VGM Wednesdays – All of the Cutscenes from Ninja Gaiden

Cutscene Music from Ninja Gaiden, composed by Keiji Yamagishi and released in 1992

Things I love about this game:

1) The Music (goes without saying, right?)
2) Cutscenes in an NES game! And by the same company that made Tecmo Bowl!
3) ScrewAttack rated this game as the 7th hardest NES game of all-time… I agree.
4) … (and I suppose a nostalgic connection).

Initially, I wanted to use the introductory sequence as the “VGM Wednesday,” but then I kept listening as I was writing this and was grooving hard to the cutscenes in my chair… so I had to put all of them in.  You could watch the whole video, it’s quite an engaging story.

It begins with the young ninja, Ryu Hayabusa, travelling to the US to find his father and falling into a web of espionage, seduction and a powerful embodiment of evil called “Jaquio.”  Every cutscene is a reward because the game is just so damn hard.  I miss those days, when an NES cartridge could barely hold any memory, so the developers needed to make it crazy hard to keep the player playing for a while.  It’s like the hover craft scene from Battletoads (and anyone who has played that game knows how crazy-hard that level, simply by the sheer amount of memorization and hand-eye coordination required).

The music pulls you in – no pretense, no flashiness, just the 2A03 sound chip and a team of individuals trying to tell a story about a ninja looking for his father.  The video takes an especially crazy-turn at about 13:20 and the ensuing battle is one wrought with inner conflict.  I remember being about 8 years old and thinking “but… I can’t…”

(don’t want to give it away)

Let me know what you think! Any good memories associated with the score? Let me know!
Thanks for reading!

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