Our Nostalgic Games: The Ninja Warriors

Famitsu - The Ninja Warriors Header
Publish Date: 10/19/2017

Our Nostalgic Games ~Retro Gamer Round-table~ #153

Editors passionately discussing games playable on modern hardware that are just as good as they’ve ever been!

Arcade Archives (PS4) – The Ninja Warriors

An action game from Taito that was made to use the same 3 horizontal monitor cabinet as Darius. Make use of kunai and shurikens to defeat enemies throughout 6 stages!

Original Release Year: 1987
Hardware: Arcade
Date of Digital Release: 09/07/2017
Maker: Hamster

This Week’s Participants

Dedeo: A Famitsu editor that played a fair bit in arcades back at this time. Of course his knowledge of this game is perfect.

Misairu Ono: A Famitsu editor that immediately gave up on this game due to the high level of difficulty. Though he did listen to the soundtrack.

Jindou Wakabayashi: An editor who practiced Judo, and is formerly of the Famitsu PS editorial department. Nowadays he wears an apron in his duty of being in charge of general affairs.

A Sorrowful Action Game In Which Cyborg Ninjas Fight

The Memories Come Flooding Back!

(Dedeo) It’s finally here, The Ninja Warriors!!

(Ono) There are a lot of things to talk about with this game, so where do we start?

(Wakabayashi) Before that, hold on just a second. I bought a PlayStation 4 so I could play this game, so listen to what I have to say.

(Dedeo) That seems like a lot of trouble to go through…

(Ono) Actually, I suggested that he do it. He said that he’d buy a PS4 if he could play The Ninja Warriors on it, then I told him he could.

(Wakabayashi) I was really into this game.

(Dedeo) I played it quite a bit myself, but I’ve never cleared it. Now if we were talking about Darius, the other game that was in the same kind of cabinet…

(Ono) I was definitely one of the people who got frustrated by how hard it was. I remember it being 200 yen per play, and I just didn’t have the money to keep putting coins in…

(Wakabayashi) I sank all of my money into this game at the time, so my emotional attachment to it is unrivaled!

(Dedeo) Well now it’s only 823 yen (including tax), so maybe you can get that money back after 5 plays or so?

(Ono) Being able to pump coins into it is like a dream!

Easy To Play, Hard To Master

(Dedeo) Let’s get right to the game…huh? Player 1 is “Kunoichi”? I thought it was “Ninja”.

(Wakabayashi) Me too. I only remember ever playing as “Ninja”.

(Ono) Seriously. I remember player 1 being blue, and player 2 being red.

(Dedeo) The cabinet should have had a start button specifically for player 2, so I may have always just purposefully picked “Ninja”.

(Wakabayashi) Well they both have all the same moves, right?

(Ono) They do. The kunai are for short range attacks, and the shuriken are long range attacks.

(Dedeo) And if you hold down the button after using the kunai, you can block.

(Wakabayashi) You can even deflect enemy bullets. And if you hit a diagonal direction with up, you can do a forward or back flip.

(Ono) And the forward and backward flips go higher than the standard jump.

(Dedeo) The use of the kunai button is the most important aspect of this game.

Look Out For Reproductions of the Original Cabinet

(Wakabayashi) I think we all understand how wonderful this game is, but what I really want to talk about is the soundtrack.

(Dedeo) That’s ZUNTATA for you. The music in this game really is so cool!

(Ono) The sound of the shamisen coming from that hardware during stage 1 is so exciting!

(Wakabayashi) The original cabinet was equipped with a technology called “Body-Sonic”, and the vibrations from it really made things that much more exciting.

(Dedeo) The Arcade Archives version actually took steps to reproduce it as well.

(Ono) They reproduced it wonderfully using the vibrations from the Dual Shock.

(Wakabayashi) It’s a bit hard to find, but in the game settings there’s a section called “Reproduction Settings”. In the sound settings there you just have to turn the vibration to “On”.

(Dedeo) Ohhh, it’s so exciting!

(Ono) It’s too bad that it can’t be properly conveyed in the pages of a magazine. This is really amazing!

(Wakabayashi) Especially in stage 2, right before the tank appears. You can tell it’s getting closer just from the vibrations.

(Dedeo) To think that they paid so much attention to detail with this port…I’m so grateful.

(Ono) I can never beat that tank, so this is as far as I’ve gotten.

(Wakabayashi) Well you can just continue.

(Ono) But a one coin clear is the standard when it comes to arcade games.

(Dedeo) Sure, that’s what you aim for.

(Wakabayashi) It can be difficult though.

(Dedeo) Well you saw what I did on that last screen, so all you need to do is practice it a little.

(Ono) I’m the type of person who never continues though. I never continue when I’m serious about a game.

(Wakabayashi) How stoic of you.

(Dedeo) I understand how you feel though!

(Ono) Your health completely recovers when you clear a stage, after all.

(Dedeo) Alright, so are you going to pull an all-nighter to work on those patterns?

(Ono) I feel like this column has ended this way before…?