Sinjid: Shadow of the Warrior
Before the great ninja's final doomed confrontation with Warlord Baka and his Fallen Army, Hattori, the protector of the land, delivered to his friend Fujin the only thing Hattori had left to care for: his infant son, Sinjid. Fujin secreted the babe to the great mountains of Hejstu. There, for the next twenty years, Fujin would train the lad, to combat the Fallen Army that still scourged the land. Today, Sinjid is ready in mind and body to face Warlord Baka, but in combat experience he is lacking. Thus, Fujin has sent Sinjid to the Shadow Temple. Inside the temple resides the great Human Gateway, a portal that can transport a single warrior to the locations of evil men across the land: from the lowliest thief to those like Baka, who seem nothing more than demons in human guise. It is there, at the final stage of Sinjid's training, that we pick up the story... Infrarift Entertainment presents Sinjid: Shadow of the Warrior, an arena RPG.
You start by selecting which class of ninja your character will be, and thus your starting stats and abilities. Move Sinjid with the [arrow] keys and interact with different characters or move to different areas by pressing the [spacebar]. Going through the Human Gateway will start a turn-based battle against increasingly dangerous foes. Victories will give grant you gold, to be spent on various weapons, items, and armor, as well as experience points. Gain enough experience and you'll gain a level, unlocking new skill points to allocate and magical abilities. There are also various sidequests around the temple to complete, and other optional gates to open where you can test your abilities against even greater foes. Defeat all twenty enemies, and you may leave the Shadow Temple for the final confrontation.
Though he was just one member of the team, the fact that Sinjid was in part developed by Krin, author of the the massively popular zombie RPG series Sonny, should definitely pique the interest of all looking for the hidden gems of browser role-playing. After all, if there's anything the internet loves more than the undead, it's ninjas. Being from 2005, Sinjid's ambitions are, of course, tempered by the then-current version of Flash: things like manual saving or scene transitions do take a little getting re-used to. However, the limitations of the engines gives the game a charming retro quality. (Do browser gamers feel the same sort of nostalgia for Flash 7 that others do for the NES or Gameboy? Well, why not?) It helps that Sinjid was ahead of its time when it comes to content, and its battles and strategies hold up quite well even today. The story is a standard tale of vengeance, but effectively told, and though the action is largely confined to a single temple, there are quite a few nooks and crannies to explore and secrets to find. All in all, Shinjid: Shadow of the Warrior is a solid role-playing experience and, with its long-awaited sequel just released, this is the perfect time to see where the saga began.