The Mark of the Ninja wiki last edited by lylebot on 11/04/13 06:22AM View full history

Overview

Mark of the Ninja is a 2D stealth action game with an emphasis on using the environment and a selection of limited-use tools to manipulate enemy AI. The game has a hand-drawn cartoon art style very similar to Shank. It allows players to approach each level how they see fit, with most situations allowing for multiple ways to solve them. Each level contains numerous hidden items & challenge rooms, which act as currency towards unlocking new equipment and skills.

Story

A nameless ninja of the Hisomu Clan is awakened by a fellow female companion, as an emergency bell is ringing. They learn that the clan village is under attack by an organization called Hessian Services, who have sent a mercenary team headed by Corporal Kelly. Shortly after being rescued, Azai, the ninja leader, reveals that the attack on the village was orchestrated by Count Karajan, who runs Hessian Services and is seeking to retrieve a stolen item from the Hisomu Clan. Azai then reveals the player to be the current Champion of the Hisomu clan.

The Champion is a member of the Hisomu clan that is tattooed using a magical ink. It was discovered before "the Restoration," an event that restored the clan although few specifics are given, by a merchant who informed the Hisomu about a rare plant that contains a special ink that is said to give the user great power, at the cost of his sanity. The Champion, therefore, must always be a student, so that his teacher can control him should he descend into insanity, and is expected to sacrifice his own life before the madness sets in, in order to protect the clan and it is secret. The act of creating a Champion is both a great honour to the recipient, but it is also a final option.

Azai then declares to take the attack to Hessian Services in order to protect the Hisomu clan, using the current Champion as their weapon. Through conversations with his companion, it is learned that privately, among his fellow ninja, Champions are referred to as "the Severed". When carrying the mark of a Champion, he is to be treated as an outcast and be banished until his mission is finished and then expected to die for the clan.

After Count Karajan is assassinated, the Champion returns to his village to find that Azai has been using him to acquire the weapons and armour from Hessian Services. Before the Champion could commit suicide, spurred on by the comments of his companion, he decides to take revenge on Azai and disappears to regroup with his ally. Searching for the reasons for Azai's betrayal, the Champion discovers that Dosan, the clan's tattooist, has preceded him to the middle east, and been captured by bandits.

When the ninja catches up with him, Dosan gives him the final part of the tattoo, the Mark of Serenity, which allows him to teleport, and reveals that the flowers whose petals are ground to create the magic ink for the tattoos have all died due to neglect. Optional scrolls that the player can collect reveal that Azai decided to steal the modern equipment from Karajan after he learned of the loss of the flowers, fearing that without the ability to create more Champions, the clan was doomed. The Champion and his companion escape, but Dosan is killed by Azai's "Stalkers", women trained in the ways of the ninja, but using modern technology like motion sensing rigs, night vision goggles, and even laser weapons.

Escaping the Stalkers and returning to the clan's village, the Champion finds himself rapidly descending into madness; grinning demon faces float in the air and watch him, and armed soldiers like the guards he faced whilst getting to Karajan appear to patrol the village - only to turn into his fellow ninja once they are killed. The Champion makes his way through the village and is faced with a series of sealed doors when he attempts to get into Azai's garden. He unlocks the doors by recreating the final test he went through as a student to become a full-fledged ninja, and then escapes from a group of Stalkers who burst into the room afterwards.

When the Champion finally confronts Azai, it is revealed that his companion doesn't really exist; she was merely a hallucination, the first symptom of the madness brought on by the tattoo. As Azai implores him to take his own life and regain his honour, the figment tells the Champion "I never lied to you", and says that Azai still needs to be punished for his betrayal and deception. The Champion then walks, unimpeded, to the heart of the Hisomu Clan stronghold, where he retrieves a sacred sword, and experiences an incredibly vivid hallucination reminding him of all that has happened since he got the mark. At the end, he has another moment of lucidity, and is confronted by both his imaginary friend and Azai, who kneel passively on opposite sides of a courtyard. The player must then choose their final target. If they attack the companion, the Champion whirls around and runs himself through with the sword so that the blade strikes her as well, dissipating her image, before he twists the blade, killing himself. Alternatively, the Champion stabs Azai, killing him, and then descends into complete insanity.

Regardless of which option the player chooses, the repercussions of their actions are not shown.

Combat

Players start out the game with no weapons at all, and must learn sneaking and hiding techniques first. But within the first level, players are quickly awarded a sword, darts, and a grappling hook.

The Sword of TetsujiA relic of the Hisomu clan's founder that has upheld their tradition for hundreds of years.
DartsBasic bamboo darts, good for breaking fragile things and causing distractions. When using the bamboo darts, the player has the ability to tag multiple targets and attack all at once.
Grappling HookAllows the ninja to latch onto & spider-dangle from grapple points.

Quick Kills - The player is able to execute quick kill techniques that require they follow an on screen button prompt, which are only available as long as they are not spotted.

Unarmed Combat - It is the Hisomu way to only attack with a sword if only able to neutralize your enemy in one strike, so when the player attacks an enemy outside of a stealth kill, the ninja relies on kicks and punches. But when an enemy is knocked down using unarmed combat, the player may perform a quick kill while they are incapacitated on the ground. If they knock down and finish off the enemy fast enough, the Champion can kill his opponent before an alarm is raised.

Sneaking

The ninja is silent while walking, only making noise if the player chooses to run. The ninja also has the ability to hide his enemies bodies as to not alarm the other sentries. Items can be used to create a sound effects within the enemies noise bubble as to distract them while the ninja continues to traverse. Another item that can be used to climb great heights is a grappling hook, allowing the ninja to reach darkened areas that can be used as an escape from the enemies sight. Darts can be used to destroy lamps or emit sound off gongs thus giving a larger range of darkness to hide in or to distract an enemy. Later in the game, they are also granted the Farsight ability, which is a type of x-ray ability that allows the ninja to view all enemies and connections between objects and their functions.

Unlockables

As players progress through the game, they will gain points that can be used to unlock additional items and abilities. These "loadouts" allow the player to approach the game how they see fit, whether it be pure stealth, or in a more offensive attacking way.

Techniques

ItemDescription
Hangman's HymnAllows the player to kill an unsuspecting enemy while dangling from a grapple point.
Emperors AbyssAllows the player to kill an enemy while standing or hanging directly below him.
Twilight GateAllows the player to kill an enemy through a door.
Bat's PreyAllows the player to kill an enemy from above.
A Brief ShadowAllows the player to kill an enemy from a hiding spot.
Bloody WhisperAllows the player to quickly kill a disabled enemy.
Rising SnakeAllows the player to launch an enemy into the air.
Slide KickAllows the player to slide kick, knocking an enemy off their feet.
Superior LockpicksAllows the player to unlock locked doors much more quickly.
Grim HarbringerAllows the player to hang the body of a dead enemy on a perch point.
Softened Cloth TabiReduces noise made while running.
Parachute ClothSlows the descent while falling or jumping.
Armored SleevesGrants extra protection without compromising agility
Reinforced ClothArmored clothing will provide greater protection without sacrificing mobility or speed.

Distraction Items

ItemDescription
Noise MakerA small firecracker that will get the attention of any enemy near by.
Noise Maker
Upgrade
A custom fuse allows the noise makers to be detonated remotely.
Smoke BombEmits a smoke field that has the ability to block laser trip wires and breaks the line of sight of near by enemies.
Smoke Bomb UpgradeA choking powder has been added to the smoke cloud, disabling enemies within it, unless they are wearing gas masks.
Distraction FlareAn alchemical light that draws the attention of nearby guards facing the flare and blinds enemies that are wearing night vision goggles.
Distraction Flare UpgradeA custom fuse allows the flares to be detonated remotely.
Cardboard BoxAllows the ninja access to a cardboard box to hide in at any time.
Carboard Box UpgradeAllows the ninja to perform a stealth kill while hiding in the box.

Attack Items

ItemDescription
Spike MineA throwable mine that kills the first enemy to walk over it. If thrown within earshot of a guard, it will be noticed and disarmed.
Spike Mine
Upgrade
Lighter Spike Mines that make no noise when they hit the ground.
Terror DartDarts coated in a hallucinogenic toxin that terrifies the target, causing them to attack their allies.
Terror Dart
Upgrade
With a more potent concoction, these darts destroy the victim's sanity and cause them to harm themselves.
CaltropsSmall spikes that will pierce the feet of anyone who steps on them.
Ravenous InsectsRavenous insects will silently reduce a body to dust in an instant, or noisily devour a living enemy.

Styles/Outfits

ItemDescription
Path of the NinjaYour well rounded starting gear, with no special abilities or weaknesses. Allows one distraction and one attack item.
Path of the MarkYou can use the mark of serenity, allowing the ninja to teleport, but you must leave behind distraction items.
Path of MightThis style features heavier armor, allowing you to take more damage and knock foes down more easily. Additionally, dispatching enemies will refill your health. However, with this style you cannot pause time to aim your items. Holds one distraction and one attack item.
Path of the HunterWith this style, all stealth kills are automatically successful with no need for an additional button prompt. However, it holds two attack items and no distraction items.
Path of SilenceThis style is geared towards pure stealth, reducing the sound you make as well as your visibility. However, you cannot use your sword, making it impossible to kill enemies. Holds two distraction items and no attack items.
Path of NightmaresEnemies witnessing stealth kills become terrified, as do those that discover a dead body. However, you cannot equip distraction items.

Special Edition

Mark of the Ninja: Special Edition is a piece of downloadable content for owner's of the standalone game. Released on Steam and XBLA on August 16, 2013, the $5 DLC includes a flashback level, new costumes, and "TONS of" developer commentary.

PC System Requirements

Minimum:

  • OS:Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1
  • Processor:AMD Phenom 9750 or Pentium D 800+
  • Memory:2 GB RAM
  • Graphics:NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT or ATI Radeon™ HD 3000+ or better
  • DirectX®:11
  • Hard Drive:2.5 GB HD space
  • Sound:100% DirectX9.0c compatible sound card and drivers

Recommended:

  • OS:Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1
  • Processor:Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+
  • Memory:2 GB RAM
  • Graphics:NVIDIA® 9600GT or ATI Radeon™ HD 5000+ or better
  • DirectX®:11
  • Hard Drive:2.5 GB HD space
  • Sound:100% DirectX9.0c compatible sound card and drivers

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