How Tenchu: Stealth Assassins Changed Video Games Forever

'Tenchu: Stealth Assassins' showed the world how to live by honor and kill by stealth.

Christopher71d ago


In the 80s, there were two Metal Gear games alone that helped to usher in stealth games. And in 1998, there were 3 major games that have become the foundation for modern-day stealth games (not just one). Tenchu, Thief, and Metal Gear Solid. The last one is the most popular of the three.

ApocalypseShadow70d ago

Yeah. I think the writer is off in his history. Or was only born during the era of PlayStation. As much as I love Aquire games, Tenchu wasn't first in this concept as I was sneaking well before 98. But I'm guessing he's giving it credit as first to release on PS1 even though Metal Gear Solid was to release in 1997 before Tenchu but was delayed.

The strange thing, and it's speculation, both games are in development in 94, 95. Someone seems to know what the other is doing without getting busted for copyright infringement. Maybe developers talked about concepts over saki. Same over the head angle, same first person view to look, same angle in hiding behind a wall, both simulating different forms of combat, same changes in music, both orchestra like, both releasing for PS1, etc.

The timing of both arriving with a similar gameplay concept in 3D is just interesting. Sony publishing Tenchu is interesting. I would like to know "who knew who and who knew what in relation to both at that time. Unless it was just spontaneous. It's rare for that to happen though. And Sony then releasing the flip side of stealth with Syphon Filter.

But I guess it all doesn't matter. Metal Gear and Tenchu both get accolades for their awesomeness. Metal Gear gets the high sales and recognition from a series that started well before PlayStation that I think grew the stealth genre more than Tenchu did.

Shout out to Noriyuki Asakura. His music was banging at the time. Even the title music is awesome.

bunt-custardly69d ago (Edited 69d ago )

Metal Gear Solid was not awash with the numerous gadgets the article alludes to, although who could forget the usefulness of chaff grenades! MGS also became classic with all those codec conversations, cutscenes and goofy Kojima moments like putting the gamepad on the floor and having Mantis move it with his l337 skillz. IIRC, Tenchu was much less about the sword based combat, and much more panther stealth with fun tools. It also offered open sandbox type maps which MGS games didn't really offer until MGS V! The grappling hook as well has been used in many games since then including the Assassin's Creed series. I think the author has a point buried in there (not discrediting Tenchu at all), but perhaps ignoring the other stealth games at the time comes across a little disingenuous.

Vanfernal69d ago

The whole stealth assassination by sneaking up to an enemy for an instant kill can be pretty much be attributed to Tenchu and is a mechanic common in almost every modern 3rd person action game. Assassin's Creed, Souls games, heck, even RE4 Remake has it now.

Christopher68d ago

Ah, I see you changed the title after my comment. It used to say it invented stealth games we know today. I agree with the new title but perhaps do that before submitting.