Before the US Navy Seals, before the British SAS, there were ninja. The super sneaky tactics of these masters of espionage and stealth flew in the face of feudal Japan's philosophy on honorable warfare, leading to their conspicuous absence from much of the country's official historical records. Since then, the mystery surrounding these clandestine clans of nighttime warriors has given rise to an exaggerated image of the ninja's frightening supernatural talents - which we'd like to think was originally planned by ninja.
Nowadays, everyone loves ninja and knows that they can walk on water, run up walls, and slice through any adversary. And if you ever get the feeling that someone is watching you, it's probably a ninja waiting for the perfect moment to put you out of your misery.
But there are some truly shameful shinobi lurking in the depths of gaming’s history. These sad excuses for agents of death couldn’t sneak their way past a blind security guard and should be stripped of the honorable title of the ninja.
Above: Believe it! Ninja aren't supposed to be sugar and spice and everything nice - unless the sugar is mixed with crushed glass and the spice is dipped in poison
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have got to be one of the most ill conceived ninja in history. Sure, we like the darker Eastman and Lair graphic novels as much as the next guy, but the turtles’ bulky shells and snail-like movement speed makes them one of the lamest choices for an animal to make a ninja out of. What’s next? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Manitee?
Ninjas are supposed to be silent assassins of death. But with battle cries of "Cowabunga!" and a penchant for pizza, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles do little to conceal their presence, and shame the noble name of ninja.
How do you make a character you can root for and sympathize with? You make him suffer. A lot. Not only has the young ninja, Naruto lost his parents, but the tike also has the spirit of a ferocious demon sealed in his belly, causing just about everyone in his hometown to either fear or hate him.
And that's the problem. Naruto has heart of gold and a desire to protect those who spurn him. But ninja aren't supposed to be sugar and spice and everything nice - unless the sugar is mixed with crushed glass and the spice is dipped in poison.