Ninja Gaiden (NES)

Game Profile

Players take on the role of Ryu Hayabusa, a rising warrior in his family's clan whose main role in the world is to protect the Dark Dragon Blade from getting into the hands of evil. Ryu Hayabusa travels to America to seek vengeance for his father’s death.

Players fight their way through six challenging side-scrolling levels while defeating gangs of street thugs, battling evil ninjas and fighting barbarian bosses by using the deadly Dragon Sword, ninja skills and Ninpo – ninja magic. Players can run, crouch, jump and climb as they make their way through each stage and collect items to gain points, strength, and weapons.

Game Review

Wii U eShop Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Morgan Sleeper

Original Gaiden

With a hit-list of sequels and spin-offs spanning more than two decades and its latest iteration — Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge — even slicing out a spot in the Wii U's launch lineup, Ninja Gaiden's reputation precedes it. An East-meets-West action...

Game Review

3DS eShop Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Frustratingly fun

Gamers nowadays might be more familiar with the rebooted series, but now you've got yet another chance to experience the original NES Ninja Gaiden, the game that started it all. A classic 2D action platformer, you assume the role of Ryu Hayabusa as he...

Game Review

Virtual Console Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

The nimble ninja

Ninja Gaiden ranks as one of the finest 'ninja' style games ever made, right up there with The Revenge of Shinobi. When it was first released it amazed gamers with the degree of control it allowed over the main character, Ryu. He felt so quick and mobile...

Game Screenshots

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Game Trailers

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User Comments (53)



sam said:

This game rocked back in the day and it will rock now. I never beat the final boss, I could not figure his pattern out, no matter how may times I played him. Does anyone know how?



Dazza said:

From GameFAQs: Act 6, The Demon- Slice his head eleven times until it rolls away. Dodge the things he shoots and slice his heart. Slice it then jump back to avoid his tail.

__Daft Hero


Daft Hero said:

For 500 Wii points this game is a must have. I own the original and it still plays on my NES so i wont purchase it through VC, but that doesnt mean you shouldn't! Hint: When you get the giant boomerang ninja star thingy, don't let it return to you by jumping over or ducking under. The thing just keeps flying around you until it touches you again.



currierox said:

I am so happy to see this game on the list, i spent so much time playing this game when I was little till i lost the damn cartridge!!!!
Hope I wont be waiting much longer to see this great game on the VC



Eric said:

I have this for NES but I'll get it again for Wii. Pretty good fun.



Bass_X0 said:

I love the fact that Ryu Hayabusa returned for Dead or Alive. Its great seeing retro game characters updated and modernised.



darklight1138 said:

YES! One of the best games with one of the greatest musical scores for a video game ever. This one and the second one are tops!



sonde said:

My buddies and I played this game for hours today. There's nothing more hilarious than seeing your friend get hit by a hawk and fall into a chasm. This game requires lightning fast reflexes and is as frustrating as it is addictive. Download it!

__Mii be you


Mii be you said:

I like this game. I really do.
But I rather download Ice hockey than this.
(What moron would worship a demon?!
But that's not the reason I'm not downloading this.)




A very good game. But do not gwt this game if you get frustrated easily because it is very hard. Some of the simpiliest enemis can be overwhelming at times (them damn birds) but the difficulty is worth it!



Mip said:

For five bucks (for you damn americans this is a must have!
I'd pay ten EUROS for this game. Love it



Sharecrow said:

I keep getting killed by the last boss (form 1--the easiest one). I am not getting there with enough magic...I hate starting level 6 over again. But, I am closer to finishing this game than I've ever been so I have to keep trying....



Kuroshiro said:

If Nintendo decided to put the american version on Virtual Console of Europe, why don't they put the Ninja Gaiden 2 at the same time? If they do not put the Ninja Gaiden 3 on Europe it'll be a serious crime! Still, this game rocks can't wait for third part.



Elk810 said:

This is an excellent game on the NES. It has an excellent story, which is something that usually isn't stressed in NES games, and the bonus weapons are fun to use. It's really really REALLY difficult though. It caused me to throw my Wiimote around each time I lose and shout things I'm not allowed to say on this website, but it's a small price to pay. If you're going to play with the Wiimote and you're easily angered, get one of those free padded jackets Nintendo is offering to anyone without one on www.nintendo.com.



Betagam7 said:

Great game...given time. After a few goes i was about ready to go back to the Wii menu and if I'd been playing this on an emulator I probably would but somehow when youve paid for a game it gives you more emphasis to try and perservere.
You really imporve with skill with this game and its so damn addictive. Nice to see cutscenes in such an early game, they provide a reason to come back. The graphics (and flicker on 1-1) are terrible though which knock it down a star.
Really nice to see Nintendo giving us the 60hz version of a game instead of the bordered slow junk the PAL NES channel usually gets. I certainly dont begrudge paying 100 extra wii points for the game this way



learn_japanese_ds said:

Oh dear GOD. I just beat this game. It took endless amounts of patience and calm to keep myself from destroying my wii mote. I almost even wrote a letter to Tecmo to tell them how sadistic their enemy placement is in this game. That being said, it was always the type of difficulty that I new I could beat with just a little more practice and just a little more skill. Not broken at all, just really, really hard. Will definitely take a breather before downloading the sequel.



Sarato said:

Great game but the last level lowered the score to "just" a three. The graphics are great for its time and the cutscenes are stunning. And one thing i love is the lack of bad translation (aka Engrish) in the game.
And those freaking birds. Hate 'em. - _ -
They respawn all the time and sometimes i feel like i want to throw my controller to the ground but it still hypnotizes me to continue. A really weird way but i felt i just wanted to beat it.
And i did...about 100 continues later (no kidding).
Hopefully the second game is better 'cause this will get a 3 out of 5 from me. Good game but not great and the respawning enemies are the biggest fault.



Villain said:

@Sarato: Yeah, the script is really clean and probably well translated (heh), and those cutscenes really impresses for a NES game.

This game might be abit overrated. The music is absolutely NOT great. I mean, it works, but most of those chip tunes are highly forgettable. The control works pretty good, Ryu moves like Simon Belmont on caffeine pills. The mid-air slash might be a bit off, but it works. All in all, an upgraded Castlevania control that gets the job done.

The game can be pretty frustrating with enemy respawn issues, so get used to that Game Over screen. But it's a cool game, and I don't regret those 600 points. Yeah, I said 600. It really sucks being a gamer in Europe.



stinssd said:

Fun game, but take one hint: When you die fighting a major boss in the later levels, you go back an entire level.



timp29 said:

I remember before this game there was a side scrolling fighter coin op called ninja gaiden that I loved, and that I was bitterly dissappointed when initially playing this game. However, I quickly came around and used to actually have competitions with a friend who could finish this losing the least lives and in the fastest time etc.
Brilliant game in its day, along with ninja gaiden 2. 5/5



Ricardo91 said:

I downloaded this one a while back, after returning from my vacation in Cancun. Boy, was that ever a bad idea! Coming back from a relaxing vacation only to play a game like this that riles me back up!

After losing to the boss at the end of world 6 twice, and having to play through that enire agonizing world a third time, I got so pissed off that I deleted the game off my Wii out of spite, and didn't touch it again (the game, not my Wii) for about a month or so. I finally decided to give it another go. still trying to get past level 6-2 again...

Can anybody PLEASE give me some tips on how to beat that boss so I don't have to replay those god-awful levels yet again? I'd appreciate it.



CanisWolfred said:


You are absolutely correct, the arcade version of this game was a brawler! For some reason I'm not aware of, the NES port was changed drastically, and subsequently became a big success! Sadly, the original version is hard to come by these days, though it is available as a bonus on Ninja Gaiden Black for the Xbox(the disc version, it doesn't work on the downloadable version).



AtTheDriveIn92 said:

this game is awesome!! way ahead of it's time in my opinion, when i started playing it, it felt fresh, not "retro"

super hard though!
5 stars



TurboLung said:

let me in on how "fun" and "innovative" this game is. the developers used so many cheap tricks such as having an enemy on a pylon, that you have to jump on, however, on pixel in the wrong spot and you get knocked off and lose a man. oh yeah, this is strewn throughout the game, and it is so much fun when you are near the boss and have to start over again, and again, and again, and again. i think some are remembering the good and not the bad. don't waste your money. utter crap.



Adamant said:

"Can anybody PLEASE give me some tips on how to beat that boss so I don't have to replay those god-awful levels yet again? I'd appreciate it."

First boss: Stay high, and his bullets can't hit you. Let him walk under you, then jump as far towards the middle you can, past the statue, then slash the statue with your sword a couple times. Remember you're attacking the statue, not the man.

Second boss: Hardest part of the game by far. It's a bit hard to explain, but basically, stay by the left wall, then run right when he flies towards you so his bullets miss. Quickly turn around, run back left, dodge his bullets (can be tough, learn how he shoots according to your position), then jump on the left wall, jump off and slash him as he flies towards the right again (DON'T touch him with your body). Bring as many upwards fireballs you can for this battle, and use them to bring his life meter down as much as possible between each flight.

Third boss: Not much to say, really. Dodge his fireballs, slash his head until it falls off, slash his tail until it falls off, slash his heart until he dies. Pretty easy.



Ricardo91 said:

Hey thanks!
I was just gonna look up strategies on Gamefaqs since it took so long to get an answer! I swear to god, if I had to replay level 6-2 a 4th time, I would've probably killed somebody.

Thanks again!



Nightsky071 said:

This game has managed to piss me off harder than Ghost N Goblins ever has! Its freakin retarded! I'm at the last F**king LVL, everytime I get to the Last boss I DIE! Before you even start to get close to the last boss you get ambushed hard by enemies Left N Right, Up N Down, but thats not the worst part. The worst part is that, when the last boss kills me I HAVE TO START THE LVL FROM THE VERY D@MN BEGINNING!!!! >.<
Do you know how frustrating that is, it makes me wanna reach in to my tv and throw the NG channel out the window



Nightsky071 said:

I mean, i've even tried to look up invincibility cheats but there are none. WHAT THE BUCK WAS TECMO THINKING AT THE TIME!!!

(Oh haha, wouldn't it be funny to piss players off by making it so that if they got to the Last boss and died once they'd have to start from the beginning of the last lvl again! Even if they didn't get a game over! Haha haha!) No its not funny Tecmo, if freakin retard.

Does it look like i'm smilen Tecmo ('ω')..... NO! I'm crying on the inside (T_T)



Marvel_Maniac said:

These comments don't leave me with a desire to download this sucker anytime soon. I mean, I KNOW I woll simply because I have II and III and not owning the series would be lame, but it doesn't sound like a picnic. My wife actually prefers to be out of the apartment whenever I play such hard games. She knows I'm likely to throw something...



Twilight_Crow said:

Man, is this game really that hard and frustrating? Well, it was one of my favotites when I was a kid, I belive once you learn the patterns of the enemies the game gets easier. I used to play it with a friend, each time someone died the other grabbed the control, we spend, I don't know, a million hours playing this thing, together and individually, and I don't remember throwing any controls away and I'm sure I died and repeated levels a lot of times, anyway we always got killed by the last boss. When I DL this for the VC I invited my old friend to play, it was like old times, we spend hours playing again and this time we finally beat the game. Of course we can beat it individually, but to do it thogether was special. I just love this game I can play it over and over again.



RetroNL said:

No dutch comments at all with this game ? I can t believe it . Well this was one of my favourite action games on the nes, it was cool, it was fast and it had nice music (especially on the beginning) that gave a good impression.
The game isn' t the most difficult one on the nes but it isn' t easy either, some parts you will have to play twice ore more to go through but eventually you will within a normal time.
Get this game if you like games such as Castlevania or Double Dragon.

4 stars



Big_A2 said:

Why would they give Europe the American version?
Ah well, I guess it means no slowdown, which is OK for another 100 points extra.



Starwolf_UK said:

Why would they give Europe the American version?
Europe got Shadow Warriors, Ninja Gaiden 2 and Ninja Gaiden 3...

It just makes more sense to have Ninja Gaiden 1 later down the road as otherwise codestorm and the like will be barraged with "I just noticed Ninja Gaiden 2 on the Wii sohp where is Ninja Gaiden 1?". Its a shame there isn't an "aka title" on the Wii shop since I think some may have missed out on River City Ransom for not knowing it was called Street Gangs in Europe and to a lesser extent Starofx 64 and Lylat Wars.



Adamant said:

Actually, Europe got Shadow Warriors 2 as well. It's the third game that went unreleased.



Divock said:

This game is hard. And if it weren't for the fantastic controls, fun gameplay, good music, good graphics (for the time), cool powerups, brilliant cutscenes, and the epic awesomeness that is you playing as a Ninja, this game would not be called Ninja Gaiden. Thankfully it is. Ninja Gaiden is great. It's difficulty is actually a good thing, because if it wasn't difficult, it wouldn't be as memorable, and you wouldn't be playing it as long. People play hard games because the challenge makes them feel good when they beat it, and that they wish to beat it because its so hard, making you play OVER and OVER again. The only thing I discourage when playing this game? Trying to get a high score. Just have fun, because if you try making an epic high score, you will probably break something...definetely worth 500 wii points and 5/5 stars.



lockelocke said:

I can't believe I never played this back in the day. I bought it after beating the recent NG titles. Classic to say the least, with the music and the cut scenes, this game just has an epic vibe. But I am so stuck on world 6.



timp29 said:

On world 6, once you defeat a boss, no matter if you die and have to start world 6 again, at least you don't have to still fight the boss you defeated. For the first two bosses, all you have to do is take in as much fire magic as you can and that makes it about a million times easier.

As for the difficulty, YES IT IS HARD. Don't be fooled anyone. But you have infinite continues and the game never changes its patterns so it can easily be learned. I would still give this game 5/5. Since I downloaded it, I play this game and Tetris Party the most proving that gameplay trumps graphics any day (well at least for me). If you can handle dated graphics and want a real challenge, get this game, it is an all time NES classic.

@MickeyMac (29) WOW thanks for that info. Another reason to consider any system other than Wii. I'm sure after 5 minutes of the original Ninja Gaiden coin-op I would be over it, but for some reason I really want to play that game!



bigturbin said:

This game is great, played it when i was a kid. it's kind of hard but if you study the levels a bit you'll be able to get very far.



bigturbin said:

by the way: this game was called shadow warriors in europe... or at least in holland.



JJtheTexan said:

Every bit as hard as I remember, and then some. Frustratingly difficult, sometimes unfair, but decent graphics and a masterful soundtrack. As others have said, the cinema scenes are also a treat. 7 out of 10



Splat said:

Just got this had forgot how epic but hard it was and still is...



Ryno said:

Recently bought a NES and added this GEM, complete, to my collection. Awesome game!



Scarhino89 said:

Unreleased in Europe on the original console. We've got it on Wii's Virtual Console and we'll have got the 3DS Virtual Console version this week!!

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