Ninja Gaiden

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a game by Tecmo, Sims Co., Ltd., and Sega
Genres: Action, Adventure/RPG, Platformer
Platforms: XBox, Sega GenesisGenesis, Sega Master SystemSega Master System, NESNES, Lynx, GameGear, GameBoy
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 26 reviews
User Rating: 8.6/10 - 13 votes
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See also: Hack and Slash Games, Retro Games, 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!


  • 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.

Download Ninja Gaiden


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.

Sega Master System

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

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:


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.


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!


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.


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.

  • 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:


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.


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.


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.


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'.

Last appearing (in non-Dead or Alive form) on the Super Nintendo via Ninja Gaiden Trilogy, Ryu Hayabusa is, after seven years, back on the block in his own solo adventure. Developed by Dead or Alive's Team Ninja, Gaiden is a 3D action-adventure that places a high priority on combat and plays a lot like Devil May Cry, only with Ryu's hot ninja action replacing Devil's daring Dante. The game (which takes place shortly before the events of DOA3) may draw visual comparisons to Tecmo's fighting series, but Team Ninja President Tomonobu Itagaki assures us that the game runs on an entirely new game engine.

Whether Ryu is dueling with enemy ninjas in sword-to-sword combat, throwing razor-sharp shu-rikens, or taking down huge boss monsters, the ninja style is in full effect. "I want to show the action... the coolness of a ninja's attacks," Itagaki says. "Gaiden will have traditional Japanese environments, but you will also see futuristic robots and settings." Itagaki also notes, reassuringly, that classic old-school Ninja Gaiden elements will appear throughout the game. Sob! 2003 seems so far away!

People say:


Its as good as you hoped it would be. Hell, its actually better. With one stylish katana slash, Ninja Gaiden slices its way to the top of the action genre. And its not all about the graphics. Well, OK, it is, in part, simply because the visuals are just so awe inspiring. Each of the games 16 amazingly cohesive chapters offers unforgettable sights you can run on crumbling monastery walls, swim through flooded tombs, leap over oozing rivers of magma.Jve never played a prettier game. But gorgeous trappings arent enough to keep me hooked. I need compelling gameplay, and Ninja Gaiden delivers en masse. Control feels tight once you master your arsenal of moves, youll be dispatching foes with ease and grace. Well, if youre really, really skilled, that is. I wont mince words: This game is hard. Im no Johnny-come-lately gamer wimp, but I died...a lot. Normal, everyday enemies will eviscerate you in seconds if youre clumsy, and bosses will reduce players to tears. The challenge is rewarding, however, and motivates you to actually get better at the game. Its tough to even find faults with such a polished game, but I did suffer a few unnecessary deaths due to occasionally obtuse camera angles. Also, too many of the puzzles follow the absurd find the handle to turn the crank mold. Regardless, this is an unmissable instant classic that completely deserves your time and money.


One who is a warrior, says the old proverb, must keep constantly in mind, by day and by night, that he has to die. Ninja Gaiden doesnt argue. Your enemies will not stand by as you leisurely choreograph combos allow them the slightest opening and prepare to be skewered. Make no mistake slipping your blade between ones ribs, sticking shuriken in the skull of another, dealing and dodging death several times a second you will cross swords in the most electrifying combat this side of Soul Calibur, because your survival depends upon it. Quicksilver pacing, white-knuckle tension, and spit-shined effects put Gaiden among the most remarkable action games ever made, but its every bit as hardcore. Even for the warrior with unflinching focus and hair-trigger reflexes, the way is found in frequent death.


Merriam-Webster, its time to revisit the entry for kick-ass and tack on also see: Ninja Gaiden. The visuals strike the first blow theyre absolutely stunning. But the minute you decide to stop smelling (or staring at) the flowers and strike back (usually after a trio of ninjas appears to beat you about the kidneys), you begin to see this isnt just a pretty picture. Gaidens gameplay is equally well crafted, with responsive control that demands fighting-game-caliber reflexes. Its nail-bitingly tough, but its extremely rewarding, since it forces you to hone your ninja skills. The games only flaw is its lame-duck camera, which makes battling groups of enemies more difficult than it should be. Even so, no Xbox should go without Gaiden.

If you've uttered any expletives during your Ninja Gaiden battling, then you need a little help. Head back to your local game shop, re-purchase the game, and try again with some sort of commitment this time. This is how difficult gaming used to be, you namby-pamby urchins! Ask your strange-smelling uncle who runs that retro-gaming website...he'll tell you. Secrets of the Ninja Herein you'll uncover a wealth of information that will help you deal most righteously with any unwitting foe who stumbles across the path of Ryu's unerring blade.

Dragon Sword: The Dragon Sword will be the weapon you spend the most time with simply because it is the most versatile weapon in your copious arsenal (the others are more specialized implements of persuasion). Therefore, these techniques will become the mainstay of your adventure throughout the Vigoorian Empire.

Essential techniques

The Final Solution: For lower-level enemies of any stripe, the Final Solution equates to instant death. All it requires is combining the Guillotine Throw (press Y while near an enemy) with a follow-up Flying Sparrow (press Y while jumping toward an enemy) while your enemy's flat on his back. This one-two punch will decapitate just about any low-level enemy in the game and should be a mainstay in your arsenal even at higher levels of play. Note: You must first find the Guillotine Throw technique scroll, as well as upgrade the Dragon Sword to level 2 before you can access this ability.

Deadly Orbit: By itself, the Flying Swallow is one of the most powerful and useful moves in the game. Flying through the air like a self-propelled missile, Ryu can bring a world of hurt on anyone he smites. However, the one thing better than a single Flying Sparrow is multiples thereof--the more the merrier. To that end, the Deadly Orbit merely requires that the moment you complete one Flying Sparrow, you immediately begin another. This is a key technique for dealing with many of the bosses in the game, so learn it well. Note: You'll need to upgrade the Dragon Sword to level 2 before enjoying the benefits this mode of attack conveys.

Secret weapons

Dabilharo: This massive sword, with its 100-pound heft, makes the War Hammer seem like a child's toy. In addition to shattering walls and barriers just as well as the Hammer, it's also a much more powerful weapon. Note: You'll need to collect 20 golden scarabs to get your hands on this one.

Kitetsu: This is Doku's cursed sword, which you'll claim from his fallen (corporeal) form after bringing him down with your "natural" weapons. Equipping this weapon, however, comes with a terrible price: Ryu's life will be slowly drained for as long as he carries this enchanted blade. To nullify the curse, you'll need something more.... Note: You must defeat Doku at the end of Chapter 11 to get his sword.

Unlabored Flawlessness: Perhaps you've noticed the wooden sword available at the ship. You'll also note that it has far more levels than any other weapon in the game--Unlabored Flawlessness is why. This massive, oarlike weapon is deadly in the extreme. Though it lacks a blade's keen edge, the sheer bludgeoning power of this weapon is more than a match for any foe in the game. Beware, though: Due to its extreme size, it makes for a very unwieldy weapon. Note: You must upgrade the wooden sword to its maximum level to get this weapon.

Windmill Throwing Star (plus, X marks the spot): Ninja Gaiden's massive, boomerang-like throwing star can be used as many times as you want (like the standard shuriken). The difference is that it's much larger and can be used to mow down even powerful foes who would laugh off the stinging barbs your base shuriken delivers. Note: You must go down the street from Han's bar into a narrow alleyway. Use the narrow blue-striped area to venture into the back corner where this weapon awaits.

Lightsaber-toothed Ninja: Once you've beaten the game on normal difficulty, hold the left trigger while beginning another game; you'll gain access to an entirely new costume and sword with which to face the enemy again. Though the Plasma Sword doesn't seem to be any more powerful than the Dragon Sword, it does make a nice whooshing sound when swung.


Ryu Hayabusa is a man on a mission. The Vigor Empire has wiped out his ninja clan and stolen its magic sword, the Ryuken. Now, Ryu must fight his way to the Holy Emperor's stronghold and take back what is rightfully his by using all of his ninja skills. As Team Ninja's first nonfighting game in years (not counting the Dead or Alive Volleyball offshoot), Ninja Gaiden offers fast-paced action (think Devil May Cry meets Shinobi), amazing visuals, and an Xbox Live online component that Tecmo promises is unlike anything offered by others in the action genre. (How it'll work is still a mystery, but we hear it may have something to do with the rating you're given after completing each level.)


Imagine my surprise when during an interview with Team Ninja front man Tomonobu Itagaki, he hands me the controller and says, "Play." Then imagine the pressure of playing a game you've never touched before in front of its creator. Luckily, the controls were so intuitive, I quickly felt comfortable. Jumping, attacking, the button used to swing the camera around--everything was where it should be, and Gaiden felt supersmooth and responsive. By tapping the Attack button, you can rack up combos, or you can hold it down for a second and release it for a more devastating blow. Although the demo featured only a sword and nunchakus, Tecmo promises an extensive arsenal of ninja weapons in the final game. Plus, you also have a limited number of spirit attacks that can spontaneously combust all nearby foes--useful when a group of enemies has you surrounded. Cool? Oh yeah. But there's more. Part of the demo lets you scale a room by running counterclockwise around its walls. Admittedly, I did have some trouble before being clued in that I had to jump at every wall's edge to get to the next one. But by the next room, I'd learned my lesson and was able to cross a broken bridge by jumping and running across a nearby wall. Without question, Ninja Gaiden is one of the most visually stunning action games yet. Amazing environments, great water effects--I was in awe of every room in this short demo. The only question I have now is, can this frantic pace and attention to detail be kept up throughout the final game?

Ninja Gaiden from the NES world enhanced by the expanded graphics capabilities of the Atari Lynx-sounds like an awesome twosome! What you get, however, is a double dose of delight and disappointment.

First, the Good News

Ninja Gaiden is a gorgeous game! Taking full advantage of the Lynx's color capabilities, each scene is a visual feast for the eyes. The details in the backgrounds and the fluidity of the hero's movements place this version high and above the 8-bit graphics and animation of its NES predecessors, it's even worth pausing the game to examine the myriad detailed wall posters and signs that decorate the background. From the awesome opening screen to the large bosses, the graphics just want to bust the seams of the Lynx's confined 3 1/2 inch screen!

Next, the So-So News

If you're familiar with the NES Ninja Gaiden saga, be advised that Ryu Hayabusa and his storyline are nowhere to be found here. In this five-level karate-fest, you're an unnamed ninja on a quest to defeat the Powers of Darkness that have taken over Silent City.

Your enemies aren't exactly wimps, but they don't fight very smart. You only face one type of basic assailant, a bulky goon wearing a ski mask and a red T-shirt; however, the stage bosses are familiar faces from NES Ninja Gaiden. The goons just march towards you and try to punch you out; the bosses are bigger but they stage a similarly uninspired attack. None of your foes is really your match. Since it doesn't take much to plow through your enemies, you don't get much. Other than a rare sword that pops up for a few moments, your fighting skills are limited to Punch, Kick, and Jump. Although punching and kicking is a good way to release pent-up frustrations, they become extremely repetitive when wave after wave of the exact same enemy attacks you in exactly the same way.

To spice up the action there's a level time limit and you can throw bad guys into the scenery to reveal hidden power-ups, time extensions, and one-ups.

Now, the Bad News

Although Ninja Gaiden is a visual delight, it isn't a very challenging game. Add unlimited continues from the beginning of the level you're on to a sparse variety of villains, simple fighting, the enemies' repetitive attack technique, and only five levels, and a seasoned video ninja can polish off the game within half an hour!

Unfortunately, just seeing "Ninja Gaiden" on the box sets up pnecon-cieved expectations for an exciting, challenging game that doesn't materialize. However, if awesome computer graphics and nonstop, keep-you-busy ninja action are enough to get you jazzed, this game's you.

Sometimes it's hard to find a good Ninja when you want one.


  • The skimasks only attack In a straight line from the left anil the right sides. Jump over them so that they all wind up on one side. This way you need only light in one direction and no one can sneak up behind you.
  • Always spare one enemy so you can throw him into phone booths, crates, or barrels to reveal valuable treasures!

Ninjas are awesome, and for anyone who grew up in a world with Nintendo, then you'd be hard pressed not to agree. Ninjas have been an icon in the industry, creating the backdrop for some of the best titles out there, from Ninja Turtles all the way to Shinobi and Tenchu. However, take a look back a decade and you'll see where this entire craze started: Ninja Gaiden. Ninja Gaiden for the NES largely defined what side-scrolling action games of that era were all about: fast-paced, unforgiving action that tested your reflexes to its very limits.

Now, more than a decade later after the first installment, Ninja Gaiden is finally getting its due in 3D and I'll tell you up front that it's fantastic. Now that that's out of the way, heres the real question: does Ninja Gaiden, like its NES predecessor, define what action games of this generation are all about? Read on to find out.

Ninja Gaiden must've taken notes from old school side-scrolling action games of the NES era, because the action harkens back to the days of fast-paced, relentless action that relied on both impeccable reflexes and precise pattern recognition for success. Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox takes all that and re-invents it in the wonderful world of 3D.

Perhaps Ninja Gaiden's greatest strength is that it feels right. Ryu Hayabusa controls elegantly, and after some time with the game, you'll be a regular ginsu knife, slicing and dicing the baddies like there's no tomorrow. The action is fast, fluid, fun, and it never feels like just a big hack-n-slash fest. There are multiple strategies you'll need to enforce to be successful - namely using the environment to your advantage to pull off Ryu's many moves - but even then, Ninja Gaiden can be a tough cookie to crack.

However, there's one aspect of Ninja Gaiden that drags that entire game down: the camera. Most of the time it works well, but at other times, it all goes terribly wrong. Platforming, in particular, is hampered by the limited field of view the camera will often offer.

If there's one thing that matches the fluid gameplay of Ninja Gaiden, it's the beautiful graphics. Simply put, Ninja Gaiden looks stunning. It's hard to single out one element of the visuals for praise just because it all looks fantastic. Fluid animation, detailed textures, rock steady framerates, beautiful environments, stunning cut scenes -- you name it and Ninja Gaiden has it.

In the end, Ninja Gaiden embodies what action games of this generation are all about or should at least strive to be: 3D action with old-school roots, but still accessible, fun, and somewhat forgiving at the same time. I could end this review with an eloquent sentence that sums up just how great Ninja Gaiden is, but I mean really, who says it better than

Ninja Gaiden is cool; and by cool, I mean totally sweet.

You are Ryu Hyabusa, last descendant of an honorable ninja clan. Armed only with the Dragon Sword, an heirloom passed on through the generations, you must hunt down a terribly ruthless criminal. Known only as the Master of Darkness, it's up to Ryu to vanquish this Boss and his forces.

Utilizing your martial arts skills to defeat the enemy, you must restore your family honor with a blade. It is your fate to do so. Ninja Gaiden brings all the intensity of the 8-Bit classic to the Genesis, with enhancements in every category. The music is exotic and fast paced, the graphics detailed and the action fierce throughout.

One of the most successful video game titles ever has just been translated to the GameBoy. The warrior Ryu must take on all new forces of evil and defeat them once and for all! You will need to use all of your ninja skills, including a special grappling hook to latch on to the ceilings! Flip onto bars and swing your mighty katanna blade across the deadly foes who seem to attack from every direction! Finally, unleash the power of the ninja magic using your incredible training!

Don't count the enemy out, however, for they have a devastating army of their own! Some characters will wield huge machine guns while others will try to attack you with their destructive flame throwers and giant missiles. Grab your sabres and take on the deadliest forces of them all - the end Bosses that each wield even more firepower! Great graphics and Ninja GaiDen game play combine to make GB GaiDen a top notch effort!


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!

  • 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?

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.


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.

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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".


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

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!

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.

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!

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!!

"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.


  • 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.

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.

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.

A Dark Time for the Dragon Ninja...

It's been a year since the fateful confrontation between Ryu Hasabayu, the Ninja GaiDen, and the evil Jaquio took place. Although Ryu lost his father in the battle, the Dragon Ninja returned the land to peace and did away with the monsters that composed Ja-quio's army.

Now Ryu must face the wrath of a more powerful enemy named Ashtar who has not only populated the world with vile creatures, but kidnapped Irene Lew as well. Armed with the all-powerful weapon, the Dark Sword of Chaos, Ashtar intends to plunge the world into an eternity of darkness...unless Ninja Gai Den can stop him!

The Story Unfolds...

Ashtar's wicked plans reveal themselves in the game's beginnings, with henchmen informing the evil leader of Jaquio's demise. Ashtar plots his revenge against Ryu and his friends.

Who is Robert?

Ryu has a new ally in his fight against the monster armies named Robert - a special agent for the U.S. Army!

Snapshots and Media

Atari Lynx Screenshots

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

Sega Master System Screenshots

GameGear Screenshots

GameBoy Screenshots

See Also

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    Andy said on Forum:

    Great game but there are faults, For one you can cause damage to the enemy without making contact, But other than that this is a true arcade game that should grab you to add another coin or two into the machine, Well that was when it was a arcade game now you do not even have to pay a penny.