Ninja Gaiden (NES) Walkthrough

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Ninja Gaiden (NES) Walkthrough

~by tankMage (August 2018)

Introduction

Over the years, Ninja Gaiden gained a reputation for being tough that is not totally unearned. Much of this game’s challenge comes from it’s rather unusual design that requires players to think and act in a tactical manner as well as use their reflexes. Respawning enemies, difficult jumps, and the many other infamous features of this game should be approached like puzzles that need to be solved, rather than obstacles. Ninja Gaiden becomes far more manageable once the player understands this principle and learns how anticipate and react to situations that commonly crop up. This walkthrough is designed to provide players with solutions and general strategies for every stage and boss fight.

Contents

1. Controls

2. Powerups and Ninpo

3. Techniques and Tips

4. Walkthrough 

5. References

1. Controls

Run- Ryu will run to the left or right when the player presses the corresponding button on the D-Pad.

Jump- Press A to jump straight up into the air. Pushing left or right while Ryu is jumping will cause him to to move in that direction.

Duck- Hold down on the D-Pad and Ryu will duck, which makes him a smaller target.

Cling to Wall/Jump From Wall- Jumping into a wall will cause Ryu to grab onto it and hold on indefinitely. Pressing the A button will make Ryu jump away from the wall.

Climb Up/Down Ladders- Players will occasionally encounter ladders attached to walls. Ryu can grab hold of a ladder if the player jumps onto it as if he/she where performing a wall cling. Pressing up or down will make Ryu climb or descend the ladder. Ladders are often used to transition from one area to another, so keep your eyes open for them.

Sword Slash- Ryu will attack with his sword when the player presses the B button.

Use Ninpo- Pushing the B button while holding up on the D-Pad will activate the Ninpo currently in Ryu’s possession.

Jump and Slash Cancel- The Ninpo called Jump and Slash takes the pace of Ryu’s regular sword attack if the player presses B while jumping with it in their possession. Pressing down and B will force Ryu to use his regular sword slash.

2. Powerups and Ninpo

   Players will often encounter objects like lanterns, candles, and even huge mosquitos scattered around every act of Ninja Gaiden. Slashing these objects with Ryu’s sword or hitting them with a Ninpo skill will reveal a Powerup or Ninpo that will drop to the ground. These objects can be very helpful and should be collected when possible. Below is a list of Powerups and their effects. The Powerups and Ninpo hidden in each stage are listed in order of appearance, but their names are abbreviated to save space. The abbreviation for each item is listed next to its name.

Powerups

Spiritual Strength Blue (SB)- Replenishes 5 points of Ryu’s Spiritual Energy. Looks like a blue square with a scroll on it.

Spiritual Strength Red (SR)- Replenishes 10 points of Ryu’s Spiritual Energy. Looks like a red square with a scroll on it.

Potion (P)- Restores 6 points of Ryu’s health. Represented by a reddish-orange bottle.

Hourglass (H)- Freezes all enemies for 5 seconds when picked up.

1 Up (1Up)- Grants Ryu an extra life. Looks like a blue square with a picture of Ryu.

Bonus Points (B)- Depicted as a red or blue coin purse. The blue purses yield 500 points when picked up, while the red ones are worth 1000.

Ninpo

  Ryu can use special techniques to help combat his foes. These techniques, or Ninpo, are hidden in the same objects as Powerups and will appear in brackets near the center of the HUD when Ryu picks them up. Using Ninpo will cost Ryu a set amount of Spiritual Strength points. Only one Ninpo can be held at a time and picking a new one up will replace the one you are currently holding, so choose carefully when collecting items. The Ninpo that appear in each stage are listed along with Powerups in the walkthrough. The abbreviated name of each Ninpo that appears in the walkthrough is listed below along with its cost.

Throwing Star (TS)- This is the weakest of Ryu’s special weapons: a small shuriken that flies across the screen in a straight line. While weak, the throwing star is good for destroying enemies on platforms or those that are out of the Dragon Sword’s reach. The icon for the throwing star is a blue box with a small shuriken.

Cost: 3

Windmill Throwing Star (WT): Basically and upgraded version of the throwing star that returns to Ryu like a boomerang. This Ninpo is great for clearing out groups of enemies in front of and behind Ryu. Players can take advantage of the windmill throwing star’s habit of returning to Ryu by leaping over it as it comes back, which will cause it to fly behind the player. In fact, the windmill throwing star can be kept airborne indefinitely as long as it doesn’t touch Ryu. While this weapon works great on regular enemies, it is rather lackluster against bosses, though its ability to destroy projectiles can make it useful in some boss fights. The windmill throwing star is depicted as a reddish-orange box with a large shuriken inside.

Cost: 5

The Art of the Fire Wheel (FW): Ryu unleashes a whirling cluster of fireballs that travel upwards at a 45 degree angle. Great for blowing away regular enemies and heavily damaging some bosses. The icon for this Ninja Art is a flame in an orange box.

Cost: 5

Invincible Fire Wheel (IF): The invincible fire wheel occupies a strange grey area between a consumable Powerups and Ninpo, because it disappears after about 5 seconds and activates automatically upon being picked up. It also occupies the slot Ryu’s Ninpo is kept in and will replace any Ninpo the player is holding once picked up, then leave the player with nothing once its duration is over. The invincible fire wheel is still worth picking up, because it makes Ryu immune to all enemy attacks and will kill anything it touches. The icon for this Ninja Art is a circle of fireballs in an orange box.

Cost: 0

Jump and Slash Technique (JS): Press the B button while Ryu is jumping and he will perform a somersault with his sword extended. While this Ninpo isn’t as flashy as some of the others, it is absolutely deadly and can destroy some bosses in one or two hits. Jump and Slash is also effective against flying enemies, things that shoot at Ryu, and just about anything else the game throws at the player. Players should almost always hang onto this Ninpo after picking it up, but they’ll have to master its use in order to take advantage of it. This skill gobbles up 5 Spiritual Energy every time the player hits B while jumping, so it is important to get into the habit of pressing Down on the D-Pad and the B button simultaneously to force Ryu to use the regular sword slash instead of the Jump and Slash Technique. This Ninpo is represented by a blue icon with a swirl graphic in the center.

Cost: 5

3. Techniques and Tips

Dealing with Spawn Triggers

   Players may notice that Ninja Gaiden has a frustrating habit of continuously throwing enemies at Ryu after he slays them. This is especially common in places where the player has to jump over a pit or onto a narrow ledge. For example, the player approaches a pit and notices a bat flying his way, then kills the bat. Another bat appears right away, forcing the player to react to it, preventing him from leaping over the pit. The player kills this bat and yet another spawns. These situations crop up, because enemies are often scripted to spawn when the player reaches certain points on the map, which I call Spawn Triggers.

   A Spawn Trigger will generate enemies as long as the player occupies it, which often traps the player in an endless bad guy slaying loop. Moving off of the spot that is causing the enemy to spawn will often solve the problem if the player it’s is able to scroll the screen forward a bit. Of course this is not always an option and players will often have to back off and come up with plan. In the case of the bat and the pit, the player need only leap over the bat or slash it with the sword in mid air while jumping towards the other side to proceed, but these situations become more complicated as the game progresses.

Drift Jumping

   Ryu can alter his trajectory slightly while ascending after the player hits the A button. While seemingly trivial, this technique is great for avoiding fast moving foes that charge in from the right or left side of the screen. This is due to the fact that jumping forward or straight into the air will often cause Ryu to collide with the enemy he is attempting to avoid, but jumping straight into the air and pushing in the opposite direction of the enemy’s path will cause Ryu to land behind it. As a result, Drift Jumps can often be used to avoid notorious enemies like panthers and birds as well as some projectiles.

Wall Scaling

   This is one of the more difficult moves to master, because it requires patience and precise timing. Ryu can rapidly climb up walls if the player jumps off of the wall Ryu is clinging to and presses the D-pad back towards the wall. While useful, this technique is also very hard to master, so practice if you intend to use it.

Master the Jump and Slash Technique

   Jump and Slash (often abbreviated as JS) is hands down the best Ninpo in the game. It can make difficult situations trivial, since Ryu turns into a flying blender of death when it is active, allowing him to destroy bullets, bad guys, and anything else in his way. JS can even tear through most bosses, killing them in one or two hits, all for a measly 5 Spiritual Energy per use. Try to hold onto Jump and Slash whenever you get it and use it when you have to make difficult jumps with enemies swarming you or during a boss fight. Just remember to use it sparingly and avoid activating it when jumping near other Powerups unless you know something you want is in the Powerup. Pushing down and B while airborne quill force Ryu to use his sword, so get used to doing so when you want to conserve energy.

Ignore the Timer

   A timer that begins counting down to zero at the start of each stage is displayed prominently in the HUD. Once it hits zero, Ryu will die for some reason. Do not pay this timer any mind. The vast majority of deaths players will likely experience in this game are due to pitfalls and/or taking damage. Rushing will only increase the likelihood of a mistake.

Slash Cancelling

   Jump and Slash may very well be the mightiest of the Ninja Arts, but there are several times in the game where it’s unavailable. In fact the devs made a point of taking it away from Ryu in the second and third phases of the final boss fight. So what’s a ninja supposed to do? Luckily there’s an alternative that works well on certain bosses, generally those that are tall or that fly. Simply alternate between the Down and B buttons rapidly while in the air to get Ryu to swing his sword far more frequently than normally possible. If done correctly, a flurry of Slash Cancelled attacks can take 4 or 5 chunks out of a boss’s life bar.

4. Walkthrough

   This section is a detailed guide for Ninja Gaiden that provides step by step instructions for each stage as well as strategies for the bosses. Each stage is broken up into sections according to the original NES manual. Powerups hidden in candles or other objects are listed in their abbreviated form (See the Powerups and Ninpo sections) and are ordered in appearance from the beginning to end of each area, top to bottom.

Act 1: Destiny

Area 1: Galesburg

Powerups: SB, SB, SR, TS, B, SB, SB, B, B, FW, JS, SB, IF, H, B, WT, SB, SB

   Run right from the start point and you’ll encounter three bat wielding thugs. Use the sword to eliminate them. Continue to the right and cut down the lanterns to get two Spiritual Strength powerups. Watch out for the panther-like creature that emerges from the left side of the screen when you reach a gap in the buildings, jumping over it and slashing it after landing works. Take the knife thrower out right after you deal with the panther, then move right a bit more and kill the next panther that charges you. Grab the Spiritual Strength and jump onto the platform. Hop up and cut down the thug on the platform above you, then cling onto the sign behind you so you can jump onto the ledge to the right.

   Pick up the Throwing Star in the lantern and kill the thug that appears at the end of the ledge. Drop down from the ledge, go right, and slay the knife guy. Cling to the wall to the right, then jump onto the sign to get to the ledge. Hit the boxer before he can lunge forward with a jab, then cut down the two Spiritual Strength bonuses. Head right and drop down. You’ll see another thug under three signs, take him down, then jump or pivot and slash to get rid of the panther that pops up behind Ryu. Keep moving forward and you’ll see a ledge with two lanterns above it that’s patrolled by a thug. Go right and jump over the panther that rushes you.

   Jump between the wall and the sign to get on top of the sign so you can cut down the Jump and Slash Ninpo. Leap into the ledge and move right until you see a boxer. Let the boxer approach and take him out with a sword thrust, then continue onward. Another boxer will pop up after a few steps, so be ready to destroy him. Stop and crouch when you get to the end of the short platform, then kill the boxer that comes in from the right; he may respawn, so have another attack ready when you move forward. Jump between the wall and the signs to get to the roof to the right. A thug waits near the end of the roof, introduce him to the Dragon Sword before dropping down. Cut the lower lantern to get some Spiritual Energy, kill the two thugs on your right, and push forward.

   A knife thrower will show up when you get to the edge of the low platform the two thugs occupied, duck and slice him before he can attack. Another knife guy is behind you, but he’ll despawn if you run towards the lantern, which contains another Spiritual Strength. Move right and hit the boxer that shows up when you reach the signs with a sword thrust, then jump over the panther that comes in from behind. The boxer will respawn if you accidentally scroll the screen left while jumping over the panther, so be ready to attack right away. Take a few steps forward and kill a final boxer. The first boss waits beyond the door to your right.

Area 2: Jay’s Bar

Powerups: None

Boss 1: Barbarian

   This hulking brute will swing his sword twice, take a few steps forward, then repeat the process. If left to his own devices, he’ll reach the left side of the room and you’ll have to cling to the wall, then leap from it to clear Barbarian. Afterwards he’ll turn around and resume his pattern. Careful players can stand just out of range of Barbarian’s weapon and chop away at him with Ryu’s blade. If you have JS, you can swipe the boss four times with the sword, then use Jump and Slash to finish him off completely. Players can also slash at the boss while he is moving and use other Ninpo skills to beat him.

Act 2: The Escape

Area 1: Outpost

Powerups: SR, SB, SB, TS, B, FW, B, SR, SB, WT, B, B, SR, SR, B, JS, B, SB, TS, B, B, B, WT, SB

   Take a few steps to the right and take care of the thug on the platform before jumping onto it, then cut the lamp to get a Red Spiritual Energy. The lamp just ahead contains a Blue Spiritual Energy. Jump up on the next platform and slay the knife guy before the panther that comes from the left hits you, then get another Spiritual Strength from the lamp. Collect the Throwing Star from the next lamp and wait for the boxer to get in Ryu’s thrust range to take him down. Go right a bit more and get the Fire Wheel, then run to the edge of the pit. Slash the bat that flies in from the right, then quickly leap over the pit and onto the narrow platform above where Ryu lands. Quickly jump onto the yellow and black platform to the right, then kill the the boxer. A bat will attack from behind while you approach the yellow and black striped platform, but it’s no threat if you move fast.

   Get another Blue Spiritual Strength before you jump over the hole to the right, then jump from the very edge of the ledge so you can reach the Windmill Throwing Star that’s placed high up. You can climb the ladder on the right and jump off of it to the the Windmill Throwing Star if you missed the initial jump. Slash the knife thrower near the ladder and keep moving right. Run to the very edge of the pit and jump as high as possible to cling to the wall; be fast in order to avoid the panther that sprints in from behind. Jump from the wall and cling to the side of the tiny platform to the left, then jump onto the ladder to the right. Climb up the ladder. You can also jump off of the platform to cut down a Red Spiritual Strength, but you’ll have to deal with the panther again.

   Continue to climb the ladder until you reach the very top, then jump onto the platform to the left. Use the platform to leap onto the one one to the right, then drop down into the next ledge and kill the thug. Quickly cut down the Red Spiritual Energy and jump onto the medium sized ledge to the lower right before the bat catches up to you. Grab onto the ladder and jump from it to the tiny ledge to the left to get to the platform on top of the ladder. Hop over the pit to the right and destroy the second lamp to get the Jump and Slash Ninpo. Try to hold onto JS, because it’ll make the next area much easier. A panther will spawn from behind Ryu when you get near the end of the platform, so jump over the pit quickly and activate the Jump and Slash Technique to kill the boxer waiting for you on the platform below.

   Chop the lamp to get a Blue Spiritual Strength and jump off the very edge of the platform to reach the ground to the right without falling into the hole. Hop onto the girder and take out the knife thrower on the right, then hop onto the girder he occupied. Run to the next girder and jump up to kill another knife thrower. There’s a lamp dead ahead, but you’ll need to slay the boxer before destroying the lamp. Do not move forward from where the lamp was until you are ready to run to the very edge of the girder and make a long jump to the ladder beyond, because the last thing you need while making this difficult jump is the bat that pops up behind Ryu hitting him and knocking him into the pit near the ladder.

   Climb up the ladder once you grab hold of it then jump over to the floor on the left. Jump into the beam that the ladder is built into so you can reach the platform to the right. Finally, do another long jump to get onto the ladder in the top right corner. Climb the ladder and jump left to reach solid ground. Move quickly to the left and take out the knife guy, then jump left immediately so the panther that rushes at you from behind can’t hit you. If all went well you should be on a girder, let the knife thrower on the top of the stack of girders come to you and kill him. Keep pressing left until you see another one of those small platforms, jump over to it and ignore the Windmill Throwing Star unless you really want it. Leap over to the larger platform and get ready for another long distance jump. Be ready to thrust or hop the moment Ryu lands on the girder beyond the pit, because a panther will charge in from the left. Hop over the thug and go through the door to leave this area.

Area 2: Death Valley

Powerups: SB, SR, B, TS, SR, P, IF, SB, SR, B, SB, SB, B, JS, RS, FW, SB, B, B

     This area is where the game starts to get more challenging, be ready to deal with robed knife lobbers, machine gun wielding commandos, and more deadly pits. Jump and Slash as well as other Ninpo skills work great here, so don’t be afraid to use them. Head left and jump onto the broken pillar. You’ll see a green figure in a robe (I call them knife lobbers) on the other side of the pitfall. These guys like to throw knives into the air so they fall in an arc towards Ryu. It’s best to use Jump and Slash or another skill on these guys unless you are very good at closing in on and killing them with the sword. I recommend running over to the pillar very quickly, jumping onto it, then leaping over the pit towards the knife lobber, and taking him out with the sword as practice. Generally he won’t have time to throw a knife if you are fast enough. Remember that you can always back off and try again if you feel like you can’t reach him in time.

     Cut the giant bug once the knife lobber has been dealt with to get a Blue Spiritual Strength and go left a bit more, but be ready to jump over the… green football player (or whatever the hell he is) who rushes in from the right. The next bug has a Red Spiritual Energy. You’ll see a green commando and a pit to the right, these guys walk back and forth, firing a series of bullets when they see you. The same methods that work on the knife lobbers are effective against these guys, so jump onto the ledge and kill the commando.

     Another football player will charge in from the right, so be ready to jump over or pivot and slash him, you’ll also have to deal with a machete dude to the left. The bug only has Bonus points, so you may want to ignore it and continue left. Drop from the ledge and run towards the commando. You can either kill him or jump into the air and activate Jump and Slash to kill him and the football guy that comes from the right. Either way, be ready to jump or use your sword a second time, because yet another quarterback rushes in from the left. Jump onto the shattered pillar once it is all done and hop over to the gap in the pillars to the left. You can try to collect the Red Spiritual Strength near the ladder by jumping over to it and slashing if you like, otherwise grab onto the ladder and descend.

     Drop from the ladder onto the ledge, go right, then drop through the gap in the floor. Run left, then cling to the pillar and jump from it to grab onto the one on the right. Be fast, a bat comes in from the left side of the screen. Jump to the top of the column on the left and get ready to make a leap over to yet another pillar to the left. The bug hovering over this pillar contains a Potion, which you may need at this point. Hop over to the next pillar and slash at the bug above it. If all goes well you will slay the quarterback that leaps from the left side of the screen AND pick up the Invincible Fire Wheel.

   You only get a few seconds of immunity from the Invincible Fire Wheel, so start jumping from pilar to pillar heading left. The bug near the next pillar has a Blue Spiritual Energy that you’ll likely acquire upon landing, hop over to the next column right away to kill the commando. You’ll have to carefully time your jump so you land just in front of him and attack if you aren’t invincible. Jump over to another pillar and onto a slightly higher one. Another football player will hop from the left side of the screen, you can bypass him completely if you perform a medium height jump from the edge of the pillar. Leap off the final pillar and onto the ledge beyond it. Watch out for the machete guy if the Invincible Fire Wheel timed out. Grab into the ladder and climb up… we’re almost done here.

   Jump from the ladder to the wall on the left to get to the top of the pillar, then run over to the ladder on the right wall and climb up. Run left a bit after jumping onto the platform and either kill or jump over the bat that comes in from the left. Leap down to the short column to the left and wait for the machete guy to back away if he is near the end of the ledge ahead. Cut the second bug you see on the ledge to get some Spiritual Strength, then jump over the quarterback that runs in from the right. Wait for a gap in the knife lobber’s attack before you jump up and try to gain the ledge. Use a Ninpo ability here if you have one. Continue to move left and jump over yet another football guy when you reach the midpoint of the ledge. The bug near the end of the platform has a Jump and Slash, grab it fast and use it to take out the quarterback behind you as well as the machete wielder standing on the pillar ahead.

   Jump from the pillar to solid ground and either slay the machete with your sword or JS. Cut the bug down to get a Red Spiritual Strength, then deal with the commando on the higher part of the ground to the left by simply jumping into the air and stabbing him. Keep moving left, there’s nothing important in the bugs here and you’re likely being chased by a quarterback. Drop to the lower part of the ground and use Jump and Slash to eliminate the knife lobber ahead. Keep the momentum going and use the same tactic on the knife lobber waiting on the next platform. Jump over the quarterback and let him run away after getting a foothold on the platform. You’ll have to make another long jump to get to the column in the middle of the pit, then Jump and Slash over to the final ledge. In fact use Jump and Slash a few times to clear the other two machete guys off the ledge. If you don’t have JS, wait for the machete user to move out of your way before jumping and jump over, avoiding the football players that come your way. Enter the door to the left to fight the boss.

Area 3: Amura’s Alter

Powerups: None

Boss 2: Bomberhead

   Bomberhead is the second member of the Malice Four that Ryu meets in his quest. Jump and Slash makes this guy a joke, since one or two hits from it will end him. You’ll have to use a little strategy if you don’t have JS or would rather fight him more fairly. Bomberhead walks towards Ryu swinging a nasty chain sickle, which he extends when he gets close to Ryu. His large size makes him difficult to avoid since you’ll have to shimmy your way up the wall a bit if you want to jump over him. His sickle actually blocks most Ninpo (except JS), but you can still hit him with them from behind. Is also possible to destroy the sickle, but you have to hit it a lot in theory and I’ve only ever managed to do so using Jump and Slash in practice. Stay low and swipe this boss with the sword to kill him. Back off when he gets too close so he can’t hit Ryu with the sickle and use the Wall Scaling trick found in the “Tips” section of this guide to inch your way up the wall so you can jump over him before he corners Ryu. Even without Jump and Slash, Bomberhead will drop pretty quickly if you keep up a good offense.

Act 3: The Chase

Area 1: Crystal Lake

Powerups: SB, SB, SR, H, TS, B, SR, FW, SR, P, B

  Three machete wielders are waiting for you near the beginning of this stage, so hack away at them as you run right. Be ready to jump back to avoid a jaguar when you get near the last machete guy and take a second to cut down the bugs that are holding some Spiritual Energy. An eagle will spawn when Ryu approaches the edge of the lake shore, let it fly overhead and kill it when it tries to slam into you from behind. Spring over to the scaffold sticking out of the water and onto the next one. Quickly cut the bug over the scaffold to get an Hourglass which will freeze the eagle that spawns to the right.

   The Hourglass will give you a few moments of peace, hustle over to the next platform and grab the Throwing Star on the edge of the large scaffold. Climb the scaffold quickly and leap over the gap to the next one. Be ready to jump over another jaguar that dashes in from behind Ryu when you reach the end of the lower platform, then jump onto dry land. Grab the Spiritual Strength near the edge of the shore and hop over the jaguar that comes in from the right-hand side of the screen. Try to time your jump so you are close to the high platform that a robed knife thrower is standing on and take him out with a quick sword thrust.

   Charge forward so you can take down the commando before he gets a shot off and jump onto the multi-tiered scaffold to the right. From here you can backtrack and grab the Fire Wheel near the where the knife lobber was by jumping into the platforms to the left or you can move forward. Slay the machete guys guarding the scaffold as you jump onto its tiers, then leap over the chasm onto the tiny platform below. Jump to the next one and grab the Potion from the bug above it, then duck to avoid the eagle that swoops in from the right. Let him come towards you then slash him before jumping over to the shore ahead. The second small platform is a spawn trigger, so be ready to kill a second eagle before you jump; standing near the edge of the platform helps keep the second eagle from spawning. Kill the two machete guys on the beach and be ready to jump over yet another eagle. Go right along the beach to exit this area.

 Area 2: Lizard Mountains

Powerups: SB, SR, B, WT, SR, B, SB, FW, B, B, SB, SR, B, WT, SR

   Run right until you come to a machete guy, kill him before jumping up to higher ground. Cut the bird ahead to get a Blue Spiritual Strength and slay the machete dude in front of it. Jump onto the next rise in the terrain and get the Red Spiritual Energy. You should see a green bazooka soldier to the right, be ready to slash or jump over his shot, then close with him fast to kill him before he fires again. Another bazooka guy is waiting to the right, jump up and slash him too. Long jump over the chasm beyond and land on the narrow rock formation below. An eagle will fly in from the left when you land, step forward a bit and kill it when it flies towards your position. Jump and swipe the machete guy patrolling the next rock formation to land safely.

   Hop over to the next platform and drop down. Chuck a throwing star at the knife lobber near the ladder and cut the bird nearby to get a Windmill Throwing Star. Look out for the eagle that comes in from the left when you near the ladder. Climb the ladder quickly after dealing with the eagle and jump onto the branch sticking out of the wall. A knife lobber will try to hit you, so be ready to move. If you scroll the screen upwards enough by jumping, the lobber’s knives should vanish from the screen without hitting Ryu. Hop onto the ledge he occupies and kill him.

   It’s possible to drop down onto the ledge below, then jump over to some other ledges to get a Fire Wheel, but it’s really not worth the effort. Instead, take the high road by hopping over the gap. Drop down onto the lower part of the cliff and get ready to kill another eagle that flies in from the east. One of those green football guys will run towards Ryu when he reaches a bird to the right. The football guy will respawn after you kill him so try to inch forward after each kill until you reach a point where the ground rises. Hug the wall and let the enemy jump over you before jumping into the higher part of the cliff. Yet another football player will rush you from the left when you reach the edge of the cliff.

   Leap over to the rock outcrop below and grab onto the ladder to the right. Use the branch to get to the top of the rock formation and use your sword to eliminate the machete man on top of it. Jump off of the platform with the ladder and stand on the outcrop below for a moment so you can evade the bazooka commando’s attack. Jump over to the bazooka guy to the right and kill him before he can fire again. Grab the Spiritual Strength beyond the bazooka and proceed to the right. Drop down into the gap occupied by another bazooka guy and kill him before he can fire, watch out for the eagle that appears when you step forward. Jump onto the bump in the terrain and cut down a Red Spiritual Strength.

   Hop off of the bump and take down the bazooka commando sitting under a bird. You’ll have to jump onto another small hill and quickly run into the gap ahead to avoid getting shot by the bazooka to the right or the eagle that spawns above him. Take care of the eagle before jumping up and slashing the commando. Run over to the edge of the cliff and get ready to jump backwards to avoid the jaguar that comes in from the left. Try to stand near the edge of the cliff (just close enough that Ryu’s foot is near the edge or you’ll trigger an eagle spawn) so the jaguar doesn’t spawn again. Wait for the machete wielder on the cliff below to move away from the edge before jumping. An eagle will spawn while you are in the air, just ignore it and kill the machete. Run into the door to fight the boss of stage 3.

Area 3: Yomi’s Cave

Powerups: None

Boss 3: Basaquer

   Basaquer has a special talent that sets him apart from the rest of the Malice Four: he can jump. In fact all he does is leap from one side of the room to the other, occasionally firing three bullets that fly across the room rather slowly. These bullets are arranged vertically and Ryu’s sword can cut through the bottom two bullets at once. The top bullet will pass harmlessly over Ryu’s head if he is standing still. You can stay near the cave entrance and slash the boss when he jumps over to you. Do not get too close to Basaquer or he will collide with Ryu. Your sword has a good deal of reach, so you can stand back quite a bit, which will give you more time to react to the boss’s bullets.

   The boss will fire his bullets in every third jump, which makes him quite predictable. Unfortunately he alternates between firing when he reaches the left and right side of the screen, so you’ll often have to pivot and chop at the bullets coming from behind. The Windmill Throwing Star is good for clearing out bullets and can hit the boss as well. This boss will take a while to kill, because you can only hit him two or three times per jump. Pay attention to his attacks and time your slashes carefully so you can destroy his bullets when necessary.

Act 4: A Trap

Area 1: South American Amazon

Powerups: SR, SB, B, B, JS, WT, 1-Up, SR, IF, SB, B, B

    Take a few steps to the right and jump over the pit, then chop away at the spider to get a Red Spiritual Strength. Try not to stand in the center of the small island to keep the commando on the right from spawning, back away if he does. You’ll need to quickly jump over to the next island and slash the commando before he shoots. Jump over to yet another island and be ready to attack a jaguar that sprints in from the right hand side of the screen (you may have to step forward a bit to to keep the jaguar from respawning), then cut down the Blue Spiritual Strength near the edge of the island. Hop over to the next platform and deal with the eagle that flies in from the right.

   Spring from the low set island to the next platform and get ready to deal with a knife lobber who is standing on a high platform to the right. Run towards the knife thrower and jump at the very edge of the island so you can reach the top of the platform and kill the enemy. An eagle may approach from the right after you gain a foothold on the platform so be ready to attack. The path splits here, take the high road to get a Jump and Slash. Go forward a bit and get ready to jump, because jaguars will attack Ryu from behind and the front. Try to kill the jaguar that attacks from the rear to keep it from doubling back and hitting you when it reaches the end of the platform.

   Jump over to the platform to the right and cut down the Red Spiritual Strength. Next jump over the bat while you jump down to the lower part of the platform. Wait for the guy with the bazooka to fire before hopping onto the next island and killing him. Now jump over to the tiny outcrop and use it to get to the higher platform. Be ready to react to a jaguar that runs in from the left, then drop down onto the narrow ledge below. Watch out for the bat that flies towards Ryu before you jump, use JS to eliminate it or wait for it to pass.

   Leap over to the island on the right and destroy the bat that flies over to you. Have Ryu spring between the walls on to the right. Try to time your jumps so the jaguar running around doesn’t hit Ryu. Now hop onto the platform to the left and get the Blue Spiritual Energy, just be ready to deal with the football player that charges in from the right. You’ll have to kill or jump over him several times while you head right again. You’ll also have to avoid or kill a bat, so Jump and Slash is really helpful here. Jump onto the higher platform with the commando on the other side of it and hop over him just as he finishes shooting, then kill him.

   Leap over to the platform with a spider hanging over it and get ready to make a long jump onto the ladder to the right. Make sure you jump as far and high as possible to avoid getting hit by the bat that swoops in from the right. Climb up the ladder until you reach a branch jutting out of the wall. Stop climbing for a second when an eagle spawns in from the left, then jump onto the branch. From here either kill the eagle or jump over it and head right. Jump over the machete guy and destroy the bazooka on the platform above. Run right as quickly as you can and jump over the jaguar that appears on the right. Keep going to exit the area.

Area 2: Bazlisk Mine Field

Powerups: SB, SR, WT, SB, SR, SB, FW, B, B, SB, SR, TS, H, WT, B, P, 1-Up, JS, B, SR, WT

   Ryu starts this area with full health, which you’ll need, because of all of the eagles and green ninjas swarming around. Go right and kill the swordsman by the minecart. A green ninja will drop from the ceiling, then he’ll start running and jumping around. Either hit him with Jump and Slash or wait until he lands near you and slash him. Cut the lamp over the minecart and collect the Blue Spiritual Strength. Then slay the swordsman and bat that appear on the right. Run over to the second minecart and grab the Red Spiritual Energy.

   There’s a pit beyond the cart, approach it and jump to the other side when it gets close. A knife lobber is on the upper set of tracks just to the right, you can hit him with the sword if you jump straight up. Get the Powerups around this area and look out for the green ninja that spawns when you get close to the minecart near the end of the lower set of tracks. Run to the right and ignore everything that spawns behind Ryu, then jump over to the next set of tracks. You’ll have to take out more knife lobbers on the upper set of tracks.

   This next area is harsh, but you can make it easier by getting the Hourglass to the right of the minecart by the pit. Quickly jump up to the higher tracks and cross the bridge on the right. Hustle, because hordes of green ninjas and eagles will attack Ryu on this bridge. You’ll have to advance carefully, killing everything in front of Ryu while running forward to force the enemies in the rear to despawn if of the Hourglass is not active. Jump and Slash works wonders here. Also, you can reach the second half of the bridge before the Hour Glass runs out, making the scenario a cakewalk. Two eagles and a green ninja will attack from the front and back near the end of the bridge. Kill the green ninja first, then jump over the eagles when they rush in for the kill. You should be able to slash the eagle in front of you and despawn the one in the back by pressing forward.

   A bat will spawn when you get near the lamp on the other side of the bridge, hop over it and keep going right. There’s a Potion in the lamp under the tracks, but you’ll have to watch out for two green ninjas that drop down from above. Kill them before trying to get the Potion, then go right. Watch out because they may respawn. An eagle will spawn when you reach the pit, jump over the hole and keep running, the eagle should despawn if you’re fast enough. Get the Jump and Slash near the cart and kill the green ninja while climbing up to the highest set of tracks. Take a few steps left and cut down the lamp to get a 1-Up. Now run forward to the ladder and kill one last green ninja before climbing up to the next area.

Area 3: Temple of Darkness -Hall of Demons-

Items: FW, SB, B, SR, SB, WT, B, WT, B, SB, P, FW, B, B, WT, B, SR, SB

   You’ll start this area next to a pit in a grey room. Jump over the pit and climb the ladder on the left to get to the next room. You’ll have to jump into the floor to the right and then onto the pillar the ladder is attached to in order to proceed. Leap over another hole from the pillar and slay the boxer that pops up. Be sure to grab the Blue Spiritual Strength after dealing with the boxer, who tends to respawn.

   Use Ryu’s wall clinging skill to hop from the wall to the outcrop so you can get to the top of the high platform. A knife thrower who is tricky to fight without taking damage is on top of the platform. A well timed Jump and Slash is a good way to get past him or you can try to wait for him to approach the edge of the platform so you can attack. You can hop over to the outcrop to the left and try to get the Fire Wheel below, but you’ll have to deal with the enemy again. At any rate, go right and drop off the platform.

   Another knife thrower and a thug are waiting to the right, which shouldn’t pose a threat. Look out for the mace thrower who occupies the next platform. He’ll lob maces in the same manner knife lobbers toss knives, so take him out quickly. Grab the Blue Spiritual Energy before moving onto the next platform and quickly run over to the ladder to the right, ignoring the mace thrower that appears behind Ryu.

   Hop over to the platform to the left after climbing to ladder to get to the top of the pillar that ladder is attached to. Get a running start to jump over to the pillar to the left and wait a for an opening in the commando’s shots. Use the opening to jump right and take the commando down with a quick slash, which should allow Ryu to land safely. Take a few steps and you’ll see a grey martial artist. These enemies walk forward and try to hit Ryu with a spin kick. It’s best to just wait and kill them when they land if possible. Cut the second candle to get a Blue Spiritual Strength and take down the next martial artist that appears.

   You’ll have to jump between a wall and a pillar to get to the next platform. Unfortunately, you’ll have to deal with a fireball spitting statue and a martial artist near the edge of the platform. Fire Wheel and the Windmill Star are good for dealing with these enemies, otherwise you’ll have to carefully time your jumps to avoid getting hit, then counter with your sword. It’s likely another martial artist will pop up after you reach the platform, so be ready to attack again. Another fireball spitter is to the right, jump over its shot and slash it, then drop off the end of the platform if you want the Potion from the candle below. Just be prepared to deal with another martial artist.

    Run to the edge of the platform and jump over the hole. A bat will spawn, but you can scroll the screen forward to despawn it if you are fast. A commando is waiting on the next platform, so be quick and kill him before he shoots. Jump over to yet another platform and destroy the statue sitting on it, then drop down from it. Take the ax thrower out with your sword and grab the Blue Spiritual Strength before going up the ladder.

   A series of platforms form a sort of staircase to the left, use it to get on top of the ladder and jump down to the floor. Take care of the martial artists that spawn near the broken pillars and jump between the wall and the second pillar to get to the next platform. Kill the fireball spitting statue and grab the Spiritual Energy from the candle. Run to the edge and jump to the right to get to the next platform, watch out for the bat that comes in from behind Ryu. Get one last Blue Spiritual Energy before jumping over to the door that leads to the boss.

Area 4: Space of Kelbeross

Items: None

Boss 4: Kelbeross

   Kelbeross are two dog-like monsters. They start out perched on two pedestals before coming to life and attacking Ryu. The one on the right pedestal is a decoy; killing or damaging it doesn’t count as damaging the boss. The real Kelbeross is on the left. The pillar on the left is a semi safe place to stand, but be vigilant. The Kelbeross follow a simple pattern of jumping from the pedestals to the center of the room forming a V shape, while spitting rather slow moving pink blobs.

   Run out from the safe spot and strike them while they are in the center the room. It helps to try to keep tabs on which one is the real boss, but attacking whatever comes your way works well enough. Occasionally you’ll have to use Ryu’s sword to destroy a projectile or move out of the way, because the Kelbeross will jump into the safe zone every now and then. Those who managed to hang onto Jump and Slash can obliterate the Kelbeross in a hit or two. The Windmill Star is also great in this fight for clearing out their projectiles and hitting them from afar. It’s possible to destroy the fake boss, but the battle only ends if the real one is killed, regardless of whether or not you destroy the decoy.

Act 5: Life or Death Combat

Area 1: Prison of the Dead

Items: SB, TS, SB, B, SR, B, WT, SB, SB, B, B, FW, SR, WT, P, B, SR

   Jump over the pit on the right after killing or jumping over the bat, then take down the swordsman. There’s a knife thrower standing on the pillar ahead, back away a few steps so about half of the pillar is off screen and the knife thrower will fall off of it making him vulnerable to Ryu’s attacks. You should grab the Blue Spiritual Strength near the pillar, you’ll need all the energy you can get for this stage. Jump from the wall to the pillar to get to the top of the ledge, you can also grab a Throwing Star from the candle to the left of the pillar, but it’s not really necessary.

   A green ninja will drop down when Ryu gets near the center of the platform, a quick slash will take care of him or you can just keep moving and he’ll despawn if you are fast enough. Be sure to cut the candle near the edge to get a Red Spiritual Strength. Drop down from the ledge and slash at the flea man (a tiny hopping creature that will jump all over Ryu once it gets close to him, sometimes called hunchbacks) as it charges Ryu. Pick up the Windmill Star from the second candle. Jump over the next pit and take out the swordsman on the platform. A bird will spawn in from the left side of the screen when you get near the candle (which holds a Blue Spiritual Energy) step forward so it doesn’t respawn, kill the second swordsman, and slash the bird when it swoops at you. Collect another Blue Spiritual Strength from the candle near the end of the platform before jumping over to the next platform.

   Get ready to swipe at another green ninja when you reach the next platform or just let him fall to his death. Either way, jump over to solid ground to the right and kill the knife lobber near the center. A bat will fly in from the left, ignore it and move forward. Jump over the pitfall, stop for a sec to let the green ninja hurtle past Ryu (these guys are not that bright) and use your Windmill Star immediately to take down the scythe thrower who appears in front of you. Be sure to take a step forward after firing or the scythe thrower will respawn, if that happens chuck another star at him. Scythe throwers will hurl a boomerang like weapon at you that deals three points of damage. They tend to move back and forth and can take two hits from the sword, so deal with them carefully.

   Jump between the pillar and the wall on the right to get onto the platform. Drop down from the platform and collect a Red Spiritual Strength from the candle. This next part is dicey, because you’ll have to keep moving forward to avoid the green ninja that drops down behind you, jump over the chasm onto a platform, and kill the swordsman on it with a slash from Ryu’s sword. A bat will fly under the platform, but you should be safe if you managed to get a foothold on the platform. Jump over to the next ledge right away and either wait a second before jumping over the bat that comes in from the right or kill it. Jump over to the next shelf and run over to the edge. A bird will appear under you, wait for it and slash it when it gets close.

   Jump to the ground to the right and destroy another swordsman and a flea man that comes rushing in. Run under the ledge with a knife lobber on it and jump over to the ledge to the right. Next jump over to the platform occupied by the knife lobber and take him out, then jump onto the highest shelf on the right. Walk up to the edge of the shelf and jump over a bat that flies in from the right so you reach the ground below. Head over to the two pillars to the right and spring between them, killing the swordsman in the process. To the left is a Potion, grab it if you need healing, then jump over to the narrow ledge on the right. Leap over to the next platform and kill the swordsman.

   You’ll see a scythe chucker below you and a bat will fly in from behind, take care of the bat, then try to scroll the screen left a bit so the scythe chucker moves forward. Wait for him to get close to the wall, then run over to the edge, jump off and jump over to the cave on the right. With some luck you can get past the enemy while he is throwing his weapon and enter the cave safely. It is also possible to drop down and use the Windmill Star to slay him. The cave will transport you to the next area.

Area 2: Cliff

Items: SB, SR, B, JS, SB, FW, B, TS, SB, IF, B, B, WT, SB, P, B, B, SR

   Proceed by going left and jumping down to the lower shelf between the two swordsmen that patrol the area. Kill the one in front of Ryu and grab the Blue Spiritual Strength, then hop over to the wall ahead, so Ryu clings to it. Try to grab onto the highest part of the wall possible so you can cling onto the one to the right of you and reach the platform on the left. Cut the first candle to get a Red Spiritual Energy and ignore the second one unless you really want bonus points. There’s a ledge to the left occupied by a swordsman, let him walk to the opposite side of the ledge before you try to jump. Slash right after landing to kill him.

    You’ll see a candle placed high above the next platform, it’s very important that you get the Jump and Slash it contains while you jump over to the ledge below, because it will make the rest of the this stage much easier. Cling into the wall next to the candle and jump from it to get JS if you happen to miss the first time. Slowly approach the flea man sitting under the ladder and chop away at him once he is within sword reach, then climb up the ladder.

   Jump from the ladder to the next wall and onto the landing to the right. Leap over the chasm, halt for a moment and slay the eagle that flies in from the right. Hop over to the next ledge, quickly cut down the Blue Spiritual Strength and run past the green ninja. Another ninja will drop down, just keep running and spring over to the next ledge. Stop near the center of the platform. If possible wait for the eagle that comes in from below to get near Ryu, then use Jump and Slash to take out the eagle and the green ninja in one go. A second Jump and Slash may be necessary to clear out any survivors. Otherwise, you’ll have to use the sword or a throwing star to kill them. Whatever you do, avoid getting the Throwing Star from the candle to the left. Jump over to the ladder from the very edge of the platform to get to the next area.

   Jump from the ladder to the ledge and wait for the karate guy that approaches to attack before slaying him, then take out the next one after moving forward a few steps. Get the Blue Spiritual Strength from the first candle and Jump and Slash over to the ledge with the kelbeross statue on it. Quickly jump over to the outcrop to the right and wait a moment for the statue above Ryu to fire before before jumping to the highest platform. Take out the statue once you land with the sword or JS. Be ready to jump again right away to dodge the shot coming from the statue behind it. Take out the statue ASAP and walk over to the end of the platform. Wait for the bat to come into range and slash it, then wait for the statue below to fire before jumping over to the platform to the left. Cut the candle to get a Blue Spiritual Strength and go up the ladder.

   Get onto the landing above the ladder by bouncing back and forth between the ladder and wall, then jump over to the ledge on the right. Take out the karate guy, step forward and kill the next one, then slay the eagle that swoops in from above. Use the wall of the platform the axe thrower is standing on to get over to the tiny ledge to the left. Try get the axe thrower with your sword before picking up the Potion from the candle to the left. Jump over to the platform the axe thrower once occupied.

   This part is tricky; you’ll have to drop from the platform and grab onto the wall of the ledge you were standing on by pressing left. You’ll have to time it so Ryu will be just below the wall on your right. If done properly, you will be able to jump over to the platform under the wall on the right. If you didn’t land on the correct part of the wall, Ryu will grasp onto the wall to the right when you try to jump over to the lower platform and an eagle will spawn. Jump back onto the axe thrower’s a platform and slay the eagle if this happens, then try again. Jump over the bat the flies at Ryu from the right and cling onto the wall of the platform ahead, then jump to the wall to reach the top of the platform. Cut down the Red Spiritual Energy and inch over to the very edge of the platform to make an eagle spawn in from the right. Kill the eagle and jump onto the ladder.

Area 3: East Tower Outer Wall -The Nails of Lukifell-

Items: SB, SR, SB, FW, SB, B, SR, B, 1-Up, TS, B, B, IF, SB, WT, TS, FW, B, SB, FW, WT, SB

   Climb up the ladder and jump over the the bridge-like structure on the left. Kill the boxer when you get to the middle of the bridge, then drop down. Deal with a second boxer after falling and get the Blue Spiritual Strength from the candle. Run left and take out a third boxer. A knife thrower will appear behind Ryu, just keep running to scroll him off of the screen, but be ready to deal with a thug as well as a panther that comes in from the left. You can grab a Blue Energy here and there are more Powerups on the platforms above, but they aren’t really worth it unless you are in dire need of a Ninpo technique. Climb up the ladder to the left when you are ready to move on.

   Jump off the ladder to the ledge on the right so you can get on top of the ladder. Pause the game and take a second to catch your breath; a new foe awaits just ahead…. Rocket Ninjas! These are by far the most annoying enemies in the game. Rocket ninjas fly in a straight horizontal line while throwing slow moving shurikens at Ryu. They also fly at varying speeds. The best way to deal with them is to kill them the second they show up, which isn’t always an option. Jump and Slash as well as Fire Wheel are great countermeasures against rocket ninjas, it also helps to stay still or step forward a tad when they appear so they don’t respawn. Finally, rocket ninjas seem to fly at a level relative to Ryu’s position when they spawn, so staying low may make them easier to reach, just don’t count on it.

   Anyway, jump over to the bridge to the right and deal with the mace thrower. Your first rocket ninja will come in from the right when you get near the center of the bridge. Try to eliminate him immediately with your sword or better yet, JS. There’s a Blue Spiritual Strength near the end of the small bridge, but do not endanger yourself trying to get it. Another rocket ninja will attack from the right when you reach the end of the bridge, so have your sword or Ninpo ready. Jump over the chasm to another bridge-like platform and RUN to the end of it. Several rocket ninjas will attack from both sides and can tear Ryu up if they pin him down with their projectiles, so do not bother with the candles here unless you happen to cut one down while defending yourself. Once again JS will save the day, if you do not have it use Fire Wheel or just swing your sword and pray. A mace thrower will show up on the platform to the right of the broken bridge you are standing on. Just wait a second and he will walk off of the screen if you don’t have it scrolled forward all of the way. Climb the ladder up to the next horrific trial.

   There are two fragmented bridges here, but you have to start with the lower one. You can collect the items from the upper path by backtracking when you reach the end of the area, but it isn’t worth the grief, trust me. Jump onto the lower platform and chop the machete guy near the candle. Ignore the candle if you have a Ninpo (hopefully you have Jump and Slash) and go forward. A commando is guarding the next bridge fragment. How you deal with him depends on what you have. Use Ninpo to kill him and the bat that spawns behind him if you have it (you can get a Throwing Star from the candle if you really need a weapon) or wait for him to back away from the edge of the ledge, jump over to him and quickly slash him. Then you’ll have to jump over the bat or kill it right away. Go to the edge of the platform once you have secured it and wait for the bat to close with you before jumping to the next ledge. Jump immediately after landing to avoid the jaguar that comes rushing towards Ryu and run to the left. Halt a moment to kill the machete dude and let the football player above Ryu run into oblivion. A bird will spawn the moment you reach the ladder, kill it so it can’t torment you while you climb.

   This next area is actually not that hard, but Team Ninja designed it to look hard. Get to the landing above the ladder the same way you did throughout the stage, then brace yourself. The next series of platforms require you to move fluidly without getting distracted by all of the enemies buzzing around. Jump to the platform on the lower right and ignore the bird that flies in from the right as well as the football player leaping from the platform in front of you. Instead, keep moving and jump from the very edge of the platform to reach the next one. You DO have to worry about the bazooka sitting on this platform. Use Jump and Slash while leaping over to the platform if you have it. If not, swing your sword the moment you land to kill him. If done right, you’ll slay him just before he fires. If not, he’ll shoot Ryu off the ledge.

   Take a sec to get the Spiritual Energy, then run to the end of the ledge and jump just like before, ignoring the football guy and the bat. Speed is of the essence here, so attack the bazooka the moment you land. Do not pick up the item on this ledge unless you want a Windmill Star. A bat will fly towards Ryu once he gets near the end of this ledge, just slash it. Look out for the commando on the platform below, he can knock you into the pit. Jump and Slash will take care of him; wait for him to get near the end of the platform before jumping into it if you do not have JS. Don’t bother with the candle above the commando, it’s a Throwing Star. Climb up the ladder to the next area.

   This section isn’t too bad, but don’t bother trying to get the items here or in the next area or it will get ugly. Jump onto the bridge and step forward a bit. An eagle will swoop in from the right, take another step forward to keep it from respawning (no too far or the green flea man will attack) and slash it. Step forward a bit more and send the flea man packing with a sword swipe. You’ll want to run under the knife lobber and jump onto the ladder as fast as you can to keep from getting pummeled by the scythe thrower that spawns behind Ryu. Climb the ladder to the last leg of this stage. Jump to the landing and head right, take the high road. Kill the two swordsmen and go up the ladder then head right to face the boss.

Area 4: Place of Red Execution

Powerups: None

Boss 5: Bloody Malth

   Malth doesn’t move much aside from shuffling forwards and backwards a bit. Every few seconds he will lift his hand up and lightning will strike it, then he’ll throw an orb that hurtles towards Ryu erratically. This all happens very fast and the orb is very hard to dodge. Luckily, there’s three ways to deal with this guy, so read on and choose one that works for you.

Trivia: There is speculation that the name of the boss was mistranslated and his real name may be Bloody Mars.

The Jump and Slash Method

Jump and Slash will kill Malth in a single hit if you use it to jump through him. There is a downside: it’s not easy to keep JS. You’ll have to go through two thirds of stage five without dying, accidentally picking up another Ninpo, or running out of Spiritual Strength… yikes! The payoff is a super easy battle.

The Damage Race Method

This won’t impress your friends, but it gets the job done and is always an option since Ryu starts the battle with full health regardless of how injured he was earlier. Run up to Bloody Malth and swing the sword as fast as possible. When Malth hits you, run at him again and keep swinging. It helps to stand right in his face so he can’t step out of sword range. The boss’s orbs inflict a lot of damage, but you should manage to kill him first as long as you remain aggressive.

The Super Ninja Dodging Method

I do not recommend this method unless you are really looking for a challenge. It is possible to dodge Malth’s orbs, but you’re going to need perfect timing and maybe a little luck. Run up to the boss, slash him, then run over to the broken pillar on the right hand side of the screen and jump on top of it. He will just about be ready to throw his orb when you get on top of the pillar. Jump towards Malth as he throws the orb and you may land unscathed. Repeat the process by hitting him and going back to the pillar until he dies. It bears mentioning that I was unable to dodge his orbs reliably, though it may be possible to do so with practice.

Act 6: The Fall of the Demon

Area 1: Death Bridge

Powerups: TS, SB, SR, B, WT, SB, JS, B, SB, SR

   Sprint left, ignoring the bat that appears behind Ryu. Kill the commando as soon as he is within sword reach. You’ll come to a candle and a rise in the terrain occupied by a hunchback and a commando. Stand under the candle and quickly duck so that the eagle coming in from the right just misses Ryu, whack it with the sword when it doubles back. Inch closer to the commando and the hunchback, so that you are just out of the hunchback’s range. Wait for a space between the commando’s bullets then jump and slash, if you time it right, Ryu will kill both enemies. Jump onto the rise and over a bat that flies in from the left.

   You’ll come to a dip in the road of sorts, walk to the center of it and let the karate guy on the other side come to you. Cut the candle down to get a Blue Spiritual Energy. Let the statue ahead shoot a fireball before destroying it and be ready to deal with a bat after you jump onto higher ground. Keep moving to the left and cut down a Red Spiritual Energy. Two more statues lie ahead, jump up and destroy the first one, then leap onto the ledge between shots. Jump over another shot as you make your way to the second statue and slash it when you land. There’s a third statue behind that one so be ready to jump right after destroying the second one, then run to avoid an eagle who swoops in from the left. The eagle will despawn once you reach the second candle if you time it right. Cut the second candle to get a Blue Spiritual Strength, then make your way to the third.

   A hunchback will attack from the right, so take him out before getting Jump and Slash from the candle. Deal with the axe thrower on the ledge to the left, jumping up and hitting him with a regular sword attack is sufficient, then hop into the higher part of the bridge he was standing on. You’ll meet a karate guy after taking a few steps forward, kill him then run like the wind to get the eagles on this part of the bridge to despawn. Only stop to kill the hunchback who is waiting near the second candle. From here you can race to the door or dispatch the final eagle and collect a valuable Red Spiritual Strength from the last candle. Go through the door to enter the next area.

 Area 2: Temple of Darkness -Hall of the Brahmans-

Powerups: SB, WT, SB, B, SR, B, SB, JS, WT, SB, SR, B, FW, B, WT, SB, TS, SB, SB, B, SR, B, SB, P, SR, IF, B

   To the left is a thug, take him out and keep going until you reach a pair of pillars. The pillar on the right is home to a mace thrower, stand under it (the mace thrower is not likely to hit you here) and take out the panther that sprints towards Ryu from the right, then kill the knife thrower, grab the Blue Spiritual Strength before moving onward. Kill the panther that rushes at you from the left and get ready to take down another knife thrower. You’ll come to a platform guarded by a mace thrower, jump up and slay him before trying to hop onto the platform. Quickly drop down onto the other side of the platform, which should allow you to avoid a bat and grab the Red Spiritual Strength or just jump onto the green platform.

   You’ll have to kill the mace thrower again and jump back onto the green platform if you went for the Spiritual Strength. Either way get ready for a tricky jump. The high platform to the left is guarded by a panther that will rush you as you jump towards it. Either use Jump and Slash or swing your sword to clear the way. Timing is really important here if you must use your sword, so make sure you swing at the right moment. Jump down and cut the thug on the green platform (you can also just JS him) then climb the ladder to get to the platform he was on if needed.

   Be careful in this next area, you’ll have to Jump and Slash your way onto the next ledge which is occupied by another thug (or jump onto the ledge just as he moves away from you and slash him) and immediately use Jump and Slash while moving towards the next green platform to kill the flying ninja that comes in from the right.* Run a few steps across the platform, then Jump and Slash towards the left side to kill two more rocket ninjas once you reach the center of the platform. Now hop down to the smaller ledge below, jump from the very edge of it right away and activate JS yet again to get to the next platform, killing another rocket ninja in the process. Quickly run over to the green platform to the right (out running a shuriken that is likely coming your way at the same time) and take care of the thug in your way before grabbing the Blue Spiritual Energy to the left.

*It is possible to clear this area without Jump and Slash by aggressively swiping the ninjas as they spawn in or using something like the Windmill Throwing Star.

   Climb the ladder to get to the next area and use the series of blocks above it to get to the grey platform to the left. The commando on the platform ahead is a real pain, but Jump and Slash makes reaching his perch easy. You can also drop down and quickly slash with the sword him if you time it just right. Jump over to the next block and either activate JS or quickly hop over the bat, then let the eagle that appears track you a bit before dropping past him to the ground below. Take the bird out and then kill the hunchback waiting for you. Run forward and destroy the statue in your way, don’t hesitate after destroying it though, another one is up ahead. If you run right at it and swing once it is in range, you can kill it without getting hit.

    Jump onto the tiny green ledge and try to get to the axe thrower as he is moving back, then slay him. Whatever you do, ignore the candle on this ledge, it has a Throwing Star, which would be a major downgrade from JS. Go to the very edge of this platform and jump as far and high to the left as you can. If done right, you’ll hit the area transition just above the ladder, which will bring you to the next floor. If you miss, you will have to deal with a hunchback and climb up. The next area is just an empty room with a ladder, so keep going.

   Jump over to the green block and brace yourself for this next segment. Slash the machete wielded to the right while still standing on the block, then jump over to the long green platform. Take a few steps forward, jump over the bat to the right, then jump straight up into the air to avoid the football player who runs at you from behind. Do not pass the second candle (you may want to get the Spiritual Strengths from both candles) until you are ready to move. Once you are ready, move to the edge of the platform, and jump to the next one in one fluid motion, ignoring the bat and bird on the way. Take out the bird once you land safely, then scroll the screen forward just so the right side of the next block is barely visible. This should cause the knife lobber on the block to disappear, or you can Jump and Slash him. Look out for the eagle that appears when you jump over to the block, either hit him with the sword or JS. Jump again right away to dodge the football player who drops in from the right and hop over to the next ladder.

   Use the blocks to reach the top of the grey platform and kill the bird that spawns on the right side of the screen before jumping to the floor. You can clear this next section easily if you move fast and precisely. Cut the candle to get a Blue Spiritual Energy then run over to the thin pillar and slash the flea man who charges in from the right. Move between the two pillars and stop for a second. Kill the swordsman then duck so the bird that comes in from the left misses Ryu. Kill the bird and quickly jump onto the wall of the platform occupied by three swordsmen. If you were fast you will have probably noticed that a green ninja dropped down, only to despawn as the screen scrolled forward.

   Jump onto the narrow green pillar. The candle to the left is a Potion. If you need life jump and cut down the candle very carefully so that you do not move the screen back more than a tiny bit (dropping straight down helps). Collect the Potion, then jump back to the wall like you did before. Kill the swordsman closest to you before jumping to the platform, then handle the other two. Jump to the green block then into the door to get to the final stretch of the stage.

Area 3: Temple of Darkness -Hall of Judgement-

Powerups: FW, SB, B, SR, B, JS, TS, B, B, FW, SB, SB, SR, SB, B, WT, B, H, SB, FW, B,SR, SB, P, H, SR, SB, SB, FW, TS, WT, FW

   Run right and kill a bat that appears when you reach a pair of strange pillars. Just beyond the bat is a karate guy, be sure to get the Blue Spiritual Energy after beating him. Ahead you’ll come to a raised platform and a green pillar, ignore the axe thrower on ground level and jump over to the wall. Spring between the wall and pillar to get to the axe thrower on the ledge. You can take him out with Jump and Slash or the sword if you scale the wall quickly enough. Either leap far to the right after jumping onto the ledge and activate Jump and Slash to take out the statue near the center candle or approach it carefully so you can destroy it with the sword. You can jump into the next zone without climbing the ladder to the right of if you leap from the very edge of the platform, but you may want to drop down, kill the commando and get Jump and Slash if you do not have it.

   This next room is empty, save for some ladders and platforms. Once again you can jump into the next zone from the edge of the green block without climbing the ladder. In the next room go left and be ready to kill a fleaman who comes bounding in from the left as soon as you get to the first rise in the terrain. A bat will fly in when you get to the first candle…try not to collect this candle unless you really want a Throwing Star. A second bat is going to come for Ryu when you approach the pair of candles in the top tier of the ground.

   This next section is nasty. A scythe thrower is going to spawn once you drop down into the dip in the floor and a hunchback is going to charge in from behind when you get close to the scythe thrower. If that’s not bad enough, a second hunchback will leap in from in front of you as you move to the left and there’s a Fire Wheel in the candle near the scythe thrower that you could accidentally pick up if you use Jump and Slash. The best thing to do is jump towards the scythe thrower just as he throws his weapon and activate JS just before you land. If timed well you’ll kill the scythe without collecting the Fire Wheel. Then jump onto the platform to the left and use JS to clear out the hunchbacks or simply go between the candles to the left, duck and kill the hunchback with the sword to save energy.

   A green ninja will drop down when you get to the candles, edge over the the second candle and let him fall into the hole to the left. You may want to get the Spiritual Energy from the candles, but beware the respawning ninja. Jump onto the green block and wait for the eagle to get within Jump and Slash range, if you don’t have JS you’ll have to quickly jump to the next ledge and kill the swordsman. Either way you have to deal with the swordsman carefully, because he can knock you off of the small block he occupies. Jump just as he reaches the near edge of the block is usually pretty safe. Jump onto solid ground and head for the pillars. Scale them as usual and be quick about killing the knife lobber on the block to the left. A Throwing Star is sufficient to kill him if you lack JS.

   Beyond the pit is a candle with an Hourglass in it. Run to the left immediately after grabbing the Hourglass and scale the walls as fast as you can. Don’t bother collecting anything here, it’s too dangerous. You’ll have to deal with a scythe thrower and green ninjas if you aren’t fast enough, which isn’t worth it. You should be on the second platform by the time the Hourglass wears off, drop down and kill the swordsman ahead. In fact keep going and take out another swordsman and a knife lobber. You’ll see a short pillar, jump up while standing under it to get to the top, then jump over to the next platform. If you’re fast you can bypass the eagle that spawns when you get to the short pillar. Stand under the ladder and jump straight up to change zones without climbing.

   This is it, the final stretch! Jump onto the top of the ladder, then onto the pillar. Collect the Potion (if you need it) after jumping over to the taller pillar by slashing the candle. If you stand close to the candle you can get the Potion without moving, but it may drop to the floor. Either way, ease the screen left a bit and drop down so you don’t trigger the annoying hunchback. Now get ready to run. If you have JS, just run to the right and jump when you get in range of the candle just beyond the second pillar. Three  hunchbacks will rain down on Ryu from above, but JS will cut through them and nab you the Hourglass. If you don’t have Jump and Slash, try to run past the hunchbacks pivot the moment they land and whack away with the sword… yeah…. It’s best just to have JS here.

   Regardless, make sure you get the Hourglass and immediately begin scaling the wall to the right or you’ll find yourself in a death trap. More hunchbacks will drop down when you get to the top of the ledge if the Hourglass is not active, this time you’ll be defenseless and take what could amount to a lot of damage. Even worse, a pair of statues occupy the ledge and will shoot you off if you survive. The Hourglass will prevent these things from spawning, so scale that wall as if Ryu’s life depends on it, because it does. Go to the edge of the green ledge and wait for the axe thrower to back off the screen. All you have to do now is drop down and RUN! Seriously, the door to the boss is a few feet away. The eagles, hunchbacks, and karate guys that guard the door will knock you forward if you run right, literally pushing you into the exit. Even better, your health with be completely full when you fight the boss! Good luck.

Area 4: Temple of Darkness -The Black Throne-

Powerups: None

There’s a few things to keep in mind before starting the final set of boss fights, because the rules of this section of the game are a bit different.

-Ryu will have full life upon entering the boss room and his life will be refilled between battles.

-Players will lose their Ninpo after winning a boss battle and will have to rely on the sword in the next fight.

-Defeat will result in the player being sent back all the way to the beginning of Act 6. Luckily, you will pick up where you left off when you reach the boss room again, so if you destroy the boss’s first form and died fighting the second, you’ll only have to fight the second and third form. This also allows the player to bring Ninpo to the second and third fights.

Boss 6: The Masked Devil

   This guy pretty easy with or without Jump and Slash. All he does is walk towards Ryu. Unfortunately, his height makes him difficult to avoid and crystal balls that damage Ryu if they touch him begin to spawn around the Masked Devil a few moments after the fight begins. Your target is the big red orb in the center of the room. Jump and Slash will immediately destroy the orb, so use it if you have it. The next best option is the slash cancel trick. Jump in the air and alternate between the Down and B buttons to rapidly swing the sword. You can destroy the orb in seconds if you are good at it. Your final, not so great choice is to try to jump over the Masked Devil and hit the orb as fast as you can, which probably won’t end well.

Boss 7: The Jaquio

   Jaquio likes to fly from one end of the room to the other, staying near the ceiling at all times. He also likes to shoot twin fireballs that track Ryu slightly. These fireballs seem to lock on Ryu if he is close to Jaquio when he fires them, but can be destroyed with the sword. Touching Jaquio will take three bars of health and getting fireballed takes two.Odds are you used JS to slay the Masked Devil orb, so you won’t have it or any Ninpo when you first battle Jaquio.

   Patience is key to this fight, stay on the floor wait for Jaquio to shoot a fireball and run or jump past them, then hop up to one of the pedestals. Sword thrust him just as he nears you and drop down. Keep doing this until he dies. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. You’ll have to develop a feel for how the fireballs travel, some tend to drift away from each other and drop down at you, which means you need to run past the first one, then stop to let the second pass. Others will track Ryu a bit, which makes them easier to outrun or jump over, oddly enough. You’ll also want to hit Jaquio either while he is moving away or towards you to avoid a collision.

   On the bright side, you can get JS from Act 6 if you die here and use it to kill Jaquio. You can also use the slash cancel technique I mentioned earlier to kill him. In fact slash cancel works beautifully on Jaquio and can kill him in about four passes if done right. It does require careful timing, so be sure he is moving in range just as you reach the apex of your jump.

Boss 8: The Demon (Jashin)

   This horror will spew some kind of projectiles at Ryu that arc into the air and fall towards him. Running back and forth while being ready to jump out of the way is helpful. Your first target is the Demon’s head which seems to have about as much health as Ryu. Slash cancel works wonders here yet again, since you can destroy the head in a few seconds with it. Once destroyed, the head will fall to the ground and roll away, hitting Ryu in the process (this seems unavoidable). After the head is gone, the projectiles will fall in clusters, so be ready to run back and forth more, getting hits in on the pulsating heart when possible. You can slash cancel the heart, but don’t get greedy. Be ready to back off before his projectiles hit you.

   Jashin also has a tail curled under his body that wiggles around defensively. It can cause damage, but you can slash past it if you use the sword’s reach. It can be destroyed, but it isn’t worth the time and risk, so concentrate on the heart. JS trivializes this battle, because you can destroy both the head and heart with it. Just hit the head first, which will die in one shot from JS and probably be destroyed while rolling away as you land. Next get near the heart and activate Jump and Slash while jumping straight up, which will likely kill the boss. Destroy Jashin to complete the game… Congratulations!

5. References

Information on rapid slashing:

http://ninjagaidenrta.wikia.com/wiki/NG1_Game_Mechanics

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