The Revenge of Shinobi

aka: The Revenge of Shinobi Classic, The Super Shinobi
Moby ID: 7730
Arcade Specs
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Description official descriptions

In this game, a follow-up to the original Shinobi, once again you are Joe Musashi, but this time you're not out to free hostages, but to gain your revenge on the 'Neo Zeed' bandits.

The story told is that the old enemies 'Zeed' from the first Shinobi game has reorganised, and they have now struck back at your clan, first by killing your old master, and then kidnapping your bride.

What you have to do is go around killing enemies with "kunai", or throwing knives, and find the exits on each level. You can also find power pack upgrades by breaking boxes - though some are booby-trapped with bombs. Once you touch an upgrade, your knives turn into fire and you have a ninja sword. Extra knives and health are also sometimes in these boxes.

There are eight zones to pass through on the map, each having three levels, with a boss at the last level of each zone. Standard enemies vary from ordinary WW2 type soldiers, shooting rifles, machineguns and throwing stick grenades - to ninjas with shurikens throwing stars, katana swords and chigiriki-type flail weapons. Some types of enemies only appear in specific environments.

The environments are kept in similar style within a zone, starting out in a traditional rural town and forest area with ninjas and attack dogs, next into a modern city with an airport and factories, defended mainly by soldiers, moving onto a highway with almost frogger-style jumping to avoid cars, soldiers and jumping enemies disguised in nun-outfits (nun-jas?), next into an entertainment districts on rooftops and backstreets with ballet-dancing enemies, escaping on a train (riding on top of course, a shinobi won't buy tickets) to a harbour with more soldiers and cannon towers, and ultimately to the island where the final boss of the Neo Zeed bandit resides.

The zone bosses varied with each release, as there were licensing issues preventing their free use - initially several well known cinematic characters were used: Godzilla, Batman, Terminator and Spiderman, but they were gradually replaced with other characters, sometimes varied only by simple palette changes.


  • ザ・スーパー忍 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Genesis version)

16 People (13 developers, 3 thanks)

Program Coordinator
Assistant Programmers
Sound Coordinator
Sound Programmer
Music Composer
Chief Designer
Assistant Coordinator
Coffee Maker
Special Thanks To...
Presented By
  • Sega



Average score: 87% (based on 33 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 80 ratings with 4 reviews)

Ninja on the Fly

The Good
Gameplay can be quite hard on you, but thanks to a health bar instead of being killed in one hit, you have a fair number of chances to get past obstacles. As a bonus, you have unlimited time, a hidden deflecting ability, can do double jumps, there are collectible powerups and you're not stuck rescuing hostages. If you're really in a pickle, there's always the ninja powers for one use every stage and the special midair throwing technique. Each boss you face has a unique weakness to exploit, making you adapt to the current situation from the easy touch of the controller. It's amazing that Spider-Man makes an appearance, it's almost like playing a "Sega Vs. Marvel" crossover. And lastly the final boss is dependent on the player's actions for the good ending. Excellent gameplay.

Graphics are done well, making you feel like you're traversing in actual locations, with all that rich lighting and some animated foregrounds. The music has a nice variety of oriental Japan-themed tunes and techno beat tracks, the rhythm just seems to match your movements, you just can't stop playing.

The Bad
As fair as the game's difficulty is, there's no way to make it easier for the less than intrepid game player. For instance you have limited shurikens instead of infinite, forcing you to ration them and its irritating that touching an enemy hurts you. Both those problems weren't around in the earlier Shinobi titles. The hardest part of the game is the labyrinth level, in which you need to take very specific doors to find the exit (a map would have been a great help). Thankfully enemies do not respawn like they do in Ninja Gaiden. If only there was a some story text to accompany the game for a little bit of flavour. In the end, there's no that much to gripe about the game.

The Bottom Line
This game was significant improvement from Sega's earlier arcade Shinobi prequels. This is what a true sequel on a new console should be like, making the best use of its capabilities and delivering something entertaining to play. The best elements of Shinobi and Shadow Dancer made their way to this title, plus a whole lot of welcoming new ones. If you love platforming and ninja action, play this title and give it the respect it deserves.

Genesis · by Kayburt (29640) · 2021

Classic Genesis action that holds up today!

The Good
Here's the good about Revenge of the Shinobi. The graphics have actually aged pretty well. It has nice, detailed backgrounds and sprites. The music is very memorable and is hard to forget. The cameos in the game may surprise you, so keep an eye out for some you may recognize. While game play seeming simple, the environments will have variety requiring you to adapt to each level's design. It provides you with a special aerial move and 4 shinobi spells. The ninja you see in the opening of the game, is none other than the legendary Sonny Chiba. Being a launch title, you will be impressed by the level of detail in this game.

The Bad
What stood out for me I did not like, was the controls. they may feel clunky or slow on your first couple of plays. Without spoiling, there will be 1 or 2 obstacles you will come across that will halt your progress. Probably requiring practice and may eat at your lives.

The Bottom Line
Revenge of the Shinobi is one the quality games on the Genesis, you do not want to miss out on. It is an official Sega original, allowing you to stomp, leap, and chop your way to gaining your revenge.

Genesis · by Ryan Johnson (14) · 2016

The best launch game of the Genesis!

The Good
Graphics are damn good; looks great especially the backdrops...I mean look at Joe at the title screen; OMG! The music is one of Yuzo Koshiro's best (my favorite music in the game is the one in Round 7-1 and 8-1)...Gameplay is pretty fast-paced and challenging...enough to keep me engaged. Also, the secret items are pretty unique ways to get the secret...nice touch.

The Bad
The backwards-fall BS is what really annoys me about this game when you get hurt or touch an enemy, you end up flying off a cliff or into the water because of this. Jeez! Though the secrets have unique ways to get the secret, there's one in Round 1-2 in between 2 spiked platforms that's almost impossible to get it and the only way to get is to hurt yourself...or to use the Ikazuchi ninjitsu (if u do that, you won't be able to get the Technical Bonus in Round 1)... Also, most things generally takes about 1/4 or even all of it (In Hardest, the Round 7 boss, if you get hit by it's tail, you get killed instantly even with max health WTF?)...

The Bottom Line
Overall, this game is the best launch title for the Genesis! If this wasn't as frustrating as it is, this game would've been better but still an awesome game...

Revenge of Shinobi is a pretty good game but this isn't the game for beginners (even on Easy mode) and will make you angry...but practice makes perfect...

Genesis · by Mavi Bacon (13) · 2009

[ View all 4 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

The Genesis version of The Revenge of Shinobi appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Development and characters

Early versions of The Revenge of Shinobi had you fighting Batman as a boss, but because SEGA failed to get the licensing rights for the Caped Crusader, he was replaced by a winged demon in later versions of the game. In earlier versions the round 7's boss was no other than Godzilla, but it was eventually replaced by a skinless dinosaur. One of the other bosses is very reminiscent of the Hulk. Spider-Man is also present as a boss. Both Batman and Spider-Man were deleted from from versions of the cartridge released as the "classic edition" and on the version found with the SEGA CD. Instead of Spider-Man and Batman you fight a character that turns into a were-bat.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • December 1989 (Issue 5) - Game of the Year (Forecasting the 1990 Award Winners) (tied with Super Mario Bros. 3)
    • October 1990 (Issue 15) - Worst Ending in a Game
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #83 (Best 100 Games of All Time) (Genesis version)
  • Power Play
    • Issue 01/1991 - Best Genesis Game in 1990


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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 7730
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by paul cairey.

Wii added by Charly2.0. Arcade added by Michael Cassidy. iPad, iPhone, Android added by Maner76. PlayStation 3, Windows added by Sciere. Macintosh, Linux added by Foxhack.

Additional contributors: Terok Nor, Katakis | カタキス, Alaka, j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】, Patrick Bregger, GTramp, FatherJack.

Game added November 15, 2002. Last modified February 13, 2024.