Ninja

aka: Ninja Mission
Moby ID: 1050
DOS Specs
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Description official description

This is an side-scrolling beat-'em-up game consisting of a succession of fights, in which you (surprisingly) play a ninja whose job is to go through the playfield and kill everyone in his path. You are also equipped with a dagger and a shuriken which you can hurl at your enemies.

You must also collect "idols" which are left lying around), which will reinvigorate you, as well as grant you further points. Once you collect all of the idols, you will have won the game.

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Screenshots

Credits (DOS version)

5 People

By
Developed by
  • Sculptured Software
Copyright 1986
  • Mastertronic
IBM Version by

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 59% (based on 12 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 42 ratings with 3 reviews)

One of the oldest and (still) best Ninja games around...

The Good
Hey, was this the first Ninja game around? Boy, 1986 was a loooong time ago! I remember playing this game when I was a weee little brat.

The game was extremely fun and addictive. What the game lacked in fighting strategy, it made up with these very soothing martial art moves. Basically when your fighting hand to hand combat, you don't do much finesse but just press the same attack button until the other guy dies.

The ninja in this game move very fast, happily and as I said without finesse...although regardless of the incapability of your Ninja to look like a real Ninja Master, those repeating moves eventually has a certain rhythm to it that makes combat all the more welcome and fun!

Eventually you figure out that one of the best ways to win is using the Tigger (from Pooh!) style of fighting: Boing...boing...boing in flying kick mode. No finesse whatsoever! Hahaha. What's more funny is that after you clobber the unsuspecting enemy (of which by the way always stands in a coverboy pose...as do you when you stand still), they turn to a flat pancake on the floor. What a way to die!

But the best features in this game is when you jump up to another room! Now that's totally showing the true skills of a Ninja. Just press up right below the hole in the ceiling and "poof!" you jump up with incredible speed before Kirk can say "Beam me up, Scotty!".

The Bad
If you stare at the Ninja pose long enough, you may feel a little girlish...hehehe

I don't recall if I ever finished the game. I do remember that you have to kill a lot of enemies to eventually "open" the secret trap door somewhere on ceilings. I wonder how it ends...

Too bad you can't retrieve your shurikens if I'm not mistaken...you've got a maximum of either 5 or 10 shurikens. Fortunately, your 2 knives stay with your permanately even after you throw them.

Now what was that built in editor for anyway? Never quite figured out what it was for, except for editing the colors and shapes of the shuriken and throwing knives...wonder why they included that option in the first place?

The Bottom Line
A ninja game with an attitude...(check out the ninja posing!). Simple and fun classic ninja game.

DOS · by Indra was here (20756) · 2006

I really love this game!

The Good
Ninja is a realy old game, which always reminds me of the good old days of the XT. It is such as fun game, and it has such atmosphere that I sometimes wish I had a working XT just to play it properly. It is also a really satisfying game, and the few times I completed it left me really loving it. Ninja has some really cool graphics (all things considered), good controls and a great degree of gameplay - more than most games I ever played.

The Bad
Too bad it has such crappy sound (or lack thereof)...

The Bottom Line
A really fun game. I love it, although I doubt that if I was a little older when I first saw it I would have felt the same.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4538) · 2000

A nice classic

The Good
What was the recipe for a good ninja game back in the mid-80's? When ninjas in movies were all the rage? Well, all you needed was a ninja who kicked ass! That was all you needed and that is what this game delivered.

Again, this is a nice classic oldie featuring a stereotypical ninja going about recovering idols from some group of people (a rival ninja clan, perhaps?) and you need to search the whole game (with over 21 rooms if I'm not mistaken) to find them. They're at complete random, thus you can find more than have of them at the very beginning if you're lucky.

Actually, what this game really excels at is its short, easy to play and learn interface and to be able to have a nice 20 minute break (it won't take longer, trust me). If your first conscious memories were in the late 80's, like me, you'd would have probably played this game at some time or at least been interested in ninja games (with the all the TMNT craze on TV, who wouldn't?), and this did require you to use your imagination as you envisioned the CGA graphics transforming into a movie-like cinematic sequence of epic proportions... hey, we all had wild imaginations back then. Actually the graphics just seemed fine despite the primitive 4-colors used, and did create a rather charming atmosphere.

One of the interesting things about the game the sheer number of attacks that were available for you to use. You had 6 kinds of attack (minus the throwing weapons, which would bring it up to 8) at your disposal, even though you only need one of them technically, it was a very interesting touch for them to attempt to create a fairly interesting combat system, by 1986 standards.

The Bad
Well, let's see... this game really didn't have that many negative points. It was intended to be a very short, sweet ninja fighting game, and at that end, it succeeds, but there are somethings that I believe fell off the mark.

For one thing, the rather uneven difficulty in the game when fighting with enemies. Despite having no less than 6 melee attacks at your disposal, only one, the jumping kick, seems to be worth anything. The truth is, swinging your sword around or punching and kicking is nearly useless since the enemies in the game can reduce you to pulp very quickly if you try to fight that way. Use the jumping kick, and you will win the majority of the fights with only luck being the factor of them landing the lucky hits that will kill you. I really, really believe it could have been improved, even if it was a slight factor.

The other thing is there is something in the Amiga version that wasn't present in the Dos version... the evil villain. In the Amiga version, once you got all seven idols, you would be chased by Akuma, the demon lord of the castle, and when you get back to the start screen, you will have to fight and defeat him to win the game. In the Dos version, I don't believe any such character exists and the game ends as soon as you return back to the original. Having Akuma, or some kind of final boss to have to fight would have been a great improvement over just the 'get em and get out' idea.

The Bottom Line
Do you like ninjas? Do you like old games? Do you have 20 minutes to spare? Well, then! What are you waiting for?

DOS · by Salim Farhat (69) · 2009

Trivia

Editor

Ninja features a built-in editor for the two carriable items (dagger and shurikane). Press 'e' to enter it (see DOS screenshots).

Graphics

Ninja is one of the few PC titles that supports 16 colors exclusively in Tandy mode.

German index

On March 31, 1989, Ninja Mission was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.

Sales

According to the magazine Retro Gamer (issue #1), the game was Mastertronic's #16 best selling game (194.897 copies). Information also contributed by Xoleras

Analytics

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 1050
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Arcade added by Kabushi. Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit added by ZZip. Atari ST, Amiga added by Blood.

Additional contributors: Blood, Neville, Patrick Bregger, Karsa Orlong.

Game added March 15, 2000. Last modified November 4, 2023.