Home to the new Game Discovery Home to the old Game Discovery Home to the new Game Discovery

BACK

Ninja Scroll Fighting Game


I got the idea from playing a Nintendo-8bit game called Fist of the North Star. This is also an animated movie. Perhaps not a very original idea, but anyone who saw Ninja Scroll would catch my drift. The anime is full of characters with many unique abilities and weapons, which could be used in the game. Here are the most important characters:

CHARACTER GALLERY

Jubei Kibagami is the main character of Ninja Scroll. He is a wandering Warrior, known as a Ronin, which is a masterless samurai/ ninja. He makes a living doing odd jobs while travelling. Jubei is a very intelligent and calculating person. He has very sharp wits and is a master of his sword technique. He's basically a perfectly well rounded warrior. No matter what the odds, Jubei will always fight with all of his heart if it's something he believes in (whether that is protecting Kagero or sending Gemma back to hell).

Kagero is the only female warrior of the Koga Ninja that is sent to investigate the mysterious deaths in Shimota village due to an even more mysterious plague. Her main job is as a "poison taster" for her master's food. It turns out that she is totally immune to poison, due the fact that her blood itself is a deadly poison. Merely touching her could be fatal. Because of this, throughout her existence she has been thoroughly abused both mentally and physically, by all but Hanza and a few other Koga Ninja. Tessai's attack upon her is but one of the denigrating events of her life. Due to the fact that she is a female warrior, and her blood is poison, she has never been treated with any respect... just as an expendable warrior. Because of this she views herself as of no worth and is on a crusade to prove her worth, while proclaiming her readiness (and sometimes willingness) to die.

Dakuwan is a spy for the Tokugawa clan who is opposing the Shogun of the dark's Toyatome clan. He is a shrewd and underhanded (although not totally evil) wicked little man. Underestimating him because of his size and age would be the worst mistake you could make. He, like Jubei, is very clever, but unlike Jubei, is a little sadistic and more willing to watch people die to achieve his own personal goals. Dakuwan also has a very interesting escape technique, which he uses to elude the extremely deadly shadow dwelling demon Shijima. He camouflages himself much like a chameleon, and clings to a tree and acts as one of its branches. Overall he isn't a very nice man on the outside, but at times he is very human inside. In the end Jubei finally gives him what he deserves. He believes that manipulation of people is the way of the ninja; Jubei's philosophy is no where near this. Also an aside. This is pure opinion, but doesn't it seem strange that Dakuan knows about the Devils and has a strange power resembling something that could mark him as a devil? Just a thought, and it's never actually mentioned but is something to ponder.

Hanza is the leader of the Koga Ninja Team, which is sent out to investigate the strange news that men were seen riding through the Shimota village area just before the plague hit. Hanza's eagerness persuades the Chamberlain to let him and his team investigate. Although we don't get to see much of him, we can see that he is in fact a brave warrior as he steps in to defend Kagero against an all but invincible foe. Of all the ninja he is the one that seems to have cared the most about Kagero. One quick glance was all it took, but they both looked away...

Chamberlain is the lord of the Koga Ninja and is responsible for giving Hanza direct orders. Not a very likeable character, he sees the ninja as totally useless and expendable once he is told of their fate in the woods against Tessai. He sends Kagero out again to follow up on the story, but never shows any real intention of helping her in any way.

Himuro Gemma is Jubei's arch nemesis, and has been even before being leader of the Devils of Kimon. It turns out that Gemma had betrayed Jubei and tricked Jubei's own clan into trying to kill him for being a traitor. In turn Jubei was forced to kill the Yamashiro clan in self-defence, and then avenge their deaths by sending Gemma to hell. Gemma has the ability to re-generate his body parts, including his once severed head. Because of this power, Gemma's arrogance tells us that he thinks he is a god. Gemma is totally ruthless and wants Jubei to suffer. To regenerate takes total concentration and control of one's body, and Gemma has perfected it to an art form, so much so that he can also take different forms. Gemma is basically immortal because of his strange ability... and that is why he is the leader of the Devils of Kimon. With their help he hopes to become the "Shogun of the Dark", the ruthless new leader of the Japanese government who will rule the country with terror from the shadows. It's ironic that he's working for the Shogun of the dark, while he intended to betray him all along. A Devil in every sense of the word.

Yurimaru is second in command of the eight Devils. He is ruthless, but very non-threatening in his composure, which is very feminine and proper to say the least. But as with much in Ninja Scroll, underestimating his power would be a grave mistake. Even Tessai listens to him, and Tessai is more than a threatening character. His special ability is that of electrocuting his enemies with energy generated in his body. He uses little wires (resembling the line attached to Jubei's sword, but with the ability to disintegrate) and is very accurate with them. He desires to be Gemma's lover... and is very jealous of Benisato, whom Gemma seems to prefer. Zakuro has fallen in love with him, but he has absolutely no desire for her and treats her lower than dirt. As with those with power, Yurimaru is exemplary in his display of arrogance and has one hell of a superiority complex.

Tessai is the Devil responsible for killing most of the Koga ninja team with Yurimaru. His special ability is to turn his entire body into stone, making him almost totally impervious. Not to mention that he is a mammoth. Along with the impervious skin and gargantuan size he has an extremely bad disposition and he's not afraid to show it. Tessai had the displeasure of being the first to meet Jubei, and Jubei wasn't too lucky either. Jubei saved Kagero from being attacked by Tessai, and that is something that this Devil would not soon forget. Tessai's weapon of choice is an absolutely humungous double sided double edged sword that he hurls through the air like a boomerang, and he almost always seems to catch it.

Zakuro is a very vengeful and powerful woman. She also has the ability to make living things, actually once living things, explode. Unfortunately for Zakuro, she has fallen in love with Yurimaru, but he pays no attention to her. In fact he treats her like dirt. Because of this she has become very bitter and wishes to seek revenge against him. She is also arrogant, and has a very short fuse, which aids Jubei in diffusing this evil woman.

Benisato's ability is the control of snakes that actually come from her body in many shapes and forms. She also has the ability to shed her skin like one. We first see her in action when Jubei is trying to recover from his battle with Tessai. She appears naked in front of him, revealing a body covered in serpentine tattoos, tattoos that come to life and try to kill Jubei. He easily defeats the snakes and gets a hold of her, only to see that she is merely a cast-off skin left as a decoy. She is Gemma's lover and the devil that discovered who Jubei was after Tesai left an imprint of Jubei's face in his hand. Also in her power is the ability to create cast-off skin "puppets" that she controls. We see this in the old woman praying at the temple. She is very taunting about her relationship with Gemma to Yurimaru, which is reason for the "tension" between them.

Shijima has many strange abilities. He can control both the living and the dead like they were puppets, and can travel freely through shadows. He can also create an illusion, which multiplies him into "decoys" which can be very confusing in battle. His main weapon is his extremely powerful and lightning fast mechanical claw, which glides through the shadows as easily as he does. He throws it at Dakuwan, and is amazed that he avoided it (it is probable that no one had before). All it did was pin his clothes to a tree. Although he proves to be extremely hard to catch, he doesn't do much fighting with Jubei as he'd much rather use a puppet and try to hide.

Mushizo has a very strange ability to control wasps. Not only can he talk with and command them, in Jubei's fight with him we see that Mushizo is a walking hive. Mushizo's weapon of choice is a 2 pronged pitch fork type weapon, and has a deadly "throat needle" which he can spit out of his mouth. The only thing is he really shouldn't go near water. Although not the most amazing Devil, he is the Devil who reveals to Jubei the existence of the once very dead Gemma. And if that weren't bad enough, he is the leader of the Devils of Kimon.

Mujuro is an amazing swordsman, in fact probably one of the best ever... even though he is completely blind. He is also apparently very strong, due to the fact that he was supporting Jubei's sword when he and Kagero were scaling a cliff. He saved them so that he might have the chance to fight Jubei, and win (or so he hoped!). In order to avoid losing to him, Jubei had to eliminate all noise that he was making... one sound and it was all over. He was also amazingly fast and even fought Jubei in a forest, running through the trees! He told Jubei: "Your sight is a weakness..." After that he began flashing his sword in Jubei's line of sight to blind him, and at that particular moment he was right. Over all he would have to be my favourite devil, as he fought with honour (He could have easily dropped Jubei and Kagero down the cliff when they didn't even know he was there) and was a great warrior. Without the teamwork of Kagero and Jubei, Mujuro may have won the battle for Gemma. In fact it may have been his arrogance that did him in, after all he was the one forgot about Kagero's sword in the tree...

Many other less important characters appear in the anime, such as members of the ninja clans, government guards, Jubeis attackers on the bridge in the beginning and many more. These would also be a cool addition to the character gallery.

STORY

Ninja Scroll takes place in Ancient Japan and is the story of a wandering warrior named Jubei. The only things sharper than his sword are his wits and his courage. As the story starts there is a mysterious plague sweeping through the countryside and Shimota village has already been annihilated by it. A team of Ninja known as the Koga ninja Team are sent out to investigate the deaths, but before they can reach the village they are ambushed in the trees by an amazingly powerful enemy in the shadows, and all savagely mutilated... except one. A female warrior named Kagero. She is taken by their attacker only to be saved by our hero, Jubei. She thanks him and pretends to be strong and indifferent, but after he leaves, Kagero's pain is shown. Through out her entire life she has been treated as nothing more than an expendable warrior... living in a world void of emotion and overflowing with pain. In turn for Jubei saving Kagero (and later dispensing of her attacker) the rest of the Devils of Kimon come after him and he is unwillingly hired by a shrewd old ninja spy named Dakuwan. Together, Dakuwan and Jubei end up teaming up with Kagero to battle these demons with super-human abilities.

BACKGROUNDS / ARENAS

The movie is full of fascinating landscapes which could be used in the game as arenas and backgrounds. I guess both 2D and 3D can be used in a game like this.

A MUST

The animation in manga movies is unique so the makers would have to have a close co-operation with the creators of the movie in order to get the manga feeling when you play the game.

OTHER WEAPONS USED IN THE MOVIE

Jubei: Throwing knives, String connected to the longsword (another idea of mine is that fighters can loose their weapons if they use them to block a long series of attacks. If a character looses his/her weapon their attack skill will be decreased and the fighter would have to pick up their weapon in order to restore their weapon attack bonus. Picking up weapons should be easy, like sitting down or something. ) A special move for Jubei can be to use the almost invisible string connected to the longsword to pick up his lost weapon from a distance like in the fight against Tessai. Kagero: Venomous kiss ( throw ), Flowers ( Causes sleep when inhaled ), Hair needle knife ( small and hidden ) Dakuwan: Elastic staff, throwing star, chemical bomb in bottle Hanza: Longsword, Throwing star Yurimaru: String with throwing knife attached.

OTHER SMALL ADDITIONS

Fatalities: An example is Tessai ripping off Hansa's arms ( Too much Mortal Kombat ? ). Fighters loose pieces of their clothing as they loose their hit points to have more than the life o'meter showing their condition ( Gemma could loose bodyparts and Benisato could end up with nothing but the snake tattoos ). Many attacks causes a power-up meter to increase and the fighter can use extra strong attacks like frenzies when meter is full ( Gemma could regenerate).

Ninja Scroll Fighting Game

BY: Philip H. Sivertsen, Norway.
coldturkey80@hotmail.com

Since Ninja Scroll is one of my favourite manga films, I have to say that the idea of a Ninja Scroll fighting game is by far a good one. As you have pointed out, Ninja Scroll have plenty of interesting characters that would indeed fit very well into a fighting game. The big question here I think is whether it should be in 2D or 3D. If I was to decide, I would go for a 2D side scrolling beat`em up like Double Dragon and Final Fight. As you mention it is very important to maintain the manga feel of the movie and that seems to be a problem when using a 3D engine. The idea of losing your weapon after blocking long series of attacks is already been used in Soul Blade, same goes for the power-up meter. But that's ok, cause they are very cool features.


Idea Reviewer:
-Vegard Aure-


BACK