Ninja Gaiden Black
Ninja Gaiden Black

North American box cover
Developer Team Ninja
Publisher Tecmo
Designer Tomonobu Itagaki
Picture format 480i, 480p, 720p
Platform Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release date NASeptember 20, 2005
JPSeptember 29, 2005
EUOctober 21, 2005
INTFebruary 11, 2008(Xbox Original)
Genre Action-Adventure
Mode Single player
Rating ESRB: M
PEGI: 18+
BBFC: 15
Input methods Standard Xbox Controller

Ninja Gaiden Black is a reworked compilation of Ninja Gaiden and the two Hurricane Packs. Its key additional feature is Mission Mode which sets up various short standalone scenarios for players to overcome. The game features several new in-game cut scenes, and uses Hurricane Pack 1 as its Story Mode on Hard and higher difficulties. It features two new difficulties, Ninja Dog and Master Ninja; and tweaked the enemy layout with additional encounters or substitution with tougher enemies on higher levels of difficulty, such as explosive bats, flame ninjas (red-clad ninjas whose attacks inflict additional flame damage), and Ryu's evil doubles, the doppelgänger fiends.

Itagaki had tweaked Black to be more difficult than Ninja Gaiden, especially on higher difficulties. Several bosses such as Spirit Doku and the Dark Disciple attack faster and with greater aggression. Black adds a variety of new foes to make the gameplay even harder. Team Ninja tweaked the game balance by changing certain moves, such as the Flying Swallow technique which dominated almost any foe in Ninja Gaiden. Foes in Black block this technique more frequently on Hard difficulty and above, forcing players to find other ways to overcome the foes. A couple of new enemies even possess moves specifically to punish the use of Flying Swallow against them. Team Ninja also increased the enemies' aggression and gave most of them additional attacks which can ignore or break Ryu's defense to discourage players from assuming a very defensive posture (turtling) in Black.

Black introduced two new weapons: the Lunar staff and Smoke Bombs which distracts enemies. Besides adding new unlockable costumes, Team Ninja replaced the three unlockable NES games in Ninja Gaiden with the Ninja Gaiden arcade game. Although Itagaki was reluctant to add different play modes to Ninja Gaiden, the key feature of Black was Mission Mode. It introduced 45 standalone and five linked missions focusing on combat in small arenas. Despite taking place in locations found in Story Mode, the majority of missions are new scenarios. One mission is an adaptation of the game played in the World Wide Master Ninja Tournament 2004 finals. The last five sequential missions make up Eternal Legend, which is Hurricane Pack 2 using the game engine of Black.

Mission Mode[edit | edit source]

The key additional feature of Black was Mission Mode, it included 45 standalone missions and five linked missions that focused on combat in different arenas. Every five missions were connected to a specific section of Mission Mode.

Difficulties[edit | edit source]

Ninja Gaiden Black features 5 settings of difficulty, these include Ninja Dog, Normal, Hard, Very Hard, and Master Ninja.

Ninja Dog[edit | edit source]

Master Ryu... Or should I say, young Ninja Ryu Hayabusa. It seems I have greatly overestimated you. Oh well, we have no choice but to proceed. I will support you in every way that I can. Don't be overconfident, just do what I say and perform your duties as competently as you can. You must complete your task without fail.
~ Ayane to an unconscious Ryu.

Ninja Dog is a hidden difficulty of the game, and is unlocked by dying three times on the first chapter of the game, enemy encounters are the same as Normal, but you are given additional items and weaker enemies for an easier experience, the damage you inflict is also increased. When Ryu dies for the third time of the first chapter, you will be asked: "Do you wish to abandon the way of the Ninja?", choosing "Yes" results in the game asking if you're sure, choosing "Yes" again, will result in the game asking one final time: "Are you truly sure?". Choosing "Yes" for the last time will trigger a cutscene in which Ayane expresses her disappointment in Ryu, but insists he must complete his task. After this scene, the option to save your game will appear, saving will result in you being spawned in the Tatami Room of the Ninja Fortress, and the difficulty of the game will read, "Ninja Dog". Picking up Ayane's kunai will result in you being given "The Band of Strength". You also begin the game automatically with a Talisman of Rebirth, two Great Spirit Elixirs, and four Elixirs of Spiritual Life.

Normal[edit | edit source]

The Path of the Ninja is a difficult and taxing one. You must hone your reflexes to their fullest in order to defeat the hordes of enemies that stand before you.

~ Description of Normal difficulty.

Normal is the first difficulty available when starting the game, and must be completed to unlock "Hard". Enemy encounters are not as deadly than on higher difficulties, they also inflict less damage, and fewer types of them appear. Completing Normal mode awards the player with the "Dragon Muscle" costume.

Hard[edit | edit source]

Fierce new opponents have risen up and lie in wait for your return. Though you may traverse areas once thought conquered, you must not become complacent. To fail here is to disgrace the Ninja way.
~ Description of Hard.

Hard is the 2nd difficulty of the game that is unlocked by completing the game on Normal difficulty. New enemies are introduced, and damage they inflict on you increase. Completing Hard mode awards the player with the "Red Muffler" costume.

Enemies introduced in Hard[edit | edit source]
  1. Mechanized SAT Commandos
  2. Bast Fiends
  3. Crow Shadow Demons
  4. Ogres
  5. Doppelganger Fiends
  6. Explosive Bats

Very Hard[edit | edit source]

An enormous evil clouds the sky, as even greater threats loom in the distance, sharpening their fangs and talons. Those who wish to attain mastery in the Ninja arts must be able to eliminate these monstrosities without hesitation.
~ Description of Very Hard

Very Hard is the 3rd difficulty of the game, and is unlocked by completing the game on Hard mode. This difficulty introduces more new enemies and has them appear more frequent, as damage taken is significantly increased. Completing Very Hard awards the player with the "Traditonal Dark Blue/Legendary Ninja" costume.

Enemies introduced in Very Hard[edit | edit source]
  1. Vigoorian Berserkers
  2. Mechanized Vigoorian Soldiers
  3.  Windmill Ninjas

Master Ninja[edit | edit source]

The highest plateau amongst the ranks of Ninja... Master Ninja. This is a journey to Hell, so intense it defies description in the lowly tongues of men. Can you overcome the tribulations before you and achieve the ultimate honor?
~ Description of Master Ninja

Master Ninja is the final difficulty of the game and is unlocked after the game is completed on Very Hard mode. Enemies are extremely strong and very durable, a variety of only the strongest foes appear and will damage taken has been dramatically increased. The amount of items allowed to carry has decreased significantly.

Differences from Normal. (Hard)[edit | edit source]

Chapter 1: The Way of The Ninja[edit | edit source]

  • White Ninjas are the primary foe in this chapter instead of Brown Ninjas.
  • You automatically begin the game with the Nunchaku in your weapons inventory.
  • White Ninjas ambush you at the start of the level instead of Brown Ninjas.
  • The Lunar can be found sticking out of a pot in the room after the one with the Fangs of the Samurai.
  • In the next room, IS ninjas will spawn instead of Brown ninjas.
  • In the room outside of Murai's location, IS ninjas will ambush you instead of White Ninjas.
  • White ninjas will spawn two at a time to assist Murai in battle.

Chapter 2: The Hayabusa Ninja Village[edit | edit source]

  • Mages will fire three projectiles at a time instead of one.
  • Outside of the building Ayane is located at, there will no longer be a pot with the Lunar in it.

Chapter 3: Skies of Vengeance[edit | edit source]

  • Black SAT Commandos have a noticeable increase in health, and grab you more often.
  • Two White SAT Commandos will spawn two at a time to assist Dynamo.

Chapter 4: Imperial City Infiltration[edit | edit source]

  • Three Mechanized SAT Commandos will appear after jumping off the starting platform, instead of ordinary SAT Commandos.
  • MSAT Commandos will replace all ordinary SAT Commandos, they are much more durable than their inferior counterparts.
  • MSAT Commando Grenadiers now have a unique Tan armor color.
  • Upon entering the door with the Green symbol, and proceeding to the nearby alleyway, instead of being greeted by IS Ninjas, you will be ambushed by two Bast Fiends.
  • After obtaining the Han's Bar ticket from Muramasa, returning to Pleasure Street will result in two Bast Fiends appearing instead of IS ninjas.

Chapter 5: City of Fiends[edit | edit source]

  • MSAT Commandos appear yet again in this chapter, replacing all of their weaker counerparts.
  • Backtracking to the Moat Road will have you facing off against three Bast Fiends.
  • Three Bast Fiends will spawn upon returning to the door with the Red symbol and Dragon Statue behind it.
  • The Galla that you must face before Hydracubus are more durable and inflict more damage.
  • Hydracubus now has two Lesser Shadow Demon minions to aid it in battle.

Chapter 6: The Monastery[edit | edit source]

  • One of the chests at the start of the chapter will contain Bats.
  • After moving outside of the area with the Muramasa Statue, you will have to face a dozen Bast Fiends, which spawn three at a time, instead of Lesser Shadow Demons.
  • When entering the Altar Hall, Bast Fiends are fought alongside Monk Fiends, instead of Lesser Shadow Demons.
  • When first arriving to the Archive, you'll encounter the first of many Doppelganger Fiends, he is dressed in Ryu's "Dragon Muscle" costume, and wields the True Dragon Sword, he will give 5000 in essence when killed. This battle replaces the one with Monk Fiends and Shadow Demon Fiends in Normal mode.
  • Destroying the wall in the upper part of the Archive will result in a short battle with Monks and Bast Fiends.
  • You will yet again face Bast Fiends and Monk Fiends when obtaining the Book of Eons inside the Monk's Room.
  • The chest outside of the Ritual Room will give you lots of Yellow essence, as well as one Blue essence and one Red essence.
  • Cyclops Wasps will spawn three at a time to aid the Bone Dragon.

Chapter 7: Hidden Underground[edit | edit source]

  • Unlike in Chapter 5, the Hydracubus now has two Bast Fiends to support it.
  • Ghost Fish will appear in the small room just before the Chamber of Everlasting Sleep, as opposed to Normal mode, which just had Bats.
  • Returning to the Monk's Room will have you fight a battle with Bast Fiends instead of IS ninjas.
  • Alma now has two Lesser Shadow Demon lackies to aid her in the fight.
  • She also launches more of her pink projectiles at you.

Chapter 8: Tairon Under Alert[edit | edit source]

  • Vigoorian Assault Soldiers now grab you more often.

Chapter 9: The Military Supply Base[edit | edit source]

  • The tanks and the helicopter fought in this chapter have a noticeable boost in damage.
  • The chest found at the Steel Bridge area will contain Ghost Fish instead of an item.

Chapter 10: The Aquaduct[edit | edit source]

  • Escaping from the Pill Bug's grapple is more difficult, and drains your health quicker.
  • One of the chests at the top of the Hall of Balance contains Yellow essence instead of a Life of The Gods.
  • The Underground Waterway is infested with Ghost Fish.
  • The 2nd Doppelganger Fiend to appear, he wields the Level 3 Dabilahro, and is the only Doppelganger to wield the Explosive Bow, and appears when entering the Peristyle Passage for the first time.
  • Entering the Underground Sanctuary for the first time results in two Ogres rising from the ground, in which they didn't in Normal mode. 
  • Paz Zuu now has two Flare Shadow Demon minions to assist him in the fight.

Chapter 11: The Path To Zarkhan[edit | edit source]

  • Airbone Robot Droids will appear above the waters.
  • The chest at the Medallion Altar Area will contain Ghost Fish.
  • Two heavily armored Samurai aid Doku in battle.

Chapter 12: The Caverns[edit | edit source]

  • The chest at of the top of the structures surrounding the arena contains Bats.
  • Upon first entering the Ice Cavern, you will be greeted by two Ogres and a few Flare Demons, instead of Galla.
  • Ogres will rise up from magma in the Magma Chamber instead of Galla.
  • Every Galla that appeared in both the Ice Cavern and Magma Chamber will be replaced by Ogres.
  • Bast Fiends are seen assisting Yotunfrau.
  • Ghul Archers will support Smaugan during the battle.

Chapter 13: The Fiendish Awakening[edit | edit source]

  • At the Drawbridge Square, three Ogres will spawn instead of three Vigoorian Ghuls.
  • After obtaining the True Dragon Sword in the Hayabusa Ninja Village, you must proceed over to a glowing part of the area, interacting with it will result in you being teleported to a small arena with the 3rd Doppelganger Fiend, he wields the Level 2 Vigoorian Flail and Windmill Shuriken.
  • Awakened Alma inflicts much more damage than on Normal, and has two Flare Demons to support her.

Chapter 14: Vengeful Spirit[edit | edit source]

  • When teleported to the Fiend Realm, Marbus will send SAT Fiends to attack you instead of Flare Demons.
  • Ghost Fish will now support Spirit Doku during the battle.

Chapter 15: The Core[edit | edit source]

  • The First Floor of the Imperial Palace now has a battle with Bast Fiends instead of Galla.
  • The Second Floor of the Imperial Palace now has a battle with Ariochs and SAT Fiends instead of Galla and Pill Bugs.
  • The 3rd Floor of the Imperial Palace now has a battle with Ogres instead of Ariochs and Flare Demons.
  • The 4th Floor of the Imperial Palace now has a battle with Ogres and Ariochs instead of just Ariochs.
  • You must now fight a few waves of Bast Fiends instead of Flare Demons before facing Marbus.
  • Hydracubus now has Crow Shadow Demons to aid it in battle, as opposed to no minions in Normal.
  • Yotunfrau also has Crow Shadow Demon minions, instead of none in Normal.
  • Marbus has Bast Fiends to aid him in battle, instead of Flare Demons.

Chapter 16: The Dark Dragon Blade[edit | edit source]

  • *No general differences*

Differences from Hard (Very Hard)[edit | edit source]

Chapter 1: The Way of The Ninja[edit | edit source]

  • You will now be ambushed by Purple Ninjas wielding Windmill Shurikens instead of White Ninjas. They are able to grab you, which will nearly deplete half of your health bar.
  • They are also the primary foe in this chapter.
  • The room outside of the one with the Dragon Statue spawns White Ninjas and Purple Ninjas.
  •  Windmill Ninjas will assist Murai in battle instead of White Ninjas. They will spawn two at a time.
  • You automatically begin the game with the Nunchaku in your weapons inventory.

Chapter 2: The Hayabusa Ninja Village[edit | edit source]

  • The ambush inside of the room before the one with the Samurai will consists of Windmill Ninjas instead of IS Ninjas.
  • Two Windmill Ninjas guard the Art of The Fire Wheels ninpo in the Valley of Shadows.
  • All Samurai now have superior armor and dramatically increased health.
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