.

Do not confuse this with Ninja Kidz (an American TV cartoon), or Ninja Kids!!!, a live-action adaptation of Nintama Rantarou.

The game provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: The fat mafiosi attack by, among other things, cartwheeling over you.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Enemies are constantly sliced and diced, heads and limbs are falling, but since everyone is a puppet there's not a single drop of blood.
  • Blow You Away: Sasuke could use wind magic to kill and drive away enemies.
  • Classical Elements Ensemble: Each of the ninja have Elemental Powers that reflect the classical elements: Hanzo is water, Sasuke is wind, Akane is fire and Genta is earth.
  • Colour Coded Multiplayer:
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Level four is a great example of this trope. In this level, called "A bad ninja appears!", the heroes take a break in fighting the satanists and instead fight the ninjas from a rival dojo or something. Throughout all the level you fight dozens of ninjas that take a few hits to die, then you get to the boss, which is almost identical to them but is (obviously, being the boss) a lot harder to defeat.
  • Dem Bones: Right before the final boss, the ninjas find themselves in a crypt full of bones underneath an abandoned church. Suddenly some skeletons spring to life and attack them.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Genta attacks enemies with earth magic, even summoning boulders to rain down on your foes.
  • Engrish: Various examples, such as the constant saying of "The Satan" and such lines as "WRETCH! NINJA KIDS!" and "HERE IS A GRAVEYARD OF YOU!"
  • Evil Is Petty: Not sure how kidnapping an employee of a fast food store and turning him into a werewolf (1st boss) can help the resurrection of The Satan and/or to bring forth world domination...
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: They are four of them, they are ninjas and they are kids.
  • Flash of Pain:
    • As a nod to most Konami arcade brawlers, bosses flash white when hit and turn red when low on health.
    • Large mooks also flash white when hit.
  • Incendiary Exponent: The second boss is a living fireball.
  • Magic Pants: The employee-turned-werewolf at the end of level one has them; also a Magic Shirt, in that he rips apart his clothes when transforming, but still has them when defeated and turned back to human.
  • Making a Splash: Hanzo's ninja magic attack is water-based.
  • Meaningful Background Event: When you're fighting the werewolf boss in the fast food restaurant, the moon in the background fades out more and more as his life goes down.
  • Molotov Cocktail: Some enemies that look like stereotyped Middle-Eastern terrorists who attack by throwing molotovs. When you defeat them, they explode.
  • Playing with Fire: Akame's ninja magic is fire, burning your enemies with flames.
  • Running Gag: Satan, the final boss, is drawn in a very serious style that contrasts with the general wackiness of the game.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The third boss is basically the Power Loader from Aliens.
    • Characters from earlier Taito titles like Bubble Bobble and Kiki Kai Kai appear as background elements.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Played straight.
    • Hanzo wields a katana.
    • Sasuke uses a kusarigama.
    • Akane has infinite shuriken he can throw.
    • Genta wields a sansetsukon, a three-section staff.

Alternative Title(s): Ninja Kids