Pirates vs. Ninjas, who will win this epic struggle?
Pirates versus ninjas: will the debate ever end? I‚Äôm here to tell you that it will, and I‚Äôll give you ten reasons why. But first, a little background is needed. After all, what the hell do pirates and ninjas have to do with video games? I‚Äôm glad you asked.
It all started with the 1989 arcade game Skull and Crossbones. As a pirate, one of your tasks was to enter and plunder a ninja camp. Although it was obvious that pirates would emerge victorious, unless you sucked at the game, it seems to have sparked the never-ending debate.
In Namco‚Äôs Soul Edge (aka Soul Blade), ninjas would get their revenge. The well-endowed female ninja Taki would ultimately emerge victorious over the pirate Cervantes. (This is official Namco canon.) And in the original Tenchu, the player was also required to execute a bunch of Portuguese pirates. However, it should be known that both times the ninjas cheated. Never trust a ninja.
Naturally, pirates didn‚Äôt take this kind of cheating lying down, and the debate continued to rage. In Rachet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal, there is a secret level that allows players to pit robot ninjas against robot pirates.
Further proof that the pirates versus ninjas debate is firmly lodged in the consciousness of gamers is the fact that World of Warcraft actually has special food that will turn a player into a pirate or a ninja. Which one will you turn into? It depends on how cool you are. Hell, even Animal Crossing: Wild World gets in on the action, with players being able to pick their favourite animal as a ‚Äúpirate ninja‚ÄĚ. Such an answer, however, is a copout, naturally.
But I digress; although the debate has raged for epochs, it can all finally come to a close. Here are the top 10 reasons why pirates are better than ninjas and why, as a gamer, it‚Äôs your duty to choose pirates whenever you are asked who is cooler.
10) Being a pirate is about being free. You‚Äôre never tied down, you never have any commitments. The ocean is your playground, and the world is your oyster. You can loot and plunder if you wish, or you could simply lie in your hammock with a hangover all day. The choice is yours. Ninjas, on the other hand, are slaves to their organisation. You may even be required to give your own life if caught or compromised. And as Bushido Blade and Dead or Alive have taught us, attempting to leave a ninja organisation is never a good idea.
9) Even the Muppets picked sides. The Muppets know cool; they even managed to get Luke Skywalker on their show. Muppet Treasure Island has Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and the rest acting out the famous Robert Louis Stevenson novel. Have the Muppets made a movie about ninjas? Of course not; ninjas simply aren‚Äôt cool enough.
8) Pirates have cool names like Long John Silver and Mad Dog McGee. Ninjas have bland, boring names like Hayabusa, which means peregrine falcon, and Kasumi, which means mist. Now, would you rather have a name that inspired images of frothing, dangerous animals or images of a wet, thin fog?
7) The Jolly Roger, the international pirate logo: the skull and crossbones. What could be cooler than having your own unique flag? Sick of the New Zealand flag? Think it looks too much like Australia‚Äôs? Simply become a pirate and have a claim to the coolest flag in the universe. Do ninjas have a flag? Of course not; ninjas aren‚Äôt cool enough.
6) People acknowledge Talk Like a Pirate Day (as they should; it‚Äôs an awesome day!) Nobody cares about Day of the Ninja. Hell, I bet you didn‚Äôt even know there was a Day of the Ninja. It‚Äôs December 5th. Not that it matters. Further proof of Talk Like a Pirate Day‚Äôs awesomeness comes in the form of The Sims 2 for the Nintendo DS, where the characters celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th. Do they celebrate Day of the Ninja? Of course not. Additionally, Kiwis took to Talk Like a Pirate Day before the rest of the world. We have yet to adopt Day of the Ninja. We‚Äôre cool like that.
5) Pirate video games are always better. The Monkey Island games, Sid Meier‚Äôs Pirates (old and new) and Pirates of the Caribbean are perfect examples. Tenchu has been going downhill ever since Tenchu 2. The reason is simple: pirates are just cooler. But let‚Äôs not bring up The Pirates of Dark Water . . . .
4) Being a pirate is about being an individual. It‚Äôs about dressing flamboyantly and having a unique style. People should spot you from a distance and know exactly who you are and what you‚Äôre famous for. Such style is best summed up by the pirate hat, a unique piece of attire that summaries a pirate in one hyphenated word: bad-assed. Being a ninja, on the other hand, is all about being generic. As a ninja, you hope that when someone spots you, you look like a tree or a large cat. Would you rather be seen as bad-assed, or mistaken for a tree? Yeah, figured as much.
3) Ninjas are cowards. Being a ninja is all about sneaking around in the dark and stabbing your opponent in the back. Being a pirate is all about dramatic entrances and swashbuckling action. Who would you have more respect for: someone who stabbed you in your sleep, or someone who swung via a rope onto your ship before killing you in an excellent display of swordsmanship? Exactly.
2) Captain Jack Sparrow. ‚ÄėNuff said.
1) Pirates know the beauty of booze and booty. This is the real clincher in this debate. A pirate‚Äôs life is getting loaded on rum and having your way with a plethora of concubines. A ninja‚Äôs life is about eating ramen noodles and doing push-ups. It‚Äôs a pirate‚Äôs life for me, thanks.
Now, it's obvious that anyone with a sliver of sense will see that pirates have now been proved infinitely cooler than ninjas. However, if you must continue this debate, head on over to our forums and try and argue some kind of case for ninjas. Just be prepared to be proven totally and utter wrong. Pirates are cooler than ninjas, just accept it.