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Ninja Gaiden Shadow

From The Cutting Room Floor
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Title Screen

Ninja Gaiden Shadow

Also known as: Ninja Ryukenden GB (JP), Shadow Warriors (EU)
Developer: Natsume
Publisher: Tecmo
Platform: Game Boy
Released in JP: December 19, 1991
Released in US: December 1991
Released in EU: 1992


DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.


Now this is interesting ... a Ninja Gaiden game that was going to be a Shadow of the Ninja game. Need proof? The latter's final boss theme is in it and it was programmed by Natsume — not Tecmo.

Sound Test

Gbninjags-sound.png

At the title screen, hold A + B, then press Start.

(Source: Land of Gamecubes)

Unfinished Sprite Debug in Sound Test

Ninja Gaiden Shadow (U).2020-09-30 16.13.51.png

In the Sound test mode, press Start + Select. This will execute a special Sprite Object draw routine instantly, same as the one used in Debug Mode for "OBJ TEST" sprite drawing. However, due to the lack of a proper return code, the game will freeze forever with some odd sprites drawn in the middle on the screen (because there are no proper CHR data loading or sprite selection routines here).

This either may be an unfinished simple sprite debug (which planned to be used apart from main debug code but utilize the same helper routines) or some sort of older sprite debug leftovers. Anyway, using this combination will hang your console for sure and it is still active in any retail version of the game.

Stage Select

Ninja Gaiden Shadow U DEBUG STAGE SELECT.png

At the title screen, hold Select then press A, A, A, A, B, B, B, B, A, B, A, B, A, B, A, B.

(Source: CaH4e3)

Level Debug

Ninja Gaiden Shadow (GB) leveldebug.png

Use the Game Genie code 08D-81A-D5A, then at the title screen wait for the demo sequence. The small numbers will appear at the middle of the screen instead. Use A / B to change them, press Start to begin from the selected level or sublevel or cutscene. The index 03 will start an ending sequence.

(Source: nensondubois)

Debug Mode

Ninja Gaiden Shadow U DEBUG MAIN.png

Use the Game Genie code 08D-D8A-C46, then at the title screen use the "Sound Test" cheat mentioned above. A debug menu offers some CHR and OBJ viewers, a Sound Test, and a Stage Select. Start returns you to the title screen, and A selects one of the menu options.

Bank Test Object Test Sound Test Stage Select Visual Test
Ninja Gaiden Shadow U DEBUG BANK TEST.png Ninja Gaiden Shadow U DEBUG OBJ TEST.png Gbninjags-sound.png Ninja Gaiden Shadow U DEBUG STAGE SELECT.png Ninja Gaiden Shadow U DEBUG BANK TEST.png
Displays all font CHR sets. Displays all Sprite Objects. Same as regular Sound Test accessible via cheat code. Same as regular Stage Select accessible via cheat code. Exactly the same option as "BANK TEST".
(Source: Andrew Rae: finding debug text, Mezmorize, nensondubois: debug code)

Unused Text

There are some unused text resources in the main text storage:

  • At 0x16F79: "ENDING"
  • At 0x176FF: "-EXTRA GAME-"
  • At 0x17719: " TIME"
  • At 0x17721: " HI:"
  • At 0x1772A: "SCORE:"
  • At 0x17733: " LEVEL"