Ninja Gaiden II (cancelled Neo-Geo game; 1994)

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Ninja GaidenII NeoGeo flyer.jpeg

Promotional flyer of the game

Status: Lost

Ninja Gaiden II was a cancelled arcade game planned for the Neo Geo system. Various sources reported Tecmo had location-tested the game in a Tokyo arcade[1] (specifically, "Conan" from the Ochanomizu neighbourhood) during the summer of 1994. The game was conceived as a sequel to the 1986 arcade game and thus was a side-scrolling beat'em up rather than an action platformer like the better-known NES games.

Due to its lack of media and obscurity, some members of the Neo Geo community initially speculated reports of Ninja Gaiden II may have been actually for Ganryu, a ninja-themed action game for the system which was tested in 1994 but only released in 1999[2], or Karate Ninja Sho, another cancelled ninja-themed beat'em up for the NeoGeo. However, this died down when other sources were found confirming the existence of the game, and video game composer Takuya Hanaoka listed six tracks from the game on his online resume[3]

A comment on the Japanese blog Migzou Blog in 2007[4] by a purported Tecmo employee reveals some more details about the game. According to the comment, the game had a "completely opposite" feel from the first arcade Ninja Gaiden and featured three playable characters: a redesigned Ryu Hayabusa (now sporting a "leather jacket" and "swords attached to his hips"; the commenter described him as looking similar to Hayato from the arcade game Dragoon Might), an idol singer similar to MaoMao from the Aero Fighter series, and a macho military man. The game was poorly received by players due to its unbalanced difficulty; more specifically the high amount of damage dealt by enemies and was cancelled as a result. The comment expresses confusion at the fact Ninja Gaiden II was cancelled while Eight Forces, an arcade shooter by Tecmo which also tested poorly, nevertheless made it to the market[5].

In a post made on August 30, 2013, at the arcade gaming forum Gamegengai, arcade game archivist Shoutime said he had spoken with a Tecmo employee, who told him the location test build of Ninja Gaiden II was backed-up on media only accessible with a PC-88 computer[6]. Shou later posted that he was unable to dump the game as he hadn't got the chance to speak with his contact again and that he was now in the US.

On June 8 2017, Twitter user ShiN25548268 posted a promotional flyer he found of the game[7].