Ninja Gaiden is a side scrolling game where Ryu the ninja can run, jump, and slash with his ninja sword. He can also attach to any vertical surface. Powerups are littered throughout the landscape that allow Ryu to toss fireballs and ninja stars, and perform other feats.
Ryu will battle through urban city settings, forests, jungles, snow covered castles, underground railroads, and ancient castles. A major feature in Ninja Gaiden are the cinematic scenes -- sometimes fullscreen -- through which the storyline unfolds.