Last month, the studio announced an upcoming Master Collection for the Ninja Gaiden franchise. These will include Gaiden Sigma, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge for PC and consoles in June.
According to Team Ninja, the data for the other versions are lost. They note that “there are only fragments that remain.”
The Ninja Gaiden Master Collection will be using the “Sigma” variants of the titles. These versions were the Playstation 3 re-releases, together with the latest DLC. They are also not the superior versions of the game.
The original Xbox 360 versions are known as the superior versions of the titles. There are also the “Black” versions, which are much more challenging. These would’ve been preferred if not for the unfortunate circumstances.
According to a translated Famitsu interview on Kotaku, Fumihiko Yasuda, Team Ninja’s brand manager, explained the problem. According to him, much of the original data they had are lost to circumstances.
“I am aware there are pros and cons,” Yasuda noted. “For me personally, Ninja Gaiden II was my debut, and so I have a deep feeling for it. But there’s another reason for this choice. To be honest, there are only fragments of the data that remain. We couldn’t salvage them.
“However, when developing Sigma Plus and Sigma Plus 2 [for the PlayStation Vita], we got as much of this kind of data together as we could and organized it. Because we use utilize that is the reason why we selected Sigma.”
The loss of data from gaming studios like Team Ninja is a problem. Ninja Gaiden is now a victim of the industry’s lack of effort towards video game preservation. Many legacy games are now officially missing, apart from ROM versions used for emulation.
Recently, Sony announced the closure of its legacy storefronts, including the PSP, PS3, and PS Vita. This means many of the games will be lost to time, especially those whose source codes are lost or studios are defunct.
For example, Square Enix is notorious for losing much of its source codes. News of lost Final Fantasy 8 and Kingdom Hearts source code have floated around the internet. Silent Hill is also missing a hefty chunk of its source codes.
The master collection for Ninja Gaiden will come out on June 10, 2021. Team Ninja is unlikely to find the originals at this point.
Featured image courtesy of Koei Tecmo Europe LTD/Youtube Screenshot
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