In memoriam, Donald Sutherland

The Last Ninja

aka: Ninja Remix
Moby ID: 1423
Commodore 64 Specs
Buy on Commodore 64
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Description official descriptions

You are the last living member of your ninja clan after they were brutally slaughtered. Now, you seek to exact revenge on the evil shogun responsible.

The Last Ninja is an action/adventure game set in medieval Japan. The game is shown in isometric view, and the eponymous ninja can walk in four directions, jump, fight the enemies and collect necessary items on his way.

While fighting, the ninja can use several different blows and block. There are a couple of weapons to find, including smoke bombs and shuriken.

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Commodore 64 version)

8 People

Concept and principle design
Additional design (logic and mazes) and instructions
Storyboard by
Programming
Sprite and background graphics
Additional design
Original music
Data Entry
Produced by
Cover artwork by

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 73% (based on 22 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 87 ratings with 2 reviews)

A classic action adventure.

The Good
Featuring a good combination of action and adventure, The Last Ninja appealed to a larger audience on a lot of formats. The conversion was almost uncanny from the C64 (though lacking the music and sound effects).

The game featured a large arsenal – punches, kicks, a sword, nunchakas, a staff, shurikens and smoke bombs. Though you have to fight your way to getting most of these weapons you can use the ones you have already to get more. Some items had to be used in conjunction to get others.

I’m glad the game included the ability to save/restore as you could then do your best against an enemy or obstacle and save your progress.

The Bad
On both the C64 and PC, the game featured a really weird control system. Due to the isometric nature of the game, the diagnonal keys were used, in conjunction with the direction keys for controlling the ninja. When facing in a certain direction, let’s say towards the bottom right hand corner of the screen, you could run forwards or backwards while facing in the same direction. To turn the ninja around to face in the other direction involved pressing the right, diagonal up+right, up and up+left. This made fighting enemies who attacked you from another direction other than right in front of you hard. It also affected how long it took you to pick up an item. You would have to navigate the ninja around for quite a while before you got him into the correct direction and position.
Once you get used to it though, it’s not so bad. I recommend a joystick.

I also felt there was way too much emphasis on jumping as a skill in the game. There were 3 different types of jumps – short, medium and long. Screens where you would have to navigate rivers or swamps by jumping on stones or logs to get across, were a nightmare until you learnt a route using the same jumps every time.

The Bottom Line
An enjoyable action/adventure game wherein the main character is a ninja with a wide assortment of weapons. Although the difficulty level is quite high and it takes a while to get used to the control method, those who persevere are rewarded.

DOS · by Macintrash (2553) · 2000

The Last Pixel-Master

The Good
It was a very competent port of the C-64 game, for the PC was not well known for it's arcade machine qualities at this time.

The ability to fight, throw weapons and sneak around was pretty cool. The graphic style was also interesting.

**The Bad**
As stated in the previous review, the isometric view REALLY made control hard. On top of that, the Ninja COULD NOT SWIM! One touch of water and the Last Ninja was extinct! (I've never understood this arcade contrivance...)

Thus, the game became incredibly frustrating as moved your Ninja pixel by pixel across the swamp and river terrain, trying to get that EXACT placement for the EXACT right jump, or you get to play the whole sequence over again, minus a life. Fun.

**The Bottom Line**
While there were other games of its genre, the mixture of hand-to-hand, ranged combat and maneuvering around isometric terrain made it pretty unique.

DOS · by Tony Van (2797) · 2000

Discussion

Subject By Date
US Release C64? Edwin Drost (9719) Jul 28, 2017
The Last Ninja Nostalgia Tribute Fabio Barzagli (3) Aug 19, 2007

Trivia

Cancelled ports

The Last Ninja was advertised and previewed in most major Sinclair ZX Spectrum magazines. The game ran into a number of problems and System 3 ended up developing and releasing Last Ninja 2 instead for the Spectrum. In issue 54 of UK gaming magazine Crash it is claimed that the first game was half finished. The game (or possibly its follow-up) was also being ported to the Tandy Color Computer 3, and even mentioned in Tandy's catalogues. The project facing difficulties, Steve Bjork was called in to help before the game was finally canceled. As a recently recovered development version shows, the CoCo port was already at an advanced state when it was scrapped. For information and pictures, refer to Allen Huffman's site.

Delayed port

In 1988, Marc Rosocha had a conversion of "The Last Ninja" ready for Atari ST and Amiga computers. But this was not released until 1990. This version was titled Ninja Remix and featured extended graphics and was completely programmed from scratch. It should not be mistaken with re-released, enhanced version of 8-bit "The Last Ninja 2".

Awards

  • Computer and Video Games
    • May 1988 (Issue #79) - Golden Joystick 1988 Award: Runner Up category Game of the Year
  • Game Art Beyond
    • In 2018, The Last Ninja was selected as one of the biggest classics on the Commodore 64 by the creators of the C64 graphics collection Game Art Beyond. Last Ninja was honoured with a high resolution title picture in a special C64 graphics format called NUFLI, along with a new interpretation of the Last Ninja (Level 1) theme.
  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #90 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
  • ZZAP! 64
    • Newsfield Reader's Awards 1987 - Best Arcade Adventure (Readers' Vote)
    • Newsfield Reader's Awards 1987 - Best Graphics (Readers' Vote)

Analytics

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Related Sites +

  • AtariMania (Pre-release: System 3, UK, Atari ST)
    For Atari ST: game entry database; downloadable release; game packaging; advertisement; manuals; magazine reviews; additional material.
  • Commodore 64 Boxed Sets
    For C64: game packaging digitalisations. Include box, manual, brochure, additional material.
  • Hall of Light
    For Amiga: game database entry; digitalised manuals; game packaging; screenshots; additional material.
  • Lemon 64
    For Commodore 64: game entry database; advertisement; magazine reviews; music; documentation; cover art; additional material.
  • System 3 game site
    Game page on developer's website

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 1423
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Macintrash.

Commodore 64 added by Quapil. Apple II added by KnockStump. Antstream added by firefang9212. Electron, BBC Micro added by Sciere. Acorn 32-bit added by Kabushi. Amiga, Atari ST added by Martin Smith. Wii added by gamewarrior. Apple IIgs added by Scaryfun.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Игги Друге, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, S Olafsson, Malte Mundt, Jo ST, ZeTomes.

Game added May 11, 2000. Last modified June 21, 2024.