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The Last Ninja

DOS - 1988

Also available on: Amiga - Apple IIgs - Atari ST - BBC Micro - Commodore 64 - Electron

Alt name Ninja Remix
Year 1988
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Action
Theme Martial Arts, Ninja, Puzzle elements
Publisher Activision, Inc.
Developer System 3 Software Ltd.
Perspectives Bird's-eye view, Fixed / Flip-screen
Dosbox support Fully supported on 0.70
4.3 / 5 - 34 votes

Description of The Last Ninja

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One of the most well-executed action games of all time, The Last Ninja is a great start of a great series that was a huge hit on the Commodore 64. This PC port is excellent, but unfortunately was not commercially successful.

The Last Ninja deserves notice not only as a thoroughly addictive action game, but also for the many innovations it brought to the genre. For starter, the game is one of the first isometric games on the market. Despite relatively primitive (EGA) graphics, characters move convincingly, and backgrounds are well-drawn to create good illusions of 3D landscape. Also, while other action games at the time offer only one type of combat, The Last Ninja features a mixture of hand-to-hand and ranged combat, with a variety of authentic ninja weapons.

Another nifty innovation is the fact that the game's terrain is merely not the non-interactive pretty scenery as in most other games: they are obstacles that must be overcome. This is where the game can discourage action newbies from completing it. Not only will you have to deal with hordes of enemies constantly, but you must navigating around fatal features of the terrain.

One of the most fatal is the water -- while your ninja can execute a staggering number of movements and attacks, he cannot swim. Thus, the game became incredibly frustrating as you move your Ninja pixel by pixel across the swamp and river terrain, trying to get that EXACT placement for the EXACT right jump from boulder to boulder.

Despite this contrivance, though, The Last Ninja is outstanding in every respect. Too bad the great music in the Commodore 64 version is not present in this PC port (due to PC speakers limitations), but otherwise it's an excellent version.

Definitely a must-have for all action fans, although anyone who found Prince of Persia difficult should think twice about attempting to win-- this is a much harder game by far. Recommended!

Review By HOTUD

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Comments and reviews

Mezzer 2022-10-07 0 point

A time when gaming was ambitious,fresh and no social media and nonsense. No PC this, can't say that. People lived,worked and did the best they could and as kids we had childhoods that were both indoors and outside.

Daglish music on the last ninja and later Mr Gray? The Last Ninja grabbed me as young lad on the C64. The SID chip music, the visual design and the gameplay. The frustration of having to nail perfectly those jumps ...

Seen the PC version running...shame audio was not there... Ninja 2 was possibly my favourite of the three titles

Great game and please if System 3 remake it. Do it justice. Keep to its roots. Isometric 3D , top tier audio, animation...not some Assassin's Creed open world full of filler crap...keep it real. Similar to how the Beast Remake was pretty good on PS4. It never forgot its origins and sold out.

The Boz 2022-07-11 0 point Commodore 64 version

I've still got the Premier Collection on the C64 which had this game on it and the sequel. System 3 really knew how to get the best out of the old beige box, and it was games like this that really set the machine apart from other 8-bit machines.

System 3 are still operating, and for the love of God The last Ninja is crying out for a remake. Can you imagine if this was remade by someone like Ubisoft into an open world game such as Assassin's Creed and include the areas of the original game, or even the entire franchise, plus more.

mymoon 2020-03-29 4 points Commodore 64 version

Its games like these that make me glad that I have spent my childhood with a C64. The music, the graphics, the storyboard.

Mr Vampire 2019-02-17 2 points Commodore 64 version

Great game with great graphics (at least for the C64 in the 80's). The music sets the mood well.

Sam 2017-07-03 0 point

Amaaaaaazingly good RETRO RPG FAN'S heart's Delight game

StillThere 2013-11-04 1 point DOS version

^this.. It was my first game for the C64 and is still my favorite

mymoon 2012-01-31 4 points DOS version

A piece of poop on the pc. It is my fave game on the C64.

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DOS Version

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