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A year after the events of the original Ninja Gaiden, a new villain named Ashtar receives word of Jaquio's defeat. Ashtar uses this opportunity to hatch a new plan to plunge the world into darkness. The ninja, Ryu Hayabusa, hits the trail to destroy all manner of vile creatures entering the world while fighting his way to destroy Ashtar, his Dark Sword of Chaos, and whatever else is behind the evil.

Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos is a fast paced, side scrolling action game in the tradition of the original Ninja Gaiden game. Ryu is a ninja who can run, jump, and slash with his ninja sword. He can also attach to vertical walls and climb up and down, which is an ability missing in the previous game. Powerups are hidden everywhere throughout the levels. These powerups include fireballs and ninja stars as before; a unique new powerup is the ninja shadow. Ryu can collect up to 2 ninja shadows that follow his every movement and use the same weapons at the same time that Ryu strikes.

Ninja Gaiden II tells its story through liberal use of cinematic scenes interspersed between the action levels. Different levels feature a variety of environmental interaction; e.g., one level has Ryu on a high mountain where snow is falling fast and the wind is blowing hard. The shifting direction of the snowfall indicates how the wind is blowing and Ryu has to fight against the breeze. In a night level, much of the environment is dark and is illuminated only sporadically by flashes of lightning.


Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos NES Japanese title screen
Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos NES Lightning occasionally lights everything up in level 3-1.
Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos NES Level 3-1 is fought at night, and most everything is dark.
Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos NES The level 5 boss (Ashtar) -- but the game isn't over yet.

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Alternate Titles

  • "Shadow Warriors Episode II: The Dark Sword of Chaos" -- European Title
  • "Ninja Ryukenden 2: Ankoku no Jashin Ken" -- Japanese Title
  • "Ninja Gaiden Episode II: The Dark Sword of Chaos" -- In-game title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A worthy sequel Excellence (104) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

Critic Reviews

VideoGame Mar, 1991 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Nintendo Land 2003 93 out of 100 93
NES Times Aug 24, 2007 9 out of 10 90
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Jul, 1990 35 out of 40 88
All Game Guide 1998 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
The Video Game Critic Jul 27, 2004 B- 67


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  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • July 1990 (Issue 12) - Game of the Month (NES version)
    • October 1990 (Issue 15) - Best Ending in a Game

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    Jeremy Johnson (736) added Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (NES) on Oct 09, 2002
    Other platforms contributed by Michael Cassidy (17478), Sciere (381348), Zovni (9312) and Martin Smith (62923)