Codex Gamicus

The Ninja Warriors (ニンジャウォーリアーズ?) was a side-scrolling arcade game created by Taito and released in 1987.

The game is particularly unusual because it has three contiguous screens (one screen in the usual place for an arcade game, and two more screens in the cabinet below, reflected by mirrors on either side of the middle screen) which created the effect of a single, "triple-wide" screen, depicting ninjas.[2] The same cabinet was also used for Darius and Darius II and Konami used a similar format for its X-Men arcade release.


The game is based in a dystopian future where Banglar, the President of the United States in 1993, issues martial law on the nation, with the military having total control over the law.[3] A group of anarchist scientists decide that it is time to revolt against the government. Knowing full well that approaching the military themselves could be considered an all out suicide mission, the scientists create two androids that can sustain various forms of damage in order to do the mission for them. The robots, code named "Ninja" and "Kunoichi", are sent by the scientists in order to end Banglar's tyranny once and for all.

Taito Ninja Warriors Arcade System[]

  • CPU:[4]
    • Main CPU: 2× Motorola 68000 @ 8 MHz
    • Sound CPU: Zilog Z80 @ 4 MHz
  • Sound chips:[5]
    • Yamaha YM2610 @ 8 MHz
      • Channels: 4 FM channels, 3 SSG channels, 7 ADPCM channels
      • ADPCM: 6 channels @ 18.5 kHz (12-bit), 1 channel @ 1.85–55.5 kHz (16-bit)
    • Yamaha YM3016F: Stereo audio DAC
    • Taito TC006DCA: Custom ceramic DAC/filter module
    • Taito TC0140SYT: Custom sound control IC
  • GPU chipset:[5][6]
    • 3× Taito TC0070RGB RGB/Video Mixer (1 per screen)
    • 3× Taito TC0110PCR Palette Generator (1 per screen)
    • 3× Taito TC0100SCN Tilemap Generator (1 per screen)
  • Display:[4][5][7]
    • Monitors: 3-monitor setup
    • Resolution: 864×224 pixels (288×224 per screen)
    • Scanlines: 256
    • Refresh rate: 60 Hz (60 frames per second)
    • Colors displayed: 12,288 overall, 4096 (12-bit) per screen
    • Color palette: 98,304 overall, 32,768 (15-bit) per screen
  • Sprite plane:[5]
    • Sprite size: 16×16 pixels
    • Colors per sprite: 16 colors (4-bit)
    • Sprites on screen: 128 sprites on screen, 16 KB (16,384 Bytes) sprite RAM, 128 Bytes per sprite
    • Sprite texels: 26.686 MHz, 26.686 million texels per second (60 frames per second), 444,766 texels per frame (256 scanlines), 1737 texels per scanline
    • Sprites per scanline: 108
  • Tilemap planes per screen: 3 (9 total)[4]
    • Scrolling background layer: 128×64 (8192) tiles, 8×8 pixels per tile
    • Scrolling foreground layer: 128×64 (8192) tiles, 8×8 pixels per tile
    • Text layer: 128×32 (4096) characters


The game was ported to the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Sinclair Spectrum 128K, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and NEC PC Engine / TurboGrafx-16, only in Europe, and the Sega CD, only in Japan despite the game having an English vocal track, indicating that it might've been intended for a Western release.


The music was composed by Hisayoshi Ogura and Taito's in-house band Zuntata. Pony Canyon and Scitron released the two soundtracks for the game in 1988 and 1991,[8][9] while further arrangements were released in 1993[10] and by Zuntata Records and Taito in 1988 and 2009.[11][12] The track "Daddy Mulk" which is played during the first level of the game has been also sampled by an Australian rock band Lucius Hunt in the track "This Haunting (2006)".


Main article: The Ninja Warriors Again

Natsume developed a remake named in Japan as The Ninja Warriors Again for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, though in North America it was named the same as its original. It shares a similar premise, however the gameplay has been heavily revised.


In the March 1988 issue of British magazine Computer and Video Games, Clare Edgeley gave the arcade original a positive review. She compared it to Shinobi and Vigilante.[1]

British magazine Super Play gave the Super Nintendo Entertainment System remake of the game a score of 84% upon its release for the SNES in 1994.[13]


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