Last Ninja 4

System 3

Status: Preview, Findability: 4/5

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As the C64 was dying, Jon Wells was out there trying to save it.  This was one of Jon’s big efforts to try and save the scene, and bring one final Last Ninja to the C64.

Jon created a series of demos, and music was created to try and convince System 3 that they could make one final game in the series.

Jon was planning to allow the Ninja to interact more with the background of the game, and be able to walk on the grass. Therefore not being restricted to just moving on the path. This was shown in a test demo of one of the Last Ninja 2 levels, where the Ninja could actually go on the grass.

A map was even created of one of the levels proposed by Jon to be in the game, but sadly System 3 turned down Jon’s proposal to bring the game to the C64 (Even with Jon willing to take the whole project on himself), so Jon moved on.

All that exists are a series of previews, the scanned map and lots of cool music by Feekzoid (The intro tune incomplete) and Jon for the game.

Joerg Droege informed GTW64 in 2017 that X-Style were about to take the game on with permission from Jon Wells in 2003.  The team was interviewed in an earlier issue of Scene World magazine: http://sceneworld.org/emu/swo08.html

In particular CJ/X-Style was doing the game by himself, doing a brand new engine.   Bas Bertens was working on the graphics, and Soren Lund on music.   No permission was gained from System 3, suggesting that they would release the game unofficially and possibly with a different main character.  Nothing ever happened, so it sounds like it never got past the official planning stages.

Case closed… this is all that exists of Last Ninja 4 on the C64…

Contributions: Kai Spitzley, Joerg Droege

Supporting content

Available downloads for this entry

  • Music_LN4.zip
  • Preview_LN4.zip
  • 6 Responses to Last Ninja 4

    1. Vince White says:

      Someone close to me enquired about Last Ninja 4 not as a c64 game but as an active I.P proposal for modern systems. It never went beyond NDA paperwork but I gather from my friend that S3 are actively exploring avenues for all their existing I.Ps which include very much LN4. There was a cancelled LN game for modern systems as recent as 2000s? I don’t think this is the last we will hear of Last Ninja but I feel S3 would be unwise business wise to ignore any potential infringements. I know it is harsh but look at the recent PS4 Putty game. They are not finished with their back catalogue not by a long chalk.

      I am going to make a bold prediction here. In the next 3 years you will see a LN1-2-3 HD remaster for modern systems. Then a true LN4 for modern systems may well transpire.

      • fgasking says:

        Cheers Vince. There’s been a lot of attempts at doing new Last Ninja games, even back during the 16-bit days. Very odd how System 3 have had a lot of different developments come and go for some of their classic titles, just disappearing completely without a trace.

        Apologies for the delay – comments have to be approved before going onto the site.

    2. pmprog says:

      Wonder if any of this looks familiar then?
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGdH0NqUKKE&list=PL9JL7jB2v4vCqevezZz35rEIBpGXbqca7&index=1

      I was planning on using Jon Wells map as the base design in JANE v4 (for Windows/Linux PCs). I did try and contact Jon via Facebook at one time, but I got no response; Development stopped anyway around the time System3 was shutting down the Fastloaders’ kickstarter and Robert Ramsey’s LN remake.

      • fgasking says:

        That’s awesome. Shame it didn’t get much further. I think Jon has unfortunately gone off the grid for a bit, but hopefully will come back soon.

        • pmprog says:

          Well, like I said, System3 were pressing on other LN related projects, and as I was using original C64 graphics, should they pick up on the project, I’d not really have any other option than just dropping the project. It would be nice to make something of that project though, I put quite a bit of work into the engine.

          I did think about using the engine in an original game, but my problem is I’m not really an artist, so most of my “original” projects struggle to get completed. (Maybe my “Super JumpKick Turbo 64” should be added to GTW64 😉 )

    3. Thomas says:

      I very well understand the fact that LN4 never was produced. At some point you have to move on to new challenges. Nonetheless Last Ninja 1 to 3 were great games all by themselves which I could not bear to miss. They transported the spirit and made me buy a Ninjato and study Ninjutsu. I am happy to be one of the few persons to have an original copy of C64 Last Ninja 2 with a printed map inside. This comes close to having a translation of Shoninki. Bansenshukai is yet to come.
      I thank System 3 for a lot of inspiration and a great time I had in the 90s. But now let Armanuki rest in peace. We are to transport his heritage to a new age.

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