I can’t beat Ninja Gaiden (NES) anymore…

For my birthday in 1989, I received two brand new NES games, which was quite a rarity back then, since as a kid I would usually only receive two NES games in one entire year – one NES game for my birthday and one for Christmas.

So what happened in 1989 was for my birthday my best friend gave me $60, cold hard cash (which he got from his mom), and I ended up using that money to buy a NES game. The crazy thing is that after he gave me that money, I started telling him what NES games I wanted to buy with the money. One game I wanted to get was Bubble Bobble. When he heard that, my friend specifically told me not to get this game because he knew someone who had this game and he could get that person to let me borrow it. So he told me to buy another game.

However, despite this,  I was super stubborn and I was really determined to buy Bobble Bubble. So I went and bought the game.

Yes, I was being a jerk. Chalk that up to childish immaturity. Thankfully this incident didn’t ruin our friendship, as my friend was a super cool and understanding guy.

Anyway, like I stated, for this birthday in 1989, I got two NES games. One of those games is Bubble Bobble. The other game was a NES game given to me by my parents and that game is the original Ninja Gaiden.

When I first popped my Ninja Gaiden cart into my Nintendo Entertainment System, I was immediately drawn into the game when I watched the opening cutscene. Most NES games at the time weren’t known for their in-game stories (although some NES games had these lavish backstories that were printed in the games’ instruction manuals). In terms of overall presentation, Ninja Gaiden’s cutscenes and in-game story blew every other NES game away.

The other thing I really like about the game is the music. Ninja Gaiden’s music, along with the music in Crystalis, ranks as my Top 2 Favorite NES videogame music of all time.

Unfortunately Ninja Gaiden is a very hard game, as many people who played it know. It took me two years to finally beat the darn game (although Ninja Gaiden wasn’t the only game I was playing during those 2 years). And I beat the game without using any cheat devices like Game Genie (which I did get later on). The hardest part in the game for me was one of the platforming sections in the last level where the stupid birds kept spawning. The final bosses were hard as well, but I used the “jump and slash” special move which took care of these bosses very easily.

In the past three years, for various reasons, I have tried on two different occasions to beat Ninja Gaiden. Back in the day, whenever it had been a long time since I last played Ninja Gaiden, I use to be able to pick it up, play it from the beginning, and beat it within two hours or two and a half hours.

Now, I find myself not being able to beat the game. I tried on those two occasions to beat the game but failed both times. I can beat the first 5 levels with relative ease. However, on the sixth and final level, I could just not make it to the final bosses without dying. Unfortunately, I guess my reflexes are not as quick and sharp as they were when I was a kid.

One day, though, I do want to try again. I do want to see if I am still able to beat Ninja Gaiden. Or will Ninja Gaiden stand forever as a game I can no longer beat…

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