a game by Tengen, Sega, and Team Shinobi
Platforms: Sega Master SystemSega Master System NESNES GameGear
Genre: Action
Editor Rating: 7.9/10, based on 8 reviews
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See also: Ninja Games, Shinobi Games, Fear Games

Sega's enlisted the services of their all-time greatest ninja warrior, Joe Musashi, for a brand new multi-leveled Shinobi adventure! Break out your shurikens, ninja fans, this Game Gear game is fresh!

Who Ya Gonna Call?

When a powerful evil force invades Neo City, the Master of the Oboro school of Shinobi dispatches his best students, the Blue, Green, Pink, and Yellow Shinobis, to investigate. Now they've disappeared. It's up to the oldest, wisest, and strongest pupil, Joe Musashi-the Red Shinobi, to rescue the missing ninjas and rally them to destroy the City of Fear!

Musashi must travel through four parts of Neo City including downtown highrises, a raging river that leads to a huge waterfall, tankers moored at the city harbor and an abandoned pagoda.

An army of evil ninjas and warriors hides behind every corner, rock, and bush! Enemies include mallet-carrying strongmen, archers, flame throwers, flying disc throwers, nunchuk-throwing women warriors, and ninja frogmen. Bosses await Shinobi at the end of each level-a killer helicopter, a hot-to-chop black ninja with dual swords, a giant robot, and a giant hovering mask of death.

Team Shinobi

Upon defeating each level's boss, you free one of the captured Shinobis and add them to your team. Each Shinobi has a weapon, a special ability, and a secret Ninjutsu power-Joe carries a sword and creates earthquakes, Blue Shinobi hurls a crescent blade yo-yo and becomes a human tornado, Yellow Shinobi throws spheres of "Shinobi force" and forms an invincible lightning barrier, Pink Shinobi pitches bombs and flashes a blindingly bright light, and Green Shinobi throws shurikens and projects a powerful, screen-clearing blast.

You start with five lives, four health units per life. An assortment of bonus items appears throughout each level including valuable 1-ups, extra health units, and Ninjutsu power-ups.

Shrimpy Shinobi?

Shinobi is a fast-paced and challenging game regardless of its size. Game-play is extremely smooth and the detailed graphics are astounding! The game maxes out the Game Gear's superior range of color values and renders extremely smooth character and background movements. You'll love the nasty thunder storm special effects in the harbor level!

Shinobi's only major drawback is that it's limited to 4 levels and 3 rounds per level. A game this good makes players wish it could go on and on! Shinobi's a sure bet!!


  • Always jump back after touching a bonus item. It might be booby-trapped.
  • Once you learn the location of power-ups and extra health units, plan your strategy accordingly. If you have a full health gauge, attack your enemies first, then return to replenish your health units.
  • You often hear most enemies before you actually see them. Keep alert and stay ready for danger!
  • You can wipe out some enemies from below. This way you strike it without fear of reprisal!
  • Most of the enemies shoot and attack in a set pattern. Step back to study their patterns before you attack.
  • Since you have a limited amount of Ninjutsu power, it's best to save it for the end of each level.

Game Reviews

You are Jo Musashi: Master Ninja. Your mission is to rescue the children of the world's leaders from the underlings of the feared Ring of Five, a gang of evil terrorist Ninjas. Armed with shuriken, nunchaku, sword, bombs, guns, and your own agility, you must infiltrate their strongholds in order to save the hostages and rid the world of this vile plague.

Shinobi is divided into five separate missions with two or three sections in each. At the end of each mission is one of the evil Bosses who can't be overcome unless you know his weakness. Be sure to rescue all the hostages along the way to get bonus weapons and power-ups. When you rescue a certain hostage and finish a section of a mission, you enter a bonus round where you can earn Ninja Magic to aid you in your quest.

In mission 1, watch out for Mongo the henchman, who throws his razor sharp steel boomerang at you. Hit him with your shuriken -- when he throws his sword, hit him again!

Ken Oh awaits you at the end of this mission. This evil Boss is larger than life... five well-placed hits in the middle of his head to stop him in his tracks. Watch out for his fireballs!

You enter mission 2 through caves filled with evil Ninjas. Once past the caves, you encounter swarms of deadly frogmen. Use the sword you found in the caves to eliminate these henchmen of death. You're looking for Black Turtle, the helicopter Boss who carries a deadly load of Fly Ninjas. Several shots to the copter's nose will end this nightmarish scene.

If you make it past another gang of henchmen, your target Boss in mission 3 is Mandara. Eliminating the four rounds of hideous Mandara requires skill, agility and aggressiveness. Run up, jump and rapid fire to destroy Mandara. Just when you thought you were safe, a wicked fire breathing head appears. Try a few shots to his eye to do this Boss in once and for all.

Two more missions left. Don't give up! Take your time in mission 4. You must kill the Fly Ninjas or they will end your mission. Once past these underlings, you must overcome the Lobster Boss. This giant sumarai swordsman has a weakness -- watch for him to lower his sword! If you prove worthy of reaching mission 5, you're in for a very tough challenge. First, battling the super powered henchmen Ninjas requires all of your Master skills. Then you must face the final and most deadly Masked Ninja Boss who demonstrates a true split personality! Definitely an opponent worthy of the most expert Ninja Master!

ProTip: Don't miss the Blue Ninja in these rounds in order to receive twice as much magic!

Shinobi is a slick combination of varied play formats, great graphics and a tough challenge that should keep even the most seasoned gamers playing for hours.

What do you get when you mix the comical action of Alex Kidd with the intense martial arts mayhem of Shin-obi? You get a hybrid hero named Shinobi Kidd who battles cartoon creatures across horizontal and vertical landscapes, employs all types of "Ninja Magic", and faces happy-look-ing Bosses in a pastel world of soft colors.

Shinobi Kidd does have some endearing qualities that kept us playing more than once. The unique method of rocketing the title character across the screen, the long rounds composed of dual scrolling mazes, and the Shinobi structure all helped to make this game one of the better Master System carts that definitely was created with a younger player in mind.

  • Manufacturer: Mindscape

By day, you are Jo Mushapi, an ordinary martial arts instructor. But in crisis, you are capable of extra-ordinary feats. Ninja Mastery, Might and Magic!

You become a walking, breathing force-field!

You can reach inside and unleash the powerful synergy of nerve, muscle and spirit. Behind every corner of the suprising world of Shinobi, danger lurks.

In the caverns of the city - everywhere - enemy leaders roam. Find them. Find their weaknesses. Rescue the hostages. Outmaneuver the attackers. Fend off thugs and mongos with your Ninja Star. Defeat the evil Ring of Five. Destroy the evil helicopter!

  • Manufacturer: Sega
  • Machine: SMS

We've received a hint from Bob Stell of Blue Springs, Missouri, which allows you to pick where you want to start. During the title screen, hit D and the #2 button simultaneously, then pick your mission and screen using the directional controller to change the numbers on the screen. That ought to help some players get to those hard-to-reach spots!

  • Manufacturer: Sega
  • Version: Sega Master System

In Shinobi you play the character of Joe Musashi, master ninja and undercover agent for the government. Your mission is to battle and defeat a group of terrorists, known as the Ring of Five, which is headed up by five evil ninjas.

Luckily, you happen to be a master of such weapons as shurikens, swords and nunchakus. You'll need all these weapons skills, as well as your karate expertise, to bring down the Ring of Five, who has captured the children of all the world's leaders. In each of your five missions, you must defeat the karate thugs who are holding the children hostage, and thus return the children to their homes.

Shinobi is another entry in what has become a long line of karate-fighting games, a line that includes such titles as Double Dragon and Trojan, just to name a couple. As is typical with this type of game, the screens scroll horizontally or vertically as you battle your way past one foe after another, using weapons that range from knives and swords to pistols and bombs - and sometimes just your hands and feet.

In addition to the more conventional weapons available in Shinobi, bonus rounds give you a chance to earn Ninja Magic, the use of which can have a devastating effect on your enemies. Some Ninja Magic freezes your opponents in place, making them easy targets for your attacks; other magic calls down tornadoes and lightning to clear your path of all the nasty meanies bent on your destruction.

The hostages are hidden throughout each of the fifteen levels. When touched, they will give you one of several types of "power ups ". The Shuriken Power Up increases the amount of damage caused by your shurikens; the Life Meter Power Up refills your life meter to its maximum; the Life Meter Max Power Up increases the length of your life meter; the Punch and Kicks Power Up gives your punches and kicks more strength; the Bonus Power Up will let you enter the bonus round at the end of the current level; and the Points Power Up will add 10,000 to your score.

Each of the six main types of enemy have their own method of attack - some, like the Thugs and Gunmen, are easy to defeat, while others, like the Green Ninjas, are more deadly opponents, due to their leaping and running movement patterns. To be successful, you need to learn how to handle each type of terrorist.

At the end of each round, you'll have to face a "boss" terrorist who is, needless to say, a challenge to defeat. Some are easier to beat than others, but for most of them, you must practice in order to learn their weak points.

Also, at the end of a round, you may, if you rescued the right hostage, be moved to a bonus round, where you throw shurikens at fast-running enemies. This round is like a "live-target" shooting gallery, and if you hit enough of the ninjas, you'll earn the helpful Ninja Magic.

Shinobi's five missions contain 15 levels of play. Each level is set in a different location, and the graphics depicting each location range from nice to gorgeous. The levels are dissimilar enough - giving you different enemies to fight and a wide range of locales to move through - so that the game never becomes stale and boring.

For the most part, Shinobi is not overly difficult, so even the less experienced player will be able to learn quickly how to make it through the first few levels. For players who are anxious to see the more advanced levels without having to spend a lot of time fighting their way through, there's a hidden (not mentioned in the manual) level-select feature. To access it, press both the down arrow and button #2 while viewing the title screen. You can then select a level by using the up and down arrows.

While Shinobi isn't particularly original, it is fun to play. And if it looks a good deal like many games that have come before, it's due more to the popularity of this genre than to any lack of imagination on the designer's part. Shinobi is worth a look.

The powerful world of Shinobi has been converted it to the Game Gear. Use your Shinobi magic to free the captives while destroying the enemy.

Sega has brought back their popular Shinobi character and put him in a brand new original game! While looking like the character in Revenge of Shinobi he does have the ability to change into different, more powerful ninjas as you progress farther into the game. With the best graphics yet in a GG game, this version is going to be the one that 'sells' the new system! Huge bosses, lots of power-ups life energy capsules, and great moves, all come together is this soft!

Snapshots and Media

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

Sega Master System Screenshots

GameGear Screenshots

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