NES Ninja Gaiden
Used NES game
US import, will not play on non-US systems without a converter.
In Europe this game was released as 'Shadow Warriors'.
Game language, instruction booklet and box text are English.
Tested, works. In very good condition. Please refer to pictures for details of condition and contents.
Genre: 2D platform
Number of players: 1
Ninja Gaiden, released in Japan as Ninja Ryūkenden (Japanese: 忍者龍剣伝, literally "Legend of the Ninja Dragon Sword") and as Shadow Warriors in Europe, is a side-scrolling action-platforming video game. It was developed and published by Tecmo for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES); its development and release coincided with the beat 'em up arcade version of the same name. It was released in December 1988 in Japan, in March 1989 in North America, and in August 1991 in Europe. It has been ported to several other platforms, including the PC Engine, the Super NES, the Virtual Console, and mobile phones.
The story follows a ninja named Ryu Hayabusa as he journeys to America to avenge his murdered father. There, he learns that a person named "the Jaquio" plans to take control of the world by unleashing an ancient demon through the power contained in two statues. Featuring platforming gameplay similar to Castlevania, players control Ryu through six "Acts" that comprise 20 levels; they encounter enemies that must be dispatched with Ryu's katana and other secondary weapons.
Ninja Gaiden has been renowned for its elaborate story and usage of anime-like cinematic cutscenes. It received extensive coverage and won several awards from video gaming magazines, while criticism focused on its high and unforgiving difficulty, particularly in the later levels. Over fifteen years after its release, the game continued to receive acclaim from print and online publications. It was novelized as part of the Worlds of Power NES game adaptations written by Seth Godin and Peter Lerangis, and it spawned a soundtrack CD.
Ninja Gaiden features a ninja named Ryu Hayabusa who seeks revenge for the death of his father and gradually finds himself involved in a sinister plot that threatens the entire world. The story opens with Ryu's father Ken being killed in a duel by an unknown assailant. After the duel, Ryu finds a letter written by Ken which tells Ryu to find an archeologist named Walter Smith in America. Before Ryu can find Walter, Ryu is shot and kidnapped by a mysterious young woman; she hands him a demonic-looking statue before releasing him. Ryu then finds Walter, and Walter tells him of the demon statues he and Ken had found in the Amazon ruins. Walter tells Ryu of an evil demon named Jashin, that "SHINOBI" defeated and whose power was confined into two "Light" and "Shadow" demon statues. Ryu shows Walter the "Shadow" demon statue given to him from the woman, but during their conversation, a masked figure, named Basaquer, suddenly breaks into the cabin and steals the Shadow statue. Ryu gives chase, defeats the masked figure, and retrieves the statue; but when he returns he finds that Walter is dying and the Light statue is missing. Right after Walter dies, three armed men confront Ryu and tell him to come with them.
Ryu is taken to an interrogation room, where he meets Foster, head of the Special Auxiliary Unit of the Central Intelligence Agency. Foster tells Ryu about a more-than-2000-year-old temple Walter discovered in some ruins in the Amazon. He continues by saying that Walter, one day, mysteriously sealed the ruins, in which nobody has since ventured near. Foster explains to Ryu that they have been monitoring the activity of someone named Guardia de Mieux, also known as "the Jaquio", who recently moved into the temple. Using the statues, the Jaquio plans to awaken Jashin and use it to destroy the world. Foster asks Ryu to go to the temple and eliminate him. After making it into the temple, Ryu discovers that the Jaquio is holding captive the girl who handed him the "Shadow" statue earlier. He orders Ryu to give up the demon statue after threatening the girl's life. Ryu is then dropped from sight through a trapdoor and into a catacomb.
After fighting his way back to the top of the temple, Ryu encounters Bloody Malth, whom Ryu defeats. While dying, Malth reveals that he was the one who dueled with Ryu's father, that his father is still alive and that Ryu will meet him as he presses onward. When he reaches the temple's inner chambers, he discovers that his father was not killed but was instead possessed by an evil figure. He destroys the evil figure, which releases Ken from its hold. Jaquio, enraged from Ken's release from the possession, shows himself; he immediately tries to kill Ryu with a fiery projectile, but Ken throws himself in front of Ryu and takes the hit. Jaquio is killed during the ensuing fight by Ryu, but then a lunar eclipse occurs, causing the demon statues to transform into Jashin. After Ryu defeats the demon, Ken tells him he does not have much longer to live due to Jaquio's attack. He tells Ryu to leave him behind in the temple while it collapses and to take the young woman with him. Afterwards, Foster, communicating via satellite, orders the girl to kill Ryu and steal the demon statues; she chooses to be with Ryu instead of carrying out the order. The two kiss, and the girl tells Ryu her name, Irene Lew; the two watch as the sun rises.
Ninja Gaiden is a side-scrolling platform game in which the player takes control of the player character, Ryu Hayabusa, and guides him through six "Acts" that comprise 20 levels. Ryu's physical strength is represented by a life meter, which decreases when he is hit by an enemy or projectile. A "life" is lost when the life meter depletes entirely, when Ryu falls off of the screen, or when the timer runs out. A game over screen appears when all lives are lost; however, the player may restart the level on which this occurred by continuing. At the end of every act, the player fights a boss; bosses have life meters that the player depletes with attacks. A boss is defeated when its life meter is depleted entirely. Each boss is one of the "Malice Four" – evil underlings of the Jaquio, the game's main antagonist. The Malice Four consist of Barbarian, Bomberhead, Basaquer, and their leader Bloody Malth.
Players attack enemies by thrusting at them with Ryu's Dragon Sword – a katana-like sword passed down from the Hayabusa clan for generations. They can also use "secondary" weapons that consume Ryu's "spiritual strength". Secondary weapons include throwing stars, "windmill throwing stars" which cut through enemies and return like boomerangs, a series of twirling fireballs named "the art of the fire wheel", and a mid-air slashing technique called the "jump & slash". When Ryu's spiritual strength meter becomes too low, the player cannot use secondary weapons. Players can replenish Ryu's spiritual strength by collecting red and blue "spiritual strength" items found in lamps and lanterns. Other items found along the way include hourglasses that freeze all enemies and projectiles for five seconds, bonus point containers, potions that restore six units of physical strength, "invincible fire wheels" that make Ryu temporarily invincible to attacks, and 1-ups.
Ryu has the ability to jump on and off ladders and walls, and by using the directional pad, he can climb up or down ladders. Ryu can spring off walls by holding the directional pad in the opposite direction he is facing and pressing the jump button. He cannot attack while on walls or ladders. Players can use this technique to get Ryu to climb up spaces between walls and columns by holding down the jump button and alternating between left and right on the directional pad. Ryu can also vertically climb a single wall by springing off it and then quickly pressing the directional pad back towards the wall.
Most notable part of Ninja Gaiden, which certainly made it famous, was its unforgiving, challenging difficulty, especially with very steep platforms, enemies that respawn upon dying unless they are close enough, aerial enemies and complicated platforming sections, all combined, make Ninja Gaiden one of the most hardest games on the NES, and its difficulty setting earned it both praise and criticism.