Shinobido: Imashime (Shinobido: Way of the Ninja in Europe) is a stealth-based video game set in old Japan featuring... well, Ninjas.It follows the story of Goh, the young and talented ninja from the Asuka clan, who suffers from a strange amnesia. Soon, he finds out that his clan was exterminated, with a few survivors, and the only chance of regaining his memory lies in some mysterious Purple Stones that contain fragments of his memory. In order to find them, he starts working for three powers (the Ichijo Clan, the Akame Clan and the Amurita Sect) in order to find all the purple fragments and find out what happened to him. He'll have to deal with rival clans, thick plots, two mysterious ninja who seem to know him well, and a masked evil sorcerer who's apparently after him.Despite not being very well known, it's a very good, challenging game, with interesting characters and realism.It has a spinoff on the PSP, titled Shinobido Homura ("Shinobido Tales of the Ninja" in Europe). It re-uses most assets from the original game and re-treads the same plot, though it's structured differently and technically does take place after the events of the original game.A third game is available for the Sony Vita, titled Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen.
The series contains examples of:
Shared by all games
Shinobido Way of the Ninja
Action Girl: Kinu, the Mosu ninja and, surprisingly, Lady Sadame herself.
Animal Motifs: All the Asuka Ninja are nicknamed after birds. Goh is the Crow.
Authority Equals Asskicking: All the high-ranking enemies, like generals, Barbarian chieftains, clan leaders and Ninja leaders are stronger and more durable than other low-level mooks. However, all of them (except for the Ninja leaders) can be slain in one stealth attack. if you do things right.
Axe Crazy: Many of the rival ninjas, including Kabuto.
Cool Sword: The mystic sword in the Asuka shrine. It's later used to kill Gamuran.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Averted. If your enemies outnumber you, then you should start running for your life and hide somewhere. And many ninja will probably make mincemeat out of you.
Contractual Boss Immunity: Each and every enemy in game (even bears, Samurai Generals and leaders) can be taken out with one sneak attack. However, all the ninja leaders, Zaji and Gamuran are immune to stealth kills, even if you should be able to land one on them.
Earn Your Happy Ending: If you manage to gain the trust of both the three factions (it is possible if you are not spotted in missions),then in the end,Zaji is saved and Goh, Kinu and Zaji decide to start anew the Asuka Ninja clan under Zaji's rule
Elite Mooks: The other ninja, as soon as they start to appear alongside mooks.
Epic Flail: Kinu's weapon is a weird, multi-bladed flail. She can use it to stab people and strangle them with the chain. Uzumushi wields a long pole with a gargantuan iron orb connected to the top.
Escort Mission: In many missions you'll have to escort a huge carriage carrying provisions for one of the factions. At least it goes right to the exit on its own and is really resistant to damage. Also in some missions you'll have to guard a merchant or a Samurai General and stop eventual killers.
Evil Sorcerer: Gamuran. He's also undead and needs a special spell guarded by the Asuka ninjas to regain a body.
Eye Scream: Zaji lost his right eye to Gamuran during the destruction of the Asuka village.
Lady Sadame is a beautiful, voluptuous lady who has a penchant for rubbing herself against a Buddha idol in a weird, sexy way. Goes over the top in one of the cutscenes where she's only wearing a nightgown and said statue is lying on the ground, or in the finale, where it looks like she's making out with it.
Grappling-Hook Pistol: You can use a useful grapple hook to reach high spots, avoid pits or, if you're lucky, drag victims in chasm with a well aimed shot.
The Guards Must Be Crazy: Partly averted, they may not be really efficient or what, but surely they're much more of a challenge then the guards from Assassin's Creed I. As you proceed, they'll start to react to your tactics in a more careful way.
Guide Dang It: Using alchemy without reading the manual is suicide. Well, it wasn't useful anyway...
Highly-Visible Ninja: The Taraba Ninja. Dear God, the Taraba Ninja. They're huge and they wear a ton of armor which makes a strong, clanking noise whenever they take a step or even breathe. Their main weapon is a mortar cannon on their backs. Their leader Kabuto takes this Up to Eleven.
Jerk Ass: Kabuto and Kagetora Akame. Sadame is more hedonistic and selfish than jerkass.
Katanas Are Just Better: Goh's only weapon is a shinobigatana, and many high ranked enemies like yojimbos and Samurais wield those. Heck, even Lady Sadame has one!
Kick the Dog: Goh killing Ageha and Usuba's sister in cold blood for no reason. Gamuran made him do that.
Kill It with Fire: You can install fire-spitting traps in your garden. The Taraba Ninja (Including Kabuto) have firethrowers of some sort on them, which they can also use to get rid of eventual corpses.
Kill Them All: Some of your missions consist of attacking a large group of enemies scattered in the map and slaying them one by one.
Killed Off for Real: Let's see... Hebitonbo, Ageha, Kabuto, Zaji (in the usual ending) and Onji.
Killer Rabbit: On of the avaible items is a toy duckling/lizard which can be used as a distraction. High level ones can blow up when picked by the guards, killing them all.
One-Hit Kill: Using a stealth kill will allow you to insta-kill a enemy. It has several variations based on the situation. Eg, normally Goh will grab his victim from behind and slice his throat, while when attacking from above he'll grab his victim's head in midair and snap his neck.
Also the Wells. If you fall into a well or toss your opponent into one, you're/he's as good as dead.
Optional Stealth: All levels are supposed to be stealthy, including duels, kidnappings and assassinations. You can still try to use a more direct approach, but it will be much more dangerous, and you'll get less reward if you're spotted. And the Golden Ending pretty much require absolute stealth.
Playing with Fire: The Taraba Ninjas can use flamethrower-devices as weapons or in order to cremate corpses.
Powered Armor: The Taraba ninja, who forfeited their right to be called ninja by wearing those ironclads!
Recurring Boss: Zaji is fought three times. The other ninja leaders can also challenge you to a duel several times during the course of the game.
Red Baron: "Karasu" (Crow) for Goh and "Kurotaka" (Blackhawk) for Zaji. Subverted by Kinu, who's nicknamed "Kanaria" (Canary).
Shut Up, Hannibal!: During the last fight, Gamuran gets interrupted thrice, courtesy of Kinu (who gives the Asuka Sword to Goh), then Onji (who bites his arm) and, finally Goh, who stabs him in the head before he can finish casting his soul breaking spell again.
Stuff Blowing Up: Part of your arsenal is composed by smokebombs, mines, exploding toys and even explosive sushi. Also the large buckets of powder in Rokudo Valley and the bombs in one of the fortresses.
Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Not really as a weapon, but as a distraction. You can pick up and throw not only swords, but also axes, bladerings, jittes, bows, muskets and small buckets. Only the bladed items can actually damage someone.
To be honest it's often necessary to do so (or at least turn over the kennel), as the little beast will bark loudly if you come too close, alerting everyone nearby.
Villainous Breakdown: The various faction leaders will send you letters (and cutscenes) as you slowly defeat them and weaken their faction. Sadame's breakdown is the most noticeable, since she goes from histerically screaming against you to covering in fear behind her sex to- er, Buddha idol.
What the Hell, Hero?: Ageha and Usuba gives one to Goh when he lets them go after their first fight.
Old Save Bonus: In a way. You can export user created maps from Shinobido Way of the Ninja into Shinobido Way of the Ninja using their respective export/import option and a USB connection. You can also export the developer made example levels.