|“||The time shall come... when the Gate of Darkness is cast open... All men shall kneel before me... All shall hail me, Ashtar, as their new master! HA HA HA HA....||„|
|“||I'll show you just how powerless you really are.||„|
|~ Ashtar fighting Ryu Hayabusa.|
Ashtar (in Japanese: アシュター "Kyōma Tentei Ashutā", lit. "Cruel Demon God", "Emperor Ashtar"), the self-proclaimed "Emperor of Darkness", is the one of the two main antagonists in the video game Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos. He is a powerful evil warlord, and an antagonist in both the video game and computer game.
Ashtar is well over 6 feet tall, and dressed in bulky body armor. A cape is draped over his shoulders. His face is concealed by his helmet which has three spiky horns protruding from the top and both sides of the head, also his mask itself is crying tears of blood.
Before Ninja Gaiden
Ashtar is a shogun warrior of an unknown age. He has risen through the ranks of the Chaos realm. He has evidenced many sorcerer powers. These may come from the Demon Sword he wields, or he may simply use the Demon Sword to amplify any existing occult abilities.
Thousands of years ago, Ashtar was present during the creation of the Dragon Sword. He was also there when the Dark Sword of Chaos was created as well.
Ashtar was also present, but was hiding in the shadows during the climatic battle between Ryu Hayabusa, son of Jô Hayabusa and against the former head of the Demon Clan, Guardia de Mieux (the Jaquio). When Jaquio was defeated, Ashtar delayed his plans and continued to monitor Ryu Hayabusa and Irene Lew.
During this time, he amasses an army that will help him in his quest to open the Gate of Darkness, to unleash the powers of the demon tribe he ruled within the Chaos Dimension upon the world. While has has many agents, three lieutenants of note were stationed on Earth who Ryu encountered. They give an insight to the power of Ashtar's research.
Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
Shortly after the Jaquio's defeat, a foot solder arrives and reports to Ashtar of the Jaquio's demise. Ashtar is not that surprised and asks about Ryu. When the henchman replies that Ryu "knows nothing," Ashtar orders him to "continue the plan," and that for the time being, Ryu is to be left alone.
He then goes on that once the Gate of Dakness is opened, all men will kneel before him, and claim Ashtar as their new master. He kidnaps Ryu's girlfriend, the C.I.A. operative Irene Lew, forcing Ryu into action. It is after Ryu defeats Funky Dynamite inside the Tower of Lahja that Ashtar makes his appearance, with Irene as his hostage.
The Dark Emperor stuns the Ninja Dragon with an energy blast from his sword. After a moment taunting the downed Ryu, rhetorically doubting that Ryu could have defeated his predecessor, the Jaquio, Ashtar raises his sword to deliver the deathblow, but Robert steps in, firing at Ashtar, causing him to hesitate.
Ignoring Robert's demands to lower his weapon, Ashtar retreats with Irene, saying that "if you want the Sword, you'll have to follow me...into the Maze of Darkness." Ryu gives chase. Robert follows him and helps him by holding off a pair of gargoyles.
After Ryu defeats the underground water dragon, Naga Sotuva, Ashtar appears to Ryu, taunting him, telling him to either fight him or Irene dies. While Ryu makes his way though the ice fields, Ashtar recites the legend to himself: "To the one who releases Darkness with the immortal blood, he shall receive the Power of the Almighty Evil. The legend shall come true. This earth shall fall into shadow and the demons of evil shall rule forever.".
Ryu then encounters Ashtar, who hands Irene over to him without a fight. This move is a distraction, as Ashtar stabs Irene in the back severely wounding her. He also gets the drop on Robert, firing another energy beam, this one hitting its mark. Ryu orders Robert to look after the injured Irene as he faces off against Ashtar, who tells him that his sword cannot harm him, now that it is filled with hatred.
Regardless, The Dragon Ninja and the Dark Emperor fight. Ashtar uses the energy blasts he had demonstrated previously along with an ability to hover in the air, teleport, and shoot out a circle of flame to attack Ryu. Ryu manages to defeat Ashtar, having apparently overcome his rage in the battle.
With what seems to be his dying breath, Ashtar sends the sword away before succumbing to his injuries.
Powers and Abilities
Ashtar is extremely skilled in black magic. He commands any dark warrior of Tribesmen from the World of Chaos. He commands a variety of magic powers, such as the ability to fly, teleport, and throw fireballs.
Ashtar is a master swordsman. His primary weapon is the Chaosium Sword, or the Dark Sword of Chaos, which according to U.S. operative Robert T. Sturgeon, was grown from the bone of the Demon, thus making it the diametric opposite of Ryu's Dragon Sword, which was grown from the fang of the Dragon.
- "Chaosium" would describe what the sword is made of, and "Dark" describes the nature of the sword (evil). In this relation to the 'Dragon Sword', an appropriate short name for the weapon would be the Demon Sword.
- Ashtar and one of the main villains of the new game, the Vigoor Emperor, are both dark emperors that seek out swords that are "evil twins" of Ryu Hayabusa's Dragon Sword.
- One of Ryu's alternate costumes in the game features some Ashtar-like elements, in particular, the tears of blood on his mask.
- Another game that features a samurai warrior wielding a sword grown from a demon and using sorcerous powers is the 1988 game Demon Sword that was produced months before the first Ninja Gaiden game. While not canon, it could easily be Ashtar's past. The hero in that was called "Victar". It was originally called 不動明王伝 (Fudō Myōō Den in Japanese) "The Legend of Acala". This is unlikely since it was published by another company (TOSE/Taito) than Tecmo which produced the Ninja Gaiden NES series.
- Ashtar's samurai shogun armour bears resemblances to the Shredder, the popular main villain of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the early 1990s when NG2 was translated to North America lead fans to compare the appearances.
- His name may be a derivation from Ishtar, a Mesopotamian goddess of war and love who is also worshipped in Assyria and Babylonia.
- Ashtar-Chemosh is a Moab goddess in Middle East mythology.
- Astar, an Ethiopian Aksumite god, is also spelled Ashtar sometimes.
- Malik al-Ashtar in Islamic and Arabic history is a companion of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the cousin of Muhammad, and commander in some battles.
- Ashtar the alien was popular enough to spawn a "Command" band.