Shadow of the Ninja

a game by Natsume

Platform: NESNES

Genre: Platformer

Shadow of the Ninja
  • Theme - Action
  • Machine - NES
  • Difficulty - Avg.
  • Players - 1 or 2
  • Number of Levels - 5
  • Available - April 1991

Hard Hitting Ninja Action!!

In 2029 A.D., the evil government of emperor Garuda has claimed many innocent lives. His impregnable fortress stands as a reminder to the frightened people that his will is supreme. All attempts of revolution have failed miserably. Is there no hope?

Meanwhile, Hayate and Lady Kaede, ninjas of the Iga clan, learn of Garuda's oppression. Enraged, they immediately begin their journey to America, set on the destruction of Garuda's empire once and for all!

Follow the Shadow Ninja quest through five increasing difficult levels and stop Garuda from conquering the world! Superb graphics and sound intensify this battle for freedom.

Evil Plans

Through cunning and power, Emperor Garuda seized control of the largest city in America. The year is 2029 A.D. So far, no army has been able to thwart Garuda's plans of world domination...

A desperate mission

Only the Shadow Ninjas, once thought of as legend, have a slim hope of overthrowing Garuda and restoring peace to the world...

Killer tank

The Killer Tank is easy, too. Hit the turret twice, then back off. Watch out for deadly air fire, however.

The Rooftops of the City

The Rooftops of the City requires split second timing and marvelous reflexes to complete. Extreme patience is a must when going up against the Boomerang Masters of this level. Try to hit their boomerangs in mid-air and then go for it!

Sometimes it is simpler to just avoid them completely and jump over them. Be sure to keep an eye out for the hidden bomb on this level. This level is also an excellent place to power up either the katana or the kusarigama weapons. Item boxes are around every turn, so take advantage of them! A hidden full life icon is also found near the end of this area, near the end boss, the Golden Samurai.

Take care, though, the worst is yet to come in Levels Four and Five!

The Air Fortress

The Air Fortress is but a stepping stone to get to Level Five, the Final Fortress. Having breached the city's defenses, Garuda has sent his ill most formidable warriors to stop you. Don't underestimate these foes as they pack a powerful punch and can take plenty of punishment! At the end of this level, you'll meet the near-invincible Captain Hawk!

The final fortress

This is it! The final obstacle to defeating Garuda once and for all! His troops defeated, Garuda now must depend on his automatic defenses and his own personal guards to show no mercy as you get closer to Garuda's lair. Beware you face in the first section of the Fortress. This level will time bombs were placed with meticulous care to stop your.

Ninja Magic!!

Hold down the attack button until the ninja magic flames the enemies! This uses half of your life, however...

Garuda AWAITS!!

Finally!! Now deep inside Garuda's Fortress, Hayate and Lady Kaede must pass his personal guards and reach the top of the citadel. Another surprise awaits there, however, as Garuda reveals his true self in a last attempt to destroy the Shadow Ninjas!!

Check out this awesome cast of characters!!

Naturally, since Garuda enjoys his position as Emperor, he'll do anything to keep the Shadow Ninjas at bay. He has taken precautions to guarantee his continuing dictatorship rule. He has been systematically "recruiting" his troops and qualified civilians to undertake cybernetic enhancement implantations in order to further his influence and power.

These robotic warriors show no mercy and feel no pain. Their only thought is to serve Garuda, and they have been ordered to stop the Shadow Ninjas at any cost! Nevertheless, Garuda's reign must be put to an end. Nobody ever said it would be easy...

Other games by

Shadow of the Ninja Downloads

NES Shadow of the Ninja download

While Natsume has been making great games for other companies for some time now, Shadow of the Ninja is the first game they are releasing here under their own name. In this spectacular side view ninja shooter you and a friend can cooperatively fight your way through five levels of an evil ruler's stronghold. Equipped with the standard sword grab the throwing stars or the sickle and chain as you progress from the sea port, through the sewers, to the rooftops onto the air fortress and finally to the ruler's inner sanctum. With unbelievably great graphics, smooth scrolling and very challenging intense game play, Natsume has one of the best NES games of the season!

reggie posted a review

It's 2029 A.D....

In the not too distant future things are very different than they are now. The U.S. is not a democratic society anymore as it is ruled by the Emperor Garuda. Many people have tried to overthrow Garuda but all efforts to penetrate his stronghold have failed. That is until now. Reports have reached Garuda that two ninjas of superhuman abilities have penetrated the outskirts of his compound's defenses. He now is worried but knows that you are coming. His army of soldiers awaits you. Despite this, you must infiltrate his 5 level fortress and finish the mission. Only then will peace be restored to the country.

You've done it! You're at the perimeter of Garuda's fortress and armed with the weapons of Ninjitsu - Katana (sword), Shu-riken (throwing stars) and Kusarigama (sickle and chain) you must now take on a constant barrage of ninja mercenaries dead set on finishing you off. Your skills are put to the ultimate test as your battles take you across a fleet of derelict ships, down through dark sewers, to the rooftops of his city, up into the skies on his air fortress and finally to his inner sanctum. The enemy necessarily becomes stronger as you approach Garuda, but you can even the score by picking up hidden scrolls which may be used for added firepower. Up to three scrolls can be used per weapon and each progressively increases the weapon's range and effectiveness. These, along with bombs and two types of healing potions are found inside Item Boxes located throughout your quest. Survive through an entire level, consisting of 3 separate stages, and you must then take on an end boss almost a full screen high! Beat him and move on to four more levels before you confront Garuda himself.

People say:


Shadow of the Ninja is a tremendous first effort from Natsume. The graphics and play action are incredible for this configuration (MMC1), and have all the action you'd expect in a first-rate title. Expect big things from Natsume!


This is a great Ninja fighting game that has more action than similar top-notch efforts like Ninja GaiDen! A lack of cinema displays hurts Shadow a little, but for intense fighting game play from start to finish, this is a winner!


Shadow is a very good ninja combat game. I love the concept and the game play and the graphics are some of the best considering it uses only MMC1. Shadow falls short as a two-player, however, with slow down and flicker.


NOT just another ninja game, but the best one since GaiDen! Two can play, but best as a lone ninja. I really like the characher animation and new moves that combine to make this non-stop entertainment!

reggie posted a review

Join two ninjas on their mission to overthrow the wicked Emperor Garuda. They must use the arts and weapons of ninjitsu to infiltrate and destroy Garuda's forces. "Natsume's latest (Shadow of the Ninja) is one of the finest NES games released this year or any other year." Video Games & Computer Entertainment, Dec. '90.

reggie posted a review
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