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Little Ninja Brothers

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Title Screen

Little Ninja Brothers

Also known as: Super Chinese 2: Dragon Kid (JP)
Developer: Culture Brain
Publisher: Culture Brain
Platform: NES
Released in JP: May 26, 1989
Released in US: December 1990
Released in EU: 1991


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


Little Ninja Brothers is the sequel to Culture Brain's early NES game Kung-Fu Heroes. Much like Culture Brain's other RPGs, it is known for having both action-based and menu-driven battles.

Unused Graphics

Flying Creature

Lnb-flyingthing.png

A little flying creature of some sort that's stored with the enemy graphics. It's not used in the game and this appears to be the only frame of it. Either filler, or an early creature that was scrapped.

Weird Face

Lnb-weirdface.png

This strange face appears in with the enemy graphics. It looks rather primitive in design compared to everything else, so it's probably just filler.

Happy Face

Lnb-happyface.png

A happy face in with the background objects. Also probably filler.

Unused Fonts

Lnb-jptext1.png Lnb-jptext2.png

These Japanese characters, す(su), コ (ko), ア (a), イ (i), and モ (mo), are repeated several times throughout the character portrait data in the ROM. These are likely leftovers from the Japanese version.

Passwords

Sound Test

Lnb-soundtest1.png Lnb-soundtest2.png

Enter SOUND at the Password Entry screen to access a Sound Test Mode. This will allow you to listen to any of the game's 31 tunes.

Ending

Lnb-ending1.png Lnb-ending2.png

Enter ENDING at the Password Entry screen to view the game's ending sequence.

Full

Lnb-full1.png Lnb-full2.png

Enter FULL at the Password Entry screen and begin the game. You'll start just outside the first town, but every single one of your stats will be maxed out. You'll be at the maximum possible experience level, and have the full amount of every obtainable item.

Lnb-full3.png Lnb-full4.png

You'll also have the best equipment and all of the Prism Bells. Essentially, you are ready to go right to the final boss and beat the game. This password was probably used by developers to make it easy to travel around the world and test everything.

Regional Differences

Title Screen

Japan U.S.
Lnb-titlejp.png Little Ninja Brothers-title.png

The game was originally titled Super Chinese 2: Dragon Kid in Japan. The original Super Chinese was localized as Kung-Fu Heroes in the U.S. However, the kung-fu theme was dropped from the U.S. version of the sequel in favor of making the main characters into ninjas, likely to capitalize on the ninja fad at the time. These redesigns of Jack and Ryu would later be used for Super Chinese 3 (which was unlocalized) and Super Ninja Boy. Note that Jack and Ryu have their hair/outfit colors switched on the Japanese title screen.

Lnb-faces.png

When the gong rings shortly after the title screen is displayed, Jack and Ryu's facial expressions change to that of surprise in the Japanese version. There is still a gong effect in the US release, but Jack and Ryu do not react to it.

Jack's Portait

Japan U.S.
Lnb-jackjp.png Lnb-jackus.png

Headbands were added to Jack and Ryu's portraits.

Jack's Sprites

Japan U.S.
Lnb-jackfrontjp.pngLnb-jackbackjp.pngLnb-jacksidejp.pngLnb-jackcheerjp.png Lnb-jackfrontus.pngLnb-jackbackus.pngLnb-jacksideus.pngLnb-jackcheerus.png

Jack and Ryu's sprites were redrawn to go along with the ninja motif. Headbands, sleeves, a belt buckle, and visible V-neck were added to their costumes. Their eyes were changed and they now throw their arms up when they cheer.

Banko

Japan U.S.
Lnb-bankojp.png Lnb-bankous.png

For some mysterious reason, Banko was changed from a male character to a female character for the US release, and his/her portrait was completely redrawn. Maybe they didn't feel the game had enough strong female presences?

Prism Bells

Japan U.S.
Lnb-prismbellsjp.png Lnb-prismbellsus.png

The Prism Bells were changed for the US release to more resemble what Americans would typically think a bell should look like.

Cut Characters

Sunwukong-1.PNG Xuanzang-1.PNG

There are two NPCs who appear exclusively in the Japanese version, based on Sun Wukong and Xuan Zang from the story Journey to the West. They appear in the town of Chatzy. Sun Wukong gives a hint about the location of the Dragstar item. Xuan Zang tells Jack and Ryu that he will leave the problems of the world in their hands because he's tired of walking. It is likely these characters were removed because the scene involved Xuan Zang getting drunk, which would have been against Nintendo's "no alcohol" rule.

Lnb-unused1.png Lnb-unused2.png

Despite this, their presence in the ending sequence, when the portraits of all the game's supporting characters are shown, was not removed. This was likely a slip-up due to how quickly all the portraits flash-by.

Tiger Tank

Japan U.S.
Lnb-tigertankjp.png Lnb-tigertankus1.png

The Tiger Tank enemy was called Hittora (Tiger Hitler) in the Japanese version, and its portrait sported a Hitler mustache and a swastika on its hat. The tiger seen riding on the tank for the sprite itself was also modified a bit for the US release to look more threatening, and what appears to be headlights were added to the tank.

Lnb-tigertankus2.png

Strangely enough, the Hitler mustache was not removed from the Tiger Tank's "injured" portrait. Maybe they thought it would appear to be a bruise and wasn't necessary to censor.

More Enemy Changes

Japan U.S.
Lnb-kappajp.png Lnb-kappaus.png

The Kappa enemy was redrawn for the US release. He looks a lot goofier and only his head is visible above water, whereas the Japanese version's front arms were visible, too.

Japan U.S.
Lnb-ninjajp.png Lnb-ninjaus.png

The masked ninja bandit things with the unicorn horns were slightly touched up for the US release. Like Jack and Ryu, they were given full sleeves, a visible V-neck, and a belt buckle. Their faces were also slightly modified to be a little thinner.

Screen Transition

Lnb-x1.pngLnb-x2.png

In the US version, when you are attacked on the overworld by a random enemy party, the screen flashes and then immediately transitions to the screen that asks if you want to fight or run. In the Japanese version, however, after the screen flashes, an "X" appears across it, and then expands out from the middle until the whole screen is black before it transitions. This was probably removed to cut down on wait time.

Other Random Changes

The random encounter rate is much higher in the US release than it is in the Japanese version. While Culture Brain greatly toned down the difficulty of their earlier NES RPG, The Magic of Scheherazade, for the American version, it would seem Little Ninja Brothers was actually made harder.