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Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master

aka: 3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, Shinobi 3, The Super Shinobi 2
Moby ID: 8073
Genesis Specs
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Description official descriptions

This is the sequel to The Revenge of Shinobi and the last installment of the series on the Genesis/Mega Drive. After defeating the Neo Zeed organization, the ninja Joe Musashi returns to Japan to recover from the battle. But while he's training, he senses that the Neo Zeed leaders are secretly rebuilding the organization, so he make his way back to defeat them once again

The gameplay is very similar to the previous game, a side scrolling game with platform elements. Musashi uses kunai (throwing knives) and a sword as weapons and can upgrade their power by picking up power-ups inside crates. Inside those crates he will also find extra lives, health, kunai (5 or 20), ninjitsu, and time bombs that will explode in 5 seconds or immediately if touched. As in the previous game, he can jump or double jump, and while double jumping he can throw a burst of kunai in several directions. However, this game adds new movements to Musashi's repertoire: he can block enemy projectiles after shooting a kunai, he can drop-kick enemies while jumping (after which he will bounce, allowing for connecting more drop kicks), he can dash and slash enemies with his sword, and he can perform wall jumps (or kabekeri). Besides the physical attacks, four ninjitsu are available: Ikazuchi (temporary invincibility), Kariu (whole screen fire attack), Fushin (higher jumps) and Mijin (self-destruction that costs one life but deals high damage to all enemies on screen).

The game is divided seven rounds, each subdivided in 2 parts with a boss at the end of each part (except for the last round, with only one final boss). Most levels feature horizontal scrolling from left to right, but some levels will also feature vertical scrolling. There are three forced scrolling levels: two horizontal (one in which Musashi rides a horse, one where he rides a surfboard) and one vertical (where he must keep climbing falling rocks). While most levels are straightforward (go from left to right and find the exit), many will feature hidden items in less obvious paths, and one entire part of a round is a maze divided in several smaller sections separated by doors; entering the wrong door leads you back to a previous section.

The game features four difficulty levels. In normal difficulty, the player has 3 lives and 3 continues. The game rewards the player for different playing styles. Beating a level without using kunai or ninjitsu, for instance, grants extra points. An extra life is gained for each 50.000 points scored.


  • ザ・スーパー忍Ⅱ - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Genesis version)

27 People (17 developers, 10 thanks) · View all



Average score: 88% (based on 29 ratings)


Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 69 ratings with 2 reviews)

What the Genesis was about...

The Good
It's crisp, it's fast and it's sharp. The controls, the Genesis' strong point at the time, are a breeze. You can make your character on the screen hop around, bounce against walls and perform mid-air flips while throwing shurikens without a pain.

Great! The gameplay? Flawless.

Different levels, different enemies with different attack patterns. Very little repetition. Your character can perform "kias" that'll wipe everything off the screen, he can ride a horse and is surf-savvy too.

But above everything else... it's fast!

The Bad
Nothing I can think of. Well... the sound is what you'd expect from a Genesis game: It's all "Shwoof" and "Pwoof" (If you've ever owned a Genesis, you know what I mean.)

Besides that, there's nothing to complain about. The game is very well balanced. Not too hard, not too easy.

The Bottom Line
It's basically pure Genesis-bliss: It's fast, looks good and leaves your gamepad all sweaty.

When you're a kid, you're very dogmatic about the selection of games you rent. This one I wanted to rent all the time. I play it today and remember why I did.

Genesis · by J. G. (7) · 2005

Best. Shinobi. Game. Ever.

The Good
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, is not only the best in the series, but quite possibly the best ninja game ever made. Furthermore it is one of the best games of the 16-bit era. In Shinobi III, the evil syndicate Neo Zeed is back and out for our favorite ninja’s blood, it’s up to Joe Musashi, to stop there evil schemes and save Neo Tokyo.

The game play’s wonderfully, even 10 years later. Shinobi, runs, jumps, casts magic, slices, and dices. It all controls perfectly. And even gets to ride a horse and surf. In classic Shinobi style you fight your way through stages that all end with a boss battle. And a cool manga style scene of Joe finishing the job.

The music and sound is all good, while the score is not composed by Yuzo Koshiro, it is still good, the sound effects are all on track as well.

The graphics were good for the time and are still impressive. It is one of the best looking Genesis games and 16-bit games in general.

The Bad
The bad, well other it being to short and particularly tough in some spots, nothing else stands out.

The Bottom Line
The one ninja game to rule them all. Shinobi III, was and still is a blast to play, if you own a Genesis and do not own this game then you have to pick it up. Play the rom if you have to just play it.

Genesis · by MasterMegid (723) · 2006



The original UK release went back to the drawing board for a few extra 'tweaks' and the result was the horse riding and the surf sub levels.


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  • MobyGames ID: 8073
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tibes80.

Nintendo 3DS added by Michael Cassidy. Nintendo Switch added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. iPhone added by Sciere. Arcade, Macintosh, Windows, Linux added by Foxhack. Wii added by gamewarrior.

Additional contributors: Exodia85, Alaka, Richard Daives, j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】, Harmony♡.

Game added January 4, 2003. Last modified January 27, 2024.