Ninja Gaiden Wiki
Ninja Gaiden Wiki
Irene Lew
Ninja Gaiden II Sonia Render PNG
Race Human
800px-Flag of the United States svg
Gender Female
Professional Status
Affiliation Central Intelligence Agency
Occupation CIA Agent/Analyst
Partner Ryu Hayabusa
First Appearance
Debut Ninja Gaiden
Ninja Gaiden II (as Sonia)
Japanese Voice Mariko Suzuki
Yumi Toma (OVA)
English Voice Kari Wahlgren (NGII)
Amanda Troop (NG3)

Irene Lew (アイリーン・ルゥ?) is the main female character in the original trilogy, serving as Ryu's romantic interest. She is an agent of the CIA's Secret Auxiliary Unit, working under the codename "Sea Swallow". She later appears in a revamped form in Ninja Gaiden II for the Xbox 360 under the alias Sonia (ソニア, Sonia). In Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, she acts as commander for Ayane and finally appears on Day 6 (Ayane); she is credited as Irene in this game instead of Sonia.


Irene is an attractive and voluptuous young woman with pale skin, short platinum blonde hair and green eyes. She wears a low-cut black leather outfit with vertical whites strips down the front, long black gloves, and thigh-high heeled black boots. She also has several storage weapon holsters on belts around her waist, right arm and right thigh, along with a small red tattoo above her breasts.


Irene is a headstrong and gutsy woman, willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done and very confident in her abilities. She is shown to be gifted with a knack for espionage. Irene is also quite skilled with firearms of different kinds of handgun to RPGs bazooka.

Irene develops romantic feelings for Ryu Hayabusa, as evidenced from when he defeated the Archfiend Vazdah and she ran to embrace. In Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, she works along side Ayane to help Ryu, worried about his cursed condition. Although the CIA doesn't trust Ayane, Irene is on a personal mission to help Ryu, and claims she knows him much better than Ayane.


Sent by the CIA on a top secret case involving fiends, Irene discover plans to resurrect the Archfiend and an unnatural alliance between the Black Spider Ninja Clan and the fiends. With this knowledge Sonia goes searching for Ryu to help her stop the Black Spider Ninja Clan from obtaining the Demon Statue, in possession of the Hayabusa Ninja Clan, and required by the fiends to resurrect the Archfiend.


Ninja Gaiden II[]

Irene first encounters Ryu under her alias 'Sonia'. Tracking down a contact who might know the whereabouts of Ryu Hayabusa, on a quiet evening Sonia sits in Muramusa's shop located in Tokyo, asking Muramasa if he knew where Ryu might be. Muramasa tells her how elusive a ninja like Ryu is, suggesting that if he isn't in the Hayabusa village, he could be anywhere in the world.

Promptly after the conversation, Sonia is ambushed as a Black Spider Ninja smashes through the shop's wall, knocking Muramasa off his ladder and into a pile of boxes. Sonia quickly draws her two pistols and shoots the Black Spider Ninja in a dual wielding style. She then attempts to flee the shop, but encounters a Black Spider ninja waiting for her outside, reacting quickly she blows off his head with her pistols, but soon after another ninja attacks her from above, knocking the pistols out of her hands in the scuffle. Defenseless, Sonia attempts to run but is snared with chain thrown by one of the ninja. As the 3 ninja approach a subdued Sonia, from out of the shadows they are suddenly cut down by Ryu Hayabusa, but before he can free her, Black Spider reinforcements arrive. As his minions held Ryu back, the black spider leader escapes and takes Sonia captive with him.

Later that night on the top floor of a twin skyscraper, Sonia, tied to a chair, is physically interrogated by Elizébet, surrounded by Black Spider Ninjas. As the interrogation progresses, the building alarms go off signaling an intruder who turns out to be Ryu. Seeing Ryu cut through the black spider ninjas as he fights his way up the floors, Elizébet handcuffs Sonia and drags her to the helipad on the building rooftop. While Ryu is busy fighting the Black Spider Shadow Ninja Rasetsu and his minions on the rooftop, Elizébet drags a struggling Sonia to the awaiting helicopter. Ryu manages to slay Rasetsu just as the helicopter takes off with Elizébet and Sonia hanging out the side door. Before it can escape too far, Ryu shoots up a few shurikens, one of which slices Elizébet across the side of her face as Sonia struggles to break free. Having enough Elizébet tosses Sonia down, Ryu then swiftly runs towards Sonia, catching her in mid air as she was free falling. As Ryu uncuffs her, Sonia relieved at finally finding Ryu, informs him of the impending danger to his clan and village brought upon by the black spider and fiendish alliance in their plan to restore the Archfiend.

However her warning comes too late as Ryu is unable to prevent Elizébet from obtaining the Demon Statue and unleashing armies of fiends into the world. Sonia eventually finds herself in the apocalyptic aftermath of New York, flying a helicopter as she dogfights flying demons high above the city. As the night progresses, Sonia discovers the source of the destructive weather and demonic fiends, a deity known as a Greater Fiend. She then rendezvous with Ryu at the Brooklyn Bridge, transporting him over to the Greater Fiend Alexei on Liberty Island, then extracting him once the Greater Fiend is slain.

Tracking down Elizébet and the Demon Statue to the Flying Fortress Daedalus, Sonia later arrives at the Coliseum in the Aqua Capital where Ryu is busy fighting a mob of werewolves. Swooping down in her helicopter and firing hellfire missiles into the crowd of werewolves, Sonia airlifts Ryu out the frenzy, and the two fly towards their next objective.

Catching up to the Flying Fortress Daedalus, Ryu launches himself onto the Daedalus airship as Sonia provides cover fire from her helicopter, during the skirmish she is hit but miraculously manages to eject herself right before the damaged helicopter explosively collides with the airship. Armed with firearms and a rocket launcher, Sonia makes her way through the airship's interior, causing alarm and emergency announcements over the intercom as she sabotages the Flying Fortress. Eventually she meets up with Ryu briefly before the pair separate again working to bring down the Daedalus. Taking out the airship's critical systems she meets up with Ryu again as the airship separates in two, with them on the falling half and Elizébet escaping on the still airborne half. Rushing through the hallways they end up in the cargo bay where Ryu quickly mounts a motorcycle and Sonia in the backseat. With her rocket launcher Sonia blasts a large hole in the exterior hull and the two ride out on the motorcycle landing on the snow peak surface below just as the airship makes it's explosive crash landing.

Sonia would later shadow Ryu all the way to the Temple of Sacrifice deep in the caverns of the Amazon jungle, where he manages to defeat Elizébet but fails to retrieve the demon statue. Her encounter with Ryu would not go over well with her, as he tells her that she can no longer follow him due to his path taking him to the dangerous lands of the dead and into the deepest depths of the hellish underworlds. Ignoring Ryu, Sonia journeys into the underworld where she is quickly taken captive by Alexei. Treating Sonia as his new pet, Alexei redresses her in looser attire and locks her in a large cage while tormenting her, but just as he savors his enjoyment, Alexei senses Ryu entering his underworld domain. After dispatching Alexei for good, Ryu frees Sonia from her confinement and journeys further ahead to stop the Archfiend.

While Ryu battles ahead clearing a path, Sonia slowly makes her way out of the underworld, catching up to Ryu just as he defeats Vazdah the Archfiend. Upon catching sight of Ryu, Sonia hastily runs up to him and hugs him as the area is lit up by many bright orbs of essence from Vazdah's gigantic corpse. The two journey towards the surface, the peak of Mt. Fuji, but just as they're part way there, blood from Ryu's wounded arm drips down and makes contact with Vazdah's exoskeleton causing a reaction that reinvigorates the Archfiend into his true form, skyrocketing up towards the surface. Reacting quickly Ryu shoots himself up to confront the gigantic Archfiend once more before the demonic supreme deity can escape to the realm of the living and unleash his fiendish world order upon its inhabitants. As the powerful ninja and supreme deity clash, Sonia works to avoid the explosive backlash from the titanic battle. In the aftermath Sonia scours the debris for signs of Ryu. Finding him under the Archfiend's boulder sized skull, Ryu and Sonia make their way towards the surface where they stare out into the expanse of clouds below from the volcano peak, watching the morning sun rise.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge[]

Although Irene does not physically appear in the original Ninja Gaiden 3, she does help Ryu a little in his battle against the LOA. She gives the Japanese Self-Defense Force information about the Black Narwhal's location, under the signature of one word: Sea Swallow. Ryu immediately recognizes it as a code from Irene, knowing that they can trust the information she gave them.

In the expansion, Razor's Edge, Irene contacts Ayane and asks her for help, knowing about Ryu's condition. She communicates with the ninja through an earpiece, which also has a GPS signal and shows Irene where Ayane is. In Paris, Irene helps Ayane by stopping missiles from destroying the city. Later, Irene has Ayane track down the Black Narwhal and find out more about the LOA. As the ship prepares to dive, Irene urges the ninja to get off the ship. She becomes worried when she tracks the earpiece on board the Black Narwhal. But Ayane then appears behind Irene on the dock, showing that she knew that the earpiece had a GPS signal and that Irene was tracking her. Irene tells Ayane that she and her kind are only ninjas, neither enemies nor allies, and cannot be trusted. She then goes on saying that she is only after Ryu because she wants to help him. When Ayane asks what's up between her and Ryu, Irene simply replies that she knows him better than the ninja.

Ninja Gaiden (NES)[]


Irene Lew in Ninja Gaiden

As Ryu searches for his father's killer, Irene meets Ryu where she shoots and captures him with a tranquilizer dart. She passes him the Shadow demon statue, and is later taken hostage by the Jaquio to force Ryu to hand over the statue. Although Ryu complies, the Jaquio keeps Irene to be sacrificed, and drops Ryu into a pit. However Ryu manages to find a way out and defeats the Jaquio, escaping the collapsing temple with Irene. As Irene falls in love with Ryu, she disobeys an order from Foster to kill him.

Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom[]

Irene is attacked by Ryu's Doppelgänger while investigating a secret lab. She falls off a cliff into the ocean and is presumed dead. However, she survives the fall, and turns up later in the last encounter with Foster. She points a gun at Foster to arrest him and stop his plan, but her weapon is useless against the Doppelgänger. She is reunited with Ryu at the end after his journey through subspace to defeat Clancy.

Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos[]

Irene is captured by Ashtar and held at the Tower of Lahja. She proves to be a distraction to Ryu which lets Ashtar take advantage of to ambush Ryu. Although Robert manages to save Ryu, Ashtar manages to bring Irene away with him through the Maze of Darkness. When Ryu finally reaches her, it is for naught, as Ashtar maniacally stabs her from behind. Irene survives the blow, and tasks Ryu to destroy an altar. While she is being escorted out by Robert, they are ambushed by the Jaquio. Taken hostage by him, Irene is to be sacrificed as a bait for the demons of the dark world when the Sword of Chaos awakens. However, she is resurrected by the Dragon Sword's magic.

Powers and Abilities[]


Sonia using a bazooka rocket launcher


  • Agility: Irene's agility is around the level of an average human.
  • Strength: Irene's physical strength is near peak level of a female human, displayed by her ability to carry and use a large "Super Bazooka" rocket launcher with ease.
  • Firearm Specialist: As required by CIA field agent training, Irene is an expert at using many types of firearms with deadly accuracy.
  • Helicopter Pilot: Irene's skills as a helicopter pilot is at a professional level, able to fly through intense storms, long distances and evade most enemy fire.

Weapons & Equipment[]

  • Desert Eagle Pistols: Irene carries a pair of Desert Eagle hand guns, which she sometimes uses in a dual wielding fashion. At short range, Irene is able to effectively blow off the heads of her enemies.
  • Rocket Launcher: A powerful long range weapon that projects rockets that explode upon impact, Irene is able to cause massive damage with this weapon.
  • Submachine Gun: She´s seen with an SMG after Ryu defeats Elizebet.
  • Apache Helicopter: A military grade helicopter loaded with hellfire missiles and a 30mm gun, Sonia uses this helicopter to assist Ryu by offering transport and cover fire.


Sonia-ninja-gaiden-20080609044606149 640w

Sonia concept art

  • As chronicled in the Ninja Ryukenden OVA, Irene and Ryu open a curio shop together in New York.
  • Yumi Toma, who voices Irene Lew in the OVA, later went on to voice as Leifang in the Dead or Alive series.
  • Irene Lew’s appearance from the first Ninja Gaiden on NES strikingly resembles Rachael, from the 1982 film Blade Runner (portrayed by Sean Young). Her later appearances in Ninja Gaiden II and Ninja Gaiden III has her looking different from the first game.
  • After Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, she and Ryu Hayabusa settled down.
  • During the events of Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom, while everyone assumed she was murdered by the BIO NOID doppelgänger, Irene was working in secret with the US government in bringing down Foster and Clancy.
  • Irene is revamped along with Ryu in Ninja Gaiden II under the alias Sonia.
  • Like Rachel from the first Ninja Gaiden, Irene is rescued many times by the main protagonist, Ryu Hayabusa. She also enjoys flirting with him from time to time. Though, It is unknown if Rachel truly developed romantic feelings for Ryu like Irene. It is noted that both the modern Irene and Rachel have similar character designs.
  • Unlike the rest of the heroines from Ninja Gaiden, she didn't get a playable role in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.
  • In the final chapter of Ninja Gaiden II / Sigma 2, at the start of the level, if you turn 180 degrees from where you are facing, you will see Irene outside the bird cage. If you shoot her with a projectile weapon, Ninpo, or a UT from Enma's Fang, she will die, causing a Game Over.
  • In Dead or Alive: Dimensions, it is revealed during Ryu's disappearance from Lisa's apartment after leaving the cruise ship as a spy, that Sonia is in fact Irene Lew.
  • Her eyes are blue in all versions of Ninja Gaiden II, however they are green in Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge.
  • There is no tattoo / red mark on her chest when she is wearing the white outfit after she is caught by Alexei during the final chapters of Ninja Gaiden II. This is likely a design oversight, as her tattoo is later seen again in her appearance in Razor's Edge, as well in Dead or Alive.
  • The storyboard images in the background of her one of her artwork images seemed to indicate her previous design included a jacket and pants.



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