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Ninja Gaiden 2 – Ninjascape (rem. Ashane)

December 5, 2009

December 5 is Ninja Day. This might be why I spent two hours stuck in traffic and went out to eat spicy Chinese. Anyway, today’s mix has to be something ninja-esque, and ninja soundtracks don’t get better than Ninja Gaiden, so it’s time for Ryu Hayabusa to pull out the Dragon Sword and slice through more mutants. This track is an epic rock mix of “The Parasprinter” from Ninja Gaiden II on the NES (1990).

Ninja Gaiden II – “Ninjascape” (Ashane)

Yeah, this is the good stuff: ninja rock doesn’t get much better than this. The track starts off pretty calm, with a reflective moment in ninjaville and lazy clouds flying over a mountain peak. Then a dozen ninjas in ginsu gear leap onto it. They pull out their mighty axes and begin to shred, shaking both heaven and earth with their deadly metal, showering the field below with lightning as the soundtrack for the lone purple ninja below who runs across the cliff-face, slicing a spider-guy in two.

Because if there’s anything Ryu Hayabusa is known for (other than killing mutants), it is running. This dude sure can run (and do that nifty ninja leap that slices through anything). Aside from running in every stage in the game (including jumping through wind storms over high cliffs), there’s dozens of beautifully illustrated cutscenes (especially for 1990), in which Ryu is running. Actually, it was the cutscenes that really defined Ninja Gaiden because they were designed along the lines of a Saturday morning cartoon; this was epic storytelling for the time, and the game is still pretty awesome today.

Also note on the game’s cover where it says “Hard to beat!!” This isn’t so much a reference to the quality of Tecmo’s games (which were pretty high) but to the game’s incredible difficulty: it loves to kill you and then kill you some more. This is probably best illustrated through the fact that ninjas have one weakness: They may be able to take a bazooka blast to the face, but they can’t withstand eagle attacks – especially if they’re fiendishly placed above cliffs.

The original track was composed by Mayuko Okamura and Ryuichi Nitta. They don’t seem to have composed any other soundtracks, which is a shame. This remix is by Ashane aka Daniel Liss. His brother is the famous housethegrate (Alexander Liss). He is a multi-time winner at Dwelling of Duels.

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