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Ninja Gaiden Black isn't being remastered because the code is in 'pieces'

Ninja Gaiden Black
(Image credit: Team Ninja)
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The Ninja Gaiden series is hitting PC for the first time this June with the Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection, containing Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge. But Ninja Gaiden Black, regarded by many as the best in the series, is a notable absence.

In an interview with Polygon, producer Fumihiko Yasuda revealed that one of the reasons Ninja Gaiden Black isn't anywhere to be seen is because a lot of the earlier Ninja Gaiden games weren't preserved, and have since been lost to the ether.

"The data we have left from Ninja Gaiden Black and Ninja Gaiden 2 are in various pieces to the point that we were unable to salvage them," Yasuda said. "However, when we worked on Sigma and Sigma 2, we went and collected as much of that data as possible and organised it. And since we could utilise this data, that's why we chose the Sigma games."

Yasuda also essentially confirmed that the remastered Sigma 2 will stick with its purple smoke 'blood' instead of returning to the original Ninja Gaiden 2's anarchic limbs-a-flyin' bloodfest, saying "the content will be similar to the original Sigma, Sigma 2, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge games."

The Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection hits Steam on June 10. The collection will run at 60 fps and in 4K on PC, but sadly will see the removal of online mode almost entirely. Tag Missions are returning, but in a single-player format with "some of the unreasonably difficult parts" adjusted to compensate.

A fresh writer in the industry, Mollie has been taken under PC Gamer's RGB-laden wing, making sure she doesn't get up to too much mischief on the site. She's not quite sure what a Command & Conquer is, but she can rattle on for hours about all the obscure rhythm games and strange MMOs from the 2000s. She's been cooking up all manner of news, previews and features while she's been here, but especially enjoys when she gets to write about Final Fantasy, Persona, The Sims, and whatever other game she's currently hopelessly fixated on. There's a good chance she's boring another PC Gamer writer about her latest obsession as we speak.