Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos Walkthrough (NES)

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Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (NES) Walkthrough

~by tankMage (August 2020)


Ninja Gaiden II is one of my favorite games of all time and it’s exciting to get an opportunity to write a guide for it. One of the things I noticed while replaying this game was that the vast majority of walkthroughs for NG2 are either very simplistic or written for speedrunners. With that in mind, I set out to write a detailed guide that does not require players to use advanced techniques. This is also the first walkthrough I’ve created that makes frequent use of maps and I hope it turns out to be a helpful resource for anyone playing this great game.


1. Basics 

    A. Controls 

    B. Game Rules

C. Ninja Arts

    D. Items

2. Techniques

3. Walkthrough

    A. Act I

    B. Act II

    C. Act III

    D. Act IV

    E. Act V

    F. Act VI

    G. Act VII 

4. Musicruise (Sound Test)

    A. Ryu Sound Test

    B. Irene Sound Test 

    C. Musicruise 

5. References

6. Download PDF Version

1. Basics 

As with anything, it’s necessary to understand the basic aspects of Ninja Gaiden II if you want to enjoy it and be successful. Most of this game’s mechanics and controls should be familiar with anyone who has played an NES platformer, but I’ve included descriptions of the basic elements of this game for the sake of thoroughness.

A. Controls 

Sword Attack = B

Jump = A 

Run Left/Right = Left/Right D-Pad

Jump Left/Right = A + Left/Right D-Pad

Duck = Down D-Pad

Grab onto Wall = Left/Right D-Pad While Falling or Jumping

Climb Up or Down = Up/Down D-Pad While Holding onto a Wall or Ladder

Use Ninja Art = Up D-Pad + B or B While Climbing

Pause/Unpause Game = Start

Start Game = Start on Title Screen

B. Game Rules

Like any game, Ninja Gaiden II follows a set of fairly basic rules that should be familiar to any platformer enthusiast. These rules are explained below for the benefit of anyone who may not be aware of them.

I. Ryu’s Health Bar 

Ryu starts with 16 points of health that are displayed in the upper right corner of the screen. Getting hit by enemies or certain objects will decrease his health by varying amounts. Ryu will die once his health bar reaches zero. Finding Medicine or completing an Act will refill Ryu’s life.

II. Death and Game Over

Ryu will die if he falls into a pit, loses all of his health, or if the timer reaches zero. In most cases, the player is sent back to the last checkpoint he passed. Checkpoints are indicated by ladders and other screen transitions. Lose all of your lives and you will have to continue. Upon continuing, the player will start at the beginning of the scene. For example, if you have to continue in stage 4-1, you will be sent back to the start of 4-1. However, you will only be sent back to the start of 4-2 if you make it to 4-2 before having to continue.

III. Powerup Orbs 

Red balls can be found scattered around every stage in Ninja Gaiden II. Striking these Orbs with the sword or a ninja art will reveal a powerup that drops to the ground. 

IV. The Timer

Ninja Gaiden II features a timer that counts down the seconds. Once it hits zero, Ryu will lose a life. There is no way to replenish the timer aside from completing an area.

V. Magic Points (MP)

Magic points (which I sometimes refer to as Ninja Power) allow Ryu to use powerful ninja arts like Fire Wheel. Every ninja art costs a set amount of MP to activate and players cannot use a ninja art if Ryu does not have the necessary amount of MP. It’s possible to refill MP by collecting blue and red ninja power icons from Orbs found in stages. Players can also increase Ryu’s maximum MP by collecting Ninja Scrolls. Ryu will retain his current MP if he dies.

C. Ninja Arts

Ryu can obtain special abilities that can be activated by pressing the UP and B Buttons simultaneously. These powers consume MP and are often far stronger than a standard sword attack.

I. Shuriken 

The Shuriken is the most basic of the ninja arts and the least effective. When activated, Ryu will throw a small star that moves in a straight line. It does about the same damage as the sword and disappears after making contact with an enemy. While this ninja art is cheap to use, its small hitbox and low damage really limit its utility.

II. Windmill Throwing Star

Extremely powerful in the right hands, the Windmill Throwing Star is a bigger, stronger version of the Shuriken. Ryu throws this weapon in a straight line much like the Shuriken, but the Windmill Throwing Star returns to him like a boomerang. It also cleaves through basic enemies. The real strength of the Windmill Throwing Star is its ability to return to Ryu, because it’s possible to sustain this ninja art simply by jumping over it as it returns. As an added bonus, this ninja art can also pass through Ninja Phantoms, so it’s possible to have 3 active Windmill Throwing Stars on screen simultaneously and sustain them for a brief period.

III. Fire Wheel

Ryu sends a fistful of flaming rockets that travel upward at a 45 degree angle from his hands. This ability has a large hitbox, inflicts 2 damage on bosses, and passes through weaker opponents. With two Ninja Phantoms, the player can deal massive amounts of damage. However, Fire Wheel has a major weakness: it’s useless against anything below Ryu’s position, which makes it a somewhat situational skill.

IV. Dragon Ball

The counterpart of Fire Wheel, Dragon Ball behaves in a similar manner, though with a slightly smaller hitbox. Since it travels downward at a 45 degree angle, this ninja art is great for hitting foes positioned lower than Ryu. That said, it has a huge blind spot: the upper half of the screen, so use it wisely.

V. Invincible Fire Wheel

Upon use, the Invincible Fire Wheel will surround Ryu and his Ninja Phantoms for about four seconds. Anything that touches this ninja art while it’s active will be destroyed, protecting Ryu from harm. Beware: spikes and fire in Act V can still hurt Ryu even with this art active. Despite being expensive to use, this ninja art is excellent for traveling through dangerous areas. Finally, Invincible Fire Wheel is useless against bosses, because touching a boss with it active will cause it to deactivate.

Tip: Be careful around Orbs with this skill active. Picking up another ninja art will immediately deactivate Invincible Fire Wheel.

D. Items

Players will find a number of miscellaneous items in addition to Ninja Arts dropped from Orbs. Some of these items, like Ninja Scrolls, are very useful, while others are rather worthless.

I. Ninja Scroll 

These precious artifacts increase Ryu’s maximum MP by 10. At least one scroll can be found in every Act aside from Act 1. Collect them all for a maximum MP of 100.

II. Ninja Phantom

A clone of Ryu that mimics his actions. Not only can they perform sword attacks and use ninja arts, they are also immune to damage. Ryu’s clones will also hover in the air after he jumps, making them great for hitting certain enemies. The greatest benefit of Ninja Phantoms is the fact that they can triple the damage output of Ryu’s ninja arts, making it possible to obliterate bosses with skills like Fire Wheel.

III. Medicine

A blue colored bottle that will restore about 6 of Ryu’s life bars.

IV. Ninja Power (Blue)

Looks like a blue block with a Japanese character printed on it. Restores 10 MP.

VI. Ninja Power (Red)

Completely refills Ryu’s MP.

VII. Jewel Bag 

These award points are kind of useless, though you will get an extra life every million points or so. That said, these orange and blue bags are generally not worth your trouble.

VIII. 1-Up

Basically a square with Ryu’s face on it, the 1-Up will award the player an extra life. Not terribly useful in the grand scheme of things, but picking these up can save you a little backtracking. 

2. Techniques

There are plenty of techniques players can use in this game to combat the forces of evil. Some are easy to learn, while others (like quick climbing and moonwalking) are rather advanced and often situational. This guide skips the more advanced techniques, because it is written for novice and intermediate players; if you can apply skills like moonwalking, the odds are you do not need this walkthrough.

Note: A lot of the names for the techniques below are ones I made up myself or are from half remembered snippets of video game publications, so they may not match up with more commonly used terms.

I. Drift Jumping 

This trick is really helpful in this game and many other NES titles with similar jump mechanics, so learn it well. To perform a drift jump, leap straight into the air, then push left or right to get Ryu to switch directions. Drift jumping is great for clearing certain hazards and avoiding enemies, because the game’s AI takes a moment to compensate for shifts in momentum. You can also perform a drift jump by hopping left or right, then suddenly changing direction.

II. Wall Kicking

If you climb to the top of a wall and jump off of it, then quickly press the D-Pad back in the direction of the wall, Ryu will land in a slightly higher spot on the wall than where he jumped from. If you perform this action several times, it’s possible to jump on top of the wall or even fall through it. While not terribly important, this trick can allow you to reposition yourself if you make a mistake. It’s also possible to force Ryu through the right hand wall of the boss room in Act VI, which will protect him somewhat from the boss’s attacks.

III. Ninja Phantoms and Ninja Arts 

This is probably the most powerful trick in the game and it will certainly help any player in a boss fight. Ryu’s ninja clones will copy his every move, including the use of ninja arts. This means it’s possible to get ninja arts and even sword attacks to inflict double or triple damage if you line your clones up properly. A good way to ensure Ryu and his clones will all fire in the same direction is to grab onto a wall before using a ninja art. Jumping in place a few times can also get the clones to align. Just keep in mind these methods leave you open to attacks.

3. Walkthrough

This is the first walkthrough I’ve created that uses maps, which will hopefully make it easier to use. Each Act has two maps (with the exception of Act I) as well as a general overview of the Act. All of the maps have brief overviews as well. Additionally, important items, events, and locations are labeled numerically on each map. Hints and tips that correspond to each number on a map are listed in the area under every map. Finally, a detailed analysis of the boss for every Act is included at the end of each Act.

I did not include the location of every powerup in this guide, because it seemed unnecessary. Instead, I opted to mention only useful powerups. Secondly, I do not know the names of many of the enemies in this game and chose to make my own up. These names are rough descriptions of each monster, so it should be easy to figure out what they are. Finally, the names of the bosses were taken from the NES Game Atlas.

A. Act I

The first act is the easiest in the game and most players should not have much trouble with this level or its boss. Take this as an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the game’s controls and Ryu’s abilities, because the difficulty will spike dramatically in later stages.

I. Stage 1-1

Gather powerups from the Orbs floating around the stage and watch out for deadly pits.

1. Don’t forget to slash the flashing red Orbs to get useful items and ninja powers.

2. Pitfalls like this one that can be found in almost every stage. Falling into a chasm, even if it leads to another area, is deadly.

3. Grab the game’s first Ninja Phantom powerup from the Orb on top of this building; it will mimic Ryu’s every move, giving him a considerable advantage in combat.

4. The Orb by this ledge contains the mighty Invincible Fire Wheel ninja art, just be careful if you try to obtain it. You should be able to collect it safely if you stand near the edge of the roof, jump straight up, slash the Orb, and fall back down to the exact spot you jumped from.

5. Two red ninjas will leap up from below and throw shurikens at Ryu when he reaches this spot. Jump over the shurikens or run forward and slice the ninja on the right to get past this trap safely. Additionally, there’s a Fire Wheel ninja art in the Orb on the upper right.

6. Keep running forward when you see the short pinkish water tank to the right, because several enemies will drop down from above. If you’re fast you can get under the tank and avoid being hit by the last monster.

7. A second Ninja Phantom can be obtained by hitting the Orb on the left side of this building.

8. Use the ladder to the right to get down to the next part of this stage. Alternatively, you can run off the ledge and hold right while falling to grab onto the bottom of the ladder, but you risk falling into the hole if you are not used to playing this game.

9. There isn’t much to see here, so climb down the ladder to the final part of Act I.

II. Boss: Dando the Cursed

Dando is a pushover, but he can be dangerous if you are low on health. All this boss does is move from one side of the room to the other. At first he will walk slowly from the right, then quickly charge when he nears the center of the room, then slam into the wall. The screen will shake and Ryu will fall from the wall (regardless of whether he is on the left or right wall) when Dando makes contact with it. After striking the wall, Dando will start walking to the right side of the room and perform his rush attack again when he nears the center. He will repeat this process until one of you dies.

Run up to this boss right away and hit him with the sword 2 or 3 times, then run to the wall on the left and start climbing. Jump away from the wall just before the boss hits it and start slicing him again. Use any ninja arts you have (Fire Wheel works best) to finish him before he can run again. If you have two Ninja Phantoms, you can kill him very quickly. Otherwise, just hit him and run to safety before he charges Ryu.

B. Act II

Act II is significantly more difficult than the first act and is split into two sections. The first section introduces tougher enemies while the second features strong winds that can push Ryu into pitfalls. Patience and alertness will get you through the challenges ahead.

I. Stage 2-1

Ryu finds himself on top of a train guarded by a small army of Ashtar’s servants. Look out for eagles that swoop down and ram into Ryu (these should be familiar from the first game if you played it) as well as red guys with swords that come running towards him from the left or right.

1. The first eagle of the game will fly in from the right as soon as you touch down on this car. Stay still until it gets close, then destroy it with the sword.

2. More of the red ninjas from Act I will spring up from below and throw shurikens at you on this section of the train. Grab the Ninja Phantom from the Orb on the right if you need it.

3. Another red ninja will attack when you reach this car. There’s also an Invincible Fire Wheel to the right, just watch out for an eagle that appears near it. 

4. Use the Invincible Fire Wheel to cross this car with ease. Be sure to pick up the Medicine from the Orb at the end of the car.

5. An eagle will swoop in from behind when you reach the end of this car. Turn around and attack it.

II. Stage 2-2

The cliffs of Ansee’s Valley are wracked by powerful winds that change direction every five seconds. These winds have enough force behind them to push Ryu in whatever direction they are blowing, which can lead to death if Ryu is forced into a chasm or enemy. Pay attention to the snow that is constantly falling in this stage in order to gauge the winds. The wind is not blowing if the snow is falling straight down. If the snow is moving on an angle the wind will push Ryu left or right as indicated by the direction of the snow. 

Remember, you can use the wind to your advantage by waiting for it to blow in the direction you want to jump, which will allow you to easily clear huge gaps. Watch out for sudden shifts in the wind’s direction. The wind usually follows this pattern: calm, left, calm, right, calm, left, right, left, then repeats the pattern. Keep in mind that the wind changes rapidly in the final part of the pattern.

1. Do not attempt to jump over this gap if the wind is pushing you to the left, keep this in mind whenever you try to clear an obstacle in this stage. See Part B, Section II. Stage 2-2 for details.

2. A rock tossing enemy guards the step shaped cliff here. Take him out with ninja arts and get the Windmill Throwing Star from the Orb just in front of him so you can defeat the rock tosser on the fourth step.

3. A slime crawls along the wall to the right. Beware the shots it fires every few seconds. Use the Windmill Throwing Star to destroy it.

4. Two slimes cling to the wall on the right, use a ninja art to clear them out before jumping down.

5. Use the Fire Wheel from the Orb at the base of the staircase-like structure to get a Ninja Scroll that will increase Ryu’s maximum MP by 10 from the Orb that is high up by the wall. Alternatively, you can climb the wall, then jump from it to reach the Orb. The steps are defended by a soldier that fires his gun every second and a rolling enemy. Fire Wheel or some careful sword work can quickly eliminate these foes.

6. This area is fairly hazardous thanks to a soldier positioned near the edge. Try to rush in and slice him before he can shoot. There’s a second soldier a few paces behind him, just right of the second Orb. 

7. Prepare yourself for more combat when you jump on this ledge. This time an eagle will come in from the right along with a running swordsman. Try to take the swordsman out first, then turn around to deal with the eagle. After that there’s a soldier, so be ready to jump over his bullet. The 1-Up on the outside of the wall just past the soldier is worth getting if you are having a hard time in this area.

8. Take your time when you come to this huge chasm. You’ll need to either wait until the wind starts pushing Ryu to the right or jump from the very edge of the cliff (not recommended) to get across safely. Have your sword ready the second you land on the rock shelf to the right, because a swordsman will come at you. Take a second to get some Medicine from the first Orb on the shelf, but be ready to fight a roller who comes in from the right. 

9. You can get more Medicine from the Orb between the rock platform and the wall. Just jump down to the lower shelf on the left and slash it down. Look out for the running enemies while collecting the Medicine.

10. One last eagle will harass you as you approach the ladder to the boss. Take your time defeating him and grab the Dragon Ball from the Orb on the left or the Fire Wheel from the Orb on the right before heading up to Baron Spider. 

III. Boss: Baron Spider 

Baron Spider is far less forgiving than Dando. Ryu will have to contend with the mountain’s blustering winds, which constantly threaten to push him into the boss or off the cliff for the duration of the battle. To make matters worse, the Baron will throw four spiders that climb up the wall to the right every few seconds. Baron Spider himself starts out on a platform in the center of the screen and will jump down a second or two after Ryu gets close to him. He will jump back up to the platform if Ryu closes with him while he is on the ground.

The best way to win this fight is with Fire Wheel or Dragon Ball, especially if you have a ninja clone or two with you. Just climb the wall or stay under the boss (depending on which ninja art you have) and blast him a few times. If you position your clones well, you can destroy the Baron in a few hits. Otherwise, you’ll probably have to finish him off with your sword. Just climb up the wall (assuming he is on the platform) and jump over to him. Take care not to crash into the boss while attacking, waiting for the wind to calm or blow right helps. In general it’s safe to ignore the spiders he throws as long as you are aggressive or he will slowly whittle away your health. If you are low on life, try dispatching the spiders with the sword.

C. Act III

In many ways, Act III is less daunting than the second act, but the enemies Ryu has to face on his way to the boss are quite brutal. Strategic use of ninja arts and a bit of memorization can make the road ahead more manageable.

I. Stage 3-1

Ryu starts this leg of his journey in a dark forest. It is so dark in this area that you will not be able to see the shape of the ground and pitfalls. Fortunately, lightning will flash every few seconds and illuminate Ryu’s surroundings. Wait for the lightning to flash before attempting a dangerous jump.

Tip: The lighting will still flash even with the game paused. Use this to your advantage if you are having trouble navigating this stage.

1. A ghostly flame will spawn just as you clear this pit. These flames are common throughout this level (and the entire game) and slowly follow Ryu around. Either destroy it or outrun it.

2. A trio of flames will ambush you here. Run forward a bit to avoid them. Be sure to grab the Ninja Phantom powerup from the Orb to the right if you need it. 

3. The path splits in two here. I recommend taking the upper route first to get an Invincible Fire Wheel and Medicine. Unfortunately, the upper path is a dead end, so backtrack to the lower path and use the Invincible Fire Wheel to clear the blobs and enemies in your way.

4. You will have to cross a series of narrow pillars here. This is made dangerous by the blob on the wall behind the first pillar and bat that comes in from the right. Use Invincible Fire Wheel if possible or be ready to jump over the blob’s bullet and/or kill the bat.

5. The rest of this area is pretty straightforward, but there are a lot of enemies, so proceed cautiously. Use your ninja arts and sword to clear the way of enemies that attack from both sides of the screen.

II. Stage 3-2

Fierce opposition awaits you in the Tower of Laja. New enemies that fire projectiles and rain knives on Ryu are just part of the challenge in this deadly stage. You will also have to deal with foes while attempting difficult jumps. Make it to the top of the tower and you will have to fight the toughest boss yet.

1. A red dude that leaps high into the air and drops knives on Ryu (possibly Basquer from the first game) will appear on the right just after you jump onto the raised floor. He is also backed up by a soldier, so you’ll have to act fast. Use a ninja art or try to take out the red guy as soon as you see him.

2. A ring throwing fiend guards the platform just right of the steps. It takes two hits to kill him and he attacks fast, so try to slay him with a ninja art. Get ready to deal with two rolling enemies coming in from the right after you defeat the ring thrower.

3. This section isn’t dangerous, but you will want to move quickly and keep the rolling guys that spawn in from both sides under control.

4. A lot happens on these steps. To start, a swordsman will run towards you from the left when you get near the bottom of the steps and an eagle will appear in front of Ryu. To make matters even more complicated, there’s a spider hanging over the pit on your right that will shoot at Ryu. Fire off a ninja art like Dragon Ball when you see the eagle. Dragon Ball should kill both the swordsman and eagle if you have a Ninja Phantom or two. If not, you will have to rely on the sword; take the eagle out first, then the swordsman. Jump over the spider’s shot right after dealing with the other enemies and walk towards it to get it to drop into the pit.

5. Be ready to slice another eagle when you land on the platform left of the red Orb here. The Orb contains a valuable Ninja Scroll, so be sure to get it. 

6. Eagles like to constantly spawn on the left side of the screen every time you move a bit in this area, but there’s a helpful Medicine in the Orb near the ladder.

7.Another ring thrower occupies the platform below. It’s easiest to just let him hit you and use your invincibility frames to reach safety. If you time it right, you can even get him to knock you over to the platform by the steps. Just look out for the soldier guarding the ladder.

8. An enemy that carries a shield and throws fireballs that return to him like a boomerang (possibly Bloody Malth from the original game) will appear when you near this spot. You can either jump all the way to the right and let him knock you forward (keep running right if you do this) or land in front of him and blow him away with a ninja art. Otherwise it takes three hits to kill this guy. Watch out for skeletons and swordsmen that attack from both directions in the hallway beyond.

9. There’s a Medicine in the Orb to the left, be sure to get it. Go down the hallway and get ready to deal with another fireball thrower just by the ladder. It’s safest to try to jump over this one’s fireball and blast it with a ninja art, but do not forget that the fireball returns even if its wielder is dead.

III. Boss: Funky Dynamite

Funky Dynamite flies from one side of the screen to the other while firing projectiles aimed at Ryu. You will have to jump onto one of the pillars in the room or use a ninja art to hit him. Once damaged, Funky will land briefly and fire off rockets that fly upwards, then fall straight down. The rockets will not touch you if you are standing adjacent to the boss. If you have Ninja Phantoms, you can catch the boss in a loop if you position your phantom in the air while you are on the ground and slash at the boss constantly. This will force the boss to land and take off again. Try to hit him at maximum sword range if you attempt to lock him into a loop, because he tends to inch closer to Ryu every time he takes off again.*

You cannot damage Funky Dynamite while he is on the ground, but you can destroy his rockets and bullets. Take care not to waste your MP on this boss while it is landing, because you will not damage it.

*It’s possible to lock him in this loop without ninja doubles, but you need to time your attacks precisely. Jump into the air, strike the boss, fall to the ground, then jump just as he takes off again and hit him. You’ll have to back up slightly as you perform this manoeuvre.

D. Act IV

Ryu will be tried by both fire and water in the fourth stage. Enemies are plentiful in this act and they are generally placed in inconvenient spots, so be ready to react quickly to new situations.

I. Stage 4-1

The fiery pits below the tower are merciless and you will need to learn how to deal with new hazards if you want to progress. Take your time here and use everything you’ve learned this far.

1. A small hopping mutant will come bounding towards Ryu when he reaches this area. Duck and use your sword to eliminate it. Beware, this thing tends to respawn if you step backwards. Get used to fighting creatures like this, there are a lot more of them in this stage.

2. A ball of lava will spring from the hole here and explode as it falls. The lava ball can easily damage you or send you to your doom. Wait for it to pass and step out of the way of the pieces that fly off of it. Watch out for the mutant on the other side of the hole. Duck and slash it after you land.

3. Another lava ball flies out of this hole.

4. Get the Invincible Fire Wheel from the Orb here and do not be shy about using it.

5. If you’re under the effects of Invincible Fire Wheel, you can just run through this area to the ladder. Otherwise, be careful of the lava balls that come out of the pits as well as bats and mutants that attack from both sides of the screen.

6. Remember the flames from 3-1? One of them spawns near the center of this room. Climb to the top of the ladder quickly and use Invincible Fire Wheel to get past the flame or slay it with your sword.

7. Take care if you use Invincible Fire Wheel in this area, the Orb here contains a Fire Wheel ninja art that will cancel your Invincible Fire Wheel if you pick it up by accident. You can also get a Medicine from the Orb near the raised platform to the right.

8. Get the third Ninja Scroll from the Orb hanging over this chasm. 

9. This jump is tricky thanks to the flames that spawn below and the guard that patrols the platform on the lower right. If you jump while the guard is facing left, he will knock you into the pit. Either deal with the flames so you can wait for the guard to walk away or jump towards him while he is facing right (and near the edge of the platform) so he knocks you onto solid ground.

10. This final stretch of 4-1 is particularly dangerous. Lava balls fly out of the holes between the pillars and bats will frequently fly at Ryu. The Invincible Fire Wheel can easily get you through this death trap if you still have it. Otherwise, take your time and jump directly upwards to avoid the fragments from the lava balls. It also helps to kill any bats you see as you cautiously make your way across the pillars. 

Note: If you missed the Ninja Scroll at Number 8, you can get another one from the Orb near the middle of this area.

II. Stage 4-2

Ryu had to face searing flames in the previous section, this time he must fight dangerous currents that threaten to push him into deadly pits. Pay attention to the direction of the water in this level and adjust your movements accordingly. Jumping is a good way to reposition yourself if you are having a hard time controlling Ryu.

1. You’ll have to contend with swordsmen who charge Ryu from behind, a bullet shooting blob on the wall to the right, and a current that will push you into the abyss below if you aren’t cautious. Use ninja arts to get rid of the blob or just take the hit by jumping onto the wall and drop down to the floor on the lower right.

2. This spot is also a bit tricky, because you will have to kill a rolling enemy while swordsmen attack from the left. Try to get ahead of the current so the swordsmen stop spawning. You’ll also want to watch out for the eagle that comes flying in on the right after you pass the waterfall.

3. Get the Windmill Throwing Star from the Orb here and use it to destroy the humpback ahead. If you have Ninja Phantoms the Windmill Star should remain active as you proceed and it will clear away the enemies leading up to the small platforms on the right. If not, just jump over it as it returns to keep it active. Watch out for the eagle when you get to the small platforms on the right.

4. You will see a hunchback here. Duck and slash it, then turn around so you can deal with another one that dashes in from behind. You will also have to kill a swordsman who comes rushing in from the right after the humpback.

5. One more hunchback will drop down when you reach the double waterfalls. Kill it, jump onto the tiny platform to the right, then slay the bat that flies in from the left side of the screen. There’s a Medicine at the top of the series of platforms that form a sort of staircase. You can also double back and get a 1-Up from the Orb above the long platform to the left, but it’s probably not worth the effort.

6. Flames will spawn around you when you get to the top of the platforms. Just grab the Medicine left of the final foothold, then drop to the floor on your right. Use ninja arts to quickly eliminate the enemies here.

7. The hunchback that lies in wait here is annoying. Sometimes he will jump at you before you try to drop down to this area and harmlessly pass you by, other times he will wait until you hit the ground, then ram into you. Usually It’s best to just take the hit and keep moving. Get the Dragon Ball from the Orb next to the creature if possible, it’ll come in handy.

8. Keep an eye out for an eagle that comes in from the lower left when you reach this platform and use whatever means you have to get rid of it.

9. It’s basically a straight shot from here to the boss, but you will have to deal with a lot of charging swordsmen that attack from both directions as well as strange creatures that occasionally fire a series of bullets at you. Take your time moving forward and kill enemies as they come. The Windmill Throwing Star just before the boss is really helpful.

III. Boss: Naga Sotuva 

Naga Sotuva is really easy if you are patient and know how to deal with the flowing currents in its room. The creature’s weak point is its head, which is in the center of the room. Look out for its hands. One of its hands will appear near the left or right side of the room, move towards the opposite side, then disappear after returning to its starting point. After that, the other hand will appear on the other side of the room, then move in the opposite direction like the first hand. Which hand starts the pattern is random, but the pattern will remain the same regardless.

If you have ninja arts (especially the Windmill Throwing Star) stay on the waterfall where Ryu starts and use them on Naga’s head. To do this, jump forward so you face the head, fire off your ninja art, then press Left right away to land back on the waterfall. It’s difficult to master this move, but you can really damage the boss with it, especially if you have Ninja Phantoms.

If you have no power, or if Naga Sotuva survives your barrage, you can always use your trusty sword. Wait for the hand near the left to appear and perform its sweeping motion, then hop onto the platform near the head. You’ll have about two seconds to get some hits in on the head before the right hand will pose a threat. Once it gets close, drop down and run to the other side of the room, then climb up the waterfall. If you time it well, you can jump from the waterfall and get a few more hits in after the right hand disappears. Drop down and head left when the left hand gets close, then climb up the left waterfall like you did with the one on the right. You can keep doing this sort of V-shaped maneuver until you kill the boss. Remember, you will have to constantly compensate for the water current, even while climbing the waterfalls.

E. Act V

Ninja Gaiden II starts to get serious in this act. While you’ve been through worse in some of the other stages, there’s less room for error at this point in the game and it’s easy to find yourself in impossible situations if you slip up.

I. Stage 5-1

The first part of this stage isn’t terribly difficult, so enjoy it and take it as an opportunity to power up a bit. The second section is a dungeon filled with deadly spikes and burning trenches that require careful navigation. Go slowly and pay careful attention to your surroundings if you want to survive.

1. Jump onto the wall behind Ryu’s starting position and climb up it so you can cross the pair of platforms. Next, jump up to the alcove on the right with an Orb in it. One of the dagger dropping enemies from the third stage will attack as you approach the Orb, but it comes close into sword range, making it an easy target. Get the extra MP from the Orb, you’ll need it.

2. Wait for the enemies below to pass before dropping down from the ledge above. You may need to stand at the very edge of the ledge to get the rolling creature to fall into the pit, because it tends to track Ryu’s movements.

3. Stay on the wall here so you can safely kill the round eyeball creature and soldier using your Shuriken ninja art. 

4. Another eyeball creature occupies the platform on the lower right. Drop off the ledge and turn left to make Ryu grab the wall, then climb down. This should bait the creature into jumping off its perch, allowing Ryu to safely make his way to the ladder down. You can grab the powerups floating above, but the only one you really need is the Windmill Throwing Star next to the ladder.

5. Ryu is in for a bad time if he touches the spikes in this area, they will take three bars off his life meter with each hit.

6. Take your time climbing onto this ledge. The fire here will remove three bars from Ryu’s life meter if he touches it. You’ll also have to deal with a bullet shooting blob and an eagle that flies in from the lower left after you clear the fire. Use the Dragon Ball ninja art from the Orb by the fire to clear the way.

7. A ring throwing enemy will spawn near the end of this spike lined hallway. Jump up when you get to the gap in the spikes and blast him with the Dragon Ball.

8. This section is perilous thanks to a swordsman who keeps respawning from the left. Try to get over the small platform quickly by taking out the skeleton on it with the sword, then defeat the swordsman and jump onto the long platform to the right. Be ready for more danger up ahead.

9. Remember the fireball throwing guy from the end of the third act? You’ll have to fight another one here. He’ll drop down to the right side of the shelf you’re on and immediately attack. Generally, it’s easiest to just absorb the damage and go through him or destroy him with the sword. I recommend killing him, because it’s easier to get the Ninja Scroll from the Orb above him that way. Look out for an eagle that will come in from the left when you try to cross the gap. Finally, don’t fall when attempting to get the scroll, you can’t climb out of the fire using the wall on the right, which means you’ll have to backtrack through it by going left, which will likely kill Ryu.

10. Try to jump straight down this shaft to avoid getting hit by the spikes. The Orb in the shaft conceals an extra life, but it’s not really worth the trouble.

11. This area is really nasty. Two ring throwers will appear on the platforms above and harass Ryu while he tries to make his way over the flames. If you’re fast you can eliminate their rings with the sword or evade them, but just taking a hit from one of their rings and running to the end of the level is more effective.

12. Ryu can heal up with a Medicine from the Orb here. Of course, it’s guarded by the ring throwers, so you may just want to run to 5-2.

II. Stage 5-2

Slippery ice makes this level extra treacherous. Additionally, Ryu will have to confront deviously placed foes. Fortunately, this stage is rather brief and a little memorization can make it more manageable.

Tip: Try to save up your MP and have Fire Wheel as well as a Phantom or two by the time you get to the end of the stage. Having these things will make the boss really easy to defeat.

1. The ice physics in this game are pretty unforgiving. Learn how far Ryu skids on the ice in relation to how far he has run. Take a few steps and he won’t slide very far upon stopping, but he will slide a distance of about ten steps if he runs for more than a second or two. Jumping will cancel some of his momentum, so do so to reposition Ryu. Watch out when climbing on walls, Ryu will slide down them a little bit unless he climbs upwards.

2. Rush towards the blobs on this wall and eliminate them with two quick sword slashes.

3. You’ll need a lot of momentum and precise timing to make it across the gap ahead. Get used to jumping at the last possible second in this stage, there are more difficult situations like this ahead.

4. An eagle will attack from behind when you get to this spot. You’ll also have to deal with a bat and a swordsman. Proceed cautiously and kill each enemy so you can make the difficult jump up ahead safely.

5. A spider occupies the space over each of the pits. Take a few steps forward to bait each one into falling and be ready to duck or destroy their bullets. Ninja arts are very helpful in this situation, particularly Fire Wheel.

6. There’s a 1-Up in the Orb down here, but it’s risky to get.

7. The Medicine in this Orb is very helpful, make sure you take it. Just be ready to hit the eagle that flies up from below with Dragon Ball or jump to the platform to the left to lure it into sword range.

8. Simply climb down from the ladder and drop to the right a bit to safely reach the ledge below.

9. Take care when making your way through this section. You’ll want plenty of life and MP for the boss. Go slowly and slay the enemies as they come.

10. There’s no room for error with this jump. Ryu will fall to his death if he jumps too soon or late. Leap from the edge of this icy hill at the last second to make it into the platform on the right. Make sure you get a running start as well.

11. Get the Ninja Power from the Orb here, then start running forward and leap into the wall to the right. You’ll see a hunchback on the platform above and a red ninja will jump out of the pit, but you will make it past them safely so long as you run and jump without stopping.

12. It’s possible to tackle this area in different ways, but I find that the best way to approach it is to drop between the icy cliffs here (without grabbing the walls) and duck or run to the right so you can destroy the eagle that comes swooping in from the lower right. You can obtain an Invincible Fire Wheel from the Orb to the left, but it’s wise to save your MP for the boss. Next, run to the right (you can ignore the Orb by the ledge) and hop over to the ice sheets. Be sure to get the Ninja Phantom from the Orb above the second ice sheet if you need it.

13. The hunchback sitting on the pillar of ice you have to climb up after getting the Ninja Phantom from below is pretty annoying, but there are two relatively easy methods of getting past him. The first is to use Fire Wheel or Invincible Fire Wheel to get rid of him. The second method is to simply jump onto the pillar and duck while sliding, then slice the creature with the sword.

14. A series of platforms lies ahead. This part of the stage is fairly easy compared to the rest, but it’s important to keep moving on the way to the boss, otherwise the swordsmen that come charging in from the left will likely knock Ryu into the chasm below. Try to pick up the Fire Wheel hidden in the Orb above the second platform.

III. Boss: Ashtar 

Ashtar teleports around the room about every four seconds. He will flicker for about a second when appearing and for another second while vanishing; he will not take damage while he is flickering. After Ashter appears, energy balls will come from all eight directions and center on his sword, then he will fire them back in the direction they came from. Keep your distance from him or try to stand just under him to the left or right to avoid getting hit. 

The Fire Wheel and two Ninja Phantoms will allow you to defeat Ashtar really easily if you can manage to get to him with 60-80 MP. All you have to do is line up the clones so they face the same direction as Ryu and unleash two or three vollies of Fire Wheel, then repeat. Try standing by the left or right wall and jumping while facing the center of the room to get the phantoms into position if you are having trouble lining up your shots. Time your attacks carefully or you will waste MP firing at the boss during his invincibility frames. You can defeat Ashtar the second time he teleports if you can get all of the Fire Wheels to connect.

You’ll have to fight him with the sword if you lack ninja arts or run out of MP. This is somewhat difficult, since you will need to stand between the energy balls as they pass by and react to Ashtar’s teleports quickly. Generally, it helps to stay just a few steps away from the center of the room, then charge towards him as the energy balls get close to him. This should give you an opening to get a hit in before he sends the balls back out in all eight directions. If you stand just under and to the left or right of the boss, you can avoid getting hit and get another attack in before he vanishes. Unfortunately, Ashtar’s patterns are fairly random and he will likely appear in places where you cannot dodge his attack. Ultimately, this fight comes down to preparation and practice.

F. Act VI

Five stages down, two to go. Act 6 is simple, yet brutal. Ryu will have to negotiate the monster infested ruins of a castle and run a long gauntlet to the final fortress. As always diligence and patience are the keys to success. 

I. Stage 6-1

You may notice early on in this level that the crumbling castle walls in the foreground obscure Ryu and enemies as they pass by them. It’s very easy to miss a foe as it slips behind a wall only to discover it after it slams into Ryu. Proceed cautiously and watch the corners of the screen for monsters, particularly bats. There’s also a Ninja Scroll and some Medicine concealed behind a wall near the end of this zone.

1. It’s easy to miss the rolling enemy just a few steps ahead before it slips behind the wall. Get used to paying close attention to enemies as they pass behind the foreground.

2. A bat will spawn to the left when you get to this spot. If you fail to spot it as it spawns, it will fly behind the fallen rampart just ahead and bash into Ryu, so try to slay it before it becomes a problem.

3. You’re not in the clear after defeating the bat in part two. Another bat will appear on your right when you get near the edge of this hill. Even worse, a green guy with a club and a rolling enemy will spawn behind you. Step forward, kill the bat, then immediately turn around and slash the guy with the club. Take another step forward and kill the bat if it respawns. You may also have to pivot again to destroy anything behind you. After that, jump over the pit and kill the hopping eye creature by quickly ducking and slashing it.

4. There’s a hidden platform by the window (the enemy walking around on it should give you a good idea of its size) jump onto it, then hop right to get to a second platform that will allow you to collect a Ninja Scroll from the Orb. There’s also a Medicine hidden behind the window on the lower left part of the wall.

5. Beware the lava ball that comes roaring out of the pit. You’ll also have to look out for a bat that flies in from the right and a homing bat that spawns on the left. It’s best to kill the bat on the left before approaching this pit, then you can hop over the lava ball fragments and kill the other bat. Use the Dragon Ball you find in the Orb on the left to kill the boulder thrower on the ledge to the right.

6. This section of the stage is rather annoying. Three eye creatures will drop down from the ceiling when you get near this spot. It’s difficult to avoid or kill them without getting hit and you’ll take a lot of damage if you slip up. The safest way to do this is to let the first or second one hit Ryu, then use the invincibility from the hit to get past the rest. You may want to jump over the last creature, since it’s likely Ryu will no longer be invincible by the time he reaches it.

7. By now you’re probably used to the final leg of each level being a straightforward run filled with enemies. This is no different, but you may want to kill the bat that spawns here to keep it from harassing you for the rest of the stage.

II. Stage 6-2

There’s nothing special about this stage; in fact, there aren’t even any pits. All you have to do is get to the end alive in order to fight the boss. Unfortunately, Jaquio’s servants swarm the entire level and you will need to stay on your toes in order to get to the boss with enough health to defeat it. Lose and you will have to go all the way through 6-2 again, so make sure you learn this level well.

1. There’s a bullet spitting creature to the right. It’s tempting to charge it, but you’ll have to watch out for an eagle that spawns on the left side of the screen. Jump over the bullets and slay the eagle when it gets into range. Alternatively, you can use a ninja art to destroy these foes.

2. Run up to the boulder thrower here and take him out before he can do anything. After that, quickly grab the Invincible Fire Wheel from the Orb that is just behind him. Use the Invincible Fire Wheel to rush to the boss if you have enough MP. 

3. Try to pull up short after you jump onto this tier if you have Invincible Fire Wheel active, because you can accidentally obtain Dragon Ball from the Orb here. That said, you may want Dragon Ball if you are good at going through this stage, because it is arguably more effective against the boss than the Windmill Throwing Star up ahead.

4. Take the Windmill Throwing Star from the Orb here if you have Invincible Fire Wheel, because the former will be more useful in the boss battle ahead.

III. Boss: Kelbeross 

You may recognize these creatures if you played the first game. At any rate, the Kelbeross appear near the center of the screen and hop around the room shooting bubbles that fly across the room at low speed. Only the one that starts on the left can be harmed. All in all, this boss is more chaotic than difficult. Start the fight by climbing onto the right-hand wall and bombarding the boss with Windmill Throwing Star or Dragon Ball. Dragon Ball works a bit better in my opinion, but either one can at least shave some health off the Kelbeross. After that, stand under the pedestals and slash the bubbles as they come. Run out and strike the boss when the opportunity presents itself. Watch out, these beasts can hit Ryu when he is under the pedestals if they hop when far away from the far side of the chamber, so be ready to move.

If you have the Windmill Throwing Star, you can forego climbing the wall and stand under the pedestals, then use the star to clear out the bubbles. The Windmill Throwing Star has the added benefit of being able to push the fake Kelbeross back, though it isn’t as deadly as the Dragon Ball.

G. Act VII 

No gimmicks in this act, just hordes of enemies and three bosses at the end. The greatest threat in the final act comes in the form of a bullet spitting enemy that is often placed on narrow pillars. You’ll also have to contend with running foes like those you’ve faced throughout the game as well as the obligatory eagle or three every now and then. Dying during the final boss battles will send you back to the last portion of Stage 7-2 (or to the beginning of 7-2 if you have to continue) but you do not have to fight any bosses you’ve defeated again even if you have to continue.

I. Stage 7-1

Consider 7-1 a warm-up for the final section of Ninja Gaiden II. Enemies and deadly pitfalls are plentiful here, so be prepared to practice a bit before moving onward. Try to learn this stage well enough that you can get through it without taking much damage or using a lot of MP, which you’ll need for the bosses.

1. Ninja power is really important at this point. Get the Red Ninja Power from the Orb here to refill Ryu’s magic. Look out for the eagle that attacks from the left when you jump on this ledge. There’s also a swordsman that dashes towards you from behind when you approach the Orb.

2. Go slowly when nearing this wall and kill anything that comes in from the left. The blobs that move along the wall here are a pain, but you can easily dispatch the first one with the sword as you jump over to the wall. To get rid of the second blob, jump to the wall on the left, then jump towards the blob and immediately swing your sword. This takes precise timing as Ryu only has a frame or two opening between jumping and crashing into the blob.

3. Watch out for the eagle that attacks when you get near the center of this platform. A rolling enemy from the lower left will also jump up to this platform, so try to make your way to the right as you fight the eagle if you want to avoid getting hit.

4. Drop straight down from the platform and get rid of the thugs below. Yet another eagle will swoop in from the upper right as you move forward, let it come to you and destroy it. There’s a Ninja Phantom in the Orb here that’s worth getting, just clear out the enemies before trying to acquire it.

5. The long platform to the right is a trap. An eagle will fly up from below and a swordsman will charge in from the left after you jump into it. Get the Dragon Ball from the Orb to the left, then stand on the very edge of the platform next to the longer one. Your sword should be able to reach the thug that patrols the long ledge, so slay him. Next, jump over to the platform and jump over the swordsman. As you’re jumping, turn and use Dragon Ball to destroy the eagle.

6. Take the Fire Wheel from the Orb, it will help you on the next screen.

7. What you do here mainly comes down to whether you want to conserve health or ninja power. Flames will spawn in all directions in this room. It’s easiest to just use Fire Wheel to clear them out, then quickly scale the ladder. If you have a lot of health, you can take the hit and climb the ladder, the choice is yours.

8. The final Ninja Scroll is in the Orb high above this chunk of rock. An eagle will attack Ryu from below when he jumps to the end of this platform, so be careful. Jump over the guard on the right and slash the Orb while you are airborne, then get ready to kill the eagle or jump over it as you land. Obtaining this last Ninja Scroll should leave you with 100 MP.

9. I strongly recommend simply sticking to the lower half of this area and slowly avoiding enemies as they attack. You can climb the pillars on the left to get a Ninja Phantom and the Invincible Fire Wheel, but you will have to deal with a bullet spitter, eagles, and a boulder thrower. Odds are you will take more damage and waste more time than the powerups are worth.

10. The bullet spitter on this pillar makes life difficult. Get rid of him with a ninja art or quickly swing the sword as you jump over to the pillar. Using the sword takes really careful timing, since you will have to jump just after the creature spits a bullet. Take the Windmill Throwing Star from the Orb above the pillar and use it to slay the spitter on your right. 

11. The lava balls that jump out of the pits to the left and right of Ryu as he nears the middle of this area are dangerous, but you can get by their fragments if you carefully inch forward as they fall. Get the Fire Wheel from the Orb while you are here.

12. More flames will spawn in this room. Run over to the left as fast as you can and use Fire Wheel to get rid of them. One on the lower right will likely survive, but you can just jump into the platforms and climb up the ladder before it touches you.

13. One of those guys that jumps around dropping knives will appear on the right when you get to these steps. Jump over to the second step and use your height advantage to kill him. Be sure to collect the powerups from the Orbs here and look out for bats.

14. Use Fire Wheel to clear the enemies on this platform away. Be sure to get the 1-Up from the Orb to the left and watch out for bats. Go through the hole in the wall on your left to get to 7-2.

II. Stage 7-2

7-2 is a lot like 7-1, except it’s 50% less merciful. Monsters are more plentiful than they were in the last level and there are fewer powerups. Worst of all, ninja power is scarce here and you will likely want to go easy on it if you want to be able to defeat the bosses with something stronger than the sword. Speaking of bosses, there are three of them that you have to beat in order to finish the game and they are more difficult than the other ones you’ve faced with the exception of Ashtar. 

Keep practicing this stage until you can get through it easily, then focus on learning the bosses. Dying while fighting a boss will send you back to the beginning of 7-2, so it really helps to be able to get back to the boss chamber without much difficulty. Additionally, any boss you defeat will remain dead even if you run out of lives and have to continue, so use the fact that you can reach every boss with plenty of MP to your advantage.

1. Climb to the very top of this pillar, then jump left to land on the ledge. If you try to jump onto it from the floor you will end up grabbing into the wall and you’ll either have to jump back down or use the wall jump trick to get to the top of the wall.

2. A bat that flies in a straight line will come in from the west and one that homes in on Ryu will appear to the east. Stay on the upper ledge and carefully step towards the homing bat so you can chop it with the sword, then quickly turn to slay the other bat. Ahead you will have to deal with a runner that comes in from the left. Another runner will attack from the right when you get near the pit.

3. Get the Ninja Phantom and the Windmill Shuriken under the large platform. Kill the swordsman on the small platform on the left and hop over to it, then grab onto the wall of the large platform. Use the Windmill Throwing Star to get rid of the bullet spitters on the platforms, then jump onto the large one so you can obtain the Red Ninja Power from the Orb high up in the air right of the large platform.

4. The bullet spitter on the long ledge below makes it difficult to land safely. On top of that a bat will attack when you jump down to the platform. Time your jump so that you land in front of the spitter between its shots, then quickly dispatch it with the sword. After that, all you have to do is kill the guard and the bat as they approach you. Do not step into the middle of this platform until it has been cleared or you run the risk of getting hit by an exploding lava ball.

5. Run to the very edge of this platform and wait for the lava ball that comes out of the chasm to explode. The lava fragments should harmlessly fly past you if you are at the very edge of the shelf.

6. It may look like you have two paths to choose from here, but you’ll have to take the high road no matter what. The lower path merely gives you access to the Invincible Fire Wheel in the Orb to the left, which I do not recommend using due to its high MP cost. Instead, jump over the spitter’s bullets and stand on the edge of where the path splits, then slay the guard as he comes close. Jump over to the spitter and kill it with the sword once the guard is history.

7. Another nefariously placed bullet spitter makes getting to the floor below very dangerous. A bat will also fly towards Ryu when he steps to the edge of the pillar. Jump over the bat to the ground below, then immediately slash the spitter. If you leap just after the creature fires its bullet, you can land safely. Alternately, you can just slay the bat before jumping. Either way, you should kill both the spitter and the runner that comes from the left if you attack right after you land. Be careful when walking forward, a lava ball will come out of the pit behind Ryu. Stopping and stepping out of the way of the fragments is a good way to avoid damage.

8. The monsters in this vertical shaft may seem threatening, but they are not a problem if you move quickly and ignore them.

9. A ring thrower occupies the shelf to the left. Just ignore him and keep running without stopping. There’s a good chance he will hit you as you try to jump to the higher part of the floor here, but there’s a Medicine up ahead so it doesn’t really matter unless you are low on health. Use the Fire Wheel in the Orb right next to the ring thrower to destroy him if you are really low on health.

10. Another bird will attack you when you get near this platform, so have that sword ready. You may also want to get the Ninja Phantom from the Orb on your left, it’ll help with the boss. Grab onto the wall to the right and drop straight down when you are ready to move on. Try to drop from the wall, kill the soldier, then slay the bird that comes hurtling towards you. You should also step forward a bit, because a knife dropping red guy will also jump in from the right. This section takes really precise timing and most players will get hit, so don’t worry too much if you do, just get used to the pattern, because you’ll probably have to clear this area several times.

11. Here’s another spot that requires extremely precise movements. First off, there’s a 1-Up by the first pillar that is kind of worth getting if you don’t want to slog through the entire stage every time you run out of lives. An eagle will spawn slightly left of the pillar as soon as you land on it. Take your time and kill it, then hop over to the next pillar. Try to cut the Orb for a Windmill Throwing Star as you jump over to the pillar, then activate it to destroy the two birds that attack from both sides when you touch down.*

* Note: It may be better to hang onto the Fire Wheel or Dragon Ball if you have it. The Dragon Ball is especially useful against the birds.

12. If you are good at keeping the Windmill Throwing Star active and used it to destroy the birds on the pillar, you will not have to worry about the knife dropper that spawns here since the star will destroy it. Otherwise, try to step between the knives; the knife dropper will fall into the pit behind Ryu even if you do not kill him. Either way, make sure you take the Medicine from the Orb here. You’ll see another ring thrower on the long shelf to the right. Use the Windmill Throwing Star on him if you have it, if not run and hope for the best. Another eagle will fly in when you reach the chasm on the right. Once again, the Windmill Throwing Star is really helpful in clearing the eagle and the runners here, so use it. It’s also wise to collect Blue Ninja Powers from the Orbs here to replenish Ryu’s MP.

13. This marks the end of the line, but the opposition here is stiff to say the least. A fire ball thrower will drop down when you get near this area, there’s also a ring thrower on the high ledge behind him. The Windmill Throwing Star is really good for defeating these guys, but you may want to conserve your MP for the boss, so it may be better to use the sword even if it means taking damage.

14. A pair of birds will swoop in from above, either use precious MP to blow them away, or carefully use sword work to dispatch them. If you use the sword, you’ll have to attack the skeleton, step forward, slash a slug-like creature that drops from the ceiling, then attack the eagle on the right. After that you can pivot and kill the second eagle behind Ryu. Needless to say, this takes some practice, so don’t worry if you make some mistakes.

15. A bird will fly in from the right, so get ready to slay it. The first Orb left of the pillar contains Medicine, so take it unless you managed to get here with full health. The second Orb contains a Dragon Ball and the third has a Windmill Throwing Star inside of it. Take the Dragon Ball if you are fighting the first of the three bosses, if not, take the Windmill Throwing Star.

III. Boss: Jaquio Part 1

Jaquio is a really irritating boss who flies around the screen in a figure eight pattern, emitting slow moving flames that move towards Ryu. Needless to say, this boss is hard to deal with, because he is fast and his attacks are hard to dodge. Get used to climbing on the walls, because Jaquio does not touch them. You can also climb up or down to get out of the way of his flames, but doing so takes practice. 

If you managed to save about 80 MP, the Dragon Ball (which is near the boss room), and have two ninja clones, you can barrage Jaquio with Dragon Balls to kill him without much fuss. All you have to do is grab the wall, climb up and fire two or three volleys of Dragon Ball off when Jaquio reaches the lower half of the screen. About four passes is enough to kill him.

If you lack ninja power or want to save it for the second boss you should still use the wall clinging method to avoid his attacks. To damage Jaquio, you will have to drop down and start slashing him when he gets near the lower corner of the side of the screen you are on, then slash him a few times. Remember to stay in the corner when attacking and jump back onto the wall when he moves out of range. Having a clone really helps when sword fighting Jaquio, because the clone can also hit him as he flees to the upper half of the room.

IV. Boss: Jaquio Part 2

The second boss is the worst of the batch in my opinion. He’s basically a head stuck to the right hand wall of the room. Acid will constantly drip from the ceiling in this fight and the head will spit a fireball that travels at a 45 degree angle. The fireball hits the floor a third of the way through the room, so it’s not a huge problem until you try to attack the head. The real issue is the acid, which drips in a chaotic manner, making it really hard to evade. 

If you do not mind dying on the next boss and running through the stage again (remember: if you beat the first and second bosses, they stay dead as long as you leave the game on) you can defeat this boss really easily. All you have to do is run up to the head, jump up to it and slash, ignoring any damage you take. If you are fast you can kill the boss in a few seconds, especially if you have Ninja Phantoms.

The other option is to run around avoiding the drops and jumping over the fireballs. Your opening to attack with this method is just after the boss spits a fireball. As one can imagine, this technique isn’t easy, because you will have to watch the ceiling and the boss.

Finally, you can try to get to this boss with Fire Wheel (or even Windmill Throwing Star) and a lot of MP. If you manage that, you can simply walk up to him and fire off your ninja art a few times to destroy him.

V. Boss: Jaquio Part 3

Jaquio’s third and final form isn’t as bad as the second, but the fact that it has two life pools means it requires more patience to defeat. During its first phase, this demon has a head and two claws that are positioned near the floor. The head will fire off a long line of bullets that travel towards the lower left side of the room every few seconds. These bullets can be ducked or hopped over depending on where you are standing. The claws will dart towards Ryu and slowly return to the boss. Usually the upper claw will move first, then the lower claw. They are easy to jump over and it’s possible to duck under the upper claw.

Use all of your ninja power on the boss if you have MP. Fire Wheel works, but Windmill Throwing Star is best as a single star will hit the boss several times, killing the head in two or three uses. It’s important to pay attention to the head, because the bullets are far more likely to connect than the claws. Jump in and attack with the sword after the head fires off its bullets, then avoid the claws. You’ll have to repeat this pattern several times to destroy the head. 

The second phase is much simpler. All you have to do is strike the pulsating heart in the center of the beast. Swirling balls of energy spew from the creature’s neck, but they are not hard to avoid, because they always target Ryu. Hit the head, then take a few steps back, then lunge back in for the attack again to keep Ryu from taking damage. Keep an eye on the neck and the energy balls coming out of it so you can react quickly. Use a Ninja art to speed the process up if you have MP left. Destroy the heart and victory is yours!

4. Musicruise (Sound Test)

Ninja Gaiden II features an excellent soundtrack that can be enjoyed by inputting a button combination while on the start screen. There are three versions of the sound test, with the first two being rather basic. The third version of the sound test is called “Musicruise” and features the name of each track among other things.

A. Ryu Sound Test

To access this sound test hold Up, Left, A, B, and Select at the turtle screen, then press Start to get the basic Chibi-Ryu sound test. You can select tracks with the D-Pad and play them with the B Button. The A Button will cancel the track.

B. Irene Sound Test 

Hold Up, Left, A, B, and Select at the title screen. Wait for the title screen to fade, then hit Start twice to get the Chibi-Irene sound test. This sound test is basically the same as Ryu’s.

C. Musicruise 

Just like with the other sound tests, this one is activated by holding Up, Left, A, B, and Select on the title screen. Let the title screen fade, then press Start, then wait for it to fade a second time and hit Start again. Chibis of both Irene and Ryu should appear along with five bars that show the volume of each track. The name of the song you currently have selected is also displayed. Additionally, pressing the A Button while a song is playing will cause it to fade out.

Note: If you are playing the European version of this game (Shadow Warriors II) press down on the D-Pad instead of Up when inputting the code.

5. References

While the writing, map editing, and hints that appear in this guide are my work, I have to recognize several sources that were invaluable in creating this walkthrough.

This site features a variety of maps for NES and many other consoles. It’s also the source of the maps used in this walkthrough, though I did edit them quite a bit.

NES Game Atlas

If you have read some of my other works, you’ve probably seen this ancient publication pop up in the references. In the case of this guide, I took the boss names from it as well as some of the stage names. I also used it years ago when I first played Ninja Gaiden II, so it has certainly had an impact on this walkthrough despite the fact that it’s vague and riddled with mistakes.

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