Ninja Golf!
by: -RoG-

My grandfather once took me golfing when I was a kid. He was really good at the sport, but I never really picked up an interest in it. I had more fun running around in the woods searching for lost balls rather than playing the actual game. Then came along a video game which gave me a whole different perspective on the sport. That game?


best. game. EVER. Ninjas and Golf. Together at last.

While most people never even played the Atari 7800 due to Nintendo's domination of the video game market when it came out, it did have quite a few interesting titles. But no game, and I mean no game could possibly compete with the allure of a title such as Ninja Golf. And just look at that box cover... he's armed with golf tees instead of throwing knives for crissakes. It doesn't get much better than that folks.


And the Ninja Golf logo destroys any other sports team logo. Seriously, would you rather own a shirt with a ninja, armed with golf clubs of death, flying through the air on it or a shirt with a guy hitting a baseball? There's no competition. Ninja golf is the #1 sport. but where did Ninja Golf originate? For the answer to this question and others, I turned to the instruction booklet:

"For ten years you've trained to be a Ninja. And now your Master tells you
that it's time to take the final, most difficult test and become a Master
Ninja. You must complete the game of death. You must play nine holes of... Ninja Golf?

You knew your Master was a bit weird, but nothing prepared you for this!
You must attempt to sneak in a birdie between karate kicks while you battle Ninja opponents. Par for this course means leaving the green littered with fallen foes.

You gain points for both your golf game and defeating attacking Ninja. You
can also earn points for finding treasures and other bonus items along the

Once you've completed all nine holes successfully, be ready to challenge
the disguised Master Ninja. This final battle will determine whether or not
you become a Master Ninja. And if you win, it will improve your golf score."

Well, it's better than having to take an algebra test.

Yeah, I think it's pretty safe to say this isn't the same game my granddad showed me. But that's a good thing, because now I have an actual reason to play golf. "Action" in this game could mean somebody dying, whereas "action" in regular golf usually means the ball fell off the tee or the golf cart battery went dead or the golfer's pants weren't one of the regulation plaid patterns. Welp, it's time for this ninja to tee off!


I'm sure this is the first time you've seen a Ninja playing golf. Savor this moment folks, life doesn't get much better than this.

Ninja beatdown! :o

Unfortunately for your ninja, he doesn't have the luxury of a golf cart. He has to make his way on foot to where the ball landed, but there are many obstacles in his path. For starters, there are many ninja roaming freely on these golf courses. And their mission? To end your life before you even make it to the ball. They come in an assortment of colors and will not hesitate to kick your ass if you're not watching. Fortunately you have throwing stars if things get a bit too rough, but your supply of them is limited, so it's best to save them for the tougher opponents. But some of these ninja have more tricks up their sleeves.

Damned chameleons! >:(

Rather than just attacking you in visible bright outfits, some ninja have truly mastered the art of stealth. These chameleon-ninja will blend in with their surroundings so that you can barely even see them coming until they've already landed a few punches and kicks on ya.

Dishonor? Eh, I supposed I should be used to it by now...

Yes, sadly if you let the hordes of angry golf course ninja thwart your efforts to reach the hole, you will bring dishonor upon your family and yourself. And don't take it lightly, they aren't kidding about that dishonor shit. My family won't speak to me now that they're not allowed to visit the orient due to the dishonor that I brought upon our family name. I took the advice of the scroll dragon and decided to try my luck at the game again... but it appears that those ninja warriors were the least of my problems. Behold:


Damn, I guess 'Caddyshack' wasn't as much of a comedy flick as it was a warning about ninja-hating, mud-slinging gophers. On their own, they're really not hard to defeat because all you gotta do is jump over the mud. But when you're fighting a couple of ninja at the same time, it can be difficult to avoid the globs o' mud coming your way.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turt... er... Frogs?

When you have to travel in the areas with taller grass, you're in for a real shock. I'm not sure what caused them to grow so large, or what made them decide to attack you, but there they are... mutant frogs. The only good thing is once they hop past you, they won't turn around to attack you again, unlike the other ninja golfers.


Should you be unfortunate enough to have to cross a sand trap, you will have to face some deadly cobras. They don't actually move, so if you have throwing stars they're an easy kill. But if you're all out of throwing stars, you have to time your attack just right or they'll bite ya. I still prefer to save the throwing stars for other creatures later on though, you'll see what I mean soon enough.

Trust me, it's hard to wash egg out of a Ninja uniform.

Whenever you walk through an area with trees, you'll constantly get bombarded with eggs from these bastardly little birds. The only way to kill the birds is to jump and chuck a throwing star, and in all honesty, it's not worth wasting the stars on them. The one trick I found was that if you can keep on running without stopping, the birds won't be able to drop the egg on time. The problem is, there's other ninja foes in your path, so moving without stopping in these areas can often prove to be pretty friggin' difficult. Keep in mind, this is all while playing the game on the Easy level setting. There's also Normal, Hard, and Kamikaze level settings which obviously make the game more frustrating.

Amazing how a ninja can survive a deadly shark attack eh?

I don't know how the hell they got there, but the water holes on this golf course are infested with bloodthirsty sharks. I don't care how much ninja training you have, there's just no way for you to prepare to fight a friggin shark underwater. Actually, you can somehow hurl your throwing stars at the sharks while you're down there. How the laws of physics can allow this to happen is beyond me, but I guess that's all a part of your master ninja training. Anyway, yeah if you have throwing stars, be prepared to use them on the underwater boards, otherwise, it's nearly impossible to get by without a shark hitting you at least a couple o' times.

So you've survived all of the creatures that mother nature put in your way, that bitch, and now it's time to make your way to the hole. But before you can, you must defeat the flying dragon guardian at the end of each hole.

Don't worry, he'll get bored enough soon.

On the earlier holes, these dragon guardians don't move too fast so it's pretty easy to shoot your ninja throwing stars at their heads. But in the later rounds, they move so quickly back and forth across the screen that it's pretty damned hard to hit 'em. Plus, while you're doing that, you have to dodge the fireballs that they shoot at you. Once you do hit them enough, they don't die, they just kind of fly away. I dunno, I guess these dragon guardians just get bored eventually. It is golf after all.

OMEDETO GOZAIMAS! I'm not sure what it means, but it must be good!

Should you complete all 9 holes of the Ninja Golf course, you will become a Master Ninja! I never saw the "disguised master ninja" that the instructions spoke of, unless his disguise was just another guardian dragon. I beat the game, and it claimed the honor of my family would remain intact for generations to come. I told my family about this, but they still won't speak to me, so I guess they're angry about something completely different than my previous Ninja Golf failures. Hrmm, I suppose it could be that house fire I started a while back. OMEDETO GOZAIMAS!


the end.


Click here to download the Ninja Golf game rom!

Click here to download the Mess Atari 7800 Emulator

Click here to download the Atari 7800 Bios File

note: there are several things you'll have to do in order to get the emulator to work. Follow these steps and you'll have no problem.

  1. Unzip the Mess Atari 7800 emulator into a folder called "mess".

  2. Inside the mess folder you will find a "bios" folder. Inside the bios folder, create a new folder named "a7800" and unzip the Atari 7800 bios file into it.

  3. Inside the mess folder you will find a "software" folder. Inside the software folder, create a new folder named "a7800" and unzip the Ninja Golf rom file into it.

  4. Run the messgui.exe file and select ATARI 7800 NTSC in the left window and you should see the Ninja Golf.a78 rom file appear in the right window. From there, simply double-click on the Ninja Golf file and the game will load.

  5. Controls for the game are as follows:
    Arrow Keys = Move
    Control Key = Attack
    Alt key = Jump

***BONUS #2***

Click here to play the Ninja Golf flash game!
click here to play!

Have any questions or comments about this piece?


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Reader Comments

Nov 30th, 2012, 02:02 AM
Thanks for making me aware of this. Now I can put it right under Mutant League Football on my list of sports franchises that need to make a comeback.

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