Back in 2003, Namco published an action game called I-Ninja, developed by Argonaut Games. I-Ninja was about “Ninja” trying to rescue “Sensei” from the clan of an evil emperor.
While it was never announced, I-Ninja 2 was greenlit for development as well. Unfortunately, the project never surfaced, and all that remains of it is concept art from the website of an artist who worked on the game, along with some brief notes.
First up is concept art for the Ranx:
“This is a new type of Ranx, which are I-Ninja’s robot enemies. This character was developed for the swamp levels of I-Ninja 2. The idea was to retain the cartoony nature of the Ranx, but give them a more edgy, military look, with more impressive weaponry.”
Here’s another sketch of more Ranx soldiers. The artist writes: “Some more variations ideas for I-Ninja 2’s Ranx robots: the Arctic Ranx at the top, and the Mutated Ranx below; the idea was, if a Ranx falls in a barrel of toxic waste, this is how it would come out (yes, I have seen toxic avenger too)…”
This sketch is for a “Top Droid”. The sketch notes read: “The Top Droid is a surveillance device that hovers around the I-Ninja 2 prototype level. The bottom machine is in I-Ninja’s first level, but unfortunately it doesn’t transform into a robot as I hoped…”
Next up is the Kappa Captain:
“The Kappa Captain is a mini-boss of I-Ninja. This design was developed for the I-Ninja 2 demo. The idea was to take the Kappa Captain from I-Ninja and make it more military and evolved.”
Interesting. That’s two military references so far, but it looks like I-Ninja 2 was going to feature even more. Take a look below.
These are props designed for the game. Even the props seem to have a military look to them. The artist writes: “These props have been developed for I-Ninja 2. I have more sketches of the aircraft in the sketches section.”
This is the sketch in question. We’re approaching the end of this post, but there’s a couple more interesting things to show first.
These are weapon designs for I-Ninja 2.
And finally, this was a proposed design for I-Ninja’s girlfriend, Halo. She was supposed to be in the original game, but never made it in.