By now we all know that my driving purpose in life was to become a Ghostbuster. This has been well documented on this site. However, there was an ancillary occupation waiting in the wings. The problem was that, as part of my Ghostbusting training, I had become a tubby kid. That’s right, I’m blaming growing up fat on Ghostbusters, wanna make something of it? Anyhow, by the time my dream of Ghostbusting was crushed, I was in no shape to pursue my secondary venue: The Ninja arts.

Recently Ninjas have had a renewed surge of popularity, but no longer are they wicked and mysterious. No, now they are the objects of fun. People make light of ninjas! endless humour is mined from their ongoing feud with Pirates. People have this vision of ninjas as pajama clad warriors who flip out and kick peoples heads off.

These aren’t the ninja of my youth. Now I’ll grant you that the first ninjas of my youth were Turtles, however, even back then the original Turtles comics took ninjas seriously. For me however, there was only one true Ninja. His name was Ryu Hayabusa, and he was a ninja from the Dragon Clan. You probably know him best as Ninja Gaiden.


This game filled me with an unquenchable desire to learn all things ninja! Sadly, my physical shortcomings would see my thirst unsated for all eternity. That didn’t stop me from living out my dream in the 8-bit world of the Nintendo Entertainment System however. This game was so cool when I was a kid that I pretty much lost my mind. Which would prove to be a problem when


Ninja Gaiden II arrived!

This game was even harder and even more fun than the first one. I spent hours playing this game with my childhood best friend Blake. He was much better at it than I was. I remember staying up all night, pouring over the Nintendo Power Strategy Guide, taking turns trying to beat the levels or the bosses. Finally, I remember the delirious joy I experienced when at around 6am, we finally beat the game.

My fevered brain lusted for all things ninja at this stage. I collected the original hardcore ninja turtle comics, I rented awful ninja B-movies, I made costumes and weapons. and then I discovered reading. Not just comics, but actual books. Although I hesitate to call the first book I read independent from school a “novel”, regardless of what the cover may proclaim.


I loved this book. I read it several times. I never noticed there was no actual killing in the book. Nor did I notice they had airbrushed out the knife in his hand on the cover, making it look like he’s knocking on your door, sneakily concealing a sword behind his back. Don’t ask me to summarize the book, I can’t. I only remember that I loved it, and it was this book that started me reading outside of school. High praise for a novelization of a nintendo game.

Today, Ninja Gaiden is so much prettier, harder and in depth than anything I had access to as a child. My fingers practically tingle thinking about getting my hands on this latest incarnation of my all time favourite ninja hero.

You kids today, you don’t know how good you’ve got it. some other ninjas of note include:




~ by Pagz on April 6, 2008.

2 Responses to “NINJAS!”

  1. Bullshit you can’t summarize that Ninja Gaiden book. We all know you’ve read it as recently as last year!

    Oh hey – OHMSS Wednesday night? Kim and I say yes. Let me know.

  2. honestly, I can’t. I remember that he’s like 14 or something, but the actual events of the book, a total blur. it goes sooo fast. And yes, OHMSS is totally on for Wednesday. I’m free around 6:30pm

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