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  • Arcade-Button-Joystick.png / Neutral dpad: Use the arcade joystick, or the NES direction pad to control Kid Niki. Press left or right to make him run in either direction. Press down to make him squat and duck beneath high attacks. Press up to make Kid Niki climb a ladder or a tree trunk.
  • Arcade-NeoGeo-A.png / B button: Press the first arcade button, or the NES B button to make Kid Niki spin his sword in front of him. Press the button repeatedly to keep the sword spinning.
  • Arcade-NeoGeo-B.png / A button: Press the second arcade button, or the NES A button to make Kid Niki jump in the air. He can jump straight up, to the left, or to the right. He can change his direction mid flight. Kid Niki will jump the same height regardless of how long you hold the button.
  • Arcade-Button-Start.png / Start button: Pres the start button to begin a new game. On the NES, press Start mid-game to pause the action.
  • Select button: Press the select button to choose between starting a new one or two player game, or continuing from the last world of the previous game.


Kid Niki arcade JP player.png
Kid Niki arcade US player.png

In the Japanese version, you control the Wonderful Yanchamaru (shown left), while in the American version, you control Kid Niki, the radical ninja (shown right). Apart from their hairstyles, they are equally skilled ninjas. They are both expertly trained swordsmen who are on a mission to save a Princess from the Stone Wizard. In order to do so, they must travel through eight rounds filled with enemies, obstacles, and henchmen of the wizard who are determined to stop them before they can complete their mission and defeat the Stone Wizard. They can leap quite high, and twirl their swords around at astonishing speeds. Use the swords to remove enemies who threaten them; they can only tolerate one hit before they are defeated. In the American version of the arcade, as well as both the Famicom and NES versions, the player is sent back to a level checkpoint if they made it far enough before they died. However, in the Japanese version of the arcade game, Yanchamaru is sent back to the very beginning of the level, even if he perished fighting against the stage boss.


Silver Bell Gold Bell
Kid Niki item bell silver.png
Kid Niki NES item bell silver.png

The silver bell is typically obtained when you completely defeat an entire squad of attack birds, including the last one who typically tries to fly away in the opposite direction. If you collect it, you will have a limited period of time where you can throw a throwing star every time you swing your sword. The star will fall to the ground and bounce along the floor. It will continue to move even as it strikes enemies.

Kid Niki item bell gold.png
Kid Niki NES item bell gold.png

The gold bell is found in particular predetermined locations. When you collect it, you will be surrounded by an object which circles around the player. Any enemy that is struck by this object as it swings around is instantly killed. It will only surround the player for a limited period of time, and the player is not invulnerable during this time. Well timed attacks can still defeat you.

Scroll Coin
Kid Niki item scroll.png
Kid Niki NES item scroll.png

Every time a boss is defeated, he or she will drop a scroll for you to collect. Collecting these scrolls indicates that the current round is complete, and that you may proceed to the next round. Upon collecting the scroll, you are awarded bonus points based on the remaining amount of time that was left over on the clock.

Kid Niki item coin.png
Kid Niki NES item coin.png

Certain birds release up to five coins when defeated. These coins can be collected for 500 bonus points each. While the points are tempting, never let the appearance of these coins lure you into a dangerous situation. Concentrate on your immediate surroundings, and eliminate any nearby threat first before attempting to collect the coins.

Extra life Princess doll
Kid Niki NES item 1up.png

Found only in the NES and Famicom versions of the game, these ninja dolls will provide you with one extra life. They are typically hidden away in secret bonus rooms, so you'll have to look carefully in order to find them.

Kid Niki NES item princess.png

Also found only in the NES and Famicom versions, the princess doll is a very special power up that significantly improves your chances to survive. By collecting the doll, your outfit turns white, indicating that you can survive one attack without dying. When you get hit, your outfit will return to the original red color, and the effect of the power up is lost.