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Video Game / The Ninja Warriors

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"No one could maintain the public order. The evil dictator, Banglar, controlled not only the police, but also the underground world; drugs, murder, sex. He held the key to everything since he became the President. Mulk, who was the leader of the revolutions, built two assassination tools to kill the President. They were called...

the Ninja Warriors."
Opening Narration from the Sega CD port

The Ninja Warriors is a side-scrolling action game by Taito, originally released for the arcades in 1987. It was sold as a conversion kit for Darius cabinets, making use of the same three-monitor setup which gave that game a 4:1 widescreen aspect ratio that was unusual at the time.

The game is set in a Dystopian future where Banglar, the President of the United States in 1993, issues martial law on the nation, with the military having total control over the law. A group of anarchist scientists decide that it is time to revolt against the government. Knowing full well that approaching the military themselves could be considered an all out suicide mission, the scientists create two androids that can sustain various forms of damage in order to do the mission for them. The robots, code named "Ninja" and "Kunoichi", are sent by the scientists in order to end Banglar's tyranny once and for all.


The game was ported to the PC Engine and Mega CD in Japan, while versions for all the popular computer platforms (such as the Amiga and Commodore 64) were released in Europe in 1989. A pseudo-sequel was released for the Super NES in 1994 titled The Ninja Warriors Again.

Not related to a hellishly difficult obstacle course.

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Bomb: At the end of the game, the ninjas' commander Mulk presses the Big Red Button, causing the ninja warriors to blow up and destroy Banglar's HQ.
  • Actually a Doombot: Banglar appears to die, but reappears as the evil dictator in Aqua Jack. Or rather, his robot double as it turns out, suggesting this one must have been a robot, too.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Averted with the player-characters. If a bullet or other major attack hits an arm or leg, the robotic framework will be exposed there, and stay on that limb. In other words, if your right leg is exposed while you're facing right—meaning it's the near leg—then if you face left afterwards, it's the far leg that's exposed. Played straight with anything else (notably the Iron Claws—if they turn, they'll change which hand has the sickle and which the flail).
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  • Artificial Brilliance: The regular soldiers, despite dying in droves, will actually try to crouch and attack you if you keep trying to attack them at standing height. Likewise, the attack dogs may sometimes jump and attack you if you try to attack them when crouching.
  • Attack Drone: The 3SVO bots (white robot enemies that fire out a damaging laser).
  • Beef Gate: The gold-armored Iron Claw warrior in Banglar's throne room. Given that all that's left after downing him is executing Banglar, a case could be made that he's the proper Final Boss.
  • Breath Weapon: The Fire Ninjas (guys in orange with brown hair) could do this standing and crouching, and they were Bosses In Mook Clothing as their fire breath could down you in 3-4 consecutive hits.
  • Collision Damage: The actual way damage is registered. Even touching a bazooka soldier when he's just standing in place harms you.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Kunoichi is red and Ninja is blue. Notable in that the female character is Player 1 in the arcade version, as well as the default character in the console ports. The PCE port lacked the 2-player co-op mode, allowing instead the player to select his or her character, as well as choose from one of eight palettes.
  • Degraded Boss: The first boss, a Kunoichi, reappears later as a regular grunt. Likewise, the same goes for Iron Claw (the Shao Khan-lookalike armed with a iron ball and chain), although the grunt versions have copper armor rather than silver.
  • Determinator: The player-controlled androids are programmed for a single purpose: Kill Banglar.
  • Dirty Cop: According to the backstory, the police are on Banglar's payroll.
  • Downer Ending: Good news: Banglar's dead. Bad news: there will be no peace, "because the Ninja Warriors are the immortal murder machines..."
  • Epic Flail: Used by Iron Claw.
  • Head Swap: Kunoichi and Ninja are almost identical, save for their colors and the fact that Kunoichi has a mane of blond hair flowing from the back of her mask, while Ninja has a scarf the same color as his outfit.
  • The Hero Dies: Your ninjas are programmed to self-destruct at Banglar's headquarters after Banglar is assassinated.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Both player characters, as well as some mooks.
  • Japanese Ranguage: One of the game's BGMs is titled "Are You Lady?" on the official soundtrack, an obvious mistranslation of "Are You Ready?"
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The female ninjas use these.
  • Killer Robot: One of the enemies. While weak, it could fire out a very deadly laser.
  • Level One Music Represents: The stage 1 theme, "Daddy Mulk", is often used to represent the original game when it makes crossover apperances in other games.
  • Ninja: In addition to the player characters, some of the enemies are also ninjas.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The player characters are ninja robots.
  • Nintendo Hard: You only get one life bar per credit.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Banglar offers no resistance when cornered at the end of the final stage.
  • Palette Swap: The first boss is a palette swap of Kunoichi, but with red hair instead of blonde and armed with a long sword instead of the player's kunai daggers.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: As a near-constant rule, if you can see an enemy's eyes (even the dogs'!), they're this. The only exception is the higher-grade, teal-uniformed dagger soldiers, but their glassy-teal eyes aren't much of an improvement. The ending speech speaks of "the death of the wicked machines", and it doesn't seem like it's referring to the player-character androids in that sentence, so it's possible that the goons are androids, cyborgs, or nanite-infected.
  • Shout-Out: The titular Ninja Warriors were inspired by The Terminator.
  • Tank Goodness: You'll be attacked by tanks a couple of times each in Stage 2 and 4; shoot the driver to put it out of commission.
  • Timed Mission: Evey mission is timed, with a counter at the bottom counting down. You die if it reaches zero. It gets reset if you die before then, of course.
  • Tsuchigumo and Jorogumo: One of the mooks is named after the creature.

"A revolution broke out. And everything came to an end. The troubled country seemed to be finished by the death of the wicked machines. But peace did not come. Because the ninja warriors, are the immortal murder machines..."