Last Ninja 2, one of the finer childs of The Ninja Craze of 1980s, was released in 1988 by the company that, in my opinion, did the best "martial arts" games for Commodore 64: System 3.

When I saw this game I was completely blown away. The graphics of the game are just simply amazing and detailed, and the music is among the greatest I've ever heard. I remember that I tried to write down the notes of the first level's melody myself, but didn't remember much *g*. When I got a C64 of my own, this was one of the games I actually bought. I didn't play it much, though, because it was copy-protected and I couldn't make a backup copy.

I didn't play it much these days either because it's very hard game, I never actually made past the first level (always stuck in the damn boat part), but I have seen the first couple of levels when a friend played it. Amazing skills, he had. Later, in the era of Abandonware, I played Last Ninja and noted it's much easier to pick up.

Last Ninja 2 is, like its predecessor, an action-adventure game. You control the Last Ninja with your joystick, and with button, you can do a lot of things, such as pick up things (button+up+right/left), somersault (button+up+right/left) or fight (button+up/down/left/right). There are some other keys: F1 for sound toggle, F3/F5 to select items, Space to select weapons, F7 to pause, RUN/STOP for a less-than-a-ritual suicide, and J to select the joystick orientation. (This applies to the C64 version.)

The game starts from New York City and, through various urban environment, you find the distant island with the Mansion where the Evil Shogun lives. The graphics are pretty amazing and character animation is pretty nice.

As said, the music is excellent, and it's definitely beyond any description even in SID form. I have always said that the Central Park in-game music has the greatest synthetic electric guitars ever made, period. Also I would like to say that while there are electronic-music remixes of that music, those are Heresy. The only way to make remixes of that tune is Hard Rock. In my opinion, the best remix was done by Puffy64 in the "The Last Ninja 2 Tribute CD" - you can download it from <>. (See also Last Ninja 2 - Hymn)

By the way, as ironic is it is, the C64 version music is about zillion times better than the totally, ahem, genitalialess Amiga version. Even that fact alone makes me think C64 version is the best...

Concept: Mark Cale
C64 version:
Programming: John Twiddy
Graphics: Hugh Riley
Music: Matt Gray

C64 Game Guide (
Last Ninja web page (

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