Last Ninja 2 Soundtrack (C64), Matt Gray, 1988
The Last Ninja had been a multi-million smash hit, so developer System 3 didn’t upset the apple cart when they created Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance. The main novelty was the change of scenery: protagonist Armakuni is mysteriously transported from feudal Japan to 20th-century New York City, where he has to defeat evil shogun Kunitoki once again. The new locales added just the right amount of innovation, while the core gameplay largely remained the same. However, System 3 also tweaked and improved important aspects of the formula: better sprite animation, more locations, and a more significant number of puzzles. The result? A whopping 5,5 million copies sold and ports for the Amiga, Atari ST, NES, ZX Spectrum and MS-DOS following in due course. And let’s not forget the confusingly titled Last Ninja Remix, a slightly enhanced re-release of Last Ninja 2 for 8-bit computers.