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That's right, a ninja article!

by Nathan - April 14, 2002

Heyy, people! Let's go on a journey with me as your guide! This time, we're gonna learn about my favorite ten ninjas, and why I like them so much. What's the occasion? None! Sometimes I just wanna talk about Ninjas I like, allright? Allright?! Fine. Good.

These are in no particular order, and there's actually only five. Take that, establishment.

-=Number 1=-

appears in - Metal Gear Solid (PSX/PC)

Now this was one bad-ass ninja. Sure, he wasn't clad in the normal dark ninja-wear, but I bet any other ninja would trade their suits for his armored exoskeleton, complete with thermoptic camoflage. Oh yeah.

Jaeger's story isn't very happy. After Solid Snake (the hero) curbstomps him in one of Snake's earlier adventures, Jaeger is taken by some lab guys, resuscitated, and slapped into the wicked-cool exosuit that he sports now. All the drugs and tests (not to mention the fact that he was basically dead) take their toll on the poor guy's mind, however, and he returns in Metal Gear Solid simply as the Ninja, an indescriminate killer and part-time raving lunatic who enjoys smashing his head on the ground. Poor kid.

This also has a great bearing on the story of MGS. If you've played the game, and you're like me, I know you didn't like the prospect of eventually having to fight a psychotic sword-wielding invisible bionic ninja from beyond the grave. Especially not one named Frank. But it sure was damn fun playing as him in the MGS VR Missions, even if it was only for three measly levels.

-=Number 2=-

appears in - Ninja Burger (which is over here)

Really, how can you not love a ninja clan dedicated to stealthily delivering fresh, high-quality food? I mean, when the very slogan promises you "Guaranteed Delivery in 30 Minutes, Or We Commit Seppuku!" you know you're gonna get a quality burger, very quickly and above all, silently. Now if only they would deliver to my area...

-=Number 3=-

appears in - WCW vs. NWO World Tour (Nintendo 64)

I have to point out a few things on this one. First, that picture is obviously not from the aforementioned N64 game. It is in fact drawn by my young neighbour/artist extraordinaire Todd (age 9). Whenever I need as precise a rendition of something as possible, I get Todd on the job. Sadly, Todd's original didn't turn out very well, as you can see, so I made a few modifications and got something much better.

Thanks again, Todd, but clearly your ninja is not nearly fearsome enough. Plus, he has a sword! Who ever gets to use a sword in a wrestling game? Geez. 9 years old, and so much more to learn...anyway, the second thing I was going to point out is that Ninjas don't often say "Yarr!" as my illustration shows. The "Yarr"ing task is more often delegated to pirates and fat people, but I thought it might up his fearsomeness rating a bit if I made him say it too.

Now, I'm not a wrestling fan, but this game was pretty freakin' fun, especially with four people. While everyone else was trying to take 'good' characters, I spotted the Ninja immediately and he quickly became my favorite, as well as a harbringer of certain pain for everyone else. He does all the standard Ninja things like kicks and punches, but one move in particular fascinated me; you can tackle an opponent, and when they're on the mat, you can leap onto their stomachs and begin to mercilessly pummel them about the head and neck! How amazing is that!

Of course, the other players quickly became tired of my incessant giggling and my wrestler's constant bitchslapping, but since nobody else tried Sasuke, they were obviously just jealous that I had the sweetest attack in the game.

-=Number 4=-

appears in - Ninja Scroll (IMDB page here)

So there I was, around Christmas. I had gotten home real late after my cousin's wedding, and a few hours earlier my VCR had recorded this movie. I was in the midst of a weeklong Teletoon anime marathon, and, having already seen some definite classics every evening for the last few days (Macross Plus, Patlabor 1 and 2, and The Wings of Honneamise) I was all ready to enjoy another fine piece of art.

Within the first half-hour, an entire village is poisoned and killed, and a team of ninjas sent to investigate is quite literally cut to pieces, with MUCH blood ensuing. It is now my professional opinion that people living in feudal Japan had an insanely high blood pressure. At any rate, this is quite far from the intelligent, artsy films they've been showing during the week (some parts of Macross Plus notwithstanding) and my reaction is "somebody made an animated movie with this much sex and violence?" after which my reaction is "...and Teletoon played it? On TV?"

The protagonist is Jubei, a wandering ninja-for-hire who stumbles into a giant conspiracy with lots of mayhem, demonic adversaries, a seemingly invincible bossman, and so forth. Throughout the movie he gets poisoned and beaten quite often, and yet he continually maintains an air of calm and "I-know-exactly-what-I'm-doing"ness that so many heroes lack, or at least suck at exuding. Also, he's really, really good at what he does, which is killling. A classic ninja hero if I ever saw one.


Appears in - Mirai Ninja (IMDB page here)

The true star of Mirai Ninja (or Warlord as it's known here in Canada) is that robo-ninja guy on the cover. The movie is already pretty bizarre, what with weird Kabuki supervillains, giant walking outhouses with laser cannons, and Super-Energy-Missiles or whatever they call 'em.

On top of that, nobody can seem to figure out this guy's secret identity, which is not only painfully obvious but it's also...er...painfully obvious, I guess. At any rate, if you happen to be able to see this sitting at your local rental store, rent it. I really don't think I can stress that enough. It will easily be the single best overdubbed robot-ninja film you will ever see.

Well, that about wraps this whole thing up. Confused? Annoyed? In complete agreement with everything I've said so far? Let me know!

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