10 Video Games Based On Real Life Stories

9. Mystical Ninja: Starring Goemon

war of mine

In the musical N64 number Mystical Ninja: Starring Goemon, the eponymous, elaborately blue-haired hero and his crew of eccentric accomplices travel the length of Oedo hitting things with a kiseru, riding the tail of a dragon and at one point, commandeering a gigantic robot as they attempt to thwart the Peach Mountain Shogun gang from turning Japan into one big theatre.

It's fair to say then, that Konami's retelling of the legend of Japan's Robin Hood cum Don Quixote expy Ishikawa Goemon isn't necessarily faithful to the one popularised by 18th century kabuki theatre - though perhaps that's just as well, given the real man's adventures ended being boiled alive in a bathtub.

Though his escapades have been dramatically exaggerated and enhanced by historical retelling, Goemon was a real outlaw with pretensions of heroism, at one point allegedly leading an assassination attempt on warlord Oda Nobunaga (another man with a whole series of games based around him). It was another failed hit, this time on Toyotomi Hideyoshi, which resulted in Goemon's culturally celebrated execution. Today, round iron bathtubs are known in Japan as goemonburo - 'Goemon baths'.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team

Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know). He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.