Speedrun Fast has been a thing for a few weeks now, and finding good games to cover has never been a problem. As long as there are video games, there will be speedruns. Take each category of run with their different methods and rules, strip them down to the basics, and the objective is always the same. Speed. And when aforesaid speed is the name of the game, what’s the fastest thing known to man?
Sonic the Hedgehog.
Okay, but seriously. Blue blurs aside, the answer is obviously ninjas. So this week’s Speedrun Fast is dedicated to the most well-known ninja game series, Ninja Gaiden. Specifically, NG Black and NG Sigma. These games are more or less identical, save for a few additions and technical differences, which is why both are covered here. The first video shows a world record run of Black in 54 minutes while the second demonstrates Sigma in two hours and eight minutes. Take your pick, or watch them both.
Caleb Hart’s commentated run takes off right out of the gate as Ryu flips his way through the world of Ninja Gaiden Black at a blinding pace. Hart provides plenty of explanation about possible routes and methods, even ones he chooses not to take. He also outlines the mechanics of money management and enemy behavior that can influence the pace of any run. Even without the commentary, it’s incredibly satisfying to see the parkour and stunt work performed at such a level. It shows off all the skill, speed, and lethality we imagine when we think of the word “ninja.”
Ninja Gaiden Sigma runs can vary somewhat from Black runs due largely to Rachel’s missions and the existence of a few shortcuts the player can take. For the most part, however, it remains identical. This “test” run begins at the 2:00 mark and was recorded late last year, making it more recent than the Black run.
As both runners mention, Ninja Gaiden Black and Sigma’s mechanics operate in such a way that every movement the player makes counts, as each unnecessary action costs a small amount of time. As the runs continue, it becomes gradually easier to see for oneself when such mistakes occur, almost as if achieving a higher state of consciousnesses. Swiftness and precision must always be sharpened to perfection if one hopes to survive. For this is the way of the ninja… and the gamer.