Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection, a rerelease of the Ninja Gaiden trilogy, is coming from Koei Tecmo in June. However, fans of the series have questioned why one of the most highly regarded versions of one of the games isn’t in the collection. According to the producer, Ninja Gaiden Black was snubbed because they no longer have access to its complete source code.
Ninja Gaiden was originally released in 2004, with Black, a reworked version complete with the game’s two Hurricane enhancement packs, released a year after that. It’s considered the best version of the original game. Ninja Gaiden 2 was originally released in 2008. Versions of Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden 2 will appear in the collection in the form of Ninja Gaiden Sigma and Sigma 2. Apparently, the reason we’re not getting updated versions of the original games or Black is that the code for those is unsalvageable.
In an interview with Polygon, producer Fumihiko Yasuda said the developers no longer had the source code: “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. However, when we worked on Sigma and Sigma 2, we went and collected as much of that data as possible and organized it. And since we could utilize this data, that’s why we chose the Sigma games.”
Yasuda told Famitsu (via Kotaku) something similar last week, saying only “fragments of the data” could be found. Yasuda also noted during the Q&A that the developers have no plans to upgrade the collection to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. Ninja Gaiden Black used to be available on Xbox Game Pass but was pulled from it in 2019. Also included in the Master Collection is Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, an enhanced version of Ninja Gaiden III.