Ninja Princess cover art
|Release||March 1985 (Arcade)
8 Nov 1986 (SMS)
|Genre(s)||Run and gun|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating turns|
|Arcade system||Sega System 1|
|Display||Raster, standard resolution (256 x 224 is used), horizontal alignment|
Sega Ninja (also known as The Ninja) is a 1985 arcade game released by Sega. The game features Princess Kurumi (くるみ姫 Kurumi-Hime), the titular female ninja, battling enemies using throwing knives and throwing stars. The game was originally released as Ninja Princess (忍者プリンセス), before the revised edition titled Ninja Princess 1 Mega Ban - Ninja (忍者プリンセス1メガ版 忍者), which became Sega Ninja/The Ninja in the English version.
It is typical of a run and gun game, such as Commando and Ikari Warriors, where the player has to shoot enemies and defeat a boss. Enemies include samurai, ninja and dogs. The player's normal weapons are an unlimited supply of throwing knives, but power-ups to throwing stars are available; in addition, the player can also turn invisible for a short period of time. While most of the stages are vertically scrolling, a few of the levels add some variety - including a level where the player must scale a wall.
The game is set during Japan's Edo era, in about the year 1630, in a province called Ohkami in the western region, where the power has been seized by an evil tyrant named Gyokuro. The goal is to end his oppressive rule and restore peace.
Ports of the game were released for Sega's SG-1000 and Master System consoles. The latter version, retitled Ninja Princess 1 Mega Ban - Ninja, was released a year after the arcade game and changed the protagonist from female to male. Other changes include the rearranging of stages from the original Japanese release in western releases of the game as well as a scroll system, which requires that five green scrolls must be collected to get to final level of the game, as all of them give hints on how the final level must be entered. If the player finishes the game without them, the game will backtrack to a level closest to where a missing scroll lies. Graphics are also different, made in a more realistic style.
Computer Gaming World stated that the Master System version was the most entertaining of three martial-arts games that Sega released together (the others were Black Belt and Kung Fu Kid), and approved of its unusual visual perspective.
- Marley, Scott (December 2016). "Essential Games: The Titles that Made the SG-1000 Shine". Retro Gamer. No. 163. Future Publishing. p. 59.
- "System 1 hardware (Sega)". Retrieved 2006-06-18.
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- Ninjas in Games | An evolution of ninjas in video games throughout the years., UGO.com, June 4, 2008
- "Sega Ninja". Coin-Op Museum. Retrieved 2006-06-18.
- Worley, Joyce; Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (October 1988). "Video Gaming World". Computer Gaming World. p. 48.