Shadow Dancer

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a game by Sega
Genre: Platformer
Platforms: PC, Sega GenesisGenesis
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 5 reviews
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 6 votes
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See also: Shadow Dancer Games, Shinobi Games
Shadow Dancer
Shadow Dancer
Shadow Dancer

New York City's been taking a lot of hits in the media lately. But if you think the Big Apple's bad s positively rotten to the core in 1997!

That's the year Shadow Dancer, the long-awaited sequel to Sega's Revenge of Shinobi, forces Joe Musashi (a.k.a. Shinobi) out of retirement to once again wipe out Genesis-generated bad guys and save the world. But Joe hasn't spent his off-time lost in meditation; he's been busy training a crafty co-star - a big, white German shepard.

If you're a bonafide student of Shinobi start loosening up your "throwing" thumb; this sequel's a good one, featuring shuriken-tossing up the kimono.

However, although its graphics and overall challenge are above average, it's definitely a notch below Revenge of Shinobi. And if you got off on the arcade version of Shadow Dancer, be forewarned: this game only has a bare bones resemblance to the coin cruncher.

Dancing in the Shadows

Still popping brain cells trying to figure out what "Neo Zeed" means, Shinobi vets? Here's another headache for you: this time you battle the evil minions of "Union Lizard." These fanatics have taken a load of blondes hostage and utterly devastated New York City in the process. As Shinobi, you and your canine sidekick must rescue fair-haired slaves in every stage.

You get five rounds of basically horizontally scrolling action, although there's an outrageous elevator battle up the side of the Statue of Liberty in Round 3.

Each round consists of either two or three good-looking stages -- on streets of fire, across a bridge, up Lady Liberty, across a dark and deadly cavern, and through five murderous rooms -- and a boss stage.


  • Round 2's Wall Monster boss has a big mouth.

  • Round 3's boss lady has one weak spot. Wait for her to roll the saw blade at you.

  • Round 4's flying Fire Wheel boss has a weak hub.

After you beat a stage boss, you get a rad bonus round -- a dizzyingly-paced, vertically-scrolling dive off the edge of a building, where you plummet through space, tossing throwing stars down at a horde of ninjas flying up at you.

During the bonus stages, zap ninjas to earn a 1-Up.

Points add up to extra lives, but you'll find a few 1-Ups and 2-Ups, too. There are three levels of difficulty, each of which increases the number of evil-doers you face.

There's a 2Up in Round 3 Stage 2. You must power up and then zap the lone Spinning Warrior on the extreme right side of the ground floor.

Fighting Tooth and Shuriken

Shinobi's got all his regular moves including the gravity-defying somersault, but his weapons are slightly different. Unlike Revenge of Shinobi shurikens are unlimited, but they still automatically turn into a devastating katana (sword) during close shaves. If infinite throwing stars is too sissified for you, check out the "no-shurikens" mode.

During every stage you can also cast a unique ninjas magic, but this time around, you only have one magic ability per stage which means you'd better use it at the right time.

  • The Red Ninjas are a big league pain, but remember they land, where you stand.

  • From Round 2 on, try saving your magic till you face the bosses. It cuts down two of their lives.

As far as video animal talent goes, Joe's dog is totally blue-ribbon. He barks when enemies are near, and he always "heels" after he attacks. He's easy to control, too. Simply hold down B till an onscreen dog icon flashes then release it; your woofer puts the bite on your enemies till you waste them or they beat him up. When that happens your pooch becomes a helpless pup, literally shrinking onscreen.

  • The dog barks at off-screen enemies. You can't get them until they appear, but he can attack.

  • The dog is best against gunmen. Enemies with sharp edges make dog meat.

Shadow of Revenge

Shadow Dancer's a good sequel, but it suffers in comparison to Revenge of Shinobi. The regular enemies are deadly, but they don't have the wicked moves of some of Revenge's bad guys. Also there are hardly any obstacles or traps to challenge your jumping skills. And unlike Revenge with its tricky maze at the end, Shadow's conclusion features five rooms that are strictly linear.

  • In Round 5's Room 2, when you lace three on more Spinning Warriors, stay back and let them spin together. Three become one.

  • In Round 5's Room 5, a 1-Up sometimes appears just above the exit.

  • In Round 5's Rooms 4 and 5, try not to use Ninja Magic until the nasty crowd of ninjas shows up just before you reach the exit.

The graphics, too, don't quite have the overall pizzazz of the original. Most of the backgrounds don't jump out at you like Revenge's did. And taken as a whole the U.S. soldiers don't look nearly as slick as Revenge's band of assassins.

On the plus side, this tough game puts up a good fight. The dog is a great ally. Some of the bosses look sharp and they'll make you work, too. The sounds are right on. The bonus stages are fast-paced, fun games within a game.

Thank you, Masked Man

Conclusion. If hack-n-slash ninja action jacks you up, go for either Revenge of Shinobi or Strider first and then put the moves on Dancer. Shinobi masters, however, must try this game. Even though the sequel doesn't rise above the original, Joe knows ninjas.

Download Shadow Dancer


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.

Game Reviews

  • Levels: 15
  • Theme: Action
  • Players: 1
  • Difficulty: Average

The latest chapter in the Shinobi family. This time a race of power-mad ninjas are in New York ready to take on the world! This time, Joe is not alone as he now has his faithful canine, Yamato.

  • Type: Action
  • Available: February 1992
  • Levels: 5
  • Difficulty:Avg.

Many years have passed and evil has once more returned to the world. Shinobi has returned in this sequel to the original cart to rid the world of these evil forces once and for all! This time, he's not alone, however. His faithful dog has accompanied him to help Shinobi ice the bad guys. The dog is virtually invincible, but will shrink to a puppy for a short while when hit. Don't underestimate him, though!

People say:


Shinobi adt it's best! Although swamped by the influx of Genesis carts, this game is a treat not be overlooked. The graphics are well drawn and animated, and the music is excellent. The only drawback to this cart is the lack of the different ninja magic I loved in Revenge of Shinobi.


This soft is a sleeper. Considering all the great 'big name' carts out there you might miss this game, but don't! Plenty of action, power-ups and very good animation. A lot of different moves to learn, and that is good for this kind of game. Good player control.


An excellent sequel to Revenge of Shinobi that helps fill the blank in the Genesis action category. Outstanding graphics and superb audio. The game play is very good with many techniques to master, but is set a bit too easy. I just wish the last boss would get out of his chair.


The first thing that captured my attention in Shadow Dancer was the brilliant graphics.The music is very good, and the play mechanics are well thought out. The addition of the pooch was more of a visual delight than a useful. Still, Shinobi fans everywhere should get this one.

Shadow Dancer is an arcade game, developed by Sega. It ported to few home video platforms and home computer systems. It is the direct sequel to the Shinobi game. The Japanese version of the game is known as "Shadow Dancer: Kage no Mai".

In Shadow Dancer game, players play as Hayate, American-raised son of Joe Musashi. He is accompanied by his husky dog, Yamato, who will team up against the terrorist group "Asian Dawn" which planed a number of explosions in the metropolis. Hayate and Yamato courageously set out to gather up all the explosive placed by the evil gang and annihilate the mastermind of the "Asian Dawn".

Released into the arcades as the true sequel to Shinobi, this "super" Shinobi features our in an all-new challenge filled with even better graphics and better game play! For those of you who are not familiar with the coin-op, Shadow Dancer pits Shinobi against all-kinds of opponents in a story that takes you around the world! While the goals may be familiar, Shadow Dancer features a new addition to Shinobi's awesome's best friend! An attack dog follows the assassin's every movement and can even be used against the enemy!

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots