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Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance

aka: The Last Ninja
Moby ID: 1436
Commodore 64 Specs
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Description official descriptions

With the scrolls now in his possession, The Last Ninja begins training a new order of Ninja. During a training session he is mysteriously transported to XXth-century New York. The Evil Shogun has returned! Torn from his own time, The Last Ninja must defend himself once more with nothing more than the belief in his own abilities.

Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance is an action/adventure game where the player, controlling a powerful ninja, must fight his way through opponents while collecting necessary items. The game is split into various levels, each of them depicting a different locale and divided into several screens. The view is isometric and the ninja can move in four different dimensions (he can also walk backwards) and jump.

Enemies, armed with fists and various ninja weapons, wander around the levels. The ninja must fight them either bare-handed or with the weaponry he finds along the way; in either case, he has a number of blows and attacks at his disposal, as well as the ability to block. There's a special weapon, shuriken, which are thrown in a straight line rather than used for melee combat; if they strike an enemy, they'll instantly kill or at least heavily damage him.

There are items scattered around the levels, such as keys, rope, a map or hamburgers (which restore health when eaten). Collecting these items and using them in a proper place is necessary for completing the game.

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Commodore 64 version)

10 People

Concept and principle design
Additional design (logic and mazes) and instructions
Programming and additional design
Sprite and background graphics and additional design
Original music
Data entry
Produced by
Package Design by
Package Illustrations by
Introductory text
Copyright © 1988
  • System Three Software Ltd.
Marketing concepts originated by
  • IN THE PINK MARKETING SERVICES

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 30 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 72 ratings with 3 reviews)

Good, but painful

The Good
The Last Ninja 2 is one of the most impressive-looking C64 games I've ever seen. The graphics are simply amazing. There are a great number of little graphical gimmicks. Animation is great as well.

Also, the music is one of the best C64 soundtracks that I've heard - quite clearly this thing has the most impressive-sounding synthetic electric guitars I've heard. It's even better than the music for all other platforms the game was released for. Clearly a testament to whatever SID chip is capable of. This game is worth getting even for the amazingly cool first level music.

The game concept holds water. Isometric action adventure format is a fun one, and combining it to simple beat 'em up controls is a good idea.

I've watched the whole game playthrough (from C64 Longplays, highly recommended), and it seems that this game is far less of a maze than The Last Ninja or The Last Ninja 3. The other two videos left me impression that those two games are gigantic mazes that are impossible to follow (well, LN3 doesn't suffer from this as much as LN1, but still), but LN2 looks like it'd be memorizable.

And hey, "you're that Ninja..." Ninja games are always cool. =)

The Bad
I have to admit I've almost passed the first level myself. This game is staggeringly hard! The controls are acceptable, even when they clearly need some getting used to.

Jumping puzzles suck, especially if failure means instant death.

In conclusion, fire up VICE and arm yourself with a handful of free hard disk space for snapshots. You'll end up suffering far less than I did back in the day with the real thing.

The Bottom Line
Armakuni, the last ninja of his clan, travels through the time to revenge the murder of his clan to the evil shogun. Travelling through time, this time, means that we're in modern New York City. As a ninja, your job is to ninja some bad guys (street thugs, mafia guys, who knows?), as well as the police who, for some reason, want to kill you with your own weapons.

The environment is divided to screens with each of them having at most one bad guy. Everything is drawn from isometric perspective. Controls are unusually usual: Move with just the stick, use weapons, kick/punch, pick up items, and jump with button pressed.

Along with collectible weapons, there's items that are mostly related to different kinds of puzzles (which appear to be trivial if you just use your head a bit). There are, as mentioned, precise jumping puzzles as well.

Combat is mostly about button-mash... er, mad stick wagging with button pressed, but most of the times it seems to be a better idea to run past the enemies.

It is a relatively short game - without instant deaths, there's apparently less than a hour to play. With instant deaths, it will take a while as you need to replay the first levels.

If you ignore the frustrating instant deaths, this game is actually pretty fun, not to even mention beautiful and it has excellent music. Definitely worth playing.

Commodore 64 · by WWWWolf (444) · 2004

It oozes ninja coolness

The Good
I remember getting this for xmas when I was a kid - I got a special edition one, complete with ninja mask and shuriken! I was a hit at all the fancy dress parties that year ;)

Possibly one of the most atmospheric 64 games ever - everything about it is slickly done especially the music and level designs. Imaginative puzzles - though many people found them frustrating. The mixture of beat em up and puzzle elements has never been done better to my knowledge. I disagree with the previous reviewer, this game harks back to a time when games were TOUGH, watching videos of the game is no way to experience it. Get a good guide for it and only refer to it when you are absolutely stuck!

The Bad
Instant deaths could be very annoying, and the difficulty level may be too much for some, but other than that I cant fault it.

The Bottom Line
A stylish blend of a beat-em up with puzzles

Commodore 64 · by Ken0x (34) · 2005

No. Just no.

The Good
(I choose the Atari ST version, but I could choose the Amiga or the PC version as well, it's really the same bullshit ported over and over again.)

The Atari ST port has beepy rendition of the loader musics of the C64 game, nothing special, it's decent enough by Atari ST standards, I guess (they may be annoying after a while). It also has some sound effects what everyone missed from the C64 original, although the sound of punches are as cheesy as in Bud Spencer movies.

The graphics in the 16-bit versions of the game is more detailed, enhanced (unsurprisingly). The graphic style is a bit different than the original, (I found the addition of graffitis on New York's streets a nice touch).

Looks like everyone did at least a semi-decent job, except the programmers.

The Bad
So, what can really screw up an isometric adventure game? Yes, the weak collision detection and places with confusing perspective. In addition of the original's clunky control mechanics, it is major annoyance. Picking up objects is a hassle!

The enemies are stupid, often get stuck, or just run through things where they aren't supposed to normally. When get knocked down, their health regenerates really quickly, and stand up to block your way again. They never can get killed permanently here (this pisses me off in LN3 also). If you're not careful take away your health really quickly.

The ninja's movement is really slow, we can move way faster by jumping (somersaulting), especially away from enemies. The sprite animations are laggy. The entire thing just does not play right!

The Bottom Line
The Last Ninja 2 is one of the best in the Commodore 64's game library. What we love that it is an action adventure with a time travelling ninja, who wants to get back the sacred scrolls from his arch nemesis ghost samurai, and has to make his way through the parks, streets, severs, and skyscraper rooftops of modern day New York, chased by drug dealers, cops, and punks, with rocking awesome music setting the mood. Well, it has it's flaws, it falls short on the puzzle solver and also on the fighter side, not to mention the occasional platforming parts. It actually didn't age so well, but if you want to play it, take the C64 version and forget those unplayable ports.

Atari ST · by 1xWertzui (1135) · 2012

Trivia

Amiga/Atari ST port

Developer Mike Clarke about the Amiga/Atari ST ports:

The music for the Amiga version was created during a half-term holiday while I was still at school. I was paid £40 for each piece. Not a lot, but not bad for a school kid. The Amiga version was a direct port from the ST version because there was no financial benefit offered to the company in utilizing the extra hardware in the Amiga. Also, the ST/Amiga versions were created purely by playing and copying the C64 version. No maps or gameplay info was provided by System3.

Cancelled Konix port

A port was in development for the never released British Konix console.

Limited Edition

A limited edition version was released which included with the game a Shiraken Star, Ninjitsu Mask and an Avengers 3D Map.

References

In the first open-air screen in the office level, take a look at the sky. First there is a bird, then a plane, and finally...

Spectrum port

The Spectrum conversion was by a team lead by Mev Dinc, which is appropriate as the title of his 16-bit hit First Samurai is widely thought to be a parody of this series.

The Last Ninja Remix

In 1990 C64 received a re-released version of "The Last Ninja 2" titled "The Last Ninja Remix" (do not mistake with "Ninja Remix" on Amiga and Atari ST). This version had a new introduction, backgrounds have been re-coloured and looks more vibrant, there is a new border panel and new soundtrack. Some minor bugs have also been eliminated.

Awards

  • Commodore Format
    • April 1991 (Issue 7) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)
    • November 1994 (Issue 50) – #11 The All-Time Top 50 C64 Games
  • Computer and Video Games
    • Issue 06/1989 - Runner-up Golden Joystick Award 1989 for Best 8-Bit Graphics (reader's vote)
  • Power Play
    • Issue 01/1989 - "Sequel with an Illogical Sounding Name" Special Award
  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #68 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by Late, Martin Smith and Mike Clarke.

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 1436
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Macintrash.

Amstrad PCW added by Rola. NES added by PCGamer77. Antstream added by firefang9212. Commodore 64 added by necronom. ZX Spectrum, Electron, BBC Micro added by Kabushi. Amstrad CPC added by Martin Smith. Wii added by gamewarrior. Amiga, Atari ST added by Mike Clarke.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Timo Takalo, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, Jo ST, FatherJack, ZeTomes.

Game added May 13, 2000. Last modified January 29, 2024.