* AssPull: Obaba's comeback in ''Sigma II'' and ''III''. There's no explanation how she is revived.
* AdaptationDisplacement: Somewhat of a subversion. Most of the fans who are aware of the 2-player BeatEmUp version of the arcade believed it came before the first NES game. In reality, the arcade version was developed simultaneously with the NES version, with the two teams making their own game based on the same basic concept.
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* AngstWhatAngst: In ''Ninja Gaiden 3'' [[spoiler: Once he's freed of the masks control of his mind, Theodore doesn't seem to be fazed at all by all of the horrible things he was forced to do, or the fact that his brother and grandfather were the ones who forced him to do it, OR the fact that his daughter is serving as the core for a giant monster ravaging Tokyo. This is later subverted in his last battle against Ryu as he implies him that he is aware of everything that was going on while he was the Regent of the Mask. He sacrifices himself not only to allow Ryu to free his daughter, but to receive his [[MercyKill "atonement"]] for his crimes as well.]]
* AntiClimaxBoss: Sort-of with the Dark Disciple, who claimed to have the power of the "Devil Incarnate", but gets punched out anyway
** He was piss easy in the original game, but ''Ninja Gaiden Black'' significantly upped the difficulty by {{nerf}}ing the Flying Swallow (a diving sword strike that would be a GameBreaker in the original, if it wasn't already NintendoHard).
** Considering that roughly 70% of the game is spent chasing her down, Elizabét in ''Ninja Gaiden II'' isn't much of a challenge. She's arguably easier than Volf.
*** Until ''Sigma II'' rectified it: like with the Dark Disciple, good ol' flying swallow spamming won't work this time!
** The FinalBoss in ''Ninja Gaiden 3''. Not that the fight isn't visually impressive, but you spend maybe 30% of it fighting fiends it sends at you, another 30% doing [=QTEs=] and 40% actually fighting it (the way you fight the Statue of Liberty in ''Sigma 2'' more or less). All in all, it is probably the easiest boss of the game.
** Doku in the modern Ninja Gaiden 1. For being built up as TheDragon of the Vigoor Emperor and as the Fiend who destroyed Ryu's village, he is an incredibly easy boss. Even on Master Ninja mode of Nina Gaiden Black, this boss is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TobceDp3fho pathetically easy]]
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: Has its own [[AwesomeMusic/NinjaGaiden page]]. Probably the one point everyone can agree on about ''[[ContestedSequel NG3]]''.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: At the end of Day 5 in ''Ninja Gaiden 3'', you find yourself fighting a [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever suddenly colossal Oobaba]] (who was supposedly killed by Ayane in Sigma 2) on the way to see Ryu's father in his retreat. This is never explained, has seemingly no connection to the rest of the plot and is never mentioned again. ''Razor's Edge'' only briefly mentions that the BS Ninjas are actually working with LOA, although the reason remains vague.
* BrokenBase: ''Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2''. Some consider it inferior to ''Ninja Gaiden II'' because of the lack of gore, lessened difficulty and the removal of puzzles. Some consider it superior thanks to a more balanced stage designs, less cheap AI and the removal or revision of the most tedious passages of the original, as well as having more content. The drastically reduced number of enemies and the introduction of a semi-automatic aim for the bow can be seen a good ''or'' a bad thing depending on who you ask.
* ContestedSequel: Yosuke Hayashi's drastically different vision for ''Ninja Gaiden 3'' let many fans skeptical to say the least. Some fans think it is still a fun action game in its own right, if not on par with the first two games. Others prefer to pretend it never existed. Interestingly, Hayashi was already involved in [[MetroidOtherM another]] ContestedSequel...
* CounterpartComparison: In comparison to another ActionGame, ''Ninja Gaiden 3'' is seen by some fans as the ''DevilMayCry 2'' of the modern series.
* CrossesTheLineTwice: ''Ninja Gaiden II'' is so ridiculously gory that it practically skips the offensive, and goes straight to hilarious. May or may not double as NarmCharm.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: ''The Ancient Ship of Doom'' has one in form of the theme from Stage 1-1. It's awesome as it's catchy.
* DemonicSpiders: The ghost piranhas (WHAT?!) infesting the labyrinth in Zarkhan for ''Ninja Gaiden'' (Xbox). Their pack tendencies, respawning capabilities and sheer, unimaginable tenacity make one question the existence of a just and loving God and ask why the game's designers hate the player so damn much. In fact, just about all of the enemies drop into this territory at higher difficulties.
** Originally, the ghost piranhas were just decorative, until Itagaki found out about them and told the team to make them enemies.
*** Their difficulty may be toned down in the sequel, but there is one chapter where you have to deal with them ''alongside'' the Water Dragon. ''Painfully'' worse in II but noticeably easier in Sigma 2.
** In the first game, especially at the highest difficulties, a good portion of the non-human {{mooks}} are this, really. The black "laser eye" fiends or the cat fiends are just ''hellish'' to fight in groups.
** ''Ninja Gaiden II'' has a ''literal'' kind with Black Spider Ninja Rasetsu, as the boss on the first level. He and his other derivatives turn into [[DegradedBoss common enemies]] later on.
** The birds in the NES games. Oh God, the birds.
** You liked the GoddamnBats in the first Xbox game? In ''Ninja Gaiden II'', meet the giant bats! They are thrice as big, make thrice as much damage, are thrice as tough and are still unblockable. More often than not you will take damage while trying to kill them.
** In the same ''NGII'', the infamous Incendiary Kunai Ninjas are usually this when you fight them in large groups. [[BulletHell Take a guess why by looking at their name.]] Strangely, in ''Sigma 2'' they are also dreaded enemies, but for a different reason: they use their explosives less often but are much tougher and much more competent at close combat instead. Especially in higher difficulties, where their claw attacks deal huge damage.
* EightPointEight: IGN's '''3.0''' of Ninja Gaiden 3. It gained quite the backlash already. The UpdatedRerelease ''Razor's Edge'', however, got a much more decent 7.6.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: [[{{Badass}} Robert T. Sturgeon]] in ''The Dark Sword of Chaos''. A MysteriousInformant[=/=][[MysteriousProtector Protector]] with an agenda of his own, CoolShades, able to take down demonic horrors with a single gunshot, [[spoiler: who turns out to be a top United States Army operative and such an extremely loyal ally to Ryu that he makes a LastStand to guard his back in the very bowels of Hell]]? This is especially notable considering how ''[[SarcasmMode well]]'' Ryu gets along with covert government agencies...
** Rachel and Momiji. They garnered enough popularity to appear as [[PlayableCharacter playable characters]] in ''Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate''.
* EvilIsSexy: Elizabét.
* FanonDiscontinuity: The third Team Ninja game.
* FashionVictimVillain: The Regent of the Mask in ''Ninja Gaiden 3''. Having for an outfit a red BadassLongcoat, a CoolMask, a [[InTheHood mysterious hood]] and a gold-plated GlovedFistOfDoom, can only make you one. To compliment it, he's armed with a RoyalRapier.
* GameBreaker
** The Unlabo(u)red Flawlessness in ''Ninja Gaiden'', when used by a player skilled enough to stay alive at 15% health, can cut enemies down with shocking speed (most of them at any rate). Then again, given the [[DesperationAttack strict health requirement]] and the game's difficulty, this isn't as severe as the others listed.
** The Izuna Drop in all the games is fairly easy to execute and will instantly kill any human-sized {{mook}}. In ''Ninja Gaiden'', enemies often block and you can only do it with "katana-like" weapons so its use is restricted. However, the sequel allows its use with almost any weapon, and enemies don't guard at all. ''Sigma 2'' nerfed it slightly by making some mooks (almost all of them on Master Ninja difficulty) resilient enough to survive it.
** Ultimate Techniques are a similar case: in the first game, without absorbing essence to speed it up, it takes 4 seconds to charge a full-powered UT and their range of effect is limited. In ''Ninja Gaiden II'', it takes only 2 seconds, with some weapons' [=UTs=] being glaringly over-effective on large groups of small mooks.
** The Windmill technique from the NES ''Ninja Gaiden'', capable of killing every single enemy (and boss) in the game with one use. [[AwesomeButImpractical That is, if you can plow through the entire level to the boss with minimum jumping attacks or getting other power ups, as each jumping attack becomes Windmill technique and eats up your power]]...
*** You can execute a normal jump attack by holding down while you attack.
** The Eclipse Scythe in ''3'', despite its slowness, can become this if used properly. With the sword or the claws, you can directly repeat a successful steel-on-bone attack on a nearby enemy; with the scythe, "nearby enemy" means "any enemy within a 5 meter radius". As long as you don't screw up the initial steel-on-bone, you can take down entire waves almost effortlessly.
*** As of ''Razor's Edge'', this scythe has taken this trope almost completely, being the only weapon that is used by players more than the Dragon Sword. Still, it has a few drawbacks (notably the limit on the number of successive [=SoB=] and the inertia after every attack).
** The new Steel-on-Bone system is this as well, though it takes some time to properly use it.
** The Hurricane Packs for the Xbox ''Ninja Gaiden'' added an "Intercept" move that allows Ryu to parry any enemy's attack and counterattack with an Ultimate Technique with the proper time. This most was so effective, that it ended up being removed in ''Ninja Gaiden Black''.
* GoddamnedBats: Actual bats for the modern games. The critters do annoying damage, and come in large packs. Explosive variants start showing up from ''Black'' onwards. Almost all the enemies start as this and become DemonicSpiders on higher difficulties.
** Bats are also regular enemies in the NES games, and they're in all respects similar to ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaI'' bats.
** Goddamned birds in the NES trilogy! The bats at least fly in a predictable pattern and usually aren't too hard to simply avoid, but the birds ''actively home in on Ryu''. And they're almost '''always''' by [[LedgeBats ledges and pits]]. And in the first game, they took three slots off your life bar, making them the most damaging non-boss hit in the game!
** The "jellyfish" in the amazon level for ''Ninja Gaiden II''. Sure, they don't move and are easy to eliminate, but they get in the way...and they just. Never. STOP. '''SPAWNING'''. Of course, you can try to swim trough them... [[MadeOfExplodium at your own risk]].
** Dogs, blue bugs and homunculi often act as this in ''Razor's Edge''.
* GoddamnedBoss: The infamous giant worm boss in the Amazonia level of ''Ninja Gaiden II''. It's not even difficult, simply horribly ill-designed: 90% of the time you'll not see it, even when you're hitting it. It was so bad that ''Sigma II'' didn't even try to make it better: they just mercifully removed it from the level, along with the entire "green tunnel" section. You won't even notice it.
** The two "armadillo" bosses in the underworld level in ''Ninja Gaiden II''. You don't know the meaning of CameraScrew until you've gone through this fight. Like the giant worm, ''Sigma II'' removed it, replacing it with a fight against Marbus.
* GoodBadBug: In ''Razor's Edge'', Kasumi has a version of the Cicada Surge called "Sakura Madoi", which allows her to evade not only melee attacks like Ryu, but also bullets and missiles. Which means you can use it to teleport into areas that are normally inaccessible, and in extreme cases, even ''out of the map''. It was sadly fixed in the PS360 version though.
* HilariousInHindsight: The fact that it's called Ninja Gaiden (gaiden meaning something like side story) due to RuleOfCool becomes hilarious nowadays if people think it's a sidestory to ''Videogame/DeadOrAlive'', [[OlderThanTheyThink despite the fact that Ninja Gaiden has been around for longer than DOA.]]
** Even hilarious in the case of the recently-announced ''Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z'', which is a sidestory for the modern series.
* IKnewIt: Due to the [[{{Expy}} breadth of shared traits]] between [[spoiler:Irene Lew from the NES trilogy and Sonia of ''NGII'']], more than a few fans theorized that [[spoiler:Sonia was a modern re-imagining of Irene and that they were the same person (Sonia's bio even hints that her name is an alias).]] Come ''VideoGame/{{Dead or Alive}}: Dimensions'', it turns out that they were right.
* ItsEasySoItSucks: ''Ninja Gaiden 3'' is a far cry from its punishing predecessors. No wonder it's being critically savaged!
** The ''Razor's Edge'' edition ratchets the difficulty back up for normal, but does include an easier mode that can be selected at any time.
* MemeticMutation: "Just a girl. Get out of here!"
** [[LargeHam Why? BUSINESS OF COURSE!]]
** Lovelace Gaga
* MostAnnoyingSound: The NES series, being very much NintendoHard, has the death jingle. Expect to hear it over ''and over '''and over.'''''
* {{Narm}}: The ''WorldsOfPower'' book is filled with this, starting with the groaner on the first page, "Dedicated to the ninja in everyone's dad."
** The "don't kill me mate" scene at the very beginning of ''Ninja Gaiden 3'' is so overdone that for many it ends up being hilarious instead of a PlayerPunch. To the point it was removed in ''Razor's Edge''.
** The original arcade game is rife with this as well at the round clear screens of each stage. Not to mention the premise; [[ExcusePlot a seemingly random]] [[InstantAwesomeJustAddNinja ninja]] [[ExcusePlot that happens to be Ryu goes to America]] ("NINJA IN U.S.A.") [[ExcusePlot to beat the crap out of an evil cult]] full of hockey-mask wearing thugs, sumo wrestlers, normal wrestlers and otherwise, all led by Bladedamus, a descendant of Nostradamus.
* NightmareFuel: About the only thing anybody knows about the original arcade machine is the circular saw from the continue screen.
** Not to mention the shadow of Ryu behind a window at the start of every stage in the arcade version, with creepy red eyes before he bursts through the screen and starts the level.
** Jaquio's NightmareFace in the first NES game and Baron Spider's WhiteMaskOfDoom in the second.
* OnlyTheCreatorDoesItRight: What certain fans think about the modern trilogy and one of the reasons there's so much bashing on Hayashi's games (both ''Sigmas'' and ''Ninja Gaiden 3''). Any title not directed by Itagaki can only be a pale imitation. It doesn't help that before leaving Tecmo, Itagaki specifically said he didn't like ''Sigma'', that ''Ninja Gaiden II'' was the definitive version of the game and that he was the only one legitimate enough to continue the series.
* PlayerPunch: ''Ninja Gaiden 3'' goes to great length to make you feel the pain of the enemies you kill, be it the brutal Steel-on-Bone mechanic or the moaning of enemies if you don't finish them off.
-->'''Crawling and bleeding {{mook|s}}''': ''I don't wanna die... I don't wanna die!''
* PolishedPort: Played both straight and subverted for ''Razor's Edge''. Apart from the addition of several weapons, upgrades, collectible items and a playable Ayane, nearly every single aspect of [=NG3=]'s gameplay has been improved, from combo speed to responsiveness, to enemy AI, to the use of the ki bar and the steel-on-bone mechanic, making the game much more technical overall. The PS360 version also corrects the frame-rate drops. However, the game still contains really unusual bugs and glitches.
* PortingDisaster: The PSVita ports of the ''Sigma'' games. While they have great visuals that the handheld console can handle and additional content, they suffer from inconsistent frame rates and slowdowns. The first one is okay but the second doesn't fair much.
* ReplacementScrappy: Although not a big fan favorite to begin with, it's amazing how much Sonia in ''Ninja Gaiden II'' can make you miss Rachel. Depending on how you see it, may or may not be rectified with ''Sigma II''.
** Every woman in the modern trilogy is this to old school fans who still see Irene as Ryu's OneTrueLove.
*** Which is all the more ironic in the case of [[spoiler:Sonia]], considering that [[spoiler:she and Irene are one in the same.]]
* ScrappyMechanic: The save system in the first X-Box game makes it so that if you die, you have to restart at the last save point, no exception. Meaning if you die against a boss, you have to redo the section between the save point and the boss. And if you die at the beginning of the following chapter without having saved, you have to [[OhCrap redo the boss.]]
** The steel-on-bone mechanic in ''Ninja Gaiden 3'', not so much for the mechanic itself but because it activates pretty much randomly and interrupts combos. It has been reworked in ''Razor's Edge'', where this attack is now used to counter enemy grabs.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: Someone watching the plots of the NES series today will find them narmy and a bit overdone with their "three twists per second", but at the time they were a big leap forward for videogame storytelling.
* SoBadItsGood: Whatever you think of the storylines of the modern trilogy. ''Dragon Sword'' and ''III[=/=]Razor's Edge'' have a little more detailed ones. Not that this saves the latter from being a ContestedSequel, though.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: There's two of them in the arcade version. The second stage almost sounds like Michael Jackson's "Bad", and the second boss theme is very similar to Black Sabbath's "Iron Man".
* ThatOneAttack: Zedonius' flame wall in ''Ninja Gaiden II'' is unblockable ''and'' undodgeable. Even some moves with invulnerability frames don't protect you! The only thing you can do against it is use a ninpo, but if you're out of it, pray he doesn't use it. Actually, it is dodgeable. You have to stay away from him when he is about to attack you with it.
** Elizabet's Blood Orbs from the same game. Very hard to dodge, unblockable, does major damage, can stunlock you into being hit by the next orb AND heals Elizabet the more the attack damages you.
* ThatOneBoss: Just about every single one of them, especially in the modern games.
** Murai in ''Ninja Gaiden '' deserves a special mention for being not only the first boss of the game, but being so [[WakeUpCallBoss goddamn hard to start with]].
** The first fight with Alma from the same game is often regarded as the game's toughest fight, even though there are number of fights after it.
** Speaking of which, Awakened Alma is considered to be this by many players.
** The Regent of the Mask in ''III'' and ''Razor's Edge''. He is an SNKBoss-caliber boss who blocks almost every single attack that you do, is less exploitable than other bosses, and can even NoSell any of your attack. If you make a single unthought move, he'll make you pay for it.
** Marbus in ''III'' is also this but for a different reason. Due to the lack of a controllable boss camera angle (which was introduced in ''Sigma II'' but strangely ''absent'' in this game), you face him 50% of the time off-screen. Thankfully, ''Razor's Edge'' brought that feature back. Of course, he is still a tough boss to beat. Also, he is ridden with glitches, which is noticeable when you're doing online with a partner.
** ''II'' has some pretty brutal bosses, but Zedonius takes the cake. Especially the rematch against him in the underworld. This trooper actually got an Xbox achievement for trying to beat him ''100 times in a row''.
* ThatOneLevel: The infamous 6-2 in the first NES game. 6-1 and 6-3 are both extremely difficult as well, but 6-2 takes the cake for cheap deaths and one spot where you seemingly have to exploit a flaw in the programming to get past. If you die even once on any of the '''[[SequentialBoss three final bosses]]''', you're forced to redo the ''entire stage at 6-1 again''.
** The "Path of Zarkhan" chapter in ''Ninja Gaiden''. Not that it's particularly harder than previous chapters but you spend most of the level swimming back and forth to solve a puzzle, and after that you must go through a very long and boring swimming sequence through areas previously visited but now submerged. ''Sigma'' removed that puzzle and made the level more straightforward, but you still have to swim a lot.
** The ElevatorActionSequence in ''Sigma II'' for Rachel's chapter, mainly because of CameraScrew issues and also because [[DropTheHammer Rachel's melee weapon]] isn't very adapted to fight in narrow spaces. Of course, it gets worse at higher difficulties where the upgraded flare fiends are DemonicSpiders and deal ''a lot'' of damage - often {{One Hit Kill}}s in Master Ninja.
** Ayane's chapter is infamously the hardest one in ''Sigma II'', and has plunged many a player into an abyss of despair in Master Ninja. Prepare to see the Game Over screen ''a lot'' with her.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: What some fans think of ''Ninja Gaiden 3''.
** ItsTheSameNowItSucks: What other fans think of ''Ninja Gaiden 3''.
** ItsEasySoItSucks: Also what other fans think of ''Ninja Gaiden 3''.
** ItsShortSoItSucks: [[OverlyLongGag And what some fans think of]] the story mode of ''Ninja Gaiden 3''.
* TheyCopiedItSoItSucks: Largely averted with the NES trilogy. People have noted the games copy a LOT of things from ''Castlevania'', most obviously the life bars, but most people agree that the Ninja Gaiden games then were still good games in their own right despite the obvious influences. Likely helps that it's power ups are very different from Castlevania's.
* TheyJustDidntCare: The Greater Fiends in the [=DLC=] missions of ''Ninja Gaiden 3'' were merely ported from their respective games (Doku and Alma from ''Sigma''; Alexei, Volf, Zedonius, Elizebet and Marbus from ''Sigma II''). Their models were not polished enough to be compatible with the game's engine, making them really buggy and glitchy to battle with, with Marbus being the ''worst'' offender. Same thing goes for Genshin (both in his human and Fiend forms), Van Gelfs, and Lesser Fiends, who are already on disc. ''Razor's Edge'' fixes them for the most port, although some glitch remains, notable for Elizebet and (again) ''Marbus''.
* UnfortunateImplications: In ''Sigma II'', you play a Japanese man who literally ''fights the Statue of Liberty''. Granted, you were fighting a statue of ''Buddha'' two stages prior (presumably if the series ever goes to Rio de Janeiro, we'll fight Jesus). And once Ryu has "freed" it by breaking Alexei's lightning chains, it extends its hand to help him escape before sinking into the sea.
* VillainDecay: The [[FourIsDeath Malice Four]] ([[TheBrute Barbarian]], [[RingsOfDeath Bomberhead]], [[KnifeNut Basaquer]], and [[ShockAndAwe Bloody Malth]]) become ordinary {{mooks}} throughout the stages in ''The Dark Sword of Chaos'' and can be killed with a few hits. Granted, they're located on platforms where [[DemonicSpiders they'll most likely throw you into a pit]], but [[DegradedBoss they were major bosses]] in the first game. Bloody Malth was even the one who [[spoiler: [[YouKilledMyFather defeated Ryu's father]]]].
** Justified in a GuideDangIt: the {{mooks}} are in fact sub-standard clones of the original Malice Four.
** The Greater Fiends who were brought up to ''III'' and ''Razor's Edge''. They were brought there because those games didn't have many of their own bosses and they have no involvement in the storyline whatsoever. Simply put, they were there for gameplay purposes. They appear in the Ninja Trials mode and ''Razor's Edge's'' Test of Valor challenges. Strangely enough, [[spoiler:Cliff Higgins]], one of the tougher ''original'' bosses, is nowhere to be found in Ninja Trials of the same games.

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