It was only a year or two ago when I complained about how difficult Final Ninja was. To me, the controls were too complex, and I didn't have enough patience to pass level 1. However, I had always been wondering why Nitromians loved it - Final Ninja, last time I checked, is the top rated Nitrome game under the JayisGames Nitrome tag category. My sister liked Final Ninja, but she also didn't understand it too well.

My memory becomes sort of foggy when I try to figure out exactly how I got into the Final Ninja series. I'm almost certain it was Lee Nicklen's Final Ninja remasters he released on Facebook that first got me interested. I had never truly listened to Final Ninja's soundtrack, but when I heard the remasters for the first time, I genuinely liked it.

How I got into Final Ninja Zero was also sort of a blur as well. I remember Final Ninja Zero's theme was stuck in my head once, and I realized I never played it before, so I decided to give it a chance. Next thing I know, I was taking up both Final Ninja and Final Ninja Zero, trying to see how far I could go on either before I gave up.

There was something about the games overall that changed my attitude towards it. From the music that lured me into playing both Final Ninjas, and the help I got from users, my sister and reading up on the Wiki articles, I began to play. For real.

On June 27, I completed Final Ninja Zero. Because I am slow at completing Nitrome games, it took me about three weeks. The hardest level for me was probably level 14, which was fast-paced yet open. I ended up getting lost if I didn't fry Takeshi first.

While I completed Final Ninja Zero, I was also playing Final Ninja. I put it aside after getting stuck on level 11 (where they first introduce cyber samurai), and I thought, after multiple attempts on that one level, I would never be able to complete Final Ninja. Nevertheless, I finally managed to pass level 11 - today. My goal was to kill cyber samurai instead of stealthing all the way.

After level 11, the levels seemed to become much easier. Maybe Final Ninja Zero really trained my ninja skills (lol) or I just started to enjoy the series even more. Today, on this rainy July, I had quite a lot of time on my hands, so I managed to start from level 11 and seal my victory over Final Ninja - making it a complete victory over the Final Ninja series. Admittedly, I am quite proud of myself for this Nitrome achievement. I made it a goal to beat at least one of the Final Ninja games this summer, thinking I would never be able to manage two, yet I did.

Now like all Nitrome games, I guess scores aren't the highest priority - I only play to pass. Since both Final Ninja games are so enjoyable, however, I might just go back and play them again to see if I can beat my high score. (I'm trying to improve my dodge bonus in Final Ninja Zero, but I have no idea how they tally it all up.)

Once I completed both Final Ninja games, I could finally see why Nitromians considered this to be one of Nitrome's greatest. Everything about it - the details of the background, the enemies, the cool clone disguises, mastering the art of dodging, fighting cyber samurai and taking out enemies like a boss - was awesome. Awesome, I say, and nothing less.

I do believe Final Ninja Zero is more challenging than Final Ninja; I have died at least once in every level past level 5 (I think), yet I was able to pass a few levels between 12-17 (or something like that, I'll have to check later) on my first try. I could even pass later levels in Final Ninja without losing any health, but I have much difficulty doing that with Final Ninja Zero. However, Final Ninja Zero is very engaging, in terms of how it follows a storyline, and the messages on each level make it seem very personalized, immersing the player in this "ninja on a mission" environment. Zero is also equally frustrating, but at the same time, a fun challenge that always made me excited and nervous for what comes next.

For Final Ninja, I guess the thing I liked most about it was the artwork. Final Ninja's city background is simply amazing and all the elements introduced into the game are enough to get that ninja effect across. It certainly feels like there were lesser enemies introduced in Final Ninja than Final Ninja Zero, but nonetheless, levels were great in terms of design and gameplay. I felt the levels in Final Ninja were shorter than Final Ninja Zero and the directions to the key card were more clear. The last level shocked me, as I was expecting a more challenging boss, though it seemed to be a lot easier than Maxwell Merlock. The boss just took a lot of patience to beat. I started taking too many risks on the last level of this game just for a challenge, and that ended up frying Takeshi several times.

My sister used to suggest Final Ninja as a game for me to play whenever I asked her what sort of Nitrome game I should try out. She meant it as a joke, usually, because I always thought I would never get into it. As I spent a lot of time playing the Final Ninja series, she began to tease me about how much I loved it. She helped me try to pass some of the levels a few times, but now her attitude towards Final Ninja is the same as mine was before I got into the series.

Now that I have emerged victorious over both Final Ninja games, I can (hopefully) stop raving about how good these games are towards all you Nitromians. I will have to find another game to take on. I heard Toxic was pretty good, but I kind of put it in the shadows as I became a ninja took on the Final Ninja series. Perhaps I will take my current obsession on Final Ninja out on our Final Ninja articles, which look like they could use some more help - if I don't get too busy in summer school, that is.

Rest assured that I won't be writing a rap about Final Ninja as I did with Final Ninja Zero. Naw, Final Ninja is too...sleek for a rap. If I ever do anything fanfiction related to Final Ninja, I will probably write an epic story about it. If I have time.

So...if beating Final Ninja Zero qualified me as a ninja, I wonder what beating both games does. I can ponder this while dueling cyber samurai in my next rematch against them.

Until next time,

~ HAI!

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