“The Last Ninja (Extended)” (arr. Instant Remedy)March 8, 2010
I’ve got a sudden urge for ninja music today. There’s something reassuring about ninja music from the steady ‘chopsticks’ beat to the ninja action. One ninja theme that might not be well known to console gamers – but should be easily recognizable to fans of the C64 – is the “Title Theme” from The Last Ninja (1987). The game is about – you guessed it – the last ninja of a clan that was wiped out by an evil warlord seeking to learn the secrets of the ninja. Armakuni is the name of this particular last ninja, and he likes to peer with ninja menace through the standard ninja mask that you see below. Explore, solve puzzles, and fight demons and warriors to get your revenge.
Instant Remedy’s rendition of Ben Daglish’s original ninja glory is a dance mix. It’s kind of like ninjas slipping through the fog to enter an all-night ninja dance-athon – not exactly what you’d expect ninjas to be doing, but I bet they’re mean breakdancers. The track is built around a base of chopstick notes (steadily rising and falling) with melody layered on top. Nice techno section at 1:40; I really dig these vibes here. There’s also a nice fade out into a drum section at 3:00 before laying on some heavy bass synths at about 3:30 and returning again to the main theme.
The original The Last Ninja soundtrack was composed by Ben Daglish (Trap, Deflektor) and Anthony Lees (Dream Warrior, Incredible Shrinking Sphere). Daglish did the title theme. He was a rather prolific composer, with dozens of titles under his belt, and a lot of it is good stuff. Daglish later teamed up with Tony Crowther to form W.E.M.U.S.I.C. (“We Make Use of Sound In Computers”). Daglish also has a…very purple homepage you can check out. This particular remix was from RKO (remix.kwed.org), which specializes in C64 remixes. Glyn R. Brown’s “Last Ninja – 2001 Remix” is another good version of this song, with plenty of sound clips from chop sockey samurai films. (You might remember he also did an excellent Rastan Saga remix).