A Much-Needed Look At Square Enix’s Ninja Game, Moon Diver

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Ninja side-scrollers are some of the most fun games out there, but Square Enix have been rather mum on their own take on the side-scrolling ninja genre — Moon Diver, created by Kouichi "Isuke" Yotsui, one of the designers of Strider.


Originally revealed just prior to E3 2010, Moon Diver has the most random story ever. The game takes place in the year 2081, where an evil force has brought inanimate objects to life and turned them against humanity. Cars, cups, bridges…these are all transformed into evil creatures in Moon Diver. Fortunately, an elite group of ninjas called Moondivers (that sounds familiar…) has been dispatched to handle the situation.


For some reason, Square are quietly revealing little bits and pieces about Moon Diver on their downloadable games Facebook page. This past week, they showed off some of the game’s basic moves.


Clinging and Flips:

Clinging onto the underside of a platform lets you flip onto it.


Charging your attack:

As you might imagine, charging lets you perform a stronger blow.



Moon Diver lets you slide both on the ground and in the air.


Double Jump:

Everyone can double jump nowadays. Even Prinnies. It would be rather disgraceful if a ninja couldn’t.


Chain Kills:

One of the objectives in Moon Diver is to aim for a high score. You do this by building up chain kills. The game’s assistant producer says that it should be relatively easy to rack up a hundred chains. We aren’t certain if this means 100 kills or 100 hits in a chain. The latter sounds  reminiscent of Muramasa: The Demon Blade.


4-player Co-op:

Moon Diver lets up to four players play  together. While playing with other people, you can pull off “MoonSault Combinations,” which are cooperative attacks. One example of this is the chain lightning attack shown above.


MoonSault combinations can also be performed by yourself. This one’s called “Thor’s Arc ++” and sends 4 slashes across the screen.


Moon Diver lets you choose from five different ninjas to play as. Leveling up and gaining abilities are part of the game as well. Square Enix haven’t announced a release date for Moon Diver yet, but it’s expected sometime this spring on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.


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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.