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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.


Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Genesis The hood burns.
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Genesis Rumble in the jungle
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Genesis They can run pretty fast!
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Genesis Title Screen

Promo Images

Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Screenshot
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Screenshot
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Screenshot
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "ザ・スーパー忍Ⅱ" -- Japanese spelling
  • "The Super Shinobi 2" -- Japanese title
  • "Shinobi 3" -- Informal title
  • "3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master" -- Nintendo 3DS title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

What the Genesis was about... J. G. (7) unrated
Best. Shinobi. Game. Ever. MasterMegid (902) 4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars

Critic Reviews

HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) 2007 10 out of 10 100
Defunct Games Jun 29, 2012 A+ 100
GameFan Magazine Jan, 1993 95.75 out of 100 96
Shin Force Jul 08, 2004 9.2 out of 10 92 Dec 26, 2004 9 out of 10 90
Mean Machines Jan, 1993 88 out of 100 88 Dec 22, 2002 8.4 out of 10 84
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Oct, 1993 82 out of 100 82
Sega Force Nov 04, 1993 82 out of 100 82
Retrogaming History Apr 28, 2009 8 out of 10 80


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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.
Tibes80 (1567) added Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (Genesis) on Jan 03, 2003
Other platforms contributed by Michael Cassidy (21142), Sciere (711264), Foxhack (30897) and gamewarrior (5048)