Created By: Rikun on August 16, 2013 Last Edited By: DAN004 on July 3, 2014
Nuked

Cyber Ninja

Ninjas who are artificially enhanced by cybernetics, robotics, or any kind of high tech

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Page Type:
Trope
DAN 004 wuz ere takin over ur druft


Ninjas, as far as popular culture is concerned, are cold, efficient killers. What better way to make them even deadlier than to take out the human factor and make them into literal death machines? Nothing makes a ninja's arsenal more awesome than some high tech upgrades!

The Cyber Ninja is the ninja of the future, but unlike your typical technologically enhanced assassin they still use the traditional ninja image with either traditional, or upgraded, Stock Ninja Weaponry, and almost never a gun - they're still ninjas after all! To keep with appearances, you can expect these ninjas to have some sort of personal cloaking device and body modifications that would enhance their already superhuman conditioning. Being espionage agents, you can bet that they would be skilled hackers when it comes to information.

The heyday of the Cyber Ninja would have been the Eighties, especially with the rise of Cyber Punk mixed with Japan Takes Over the World. These ninjas would often be the perfect agents for high-tech corporate espionage or assassinations in such stories, or could even serve as a mook army for an evil tech corporation. Even after Japan's economic bubble burst, the combination of the ninjas' traditions with futuristic technology is one that sticks with popular culture to this day.

A subtrope of Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot. Compare Samurai Cowboy. Will tend to overlap with Street Samurai and Corporate Samurai, but both tropes envelop more specific concepts (the former is a freelancer in a campaign against authority while the latter is a corporate agent and more civilized than the former).

NOT related to Ghost Pirate, though a fight between the two would be totally awesome.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • In some Brave Series:
    • J-Decker we have Shadowmaru a six-forms giant robot with Ninja skills.
    • Goldran Sora-Kage a golden bird mecha with ninja abilites in robot form
    • Dag-Shadow in DagWon a triple-changer mecha, have a Jet and Dragon-like form.
    • GaoGaiGar: Volfogg and the is a police car ninja and the combine form Big Volfogg have the same abilities.
  • In Gundam series:
    • Spigel Gundam from G-Gundam are a ninja gundam piloted by a german ninja Schwarz Bruder A clone from brother of Domon Kasshu.
    • The Gundam Age-1 Spallow from Gundam AGE he is most fast them Normal and Gundam Age Titus, and he use a knife as a weapon, obvious base on ninja abilities.

Comic Books
  • The initial arc that introduced the War Machine armor in the pages of Iron Man, involved a group of cybernetic ninjas slicing up Tony Stak's normal suit, requiring a bit of More Dakka.
  • A backup feature of Savage Dragon involved the cybernetic Superpatriot going up against a group of ninja cyborgs. For added coolness, they were also Nazis.
  • There is a minor "Jobber"-type for-hire villain in Fred Perry's Gold Digger that is called "Tech Ninja", expert in espionage and using technological devices to replicate some of the more advanced Supernatural Martial Arts moves of the setting.

Film

Literature
  • In Altered Carbon Takeshi Kovacs temporarily sleeved in a "tech-ninja" body, that particular model had mostly organic augmentations except the shaped charge in the hand but some older ones he'd used before were cybered up.
  • Jack Blank features a Peacemaker named Cyberai; a ninja with bionic limbs. He gets killed when a Rüstov Para-Soldier rips off one of Cyberai's legs to replace the one he lost in battle.
  • The eponymous threat from the Choose Your Own Adventure novel Ninja Cyborg.
  • William Gibson's cyberpunk novel Neuromancer had a "vat-grown ninja" named Hideo who is also referred to as a "clone" (presumably the product of genetic engineering). He was an exceptionally deadly fighter.

Live-Action TV

Tabletop Games

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): The Foot Tech Ninja wear cybernetic armor that not only makes them faster and stronger but has an inbuilt invisibility device.
  • In Transformers:
    • The Transformers Generation One featured the Nightbird, a twenty foot tall female ninja robot built by the Japanese. The Decepticons make their intent to steal Nightbird and manipulate her for their own ends.
    • ''Transformers Animated has Prowl, along with Jazz and Master Yoketron. Prowl is a ninja robot, but he combine with the sidecar forming a Samurai.
  • Jinx becomes one of these in G.I. Joe: Renegades after choosing to lead the Arashikage ninja clan. NEEDS MORE CONTEXT
Community Feedback Replies: 77
  • August 16, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Cold on [1], but I think at least 1 of the characters is this.
  • August 16, 2013
    Bisected8
    • Towards the end of Mark Of The Ninja you start encountering these when your boss (apparently) turns on you and equips your fellow ninja with technology stolen from the Disk One Final Boss (technically they're only ninja wearing Powered Armour rather than being actual cyborgs, but they still have the look and feel of this trope).
  • August 16, 2013
    KTera
    Zer0 might also be an alien. Even in-universe, no one's really sure.
  • August 16, 2013
    zarpaulus
    • In Johnny Mnemonic the titular character was chased by a cyborg ninja with a monofilament wire concealed in his thumb. Fortunately in the original story he had Molly Millions, the archetypal Street Samurai, to protect him.

    • In Altered Carbon Takeshi Kovacs temporarily sleeved in a "tech-ninja" body, though it's not entirely sure whether the augmentations were cybernetic or biological.
  • August 16, 2013
    DAN004
    Street Samurai might be a related trope. Also see Instant Awesome Just Add Ninja.

    BTW, some more examples
    • Mega Man Zero has Hidden Phantom, one of the Four Guardians of Copy X and the head of the intel unit. He's a Reploid like any of his brethren, and is very ninja-like - using body doubles, Fuuma Shuriken, a tanto and shadow powers to go along with it.
      • Mega Man ZX Advent has Siarnaq, the Chosen One of Model P. He's arguably even more robotic (being mindless and talks in a Robo Speak) and just as crafty as his Biometal's namesake.
    • Mega Man Battle Network has Dusk (aka Dark Miyabi) and his Net Navi Shadowman.EXE, proving that even in an advanced world of internets, ninjas are still good and running.
  • August 16, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    • Jack Blank features a Peacemaker named Cyberai; a ninja with bionic limbs. He gets killed when a Rustov rips off one of Cyberai's legs to replace the one he lost.
  • August 17, 2013
    Arivne
    Namespaced and italicized work titles.

    Non-Video Game examples

    Literature
    • William Gibson's cyberpunk novel Neuromancer had a "vatgrown ninja" named Hideo who is also referred to as a "clone" (presumably the product of genetic engineering). He was an exceptionally deadly fighter.
  • August 17, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Oftentimes a Corporate Samurai.
  • August 17, 2013
    Prfnoff
  • August 30, 2013
    Rikun
  • August 31, 2013
    Alucard
  • August 31, 2013
    Chernoskill
    • The Shadowrun 2nd edition supplement Shadowtech had stats for a "Cyber Assassin", focused on stealth and one-hit kills.
  • September 1, 2013
    Alucard
    The Tenno faction in Warframe are essentially futuristic space ninjas. They pretty-much are this trope.
  • September 2, 2013
    DAN004
  • September 2, 2013
    MarqFJA
    The TMNT example should pothole to the Western Animation namespace, not the Video Game one.
  • September 2, 2013
    AP
    • The initial arc that introduced the War Machine armor in the pages of Iron Man, involved a group of cybernetic ninjas slicing up Tony Stak's normal suit, requiring a bit of More Dakka.
  • September 2, 2013
    AP
    • A backup feature of Savage Dragon involved the cybernetic Superpatriot going up against a group of ninja cyborgs. For added coolness, they were also Nazis.
  • September 14, 2013
    Alucard
    This piece of fan-art by I-GUYJIN-I turns Vega of Street Fighter into one of these, whose already an example of the Mc Ninja phenomenon.
  • September 14, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    Compare Samurai Cowboy (another swordsman combo trope).
  • September 14, 2013
    RedBuster
    Cyber Ninja Humongous Mecha can be considered?
  • September 15, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Example?
  • September 15, 2013
    DAN004
    By the way, there's one team of Power Rangers that is ninja-themed. Forgot which one, though...
  • September 15, 2013
    Unknown Troper
    The aptly-named minor villain "Techninja" of Fred Perry's "Gold Digger". The Handbook To The Gold Digger Universe describes him as using a variety of high-tech devices to replicate more traditional Ninja powers out of a lack of discipline and being a "gun for hire" (whereas Gold Digger-verse Ninja are (except for some marked exceptions) more loyal).
  • September 15, 2013
    RedBuster
  • September 15, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    • Transformers Generation One featured Nightbird, a female ninja robot built by Japanese scientists.
    • There was a Choose Your Own Adventure book appropriately titled Ninja Cyborg.
  • September 15, 2013
    RedBuster
  • October 1, 2013
    Veralos
    Video Game
  • October 2, 2013
    DAN004
    Needs to be updated with examples.
  • December 2, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Also need to explain the difference from Street Samurai and Corporate Samurai.
  • December 2, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    I put the examples in. I leave the rest up to you.
  • December 2, 2013
    DAN004
    ^^ Cyber Ninja is simply a mix of robot and ninja. Both Street Samurai and Corporate Samurai envelop concepts much bigger than that (the former is a freelancer in a campaign against authority while the latter is a corporate agent and more civilized than the former).
  • December 2, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Tabletop Games
  • December 2, 2013
    Ominae
    Not sure if this works:

    In Virtua Cop, Gale is a mercenary ninja who has outfitted his arsenal with high tech equipment, which includes stealth technology.

    In Ninja, Masazuka get ejected from his dojo by nearly killing Casey. He later becomes a mercenary and outfits himself with the latest technology for his ninja gear.

    Done in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 with the Foot Ninjas being cyborg. It was later done in the 2012 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012 as a homage to the 1987 cartoon.
  • December 9, 2013
    Alucard
    Zero of Anarchy Reigns.
  • December 9, 2013
    Brainhook
    In Pokemon X & Y postgame Xerosic gives Emma a suit with this kind of feel to it.
  • December 9, 2013
    KZN02
    Ninjago: Nindroids
  • December 9, 2013
    Nomic
    Infinity has ninjas as an unit choise for the Yu Jing faction. They even come with thermo-optic camoflauge and monomolecular swords. Unlike most examples of the trope appear to have no problems with using guns, though, as their main weapon is a sniper rifle.
  • December 9, 2013
    DAN004
    Add my examples plz??
  • May 11, 2014
    jormis29
  • May 12, 2014
    marcoasalazarm
    There is a minor "Jobber"-type for-hire villain in Fred Perry's Gold Digger that is called "Tech Ninja", expert in espionage and using technological devices to replicate some of the more advanced Supernatural Martial Arts moves of the setting.
  • May 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Is this Up For Grabs yet?
  • May 12, 2014
    Larkmarn
    Okay, a fair number of the examples are just... ninjas. Being a ninja in the present day doesn't make them a cyber ninja.
  • May 12, 2014
    marcoasalazarm
    Ninjas using advanced technology (such as being cybernetically enhanced, hologram projectors to do that "multiple image" thing, mono-molecular swords, etc) is what this trope is about, right?
  • May 12, 2014
    zarpaulus
    ^ I figured it was specifically cyborgs.
  • May 12, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    ^ As the laconic states: "Ninjas who are artificially enhanced by cybernetics, robotics, or any kind of high tech".
  • May 12, 2014
    Prfnoff
    I believe the OP's original title was Cyborg Ninja. I prefer the expanded definition, and Cyber Ninja as the title.

    What does need work is the profusion of Zero Context Examples.
  • May 12, 2014
    Koveras
    • Kai Leng from Mass Effect 3 is never referred as a ninja but is a cyborg assassin with East Asian roots who fights using a katana.
  • May 12, 2014
    DAN004
    ... hello?
  • May 20, 2014
    Rikun
    OP here, and to set the record straight I originally posted this as Cyber Ninja, never Cyborg Ninja. What seperates a Cyber Ninja from a regular ninja in the present day would be whether or not they rely heavily on technology, which tend to include a lot of cyborgs. The reason I posted it this way is because there seems to be this happy sweet spot with high technology and ninjas where they seem to go together very well. So, to redefine if a ninja is Cyber or not, here's what I would say:
    • If the ninja is a cyborg, relies on a high tech stealth suit, or is enhanced by nanomachines, then he's a cyber ninja.
    • If the ninja's weapons and/or equipment are high tech upgrades of traditional ninja weapons (i.e. laser ninjato, high tech smoke bombs, molecular blades) or enhance the stealth aspect of being a ninja (cloaking device, infared sights, scouting drones), he's a cyber ninja.
    • If the ninja is living in the present day but still uses weapons exactly the way they'd be used as a traditional ninja would, he is NOT a cyber ninja.

    To clarify for examples:
    • Raiden and Cyborg Ninja of the Metal Gear series are cyber ninjas due to being cyborgs.
    • Strider Hiryu is a cyber ninja due to his plasma blade and extensive use of robot drones.
    • Ryu Hayabusa is NOT a cyber ninja because his weaponry is magically enhanced and he does not rely on technology.
    • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, are NOT cyber ninjas. Even though Donnie is a mechanical whizz and they use vehicles and computers, the turtles' weapons and techniques are 100% traditional and wouldn't be out of place in Feudal Japan. The Foot Clan, on the other hand, ARE cyber ninjas because they're androids.
    • If a cybernetic assassin primarily uses guns for killing, they're not a cyber ninja. If a cybernetic assassin uses a specialized blade and evokes the use of stealth killing, then they're a cyber ninja.

    As for this being Up For Grabs, go ahead. I'd love to see this trope published, and I don't really care who does it.
  • May 20, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ al... righty. *rubs hands*
  • May 20, 2014
    Ominae
    Any other examples needed to be included that aren't in yet?
  • May 21, 2014
    DAN004
    Added examples.

    But not sure if Zer0 would fit. He does use guns after all...

    And some examples are zero context, I've noted them all. Please add them.
  • May 24, 2014
    DAN004
    Buuuuuuuump
  • May 25, 2014
    Ominae
    Mine seems okay.
  • May 27, 2014
    KTera
    Zer0 uses guns, but his melee weapon is a katana and his action skill makes him temporarily invisible. I think that counts.
  • May 27, 2014
    lakingsif
  • May 27, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ subtrope to it, yeah.
  • May 27, 2014
    lakingsif
    ^ Ah.
  • May 30, 2014
    DAN004
    Buuuuump
  • June 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Maybe suggestions for page image?
  • June 4, 2014
    Ominae
  • June 4, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ somehow I can't open imgur...
  • June 4, 2014
    Ominae
    Uploaded it. Don't know if that's okay.
  • June 11, 2014
    DAN004
    Are we settled on the pic yet?
  • June 16, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump for more examples, and then launch
  • June 16, 2014
    zarpaulus
    I just re-read Altered Carbon. The model of "tech ninja" Kovacs sleeved in had augmentations grown in, but some older models he'd used previously had circuits.
  • June 16, 2014
    Ominae
    Launching it is a okay with me.
  • June 21, 2014
    DAN004
    One last bump
  • June 21, 2014
    arbiter099
    Not a fan of that pic, lots of space wasted on the left and it just doesn't scream the trope to me. How's this one from Metal Gear Solid?
  • June 23, 2014
    Ominae
    I'm okay with whatever... The space wasted is probably due to the syntax, which will work itself out when the page is launched.
  • June 24, 2014
    Bisected8
    If they're using "modernised" versions of traditional ninja gear, it would overlap with Enhanced Archaic Weapon.
  • June 26, 2014
    DAN004
    one last hat plz.
  • June 29, 2014
    DAN004
    One last bump for a few more examples and discussions
  • June 29, 2014
    MercenX
    I think the name should be changed to Cyborg Ninja. Cyber Ninja sounds like some new age term for someone who is an expert in computers (i.e. hackers)
  • June 30, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ nope, the examples aren't necessairly cyborgs, and yes, they may (or may not) be expert in computers as a complementary ability.
  • July 3, 2014
    DAN004
    What would be the indices? I only know of Ninja Tropes.
  • July 3, 2014
    KTera
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=k8rrpzuw5giuozq97be18wn5&trope=CyberNinja