[[quoteright:330:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tenchu.jpg]]

''Live By Honor. Kill By Stealth.''

Tenchu is a series of [[StealthBasedGame stealth based games]] that features a {{ninja}} duo from the Azuma clan. It started in 1998 and has had several sequels across various consoles that expand its story. The story starts with a demonic sorcerer named Mei-Oh trying to take over the land of Lord Gohda whom the two ninja, Rikimaru and Ayame serve. The series is rather liked amongst those who have played it and some games contain a humorous dub version of the story that is completely different.

Aside from the games listed further below, the Tenchu franchise also include these titles:
* ''Tenchu: Time of the Assassins'' (2005), a [[UsefulNotes/PlayStationPortable PSP]] game set after Wrath of Heavens. Includes the [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters largest selection of playable characters to date]] and the return of the LevelEditor (with online-sharing capabilities).
* ''Tenchu: Dark Secret'' (2006), a UsefulNotes/NintendoDS game set after the second game. Deals with the titular ninjas trying to protect a DistressedDamsel from an EvilOverlord who she was [[ArrangedMarriage arranged to marry]].
* ''Tenchu: Shadow Assault'' (2008), a downloadable game. An [[GaidenGame unrelated]] [[GenreShift puzzle]] [[PuzzleGame game]] that borrows the series' setting and characters.
* Even though not developed by Activision, ''Return of the Ninja'', released by Natsume and Ubisoft (The former released for USA, the later for EUR) for UsefulNotes/GameBoyColor borrowed a lot of elements from Tenchu series. And the cards you obtain through playing through stages or trading with friends adds to this referencing!

!!These tropes are like you, weak and twisted. I fear them...NOT!:
* ActionGirl: Ayame, Rin and in Tenchu Z you can make a female character who would become this. They are all highly-trained ninja that can kill their targets in the blink of an eye.
* AnotherSideAnotherStory: Most games after the fist include a third secret character whose story runs parallel with that of Rikimaru and Ayame. This is most notable in ''Tenchu 2'' and ''Fatal Shadows''.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Everyone except Lord Gohda appears to be this. A common sight in most games is that of a corrupt merchant selling out the daughters of his debtors to a corrupt minister of Gohda's realm.
* AnachronicOrder: ''Tenchu 2'', ''Tenchu DS'', ''Tenchu 1'', ''Fatal Shadows'', ''Tenchu 3'', ''Time of the Assassins'', ''Shadow Assassin'', and some unknown years after, ''Tenchu Z''.
* BackStab: The series' iconic stealth kills.
* {{Badass}}: Rikimaru, especially after [[spoiler: his ''shadow'' retrieves his katana, fights off his {{Rival}}, and summons his soul ''from hell''.]]
* BareYourMidriff: Ayame did this throughout the series, most notably in ''Wrath of Heaven'' and ''Shadow Assassins''.
* BearsAreBadNews: A recurring enemy in the series. They are usually simply {{Big Mook}}s found in cave/forest-type stages, although ''Fatal Shadows'' presents one as a boss, which was later made playable in ''Time of the Assassins''.
* BilingualBonus: Tenchu means "Divine Punishment", which is what you dish out.
* BrilliantButLazy: Ayame can easily master techniques, but gets bored with training.
* CaptainErsatz: {{Naruto}}'s creator has openly admitted that Kakashi is based off of Rikimaru.
** Tachibana Jubei, an obvious ersatz of YagyuJubei.
** Tajima also played the BigBad in Film/{{Yojimbo}}
* CaptainObvious: The Mooks tend to be this.
--> ''I'm dying... Ohhhhh... I'm dying...''
* CoolBigSis: Ayame acts like this to Gohda's daughter, princess Kiku.
* CoolSword: Izayoi. Specially in ''Tenchu 3'', where its magical properties are first shown.
* CorruptBureaucrat: A very common Tenchu enemy.
-->''[[OnceAnEpisode Execute the]] [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney Corrupt Merchant]] [[FatBastard Echigoya]]''
* CorruptChurch: Surprisingly they are corrupt ''Buddhists''. Don't see that often.
* DeadCharacterWalking: Original has a player-accessible DebugMode that can cause all sorts of amusing glitches when abused: If you jump into a BottomlessPit and then use the debug menu to teleport back to the beginning of the level after you drop to 0 HP, you'll be essentially invincible and all enemy attacks go through you. However, this also gives you the same SuperDrowningSkills the enemies suffer from, but thanks to the debug menu, you can teleport yourself out of the water as well and revive yourself on command: depending on how long you let your character drown before you revive then, their lower torso [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe might disappear entirely]] or they might turn completely invisible with only their weapon floating in the air.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Since the games are set around 16th-century feudal Japan, the characters have values that are rather old fashioned or sexist from a modern point of view. In ''Stealth Assassins'' for example, if Rikimaru was sent to assassinate a corrupt Minister who's taking bribes, the Minister accepts his fate and ask Rikimaru to help him commit Seppuku. But if Ayame is the one to the assassinate him, the Minister is offended that a woman was sent to kill him and fights back. Even the protagonist are guilty of this with Rikimaru expressing [[StayInTheKitchen that women shouldn't be warriors]] despite [[{{Hypocrite}} his partner Ayame is one]].
* DeadpanSnarker: Ayame.
* DistressedDamsel: Kiku gets kidnapped [[OnceAnEpisode once on each main game]].
* DualWielding: Ayame wields a pair of daggers as her WeaponOfChoice. Ocassionally enemies or bosses also appear wielding two weapons, usually katanas.
* DullSurprise
* ExtremityExtremist: Onikage is all about kicks, only using his hands for special grabs in ''Wrath of Heaven'' and sometimes block.
* FinishingMove: The Stealth Kills function like this. The final skill in ''Tenchu 3'' being a cinematic OneHitKill may also count.
* GunsAreWorthless: Played straight with enemy guns, which are slow and easy to avoid, even if they have unlimited ammo and infinite reach. [[AvertedTrope Averted]] with the player's Bamboo Gun which, while sluggish and hard to aim, packs the strength of a ''bazooka'' and can heavily damage, or even kill, most things in one shot.
* HighPressureBlood: And plenty of it!
* HighlyVisibleNinja
* InvisibilityCloak: An unlockable item in ''Tenchu 2'', ''Wrath of Heavens'' and ''Fatal Shadows''.
* KatanasAreJustBetter
* KnifeNut: Ayame wields a pair of kodachi/daggers, and boy can she use them.
* LevelEditor: ''Tenchu 2'' introduced one which allowed players to create and save stages using one of 10 predetermined sets, based on game stages. The mode was later reimplemented in ''Shinobi Gaisen'' and ''Time of the Assassins''.
* MasterOfDisguise: An unlockable item in the earlier games. It allowed one to transform into a mook or innocent civilian for a short amount of time, or after delivering a kill. It and the InvisibilityCloak have the same effect with the difference that while the invisibility lasts for a shorter amount of time and you can only carry 1, it allows multiple kills for its duration while the disguise item lasts longer and you can carry up to 3 of them, but it wears off instantly if you kill someone with it active.
* NinjaLog: The Ninja Rebirth item, which ressurects the player if killed when equipped.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Ninja Pirate Animal Demon.
* OffWithHisHead: Totally random but happens frequently in the first game if an enemy is killed with a jump slash.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted, though in different games. There are two characters named Nasu: a [[AristocratsAreEvil corrupt aristocrat]] in Wrath of Heavens, and a DirtyOldMan that [[CovertPervert doubles as a massagist]] in Fatal Shadows. There are also up to three Echigoya characters in various games, and they're all corrupt merchants with a thing for harassing geishas.
* {{Pirate}}: The Baoliusung Gang from part 2 are a Chinese gang of pirates, while the foreign pirates from the first game are the more traditional kind.
* RankInflation: Thug, Novice, Ninja, Master Ninja, Grand Master.
* RemixedLevel:
** One of Tenchu's main features is that the levels play different depending on which character you choose.
** ''Tenchu 2'' features new takes on the StormTheCastle and mountain stage from the first game, the latter even with the same Tengu enemies!
** ''Fatal Shadows'' brings in a mostly-complete recreation of the 3rd/cave level and 4th/checkpoint level from the first game, altough many areas in the latter are closed off and split into two different missions.
* {{Rival}}: A SmugSnake to boot, that purple kicking bastard.
* RuleOfCool: Some of the stealth kills are ''ridiculously'' complicated. Ayame does things that make pro wrestling finishers look basic.
* ScarsAreForever: Rikimaru sports a scar over his right eye, and it's awesome. He got it in ''Tenchu 2'' at the start of the timeline, and still has it in ''Z'', set some unknown years after the last released entry.
* SecretCharacter: Each game in the series has a third unlockable character. Except the first one.
** Time of the Assassins has 5 different characters to play in story mode, and [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters many more]] for use in the LevelEditor.
* SimultaneousArcs:
** Rikimaru, Ayame and Tatsumaru's stories in ''Tenchu 2'' happen at the same period of time, and they complement each other entirely so one has to play all three to completion to see the full picture.
** ''Fatal Shadow'' works similarly, although there's a single story mode with Ayame and Rin taking turns each mission, the former dealing with foreign enemies of Gohda and the latter with getting revenge for her DoomedHometown.
** Averted in ''Tenchu 3'', where the three playable characters' stories are entirely independent and tell very different stories with the same bad guys.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Go(h)da.
* StormingTheCastle Gohda castle has been stormed or infiltrated numerous times.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: Saw a dead teammate over there? They stay alert...for all of 1 minute before resuming patrol as if nothing ever happened. Worse if using an animal-sound mimicking item/skill, which will make the guards relax after hearing a cow, chicken or dog and ''assuming those were the culprits''!
* WhatMeasureIsAMook: the player can often hear the mooks [[EnemyChatter utter some lines]] while hiding in the Shadows. That includes lines as "The doctor said I should stay away from dangerous business for a while" (said by a ninja of all people) and "I need to cut down on my drinking, or my wife will be mad at me again". Though that might not be intentional. You could feel sorry for mooks getting murdered seconds after saying "I'm sure tonight will be completely uneventful".

!!Tenchu: Stealth Assassins
--> Released in 1998 for UsefulNotes/PlayStation
''Tenchu: Stealth Assassins'' is the first game in the series, focused on an apparent series of unrelated missions carried over by Rikimaru/Ayame by orders of Lord Gohda. Half-way through, Onikage makes his appearances and the protagonists are dragged into [[BonusLevelOfHell hell itself]] to save Gohda's daughter from Onikage's master, [[{{Satan}} Lord Mei-Oh]]. The original Japanese version was an ObviousBeta with clunky controls and graphics, so the western version was [[RegionalBonus reworked, while adding two new stages and three different selectable enemy layouts]]. Eventually the Japanese market got an UpdatedRerelease under the subtitle ''Shinobi Gaisen'', which included all the upgrades plus a brand-new LevelEditor. Later in 1999 ''Tenchu: Shinobi Hyakusen'' was released, a [[NoExportForYou japan-only]] [[MissionPackSequel Mission Pack]] made of 100 fan-submited levels created with Shinobi Gaisen's LevelEditor.

* ArtificialStupidity: Dead bodies are effectively "out of play" in this game. Guards and civilians can walk down a bloodsoaked street littered with corpses without being alarmed.
* BreathWeapon: The fire-eaters scroll allows Rikimaru/Ayame to release a potent fire breath at enemies, whereas the skinny, big-headed cultists in Stage 6 have it as a natural ability.
* BilingualDialogue: Ayame understands Captain Balmer's Spanish, but she always responds in her native tongue.
* CatchPhrase: Ayame has the PostMortemOneLiner "you won't ___ where you're going."
* {{Cult}}: The Manji is a cult of deranged, deformed people under the (apparent) influence of a mysterious rock. It is implied Lord Mei-Oh may have a hand in that.
* DebugRoom: A Debug Mode can be accessed in game which allows for all sort of crazy things like controlling enemies/bosses/civilians/animals, creating your own layouts with enemy patterns and behaviors (and saving it on a Memory Card) and even assign an enemy/boss to the 2nd controller and play co-op!
* EvilWeapon: Mei-Oh's sword, Shichishito. Besides being a somewhat EmpathicWeapon with cursed powers, it also has [[ShockAndAwe electric attacks]].
* FlowerFromTheMountaintop: Mission 8's goal is to obtain a flower grown at the very top of a mountain to cure Princess Kiku.
* GratuitousSpanish: Balmer, the foreign pirate. The english version is not ''that'' bad (though the thick Cuban accent certainly doesn't help), but the Japanese original on the other hand...
--> <[[BlindIdiotTranslation It looks like you've died. I kill you now!]]>
* PreAssKickingOneLiner: Ayame tells the ''King of Hell'' that she's not impressed with him, after [[{{Badass}} Backflipping into Hellmouth]]. She actually says, "SHUT UP AND TELL ME WHERE KIKU IS!"
--> '''Rikimaru:''' Your guards are dead. And ''you'' are next.
* {{Seppuku}}: One of the missions involves executing a corrupt minister, but if the player is using Rikimaru, he will plead with the minister to take the honorable route and perform seppuku, which he will and Rikimaru will assist by decapitating him. If the player chooses Ayame, she will insult and agitate the minister until he lashes out, resulting in a boss battle.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Features really quite pleasant and soothing classical guitar BGM, while you drop onto hapless mooks and decapitate them.
* StayInTheKitchen: Whereas Minister Kataohka will honorably commit seppuku if Rikimaru confronts him, he'll challenge Ayame, stating that he will "not allow a woman to scold (him)".
* StormingThecastle: Mission 9 is set in Gohda's own castle, now taken over by Onikage and his demon ninja. The Azuma Ninja thus has to infiltrate it and reach the top to defeat him.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: The secret armor for Ayame.
* SuperDrowningSkills: Enemies can't swim, but Rikimaru and Ayame can. This gives the player a major advantage they can exploit.
* TeleportSpam: Mei-Oh. Hoo-boy does he loves teleporting around...
* UpdatedRerelease: A curious example. The first Tenchu released in Japan is quite unlike the one overseas gamer experienced. The overseas edition added many features, such as the mid-boss battle at the first stage, extra stages, opening movie, as well as the cheats. This was later remade back in Japan by the name of Tenchu: Shinobi Gaisen, featuring extra difficulty levels including the HarderThanHard [[DifficultyByRegion European Extreme]], as well as different language audios.
* WarmupBoss: Echigoya is reeeeeally slow both moving and shooting, telegraphs every attack he makes and has a rather mediocre life bar.
* WorthyOpponent: Senjuro Akechi considers Rikimaru this, and laments that they stand as enemies loyal to their lords before battle.

!!Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins
--> Released in 2000 for UsefulNotes/PlayStation
''Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins'' is a {{Prequel}} to the first, focus on the two characters' graduation into ninjas and their first assignments serving Gohda. Introduced the LevelEditor mode (later used in ''Shinobi Gaisen'') and the traditional [[SecretCharacter third secret character]].

* AMillionIsAStatistic
-->'''Suzaku''': "We live in an age of war. People die every day."
* AmnesiacDissonance: Tatsumaru loses his memory and helps the Burning Dawn massacre his own clan. [[spoiler:He regains his memory but chooses to remain one of the bad guys out of guilt]].
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler: Suzaku, once he's revealed to be Onikage]].
* BadassGrandpa: Master Shiunsai and the rest of the Azuma. Too bad they all die.
* BareFistedMonk: Wang Xaohai, a Chinese pirate expert in hand-to-hand combat.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Rikimaru & Ayame are the only Azuma ninja left. Onikage is still out there]].
* BreakTheCutie: Both Rikimaru and Ayame go through this, [[spoiler: seeing their friend Tatsumaru betray them, kill their master/father figure and renounce them to join Kagami in her attack against Gohda. Ayame really gets the worse of it, as she had a crush on Tatsumaru.]]
* CherryBlossoms: The stage set in the Cherry Tree Hill has a huge tree and the whole area covered in blossoms.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: The soldier mooks in the first part of the game wear different colors to indicate who they serve. Green=Motohide, Purple=Toda, Blue=Gohda.
* CoolBoat / NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: The Fire Demon.
* CrackOhMyBack: Urano Takehito will ocassionally stop his attack due to his bad back, being a really old man.
* DarkerAndEdgier
* DigitalBikini: Of the "original outfit too risque" variety. Compare Ayame's [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/198909-tenchu-2-birth-of-the-stealth-assassins/images/25 Japanese]] costume to her [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/198909-tenchu-2-birth-of-the-stealth-assassins/images/screen-3 US]] one.
* DoomedHometown: The Azuma village, although it doesn't happen until the mid-point in the story.
* DraggedByTheCollar: One of the new abilities added to your ninja's skill-set is the ability to drag bodies and hide them from view.
* DragonWithAnAgenda: Kagami served Lord Tohda as head of his ninja group, but betrayed him in order to pursue her own dreams.
* EvilCounterpart: Lord Toda for Lord Gohda (both lord over their lands, but Gohda is benevolent while Toda is power-hungry) and the Burning Dawn for the Azuma ninja (both are ninja groups serving their lords, but the Azuma are completely loyal to Gohda whereas the Burning Dawn betrayed Toda for their own needs).
* FallenHero: Tatsumaru.
* FiveBadBand The Lords of the Burning Dawn.
** BigBad - Kagami.
** TheDragon - Seiryu [[spoiler: both the original and Tatsumaru]].
** TheBrute - Genbu.
** EvilGenius - Suzaku.
** DarkChick - Byakko.
** TeamPet - Byakko's pet tiger, Kotaro.
* ForgivenessRequiresDeath: Poor Tatsumaru.
* TheFourGods: The Lords of the Burning Dawn are named after them.
* GenocideFromTheInside: [[spoiler:Suffering from AmnesiacDissonance and having become a Lord of the Burning Dawn, Tatsumaru wipes out his own clan, leaving few survivors besides Rikimaru and Ayame.]]
* GoOutWithASmile: Genbu, [[TearJerker just see the cutscene after his last boss battle]].
* IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace: Demon Mountain.
* IncurableCoughOfDeath: Kagami.
* IslandBase: Kubon island, hideout of the Baoliusung Gang.
* JustYouAndMeAndMyGUARDS: Toda calls forth two soldiers right before his boss battle with Tatsumaru.
* LightIsNotGood: The Burning Dawn have rejected the life of darkness and embraced the light.
* MeaningfulName: [[spoiler: Suzaku]].
* MidSeasonTwist: It's in the 6th or 7th missions that Rikimaru & Ayame discover Tatsumaru's amnesia.
* MyMasterRightOrWrong: Genbu refuses to stop fighting as he feel he owes Kagami for all she did for him.
* NapoleonComplex: Byakko is supremely arrogant for someone so short.
* NotSoSafeHarbor: Or rather, Not So Secret Harbor.
* PantheraAwesome: Byakko's pet tiger Kotaro, who assists him in fighting Rikimaru and Ayame.
* PassingTheTorch: Master Shiunsai passes down the Izayoi to Tatsumaru, and with it, leadership of the Azuma clan...[[spoiler: This turns out to be a TenMinuteRetirement, as Tatsumaru makes a FaceHeelTurn shortly after.]]
** [[spoiler:Ayame later gives Izayoi to Rikimaru after Tatsumaru dies]].
* PreAsskickingOneLiner: Rikimaru makes one before every boss battle.
* TheReveal / TheStinger: [[spoiler:Suzaku is Onikage]].
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: Tohda kills Motohide after he kidnaps Kiku.
* SssssnakeTalk: Suzaku.
* SmokeOut: Parodied by Genbu.
* SoftReset: By holding Start+Select.
* StarCrossedLovers: Tatsumaru ♥ Kagami.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: Lady Kagami definitely.
* SwordCane: Master Shiunsai wields one with incredible speed for someone so old.
* SwordOverHead: Lord Gohda is engaged in a sword fight with his uncle, who has led a revolt against him. Being the good and noble lord Gohda hesitates after disarming him, and lowers his weapon. [[NoNonsenseNemesis His uncle then shoots him.]] It is then that the player controlled Rikumaru steps in, cuing a boss fight. After the fight, the trope occurs again, with Rikumaru poised over the uncle. Being a ninja, Rikumaru slashes, but Gohda leaps in and takes the slash to his back. The uncle, touched by this, proceeds to scamper off and kill Gohda's wife and kidnap his daughter. Nice guy.
** Later, during the battle against [[spoiler: Tatsumaru]], Rikimaru hesitates to strike down [[spoiler: his former friend]], who takes the opportunity to slash Rikimaru's face, scarring him for the rest of the series.
* TheUnfought: Although he is fought as a boss (he's the 2nd boss in Rikimaru's campaign), Motohide is the only boss that doesn't get killed by the main characters.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Or rather, three: The Snake, The Frog and The Slug.
* ThreateningShark: There's one in the water during the Secret Harbor missions.
* VisionaryVillain: Kagami just wanted to free the ninja from servitude.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Suzaku kills Yukihotaru after she loses to Rikimaru.
* YouKilledMyFather: [[spoiler: Shiunsai reflects on how Tatsumaru killing him was fate after he killed his father]]. Slightly subverted in that he never knew it, so it was [[ItsPersonal not personal]].

!!Wrath of Heaven
--> Released in 2003 for UsefulNotes/PlayStation2
''Tenchu 3: Wrath of Heaven'' is a direct sequel starting where the first game left out. Each character has its own individual and independent storyline, which are quite different and contradictory between them. They all center on a new BigBad, the dark wizard Tenrai, and his attempt to take over Gohda's land by either claiming Lord Mei-Oh's power (Rikimaru's story) or a set of three MacGuffin (Ayame's). The first entry in UsefulNotes/PlayStation2, ''Wrath of Heaven'' refined the gameplay of the first two and introduced several new features, including a set of ninja skills to unlock, extra weapons beyond the basic ones and the ability to wield enemy weapons. It also included a set of co-op missions and a Versus Mode with several of the bosses playable. It later got a remake for UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}} titled ''Tenchu: Return from Darkness'', with added stages and online capabilities.

* AsianRuneChant: As a method for learning new moves.
* BackFromTheDead: Rikimaru returns from his apparent death at the end of the original ''Tenchu''[[note]]Although, according to the bonus stage, he was actually trapped in another world/the future[[/note]]. Tenrai has the power of ressurection and all members of the Group of Six (most notably [[spoiler: Tatsumaru]]) are this.
* BadassNormal: Tesshu is just a thug-for-hire, but can go toe-to-toe with the ninja main characters.
* ClockworkCreature: The specialty of Dr. Kimaira is his wooden robot army.
* DeadlyDoctor: Tesshu works as a doctor by day, but during the night he's an assassin for hire.
* DirtyCop: The mooks Rikimaru kills in the bonus mission "Through The Portal".
* FiveBadBand: The Group of Six.
** TheBigBad - Tenrai.
** TheDragon - The Jinnai brothers and [[spoiler: Tatsumaru]].
** TheBrute - Ganda.
** The EvilGenius - Dr. Kimaira.
** TheDarkChick - Kagura.
** SixthRanger - Onikage.
* FollowTheMoney: Some of the mooks Tesshu kills carry gold.
* GagDub: The B-side audio option, detailing Rikimaru's quest for the secret invention [[spoiler:toilet paper]], Ayane's possible modeling career and Tesshu's adventures as a homosexual.
* IncendiaryExponent: A PowerUp ki attack of Tesshu gives him a fiery aura, and each punch sets enemies on fire.
* InnocentInnuendo: Ayame hears Tajima telling one of the kidnapped villagers "What a nice pair you have, now let me show you mine!" They are, of course, playing poker.
* MadScientist: Dr. Kimaira.
* MagicalEye / DangerousForbiddenTechnique: [[spoiler: Rikimaru's Dohjutsu. Sealed in his right eye by Shiunsai because he "was not ready at the time", it allowed him to overcome Tenrai's evil power]]. Worth noting it seems to have been RetGone afterwards, as no further mention of this ability is ever done.
* MasterOfDisguise: Hyakubake, a member of Tenrai's group with this ability. He faces Rikimaru as Ayame and viceverse in their respective storylines.
* MurderInc: The Muzen (Tesshu).
* PlayingPossum: It's possible to feign death but doing so causes you to slowly lose health as you bleed, it's possible to ''actually'' die.
* PoisonedWeapons: A special hidden weapon for Ayame which poisons with every strike. Suffice to say that this effectively ''completely cripples'' the enemy/boss in question, who will be stunned every second for each slash he receives.
* PoisonousPerson: Tenrai's OneWingedAngel form in Ayame's story is this, a serpent-like monstrosity who can poison with a mere touch.
* SillinessSwitch: The B-side dialogue option.
* TrappedInAnotherWorld: Explains how Riki survived the end of the first game.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: The special "Through the Portal" mission put Rikimaru in a modern time setting against a CorruptCorporateExecutive [[spoiler:Who's also a cyborg]].

!!Fatal Shadows
--> Released in 2004 for UsefulNotes/PlayStation2
''Tenchu: Fatal Shadows'' is an {{Interquel}} set between the first and third game, focusing on Ayame's mission on enemy territory and the exploits of a former ninja, Rin, looking for the ones who burned down her [[HiddenElfVillage secret ninja village]]. Its very similar gameplay-wise to ''Wrath of Heavens'' and features a few small new additions, such as enemy-based Stealth Kills.

* TheCameo: Tesshu and his boss Zennosuke appear in one of Rin's cutscenes.
* DoomedHometown: Rin's village.
* HandCannon: Tesshu and Rin can obtain a one hit wonder ''bamboo'' gun. Suffice to say that a well-aimed shot deals a lot of damage if not directly OneHitKill.
* InstrumentOfMurder: Shou from the Kuroya fights with a shamisen concealing a ''freakin machinegun''.
* MultiMookMelee: Red Blade mode, which lets one select a specific stage/mook variety to fight until death. It also includes a BossRush option.
* MurderInc: The Beniya and the Kuroya.
* ParasolOfPain: Jyuzo has as main weapon a sword hidden within an umbrella, which he uses in a battohjutsu style.
* WarmupBoss: Tatsukichi is pathetically slow and loves informing you when she's to attack. [[NeverHurtAnInnocent Not mentioning grabbing her ends the fight with a quick neck smack]].
* YouHaveFailedMe: Jyuzo kills his lover Tatsukichi if you spare her life.

!!Shadow Assassins
--> Released in 2008 for UsefulNotes/{{Wii}} and UsefulNotes/PlayStationPortable
''Tenchu: Shadow Assassins'' finally continued forward the plot. Got an UnexpectedGameplayChange, with fights represented in [[PointOfView first person]].

* DemonicPossession: Implied in the end that [[spoiler: Onikage has possessed Ayame]].
* InNameOnly: the play style is barely like the other games at all-- While stealth is key, combat amounts to "''If'' you have a sword, play a minigame, if you don't have a sword, don't get seen again, or it's game over."
** Perhaps it's subjective, but the sword fighting mini game on Wii is so ABSURDLY difficult that you might as well just press restart. You get under a second between the indication of the sword's direction and the time in which you have to block, if you get hit once you lose, even on early levels enemies seem to have an unreasonable amount of health, and if you don't block exactly perfectly more than a couple of times your sword breaks and you also lose. NintendoHard doesn't begin to describe it. Then there's the Xbox Live DLC game Shadow Assault, being a PuzzleGame with nothing but the setting and characters from the series.
* KillTheCutie: [[spoiler: Kiku]].
* KillUsBoth
* TheMole: Someone within Gohda castle appears to be acting as one for the BigBad
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: The game was meant to be the first of a trilogy which unfortunately never came to fruition, leaving the series on a massive (and probably never to be resolved) cliffhanger.
* WhatTheHellHero: Rikimaru [[spoiler:is forced to stab through Princess Kiku to get to [[TheDragon Onikage]], who was holding her hostage. Princess Kiku more or less orders Rikimaru to it]], but it's implied Rikimaru is now no different from his mortal nemesis.

!!Tenchu Z
--> Released in 2006 for UsefulNotes/Xbox360
''Tenchu Z'' is a [[TimeSkip distant sequel]] set some unknown time after the other games. Rikimaru is now a {{NPC}} and ''your'' teacher, since you can create the protagonist. Only game in the series to make use of a [[VirtualPaperDoll character creation]] system. Also the only one Ayame has missed the cut.

* {{Bishonen}}: Shigi.
* OutOfTheInferno: Shigi.
* TakeThat: Foreign {{Pirate}}s are effeminate, and fat.
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