8-Bit Sunset

Back in ye olde days of 8-bit gaming, we didn't have teh interwebs or in-depth FAQs to get us through hours of repetitive dungeons and mindless enemies. We had to do it all ourselves, patiently praying for a wave of cheat codes to come in the next issue of Nintendo Power. Then, after countless hours (literally, because no game would count the hours) we'd see the ending... just to view another 8-bit sunset.

Seriously. Another one. How many games do you think end with a scene of the main characters wistfully gazing at the sunset/mountains/pretty blue skies as the credits roll? Our quick romp through memories past and the extremely helpfulVG Museum led us to 18 right off the bat. And that's without doing any serious digging. Even industry standards like Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania fell prey to the easy way out - who else called it quits once the final boss was killed?

Upper left - Ninja Gaiden
Would you believe the entire Gaiden trilogy ends in exactly the same way? Standing on a rock, watching the gigantic sun go down. After beating some of the hardest games around, we'd like a bit more than that, thanks. Granted there's a bit of story before the money shot, but honestly, three times? Oh wait, excuse us, there is a difference. This one's looking over a forest...

Upper right - Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
...this one takes place in front of the ocean....

Bottom - Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom
...and the series wraps up with some mountains (though they're technically watching a sunrise ). It's a good thing Ryu's gal pal Irene Lew isn't in the Xbox/PS3 Gaiden games, or else we might be in store for yet another glimpse of a retina-ravaging sunset. Maybe she makes Ryu do it. It's like their weekly routine. Some couples go out on Sunday night; these two battle maniacal warlords and then find the one rock on Earth that's seven feet away from the setting sun.