The Ninja is set in the year 1630, in early Edo era Japan. You play as Kazamaru, a ninja from the Ohkami province in the western region. When the feudal lord died, his evil vassal Gyokuro seized power and began to oppress the people. After Gyokuro imprisoned the princess in his dungeon, you challenge his army of ninjas to a fight to free both the princess and the land. You must make your way through a land full of Gyokuro's ninja minions and infiltrate his castle. Starting out with nothing but simple throwing knives, you must learn ninjutsu techniques from scrolls during your travels to increase your power and eventually bring peace back to Ohkami.
You play as Kazamaru, a young ninja on a quest to right a grievous wrong and rescue his land's princess.
The princess has been captured and imprisoned by the evil Gyokuro, and only a brave warrior will be able to rescue her.
|Directional shot (shoots in the direction you are facing)|
|Upward shot (always shoots upward regardless of your direction)|
|+||Turn to smoke|
Different scrolls are located throughout the game and they each serve a different function. The power-ups you attain for finding scrolls stay with you until you die, so you don't have to continue finding them in successive levels as long as you don't get hit.
Five green scrolls are hidden throughout the game, and must be found in order to open the secret passage to the final level. If you don't have all five scrolls, you will start over again at the earliest stage where you missed one. The green scrolls can be found in steps 1, 4, 6, 8 and 9.
Red scrolls upgrade your weapon and change the music in the game. When you get a red scroll, your normal throwing knives will turn into a stronger shuriken, which can go through multiple enemies and has a faster rate of fire.
Blue scrolls upgrade your running speed, which becomes important later on as enemies become faster and faster.
All enemies except for the bosses take just one hit. Some of the enemies come in different variations as the game progresses. The only way to find red and blue scrolls is to defeat an enemy, who will then drop it. Running through the stages without killing anyone prevents enemies farther along from spawning. In all levels except for step 13, once you kill an enemy he is gone for good. This means once you have cleared out a stage and before you've triggered the boss fight, you are free to roam around. On the final stage of the game, the enemies continually spawn, so you can't clear the level and just concentrate on the boss.
This is the basic gray ninja, who either throws a ninja star or a scythe. This ninja starts out slow, but later in the game can pop out of the ground, or go much faster. At the last levels of the game (starting with step 8, the gray ninjas gain the ability to circle quickly around you while shooting their ninja stars. While circling, they can pass through solid objects like walls and trees.
The boulder ninja is simply a gray ninja hiding as a boulder. There are other rocks in the game, but these ones always look like this and are distinct from their mundane counterparts. As you approach a boulder ninja or pass beyond him, you will see the boulder flash a few times before the gray ninja appears and begins to chase you.
Unlike ninjas, the dark blue samurai doesn't have a ranged attack, but instead attempts to chase you down and deliver a sword strike. The only exception is on step 9, which is a level where you scale a wall. On that stage the dark blue samurai will throw ninja stars just like gray ninjas.
These wolves come from the top of the screen in packs of five or more. They don't have a ranged attack, but they kill you with a touch, presumably from their ferocious bites. When you kill wolves, you will see the outlines of human ninjas, letting you know that the wolf is yet another of their disguises.
There are two different types of red ninja. You first encounter the leaping red ninja, who hides behind buildings and lunges out at you when you attempt to pass. Early on you will be able to see the top of the red ninja's head, alerting you to his presence, but later in the game you get no indication a building is harboring a red ninja until he is attacking. Once a red ninja has leaped out, he will follow you and throw ninja stars like a gray ninja would.
The other type of red ninja patrol back and forth along a short space. When you get close enough to be detected, the red ninja will begin throwing ninja stars at you, although he will stay on his set route and won't give chase. Often times you will see this ninja's legs before the screen fully scrolls up, allowing you to take him out before he can attack.
Fire-breathers are found on step 7 and step 13. These enemies are slightly faster than gray ninjas, and attack with fiery breath when they get close enough to you. If you dodge out of their way, they will continue on their path for a little bit before turning back to charge you again.
These yellow and green samurai are indistinguishable from the dark blue samurai, except for their more brightly colored robes. These samurai tend to attack in groups of four or more, and like to split their gang up to attack from multiple directions at once.
Unlike the other two samurai, the light blue samurai are much faster. These samurai always come in groups, sometimes with up to seven members. Like the other samurai, these enemies only attack with their swords, so you don't have to fear a ranged attack.
This is the level boss at the end of the first nine stages. He enters at the top of the screen and runs toward you until you kill him. The weapons he employs are the ninja star and the boomerang. While his ninja star can be blocked by your weapons, his boomerang, which circles around both you and him, cannot be blocked. The only time he uses a different weapon is on step 3, where he just has an unstoppable shuriken that forces you to dodge to the side every time he throws it. As you score more hits on the level boss, his vest turns red, until finally he is beaten.
This is the main bad guy, Gyokuro, who usurped the feudal lord's power after his death. From step 10 and beyond, this is the enemy you will face at the end of each stage. If you get all five green scrolls on the first run through, you will only have to face him once on step 13. Like the level boss, he takes multiple hits to beat, but is actually easier since he just throws a small shuriken which can be countered by your weaponry. As you score hits on Gyokuro, his face will become red until finally he is beaten.
Completing any stage with 0% accuracy will max out your bonus, giving you 9,999,999 points. On levels where you have to beat the boss to finish the level, you will have to spend a lot of time firing off random shots to make your accuracy low enough to round down to zero (15+ minutes). On other levels, such as step 9 and step 10, it's much quicker because you can just run through the level without shooting anyone, then finish the stage. Note that you can't speed up the addition of the bonus points or skip it, so you're in for a long wait as your bonus points get accumulated to you overall score.