Table of Contents:
Best Ending

Ninja Gaiden

Pathos, love, loss, redemption and revenge: No other 8-Bit game even comes close to the melodrama and cinematic excellence of the ending for Ninja Gaiden. As Ryu Hayabusa, you had set out to avenge the death of your father only to find yourself embroiled in an FBI plot to recover powerful demon statues. At the end of your journey, you make a horrible discovery; the father you thought you had lost actually was possessed by a demon statue and you, his son, just mortally wounded him. With hues of Return of the Jedi, you hold your father in your arms as he exhales his last breath. Afterwards, you leave the dark tower with the foxy female FBI operative with whom you've been working with and she calls the FBI agent Foster. You then discover that Foster had only been using Ryu to get to the demon statues and he orders the operative to kill Ryu and take the coveted statues. Ryu overhears this and promises to make Foster pay for his duplicity. In a bittersweet conclusion, Ryu turns to the Blade Runner-esque Sean Young look-a-like, kisses her, and then asks her for her name. They embrace and watch the sun dawn on a new day. 

Runners up:

Bionic Commando

If more NES games ended with patriotism, profanity and Hitler's (actually it's "Master-D's") head blowing up, Bionic Commando wouldn't be such a clear choice. But after fighting your way through Axis forces and Master-D/Hitler calling you a "Damn fool," and after swinging down a precipice, shooting your bazooka while in mid-air at Hitler's helicopter and being treated to a slide show effect of Hitler's bloated face exploding, the choice was clear. Race through the base afterwards as it's about to "explod" (sic) and save the original Commando star, Super Joe. As the credits roll, you realize the man you saved, Joe, is actually telling you the story in the year 2010. 


Three cubes join together and a Vulcan-like race pops out. What more do you want? The ending to StarTropics is utterly wacky and surprisingly long. A spaceship blows up. You almost drown. A Dolphin saves you. Everyone in town congratulates you. Then you piece together these three cubes and seven Argonian children appear wanting banana cream pie, so you ask them if they want to go fishing. The credits roll, but the ending is still not over. Cinema screens scroll across your TV detailing the exploits of your journey. In fact, the cinemas are so comprehensive, they start recounting the ending sequence you just saw. Finally--finally--the game ends with a shot of our hero, Mike, shoving a banana in each ear. Classic.

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Did You Know?
Among the Mario transformations taken out of Super Mario Bros. 3 before its release was a "Centaur Mario." A little creepy, especially if Mario was gonna run around topless. 

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