Special Agent Sonia appears at the door of the tiny shop run by master swordsmith Muramasa amidst the skyscrapers of Tokyo. She inquires after the Ninja Ryu Hayabusa, his whereabouts a mystery. She brings news of a terrible danger facing the world, bearing a message that must reach Hayabusa at any cost. As night falls, the evil Black Spider Ninja Clan emerges from the shadows to infest the streets of this unsuspecting city.
The opening cutscene begins with sweeping vistas of futuristic Tokyo. Sonia has arrived at Muramasa's shop and has some bad news for Ryu. Their conversation is cut short when the Black Spider Clan arrives. After the cutscene ends, your first battle begins.
Four ninjas greet you for your first battle. Dispatch them and down the boardwalk to the left of Muramasa's shop to the first dragon statue. These dragon statues will heal you and allow you to save your game. Follow the path back and smash the barrels on the right of Muramasa's shop for some yellow essence orbs. Enter the smashed-in doorway of Muramasa's shop for another brief cutscene.
After the cutscene, the pathway to the right of Muramasa's shop is now open. Follow the path down the stairs and you will be attacked by another group of ninjas. Dispatch them and proceed forward along the stairs to the closed door. Open the chest to the right of the door for a scroll detailing how to perform the Reverse Wind Technique. Enter the door.
Hang an immediate left inside the door and you will be attacked by a fairly large group of ninjas. Dispatch them, being careful not to get cornered, and proceed down the hallway. Open the chest at the end of the hallway to receive some blue health orbs. Proceed down the left hallway where you will be attacked again by a small group of ninjas. Drop into the pit in the floor ahead. At the bottom of the pit, there is another chest. Open it for a scroll detailing how to perform the Technique of Shadowless Footsteps (Wall Run). Turn around and climb the ladder back to the top of the pit.
When you are out of the pit, back up some distance down the hallway and perform the wall run technique on the left wall. Make an immediate left and you will be attacked again. Note the chest that you see in front of you as you engage the ninjas in this room, this is easy to forget on the way out. After engaging the enemies, open this chest for a scroll detailing how to perform the Furious Wind Technique. On the small stage in the room is another chest containing the Art of the Inferno ninpo. Turn right and head toward the roofs. Do not drop down just yet. There is a crystal skull on the roof directly opposite you. Jump from the long section of boardwalk on the right edge to the long section of roof on the right edge of the building across from you. Grab the crystal skull and drop down for another battle below.
After your foes are defeated, head inside the building toward the chest within. Open it for some red essence. Smash the pots to the left of the chest for some more yellow essence and then head up the stairs to the right. You will be attacked by several standard ninjas and two more difficult purple ninja who will attack with blades, teleportation and fire magic. Kill them all and open the chest on the altar to receive a Lives of the Thousand Gods. I find that these are good to hang onto until a boss fight because they extend your life bar and fill it up completely, but feel free to use this now if you wish. Head right and up the stairs. Open the chest at the top for an Herb of Spiritual Life. Proceed right through the door, where you will be attacked again. After killing your foes, do a wall run off of the left wall to cross the pit and continue up the stairs. At the top of the stairs you will be attacked again. Do a wall run off of the right wall or use the horizontal pipe to cross the pit. Once across, read the note on the body in front of you to learn how to perform an obliteration technique on wounded foes. Conveniently afterward you will be attacked by another small group of ninjas, all dismembered. Obliterate them and proceed down the hallway and left to another body on the ground. Read the scroll to discover how to perform the Flying Bird Technique. Save and heal at the Dragon Statue and proceed up the broken ladder passage by using the Flying Bird Technique. At the top of the passage, you will be in a small garden full of several standard ninjas and two more purple ninjas. If you are having a difficult time, I recommend using ninpo here.
After the battle, drop down into the canal beside the garden and head left of the bridge. In a boat at the left end of the canal, you will find an Herb of Spiritual Life. Turn around and head back toward the bridge. Head under the bridge and toward the open area of the canal. You will be attacked again. After fending off the ninjas, head left toward the waterfall. On a platform on the left hand side is a chest containing a Life of the Gods. Head back toward the bridge. Pass under the bridge again and make a left up the stairs. Cross the bridge and smash the pot directly in front of you to earn some more yellow essence. You will be attacked again by a large group of ninjas. Finish them off and then head down the pathway and right down the stairs. You will be attacked by two ninjas immediately as well as two at a distance with bows and flaming arrows. Kill off the two ninjas and head down the stairs to where the archers are firing at you. There is a tree to the right hand side. Face the tree with your back to the archers and do a forward wall run with a jump at the end to land on the platform above. Attack the archers hand to hand and grab the crystal skull on the platform where they stood. Drop down to the pathway below and continue ahead to the pit in the pathway.You will be attacked again.
When this battle is over, drop into the pit. You will be attacked by several more ninjas. Proceed ahead and left for a chest containing a Life of the Gods. Turn around and head back down the hallway toward the ladder. When you reach the end of the hallway, open the chest at the base of the ladder for some more blue essence. Climb the ladder and cross the pit by using the horizontal pipe. Climb the stairs and fight off a few more ninjas. Cross the pit and go up the left staircase to the Dragon Statue to heal and save. Turn around and head back and up the ladder on your left.
Turn right at the top of the ladder for a chest containing an Herb of Spiritual Life. Turn around and head back down the hallway to the corpse of a ninja. Examine the body for a scroll detailing how to perform the Flying Swallow Technique. Proceed down the hallway for another miniboss fight with standard ninjas, some claw ninjas and a few purple ninjas. When the fight is complete, a door will open to reveal a room containing a statue holding the Lunar Staff, a chest containing red ki essence and a Dragon Statue. Grab all of the items, save and heal and then exit the room. Head right and then left down the stairs. Examine the corpse at the bottom of the stairs to learn how to perform The Ultimate Technique. Head left over the bridge and take out the enemies who attack you. Enter the garden and examine the corpse on the left for a scroll about the Obliteration Technique. Enter the house ahead and examine the corpse in the doorway for a scroll detailing how to perform the Technique of Ultimate Guidance. Turn right and slash the painting on the wall to reveal a secret door. Enter for some pots and baskets containing yellow essence and a chest containing Grains of Spiritual Life. Walk straight out and into the courtyard for another battle. When the enemies are defeated head through the middle door and open the chest within to earn some yellow essence. Two ninjas will smash in the wall, revealing a hallway. Defeat them and head down the hallway and left into another garden.
Kill the enemies here and use the Muramasa Shop to upgrade your weapons and buy supplies if you need them. I recommend saving your essence for upgrades. When finished, jump into the pit to the right. Kill the bats at the bottom of the pit and exit via the door. Examine the corpse on the walkway ahead for a scroll on the Shadowless Footsteps technique. Proceed right for another battle. Walk down the ramp for a chest containing an Herb of Spiritual Life. head back up the ramp and use the hanging wall on your left to do a wall run and jump to the next section of platform. Proceed down the platform past the broken section and head right for a chest containing another Herb of Spiritual Life. Return to the broken section of platform and drop down. Examine the corpse to the left of you for a scroll on the Furious Wind Technique. Proceed down the walkway for another battle with standard ninjas and purple ninjas. Finish off the enemies and proceed down the walkway for a cutscene.
After the cutscene, take out the claw ninjas that attack you. Break the potted plant on the left for some yellow essences. Proceed to the Dragon Statue to save and heal and exit the room via the door on the right. Kill the enemies in the hallway and attack the potted plants for more yellow essence. Head left and down the left stairs for a chest containing a Devil Way Mushroom. Head back up the stairs until you are attacked by another group of claw ninjas. When this battle is finished, head up the stairs again for a chest containing a Cracked Card Key. Head back down one floor and hang a left and a right toward the door with the key card reader on the left side of it. Open this door. Examine the corpse within for a scroll about the Flying Bird Technique. Hang a left and then head up the ladder and into the elevator shaft. Once inside, use the Flying Bird Technique to reach the top of the elevator shaft. Battle the claw ninjas and purple ninjas in this room and head right of the entrance for a chest containing some Grains of Spiritual Life and a Muramasa's Shop Statue. Head left and through the door for a Dragon Statue. Save and heal and head up the stairs. Kill the claw ninjas and purple ninjas at the top of the stairs and enter the door for a cut scene and a boss battle.
Boss: Shadow Ninja Rasetsu
Shadow Ninja Rasetsu is a large half-man, half-spider creature. Be careful to keep your guard up, as his slashes will break your combos and your defenses. In addition to his slashes, he has a wind projectile that he will use at medium distance. At close distances, be careful to avoid his powerful grab attack in which he will grab you and bite your head and then throw you down. Keep blocking and performing combos and he will go down rather easily. Defeat him for another cutscene and the end of Chapter 1.