We have finally made it to a game that many people have actually heard of, if not played. Of course, by “many people” it is implied that I mean “nerds.”

Who could forget Ryu Hayabusa and his personal mission to track down his father? Many. Many could forget. But right now you are remembering because I am telling you about it.

The story of Ninja Gaiden revolves around Ryu, as mentioned before, tracking his father. To do so, he will have to run in one direction or the other through multiple stages while killing everything in his path with his Dragon Sword. Luckily, because it is a Dragon Sword, nearly all regular bad guys go down with one hit. Not so lucky is the fact that the NES didn’t have a whole lot of RAM, so there are certain instances where you could stand in one spot and an infinite flood of enemies would swarm in and try to kill your face. It’s so fun and great.

Like a lot of the ninja games on our list, Ryu understands that a Dragon Sword alone cannot handle the waves and waves of dogs, birds, and guys that try to box you into oblivion. At his disposal is an assortment of standard ninja gear that can be used as secondary weapons. Shurikens are generally what Ryu finds, but there is also a very awesome lantern that shoots fire, a thing that gives you a force field of fire, and also GIANT shurikens that come back to you like boomerangs.

Ninja Gaiden is one of those games that basically makes you want to destroy humanity. At no point in time does it pull any punches, and because of this most people never see what the game is like passed level two or so. All I remember as a child was that there is an area in later parts of the second level where you jump on columns, but there are birds who are total jerks and they just want to knock you off of those columns. If you happen to make it through all of that, the boss is also a jerk and then you go to a jungle level that has one jerkish ledge. If you make it passed that, you then run into a pile full of jerks. And then there are another ten levels or so of jerks.

Due to the difficulty of this game, there is the (high) possibility that we will not be able to finish it. We will definitely exhaust every effort to do so, however, so long as that doesn’t take more than a few hours and so long as no one in the room is hurt due to flying controllers.

Ninja Gaiden was created by Tecmo and released in ‘merica in 1989 on the NES. It also sports totally awesome box art because it’s ON FIRE. For more information, check out this ninja-fied Wikipedia article.