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* EvilAllAlong: [[spoiler: Clancy is the true mastermind of the events as he manipulated Ryu, Irene, and Foster into being his pawns.

to:

* EvilAllAlong: [[spoiler: Clancy is the true mastermind of the events as he manipulated Ryu, Irene, and Foster into being his pawns.pawns]].

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* BeatThemAtTheirOwnGame: A villainous version. Most of the bosses in ''The Ancient Ship of Doom'' use Ryu's Ninja Arts such as the Windmill Throwing Star or mass-fire versions of the Art of the Fire Wheel.
* DifficultyByRegion: The NES version of ''III'' has no password feature, limited continues, less checkpoints and stronger enemies than its Famicom counterpart.
%%* {{Doppelganger}}: The Bio-Noid doppelganger from ''The Ancient Ship of Doom''
* EvilAllAlong: [[spoiler: Clancy is the true mastermind of the events as he manipulated Ryu, Irene, and Foster into being his pawns.
* GoodCannotComprehendEvil: Discussed at the end of the third game. Irene cannot comprehend evil, but Ryu can:
-->'''Irene''': I'll never understand why people make and pursue evil plans until they wind up dead.
-->'''Ryu''': Humans are always striving to achieve. [[BlindIdiotTranslation All of creatures on earth, in all worlds,]] can never be just a part of someone's plans. Fortunately, mankind is never foolish enough to wipe itself out to achieve some ambitions.
* {{Interquel}}: ''The Ancient Ship of Doom'' takes place after the events of the first NES ''Ninja Gaiden'', but before ''The Dark Sword of Chaos'', which is why Ryu still possesses the Dragon Sword, despite having lost it at the end. The Japanese manual makes the game's setting clear, but the American manual only implies it subtly.
-->After Ryu's victorious duel with Jaquio, Ashtar returned to the bowels of darkness and bided his time. But another evil creature was already on its way as another adventure awaits the unsuspecting Ryu Hayabusa...
* RaceAgainstTheClock: In Act 7 of ''The Ancient Ship of Doom'', should you make it to the FinalBoss without dying, you will notice the timer is '''very close''' to zero once you reach the end.
* RockBeatsLaser: Throughout ''The Ancient Ship of Doom'', instead of heading into a hellish dimension to battle demonic creatures like its preceding games, Ryu faces a high-tech robotic army at (mostly) artificial environments, culminating with a battle within an alien ship against a laser-equipped HumongousMecha.
* OhCrap: At the FinalBoss of ''The Ancient Ship of Doom'', Ryu instead stutters out the villain's name upon seeing its monstrous form.

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