Today a morning at tooth's lady. Got me scared on the possibility of a third root canal. Laziness. Gotta brush more often. Today a tongue weirded out from anesthesia. That part is fun. But my tooths never ache. "Really?", she asks, "giving the fucked up dental situation you have, I find it hard to believe." But truth nonetheless, dear tooth lady, not one tooth ache in my life. This has nothing to do with ninjas.

Ninja's Fate by Hannes Schueller
I have two childhood ninja related memories: Shinobi, that I played for hours in a ZX Spectrum, my first computer; and that asian ninja movies plague that infested everything back in the 80's. The white ninja being the good ninja, the black ninjas being the dont-they-die-easily ninjas, and the red ninja being the boss ninja. Good ol'days.

Ninj'as Fate is nothing of the sort. It is an homage to a deceased (and, according to the info in the about section, a very misunderstood) IF author who I know nothing about. Nin'jas Fate turned out to be the hardest story to rate so far.

Spoilery ninja stars after this awesome ninja trailer.
Let's talk about Ed Wood before the review, shall we?

Let's sketch a temporary definition of tribute film, as opposed to a film about: let a tribute film be one that pays tribute to someone by emulating that someone's style, aesthetics, vision, themes - whatever - in a new project. Tim Burton directed a film about Ed Wood, but, by this ad hoc definition of ours, not a tribute film to Ed Wood. How would a tribute film to Ed Wood be? A bad film, of course. So how would one rate a good tribute film to Ed Wood? We have ourselves a paradox: the better the film, the worst the film. But shall we rate it as being good because being bad was the point? And how about the reverse situation, in which a tribute film turns out to be a good film? Is it a bad film because it was good, hence missing the point?

That's my difficulty with this entry. It is a tribute to someone by the name of Paul Allen Panks who has always made awful, incoherent, blunted - whatever - IF stories - or so they tell me, since I never played one. Obviously, Ni'njas Fate turns out to be, of course, a bad game. You play a ninja that breaks into a museum to retrieve an idol stolen from your village. The museum turns out to be a temple to Panks, displaying his games, his characters, his puzzles. It is illogical at times, boring at others, it has you fight random characters (such as - yourself!), it even has a maze. So how do I rate this one? It is what it wants to be, but that means it is a bad game, but if it were a good one, it would be bad. God! My head is about to explode!

Calm dow, think it through, yes, that's it, I'll rate N'injas Fate somewhere in the above five spectrum. First, the weirdness of it all got to me, I loved the twin ninja rooms, the paint that didn't stick on the walls, the fight with yourself, and etc; second, some of the bad writing actually had very solid and good moments in it; third, the Competitions Hall touched me, that's right, the 35th/35, 29th/30, 31th/31, 26th/29, that feverish belief in something, in spite of everyone against it, it stroke a nerve, it almost got a real tear out of me.

But wait, I just gave birth to another dilemma: isn't giving this one a somewhat high score going against it's purpose? And, besides, isn't it wrong - unfair? - to rate this one high, since I would probably rate the tributed material low?

Oh... you know what? Fuck you, 'Ninjas Fate! Fuck you right in the first instead rule, I'm giving you a ten.

Post-comp letter to the author:
(added November 19

For the record, your entry was one of those few my thought wagon kept taking me to after reading.

And for another page of the same record, a discussion is going on upstairs, in the "Moral Premise" thread, that, I think, adresses some of the questions Ninja's Fate puts on the IF world. I tend to take IF more as a literary medium on steroids, and less as a platform for entertaining games. In such way, I value when an author takes chances writing his stories, when (s)he goes for weird interactions or settings or moods, I value creative prose over creative puzzles, a sentence that kicks my guts in over a well written one, I vibrate with unsettling imagery over polished gaming experience; so what recently brought me to IF was the idea of putting it beside Beckett and Kubrick, not beside Blizzard Entertainment. Ninja's Fate takes chances, it risks alot, it unsettled me many times - like a good work of a creative something should. But because of that it will naturally fail within the ones who take IF more as a gaming platform.

And now I think I'll have to go and add this up to the review. Darn...
 


Comments

28/01/2012 3:45pm

Many thanks for information

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28/01/2012 5:45pm

will come back quickly

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26/02/2012 2:10am

Great info, thx

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28/03/2012 10:55am

Good article dude

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31/03/2012 2:10pm

Great info, thanks

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13/07/2012 6:13pm

Nice one info, thanks

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