Do you think you may be a victim of identity theft?
Identity theft can happen to anyone, whether you are a government officer, doctor, gas station attendant, or master ninja. One day you’re you, a completely unique individual, and the next, there’s someone running around that’s just like you, with your credit cards, bank account information, and shurikens. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve “been careful” or “are constantly wrapped in blue cloth from head to toe so the only thing anyone can see is your eyes”, identity theft can happen to you.
How to identify if you have been a victim of identity theft:
- Are there unusual charges on your credit card?
- Has your bank account been accessed from distant states or countries?
- Have friends received strange messages from your email address?
- Have any of your friends been forced off a cliff to a watery grave by someone who looks just like you?
- Ever played Shadow of the Ninja?
If one or more of these events have transpired in your life, you are likely the victim of identity theft.
First of all, don’t panic. Identity theft affects millions of Americans every day, and, like the common cold, it is an inconvenience we have to learn to live with. The information age has come at a price. But that doesn’t mean you have to roll over and give up your identity; no, you take medicine when you’re sick, and there’s medicine for identity theft, too.
What to do right away:
- Call the companies where you know fraud occurred: clear your name! Or at least give them a head’s up on this whole thing.
- File a report with your local police department. (Note that this step assumes you are not already wanted for murder, whether it be the murder of a loved one, or millions of street ninja in a previous adventure.)
- Grab your mystical katana, fill up on ninja scrolls, and go out there and hunt the person who stole your identity. You’ve trained for this, and you’ve been practicing hanging off walls and ceilings, so this is just the thing you need to test your skills.
Remember, you might be a victim of identity theft, but you don’t have to be a victim. Get out there and show them who’s the boss of your credit rating/fire dragon balls.
What to do next:
- Close new accounts opened in your name.
- Remove bogus charges from your accounts
- Correct any identity-theft related errors. This may involve boarding a city-sized, ancient flying battleship.
- Murder every one and thing on said ancient flying battleship.
Reminder: Not all identity theft is committed by megalomaniacal tyrants that wish to open a gateway to Hell and steal unlimited power from the breach in dimensions, but it does happen in an unusually high number of cases. If you feel that you are involved in such a situation, please make no attempt to contact the authorities or recruit help of any kind, but launch a solitary assault on all factories and nearby ruins.
- Resolve Tax-Related Identity Theft
- Report a Misused Social Security Number
- Reclaim your identity by confronting the bio-noid responsible for claiming your identity
That final step is a sticking point for most people, but you have to remember that while an exact duplicate of you may be infinitely strategically worthwhile, your average bio-noid is an extremely vain creature, and can be bated into transforming into a gigantic purple monstrosity at the slightest provocation. Assuming that doesn’t work, feel free to enlist an assumed-dead girlfriend to machinegun the fellow until a dramatic change occurs. At the point that the identity thief starts hopping around like an idiot and tossing ninja magic everywhere, you’re pretty much in the clear, assuming you remembered to power up your dragon sword.
How to prevent future identity theft:
- Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information by phone, mail, or online.
- Store personal information in a safe place at home and at work.
- Install firewalls and virus-detection software on your home computer.
- Don’t stop at simply banishing your bio-noid duplicate; go the extra mile and destroy anyone associated with this whole evil plot.
Yes, it may seem daunting, and you’ll have to continue every chance you get, but why let anyone responsible for play-murdering your credit score/girlfriend survive the experience? Yes, infiltrating a colossal, floating death machine is hard, and you’re likely to be repeatedly impaled on entire rooms full of spikes, but you’ll also find the experience worthwhile, because slaying men who turn into humongous golden spaceships is its own reward.
You can avenge identity theft and world obliteration all in one fell swoop. Like a ninja.
FGC #70 Ninja Gaiden III
- System: NES. There was also a Tiger Handheld version. Remember those? I’m sorry to hear that.
- Number of Players: Lone ninja works alone.
- Difficulty: I’m starting to think I should start an entire category/tag for games that are night and day with save states. With save states, Ninja Gaiden III is a Castlevania-esque “tough but fair” game that requires precision platforming and enemy management, but it’s doable. Without save states, the limited continues guarantee you will get very good at Level 1, but be woefully unprepared for the barrage of instant death traps in the final areas.
- But the timer is still bullshit, right? Oh my yes. Is it even possible to complete the final stage on just one life? Time keeps on ticking.
- So, did you beat it? I did not beat this game on the original hardware, however, I have since completed Ryu’s quest with the aid of save states. I didn’t even use ‘em to avoid every hit or something, just to make life a bit easier and not repeat the opening stages forever. Do you know how long I believed Irene was permanently dead?
- Wait, what? Yes, Irene lives. In a rare case of a NES game having a plot worth spoiling, the initial fridging of Irene during the opening of the game turns out to be a ruse (that is never fully explained… I guess Irene is just a really good swimmer?). Of course, you have to clear the first four levels to learn this, and who has ever had time for that? Err… spoilers.
- It’s the little things: When you fail in Ninja Gaiden III, the whole screen darkens and sad music plays. Given a number of stages in NG3 have a sort of “biological nightmare” motif, this means a lot of stages stop pulsing and darken at Ryu’s demise. Aww, the walls are sad that Ryu died.
- Did you know? The first four bio-noids, bosses of Ninja Gaiden III, are all supposed to be themed after the four elements. The first uses a fire attack, the second is a flying monstrosity, the third are a pair of clearly aquatic ninja turtles, and the fourth has mole-sensibilities with his digging attacks. You could even claim the fifth boss is “heart”, as he’s a clone emulating the attacks of a human. And by their powers combined… you fight a supposedly invincible zombie in the sixth stage? Eh, let’s say the later bosses are the elements of death, heaven/hell, and spaceship.
- Would I play again? Every once in a while, I get a hankering for some classic Ninja Gaiden, but that usually winds up landing on Ninja Gaiden II, and not III. Why did they remove the shadow clones? They were the best part!
What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Namco Museum Megamix. Proving yet again that if a game has “Mega” in the title, I will buy it. But, hey, Dig Dug is in there, so not a total loss. Please look forward to it!