I am a big fan of the Super Nintendo's Rushing Beat
trilogy, and my fondness for this wacky Final Fight
alternative will become apparent here on GameWTFs.com.
Though they're hampered a bit by much goofier American versions (including giving each game a different title--Rival Turf, Brawl Brothers, and The Peacekeepers, respectively), these three loosely-connected beat-em-ups hold a special place in my heart/controller.
So without further ado, let's dig in to the best playable character in Brawl Brothers, the second game. For it is that game which contains the swiftest, fightin'-est, JOLLIEST ninja ever to lace up a pair of giant red sneakers: KAZAN!
Decking the Halls with Bowels of Enemies
Most Nintendo-aficionados (Nintenionados?) have learned that video game ninjas are a little different from their rumored historical counterparts. These masked assassins were legendary for their ability to sneak around, kill people, and eat pizza, all while cloaked in fashionable black Snuggies. However, Nintendo has long postulated that they've contemporized their drab wardrobe in the modern era by adopting fashionable pastel- and purple-colored battle gear.
Even so, few video games had so directly connected these angels of death with the color scheme of another odd religious figure: Saint Nicholas. That's where Kazan is different: not satisfied with bedecking himself in ONE flashy color, he took the two-tone approach to ninja-wear, borrowing his color scheme from the evergreen and red-berry hues of Father NoŽl himself.
Stalking through the strange Brawl Brothers location I like to call "Brawl City", Kazan wears a set of leprechaun-booger-green tights, while one of his shoulders and his sweet sneakers are all aglow in fire engine red.
This day-glo Ninja might be an almost comical figure...were it not for the giant curved sword strapped to his back. Fortunately for his enemies, though, in his wisdom he knows that the greatest power of all has been inside of him all along -- a stick of gum he swallowed two years ago, and it'll be another five years before its digested -- so he only whips out his mighty blade for the final coup-de-grace (which is a French phrase which means "sports sedan made out of videotapes of Will and Grace").
Yes, his fists and comically clown-sized footwear are more than enough to best the pernicious pugilists he'll encounter in Brawl City's picturesque Bay Side, Bridge, Drain, Gym (etc), so Kazan only rarely sullies his blade. Oh, unless you hit the "taunt" button, in which case he flashes the pointy ninja sword to no appreciable effect even if there's enemies standing right in front of him. No, this is the parsley of sword-strikes: it's just there for show, and if you eat it, people will look at you funny.
While not waving a possibly imaginary sword about, Kazan is honing his magical ability to jump two additional times while already in mid-air. Whatever is in those woodchuck-sized sneakers on his feet, they certainly give him a great vertical leap! We can only speculate, of course, but I imagine it involves the powdered horn of a zeppelin, mixed with the imprisoned ghosts of a thousand overpriced "Air Jordan" shoes from the 1980s. It's worth noting that Kazan is the master of the Triple-Jump, while none of the other playable characters in Brawl Brothers can even double-jump; thus we can only conclude that Kazan hogged all the zeppelin horn.
Also Kazan is blessed with an extreme running speed which is fast enough to make Tony Hawk look like a dead gopher flying backwards towards the big bang at twice the speed of light! Uh, well, that would be going pretty fast, but since it's in the wrong direction, we'll pretend it's going SLOWER than no speed at all. Very slow indeed!
And finally, let's examine Kazan's awesome ninja half-face-mask: because when Kazan goes out to kick ass and take names, anonymity takes a back seat to showing off his bodacious Dawson's Creek-esque heartthrob hairdo. (Fortunately, like Charles Dickens and Kickle Cubicle, Dawson's Creek is an eternal cultural constant, so I don't need to worry about this reference being out-of-date)
To Sum Up: Kazan is the Ninjaest Ninja who ever Ninjaed
In conclusion, many of Kazan's Brawl Brethren have a power or two, some of them even have a little style, but none are as spiffy as Kazan, with his triple-jump, super-duper running speed, and overall merry color-scheme. Thus if you pick any of the other characters*, you are both a fool and no Brawl Brother of mine!
*: except for "Hack" for the roof stage, when his increased bad-guy-tossin' skills help you heave ruffian after ruffian over the edge of the building to a horrible death.