Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos

aka: Ninja Gaiden Episode II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, Ninja Ryūkenden 2: Ankoku no Jashin Ken, Shadow Warriors Episode II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
Moby ID: 2466
Arcade Specs
Note: We may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made via eBay or Amazon links (prices updated 4/11 9:57 PM )
Included in See Also

Description official descriptions

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.

Groups +



Credits (NES version)

25 People (21 developers, 4 thanks) · View all

Art Works
Program Works
BG Art Works
Enemy Design
Program Works
Music Composer
Sound Effect
Sound Director
Ed. Design
  • Type 640 V12
Special Thanks to
[ full credits ]



Average score: 87% (based on 15 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 55 ratings with 3 reviews)

A horrible, disgusting disgrace to the Ninja Gaiden legacy and the NES original.

The Good
You can play the NES version of Ninja Gaiden II instead.

The Bad
This port did almost NOTHING right compared to the NES original. The game speed is extremely unstable and horribly choppy, the collision detection seems to make enemies hurt you when you're about 5 pixels away from them (I think maybe that's just me), and the controls on a keyboard's impossible to be able to jump, attack, and move with the speed and fluidity this game demands.

To top it off, the graphics converted over terribly. The new VGA coloration doesn't make things in this game look better...they look worse!! Whoever chose the color palettes must've been color blind or something, because I REALLY don't think that Ryu wore orange in the NES version, and I don't even think that anything looks the right color here. Plus, the animation in this version is an abomination...the NES, for being a machine with less horsepower, less colors on screen, and a LOT less memory than a PC, performed MUCH better in providing fluid-looking animation! Even worse, the in-game cutscenes, which in the NES version had surpassed the ones in the first Ninja Gaiden by a longshot, look horrible and almost like a first-time artist redid them. It's a shame what they did.

I could never get the sound effects to work, so I can't rant about them. The music, however...whoever was responsible for porting the music must've been tone-deaf, because I think he BUTCHERED, not PORTED, the awesome NES tunes over.

The Bottom Line
This is a disgraceful slap in the face of Ninja Gaiden. Play the NES version of Ninja Gaiden II instead.

DOS · by Satoshi Kunsai (2020) · 2002

A worthy sequel

The Good
Ninja Gaiden 2 uses the same gameplay mechanics as the first games, so this is basically the same as the first game with more levels and a different story. The sound effects are practically the same as the first game, but the music has gotten much better which helps when you are playing a level repeatedly. The difficulty is still here but it is hard to say if it is more challenging than Ninja Gaiden 1.

The Bad
This game is extremely difficult and while that isn't a bad thing for people who are up for the challenge, it is also long for a game like this. Also, timing is a crucial factor and unless you master it, you'll be pulling your hair out because you can beat one jump that you've tried to for 10 minutes(or more!).

The Bottom Line
Very hard, long, and low replayability. Other than those factors, its a great game to play.

NES · by Excellence (72) · 2006

A severely impaired version of a classic

The Good
The sequel to Ninja Gaiden (aka Ryukenden in japan) stands to this day as the best game in the trilogy, featuring a tighter, animé-like storyline with requisite plot-twists, showdowns with enemies you thought defeated and startling revelations amidst a rather dark and forebonding save-the-world plot revolving around the resurrection of a Lovecraftian demon. Cool uh? The kickass side-scrolling gameplay introduced in the original is improved with new challenges, power-ups and levels. So a port to dos would be a no-brainer right? uh.... well,

The levels and features are there, more enemies, ninja arts and cool bosses to defeat. While the graphics got botched animation and detail-wise they are much more colorful and the cutscenes are way more impressive than in the original nes game.

Last but not least you can save your game anywhere now which is a pretty good feature.

The Bad
They botched the port. It's that simple.

First of all, Ninja Gaiden 2's gameplay was a fast and thrilling side-scroller action game a-la Castlevania or Megaman, so fast and smooth gameplay were a must that did happen on the original Nes version. For the Dos port the whole game has been significantly slowed down dulling the experience significantly. The graphics while more colorful and vivid were completely redone, meaning the great animations of the original have now been chopped up into jerky undetailed movements (and I'm not even going to mention screw ups like Ryu's sudden costume change). The sound is absolutely hideous, filled with generic videogame "beeps" that bear no resemblance to the great music and sfx of the original.

Sure, the end result isn't a terrible mess like on other cases (see The Simpsons/TMNT arcade games) but one good look at the original is enough to see just how much you are missing out on.

The Bottom Line
The bottom line for the DOS version of Ninja Gaiden is that it's taken a great action platformer and turned into a merely average diversion. Granted, the final product still has the "Ninja Gaiden feel" and it actually gives it's share of simpleminded joys, but if you want the real deal get youself nesticle and find the rom for the original (or track down the excellent Ninja Gaiden Trilogy cart for SNES), there you'll see just how good ninja demon-slaying can be.

DOS · by Zovni (10504) · 2000



  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • July 1990 (Issue 12) - Game of the Month (NES version)
    • October 1990 (Issue 15) - Best Ending in a Game
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #88 (Best 100 Games of All Time) (NES version)


MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Ninja Gaiden
Released 1990 on DOS, Amiga, Lynx...
Ninja Gaiden
Released 1988 on NES, 1992 on TurboGrafx-16, 2007 on Wii...
Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom
Released 1991 on Lynx, NES, 2008 on Wii...
Sword of Hope II
Released 1992 on Game Boy, 2012 on Nintendo 3DS
Ninja Gaiden Shadow
Released 1991 on Game Boy
Ninja Gaiden Sigma
Released 2007 on PlayStation 3, 2012 on PS Vita
Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection
Released 2021 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
Released 2013 on PS Vita, PlayStation 3, 2014 on PlayStation Now
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter
Released 2011 on Windows

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 2466
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Zovni.

Wii U, Arcade, Nintendo 3DS added by Michael Cassidy. Wii added by Sciere. Amiga added by Martin Smith. NES added by Longwalker.

Additional contributors: Foxhack, Alaka, formercontrib, Cantillon, Thomas Thompson.

Game added October 1, 2000. Last modified April 1, 2024.