Tag Archives: Mastertronic

Atari ST A to Z: Ninja Mission

You may recall a little while back that we saw the Atari 8-bit version of Mastertronic’s Ninja. Well, here’s the ST version!

It’s basically the same game at its core, though it runs a little faster and has much nicer graphics. It also has a new theme tune that plays in between fights. It’s a great example of the additional power the ST brings to the table over and above its 8-bit predecessors, even if it’s not the best or most imaginative game out there.

For the unfamiliar, Ninja is an interesting combination of action adventure, beat ’em up and fighting game. You must work your way through a series of screens, beating up anyone in your way in a series of one-on-one fights, and ultimately prove your worth as a ninja master. All in a day’s work, right?

Atari A to Z: Ninja

Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind! Pushing diagonally backwards and up while holding the fire button to swing your sword, however? Somewhat less intuitive…

Enter Mastertronic’s Ninja from 1986. This was a game developed by Steve Coleman (who was previously responsible for Pharaoh’s Curse, which we’ll be coming to in a few weeks) that combines open-world 2D adventuring with a fusion of one-on-one fighting and beat ’em up mechanics to produce something altogether unique.

Ninja was a game of “firsts” for me growing up. It was the first time I saw a ninja and learned what it was. It was the first time I saw (and learned the name of) a lot of pieces of traditional Japanese architecture such as torii gates. And it was one of the first games I played where fighting mechanics were a little more complex than simply mashing the fire button to do a single type of attack. It’s still pretty fun, too… though it puts up a lot more of a fight than I remember!

Follow Atari A to Z on its own dedicated site here!

Atari ST A to Z: Chase

Deep in the seventh galaxy of the Nebulus system, a lone warrior has been selected from thousands to perform an unenviable task: to save the beautiful Princess Chardonnay from the clutches of the evil Disgusmatrons.

Thus begins the rather overblown story to Mastertronic’s Chase, an Atari ST title shamelessly attempting to ride the coat-tails of the popular Star Wars arcade game with its transparent vector graphics and arcade-style thrills.

As with most titles from the era, the story was completely and utterly irrelevant… but that didn’t mean that the game experience itself was lacking. On the contrary, despite the game’s simplicity and its rather bare-bones presentation, Chase is an oddly addictive little affair I still enjoy booting up for the occasional blast-and-dodge session even today!

Follow Atari A to Z on its own dedicated site here!