System 3: The „Last Ninjas” of the Gaming Industry – A Legendary Company of the C64 Era

RETRO – System 3, a UK-based video game development company, has been a pioneer in the gaming industry since its inception in 1982. With its innovative and challenging games such as “The Last Ninja” series, “Putty Squad”, and “Constructor”, System 3 has left a lasting impact on the gaming world and continues to be a beloved company among gamers. In this essay, we will explore the history and impact of System 3 on the gaming industry.



The company, founded by Mark Cale in 1982, was a pioneer in the video game industry. Mark was driven by his passion for the rapidly growing gaming industry, particularly the success of the Commodore 64. He started his journey in the gaming world by developing games for other companies, but soon saw an opportunity to make his mark on the industry. With a vision to create his own company, System 3 was born.

The company’s launch title, “The Last Ninja,” was a huge success and helped establish System 3 as a leading video game development company in the UK. The Last Ninja’s captivating storyline, innovative gameplay, and challenging levels earned it a place in the hearts of gamers, and it quickly became one of the most iconic games of the 1980s. The game’s success provided the foundation for System 3 to grow and expand, leading to the development of numerous other successful games and establishing the company as a major player in the video game industry.

Throughout the years, System 3 continued to innovate and push the boundaries of what was possible in video game development. The company’s commitment to quality and excellence in game design has earned it a reputation as one of the most respected and influential video game development companies in the industry. With a rich history of pioneering new technologies and delivering exciting, engaging experiences to gamers, System 3 remains a cornerstone of the video game industry and continues to inspire new generations of gamers and developers.



The Last Ninja series: the cornerstone of System 3’s legacy


The Last Ninja series is widely regarded as one of the most iconic video game franchises of the late 20th century. The series consists of three games, each one building upon its predecessor’s story, gameplay, and graphics, and continues to be a beloved and respected franchise to this day.

The first game in the series, “The Last Ninja”, was released in 1987 for the Commodore 64. The game was an instant hit and established System 3 as one of the UK’s leading video game development companies. The Last Ninja follows the journey of a ninja named Armakuni as he tries to save his people from evil forces that threaten to destroy his home and his way of life. Its captivating storyline, innovative gameplay, and challenging levels made it a classic and cemented its place in video game history.

The Last Ninja was also noteworthy for its unique development process. Although a UK-based company developed the game, the game’s music was composed by a Hungarian musician, Rob Hubbard, who is considered one of the greatest video game composers of all time. The combination of Hubbard’s unforgettable musical score with the game’s innovative gameplay and captivating storyline made The Last Ninja a truly memorable experience.

The Last Ninja 2 and 3 continued the series’ legacy, building upon the story and gameplay of the first game while adding new elements and improving graphics. The games were equally successful and are still remembered by many gamers as some of the best games of their time. Today, the Last Ninja series continues to be a beloved franchise, with fans eagerly awaiting a new entry in the series. Whether you are a fan of action-adventure games, platformers, or simply classic video games, the Last Ninja series is a must-play for any true gamer.



Other Games by System 3


In addition to the Last Ninja series, System 3 has created many other popular games. System 3 is known for its commitment to creating innovative, challenging, and fun games, which has helped the company establish a loyal fanbase and a reputation as one of the best video game development companies in the UK.

International Karate is a martial art fighting video game developed by System 3 and released in 1986 for the Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum platforms. The game is a one or two-player martial arts fighting game that features three different levels of difficulty and allows players to choose from three different characters, each with their own unique moves and abilities. International Karate was praised for its graphics and smooth gameplay, and is considered a classic game in the martial arts fighting genre.

Another classic: Myth: History in the Making, released in 1989 was a 2D platform game developed for various platforms including Commodore 64, Amiga, Amiga CD32, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum. The game follows the story of a teenage boy from the 20th century or a mystical warrior in 63 AD, as they travel through different time periods and locations to collect magic orbs and defeat the evil Dameron and his minions. The gameplay consists of running, jumping, fighting enemies, collecting weapons and objects, and solving puzzles. Each level is based on related myths and legends and features a mythical boss enemy.

And let’s not forget about Vendetta either. It was a 1989 beat ’em up video game developed by System 3 and released for the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum platforms. The game features a protagonist who must rescue a professor and his daughter who have been kidnapped by terrorists threatening to detonate a miniature nuclear weapon. The protagonist collects weapons and evidence along the way to progress through different levels including an army base, a booby-trapped airplane, and central park. Vendetta was based on the same display and rendering method used in the game “The Last Ninja,” but with a rewritten engine that was later used in “Last Ninja 3.”

One of System 3’s most popular games is “Putty Squad”. Released in 1992, “Putty Squad” is a classic platformer game that is known for its fun and challenging levels. Players control a blue blob named Putty as he travels through various levels, overcoming obstacles and defeating enemies to save his friends. The game was praised for its smooth controls, colorful graphics, and challenging levels. “Putty Squad” was a huge success.

Another popular game created by System 3 is “Constructor”. Released in 1997, “Constructor” is a simulation game that tasks players to build and manage their own construction company. The game features various buildings, characters, and challenges, and players must use their resources and cunning to become the best construction company in the city. The game was praised for its challenging gameplay, detailed graphics, and entertaining storyline, and it continues to be a favorite among players who enjoy building and management games.



A legendary company


System 3 has had a significant impact on the gaming industry over the past few decades. Its classic games, such as The Last Ninja series, Putty Squad, and Constructor, have inspired countless other games and developers. The company’s commitment to creating innovative, challenging, and fun games has earned it a loyal fanbase and a reputation as one of the world’s best video game development companies. Whether you are a fan of platformers, building simulators, or action-adventure games, System 3 has something for everyone. Its legacy continues to influence the gaming industry, and its games continue to be enjoyed by players all over the world.


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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines – including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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