LN 1-3 additional design (logic and mazes) and instructions
LN 1-3 concept and principle design
LN 1 original music
LN 2 original music
LN 3 intro
LN 1 original music
LN 3 graphics, intro and additional design
LN 3+Remix original music
LN 1+2 sprite and background graphics and additional design
LN3 programming and additional design
LN 1+2 data entry
LN 1+2 programming and additional design
|Arthur Van Jole|
LN3 level 2 additional graphics
I got a chance to exchange some eMails with Hugh Riley and asked him dry:|
What made Ninja different was that the sprites were hi-res and they used multicolour backgrounds.
Hugh drew the background stuff using a Wigmore mouse and the multi-colour drawing package that came with it. He doesn't know anybody else who used it but it was superb.
John Twiddy wrote an editor (he called it the integrator) that let Hugh pick up the individual background elements like trees and bushes and drop them into place on screen. It also worked out the best colour combination for each element when they overlaid each other. John then designated which pixels were foreground and cut those bits out of the ninja sprite as it went past..
Hugh did the sprites with a joystick using someone elses in house program that was doing the rounds (can't remember what it was called). He had trouble getting the run to look half right. (too few pixels/not enough frames/ bad angle). The sprites were unusual too being hi-res/single colour. The ninja body was 2 sprites. He laid another sprite over for the face and hands and a 4th was the weapon. Most of the other characters used the ninja base sprite with a different overlay (to save memory as usual.)
When he came onto Ninja 1 it was being programmed for System 3 by a subsidiary of Andromeda in Hungary (Caesar the Cat? now there's going back!). Bob Stevenson had done some mock up screens for the adverts then left. Hugh spent 3 weekends in Budapest (still behind the iron curtain) where it became apparent that their programmers were having difficulties. They were programming in forth (used for washing machines) so back in London John Twiddy was brought in to rewrite the code and we worked together in Mark Cale's (Mr System 3) front room and various other places. By the time they finished Twiddy reckoned there was only one byte left in the machine which explains the crappy ending. Paul Docherty (Dokk) did the eyes (from the magazine advert).
John Twiddy and Hugh Riley stayed with System 3 until they had done Ninja 2 (using the same techniques) then left with Mev Dinc (spectrum LN2 programmer) and Phil Harrison to form Vivid Image. (games only - Hammerfist, Time machine, First Samurai)
He was asked to do Ninja 3 but went to work with Probe instead.
(sound of years passing.....................)
Since then he's done dozens of different projects on most machines and moved around a lot but some of his original ninja work disks are in England somewhere. For the last year (97) he's been in the US with Bethesda Softworks doing 3d character animation on Redguard (PC). Which just happens to be a puzzle solving arcade adventure with swords. Except this time you are a swashbuckler. ts looking pretty good now so hopefully it will be a classic.
Oh, he thinks the music for LN1 was excellent. It really set the mood.
And I also eMailed with Ben Daglish:|
Humble me: First, I have a little Last Ninja webpage.
Ben: Nice - I saw.
How do you feel towards the LN2 music and why did you stop after LN1 ?
I can't recall ever hearing it. I wasn't asked to do LN2 - I think I was too expensive :)
Did you play the game before creating the music ?
Nope, not beforehand - was just given level names.
And what did you think of the game itself ? Ever played it through ?
Not to the end - I was never into beat-em-ups...
What _were_ your favourite 8-bit games ? What do you play these days ? (if you can find the time)
My all time favourite C64 game was 'Master of the Lamps'. These days I play little other than card games - Freecell, Bridge etc. I like the LucasArts point-n-clicks - Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max etc. though.
Do you have some anecdotes / facts from your LN-music creating time ?
Can't really remember much about it - I got the phone call from Mark asking me to write some level tunes - I wrote the music, went down there to meet Archer Maclean (? I think it was Arch that put the driver in.....), got offered Mark Cale's slightly-dodgy-import-status left-hand-drive BMW, said "no thanks, I'll have the cash please" and that was that.
Looks like you _were_ expensive! :']
Naaahh - the car was only worth a couple of grand - I think I charged about £200 per tune.
How was Anthony Lees to work with ?
Only met the guy once - on that one day - he said 'hi' - I said 'hi' - that was about it.
How did you agree to who does what ?
We'd each written a few tunes - I think we said something like 'flip you for loaders / level music....' :)
Did you & Anthony strictly did the tunes by yourselves ?
Yeah - we were working separately - I didn't even know he'd done any music I think.
Some Ben Daglish shrines on the web you can point me to ? =]
Can't remember the URLS - Shark's got one up - do a search for me on the web - thats how I found it...:)
What technical stuff did you use to create your music ? Did you have any special inspirations for LN1 or did it just come out of you ?
It just comes - that's how music works.
(And now Last Ninja 4 is coming - still no System 3 website...)
Oh, please ask Mark to let you write the theme for LN4. ^_^
Yeahh - right!
Btw, where do you live now - UK ?
Yup - rural Derbyshire.
I'm so confused. Is it Ben or Benn now ?!? I've seen both a numerous times.
Ben is my real name....Benn was a nick from Compuserve days - the double letter was all the rage...Ratt, Bogg etc. etc.
Oh, you don't happen to have Anthony Lees' eMail address, do you...?