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Ninja Gaiden (Arcade)

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Title Screen

Ninja Gaiden

Also known as: Ninja Ryukenden (JP), Shadow Warriors (EU)
Developer: Tecmo
Publishers: Tecmo (JP), Atari Games (US), Hi-Tech Expressions (US), Ocean (EU)
Platform: Arcade (Ninja Gaiden hardware)
Released in JP: February 1989
Released in US: October 1988
Released in EU: 1988


RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


Regional Differences

The Japanese version is the later released version of the game. It has the following changes from the other versions:

  • Has a copyright date of 1989 instead of 1988, as befitting its later release. The Famicom version was already released when the arcade game was distributed in Japan.
  • The background music for Stage 4 was replaced by another tune that resembles in some parts Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. And though the other background music tunes are the same as in the U.S. version, there are some minor additions to the tunes in the Japanese version.
  • The enemy characters cause normal damage during the final stage (a three-hit combo takes one square of the player's life bar), unlike the U.S. version, where at the last stage, the standard enemies and the mid-bosses just need to hit the player once to take off one or two life squares, and the last boss(s) can kill the player's character with just one attack.
  • A digitized voice shouts the game's title on the "stage clear" screen.

Virtual Console

This game has been ported to the Nintendo Wii as a downloadable Virtual Console Arcade game. However, this contains the same changes found in Ninja Gaiden Black, including:

  • The boss music in Stages 2 and 5 has been omitted from this version (due to the supposed similarity to Black Sabbath's "Iron Man"); in turn, the regular background music keeps playing even after the bosses appear (which would normally prompt the quick music switch).
  • The use of the Star of David in the game's imagery (such as the rug at the end of Stage 4) was edited out.