The original Ninja Gaiden Black and II code has apparently been lost, so you get Sigma

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People who missed the first 3D action Ninja Gaiden games released in the Aughts (and those others we’re not really talking about from 2012) will have the chance to play all three in June in Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection, announced for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PS4. But unfortunately the first two entries in the trilogy will be based on the Sigma reissues that originally came out on PS3 and PS Vita, not their final versions (Ninja Gaiden Black for the original Xbox and Ninja Gaiden II for the Xbox 360) because the team says their source code has disappeared.

With reference to a recent Famitsu interview (via Kotaku), an employee of developer Team Ninja told the publication that “only fragments of the data remain. We couldn’t save them. “So it’s not that the company prefers the Sigma remakes of the beloved original titles: this was apparently Team Ninja’s only option.

Another Ninja Gaiden Black screengrab runs on Xbox One X, featuring the original Xbox design like an Easter egg.

“I am aware that there are pros and cons,” said Team Ninja brand manager Fumihiko Yasuda, referring to the Sigma remakes. “For me personally, Ninja Gaiden II was my debut, so I have a deep sense of it, ”said Yasuda FamitsuThe pros he’s talking about are the graphics and performance improvements and additional content. The drawbacks are more numerous, such as how many people felt Ninja Gaiden Sigma and Sigma ii were made easier than the copies of those 2004, 2005, and 2008 games, and some of the level design, game items, story beats, and enemies were changed. The interview does not address or the data for the original 2004 version of Ninja Gaiden still exists, or if Sigma is really the only complete copy of the game in existence.

I’m still looking forward to playing all of these games again, possibly on my Nintendo Switch, but this is another example of why conservation in gaming is so important. These aren’t even particularly old titles, with the original Ninja Gaiden Released on Xbox just 17 years ago. But regardless of age, gaming’s rich history can be better remembered by having those games nearby rather than wishing they still exist. Well, time to get my copy Ninja Gaiden Black and never let go.