Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins

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Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins
Tenchu 2 - Birth of the Stealth Assassins Coverart.png
Developer(s)Acquire
Publisher(s)Activision
Director(s)Takuma Endo
Producer(s)Yutaka Hoshina
Masami Yamamoto
Designer(s)Nobuhito Kuramochi
Yoshiaki Arimura
Programmer(s)Daisuke Hisamatsu
Artist(s)Koshi Nakanishi
Writer(s)Mikasa Hiragi
Composer(s)Noriyuki Asakura
SeriesTenchu
Platform(s)PlayStation
Release
  • NA: August 15, 2000[1]
  • EU: September 8, 2000
  • JP: November 30, 2000
Genre(s)Action-adventure, Stealth
Mode(s)Single-player

Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins[a] is an action-adventure stealth game developed by Acquire and published by Activision for the PlayStation in 2000. The game is intended as a prequel to the game Tenchu: Stealth Assassins and depicts the series' heroes Rikimaru and Ayame as teens, being taught by their elderly master named Shiunsai as well as another Azuma ninja named Tatsumaru.

Gameplay[edit]

The game consists of controlling a character in a 3D environment through a third-person viewpoint. The player can use a variety of ninja tools and equipment and stealth to dispatch enemies and complete the game's missions. Missions are set in different locales at varying times of day, ranging from rural farmland, bamboo forests, mountainous regions, beaches, ships, villages and caverns. After the player completes a mission, they are given a rank depending on their accomplishments during that mission such as number of enemies killed, number of times spotted etc. High ranks are then used to unlock special gadgets that can be used in-game.

One of the game's most acclaimed features was the Mission Editor. This gave the player the opportunity to create their own missions, including level layout, deciding which characters to place in it and mission objectives to complete. It spawned a tournament in North America to find the best created mission.[citation needed] Due to this acclaim, the Mission Editor was later brought back and revamped for the PSP installment, Tenchu: Time of the Assassins.

Plot[edit]

The Azuma Ninja have served the House of Gohda for countless generations. Now three young ninja, Tatsumaru, Rikimaru and Ayame, must protect Lord Gohda Matsunoshin against a coup d'état attempt and a mysterious ninja group calling themselves the Burning Dawn consisting of their leader, Lady Kagami, Suzaku "The Red Sparrow", Genbu "The Green Turtle", Seiryu "The Blue Dragon", and Byakko "The White Tiger", the four Lords of the Burning Dawn. To make matters worse, the recently made leader of the Azuma Ninja Tatsumaru, goes missing during a battle with Lady Kagami. It is later revealed that Tatsumaru has lost his memory and as a result of this, has now took on the mantle of Seiryu "The Blue Dragon" and allied himself with the Burning Dawn.

The following Plot is taken from the player playing as Rikimaru

The three new Azuma Ninja's first mission has them called to Gohda Castle which is under attack by Lord Gohda's uncle, Gohda Motohide and his army of samurai. After a bloody battle, which includes the death of Lady Kei, Lord Gohda's wife, and the kidnapping of Princess Kiku, Lord Gohda's daughter. Rikimaru stops Gohda Motohide from killing Lord Gohda but when attempting to strike down Gohda Motohide, Lord Gohda steps in between the ninja and his uncle, being struck by Rikimaru's sword. With Lord Gohda wounded and Rikimaru in distress for striking down his lord, Gohda Motohide then escapes from the castle. It turns out that Gohda Motohide has allied himself and his forces with a rival feudal lord, Lord Toda. After following Gohda Motohide's trail back to Lord Toda's Camp, Rikimaru is confronted by Suzaku, who reveals to him that "a new age" is upon all ninja throughout the land. After battling Suzaku and winning, Rikimaru arrives in the central camp to find the body of Gohda Motohide and the decapitated body of Lord Toda. He runs to a nearby cliffside to witness along with Ayame, Tatsumaru engaged in combat with Lady Kagami. The cliff edge begins to crumble and both are dropped into the raging sea below, presumed dead.

The following day, Lady Kagami is washed up upon the shoreline and regains consciousness, and discovers that Tatsumaru has also survived the fall. She wakes him up to discover he has lost all memory of his former life as an Azuma Ninja. She takes the opportunity and begins to brainwash him into thinking his name is Seiryu "The Blue Dragon" and he is one of the four lords of the Burning Dawn, erasing all knowledge of his previous life.

With Tatsumaru presumed dead by the Azuma Ninja, Rikimaru and Ayame continue their efforts to stop the illegal activities and operations of various criminal organisations such as bandits and thieves, who are linked in different ways to the Burning Dawn. Rikimaru discovers during the "Demon Mountain" mission that the ninja there are capturing civilians in order for them to be used as slave labour in building a giant warship called the "Fire Demon", which will be used to conquer the land by the Burning Dawn. Upon rescuing more civilians from a harboured Chinese slave junk and defeating the captain, Tatsumaru confronts Rikimaru and reveals himself as Seiryu, with Rikimaru confused and shocked at his former comrade's claims. He tries to refresh Tatsumaru's memory but is quickly silenced, claiming Rikimaru is "a mad man" and he does not know him and never has.

Rikimaru then receives a lead from a source that the Burning Dawn are using a temple near a lake as a base of operations. He is again confronted by Suzaku "The Red Sparrow". Stood aside by his lover, a female kunoichi, Yukihotaru, also known as the "Ice Firefly", attacks Rikimaru but is swiftly beaten. As she crawls towards Suzaku asking for his help, he stabs her in the side of her neck with his sword. He then engages in a sword fight with Rikimaru and is again, defeated. Exiting the temple, an Azuma Ninja carrier pigeon brings word that the Azuma Village is under attack by the Burning Dawn.

Rikimaru returns home to find the Azuma Village under siege by the Burning Dawn and sets about the area, slaying the invading ninja. After killing all the invaders, he reaches Master Shiunsai's house to find him dead, with Tatsumaru standing over his corpse, sword drawn. After defeating Tatsumaru in combat, Rikimaru hesitates to kill Tatsumaru and as he lowers his weapon, Tatsumaru draws his sword and slashes upwards across his eye and giving him his signature scar (as seen in the first Tenchu game) Tatsumaru then escapes with Lady Kagami, with her stating that the age of the ninja has come and that Rikimaru should join them, which he blatantly refuses. Ayame returns to the village to find Rikimaru cradling his master's body, with Ayame stating that she will kill Tatsumaru when the time comes.

The two ninja set out along with their ninja dog, Semimaru to find where Tatsumaru has gone. The trail leads into a giant bamboo forest. Nearly out of the forest, they are stopped in their tracks by Byakko "The White Tiger", one of the four lords of the Burning Dawn along with his pet albino tiger, Chiro who attack both Rikimaru and Ayame. They are both defeated and continue following the trail which leads into a giant cavern network. The Azuma Ninja discover the cavern is the secret base used for the construction of the "Fire Demon" and promptly board the vessel as it begins to set sail.

As the warship begins attacking Lord Ghoda's castle, Rikimaru and Ayame split up to find a way of stopping the ship. Rikimaru first encounters Suzaku, killing him this time around and then confronts Lady Kagami on the bridge, stating her disappointment in Rikimaru and the others for not joining their new rebellion. Lady Kagami, Suzaku, Tatsumaru and The Burning Dawn's flagship "Fire Demon" are swiftly defeated by the combined efforts of Rikimaru and Ayame, as well as naval elements of the Gohda army.

It is revealed in a post credits cut scene that Suzaku has been somehow resurrected from his death at the hands of Rikimaru and gives himself a new title, Onikage.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic77/100[2]
Review scores
PublicationScore
AllGame4.5/5 stars[3]
Edge6/10[4]
Game RevolutionB−[7]
GameFan72%[5]
GamePro4/5 stars[6]
GameSpot8.3/10[8]
IGN9.1/10[9]
Next Generation4/5 stars[10]
Maxim6/10[11]

Jim Preston reviewed the PlayStation version of the game for Next Generation, rating it four stars out of five, and stated that "Tenchu 2 doesn't surpass the original but does succeed in capturing its smooth gameplay and despite some minor weaknesses, the game is without a doubt exceedingly cool."[10]

Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tenchu 2 (立体忍者活劇 天誅 弐, Rittai Ninja Katsugeki Tenchū Ni, lit. "Stereoscopic Ninja Theatrical Drama: Divine Retribution 2")

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roether, Julia (August 15, 2000). "Activision Releases Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins, the Ground Breaking Prequel to the Worldwide Hit, Tenchu". Activision. Archived from the original on January 7, 2001.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. ^ a b "Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins for PlayStation Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  3. ^ Knight, Kyle. "Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 13, 2014. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  4. ^ Edge staff (October 2000). "Tenchu: Birth of the [Stealth] Assassins" (89). Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "REVIEW for Tenchu II: Birth of the Stealth Assassins". GameFan. August 10, 2000.
  6. ^ Cheat Monkey (August 10, 2000). "Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins Review for PlayStation on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on February 7, 2005. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  7. ^ Sanders, Shawn (August 2000). "Tenchu 2: Birth of the [Stealth] Assassins". Game Revolution. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  8. ^ Fielder, Joe (August 8, 2000). "Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins Review". GameSpot. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  9. ^ Perry, Douglass C. (August 9, 2000). "Tenchu II: Birth of the [Stealth] Assassins". IGN. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Preston, Jim (October 2000). "Finals". Next Generation. Vol. 3 no. 10. Imagine Media. p. 115.
  11. ^ Boyce, Ryan (August 8, 2000). "Tenchu 2". Maxim. Archived from the original on June 26, 2001. Retrieved November 9, 2014.

External links[edit]