Precisely one month after Vampire Day I just had to ask the perennial question who would win in a fight between pirates and ninjas?
Historically, ninjas are viewed as criminals and villains, but really they were fighting for what they thought was right by using any method they could. They learned all sorts of martial arts and magic tricks. Ninjas could turn invisible, enter into any structure undetected, poison the guards, and leave a knife in the back of the head of household. Ninjas possessed stealth that allowed them to climb sheer surfaces and overhangs. It allowed them to traverse the squeakiest of floors or rockiest of gravel pathways. They mastered the arts of concealment and could even fight in complete silence. They fought with noiseless shuriken (ninja stars), flashy nunchucks, swords, sais, chains, staves, and of course their unmeasured martial arts abilities. They knew their poisons and dust cloud powders. Ninjas posed as regular people and wandered the streets, but when it was time for action they put on the black suits and made with the sneaky. Silent, invisible killers – these guys were cool.
Pirates were viewed as criminals and villains because they were. These guys hated their bosses and so they took to a life of crime and excess. Pirates fought every single day and they could live for weeks on watered down rum. When they weren’t fighting they were drinking and whoring, and when they weren’t drinking and whoring they were sailing. If they lost a leg, a hand, or an eye, they replaced it with wood or steel, then fought some more. Pirates were in it for the money and the good times. They didn’t care that they smelled or wore rags because they knew every day could be their last. When your choices are fighting off death or fighting off stink we’d all side with the sea dogs. Mercenary, bloodthirsty, and cheating – pirates were cool. So cool that even their pet monkeys wore vests, fezzes, or eye patches.
Then you have to look at the other major forces in the world. Whilst Pirates and Ninjas control the vast majority of the world, as technology changes so do the powers that be.
The Undead like Vampires, Skeletons and Zombies (they always act as a trio) were viewed as criminals and villains but they may or may not be. All of them have come about through being bitten or reanimated by existing members of the classes. A dead Pirate or Ninja can come back as a Zombie or a Skeleton and if bitten by a Vampire be turned into one of them. As self-replicants they fight on not to gain power through possession of material but through claiming combatants. Their principle method of fighting is via the bite, but Skeletons are usually well equipped in the arts of close combat with swords.
The last group are the Robots. Robots are neither alive nor undead and have to be destroyed like Zombies and Skeletons through dismembering. Depending on what sort of Robots they are, they may be equipped with all manner of mechanical and technological weaponry. This includes lasers, flamethrowers, guns, swords, spikes and bommyknockers. Robots have no fighting code unless expressly programmed, so a rouge Robot shows no remorse or fear when killing an opponent. All enemies are simply targets acquired which must be eliminated. Notable Robots include the Daleks, Astro Boy, and Robbie.
If all of them came into combat, it would largely depend on where the conflict occurred. Pirates would be better on sea, Ninjas excel in the forest and the Undead and Robots are better in open spaces. All things being equal though, who ever would be killed would bolster the ranks of the Undead.
Zombies and Skeletons are slow moving and would be hacked apart by Robots and Ninjas. Pirates vs Robots would see a hopeless slaughter of Pirates because of an obvious impass of technology. Ninjas and Vampires would be an interesting line up, because if a Ninja was bitten you'd then have a Ninja Vampire which would very interesting indeed. Equally Ninjas can probably move faster than Robots and more than likely dismantle vital elements.
I think it would all be a really interesting match-up; but I wouldn't want to be caught in the middle of it. If you throw into the mix Legions, Paladins, Knights, Aliens, Wizards, Witches, Dwarves, Trolls and Mechas, you'd probably have the basis of the coolest movie ever made. Better throw in a few motorbikes, explosions, a car chase, disaster on a space station, a love story, some secret agents, and a small kitten as the hero who fights despite adversity just for good measure.
Horse 591 - Addenda:
I still want a cut of the royalties from the book, film, DVD, CD Soundtrack, merchandise and the adaptions in both "On Ice" and "The Muscial" formats.