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Xtreme Classix - Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden
Ninja Gaiden, the game that brought the ninja into the average home, on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Ninja Gaiden is often mispronounced, at least the Gaiden part, which should be pronounced as "guy-den". The original title in Japan is "Ninja Ryukenden," which translates roughly to "Ninja Dragon Sword Legend." That was pretty cool, but due to the pronunciation it was changed. Ninja Gaiden means "side story" or "short story," so I guess we got the short end of the ninja stick. Well, the history lesson is over. Give all the Ninja Gaiden games a try, you won\'t be disappointed.

Ninja Gaiden NES Screenshot 1
Ninja Gaiden (NES)
Prologue

The wind howls as the two "Dueling" Ninjas glare at each other in the moonlight. Though these men seem like little more than shadows in the air, the moonlight reveals just for an instant, a glint of light that proves to be the end of the contest. Ken, head of the Hayabusa clan which has for generations been the guardian of the Dragon sword, is defeated.

Ken's son Ryu, after learning of his father's defeat, finds a letter. In it Ryu is told that if his father does not return, he must take the secret Dragon sword and go to America. Ryu senses danger awaiting him in America. What will be the fate of Ninja Ryu!?
--From the NES Ninja Gaiden instruction manual.

Ninja Gaiden is the first installment in a long and illustrious series. This game was super-popular in the arcade, and this is a pretty nice port. The graphics aren't as good as they were in the arcade, but the game-play is about the same. Ninja Gaiden was one of those games that would sell a bunch of copies just because it had the word 'ninja' in the title. It was still a great game, though. Cross classic side-scrolling platform with cool ninja magic and abilities, and you've got yourself a fun game. If you haven't played Ninja Gaiden, give it a try.


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Ninja Gaiden Sega GameGear Screenshot 1
Ninja Gaiden (Sega GameGear)
Talk about an overdeveloped sense of revenge, Ryu's father is challenged to a duel and is killed, so he takes up his father's sword and goes in search of his father's killer. Wait a minute, I've heard this before. Inconceivable! Ninja Gaiden is an epic tale that chronicles the journey of Ryu as he seeks out his father's killer.

This is a great addition to the Ninja Gaiden series, with good graphics for the game gear and good music. If you love this game, also play Ninja Gaiden 1-3 for the NES and the SNES.


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Ninja Gaiden 2 NES Screenshot 1
Ninja Gaiden 2 (NES)
The Story continues:

In order to avenge his father's death, Ryu had come to America, where he was suddenly attacked by a mysterious army. After escaping from a narrow brush with death, Ryu came face to face with a mysterious woman. Fire came shooting out of the shining gun in her hand, and suddenly everything in front on Ryu began to grow hazy. Waking up in an underground dungeon, Ryu was handed a strange statue by the same woman, who told him to take it and make his escape. Without fully understanding what was going on around him, Ryu took the statue and made his way out of the enemy territory.

Ryu then went to see Dr. Smith, an archaeologist friend of his father, and learned about the light and dark statues of an evil demon. Just as they were talking, the dark statue was snatched away by an enemy ninja.
"Ryu, go after him!"
After retrieving the statue, he returned to Dr. Smith's cabin only to find the doctor lying on the floor, mortally wounded. Just before he died, the doctor whispered, "Ryu, now the light statue has been taken..." When Ryu looked up from Dr. Smith's side he found that he was surrounded by a band of men dressed in black from head to foot. They were all pointing their guns at him. These men took Ryu to a secret CIA base and to the office of Chief Foster.

Foster explained to Ryu that the mysterious woman, Irene, was really a spy for the CIA, and told him about Jaquio's plans and about his Temple of Darkness. Foster then forced Ryu to take on the perilous mission of recovering the stolen light statue of the evil demon.

Ryu made his way toward the Temple of Darkness located deep in the Amazon jungle. But Jaquio, who was holding Irene hostage in the temple, blackmailed Ryu into giving up the dark statue of the demon that he had been carrying and dumped Ryu down into an underground cave. Ryu was finally able to escape from the cave, but as he climbed over the last cliff, he came face to face with the villain who had killer his father, Bloody Malth. Malth had been waiting for him. Ryu and Malth duelled to the death. With his last breath, Malth gave Ryu some unexpected news: "Your father is alive." A masked demon was waiting inside the shrine to fight off Ryu's attack. Ryu shouted, "Nobody can beat me!" But the eerie voice of Jaquio thundered the question, "Not even your own father?" The masked demon was really Ryu's father Ken who had been put under some kind of trance. Finally freed from Jaquio's evil control, Ken came to his senses only to find that Jaquio was about to kill Ryu. Ken threw himself in front of Ryu, and acted as a shield to protect his son from the balls of fire. Realizing what had happened, Ryu went mad with rage and charged at Jaquio.

After defeating Jaquio, Ryu rushed back to his father's side. His father instructed him to take the light and dark statues of the evil demon out of the temple. But just as Ken was gasping this message to his son, the moon began to grow in the darkness. The moon, blackened by the earth's shadow, was beginning to bring the evil demon back to life. But the evil demon was finally defeated, and the temple crumbled upon itself with a deafening roar. Ryu and Irene looked out upon the ruins of the temple. The morning sun shone down upon them and cleared up the deep sense of darkness and evil that had once hovered in the air.

A year has passed, and still the activity down at the bottom of the realm of darkness continues. Ashtar, the evil lord who secretly controls Jaquio, is now on the move.
--From the NES Ninja Gaiden 2 instruction manual.

Ninja Gaiden II was a very fun game. The ability to stick to the walls and climb up them was genius. The only thing I didn't really like was that some of the special weapons were really hard to use effectively. The graphics for this game were really good. The bad guys were easily recognizable. The backgrounds looked pretty real too.


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Ninja Gaiden 3 NES Screenshot 1
Ninja Gaiden 3 (NES)
The tale of the Dragon Sword

Long before the civilization of mankind, extremely fierce yet primitive life forms roamed the earth and battled for supremacy. Thousands of years ago, the final battle took place. One side, after using all its strength, perished while the other was sent to and sealed off in a different dimension. The tale of this battle was preserved in legend after mankind began to populate the earth and the two forces, known respectively as the gods of the Dragon and the demons of Darkness, came to be revered by certain clans among the people.

By the summer of AD 1988, even this ancient great tale had almost been completely forgotten. However, one very evil being appeared and, with the help of his followers, began to build an Empire of Darkness. That being was Jaquio- a member of the Demon clan who plotted to bring the demons of Darkness back to the earth. He secretly schemed to steal and bring together, for the first time in aeons, the two "Statues of Light and Darkness" said to contain great magical power. This would open the passageway between the dimensions.

There was, however, one man who would stop at nothing to foil Jaquio's evil plans - head of the Dragon clan, Ken Hayabusa. After entrusting the Dragon Sword, an heirloom of the family and clan so old that no one knew when it had been made, to his son Ryu, Ken left for the fateful battle. Unfortunately, Ken was defeated by a powerful warrior and the Statue he was protecting fell into the hands of Jaquio.

After hearing of his father's death, Ryu took the Dragon Sword and went to America. Aided by a female CIA spy, Irene, Ryu stealthily infiltrated Jaquio's secret hideout.

The inevitable duel between them ended in victory for Ryu. Jaquio was vanquished along with his Empire of Darkness. Or so it seemed....

Watching this duel from afar was the real evil, the head of the Demon clan, the Evil Lord himself, Ashtar. As it turned out, Jaquio was nothing more than a pawn of this greater power.

Ashtar hid himself in the darkness, assessing his enemy. His eyes shined and he licked his lips. He had only to wait for his enemy.

A year passed.

While pursuing her investigation into the movements of the mysterious Ashtar, Irene suddenly disappeared. A super-secret CIA special force platoon then became pinned down in front of some old ruins that were believed to house Ashtar's headquarters. The situation looked desperate.

At this point, Ashtar, who himself had actually seen the birth of the Dragon Sword and knew of its potentially awesome powers, emerged again from the depths of his dark realm. Ryu, who knew nothing of all this, was in grave danger as Ashtar worked his black magic to destroy him.

And now, the saga continues with the final tale of battle for our brave hero. After Ryu's victorious duel with Jaquio, Ashtar returned to the bowels of darkness and bided His time. But another evil creature was already on its way as another adventure awaits the unsuspecting Ryu Hayabusa...

... in this, the final chapter of Ninja Gaiden.
--From the NES Ninja Gaiden 3 instruction manual.



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Ninja Gaiden Trilogy Super Nintendo Screenshot 1
Ninja Gaiden Trilogy (Super Nintendo)
All three incredible Ninja Gaiden titles in one convenient package! There are no major changes between this version and the individual titles for the NES, except that moving to the SNES gave the games better graphics and sound.

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