Final Ninja series
Ico finalninjaIco finalninjazero
No. of games 2
First game release date July 24th, 2008
Latest game release date April 8th, 2009
Relatedness Subsequent game - prequel

The Final Ninja series consists of the games Final Ninja Zero and Final Ninja.


Final Ninja Zero is about Takeshi trying to destroy Maxwell Merlock's Food Company. He was on a mission for Akuma , his boss, but was captured and had to carry out the mission with the help of Lady Snow Fox. The second game is about him trying to break through Akuma's complex to kill him.

In Mega Mash, there is a game called Ninja which stars the father of the ninja of the Final Ninja series and acts like the precursor of the Final Ninja series.



In each level of the Final Ninja Series, the player is trying to get to the exit of the level. The exit in Final Ninja is a black key card, a Lift for Final Ninja Zero.



A message by Monty from Dirk Valentine being intercepted in Final Ninja Zero

One part of the series, taken from Dirk Valentine and expanded on in other Nitrome games, is the concept of Messages. Messages are used only in Final Ninja Zero, Speech Bubbles having to be walked up to compensating for Messages in Final Ninja. The player may sometimes get a message, appearing in a rectangular box with an image of the person saying the message. In early levels of Final Ninja, Messages were used to instruct the player on what to do, while in later levels they were used to move the Story.

Messages are intercepted when moving past one location, and are often short. Many messages in Final Ninja Zero are not intended for the player, and are usually two other characters in the game talking to each other. Some messages are hidden in the level, hidden messages sometimes being comedic.


Enemies in Final Ninja are mostly cyborgs, these enemies either armed with weapons or inside machines. This is not changed in Final Ninja Zero; most enemies consist of robots. Both Final Ninja games have equivalents of enemies, for example, the drone mines of Final Ninja Zero are the Final Ninja Zero equivalents of blue mines from Final Ninja. Some enemies in Final Ninja Zero do not have Final Ninja counterparts, as they are new ideas introduced in Final Ninja Zero.


Defence Robot Alpha

Defense Robot Alpha, the first boss in Final Ninja is not much different in appearance than Defence Robot Zero, the final boss of Final Ninja 1

There are two bosses in each Final Ninja game in the Final Ninja series. The first boss is encountered half way through the game, while the last boss is found at the end of the game. Both bosses are slightly similar, a reference to the Dirk Valentine bosses being similar to each other.


The story for each Final Ninja game in the Final Ninja Series is dark, being about Takeshi having to assassinate someone. The story of Final Ninja was rather simple, Final Ninja Zero having a more detailed story. Final Ninja Zero was the first Nitrome game to have the gameplay of the game uniquely change with the story, like Lady Snow Fox joining the player in a simian suit in one of the end levels of Final Ninja Zero, the player having to fight the before loyal cyber samurai in one level. The story changing with the story of the game was not seen that much in further Nitrome games, anything closest to this being Blue's container tipping over in Test Subject Green.


The Final Ninja series probably has the most influences of all Nitrome series, the series being influenced by the Metal Gear, Ninja Gaiden, Dirk Valentine series, and Mega Mash.

Metal Gear references

Metal Gear references in the Final Ninja series are rather noticeable. It is note worthy that Final Ninja Zero deals more with espionage than Final Ninja.

  • One message in Final Ninja reads "The ninja must be like a snake, sneaking through the darkness, hiding from the light. To never be detected is the way of the solid snake.". Solid Snake is the character the player plays in the Metal Gear games.
  • Takeshi can stealth to be become invisible to most enemies in both Final Ninja games, likely a reference to how the protagonist of the Metal Gear games - Solid Snake - has various ways of hiding himself.
  • The early Metal Gear games had the player armed with only one weapon, exactly like Takeshi only armed with Ninja Stars.
  • The notable bosses in the Metal Gear games are giant mobile robotic machines the player has to eliminate, called Metal Gears, while in Final Ninja and Final Ninja Zero the two bosses are predominantly giant robotic machines.
  • The alarm function of the Final Ninja series is based off a combination of alert mode and evasion mode of the Metal Gear games. In the Metal Gear games, being spotted by an enemy starts alert mode, which causes all enemies near the player to run after and try to kill them. This mode lasts for ten seconds, and is brought back to ten seconds for being spotted subsequent times. After ten seconds elapses, the player enters evasion mode (which last for ten seconds), where enemies go back to acting as usual. Final Ninja's alarm function is a combination of both these modes, using the ten second time timer from both modes, the player's inability to hide, and enemies the players meets up with following and trying to kill them.
    • In Final Ninja, the player's inability to go into stealth is taken from alert mode of Metal Gear Solid, where the player is unable to hide from enemies, while in subsequent Metal Gear games the player has to hide in order to survive.
  • Both games involve the player being messaged throughout, although the messages are probably a coincidence, as messages brought to the player throughout a level are rather common in video games.
Upon completing Final Ninja Zero, the player is given a rank based on how much of the objectives they completed in the game during that playthrough, this rank usually consisting of abstract words. This is a reference to how in the Metal Gear series, the level completion screen will rank the player based on how well they performed.

Ninja Gaiden references

Although the Final Ninja series has likely been influenced mostly by Metal Gear, there are a few Ninja Gaiden references.

  • The athletic movements of the player throughout the game are likely attributed to the Ninja Gaiden games, where the player also moves throughout each level.
  • The Ninja Gaiden games are mostly set in large sprawling cities.

Dirk Valentine references

Final Ninja could be considered the spiritual successor of Dirk Valentine, as both games contain many similarities.

  • Both series's main characters - Dirk Valentine and Takeshi - have similar abilities. Both Dirk and Takeshi are armed with weapons that allow the player to kill enemies and also traverse the level.
  • Both series contain lifts to transport the player to the next level.
  • Both games have level named according to the area's location (Waste Area, Outer Engine, Business Complex), unlike other Nitrome games which are named according to what the player encounters in the level.
Although many Nitrome games - including Dirk Valentine and Final Ninja 1 and Zero - have only two bosses, both final bosses of Final Ninja 1, Zero, and Dirk Valentine are the first boss of each respective game, only with minor alterations (Final Ninja's final boss contains an added saw, Zero's final boss fires green spheres and is only susceptible to green mines, and Dirk Valentine's final boss drops guards).
  • Both games have the concept of secret messages, where going to one section will yield a message usually not related to the level

Mega Mash references

Although unconnected by story, the Mega Mash game Ninja has simplified Final Ninja series gameplay, along with similar art. Furthermore, the name of the main character of the game is Takeshi.

Hot Air references

The Octoboss from Hot Air appears on multiple neon signs in the game Final Ninja.

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