Ninja Gaiden Wiki
Ninja Gaiden Wiki

Ninja Gaiden
Developer SIMS Co., Ltd.
Publisher Sega
Platform Sega Master System
Release date Europe 1992
Genre Platformer / Beat 'em up
Mode Single player
Media Cartridge
Input methods Control pad

Ninja Gaiden is an action game released for the Sega Master System in 1992 by Sega with license from Tecmo. It stars Ryu Hayabusa and is part of the Ninja Gaiden series, although it features a plot not connected to any of the other Ninja Gaiden games. Due to the discontinued support of the console in Japan and North America because of its poor sales in both regions, the game was only released in Europe and other PAL territories, bearing the Ninja Gaiden label instead of the Shadow Warriors one that usually was used for the series by the time in PAL releases.


Ryu Hayabusa is a member of the Dragon Ninja clan, who have protected Japan for generations. One day he is away from home, he receives a message that the Dragon Village, home of the Dragon clan, has been brutally massacred.

He rushes home only to find that all but one of the village members have been killed. The last survivor of the village tells Ryu with his dying breath that the sacred Bushido Scroll has been stolen. The Bushido is a scroll of power so strong that its owner can control the world.

As the last Ninja of the Dragon clan, the fate of the world is in its hands, and he must embark on a trip in order to regain the Sacred Scroll of Bushido from the hands of the evil Dark Samurai and his minions.

There are two versions of the game that exist. The first version tells the story through the eyes of Ryu himself, explaining his experiences in great detail. The second version is narrated from an outside source, but some details of the plot are not explained as much.


The game features similar gameplay mechanics to the NES games. Movements, attacks and jumps are performed in the same mood, and special ninja attacks are cast as usually, by pressing Up and Attack simultaneously. However, some notable changes were also made in comparison to the NES installments.

The special ninja attacks which consume ninja power are:

  • Shuriken (5 points) - These small but deadly throwing stars can reach any enemy on the screen.
  • Super Shuriken (10 points) - Larger versions of above that do more damage.
  • Four-Way Whirlwind (20 points) - Sends four mini-tornadoes blasting out to both sides, as well as up and down.
  • Fireballs (40 points) - This item releases four flaming balls of fire which home in on every enemy on the screen.
  • Dragonfire (50 points) - Surrounds Ryu with a spinning fireball which makes him invincible for a short time, and destroys enemies he comes into direct contact with.

Other differences in this game consist in:

  • While Ryu can grab onto overhanging bars and ledges, he can not climb hand-over-hand, like he can in Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom.
  • Ryu can no longer cling to walls. In order to do the wall-spring jump, players must jump to a wall, press the pad toward it, then jump again. Ryu will turn around and spring off in the other direction.
  • Ryu now has a "desperation attack". By pressing Jump and Attack simultaneously at any time, the screen will flash to a negative image, and any enemies onscreen will be destroyed (except for bosses). Each usage costs about one-quarter of the entire lifebar.
  • Also, while collecting the special icons which change and power up your special ninja attacks,if you collect enough so you have 999 on the meter, those attacks will then be unlimited, as the meter will not deplete any more.



  • Stage 1: Escape in a Forest

Ryu has left his decimated village to begin his search for the Bushido. His path leads him through the familiar forests of this childhood. But the gang who destroyed his village have also turned the peaceful forest into a deadly obstacle course, filled with treacherous ninjas, tree bombs and spike traps.

Traversing this dangerous path is but half the battle, though, as Ryu's final adversary is the dreaded Mammoth Summo Wrestler, who must be defeated in battle in order to learn the location of the Sacred Scroll.

  • Stage 2: Pursuit in Tokyo

Receiving an answer from the defeated Sumo Wrestler, Ryu's path now turns to the streets of Tokyo. Unfortunately, knife carrying hoods, slick and deadly gunmen, innocent looking tourist types with camera guns, and even killer crows assail Ryu on his quest.

After Ryu battles the gangsters on the streets and in the high rise buildings of the city, he finds himself face-to-face with the Yakuza Oyabun - sitting in his seat while he commands his minions.

  • Stage 3: Samurai in Kendo

Ryu has left the city streets of Tokyo for a more traditional setting in Osaka. But it isn't only the architecture which is old-style. Ryu now finds himself up against sword-swielding Samurai, wandering Ronin with deadly staffs and camouflaged ninja with bombs.

Ryu must get past the guards and under the deadly spikes in order to reach the lair of the Tsutenkaku Samurai, where he will have to deal with the deadly sword technique of the Samurai himself to learn where he must go next in his search for the Scroll.

  • Stage 4: Rescue Geisha

The Kendo Samurai, in his dying breath, has given Ryu a second task - the rescue of the Samurai's Daughter, a geisha who is being held captive on Mount Fuji. She is the only person who knows where the Bushido is, and in order to find her, Ryu must succeed in climbing Fuji.

However, the path to the Samurai's daughter is well guarded, being also a treacherous path up to the mountain with over precipices, across ledges and swiftly-moving rivers. In the top of Mount Fuji, Ryu will meet the Jetpack Soldier, who must be eliminated to finally rescue the geisha.

  • Stage 5: Enemy Turf

The geisha has told Ryu how to get to the Castle of Darkness, where the Bushido has been taken by the Dark Samurai. He must first get across the slippery ice floes and through the frozen caverns. The water beneath the ice is filled with dangerous flying fish, and there are also mercenaries standing on their position over the land.

When Ryu succeeds in fighting his way out of the ice cave, he will have to battle the deadly tricks of the Ice Ninja.

  • Stage 6: Raid

After the lands of ice, Ryu must make his way through the hell-like underground caves to reach the Castle's entrance. Molten lava bars his way, while ghouls, living fireballs, and other creatures will try to stop him from getting to the Castle.

A last obstacle must be faced before entering in the Castle, which is in the form of a Stone Golem given life by the black magic of the Dark Samurai.

  • Stage 7: Overcome

Ryu has finally reached the Castle of Darkness and his search for the Bushido is near at the end. But before he can find it, he must use all his skills in order to get past through the most deadly traps, including giant fans, large emerging spikes, and the guardians of the castle. Ryu must also prepare to face a Mysterious Kabukimono(???), who appears to be guarding the Scroll at all costs.

  • Stage 8: The Decisive Battle

Ryu's quest is not over yet even having obtained the Bushido, as the Dark Samurai makes his entrance capturing the geisha. The final battle marks this last stage, as Ryu has to fight with the Dark Shogun both in his human form and his demon form in order to finally rescue the geisha and succeeded against the forces of darkness.




External links[]

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