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Video Game / The Ninja Kids

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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 Re-release 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.


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
  • 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.
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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Follow the Leader: This game is pretty much Taito's answer to Konami's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beat'em up that came up one year earlier and was a smashing success. Let's see: up to four players multiplayer, four colour-coded ninjas that fight with different weapons (although in TNK they're mostly blades), the ability to throw scenery elements against the enemies, plus one of the levels (a burning apartment complex) is remarkably similar to the first level in the TMNT game.
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  • 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
  • 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
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: One of Genta's special moves is named "Rock Fall" and does just that.
  • The Satan: The final boss, 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.
  • Time Stands Still: The "Time Stop" ability.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: The giant mooks are this. DO YOU FEEL OUR POWER, indeed.
  • Wall Crawl: Seen for example at the beginning of level 2.
  • X-Ray Sparks
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The graveyard in level five is pretty much this. Level three had you facing them at a construction site.


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