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32 Game Endings of Christmas
Ninja Gaiden: The Rise & Fall of Jaquio
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 24, 2011   |   Episode 1 (Show Archive)  


Welcome to the 32 Game Endings of Christmas, our daily look at some of the most memorable finales of all time. Every day between Thanksgiving Day (November 24th) and Christmas Day (December 25th) you will see a new installment, complete with information about the ending and why it's memorable in the first place. Best of all, you'll be able to see the video for yourself! Needless to say, beware of some very old spoilers below!
Ninja Gaiden: The Rise & Fall of Jaquio
[ Company: Tecmo | Year: 1989 | Grade: A- ]

Ninja Gaiden (NES)
Happy Thanksgiving, or as I like to call it: The first day of our very special 32 Game Endings of Christmas. We begin this month-long journey with one of this site's all-time favorite NES games, Tecmo's seminal Ninja Gaiden. Originally released in 1989, this 8-bit masterpiece spawned two sequels, as well as a number of spin-offs and fighting games. This home console game shouldn't be confused with the mediocre arcade game of the same name.

Previously On Ninja Gaiden: Now that he's a man, trained ninja Ryu Hayabusa decides to travel half-way around the world in search of his missing father. The word is that Ken Hayabusa was killed while investigating a mysterious temple in South America. Now only a pair of demonic statues and an archeologist can help Ryu track down his long-lost father.

Through a series of harrowing missions, Ryu eventually discovers the mysterious temple in the Amazon. There he comes face to face with pure evil, a man by the name of Guardia de Mieux (known simply as The Jaquio). It's here that our hero discovers that his father is still alive. Unfortunately, Ryu also learns that his father is under the mind control of The Jaquio. But that's not going to stop Ryu from doing everything he can to break the spell, save his dad and take down this monster.

How It Ended: The ending of Ninja Gaiden has a little of everything: A dying father, the destruction of ancient temples, sappy music, a love story and, of course, a beautiful

There's something different about the women in later Ninja Gaiden games, but I can't put my finger on it!
sunrise. How romantic. It's a lot like Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise, only with ninja stars and demonic statues. This is the type of ending that neatly ties everything up, just in case the sales bomb and nobody wants a Ninja Gaiden 2.

There's a weird dynamic at play in this Ninja Gaiden ending. It appears the love interest has a secondary assignment -- to kill Ryu Hayabusa! Thankfully love is stronger than her job, as Irene decides to ignore the orders and instead embrace the unmasked hero. In a way it's like the ending of a James Bond movie, except this time around the big-haired beauty is tough enough to take out the male lead (if she wanted to). The two hold each other and

I would kill for another 8-bit Ninja Gaiden experience!
watch the sun come up. Unfortunately, neither one of them had planned for how to get out of this Amazonian jungle.

How It Should Have Ended: Death can be a painful experience, especially for the loved ones left behind. While you want to do everything in your power to preserve the memory, you shouldn't do so at the expense of living your own life. Had Ryu Hayabusa listened to this advice he would have been able to live a productive existence and not get mixed up in all of this spiritual mumbo jumbo. He would have met a nice young girl his mother would have approved of, not some American hussy with an itchy trigger finger. It's time to let go of the past and accept that life goes on. Ryu should have tracked down a trained psychiatrist, accepted his mother's new husband and spent the rest of his days surrounded by loved ones.


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