Ninja Gaiden

a game by Tecmo, Sims Co., Ltd., and Sega

Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesisNESNESSega Master SystemSega Master SystemGameGear

Genres: Action, Adventure/RPG, Platformer

See also:Ninja Games

Ah, the Mighty Dragonsword! This renowned blade has passed from Dragon Ninja to Dragon Ninja through the generations. The current keeper, Ryu, had a close call when the sword was almost snatched from his hands. Now Ryu must discover the identity of the nefarious secret organization who is trying to steal the sword again, before it's too late.

Ryu is one well-known ninja thanks to stints in the arcades, NES games, and, most recently, a Lynx adventure. Now Tecmo teams up with Sega to bring Ninja Gaiden to the Game Gear.

In this version Ryu battles through four stages of hand-to-hand, hand-to-throwing star, and hand-to-Ninjitsu combat. The game-play is ninja-action style for one player, strictly hack-n-slash, with three stages of horizontally scrolling action and one stage of vertically scrolling action.

Graphically, Ninja Gaiden is excellent for the small-screen format. Unfortunately, the on-screen action is not up to par with the graphics. Each Stage pits Ryu against a unique crew of enemies in fairly easy-going ninja combat. In Stage 1 he battles the Red Tiger Cult ninjas in the bamboo-forested hills of Kyoto. Stage 2 is a battle onboard a series of barges infested with devilish red ninjas, and gun-toting green soldiers. A skyscraper is the setting for Stage 3 as Ryu leaps from building to building vertically scrolling action while birds and falling wreckage threaten to knock him off.

Finally, Stage 4 is a strange fight to the finish amid Indian ruins as sinister enemy agents attempt to stop Ryu from discovering the truth.

At the end of each stage Ryu faces off with a tough boss. These fights to the finish are much tougher than the actual stages and each requires a different battle plan.

Ryu can run, slash with his sword, flip, crouch, and use four different Ninjitsu weapons (Shurikens, Waves, Enemy seeking Ring, and Scatter Bombs) at a time. In addition to the Ninjitsu weapons Ryu can grab Power Balls (to earn Ninjitsu Weapon Force Unit points), Herbs (to restore life), and Circling Flames (temporary invincibility) by slashing the spheres that appear throughout the game.

No Sweat Ninjitsu

Although Ninja Gaiden looks great on the Game Gear and features smooth, easily controllable game-play, this version just doesn't pack that same tough tear-you-hair-out action as previous versions of this famous game. Ryu deserves four stages of action geared up to the challenge level of this game's boss battles-after all, he's not just another ninja!

ProTips:

  • Every once in a while a Scroll appears. Grab it to earn 30 Force units.
  • You'll need your acrobatic skills to beat General Totenkoff at the end of Stage 2. Run back and forth along the deck of the barge to dodge die fireballs that come out of the smokestack. After three fry out the General appears in one of the portholes. Jump and slash him with your sword. You don't want to keep your feet firmly on the ground-if you do, they'll be blown up by the General's grenades. Repeat this procedure until the barge blows.
  • Against the first boss, the Red Tiger Monk, hold your ground and keep slashing with your sword as fast as you can. The Monk will come towards you and lift bat to bean you. As he lifts his bat your sword will score a hit and knock him back.
  • About half way through Stage 2 you'll land on a barge mat has two vertical spheres. Slash through them and the bottom one reveals the special Circling Flame weapon. Quickly leap to the next barge and jump into the air. You'll snag a 1-Up sphere that's normally unreachable.
  • Just dodge the falling and flying debris by jumping from one side of the screen to the other. Hack as you go to snag special items.

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Ninja Gaiden Downloads

Sega Genesis Ninja Gaiden download

The quest of Ryu Hyabusa is coming to the small screen. Sega is bringing us Ninja Gaiden Game Gear. A whole new world is opened for Ryu when he enters this game. With shorter levels, and a different type of play control, this game is definitely a change from the Nintendo version. Ryu retains his wall climbing skills, but his sword slash has changed, and he has all new weapons.

People say:

6

This game has an awkward look and style that reminds me more of Strider than Ninja GaiDen. That point aside, Ninja GaiDen for the Game Gear is a nice addition to the portables growing list of action carts, but it still comes up short on game play and, in some areas, graphics.

7

Although it plays very differently from the original Ninja GaiDen series or even the arcade version (which the Lynx is based on) for that matter, GG GaiDen still has many special features that elevate its game play almost to the same level as its namesake!

7

This cart is just Strider with a stronger license, namely the mega popular NES hit. What's the matter Sega, don't you have any faith in your own titles? Good graphics and game play make this one of the better GG carts. The game is too easy and a password was not needed.

7

Ninja Gaiden is a good title for the Game Gear. It pulls off some awesome tricks for a newcomer to the portable scene. The graphics are good, and the music is well done. The original is still the best, but when you need ninja fun on the go, this is a good title to turn to.

reggie posted a review
  • Manufacturer: Atari
  • Machine: Lynx
  • Type: Action
  • No. of Levels: 5
  • Release: July 1991
  • Difficulty: Average

Ninja Gaiden on the Atari Lynx is a direct translation from the original coin-op arcade classic. All of the original moves are retained, as well as the enemies, round bosses, cinema displays, and power-ups!! Learn to master the various techniques like the off the wall jump and the over the shoulder flip throw. Follow Hiryu through all 5 levels as he attempts to rid New York of an evil crime syndicate.

People say:

8

An excellent conversion of an excellent game. Ninga Gaiden hits the mark on all counts. There are lots of good moves and the scrolling is very smooth. Lyke Warbirds, this shows what the Lynx is capable off, even with its small screen. One of the best Lynx games produced.

8

Ninja Gaiden on the Lynx is probably the best version this side of the original arcade game. It also has the smoothest scrolling and the animation of all the Lynx titles. Very intense action for the small screen and not a cakewalk as some of the other games were.

8

Ninja Gaiden is very impressive. The animation, graphics, and game play are all there. It is the best translation of the arcade game. Lots of moves and a ton of enemies to use them on. The sound could use a little work. Ninja Gaiden is definitely one of the best game for the Lynx.

3

Nice job, dudes! The Ninja Gaiden coin-op never looked better. Maybe a little. Anyway, this is still a marvelous job done bringing home one of the most popular action games of all time. How they got it all into a little Atari Lynx card is beyond me!! Keep 'em comin'.

reggie posted a review

LIVE BY THE SWORD-DIE BY THE SWORD...

The master of ninjitsu, Ryu Hayabusa, is back in an all new adventure for the Game Gear. In this latest GaiDen adventure, Jaquio steps aside for Siragane who has taken control of world's nuclear arsenal! To defeat this ruthless terrorist, you must help Ryu overcome the hazards that stand between him and the legendary Dragon Sword. Siragane has sent a horde of his minions to steal the sword to guarantee his power and stop Ryu's progress!

Slash your way through 5 intense levels, fighting off pesky ninja drones and deadly end Bosses. Collect weapons along the way to improve your fighting skills as well as your chances of survival. From cinema displays to ninja weapons, GG Ninja GaiDen brings a new story to life!

reggie posted a review
  • Manufacturer: Atari
  • Version: Lynx

The arcade favorite Ninja Gaiden is now on the Lynx. The Atari translation of this game appears to be fairly accurate, though I was never much of a player of the arcade version and couldn't spot all the differences that I suspect must be there.

In the game, you are attempting to become a Ninja Gaiden, and the last step in your training is to complete a dangerous quest. You must vanquish the evildoers who have captured the sacred Silent City and turned it into a filthy den of corruption. The action is presented on a horizontally scrolling playfie1d that goes from left to right. You must fight off seven types of enemy to succeed, including the numerous masked ninjas, the troublesome lumber ninjas (who look like hairy sumo wrestlers swinging logs!), etc. Your eventual goal is to reach the Silent City's palace and confront the mighty Dark Lord - a large, saber-armed behemoth.

The graphics in Ninja Gaiden are surprisingly good, particularly considering how small they are. You character moves with surprisingly smooth motion and, of equal importance, moves like a human being, not some weird robot (as many video-game characters do). Control is fairly simple, though it takes a few games to get the hang of some actions, such as using A to leap over an enemy and while in midair using B to flip him, or using A to leap and then trying to press Option 1 to grab an overhead bar.

My only gripe with this game is that you can't proceed until you've eliminated all the enemies near you. That would not be so bad, except that the screen scrolls only in one direction, with the result that sometimes you get stuck in a teeny corner of the screen trying to fight off three or more enemies with absolutely no room to maneuver.

Oh, well, who said being a ninja was easy?

reggie posted a review

This visual masterpiece for the Atari Lynx system sports intense graphics and excellent sounds. Ninja Gaiden has all the excitement, power ups, and weaponry of the original coin-op classic. Rare is a game translation that retains the phenomenal feel of its parent game.

A particular surprise in Ninja Gaiden is the graphic integrity of the back-grounds and character animation. The colors are vibrant and lack no luster at all. Also, the animations are brilliant and smooth.

Lastly, Ninja Gaiden consists of the one thing that few games offer: marvelous player control and response. Fans of the original Ninja Gaiden will be pleasantly thrilled with this rendition. Every aspect of the game flows smoothly and cleanly. Bravo, Atari!

Level 1

This is a good place to practice your basic skills as a ninja warrior. Take on the evil Sumo Wrestler at the end.

Level 2

There isn't too much room to operate on this level. The Blade Brothers will try to chop you into little pieces.

Level 3

Take a tour through the backroads of the local slums. Beware the Dragon Team! Everything isn't as it seems...

Grub These Power Ups To Survive

  1. Life Pill - These are scattered throughout the four areas. Get them all.
  2. Ninja Sword - This mighty weapon will slice through the enemies like butter.
  3. Power Pill - This life pill will restore all of your hit points. Do not miss these.
  4. Bonus - This life pill will restore all of your hit points. Do not miss these.
  5. Extra Man - It's always nice to find a free man inside a box or phone booth.
  6. Time Restore - Time is replenished when you locate the rare Time icon.

Moves

The Enemy

These Jason look-alikes will try to stop you.

Smash 'em

Break phones, cans, and boxes for icons.

High Jump

Jump straight up to reach high altitudes.

Ninja Sword

Grab the icon for this powerful weapon.

Wall Jump

Flip off the walls for surprise attacks.

Enemy Flip

Toss the enemies around with this move.

Bar Swing

Move on the bars to avoid the enemies.

Front Swing

Knock the enemy back with this blow.

Rear Swing

A devastating rear blow to the enemy.

Front Punch

A quick and powerful blow to the face.

Front Kick

Weaken the enemy with the front kick.

Round Kick

Finish off the enemy with this move.

Bar Swing

Similar to the front and rear swings.

Power Pull

Pull yourself up or lower yourself down.

reggie posted a review

A year has passed since the defeat of Jaquio, and now Ashtar, the dark lord who secretly controlled Jaquio, is on the move. The only one qualified enough to catch and defeat the villainous Ashtar is our hero Ryu Hayabusa.

Last month we guided you through the first three stages of this video-game epic. This month we'll take you through the final four as we see if Ryu has what it takes to defeat Ashtar.

Or, more important - do you have that it takes?

General hints:

Learn to use the extra images you get from the splitting body item. They're great to use against flying enemies and those that sneak up behind you. They're especially useful when going against an end boss.

There are a lot of areas where you'll have to know how to use the swift kick-off jump; if you've misjudged the distance between two ledges or in any circumstance where you find yourself dangling from the side of a wall. To perform this leap, you must first climb to the top of the wall and jump away from it. Then quickly move the control pad in the opposite direction, in the direction of the wall, to safety. This is one of the more difficult techniques to learn, so you might want to spend a little time in Stage r-r to master the move.

To make the windmill-throwing star more effective, after throwing it, avoid catching it as it comes back around. This will cause it to fly around the screen, eliminating any enemies it comes in contact with.

Try not to move backward. The enemies appear when Ryu passes certain points, so if you move backward, the same enemies will reappear. This makes getting through a stage more difficult.

End Boss - Naga Sotuva

To defeat Naga Sotuva you must hit his head, which is located in the top-middle (where the water flows from his mouth). Stay on the ledge in the upper left, and, as his left claw begins to move back toward you, jump over it and land on the platform. When you have used up all your ninja power, slash the head with your sword. When his right claw starts toward you, jump back to the ledge above, and repeat the procedure until Nova Sotuva is defeated.

End Boss - Kelbeross

These are some of the bosses found in the original Ninja Gaiden, and they still have the same pattern. Use the same technique to defeat them: stay close to the pillar on the right, and avoid them as they jump. Use your ninja power or sword for a quick victory.

End Boss - Ashtar

If you have any ninja power - especially the art of the fire wheel - Ashtar can be relatively easy. But if you don't, try to stay just to the left or right of the pedestal in the center of the screen, moving left, then right... Ashtar's fireballs will repeatedly pass over you. Simply jump and use your sword until he is defeated.

Final Boss - Jaquio

That's right! Video gaming's favorite bad boy is back, and he's tougher than ever. To defeat him you must have both split bodies, then move to the top of one of the pillars. Use all your available ninja power; as Jaquio shoots the fireballs at you, move off the pillar. Hack at Jaquio as many times as you can, then jump hack onto the pillar, repeating the process until he's defeated.

The demon that is then created is Stage fairly simple to defeat. If you have enough health left from the previous battle, jump so that your split bodies line up directly in front of the demon, with Ryu in the bottom-right. Then, just slash away as quickly as possible.

If you should die, you'll have to complete Stage 7-2 again. Of course, this time you can go against the demon with full ninja power. Again, line up the spilt bodies so that they are in front of the demon's face and fire away.

For the final boss, use your remaining ninja power to destroy the face. It should take about five shots to do this. After the head finishes exploding, fireballs will be thrown down on you. Since you can take five or more hits of the fireballs, concentrate more on the heart of the dragon rather than trying to avoid the raining flames. It will take 16 hits of the sword to defeat the heart, so use ypur split bodies wisely.

reggie posted a review
  • Manufacturer: Tecmo
  • Machine: Nintendo

In the earlier years of the NES, martial-arts games seemed to be the staple. Nowadays, that's not entirely so, but this hasn't stopped Tecmo from releasing Ninja Gaiden. Their newest entry into the martial-arts video-game genre has, of course, elements that can be found in many previous titles. However, with the twists and gimmicks added, Ninja Gaiden is like a good movie with a plot similar to other films - it successfully retells a familiar story as if it were brand-new.

Let's be honest. Like the games themselves, reviews for martial-arts video games tend to read pretty much alike. So, with that thought in mind, here's a painless breakdown of Ninja Gaiden to spare you the needless details: you are Ryu, a super-cool ninja dude. Your father (a ninja, too, but strangely named "Ken") was killed during a contest at a moonlit field by - you got it - an unknown ninja adversary. Upon your father's defeat, you are now the head of the Hayabusa clan and must take the dragon sword, a precious heirloom that's been in your family for generations, to America. Why are you doing this? Heck, you don't know, but what you do know is that lots of danger and excitement will be waiting for you in the U.S. of A. During the course of your adventure, you will learn the reasons behind your father's death and what you're supposed to do with the dragon sword - oh, and what all of this has to do with the world coming to an end as it is engulfed by this real nasty evil force. Yeah, pretty much the stuff you'll find in your standard ninja video game.

Ninja Gaiden is presented in a side-view, action-adventure format like Konami's Castlevania. You can move Ryu in all directions, make him jump and thrust his sword. Jumping and clinging onto walls is allowed and necessary in order to climb onto floors. Various items can be collected that will increase your points and strength level or enhance your weapons. Ninja Gaiden is made up of 20 screens broken down into six "acts" that take place in both outdoor and indoor settings. At the end of every act is a creature deadlier than the others who attack you. Defeating this powerful enemy is the only way you can advance to the next act.

The "movie" sequences between separate acts (or, as the people at Tecmo hail it the "cinema display"). Don't rush out and get the popcorn, though, because Ninja Gaiden doesn't really look like a movie. What it does feature is a story-telling system like that found in the Atari XE's Karateka or Cinemaware's computer games. In the title screen prologue, Ken Hayabusa is depicted losing to his opponent. Between the acts, sequences are played that utilize close-ups of characters and body movements. Though the animation isn't fluid, it is effective. Besides being highly entertaining, these little movies tell you important information and give you clues on accomplishing your quest. And, most important, watching these movies will also tell you what the heck you, as Ryu, are supposed to be doing anyway.

The one blessing comes in the form of unlimited game "continues". You can continue as much as you want through the 20 screen levels, and you'll need to. Ninja Gaiden is yet another one of those Nintendo games where you have to resort to using drastic means in order to complete it; no, not skill and patience, but finding out cheats and constantly pressing the "continue" button.

A much-too-common ailment in many new NES titles is overdone background graphics. So much detail has been put into the backgrounds of the screens [too much, in fact) that bottomless pits of death look like fancy throw rugs on the floor. This can obviously lead to some problems. Namely, accidentally running Ryu to his death without the benefit of knowing what you've just done. Also, the items that can be collected, as well as your enemies, tend to camouflage themselves into the background. The outside settings look better, but the indoor scenes can appear ambiguous and even confusing to the untrained eye. Better work up your keen ninja vision for Ninja Gaiden.

If you're tired of martial-arts games, then, of course, Ninja Gaiden isn't for you. Besides its "cinema display" nothing here is really new. On the other hand, avid NES players - or anybody who likes to hear a good story retold, for that matter - might not be disappointed.

reggie posted a review
  • Manufacturer: Tecmo
  • Machine: NES

Many games contain a method for the programmers to check out each sound in a game. Bryan Datu of Daly City, California, has given us a way to check the sounds in this exciting martial-arts contest. While holding L on the control pad, simultaneously push A, B, SELECT and START. You can then change the sound counter with up and down pushes on the controller, and A will playback the sound. Thanks, Bryan.

reggie posted a review

Now for your Game Boy! Fight with the all new Ninja Gaiden "Shadow" through his awesome new adventure, in the future.

Collect the secret ninja power-ups to gain energy and ninja life force. Use the new ninja "Ninchaku" Rope and the "Art of the Fire Wheel" to defeat your enemies. Use your proven ninja skills, and techniques to fight your way through the many challenging new levels and "Bosses".

Features:

  1. Single player action
  2. Superior graphics
  3. Special power-ups
  4. Hidden ninja life force
  5. New ninja skills
  6. Challenging new "Bosses"
reggie posted a review

Ryu Hyabusa is back in this, the fourth Ninja Gaiden game. While strongly resembling the original arcade game (even more so than the Lynx version) Ryu now has powers and moves never before seen in a home version. The character is huge, as are the enemies he must face. Spectacular parallax scrolling and smooth fluid movements all add up to the best version of this game yet! Now, if only SOA can bring it out over here!

reggie posted a review

Hudson is bringing the popular Ninja Gaiden series to the PC Engine! While similar in style and appearance to the NES version, the graphics have been revamped with more colors and detail. Your quest takes you to many different lands to defeat the evil Jaquio, who has put your father under his control. PC Engine owners should not miss this one!

Everything from the cinema displays to the end Bosses have been faithfully translated.

reggie posted a review

The popular arcade game is now it is been converted to the Game Gear. Trash some evil ninjas with your sword before they get you!

reggie posted a review

Arcade action!

This visual masterpiece for the Atari Lynx system sports intense graphics and excellent sounds. Ninja Gaiden has all the excitement, power ups, and weaponry of the original coin-op classic. Rare is a game translation that retains the phenomenal feel of its parent game.

A particular surprise in Ninja Gaiden is the graphic integrity of the backgrounds and character animation. The colors are vibrant and lack no luster at all. Also, the animations are brilliant and smooth.

Lastly, Ninja Gaiden consists of the one thing that few games offer: marvelous player control and response. Fans of the original Ninja Gaiden will be pleasantly thrilled with this rendition. Every aspect of the game flows smoothly and cleanly. Bravo, Atari!!

reggie posted a review

"Say it ain't so, Ryu." You know it ain't. Ryu didn't do in Irene, he was framed. Prove it by bringing the real culprit to justice, the despicably evil Clancy.

ProTips:

  • Pound Clancy in his super robo-suit with the Art of the Fire Wheel. When he raises his arm to summon lightning bolts, move quickly in either direction and you'll be unscathed.
  • Stand on either platform and slash Clancy the demon on his head. Leap in-between the mini-fireballs and run for your life in either direction when the monster fireball forms.
  • Strike the mho-insect final boss in its cabin but watch out for tow blows from the underbelly's defenses. After the cab explodes, aim for the exposed heart and avoid the side gunners' shots.
reggie posted a review

A white-robed ninja joins the ski mask fiend. One-on-one both these guys are no match for average gamers, but a mob of clones swamps you on every level, forcing you to be quick or dead. However, the unlimited continue option still makes this game easy to finish. Your challenge should be to try to finish this game without using any continues.

We recommend Ninja Gaiden as a well-balanced game with plenty to offer dedicated video ninjas. Sometimes you have to create your own challenges.

reggie posted a review

Ninja Gaiden, the mighty warrior, is a member of a secret police force who possesses unimpeachable credentials and the highest moral values. Armed with his special shuriken and sword Ninja confronts evil forces with super strength and agility, to defend his country, its people, their wealth and ancient traditions. The mystical, magical Ninja challenges his foes in 20 different areas, each with six individualized rounds of play. Now you can enjoy this action-filled Ninja classic at home.

reggie posted a review

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