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The origin of stealth.
Rikimaru and Ayame were orphaned at birth, left in the charge of Lord Gohda. Instructed in the way of the ninja from day one, they have not known any other life. As they matured, so did their abilities, until at last they were called upon to serve their lord. Their master has been betrayed, and the culprits must pay for it in blood.
Tenchu 2: Birth of the Assassins is the prequel to the fantastic Tenchu: Stealth Assassins. Yup, you read correctly, a prequel. All the events in Tenchu 2 occur approximately four years earlier than the original. Think of it like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but with ninjas.
Though the events may have occurred earlier, Tenchu 2 gives you more skills, more weapons, and a brand new engine. Don't worry, however, the innovative blend of patience and action that made the first Tenchu great is still there. Sneak up on your target and slit his throat before he has a chance to call the guards. This time, however, you have to watch out for sound traps hidden in the bushes . . . they know you're coming and they've prepared.
Among your new skills are multiple ways of killing enemies and manipulation of the dead bodies. You can search your fallen foes for weapons, then drag their body out of sight of the guards. Be a good ninja and clean up after yourself.
A neat feature in Tenchu 2 is the unique storylines for both Rikimaru and Ayame. You get to see the story unfold through a different set of eyes. The 12 missions also promise to be varied depending which ninja you choose. On top of that, there's a third, secret character that you can play the game with. He's such a good ninja, he hides from the character selection screen.
There was an amazing debug code for the first Tenchu that gave you the ability to place enemies and objects anywhere, and that may have been the inspiration for the mission editor in Tenchu 2. That's right - you can make your own maps, place enemies, adjust specific AI levels, and save it all to your memory card to trade with friends. This seemingly endless replayability is rarer than a purple-nosed heffalump and a surprising addition to a Playstation game.
Tenchu: Stealth Assassins is one of the best games ever on the Playstation. One of the hardest things to do in the game industry is develop a sequel to an excellent game (*cough* Tomb Raider *cough*). Tenchu 2: Birth of the Assassins, however, looks to break that stereotype by adding new options without losing what made the first game great. Fans of the first game are sure to love the prequel. So practice your ninja skills - you're going to need them all to get through this adventure!
Sharpen your blade! Tenchu 2: Birth of the Assassins is due out Summer 2000 for the Playstation.