In the German version, all blood and gore effects were removed. A detailed list of changes can be found on schnittberichte.com
The shinobi did use things called kunai, but in real life these were small, handheld bladed tools, used as drills to make peepholes. Real kunai had a crescent shape, something like a letter U. The things they call kunai in the game are not actually kunai, they are throwing knives (shuriken) "blades hidden in the palm." Whether they are star shaped or straight, whether you choose to actually throw them or you keep holding onto them -- if it is a ninjitsu weapon with an edge that is designed so that you can hide it in your hand, it is classified as a shuriken.
Testugen means literally "iron wire." The word may be translated simply as an old-fashioned way to say "a garrote," but it may indeed have had more sophisticated usage as a weapon for tactical stealth operatives in feudal Japan. Most people today who think about these operatives refer to them by the word ninja. Technically, ninja was at that time a catchall word meaning [any] "person who sneaks in" [to where the person does not belong]. The feudal Japanese would have said that a burglar qualified as a ninja, an arsonist qualified as a ninja, a criminal home invader, etc. On the other hand, if at that time somebody meant to refer to one of the tactical stealth operatives who belonged to one of several outcast secret societies, the proper word was shinobi, "stealthy tactical operative." In feudal times, no self-respecting person would ever have acknowledged that shinobi even existed. On paper they were outlaws in the category of hinin [non-people]. If identified, shinobi could be killed on sight. If you so much as mentioned them in public, you could be arrested and put to death. This was because shinobi violated the upper-class code of how you were *supposed to be* an honorable warrior at that time, the code called bushido. But the samurai clan leaders (daimyo) needed "disgusting" sneaky things done periodically, so they continued to have recourse to these banned shinobi from time to time. For many centuries, there had long been terrible fighting over who should have control of temporal affairs in Japan -- who should control everything that did not have to do with religion. At the very beginning of the seventeenth century one really powerful samurai family (the Tokugawa) finally won the fighting and, in a nutshell, forced all the other samurai families to obey them and become vassals to them. Gradually they had an increasing amount of trouble, but the control system that was run by the Tokugawa family lasted for over 250 years.
Information also contributed by
Big John WV
- Game Informer
- January 2006 (Issue #153) - #3 of the Top 10 Worst Games of 2005.
- One of the Sexiest Game Characters (for Kunai)