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Copyright 1988 System 3
Written by John Twiddy
Graphics by Hugh Riley
Music by Matt Gray

The Story

The Ninja, known as The Mystic Shadow Warriors, were the elite fighting force of Ninth Century Feudal Japan. They were dedicated to the fine tuning of their bodies into killing machines. Their attributes were many and varied; they were masters of weapon craft, assassination, stealth and invisibility and many believed them to be in control of the supernatural. A real master of the art of Ninjutsu could even anticipate an opponent's moves... and thoughts.

To achieve this high level of skill all initiates had to undergo years of rigorous training. Correct application of these skills required cunning, dexterity and total mind control. Students of the Ninja arts drove themselves on to try to achieve the state of self-perfection and a closeness to their god. Therefore martial arts fighting disciplines became the highest, most honourable path to perfection. Unfortunately, some Ninja were to abuse their powers...

The Ninja were nearly wiped out of existence during a purge in the Twelfth Century. But now they are back and more powerful than ever... Back with a vengeance !

The struggle with the Evil Shogun, Kunitoki, had taken its toll. For many months after regaining control over the island of Lin Fen, Armakuni, the new master of the Ninjutsu, fell into a deep depression at the loss of his brethren. He reflected again and again upon his struggle against Kunitoki, and always came to the same conclusion - it was only the end of a battle, not the end of the war.

After more than a year of languishing upon Lin Fen, Armakuni was prepared to reinstate the way of the Shadow Warrior to its former glory. With the Koga scrolls in his possession all that Armakuni needed now were the disciples to follow his guidance and the teachings of the ancient manuscripts.

As the word spread around the mainland that a new master had the scrolls and was about to begin training, the men began to arrive. They were the sons of the fighting elite - the Samurai.

A new order of Ninja slowly began to take shape. But this time the training was going to be more intense than ever before. Never again would they be caught off guard and be defeated without honour.

During a training session of the Inner Circle - the Master's elite of the elite - a strange feeling came over the class. It was as if time had abruptly stood still, as if they were the only people left in the world. As Armakuni rose from his meditating position a strange pulsating light enshrouded him. Concerned with what they saw, the class tried to rise and go to Armakuni's assistance. But they were fixed in their positions, no one could move.

The intensity of the light grew around Armakuni until all who were witnessing the scene were forced to cover their eyes. When the light faded and finally disappeared, the students leapt to their feet. What had happened? Where was the master?

"What is happening?" shouted Armakuni. But no one could hear him. It was as if he was invisible and in a sound proof glass box. Why wasn't his class rushing to his aid to help him break free? Why did he feel the sharp thorns of fear, while inside he was as calm as the deep seas? What game were the ancients playing with him? His questions found no answers as he slipped unwillingly into unconsciousness.

Slowly Armakuni clawed his way back through the darkness of deep sleep, back to where he felt safe. As he forced his eyes open, he was greeted by a sight that his experiences could not have prepared him for.

Armakuni is now standing on a hard wooden floor surrounded by strange objects that vaguely remind him of musical instruments. Behind him is a curtain parted slightly in the middle. As he tries to focus his eyes on his surroundings his mind is spent spinning. He sees strange gigantic shapes, covered with mirrors, reaching to the very doorstep of the heavens.

"Where am I?" shouts Armakuni. Trying to get some control over his rushing emotions he calls upon all of his reserves of courage. He must try to make sense of the insanity surrounding him. Taking a moment to meditate, Armakuni suddenly experiences a strange and chilling sensation. There is a force in this land, a force he has not felt since the final battle with the Evil Shogun, Kunitoki.

"Could he be here? Has some cruel trick of fate brought the two of us together once again?" thinks Armakuni. As these thoughts rush through his mind, Armakuni begins to realize that their destinies must be forever intertwined and whenever evil forces try to hold sway over mankind, Armakuni is the one chosen to vanquish it.

Armakuni's immediate concern is to explore his surroundings. He must find some means of defending himself against the unknown dangers that lie before him. Although Armakuni was torn from his own time with nothing more than the clothes on his back, he has total belief in his abilities.


Keyboard Controls

F1  Turn sound on / off
F3 / F5  Cycle through Ninja's inventory
F7  Pause game
Run/stop  Kill the Ninja
Space bar  Cycle through Ninja's weapons
Select Joystick orientation. Pressing the J key will rotate the joystick's positions through 45 degrees each time you press it

Joystick movement

To activate switches or pick up things on the ground, press the fire button then pull the joystick bottom right, or bottom left diagonally.

To make the Ninja somersault, either to avoid attack or to overcome some hazard, such as jumping from one wall to another, you should make the Ninja run in the direction you want him to somersault, and while he is moving press the fire button.

To kick when unarmed, press fire button, then pull joystick down. To punch, press fire button, then pull up.

When holding a weapon, press fire button then one of the following directions: right to stab, left to slash, up to give a high stab, down to kick, up-left or up-right to parry.

To throw shiraken, pull joystick left or right while holding fire button pressed.

My Opinion

Let's face it: the control method for the main character is quite painful as first, and the multi-loading is very slow. But even with these flaws The Last Ninja 2 is still an excellent arcade adventure game. I mean look at the pictures !   Aren't they beautiful and incredibly varied? Listen to the SID tunes. aren't they damn' good? The scenario is rich and the story is intriguing. What else do you want?


Here is the full solution to the end of the game.

Level 1: Central Park

You start off in an open-air theatre. Go through the curtain and punch the flashing box to reveal a trapdoor on the first screen. Drop through the trapdoor to land under the stage. Grab the key in the bottom left corner then exit. To the east and to the south you will find two ladies' lavvies. Enter each and use the pick up method to take the two toilet chains. You will be granted with a nunchukka. On the screen west of the stage, pick up shurikens from the box between the benches. To the west, keep somersaulting to get past the juggler. Get the map on the next screen. Climb up the trellis then cross over to the next screen and somersault across the gaps to pick-up the staff. Remember to climb down backwards. Use the key to open the gate north of the theatre, then cross the river by jumping onto the drifting boat. Dodge the bees and take the right hand path then somersault onto the next screen. Push at the boat with your staff and jump back onto the bee screen. Take the left hand path. Cross the river by jumping onto the boat and exit the park.

Level 2: The Streets

Remember to cross the roads only when the lights are in your favour.  Go east up to the next crossroads. go south one screen then follow the street to the east until you find a drunk man. Pick up his bottle. Walk south and west to find the workman's hut. Pick-up the manhole key in it. Go back and keep walking west to the martial arts shop. Kick down the door, beat up the shopkeeper and collect the sword from the wall. Go to the path around  the park then use the key on the manhole and drop through it to exit the level.

Level 3: The Sewers

Walk through the first three rooms, then take the right hand exit and collect the key. Go back into the last room and jump the gap. On the next screen, slowly walk forward until a spider falls. Quickly follow it and exit the screen. Use the key to open the grate and drop down. Walk right to find a set of three doors. Take the middle one, then follow the path until you come to some more doors. Take the one farthest from you. On the next screen, ignore the doors, jump the rats and exit via the path. Keep going until you find a new set of doors. Take the door nearest from you. On the next screen, holding the bottle, walk into the torch on the wall and use the pick-up method. The wick in the bottle should turn red. Kill the alligator by throwing the bottle at it and exit to the next level.

Level 4: The basement

On the second screen, empty your hands then climb up the ladder to the catwalk. Go left to pick up the credit card. Walk to the opposite end of the catwalk, enter the room and pick up the bowl with a chicken leg. Go back along the catwalk and down the ladder. Take the right hand exit and follow the path to the rail cars. Wait for one to pass then quickly somersault over the lines. Keep going until you come to another set of lines. These are electrified, so jump with care. Follow the path around the stacked crates. Walk onto the crate next to the table and jump forward onto the next box. Turn and jump to the box on the left. Face right and somersault onto the last box, then to the other side. Go to the laboratory. Go straight down. Two screens from there you should find some drug in a box. Hold the chicken and pick up the drug to poison the chicken. Return to the laboratory and take the right hand exit. You should be face to face to a panther. Holding the chicken, slowly walk forward until it sits. Take one more step and use the pick up method to lure the panther towards you. It will then take the chicken and fall asleep. On the next screen use the credit card to enter the lift and exit the level.

Level 5: The Office

On the second screen, go through the blue door and activate the computer in the office. This will give you a number which you should note down. Go back out and follow the path down and around to a screen with two doors on it. Take the top one and walk over to the desk near the pictures. Activate the button to reveal a secret door. Climb the ladder to reach the second floor. Go through to a room with a fan in it. Stand close to the wall, face backwards and keep nudging the Ninja backwards until you reach the opposite wall. Go to the grate and use the pick-up method to open it. Go out onto the ledge. Follow the ledge around and climb the ladder. On the last screen, you will see Kunitoki making his escape in a helicopter. Stand at the top right corner and when the helicopter leaves, jump off the building to exit the level.

Level 6: The Mansion

When the helicopter flies past the top turret, pull down on the joystick to land on it. Somersault forward, face left and jump to the next one. Nudge left off the turret and walk along the grey strip until you reach a window. Drop through it to land inside the mansion. Walk down the corridor into the next room, go through the big door and collect the rope. Get back to the first room and go down in the dumb waiter. Turn off the alarm with the pick-up method, then exit the room into the hall. Walk behind the plant where you should find a secret entrance. Punch the switches on the wall to turn on the lights in the maze which is on the next screen. Keep going to the steam engine. Redirect the steam by activating the right hand switch so that you can walk through the door and reach the final part...

Level 7: The Final Battle

Walk to the room with the pentacle on the floor. Go over to the tapestry on the wall and lift it up to reveal a safe. Unlock the safe with the combination from the computer in the office and take out the orb. Kunitoki will now enter. You've got to kill him so that he falls somewhere inside the pentacle. Before he regenerates, light the candles on the points of the star. To trap Kunitoki's spirit once and for all, put the orb back in the safe.

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