Shinobi (arcade game)

Shinobi (arcade game)

:"For the PlayStation 2 game of the same name, see Shinobi. For an overview of the series, see Shinobi series"Infobox VG
title = Shinobi

caption = "Shinobi" sales flyer.
developer = Sega
publisher = Sega
designer =
release = 1987
genre = Platform
modes = Up to 2 players, alternating turns
cabinet = Upright
arcade system =
display = Raster, standard resolution (Used: 320 x 224), horizontal alignment
input = Joystick, 3 buttons
platforms = Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, NES, Sega Master System, TurboGrafx-16, ZX Spectrum

"Shinobi" is an arcade game, developed and published by SEGA. It was originally released in 1987 and ported to numerous systems. The game spawned numerous sequels.


"Shinobi" is about a ninja named Joe Musashi who has to stop a criminal organization called "Zeed" who are kidnapping the children of the Oboro clan. Through five missions of increasing difficulty, Musashi must make his way to Zeed's headquarters and free all the hostages before confronting Zeed's leaders known as "Ring of Five", which are formidableenemies on their own. "Ring of Five" are the bosses at the end of each level. Below is the list of them.

* Ken Oh - gigantic samurai-like wizard.
* Black Turtle - a leader who, during a boss fight, is piloting or just being aboard of an attack helicopter.
* Mandara - Hinduistic guru who is, in fact, cyborg: probably a brain, residing in a wall-covering machine.
* Lobster - samurai, wielding a sword.
* Masked Ninja - main leader of Zeed and the last boss, he is a powerful ninja with vast magical and physical powers.


The five missions in the game are each three or four stages long. Anywhere from 2-9 hostages are being held in each stage; Joe must rescue all of them before he is allowed to finish the stage. The last stage in each mission has no hostages, but instead features a powerful boss character whom Joe must defeat. After completing each of the first four missions the player is taken to a bonus stage, where he can earn an extra life if he is able to kill all of the ninjas jumping towards him. Completing the fifth mission ends the game. Also, once the fifth mission begins, continues are no longer allowed; the player has to finish the game with however many lives he has left at that point.

Joe's standard weapons are an unlimited supply of throwing stars, along with punches and kicks when attacking at close range. One hostage per stage gives him a power-up. When powered-up, his throwing stars are replaced by a gun that fires large, explosive bullets, and his close-range attack becomes a katana slash. Joe can also perform "ninja magic," which may be used only once per stage and kills (or damages, in the case of bosses) all enemies on the screen.At the end of each stage, the player receives score bonuses based on performance. Completing the stage without using ninja magic earns the player a 5,000 point bonus (except during mission five), and completing the stage without using any throwing stars or bullets (just punches, kicks, sword slashes, and/or ninja magic) earns the player a 20,000 point bonus. The player has three minutes to complete each stage; remaining time at the end of the stage is also converted to bonus points and added to the player's score. Expert Shinobi players often challenged themselves to see how many stages they could pass with both the "no stars" and "no ninja magic" bonuses. It is possible to beat the game on one quarter in this way with a final score of over 700,000 points; the final score for someone who completes the game on one quarter without trying for those bonuses would be in the neighborhood of 250,000 points. It is also possible for the player to manipulate the points received for rescuing each hostage based on his/her current score.

Since most enemies appear in the same place on each level, it is possible to master the game by memorizing their locations and devising patterns to defeat them.


The game has been ported to other systems, including the Sega Master System and Nintendo Entertainment System game consoles, also the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Amiga and Atari ST home computers. In 1989 the game was released for the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 and was a close enough translation that it was difficult to tell apart from the arcade upon which it was based.

Some ports had their set of differences from the arcade game. The Master System version, for example, features an energy bar instead of a one-hit kill and doesn't force the player to rescue the hostages; a level can be cleared without rescuing all of them or any at all.

The Master System version also has the largest array of weapons and ninja magic: 4 different ranged weapons (Shuriken, Knife, Hand Grenade, Pistol) , 3 close range weapons (addition to punch and kick, Sword, Nunchaku and Manriki-gusari, which is misspelled as "manrikuragi chain" in the manual), and 8 different ninja magic. (Other versions has a few)

The NES version is much like the Master System version, but is widely seen as the worst of the console ports, with its flawed controls, limited color palette, its poorly-designed bosses and overall "unfinished" feeling. Most of the original music from the arcade game was re-written and coded into the NES version, but only four of the tracks were actually used throughout the game.


In 1989, Sega released a follow-up called "The Revenge of Shinobi "as one of the first titles for their new Sega Mega Drive game console. In Japan this game was called "The Super Shinobi".

An arcade sequel called "Shadow Dancer" was also released in 1989. "Shadow Dancer" retains the same gameplay as the original, but gives the main character a canine companion.

Other "Shinobi" sequels also appeared for the Game Gear, Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, and, most recently, the PlayStation 2 in a new storyline involving a new character named Hotsuma.

"Alex Kidd in Shinobi World" is a parody of "Shinobi" with former Sega mascot Alex Kidd as main character, released for the Sega Master System in 1990.

External links

*KLOV game|id=9516|name=Shinobi
* [ PHM's Shinobi site]
*moby game|id=/shinobi|name="Shinobi"
*WoS game|id=0004457|name=Shinobi

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