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Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master

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Title Screen

Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master

Also known as: The Super Shinobi II (JP)
Developer: Megasoft
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Genesis
Released in JP: July 23, 1993
Released in US: August 22, 1993
Released in EU: July 24, 1993

EnemyIcon.png This game has unused enemies.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article

To do:
Regional Differences

Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master is, as you'd expect, the third game in the Shinobi series.

...Except it's not. Hm.


Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info

Error Messages

A handful of error messages can be found near the header.

A:LINE 1010
B:LINE 1111

Character Editor

Shinobi3 ce2.png

Pro Action Replay (PAR) code 004C0A:4E71 enables a character editor which can be accessed by holding B + C and pressing A. You'll see a bunch of numbers and letters appear on-screen and the words "CHARACTER EDITOR 3.52" under everything.

The character editor allows you to modify the VRAM. You can redraw individual sprites and change the color palettes. Press Start to restart the game and ignore the changes, or hold B and press Start to save the changes and proceed.

The code also allows you to access the editor from anywhere in the game. Interestingly, it still resets the game when pressing Start rather than going to the memory and level editors.

(Source: saxman)

Debug Mode

The game contains a handful of disabled debugging functions which can be re-enabled through the use of Game Genie codes:

US Japan

Level Select

Shinobi III Level Select.png

Pause, then press A, B, or C on controller 1. A "1" will appear in the top left corner of the screen below the lives counter. Hold A, B, or C and press Up/Down to toggle the level, and press Start to go to the chosen one.

Level Skip

On controller 2, press B.

Frame Advance

On controller 2, press Start then A.

(Source: genhoaxer)

Unused Enemy

Shinobi III-unused enemy 1.png

This unused enemy is coded such that it clings to walls and ceiling, hopping around while doing so. However, when spawned in the game, its graphics are incorrectly loaded, with the tile mapping being completely wrong and the palette appears to be missing.

(Source: EclipseVoid)

Obscured Graphics

The mines in Round 5 have a bottom half that can only be seen by disabling layers. This small obscured part can be seen in a prerelease video, where the graphics for the mine were originally just a background prop.

Obscured Graphic (Final) Obscured Graphic (Prerelease Video)
ShinobiIIIObscuredMine.png ShinobiIIIMinePrerelease.PNG

Six-Button Controls

You might not be aware of this, but you could use it with a cheat code in the original. The game actually supported the 6-button gamepad for the MegaDrive, which at the time had just been released.


I’ve never asked the original development team, but I hear this game took a quite a while to develop and I have a feeling they wanted to make it so that the guard action was instantaneous. Perhaps they gave up when they were doing adjustments to the game balance or something. At the very end of the development cycle, they heard 6-button controller was coming out and implemented support for it, so I imagine that at that point it was too late to include the guard by default.

Button Function
A Guard
B Slash
C Jump
X Use Ninjitsu
Y Throw kunai
Mode Change Ninjitsu

The game contains support for six-button controllers, but none (including the official one) seem to have been available at the time of release because the controllers were first released in most regions along with Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition months later. The support is locked behind a cheat code. The code to unlock it, with a six-button controller in port 1 and another controller in port 2, is to highlight "Options" on the title screen, hold Mode on Controller 1, hold Up and C on Controller 2, and press Start on Controller 1 to open the options menu. To confirm successful entry, the "OPTIONS" text will change to "OPTION". From this point on, the game will use six-button controls.

In six-button mode, the game uses the default configuration shown on the left, which adds separate buttons for throwing kunai, slashing and guarding (normally performed with a single "Attack" button in different contexts), as well as a button to switch Ninjitsu (which normally requires pausing the game). Only A, B and C can be reconfigured, and are mislabeled as the game still uses the three-button labels ("Ninjitsu" and "Attack" instead of "Guard" and "Slash"). The dive kick is performed using Slash and thus the same default button (B).

The Nintendo 3DS version of Shinobi III makes this option readily available via a menu option. However, this code is impossible to implement on the Sega Genesis Mini, since the system's emulation menu was set to the "Mode" button. Configurable controls were also disabled altogether as a result (explained below), likely because of the aforementioned issue, as well as the standard three-button controller being packaged with the console in that particular region. The latter also applies to its release on the Nintendo Switch Online service. It's also possible that this is a leftover from the 3DS version, in which the game's regular button configuration screen was removed in favor of the one that was commonly seen in all games in the 3D Classics line, meaning that it was likely an oversight.

(Source: M.I.J.E.T.)

Revision Differences

Original M2
Shinobi3Options.png Shinobi3MiniControls.png

As noted above, the configuration controls in the options were removed from the Sega Genesis Mini and Nintendo Switch Online releases, which, in turn, made the six-button mode inaccessible. Of all the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games included with each, Shinobi III stands out as the only one to have had them entirely removed.