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Kid Niki: Radical Ninja (Arcade)

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Title Screen

Kid Niki: Radical Ninja

Also known as: Kaiketsu Yanchamaru (JP)
Developer: Irem
Publisher: Irem
Platforms: Arcade (Irem M62 hardware)
Released internationally: December 1986


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


Kid Niki is a Radical Ninja from the eighties. When he's not skateboarding in Cali or chowing down on a pineapple and ham pizza, he's busy grooving to the latest cuts from Queen and waging a war on drugs and inner-city gang violence.

Unused Graphics

KidNikiUnusedCloud.png
A word balloon in the same style as the ones used by the Round 6 boss. 手 translates as "Hand", though it could also be part of an indeterminate compound word.

(Translation: Joe)
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Regional Differences

Before coming to overseas audience, Kid Niki underwent some serious radification.

Player

Japan International
KidNikiArcPlayerJP.png KidNikiArcPlayerINT.png

The most notable and obvious change was done to the player character. Yanchamaru has a topknot and a relatively neat hairstyle compared to the gnarly mess that is Kid Niki's 'do.

Title

Japan International
KidNikiArcHighScoresJP.png KidNikiArcHighScoresINT.png

The Japanese game has 8-character high score names, as well as a default set of names. The international game has 3-character names and a high score table that's blank by default.

Japan International
KidNikiArcPushStartJP.png KidNikiArcPushStartINT.png

The game's totally tubular backstory is only present in the international game.

Round Intro

Japan International
KidNikiArcRoundStartJP.png KidNikiArcRoundStartINT.png

The round intro in the Japanese version is very plain, only giving the name of the boss. The international versions add more text, the boss' sprite, and the current player.

Round Japan International
Round 1 VS OTAFUKU TAROU LAND OF THE TREES
KILL "DEATH BREATH"
Round 2 VS JIZOU KOZOU LAND OF STONE BUDDHAS
DEFEAT "SPIKE"
Round 3 VS ZOUSHOKU MUSUME LAND OF THE CLIFFS
DESTROY "HORNED WITCH"
Round 4 VS OTEMO MUKADE CASTLE OF GROTE GREEN GRUB
DESTROY EACH SECTION WITH
SWORD
Round 5 VS SEKKYOU OSHOU FOREST OF MAD MONKS
TURN "BIG BALDY" TO STONE
Round 6 VS KABUTO BUSHI AT THE CASTLE GATE
KILL GUARD WHEN SPEAR
IS DOWN
Round 7 VS ZOURINGEN BATTLE THE "STONE WIZARD"
FREE PRINCESS MARGO
Round 8 ZOURINGEN NIGETA! YOU HAVE TRAPPED THE WIZARD
FINISH HIM OFF

Other Graphics

Japan International
KidNikiArcNinjaJP.png KidNikiArcNinjaINT.png

The masked enemies have more distinct / less angry eyes in the international game.

Japan International
KidNikiArcBossHitJP.png
KidNikiArcBossHitINT.png

The humanoid bosses' exclamation of pain changed from "Ooh" to "Ouch!". The international graphic had to be expanded to make the text fit.

Japan International
KidNikiArcBigCloudJP.png
KidNikiArcBigCloudINT.png

Sekkyou Oshou/Big Baldy's unique method of attacking had to be changed. Both the word balloon and voice clips were redone.

Japan International
KidNikiArcBigImpact.png
KidNikiArcBigImpact.png

While the graphic wasn't translated (it's an exclamation used for scolding a practitioner of Zen, so it doesn't really have a direct English translation), the voice clip was. Hopefully he's saying "cough." (喝 is pronounced 'katsu')

(Kanji explanation: divingkataetheweirdo)
Japan International
KidNikiArcSmallCloudJP.png
KidNikiArcSmallCloudINT.png

The last of the Big Baldy changes. The text in the word balloon is only red in the Japanese version.

Other Text

Round Clear

Japan International
AHA, YOU HAVE DONE
IT VERY WELL.
GOOD JOB KID NIKI
THE ADVENTURE GOES ON

This isn't very radical, but it is more coherent.

Final Round Clear

Japan International
I MADE IT!
I DEFEATED HIM AT LAST.
YOU MADE IT!
YOU DEFEATED THE STONE WIZARD!

The international text is no longer in the first-person.

Ending

Japan International
THANKS TO YOU.
PEACE RETURNED
TO OUR CASTLE.
WE SHALL REMEMBER
YOU FOREVER.

THANK YOU
YANCHAMARU.

SEE YOU AGAIN.
THANKS TO YOUR AWESOME NINJA
SKILLS PEACE HAS RETURNED
TO OUR CASTLE ONCE AGAIN.

WE WILL REMEMBER YOU FOREVER
KID NIKI!
YOU ARE ONE RAD DUDE!

In addition to the increased radicalosity, the international ending's text is also formatted a whole lot better.

Other Changes

  • The international versions added mid-stage checkpoints, whereas the Japanese version forced you back to the beginning of the level upon death. The NES/Famicom port had the same mid-stage checkpoints in all regions.
(Source: Original TCRF research)