Ninja Gaiden

Critic Score User Score
Commodore 64
Amstrad CPC
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Ninja Gaiden begins with a cinematic animation in which two ninjas duel to the death; one goes down. It is revealed that the doomed ninja is the father of Ryu Hayabusa. When Ryu learns of this, he embarks on a quest to find out who killed his father and why. This quest takes him to America to find an archaeologist with whom Ryu's father was working. From there, Ryu becomes embroiled in an evil, supernatural conspiracy involving a villain named Jaquio who has plans to use an ancient castle and some relics to unleash a terrifying evil upon the world.

In comparison to the better known console version this game is a traditional fighting game similar to Double Dragon in which the player walks from left to right while battling numerous enemies. Only if all foes are dispatched of, the player can advance in the level. It's also possible to perform special attacks and use weapons. The latter are either collectable power-ups or environmental objects like phone boots.

Ryu can attack his enemies using his his bare hands and feet or using a sword (for a limited time). He can also perform moves such as a flying neck throw, a back flip and hang kicks, performed while hanging in scenario objects. Throwing enemies against objects such as phone cabins, oil drums or dumpsters will destroy them, revealing power ups such as health items and swords. At some points, Ryu will have to perform acrobatic moves to carry on. He has a life bar starting with five units.

The game takes place in United States' locations such as Las Vegas, North Carolina, Los Angeles, the Grand Canyon and Brooklyn. The enemies in those stages are mostly of the same five kinds, including Jason Vorhees' look-alikes and other masked men. There is a boss fight at the end of each stage.

A two-player co-operative game is also featured. Whenever the player dies, a continue screen will appear showing Ryu chained to a table while a circular saw descends upon him.


Ninja Gaiden DOS To say there's a lot of sprite flicker would be an understatement (EGA)
Ninja Gaiden Amiga Fighting three bizarre gentlemen.
Ninja Gaiden Commodore 64 Title screen
Ninja Gaiden DOS Title screen (CGA)

Alternate Titles

  • "Shadow Warriors" -- European title
  • "Ninja Ryukenden" -- Japanese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A slap in the face! Ouch! DOS Fake Spam (94)

Critic Reviews

Computer and Video Games (CVG) Amiga Jun, 1990 93 out of 100 93
Computer and Video Games (CVG) ZX Spectrum Jun, 1990 92 out of 100 92
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Amstrad CPC Sep, 1990 86 out of 100 86
Atari ST User Atari ST Oct, 1990 76 out of 100 76
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Lynx Aug, 1991 715 out of 1000 72
Amiga Joker Amiga Oct, 1990 70 out of 100 70
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Lynx Jun 13, 2004 7 out of 10 70
All Game Guide Lynx 1991 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
ST Format Atari ST Jan, 1991 58 out of 100 58
Amiga Power Amiga May, 1991 1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars 17


Topic # Posts Last Post
Arcade release date 7 vedder (20534)
Feb 23, 2014


There is no trivia on file for this game.

Contributed to by Lance Boyle (1309), etempest (1029), --x-- (58548), Martin Smith (63029), LepricahnsGold (105041) and Jeanne (75481)