The Last Ninja Boids

the last ninja

Back in the 80s I was the proud owner of a Commodore 64, and among the first games I played was The Last Ninja. It is also one of my favorite games from the era. It featured an interesting gameplay and a great music score.

Now, following my first boids simulations I wanted to make a multi-colored simulation, with boids grouping according to color. Obviously, to avoid looking completely smeared out, the number of colors must be limited. The Commodore 64 offered developers 16 colors to work with. The game’s iconic ninja eyes image uses 8 colors on a black background and suits my purpose perfectly.

I also wanted to add one of the game’s music tracks to the simulation video. While reading up on the music I found out that unfortunately both composers, Ben Daglish and Anthony Lees had passed away. So for what it is worth, I present the video below as a tribute to them both. I decided to use “Wastelands” from the first stage of the game, and composed by Daglish. Thanks for the great memories guys!

For those interested, there are 15268 boids moving and interacting according to Craig Reynolds’ boids rules. Unfortunately, YouTube does not always make a great job resolving individual boids. The starting positions follow the non-black pixels in a 240×144 pixels title image, while starting velocities are random. As already mentioned, there are 8 differently colored boids, and they only interact with boids of the same color. That sounds racist, but it is not, they are all equals.

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