Part 13: Ninja Gaiden Black: Chapter 6
The first long chapter of the game, we investigate the monastery and head deep underground in search of Zarhkan, all while discussing relevant topics such as whip traversal in video games and whether time has healed Spaceballs' wounds (of constant quoting).
Vigoorian Flail Lvl. 1
A weapon used by Medieval Vigoorians; it can be swung like Nunchaku in combat.
Say goodbye to the Nunchaku, we now have a hilariously impractical replacement that can be upgraded. The level 1 moveset is exactly the same as the normal Nunchaku, but it has its own Flying Swallow type move called the Red-Hot Iron Brand. In the spirit of the weapon, it will home in on an enemy, but deal multiple hits along the way. Also because of the blades, it can actually decapitate enemies.
A shuriken with a small timer-detonated explosive at the tip.
We now have the Black Spider Clan's primary projectile, but like the bow it is limited by the amount you can carry. Still pretty useful when you peg an enemy with one and watch them get launched from the explosion. On lesser enemies after a couple hits prior, these things will ensure instant death. But again because of the limited ammo I don't use them nearly as much, but they're worth it in select situations.
Lesser Imp Fiend
The first humanoid fiend enemy, and much like the ninja they have a sort of hierarchy. Naturally, these are the lowest tier of Imps (Or Shadow Demons, whatever you wanna call them), and despite they're standing they are considerable more agile. Because they have eyes on various parts of their body, this explains their higher propensity to dodging your attacks. This means the player needs to, if they haven't been at this point, starting attacking them mid attack so they can be open to a combo. Thankfully they don't automatically dodge out of your combo like some later, much shitier games tend to do (Hayashi...).
Kinda like the Imp Fiends, these floating scythe wielding fiends need to be caught off guard to deal damage, otherwise they will teleport and counter attack. Various aerial attacks that aren't the flying swallow will damage them, but it is beneficial to use airborne heavy attacks to ground them so they can be comboed on or finished with a down attack. On their own they're manageable, but the prove problematic in bigger fights as they'll create energy circles that damage Ryu if he steps in them, which tends to happen when the player is occupied with fighting other enemies.
These hulking zombie giants are slow, hard to hit stun, and hit like a truck if you get greedy with your attacks. That said, because of their resiliance they're prime targets for essence farming by generating high hit combos with the Vigoorian Flails. One thing to note is that Ghuls come in two variants. First is the melee variant which wields either a giant spiked mace or an axe. The other is an archer that, though considerably weaker in terms of health, is highly accurate with its bow and is set to disrupt any battle you are occupied with. One interesting feature of the Ghuls however is that they can be dismembered to an extent, making them the first enemies to have this feature before it became a major selling point of Ninja Gaiden II. Depending on the types of attacks, you can either sever the head, which prevents the Ghuls from tracking Ryu and causes them to attack haphazardly, or their non weapon arm. The latter obviously has no tactical advantage other than it being a neat detail.
This fight can be a bit tricky to finish in a timely manner given that depending on which limb is on the platform Ryu is on can influence the type of attacks used (or the frequency at which it changes positions). Even so, it's not that difficult to actually defeat, so long as you pay attention and react to what's about to happen.
- The Bone Dragon has a main projectile attack where it summons two bones to fire at Ryu. During this time his arm/leg that is currently in range is vulnerable but that means exposing yourself to potential damage.
- After fully damaging one its four limbs, the amount of projectiles fired will increase to 3, and when three limbs have taken full damage, the projectiles fired increase to 5 and the rate of fire becomes much faster as well.
- When one of the Dragon's arms is on the platform, it can do a claw swipe at Ryu, and is pretty dangerous when stuck in a combo. During position change, when he slams his claw onto the platform Ryu can take damage as well if he's not out of the way.
- When one of the Dragon's legs is on the platform, it can use it to stomp on Ryu periodically. But more importantly. When shifting position from one leg to another, the tail will swipe across the platform in one of two ways. It will either sweep once and the next leg will be available to attack, or it will sweep back across the platform and the same leg will be available to attack again. It can be tough to dodge depending on where Ryu is positioned, either jump up when far away, or roll underneath when at the edge of the platform.
- Lastly, the Bone Dragon has a bite move where it will lunge forward and chew on Ryu. However, the change in camera position and the Dragon's animation easily telegraphs this and is easy to dodge. But if you are caught, Ryu will take quite a bit of damage before getting spat back against the wall.
The History of Vigoor I
...ever since, these monsters have come to be
known as Fiends. The majority of them are
mutations of human beings, existing in a
condition of living without a soul due to their
corruption by evil...
The History of Vigoor II
...however the extraordinary power of the Fiends
is incomparable to that of humans; in fact the
highest level of Fiends exists in a state that
can only be described as having transcended
physical boundaries of form. Looking back through
the pages of history, it is quite probable that
many of the most powerful members of the
Vigoorian ruling class in fact belonged to this
classification. It is not surprising, then,
that the Fiends have been seen as gods...
The History of Vigoor III
...it is said that sometimes Fiends may rise up
from dead bodies; in fact there were many
Monks of the Vigoor Order during the Middle
Ages who labored for years to recreate this
The History of Vigoor IV
...the vast majority of records dealing with
the Fiends date from the Middle Ages or earlier.
During recent tiems the Fiends have greatly
decreased in numbers; so much so that for a
member of the general Vigoorian public to come
into contact with a Fiend has become an
extremely rare occurrence...
The Emperor, Lord of All Creation
...The Vigoor Emperor is the figurehead of the
commoners, and his absolute authority as the Holy
leader of our Vigoorian Order cannot be denied.
He controls all, physical and ethereal,
regardless of time or place...