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Characters / Ninja Gaiden

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The characters in Ninja Gaiden introduced during the Nintendo Entertainment System trilogy and the modern series.

Many unmarked spoilers ahead: you've been warned.

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Debuting in the original Ninja Gaiden trilogy

    Ryu Hayabusa 

Voiced by: Hideyuki Hori (JP), Justin Gross (EN - Ninja Gaiden), Josh Keaton (EN - Ninja Gaiden II), Troy Baker (EN - Dead or Alive: Dimensions, Dead or Alive 5, Ninja Gaiden III), Keiichi Nanba (JP - OVA), Dave B. Mitchell (EN - Dead or Alive 6)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (Arcade)

Protagonist of the series and heir to the "Dragon Ninja Clan", Ryu Hayabusa is the eponymous example of a modern day ninja. His black falcon outfit's sleek design is reminiscent to that of the modern special ops agent; still, his tabi boots, ninja head piece, mask, scarf and shin/forearm guards are representative of the ancient ninja warrior. In great contrast to his deadly appearance, beneath the mask lies a handsome man capable of gentle expressions even, while still in his early 20s, Ryu's personality is that of a wise, composed man far older than himself. With this level of maturity, Ryu is perfectly able to act gentle and caring towards his relatives and friends, and very cold and deadly towards his enemies without hatred.

For his appearances for Dead or Alive series, head here.

  • Action Hero: Ryu is a Ninja trained in martial arts, weaponry and elemental magic who regularly fights hordes of countless enemies in his quest to protect the world. He easily rivals if not matches Dante and Kratos as a video game action hero.
  • Animal Motifs: The falcon, specifically the peregrine falcon.
  • Animorphism: Shown in the first Xbox game's ending where he leaves by transforming into a falcon.
  • Anti-Hero
    • "Nominal" or "Unscrupulous" at his worst, but mostly the "Classical" type: Ryu in the modern trilogy is pretty much established as this. Although he does have a strong sense of justice in his mission to punish evil, he has no qualms about killing ninjas from other clans and soldiers alike; in fact, it's made clear he has no hatred nor even a slight dislike towards any of them (only some Fiends get to provoke Ryu's wrath). Ryu faces this as the harsh reality of a ninja's upbringing - death is a natural part of their world even against friendly rivals.
      • A notable mention goes to the first Ninja Gaiden for Xbox: in the first mission, Ryu slaughters as many ninjas as he can find for his training routine, and they were from a friendly clan, despite Murai turning out to be the Big Bad, but Ryu didn't take this into consideration then; the first ninja Ryu ambushes is also his first kill in the game. Ryu's reaction to his fallen foe is that of simple acceptance, since it was the right thing to do and the fallen ninja wouldn't live much longer anyway if he was that weak.
      • In the sequel, after having mowed down hordes of Black Spider Clan ninjas and Fiends, Ryu still pays his condolences to all the fallen who went against his clan and then walks away for his next mission.
    • Ninja Gaiden III uses this trope as its primary theme: as a "Japanese dark hero", Ryu's remorseless "cut down the many for the sake of many more" routine is coming back to bite him in the ass due to the "Grip of Murder" curse that relates to the amount of lives he's taken throughout his life. In one scene, a mercenary begs not to be killed because he has a family to go home to. While it seems the game tries to give the player the option of taking a life, the button prompt says otherwise and Ryu cleaves him in two.
      • Perfectly Lampshaded at the end of Ninja Gaiden III by one character:
    "You are not a murderer. You're not exactly a hero, either. Guess that's what it means to be a Ninja."
  • Back from the Dead: Quite instantly after being killed by Doku in the first Xbox game, albeit it takes months for him to recover completely.
  • BFG: "Howling Cannon" in Sigma II
  • BFS: With the exception of Ninja Gaiden III/Razor's Edge, one per game in the modern trilogy - "Dabilahro", "Dark Dragon Blade", "Emma's Fang" and "Unlabored Flawlessness"
  • Bishōnen: Ryu's design for his Dragon Sword appearance, adding to the fact it was the first time he appeared unmasked outside the Dead or Alive series after Tomonobu Itagaki's new direction of keeping Ryu always masked in his main games. Ninja Gaiden III reveals his whole face as much as possible in cut-scenes.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Just as the "Dragon Sword" is his primary weapon, he uses bows often as his long-range weapon.
  • Celibate Hero
    • Within the modern trilogy, Rachel and Sonia are obviously interested in him, yet Ryu shows no affectionate response towards any of them. It might be a case of respecting Continuity and Ryu will eventually fall in love with Irene Lew later, especially since "Sonia" is Irene's alias, or it's an entirely new Continuity and Ryu won't fall for anyone since there's some Flip-Flop of God regarding the present games being Prequels for the original trilogy or a completely new setting with no relation to previous titles.
    • Worth noting is most of the flip-flopping came from Itagaki: now that he has no relation to the series and Yosuke Hayashi has given some Continuity nods to the original trilogy, Irene might avert this with Ryu.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Subverted - Ryu did train intensively to reach the level of Master Ninja, but his clan is in fact descended from the same Dragon Dieties that birthed the Fiends, which gives him power above other ninjas; this also explains why Doku nearly succeeded in turning him into one. Plus, he can wield a massive battle axe/hammer, a great sword explicitly said to be 100 pounds in weight, and a gigantic scythe stolen from a Greater Fiend twice his height.
  • Chick Magnet: In addition to being married to Irene, Rachel, Mizuki and arguably Kasumi have shown interest in him.
  • Clear My Name: The kicker in The Ancient Ship of Doom, as he's accused of assassinating Irene.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: In Ninja Gaiden III, when Ryu's allies realize a fighter jet can't reach the Black Narwhal in time (it doesn't have enough fuel), Ryu proposes to jump between two jets on the way. Robert T. Sturgeon doesn't fail to Lampshade the madness of such a maneuver.
  • Death Is Cheap: After being killed by Doku, Ryu resurrected as fast as he died.
  • Dual Wielding: On occasion, like with the Dragon's Claw and Tiger's Fang, the tonfa, or the Blade of the Archfiend which he uses alongside the Dragon Sword.
  • Elemental Powers: With his Ninpo techniques
  • Fighting with Chucks: Ryu can pick up and use a standard pair in the Xbox Ninja Gaiden, but later gains access to a pair of "Vigooran Flails", a bladed variant; the latter returns throughout the modern trilogy.
  • Friend to All Children: All of the kids in the Hayabusa Village look up to him, and his treatment of Canna in Ninja Gaiden III is positively endearing.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He fights for good, but he's perfectly willing and able to kill or otherwise maim his adversaries.
  • Hand Wave: At least in Ninja Gaiden III
    Mizuki McCloud: "How did she [Ayane] know about this place? It's classified top secret…"
    Ryu: "Ninja have their ways."
  • Happily Married: With Irene as of Dead or Alive; later games attempt to make it ambiguous by only going as far as to state they're still together.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The ninpo "Art of the Fire Dragon" in Ninja Gaiden III/Razor's Edge allows Ryu to turn into a giant flaming dragon that eats all regular Mooks on screen, restoring Hit Points.
  • Improbable Age: Ryu reached the rank of Master Ninja in his early 20s while other known masters are middle-aged or older. Not only is he the strongest in his clan, but Continuity (all the way to Dead or Alive) places him as the single most powerful ninja in the world.
    • In the Worlds of Power version of Ninja Gaiden, he journeys to America and destroys both Jaquio and the demon he summoned at the ripe old age of 13.
  • Informed Attribute: The fact he became an antique shop owner in Dead or Alive was carried over from the OVA, and even then it's only mentioned briefly in his Dead or Alive bio. Players don't actually get to see him running the shop or see the shop itself, for that matter.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: When he wields the Dragon Sword, Ryu is this, as the blade is meant to be a balanced, go-to weapon for any occasion. Of course, other weapons can be better, provided players know how to use them.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Quite literally, as despite a vast array of weapons Ryu finds, the Dragon Sword proves itself to be the best overall. Justified since the "True Dragon Sword" is the only weapon In-Universe capable enough to destroy Archfiends.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Mostly evident with the True Dragon Sword (whether by its own or paired with the "Blade of the Archfiend"), allowing him to Teleport Spam and deal ridiculous amounts of damage in seconds. However, he also qualifies with most of his other weapons when fully upgraded.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: A cut-scene following Chapter Two in the Xbox Ninja Gaiden shows Ryu is tightening the straps on his outfit and bringing three kunai with him.
  • Master of All: Being a Master Ninja, Ryu is trained in all manner of weapons both melee and ranged and can use magic.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: He kills without a flicker of mercy or remorse; exemplified in the first level of Ninja Gaiden III, where players can have Ryu slaughter surrendering mercenaries, with at least one of them getting brutally sliced apart as a part of a mandatory event.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Despite having been sworn enemies with Genshin up to his death in II, he is absolutely furious at Elizébet when she defiles Genshin's body and insults him.
  • Ninja: Arguably THE most popular and iconic video game ninja of all time; in fact, he is the codifying example.
  • Not So Stoic: He can show brief bursts of anger, although both occurrences happen when he is cursed. In the first game, after thinking the curse is lifted, only for it to come straight back, he shouts at the top of his lungs in anger.
  • Our Ancestors Are Superheroes: Ryu is is descended from the Dragon Lineage, a tribe of half-human, half-Fiend warriors who sided with the Heavenly Dragons against the Fiends. In the present, Ryu continues his ancestors' battle against the fiends. This heritage also allowed Doku to almost corrupt Ryu into a Fiend.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In the OVA, Ryu claims he would abandon his duties as a ninja in his clan if it would mean being with Irene forever. Contrast how he's portrayed elsewhere as he's bound by duty and honor. May double as a Screw Destiny.
  • Possession Equals Mastery: Doesn't matter if he's had it for years or seconds, Ryu can use anything. Likely justified by training to use anything.
  • Red Right Hand: In Ninja Gaiden III, the Regent of the Mask curses him with the Grip of Murder, forcing the Dragon Sword to be absorbed by his right arm. It corrupts Ryu's body with the pain and hatred of all the people he has killed, and the curse will kill him within a few days; all this is a scheme done by the "Lords of Alchemy" to cleanse the Dragon Sword of its corruption and use it to awaken the Goddess.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: The cover of The Ancient Ship of Doom shows Ryu pointing his sword at the viewer. The first NES game and The Dark Sword of Chaos are less aggressive, showing him holding a kunai towards the viewer or unsheathing a sword. Covers for the modern trilogy give him much more relaxed, almost casual poses.
  • Simple Staff: The Lunar Staff.
  • Sinister Scythe: The Vigoorian Flails are essentially nunchucks with scythes on them. Naturally, the "Eclipse Scythe" is this trope, while a more traditional kusari-gama is added in for Ninja Gaiden II.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Lampshaded in the Antarctic level of Ninja Gaiden III
    Clifford "Cliff" Higgins: I wanted to ask you, Hayabusa… aren't you cold in that outfit?
    Ryu: No.
  • Spinning Piledriver: Ryu is probably the most iconic user of this move in modern Action Games. Aside from the "Izuna Drop", there are variants from other weapons such as the "Underworld Drop" and the "Flower Garland Drop".
  • Spy Catsuit: The Xbox Ninja Gaiden gives him a sleeveless Ninja version (coupled with Scarf of Asskicking and Cool Mask to boot), and it's been his default costume here and in Dead or Alive ever since (titled "the Legendary Black Falcon"). Although the design changed in the details from game to game (especially obvious regarding forehead protection), it has become his most established look.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Kunai, shuriken, claws, nunchaku and kusari-gama. The subversion would be the Dragon Sword, as it's a katana rather than a traditional ninjato.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: Goes up against opponents who wield machine guns or rocket launchers with nothing but a trusty bow, and more often than not comes out on top. He can even take out tanks and helicopters with it!
  • Trick Arrow: Lightly used in the first Xbox game with armor-piercing and explosive varieties.
  • The Unfettered: In everyday life, he's a pretty Nice Guy, if a bit stoic. When he's on a mission, however, absolutely nothing, let alone emotions, will get in his way. Enemy Mooks dropping their weapons and pleading for their life won't help them.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: In his early 20s, yet his temperament and wisdom are more of a man three times his age.
  • World's Best Warrior: Ryu is considered the "Super Ninja" among Ninja. There's a good reason for that.
  • The Worsening Curse Mark: Suffers this in III after being afflicted with the Grip of Murder, which forces him to endure all the pain of those killed by his Dragon Sword, and will eventually kill him. It initially manifests as a literal Red Right Hand, but as the game progresses, it spreads until, by the final mission, it's covered his entire right arm, part of his face, and one eye.
  • Wolverine Claws: The Falcon Talons
  • You Killed My Father: Ryu's motivation to fight Jaquio in the first NES game. Made all the more depressing because his father, transformed into the Masked Demon by Jaquio, was a boss that Ryu had to fight and although he didn't end up killing him, his father still pulls a Heroic Sacrifice from Jaquio's attack, playing this trope straight.

    A. Foster 

Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (NES)

One of the head honchos at the CIA's "Secret Auxiliary Unit" and Irene Lew's immediate boss, A. Foster is a corrupt CIA agent obsessed with power, particularly demonic power. He attempts to coerce Ryu to fetch the Demon Statues for him in the first NES game. Foster shows his manipulative, ungrateful side when he orders Irene to assassinate Ryu and bring the statues back to him; not getting what he wants and with Ryu still alive, Foster shows up again in the third NES game (second chronologically) The Ancient Ship of Doom, plotting his "Biohazard" plan. His goal is to create a race of super-beings, and is indirectly responsible for Irene's death, which sets Ryu in full force against him.

  • Big Bad: Of The Ancient Ship of Doom at first
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Plans to use the dimensional energies of Castle Rock Fortress to create a race of energy-infused superhuman mutants.
  • Frameup: He creates a clone of Ryu and uses it to kill Irene. She survived the assassination attempt.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Is always seen wearing a full suit in cut-scenes.
  • The Unfought: Although some speculate he's the boss of the sixth level in The Ancient Ship of Doom in a mutated form, it's really Ryu's Bio-Noid clone because of the way it refers to Ryu as the original. Foster winds up playing this straight since H.P. Clancy double-crosses him at the last moment and kills him.


Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos

The main antagonist of the second NES game The Dark Sword of Chaos and a warlord, Ashtar is the self-proclaimed "Emperor of Darkness". Said to be both a skilled warrior and powerful sorcerer, Ashtar is well over six feet tall, and dressed in bulky body armor. With a cape draped over his shoulders, his face is concealed by his helmet which has three spiky horns protruding from the top and both sides of the head. His mask appears to depict himself crying Tears of Blood. As a parallel to Ryu's Dragon Sword, Ashtar wields the "Demon Sword", a blade forged from the bones of a demon.

  • Big Bad: Of The Dark Sword of Chaos at first
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Not only does he call himself "The Emperor of Darkness", he also wants to obtain the "power of Almighty Evil" and have evil demons Take Over the World.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Is fought at the end of Act V in the second game; defeating him and players discover Jaquio is still very much alive.
  • Evil Counterpart: Of Ryu - both wield legendary weapons and are the champions of their respective clans.
  • Magic Knight: Don't be fooled by that heavy battle armor - his magic spells are formidable.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Never seen without his scary white mask that leaves only his eyes visible.
  • Obviously Evil: From his clothes alone, it obvious he's a villain; if that's not enough, his first appearance in the game is during a dark, stormy night at the top of a castle, talking ominously to a subordinate about Ryu.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Ashtar was there when the Dragon Sword and Demon Sword were forged, and that was at least a millennium ago.
  • Spikes of Villainy: His armor sports these
  • Shoulders of Doom: Ashtar rocks an impressive set of shoulder pads
  • Tin Tyrant: He goes around decked in full battle armor
  • Villain Teleportation: During the battle against him, he can reappear anywhere in the room with energy balls closing on him and possibly damaging players.

    H.P. Clancy 

Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

Foster's accomplice in The Ancient Ship of Doom, H.P. Clancy helped trigger many of the events during the game. Clancy built the Castle Rock Fortress over the ruins of Jaquio's fallen temple, as he and Foster found a continuous supply of life energy within the ruins; Jaquio's downfall left traces of evil surrounding the site, thus the fortress was built to harvest the energy as a power source, and used it on humans for experiments. He seems remorseful for this, however, as he eventually recruits Ryu to take down Foster.


    Irene Lew 

Voiced by: Amanda Troop (EN - Dead or Alive: Dimensions), Yumi Touma (JP - OVA, Dead or Alive: Dimensions)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (NES)

Heroine of the NES trilogy and Ryu's primary Love Interest for the whole series, Irene Lew is an agent of the CIA's Secret Auxiliary Unit, working under the Code Name "Sea Swallow". Despite her status as an agent, Irene is more of a support for Ryu as she often finds herself captured and winds up being rescued by the Dragon Ninja. When she disregards Foster's orders to assassinate Ryu after defeating Jaquio, Irene starts to devote her life to him. Sometime after the OVA, she marries Ryu and settles for running an antique shop, while aiding him from time to time during the Dead or Alive tournaments.

  • Action Girlfriend: Irene and Ryu were already an item in The Ancient Ship of Doom, and she has her moments in it.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Originally a brunette in the NES trilogy and OVA, but is a blonde as of Dead or Alive: Dimensions, the latter of which was her hair color when she posed as her alias "Sonia" in Ninja Gaiden II.
  • Art Shift: The current Irene in Dead or Alive: Dimensions uses Sonia's design, but the contrast is quite different from her Ninja Gaiden II appearance. This is due to the differences in the art style used in the Dead or Alive series before the fifth installment, thus Irene had to look like most of the other girls in that game, even though Irene and Sonia should look exactly alike since they're the same person.
  • Back from the Dead: After being sacrificed in The Dark Sword of Chaos, the Dragon Sword uses its power to bring Irene back.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Her appearance in Dead or Alive: Dimensions and Razor's Edge, which is the only daring part of her attire now. Even when she was in "Sonia's shoes", Irene remains quite modest.
  • Chickification: Hit her hard in the OVA; in fact, she's not even a Faux Action Girl, but a Damsel in Distress from start to finish.
  • Continuity Nod: Just the fact that Sonia was confirmed to be Irene's alias in Dead or Alive served to effectively tie the modern installments as occurring before the NES trilogy, as Itagaki in his last days at Tecmo was heavily contradicting the series' Continuity.
  • Damsel in Distress: At least once in each game she appears in (sans Razor's Edge), but goes full stop in the OVA.
  • '80s Hair: Her hair style in the NES trilogy
  • Fanservice Pack, Hotter and Sexier: Pretty much each of Irene's measurements are "upgraded" when Team Ninja modeled her in 3D for Dead or Alive: Dimensions.
  • Faux Action Girl: Even as a CIA agent, Irene isn't the most dependable ally.
  • The Gunslinger: Proved herself with pistols, machine guns and bazookas in Ninja Gaiden II.
  • Happily Married: With Ryu as of Dead or Alive, but modern installments have made this as ambiguous as possible, yet stating they're still together.
  • Informed Attribute: The fact Irene runs her "husband's" antique shop is only seen in a brief passage for the first Dead or Alive official guide that Tecmo released back then. This is solely supported by the OVA as Irene never truly appeared in Dead or Alive until Dimensions, and players don't see her taking care of the shop in it either.
  • Mission Control: For Ryu in Dead or Alive: Dimensions and Ayane in Razor's Edge
  • Not Quite Dead: Does this as one of the few reveals in The Ancient Ship of Doom
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: In The Ancient Ship of Doom, Irene is supposedly killed by Ryu's doppelganger on Foster's orders. In truth, she had faked her death and was working with the U.S. Army to uncover evidence of Foster's crimes.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Japanese romanization found on their official guides for the original trilogy had Irene as Aileen; fansubs for the OVA also spelled her name this way.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: The OVA shows Irene cutting all ties with the CIA. Dead or Alive: Dimensions, however, shows she still has at least some contact with the agency.


Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (NES)

Main antagonist of the first NES game, the sorcerer Guardia de Mieux dubbed himself "Jaquio" (supposed to be Jaki-Oh, as in "Devil King"). While supposedly human, Jaquio wields powerful Black Magic, and his appearance is bizarre and uncanny - his skin is deep purple, and he wears a tattered red tunic with a hexagram embroidered on the front, with the purple skeleton of a demon draped over his body like armor. Jaquio is the chieftain of the "Chaos Tribe", and he plans to steal the Demon Statue and break the seal on the Dark God, plunging the world into darkness.

  • Amazing Technicolor Population: His skin is purple, suggesting either extensive body paint or an origin decidedly beyond human.
  • Back from the Dead: Pulls this after Ashtar is defeated in The Dark Sword of Chaos
  • Big Bad: Of the first NES game
    • The Dragon: Implied to have been this to Ashtar when the latter reveals himself in the second game, claiming Jaquio was merely his subordinate.
    • Hijacked by Ganon: Once Ashtar dies halfway through The Dark Sword of Chaos, Jaquio reclaims his title as the Big Bad.
  • Came Back Wrong: During the second game, the power of The Dark Sword of Chaos revives him after Ryu beats him, but it also warps him to a point where he's little more than a snarling beast driven by instinct and rage.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Between his vibrant purple skin, clawed fingernails, and fangs, it's implied that he was either warped by his practice of black magic, or never human to begin with.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Guardia de Mieux is his real name; Jaquio is simply a title.
  • Final Boss: Of the first NES game and The Dark Sword of Chaos
  • Finger-Twitching Revival: After his death in the second game, his resurrection by the Dark Sword of Chaos is heralded by this.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: He forces Ryu to hand over the Statues of Light and Darkness in exchange for releasing Irene. He doesn't uphold his end of the bargain.
  • Kick the Dog: He derives a twisted sort of entertainment fromforcing Ryu to fight his brainwashed father.
  • Kill It with Fire: His main attack spell in his human form is to hurl a pair of arcing fireballs.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Averted. Ryu kills him just fine, but by that point, the eclipse has already caused the Demon Statues to unleash the arch-devil that Jacquio was trying to summon. Then, during the second game, Ryu's slaying of Jacquio doesn't stop the power of the demon realm from flowing into the Dark Sword of Chaos, which in turn revives him.
  • One-Winged Angel: He takes on not just one, but two of these forms during the final battle.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is it "Jaquio", "Jakio" or "Jakyo"? Who knows?
  • Would Hurt a Child: In the Worlds of Power novelization, he holds the life of a 13-year old Irene Lew for ransom, puts a 13-year old Ryu through a gauntlet and a fight to the death with his brainwashed father; again threatening to kill said father and Irene if Ryu doesn't fight; and attempts to kill Ryu and his father himself.
  • You Killed My Father: He invoked this on Ryu by being behind his father's death. Or so Ryu thought. After Ryu frees his father from Jaquio's control, the latter mortally wounds him.

    Joe Hayabusa 

Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto (JP), Keone Young (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (NES)

Known as Jô/Joe in Japan and "Ken" in North America for the NES series, he is Ryu's father, current leader of the Dragon Ninja Clan, and previous wielder of the Dragon Sword. Much like his son, Joe is a Master Ninja and in contrast to Ryu who trains for discipline and tradition, Joe seeks to surpass his limitations. His preferred ninja attire of choice is a white shinobi shozoku (ninja uniform), although he's adorned with some armor around his body.

In the NES trilogy, Joe leaves Ryu with the Dragon Sword to engage in a duel (later revealed to be one of Jaquio's minions Bloody Malth). The outcome of the fight is not seen, but Joe winds up becoming controlled by Jaquio's magic. Ryu breaks the sorcerer's hold on his father and frees him. In the modern series, Joe constantly leaves to continue his training, as Ryu states his father is "never satisfied with the power he wields". In Ninja Gaiden II, Joe fails to prevent Elizébet, Queen of the Greater Fiends, from taking the statue sealing the Archfiend Vazdah as he duels with Genshin, Overlord of the Black Spider Ninja Clan. Injured and blinded, he tasks his son to prevent the Archfiend from resurrecting.

Joe returns in Ninja Gaiden III for a brief cameo at a remote location outside the Hayabusa Village. When his son seeks answers regarding the Grip of Murder, Joe encourages Ryu to not allow the darkness of his heart to conquer his very being.

  • Back for the Dead: Returns in the end of the first NES game, only to die in his son's arms
  • Big Damn Heroes: A minor one in the final level of Ninja Gaiden III, where he and Momiji save Ryu from a bunch of chimeras he is having a hard time defeating due to the Grip of Murder.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Done to him by Jaquio in the first NES game as the "Devil"
  • Doomed by Canon: Unless the modern trilogy doesn't end up negating future events set forth by the NES trilogy, Joe will inevitably die before the first Dead or Alive tournament.
  • Dub Name Change: Ken for the NES series, but the modern trilogy rectifies this back to Joe on both sides of the Pacific.
  • Handicapped Badass: In Ninja Gaiden III, it's implied he was blinded by Genshin in the previous game, due to the blindfold he wears over his eyes at all times, but he's still more than capable of wielding a sword and kicking ass.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Ryu's mentor until he dies in the first NES game
  • Not Quite Dead: Turns out he survived the duel with Bloody Malth, but winds up getting Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Phoenetically, it can be either "Jô" or "Joe"
  • Taking the Bullet: Does this for Ryu in the first NES game before he heads to fight Jaquio; it's what costs him his life.
  • Worf Had the Flu: He loses his duel with Genshin in Ninja Gaiden II so badly because he is still injured from his previous mission of killing Elizébet's father.

    Robert T. Sturgeon 

Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto (OVA), Zach Hanks (EN - Ninja Gaiden III), Bin Shimada (JP - Ninja Gaiden III)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos

Also known as the "Jungle Rat", Robert T. Sturgeon is a United States Army Special Forces operative who aids Ryu throughout The Dark Sword of Chaos, constantly revealing information about Ashtar. Although no different than a modern day commando, Robert proves himself useful to the Dragon Ninja, including being a reliable informant, following Ryu closely to the Tower of Lahja and surrounding the area with U.S. Army forces to distract Ashtar from finishing off Ryu. He proceeds to enter the Chaos World for the final battle, but Robert only goes as far against Ashtar. While it seems he dies keeping the demons from reaching Ryu, the OVA reveals he survived, having quit the army and running a private eye agency to keep track of the Dragon Ninja, but offering him any assistance he might need in the future.

  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Robert, a highly trained soldier, after completely raiding a building full of mutants with just his friend Jeff and later all by himself, gets slapped by his girlfriend Sara (whom he'd previously tied up so she'd be out of harm's way) shortly after he lives through it in the OVA.
  • Badass Normal: Robert proved himself in The Dark Sword of Chaos from start to finish, aiding Ryu on equal grounds, planning good barricades with the U.S. Army, including holding off demons by himself. All this from a simple, yet highly-trained soldier.
  • Blood from the Mouth: After a run-in with the newly-resurrected Jaquio in The Dark Sword of Chaos, a heavily-injured Robert is seen bleeding from the corner of his mouth.
  • Blood Knight: While a peaceful guy most of the time, Robert does a long speech in the OVA about how the battlefield for him is Not So Different than what most men desire.
  • The Cameo: Appears in Ninja Gaiden III as the fighter pilot transporting Ryu to rendezvous with Mizuki.
  • Cool Shades: Never takes them off
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Ryu during The Dark Sword of Chaos, with Jeff in the OVA
  • Mysterious Watcher: Introduces himself as one, and has other minor moments as well.
  • One-Man Army: Not to the extent of Ryu, but Robert sure knows his way within the Chaos World
  • Private Detective: After quitting the army
  • Retired Badass: Not for a very long time, but still long enough
  • Sunglasses at Night: Robert is badass enough to make them work
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: After killing dozens of mutants in a closed site with Jeff, adding a high chance of getting himself killed, when Robert lives through it, he proposes to Sara seconds after in the OVA.


Debuting in Ninja Gaiden (Game Gear)

    Boss # 1 


     Mr. Tsin 



Debuting in Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)


Voiced by: Wakana Yamazaki (JP), Janice Kawaye (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)

A Canon Immigrant from the Dead or Alive series, Ayane made her way into Ninja Gaiden in the Xbox Revival of the series. She is a kunoichi from the "Hajin Mon" sect of the "Mugen-Tenshin Ninja Clan", an ally of the Dragon Ninja Clan. Ayane is the primary choice for the Mugen Tenshin when they need assistance from the Dragon Clan as she has built a mutual friendship with Joe and Ryu Hayabusa. Even though he's leagues above her in rank, Ayane aids him on his missions either by helping and informing from the sidelines or outright fighting alongside him.

For her appearances for the Dead or Alive series, head here.

  • Animal Motifs: Butterflies, from her choice of clothes, to their color and her sash
  • Art Evolution: To coincide with her appearance in Dead or Alive 5, Ayane gets this treatment for Ninja Gaiden III with smaller eyes, more realistic Asiatic facial structure and modest measurements.
  • Attempted Rape: Her first mission in Razor's Edge begins with a terrorist breaking into her massage parlor while she's dressed with a towel, who proceeds to undo it. No guesses at to what happens next.Makes sense due to how she was conceived.
  • Badass Adorable: She may look cute, small and young, but she's extremely strong.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Played straight in Sigma II, but sharply averted in Razor's Edge. Like Ryu, she is stained by her enemies' blood.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Almost everything related to Ayane is purple, including her hair, clothes, aura, ninpo, explosive shurikens, etc.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: The one she wears in Sigma II sure makes it easy to get a Panty Shot.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shows this trait when Ryu is not around in Sigma II and Razor's Edge
    Ayane: "No shit."
  • Demoted to Extra
    • Ayane only appears in Ninja Gaiden II to deliver the Eye of the Dragon for Ryu before he heads to Mount Fuji and straight into the Demon Realm. Sigma II expands her role in the story by having her seek out of the Eye when it is mysteriously stolen by the Black Spider Ninja Clan during the interim.
    • Likewise, in Ninja Gaiden III, she appears to loan a replacement katana for Ryu from her half-brother Hayate after he loses the Dragon Sword due to the Grip of Murder. Razor's Edge further has her become Irene's go-to clean-up crew when the Lords of Alchemy attack Paris and tasks her with planting a GPS signal on the Black Narwhal so Ryu and his allies can find out their location.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: In Ninja Gaiden Black, dying continuously in the first level results in Ayane giving players the option of turning the difficulty down to "Ninja Dog". This results in her telling players off for giving up at "Normal" difficulty; to further the mockery, she gives players ribbons to boost stats for the rest of the play-through.
    Ayane: "Master Ryu - or, should I say, Young Ninja Ryu Hayabusa - it seems I have greatly overestimated you. Oh, well. We have no choice but to proceed. I will support you in every way I can. Don't be overconfident; just do what I say and perform your duties as competently as you can. You must complete your task without fail."
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Being based on her fighting style from the Dead or Alive series, her techniques revolve around this trope. Hell, she's even codified it.
  • Fanservice Pack: Her Ninja Gaiden outfits are pretty concealing compared to her default attire in Dead or Alive; in the sequels, she gets progressively more Stripperific and has noticeably bigger breastsnote .
  • Fragile Speedster: Of the selectable girls in Sigma II, Ayane is the fastest combatant, but is the most defensively-exposed of them.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation
    • In-Universe, Ayane wouldn't dare talk back to Ryu not because he's a Master Ninja and she's ranks below him, but because he's one of the few people who don't brand her as a bastard child of the Mugen-Tenshin. However, this won't stop her from mocking him for giving up at the Game Over screen, defaulting to "Ninja Dog" difficulty and presenting him with stat-boosting ribbons.
    • When Ninja Dog mode is selected, it also changes the default title screen to a picture of Ayane, the implication Ryu gets demoted to a true Ninja Dog, thereby making Ayane his superior and consequently becoming the main character.
  • Giant Waist Ribbon: Sports one in Sigma II as a Call-Back to her Dead or Alive outfits; one of them also appears in Razor's Edge.
  • Hero of Another Story: She is one of the main heroes of the Dead or Alive series.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: She certainly isn't dressed for sneaking around in the shadows, but granted, that's not what she does in these games most of the time.
  • Jerkass: Averted as Ayane doesn't show much of her base personality from Dead or Alive in Ninja Gaiden since she's dealing with mostly higher ranking ninjas like Ryu. Unfortunately, this won't stop her from mocking him at the Game Over screen.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ayane does treasure what friends she has and is ready to help Ryu and Dragon Ninja Clan whenever possible.
  • Mysterious Watcher: Her appearance in Ninja Gaiden from start to finish
  • Pretty in Mink: Ayane's alternate costume in Sigma II has a white fur neck wrap and gloves trimmed with white fur.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: In Razor's Edge, which resemble a couple of butterfly wings in its ends.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Kunai for long-distance weapons and a pair of ninjato for close-quarters combat.
  • Younger Than They Look: Mind you, Ayane doesn't look her age even in her home series (she's 16 in Dead or Alive). In Ninja Gaiden she's 14 years old, then a year older in Sigma II.


Voiced by: Koji Totani (JP), Charles Dennis (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)

One of the three Greater Fiends of the "Holy Vigoor Empire", Doku is encased in a heavy, dark suit of armor, closely resembling an ancient Samurai. He single-handedly destroys the Hayabusa Village, killing many of the Dragon Clan Ninjas and steals the Dark Dragon Blade. Doku's goal is to aid his master, the "Dark God Vigoor", into converting capable people into Fiends and conquering the world. Doku is Ryu's motivation to invade Vigoor, as he also killed his childhood friend Kureha. Although Ryu manages to find and defeat him, Doku's last resort is an attempt to transform the Ninja into a Fiend, but the transformation is only partial as Doku's disembodied spirit fades away.

Doku returns in Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword as a malevolent spirit haunting the ruins of Tairon, capital city of Vigoor.

  • Back from the Dead: Although Ryu destroys his initial body, Doku returns in a spirit form for a final showdown. How he manages to show up in Dragon Sword isn't answered.
  • BFS: Kitetsu
  • Black Knight: Bonus points for Doku as the black armor is his actual body.
  • The Dragon: Answers directly to Marbus, who answers to Vigoor.
  • The Faceless: Since Doku doesn't have a proper body to begin with, he has no face to portray himself. Instead, he wears a mask as part of his armor.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: It's impossible to defeat him in the first fight in Ninja Gaiden (Sigma) unless players are insanely skilled. Even if they do, Ryu will still die after the fight, regardless, due to mandatory story events.
  • Instant-Win Condition: Doku has a difficult to dodge grapple attack exclusive to the first fight in Sigma that instantly ends the battle.
  • Lightning Bruiser: While very heavy, Doku's capable of pulling off some fast-paced combos and slashes.
  • Obviously Evil: As if his introduction cutscene isn't enough, Doku reeks of evil from head to toe.
  • Recurring Boss: Three times in the same game
  • Taking You with Me: In his final moments, Doku curses Ryu in an attempt to convert him into a Fiend and serve Vigoor.

Rachel's younger sister, who was turned into a Greater Fiend by Doku. She faces Ryu and is defeated. Rachel appears to finish Alma off, but can't bring herself to kill her own sister even if she's a fiend, allowing Alma to escape. She is later fought again after Doku captures Rachel and attempts to sacrifice her to fully awaken Alma as a Fiend. She is defeated by Ryu again, but he avoid finishing her off to save Rachel. The sight of her sister in danger causes Alma to regain some humanity and she takes the hit from his sword to save her. As she dies, she becomes human again.

  • Attack Its Weak Point: Implied to have caused her death as Doku's sword pierces an orb on her stomach.
  • Body Horror: She loses a chunk of her head in her first fight with Ryu.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly And Monstrous : She was very attractive woman as a human. As a Fiend, not so much. Her awakened form is even worse, turning her low body into that a giant centipede like creature, and her arms turn into giant claws.
  • Dying as Yourself: When dying she turns back into a human.
  • Flat Character: Because she never talks, she has no personality as a villain. The only characterization she gets revolves around Rachel.
  • Flight: She flies in both fights.
  • Flunky Boss: Summons enemies, though only in small numbers, but mercifully only in small numbers.
  • Handicapped Badass: Her first fight with Ryu ends with her losing a chunk of her head, but it doesn't make her any less dangerous.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Dies saving her sister, succeeding when Ryu would have failed.
  • Homing Projectile: Part of what makes the fights with her so difficult, aside from her speed and damage, is that she uses fast purple fireballs that home in on Ryu's location, along with the pillars she throws at via Mind over Matter.
  • Lightning Bruiser: She's bigger than Ryu in both forms, but she in both she is very fast and does a ton of damage, especially in her awakened form. When she makes her Heroic Sacrifice, despite Ryu having a head start, she catches up to him and manages to reach Rachel before him.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Mostly attacks from a distance in the first fight with her
  • Made of Iron: Survives losing a chunk of her head after Ryu defeats her the first time, and is left a bloody mess after their second fight, and she's still well enough to run past Ryu and save her sister.
  • Mind over Matter: Throws stone pillars at Ryu with this in the first fight.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Largely inverted, apart from a Thong of Shielding, she very unsettling to look at.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Has four arms in her awakened form, all of which end in giant scythe like claws.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Grows wings from her back in her awakened form. Unlike most examples, she already had wings, they were just on her head.
  • Prehensile Tail: As her lower body is snake like in her awakened form, she can grab and crush Ryu with it.
  • Snake People: Her awakened form fuses both her legs into what resembles a snake tail, except it has legs growing out of it, giving it the look of a centipede.
  • Taking the Bullet: Intercepts Doku's sword aimed at Rachel.
  • This Was His True Form: Returns to being a human when dying.
  • Tragic Monster: She was a human being and then got turned into a monster by Doku.


Voiced by: Hisao Egawa (JP), Robin Atkin Downes (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)

A man delivering orders to the Vigoorian forces in the capital city of Tairon, Gamov is a bespectacled, green hat and trench coat-wearing spy who constantly trails Ryu throughout the Holy Vigoor Empire, proving himself very agile and quick in the trigger. Although supposedly working working together with Doku for the Dark God Vigoor, in reality, Gamov serves the "Dark Disciple", informing his master on the growing power of the Dark Dragon Blade.

  • All There in the Manual: That Gamov hails from the Black Spider Ninja Clan and is Genshin's younger brother is not mentioned in the main story of the modern Ninja Gaiden. Players must find Genshin's diary in Ninja Gaiden II and read the entry about his dead brother to form the connection.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Gamov certainly doesn't look like he comes from a ninja clan, considering the way he dresses and all.
  • The Dragon: For the Dark Disciple
  • Guns Akimbo, The Gunslinger: Packs two pistols in the fight against Rachel in Sigma
  • The Mole: Serves the Dark Disciple instead of the Vigoor Empire; considering he's part of the Black Spider Ninja Clan, who were seeking the Dark Dragon Blade as well, it's implied he was planning on betraying the Dark Disciple as well.
  • Off with His Head!, You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once the Dark Disciple acquires the Dark Dragon Blade, he shows his "gratitude" to Gamov by killing him with the weapon.


Voiced by: Jun Shikano (JP)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)

The "Dragon Shrine Maiden" of the Dragon Ninja Clan, sworn to protect the sacred "Eye of the Dragon" treasure, she is Momiji's older sister and Ryu's childhood friend. Kureha is part of the "Dragon Lineage" that is destined to play a part in keeping the clan's tradition. Being inseperable from Ryu since childhood, she also wanted to be of importance: while he grew up to be a Master Ninja, she grew up to be a shrine maiden. As guardian of the "Dragon Lineage Shrine", she was charged with the protection of the Eye of the Dragon, and Kureha fufilled her task to death when Doku killed her in an attempt to steal the Eye of the Dragon. It was for her that Ryu goes on a quest for vengeance towards Doku and the Holy Vigoor Empire.

Kureha briefly returns as an spirit in Dragon Sword, aiding Ryu and Momiji against the Dark Dragon.

  • Advertised Extra: She has a full character profile in the manual that treats her like a major character. She appears in precisely one cut-scene where she doesn't even get a line of dialogue in before getting Killed Off for Real.
  • Childhood Friends: With Ryu
  • Death by Origin Story: Kureha's early death in the Xbox Ninja Gaiden triggers Ryu into a long, vengeful mission.
  • Disposable Woman: Originally, Kureha only existed to motivate Ryu with her cruel death, even though she would serve as a Plot Point in Dragon Sword. One can wonder why she has a voice actor credited in the Xbox game since not a single word is heard from her.
  • MacGuffin Guardian: Zigzagged - subverted since she's Killed Off for Real at the onset of Ninja Gaiden, but played straight in Dragon Sword at the climax of the game. In the battle against the Dark Dragon, Kureha's spirit releases the Eye of the Dragon from Momiji's soul, which is required to form the True Dragon Sword in order to defeat the beast.
  • Miko: For the Dragon Ninja Clan, as being part of the Dragon Lineage is a requirement to be the village's shrine maiden, Kureha was fated to be one since childhood.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: In the Japanese track for Ninja Gaiden, Kureha has a weak death cry in her final moments, while there is none in the English track. This explains why there's no credited voice actress in the localization. Jun Shikano reprises her role of "grunts" in Dragon Sword, which fits right at home, as the characters in the game are portrayed in The Legend of Zelda grunts-only style.
  • Passing the Torch: Kureha, as a spirit, hopes that Momiji will take on her sister's duty as a shrine maiden.
  • Posthumous Character: Kureha's background is explored in Dragon Sword.
  • Retcon: The Eye of the Dragon was a circular, generic pendant in Ninja Gaiden, but becomes a green magatama in Dragon Sword, only for the color to change into purple in Ninja Gaiden II, the latter now permanent.


Voiced by: Yukitoshi Hori (JP), Fred Tatasciore (EN - NGSII)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)

The "Ruler of Hell" and one of the five Greater Fiend Lords of Vigoor in the first Xbox game, Marbus guards the "Holy Vigoor Emperor", the mastermind behind the theft of the Dark Dragon Blade. In contrast to other Greater Fiends, Marbus has legions of lesser Fiends as his direct followers, often leaving the dirty work for them, and only acting himself when he sees fit or worthy of his time. Ryu happens to be one of the latter as Marbus is forced to take him on directly. The result is the Greater Fiend losing and targeting Ryu for his personal Revenge in the future.

Marbus returns in Sigma II looking for Ryu in New York City, yet he finds Rachel instead and is defeated once again.

  • Art Evolution: Marbus' design changed quite a bit when he returns in Sigma II.
  • Ascended Extra: Marbus in Sigma II as a boss character, with a more demonic-looking appearance and motivations stemming from revenge.
  • Cool Chair: Sits on one in Ninja Gaiden as he sends waves upon waves of Fiends against Ryu
  • The Dragon: To Vigoor
  • Flat Character: For someone who is said to be Doku's superior, Marbus has less exposition. Ironically, he gets more of it in his small role for Sigma II.
  • Flunky Boss: The only boss to be this at normal difficulty in the first game. In a twist of this trope, Marbus' flunkies includes previous bosses; at higher difficulties, he hides behind Ishtaros and Nicchae, who are harder than he is.
  • Meaningful Name: Named after the same-named "President of Hell" from Dante's Inferno, who rules over 36 legions of demons, just as Marbus controls many Fiends for himself.
  • Not Quite Dead: Ryu didn't kill Marbus; apparently, all the Ninja did was scar him and cleave off one of his horns, evidenced by his new appearance in Sigma II
  • Slouch of Villainy: Marbus does a good impression while he waits for Ryu to face off against his minions in the first game.


Voiced by: Banjo Ginga (JP), Neil Ross (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)

The leader of the "Shadow Clan Ninja" and Ryu's maternal uncle, Murai is a former member of the Dragon Ninja Clan who went rogue and formed his own ninja clan, while prefering to stay away from the Dragon Ninja Clan's affairs. Murai still wanted to keep a good relationship with the Hayabusa Clan, thus aids his nephew by opening the Shadow Clan Fortress for Ryu's training routine. Murai is open about his extreme philosophy of the ever-increasing need for power a true Ninja must possess, no matter the cost, so he tries to push some of it to Ryu by trying to make him accept the Dark Dragon Blade.

  • BFS: The Dark Dragon Blade
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: With the Dark Dragon Blade in his hands, the evil energies emanating from the blade turns Murai's body demonic.
  • Evil Uncle: Is the true Big Bad of the Xbox Ninja Gaiden; whether he was Evil All Along is never known, though the implication of going rogue and forming a ninja clan is all the more telling that it might be true.
  • Fighting with Chucks: Murai's skills with the nunchakus are to be praised, since Ryu's use of the weapon is incomparable to his uncle, both in power and speed.
  • Large and in Charge: From what little players get to see of Murai, he appears the tallest and most muscular of the bunch; naturally, he is in charge of his own clan.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Faster and more powerful than the Shadow Ninja Mooks; though slower, he's still quite capable of some nasty rushdowns.
  • The Man Behind the Man: As the Dark Disciple, Murai is behind everything - he divulged the presence of the Dark Dragon Blade to Vigoor, who ordered Doku to raze the Hayabusa Village and retrieve it.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Ryu's Roaring Rampage of Revenge merely allowed the Dark Dragon Blade to grow more powerful; Murai let the weapon switch from hand-to-hand intentionally to feed its evil power before he gets his own hands on it after Vigoor is destroyed.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: If the modern Ninja Gaiden didn't clue players in as to it being just as hard as the NES trilogy, Murai will show why that's the case. Being able to beat him means players are capable of beating the game.
  • Walking Spoiler: All the events in Ninja Gaiden are tied directly to him


Voiced by: Takeshi Aono (JP), Michael Bell (EN, Ninja Gaiden), Paul Eiding (EN - Ninja Gaiden II, Ninja Gaiden III)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)

The legendary weaponsmith and shop owner who aids Ryu on his journeys, Muramasa is a mysterious merchant who seems to have traveled across the entire Earth, with a swath of knowledge regarding antiques, relics and weapons alike. Despite his frail, old appearance, Muramasa seems to know a few tricks regarding the sword, as demonstrated in Sigma II.

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts
    • The price of weapon upgrades increases with weapon levels, so thousands of yellow essence will be spent upgrading them. In particular, the Wooden Sword will make some players focus solely on it, leaving other weapons behind in reaching their maximum.
    • Inverted in Sigma II where weapon upgrades are free (though only one upgrade per weapon at a time) and bringing him "Crystal Skulls" grants a permanent 50% discount for recovery items.
  • Back Stab: Muramasa sneaks behind one unsuspecting Black Spider Ninja in Sigma II at the end of Momiji's level and backstabs him with a mantis sword.
  • The Blacksmith: Muramasa personally upgrades all of Ryu's weapons if given enough yellow essence.
  • Canon Immigrant: Muramasa appears in Dead or Alive 4 as an operator of a small vegetable cart after Hitomi and Lei-Fang fight over a cabbage. He also appears in Dead or Alive 5, having apparently helped Kasumi while she was in hiding.
  • Cool Old Guy: Muramasa is said to be above 100 years old, and he still is a fairly modern, funny guy and he has some skill with the sword.
  • Exposition Fairy: Muramasa often lets out some Plot Points that Ryu needs to advance in his journey.
  • Mr. Exposition: In his introduction scenes, Muramasa lets out directions about a place Ryu needs to go or about the situation the Ninja currently finds himself in.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: Most of Muramasa's average grunts for an elder aren't dubbed - they're straight from the Japanese track, unlike other characters who got their grunts dubbed.
  • Retired Badass: Muramasa, the doddering old shopkeeper, makes carving up ninjas look effortless. This makes it hilarious when he states his old legs won't allow him to go at the top of Mount Fuji in Ninja Gaiden II, which becomes dubious since he apparently managed to build statues of himself in the Underworld...
  • Supreme Chef: In II, he produces a riceball (a "true" omusubi, representing the soul's struggle against entropy holding the universe together), that not only contains powerful spiritual and universal energy, but is specifically noted to be delicious.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: Muramasa's greetings aren't dubbed in Ninja Gaiden II and Sigma II, but says "Irasshai!" instead of "Welcome!" to Ryu when his shop is accessed.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: That said, only Muramasa can handle all these legendary or downright demonic weapons Ryu possesses.
  • Walking the Earth: Prior to the games, it is said that Muramasa personally erected all of his statues Ryu finds in his journey, including ones in the Underworld.
  • Wall of Weapons: Can be seen in Muramasa's shop in the Xbox Ninja Gaiden


Voiced by: Michie Tomizawa (JP), Tara Strong (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)

The heroine of the modern Ninja Gaiden and Fiend hunter from the Holy Vigoor Empire, Rachel and her sister Alma are afflicted with a blood curse that turns humans into Fiends. By the events of the game, Alma has already succumbed to the curse and turned into a complete Fiend. Rachel still maintains her human form and becomes a Fiend hunter; believing her sister has no more chance to revert back, Rachel sets on a journey to put Alma out of her misery. Rachel gets caught up in Doku's plot to bait Ryu, as the Greater Fiend also has Alma under his control. Rachel pursues him only to get captured herself; Ryu manages to rescue her and in return she saves him in time after he destroys the Holy Vigoor Emperor.

Rachel returns in Sigma II during a Fiend hunt in New York city, and is looking foward to reuniting with Ryu again.

For her appearances for the Dead or Alive series, head here.

  • Animal Motifs: Snakes - her health bar in Sigma is shaped like one and her sorcery in Sigma II is called "Ouruborus", the thematic symbol of a snake eating its own tail.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Rachel helps Ryu escape the Underworld of what seemed like certain death for him
  • Boobs of Steel: Rachel's physical strength is proportional to the size of her bust; she can even handle heavy weaponry better than Ryu at first in Sigma.
  • Breakout Character: Rachel proved popular enough to be featured as a playable character in the Warriors Orochi and Dead or Alive games. In the case of the latter, she was the second most requested DLC character after fellow NG cast member, Momiji.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: In Sigma 2, her weapons are her Inferno Hammer and a machine gun.
  • Canon Immigrant: Makes her Dead or Alive appearance in the Updated Re-release of Dead or Alive 5.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Despite being re-included in Sigma II, Rachel is dropped off the face of the Earth in Ninja Gaiden III. While almost all characters from the series (old trilogy to modern era) get a nod, Rachel does not get a mention, not even in Razor's Edge.
  • Combat Stilettos
  • Dark Is Not Evil: She wears black leather and is part fiend but is still a hero.
  • Demon Slaying: She fulfills the half-demon, hunting her own kind and doing it for personal reasons aspects of this trope.
  • Distressed Damsel: After Doku captures her, Rachel spends the rest of the story like this.
  • Dogged Nice Girl: A Rare Female Example - Rachel appears to have taken quite a liking to Ryu, but he promptly seems to refuse, and going by the series' Continuity, this isn't remotely going anywhere with him.
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix: Rachel's outfit wouldn't be out of place at an S&M club.
  • Drop the Hammer: Zigzagged - the "War Hammer" in the first game looks more like an axe, while the "Inferno Hammer" in Sigma II does resemble an actual hammer this time around.
  • Eaten Alive: In one of the instances of her being a Distressed Damsel, a boss fight starts with her being devoured whole by a massive, sea anemone-like fiend.
  • Faux Action Girl: In the original Xbox game, Rachel wasn't playable, thus in story segments she falls straight into this.
  • Gatling Good: Rachel sports a "Gatling Gun" as her projectile weapon in Sigma II.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Rachel has a small device on her arm that launches grappling line for swinging.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: She has Fiend blood which grants her superhuman powers that allow her to fight Fiends. Her sister was also part-Fiend and was corrupted.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: All she needs is a whip to complete the dominatrix look.
  • Hunter of Her Own Kind: As mentioned above Rachel has Fiend blood. She was hunting Alma to kill her after the latter was corrupted by Doku but Rachel ultimately couldn't bring herself to kill her own sister.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Rachel is a half-Fiend who fights and kills other Fiends. To make things more interesting, one of the Fiends she is hunting is her own sister, Alma.
  • Hunter of Monsters: She kills Fiends just like Ryu. However, this is her sole occupation whereas Ryu battles a variety of foes throughout the games.
  • Informed Ability: The guidebook states she has the ability to sense when Fiends are nearby, but this has no affect on game-play whatsoever.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Before her first encounter with Ryu, there is a dead Black Spider Ninja's diary referring to a woman who fights Fiends and is very beautiful, despite her ferocity in battle. Players never find out if Ryu agrees with this assessment upon reading the entry.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Rachel has reached this conclusion with Alma, and doesn't believe there's another way to save her sister anymore.
  • Leotard of Power: One made of leather.
  • Ms. Fanservice: A busty, blonde woman who dresses in skimpy black leather who at one point ends up covered in slime. Yeah, its pretty blatant.
  • Magic Knight: In addition to her hammer and immense strength, Rachel has access to two spells; Blades of Ouroboros and Magic of Raging Aphrodite.
  • Mercy Kill: She intended to do this to her sister Alma but found she couldn't bring herself to it.
  • Mighty Glacier: As strong as she is, she lacks Ryu's speed and agility. This is carried over into Sigma II between her, Ayane and Momiji.
  • The Musketeer: In Sigma 2 her movelist consists of melee attacks with her hammer quickly followed by a gun salvo.
  • Power Crystal: Rachel's crystal earrings are magically enhanced.
  • Something About a Rose: Rachel's sorcery in Sigma II is rose-themed and petals flown around it
  • Stripperiffic: Rachel doesn't wear much. Her outfit showcases her bust, butt and other curves.
  • Variable Length Grappling Hook: Seriously, how long can the rope to her grappling hook get, and how does she manage to reel it back into that tiny arm device? In the Collapsing Lair of the finale in Ninja Gaiden, she doesn't even seem to be grappled to anything, nor do the cut-scenes show the end of the rope - it's as if she's simply suspended in mid-air.
  • Waif-Fu: Rachel is very strong despite her slender figure due to her cursed Fiend blood, yet she can best enemies many times her size and obviously more muscular than her.


Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)

Known to the Holy Vigoor Empire as the Holy Vigoor Emperor, this is his human form to his god form, the original "Evil Deity" who spawned the Fiends. To the commoners of the Holy Vigoor Empire, Vigoor is worshiped as a "Supreme Holy Deity", leader of their "Holy Vigoorian Order" and the absolute authority in their lives. After his defeat, a plan is set into motion in Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword to ressurect him by the ancient Fiends Ishtaros and Nicchea using the Dark Dragonstones to do so.

  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The first fight against his angelic form.
  • Back for the Dead: Comes back in Dragon Sword, only to die shortly after.
  • Big Bad: Of the Xbox Ninja Gaiden until Murai is revealed to be the true Big Bad of the game.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: His decayed "Chaos Devil" form
  • Expy: Of Satan from Devilman (being an angelic, Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous supreme ruler of demons) as well as bit of Mundus from Devil May Cry. In series, he also resembles Ashtar, both being demonic emperors, and seek the evil counterpart of the Dragon Sword. The Vigoor of the past (who may, or may not be the same as the current one), is definitelly one to the Demon of the NES Ninja Gaiden games, to the point their statues are identical. The current Vigoor's/Holy Vigoor's Emperor's second "Chaos Devil" form, also resembles how the Demon looked in the NES games.
  • Flat Character: The patron saint and deity of the Vigoor Empire doesn't have a single line, passage or mention of his personality - it's just a boss fight players must pass in order to finish the game.
  • Light Is Not Good: His stone angel form
  • Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous: Vigoor is described as male through the game, but his first, angelic form is definitely feminine.
  • Physical God: Introduced as such, but changed later, as he is not the only one.
  • Retcon
    • In the first Xbox game, Vigoor is also referred to as the "Dark God Vigoor"; aside from his Holy Vigoor Emperor title, this implies he is the Archfiend, a Physical God beyond all other Archfiends. Ninja Gaiden II changes his epitaph to "Supreme Archfiend Vigoor" in diary entries found throughout the game, which Big Bad Vazdah also has, thus Vigoor is but one Archfiend from a possible group rather than the the only one.
    • Given the diary entries in the same game notes Vazdah is essentially Vigoor's son, this might not be the case.
  • Satan: Zigzagged - the first Xbox game and Dragon Sword certainly plays Vigoor up as this, but Ninja Gaiden II possibly Retconned him into a powerful devil, but not THE devil. As mentioned above, the diary entries in the same game note Vazdah was born from Vigoor, as his succesor/incarnation, so it seems Vigoor after all is THE devil of the Ninja Gaiden universe.

Debuting in Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword (Nintendo DS)


Voiced by: Yuko Minaguchi (JP), Kate Higgins (EN), Shino Kakinuma (JP - Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword

The last Dragon Shrine Maiden, Kureha's younger sister and Ryu's apprentice, Momiji eventually replaces her sister's position as the distinguished Dragon Lineage shrine maiden following Doku's invasion of the Hayabusa Village. Having been in another village to run an errand, Momiji was spared the same fate as Kureha; hearing about her sister's death, Momiji felt powerless and made a vow to become much stronger in her name, taking on the task of protecting the clan's treasure, the Eye of the Dragon. With Momiji's new resolve, Ryu takes her under his direct tutoring, making Momiji his official apprentice. In the events of Dragon Sword, Momiji is captured by the Black Spider Ninja Clan, on orders from the ancient Fiend Nicchae, to retrieve the Eye of the Dragon. After Ryu rescues her and defeats the Dark Dragon, Momiji heads back to her training.

Momiji returns in Sigma II, having become stronger and more than capable of fighting on her own without her mentor's assistance, while her duties as the Dragon Shrine Maiden are put in the forefront by Ninja Gaiden III.

For her appearances for the Dead or Alive series, head here.

  • The Apprentice: Of Ryu's, specifically demonstrated in Dragon Sword
  • Asian Rune Chant: Utters one in Ninja Gaiden III in the cut-scene preceding the Obaba boss fight to conjure up a barrier.
  • Badass Preacher: Another Rare Female Example of the Eastern variety - traditional Mikos don't fight, much less be a Ninja, but Momiji excels in both fronts.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses/Student and Master Team: For an entire chapter in Ninja Gaiden III, Momiji fights alongside Ryu, proving her actions in Sigma II weren't a matter of luck.
  • Blade on a Stick: Her "Heavenly Dragon Naginata"note , another weapon common for popular portrayals of shrine maidens.
  • Boobs of Steel: Not quite to Rachel's extent, but she's well-endowed and kicks plenty of ass.
  • Breakout Character: Since her introduction, Momiji has become quite the fan favorite, usurping Irene Lew as a poster girl for the Rebooted Ninja Gaiden franchise; appearing in every installment since her introduction, been added to the Dead Or Alive series, and "Warriors Orochi 3".
    • Momiji also is the only "Ninja Gaiden Girl" to appear in the base game of "Ninja Gaiden 3" whereas Ayane and Kasumi only appear in the special edition and Rachel didn't even appear in either. To be fair, the absence of Ayane, Kasumi, and Rachel was met with a lot of fan criticism. Momiji was also the only series regular heroine to appear in "Ninja Gaiden Z" albeit a small role.
    • Momijii in For Honor, a game by Ubisoft, as a reference to this character. They both wield a naginata and help the protagonists of their respective games on their missions.
  • Canon Immigrant: Like Rachel, Momiji finally appears in the Updated Re-release of Dead or Alive 5, including the Nintendo Wii U Updated Re-release of Warriors Orochi 3.
  • Cool Big Sis: Shown as this to the children of the Hayabusa Village
  • Double Jump: Her most unique skill - she's the only playable character in the modern Ninja Gaiden games who can do this, opening up more combat possibilities. Although she's a "Technique"-based character in the Warriors Orochi Crossover, she can't do this there.
  • Faux Action Girl: Despite her best efforts, Momiji gets kidnapped at the start of Dragon Sword easily. Fortunately, it doesn't take long for her to avert this and become perfectly capable of defending herself by Sigma II.
  • Friend to All Children: Case in point, her chapter in Sigma II is to rescue the kidnapped ninja-in-training Sanji from a pair of Tengu Brothers, personally pursuing them all the way to Tokyo to save him.
  • Kunoichi: One in-training during Dragon Sword, but ascends into this by Sigma II
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: In Sigma II, she is this for the girls - Ayane is fast, but weak and Rachel is the opposite, but Momiji is the most balanced between the two.
  • Lady of War: Beautiful and feminine, yet strong and deadly
  • Last of Her Kind: After Kureha's death, Momiji is the only person worthy of guarding the Eye of The Dragon, given like Kureha, she too is descended from the Dragon Lineage.
  • MacGuffin Guardian: Zigzagged - played straight when Momiji hid the Eye of the Dragon some time before Dragon Sword by fusing it into her soul, until it's released near the end of the game so Ryu can destroy the Dark Dragon with the True Dragon Sword. Subverted in Sigma II when Obaba mysteriously acquires it, until Ayane retrieves it to hand it personally to Ryu, but played straight again in Ninja Gaiden III where Momiji keeps the Eye with her at all times until she hands it to Ryu to use the True Dragon Sword again.
  • The Medic: She uses her powers and the Eye of the Dragon to soothe the pain in Ryu's cursed arm in Ninja Gaiden III when he returns to the Hayabusa Village.
  • Miko: Even her default costume mirrors that of the archetype, but is done in a way that it compliments her dual-role of a kunoichi. However, Momiji does appear in the traditional white haori (kimono jacket) and red hakama (trousers) in Ninja Gaiden III when Ryu returns to the Hayabusa Village.
  • My Greatest Failure: Momiji blames herself for Kureha's death to some extent, as she wasn't in the Hayabusa Village when Doku was razing it to the ground.
  • Nice Girl: Gentle, caring and polite, they hardly come nicer than Momiji.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Done up in a Tomboyish Ponytail, with her hair reaching her waist.
  • Ship Tease: With Ryu, especially in "Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword". She even gets a "Princess Carry" moment with him at the end.
  • Side Boob: Her default outfit starting with Sigma II sports this. Hilariously pointed out in a "Top Ten Side Boobs In Games" article.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After some dead older sister and self-depreciation, Momiji gets to impress the clan's Master Ninja to train her personally due to her determination in getting stronger for Kureha and to protect their sacred treasure - the results are shown in Sigma II and beyond.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Her growth between Dragon Sword and Sigma II is quite impressive, such that in Ninja Gaiden III, Ryu Lampshades and recognizes how strong his pupil has become in his absence.


Voiced by: Hiroko Emori (JP), Kate Higgins (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword

    Dark Dragon 

Debuting in Ninja Gaiden II (Xbox 360/PS3/PS Vita)


Voiced by: Hiromi Tsuru (JP), Grey DeLisle (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden II

The "Ruler of Blood" and "Queen of the Greater Fiends", Elizébet is the most active villain during Ninja Gaiden II, one of Archfiend Vazdah's Four Greater Fiends, and the blood priestess of the Fiend cult, the "Order of the Necromantale". Elizébet is tasked with retrieving the "Demon Statue", an important ancient artifact guarded by the Hayabusa Ninja Clan. Approaching the Black Spider Ninja Clan for help, she promised Overlord Genshin and his followers Fiend powers to overthrow the Dragon Ninja Clan. Elizébet manages to trigger Ryu's anger by capturing Sonia and spitting on Genshin's pride after she resurrects him as a complete Fiend. Of the Greater Fiends, she has earned Ryu's hatred of their kind for corrupting the Black Spider Ninja Clan.

  • Aristocrats Are Evil: One of few Greater Fiends who is actually a noble; naturally, Elizébet is one of the most evil among them.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: While she's clearly nude in one cut-scene covered in nothing but blood, Elizabét's character model appears to have this going on.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Zigzagged - although her Greater Fiend form is nowhere as demonic-looking as the other three Greater Fiends in Ninja Gaiden II, her abdomen splits apart, showing off internal organs.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Will occasionally use this as part of her attacks
  • Blood Bath: Elizébet cetainly enjoys her job as the blood priestess of the Fiend cult, considering her name's a Shout-Out to Elizabeth Bathory.
  • Bloody Murder: One of her more vicious long-ranged attacks involves launching multiple blood-coated spears at Ryu; if it connects, it also refills her Hit Points.
  • Fanservice: The cut-scene preceding the first boss against her is this.
  • Femme Fatale: Implied as Elizébet's the only Greater Fiend who bothers assuming a human form
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Queen of the Greater Fiends, and arguably the cruelest of the four
  • Horny Devils: Both Elizébet's human and Fiend forms have suggestive overtones
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: Justified; that bustier in her human form is likely part of her body as opposed to being actual clothing.
  • Informed Ability: Despite her title as Queen of the Greater Fiends, Elizébet is never shown commanding her followers, at least, not as much as Marbus and Vigoor.
  • Kick the Dog: Literally kicks Genshin in the head after Ryu defeats him, spitting on the fallen warrior's pride.
  • Lady in Red: She wears a red coat, pants and shoes.
  • Meaningful Name: Elizébet's personality and blood motif are reminiscent of the rumors surrounding the Real Life Elizabeth Bathory.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Sought the aid of the Black Spider Ninja Clan to help her steal the Demon Statue from the Dragon Ninja Clan, promising them demonic powers in return. While she does hold up her end of the bargain, transforming Genshin and his followers into Fiends, Elizébet nevertheless saw the Black Spider Ninjas as disposable tools, fully expecting them to fall before Ryu's blade.
  • Naked on Arrival: In the cutscene before the first boss battle against her, and you see everything.
  • One-Winged Angel: She may be the only Greater Fiend who bothers with a human form, she still transforms into her true demonic visage to battle Ryu.
  • The Power of Blood: Elizébet weaponizes it for several of her attacks.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: wears red clothing with a black belt and black garments that cover her chest.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only woman among Vazdah's Four Greater Fiends and the only relevant female Greater Fiend in the whole series.
  • Stripperiffic: Averted in her human form until her boss encounter, where she strips down for an arcane ritual. In her Fiend form, she continues to expose a great deal of skin...along with her rib cage and spine.
  • Winged Humanoid: In her case, crimson butterfly wings


Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa (JP), Robin Atkin Downes (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden II

The "Ruler of Lightning" and one of the Four Greater Fiends, Alexei awoke from his centuries-long slumber by Elizébet via the power of the Demon Statue, quickly making a bid to conquer New York City, holding court from atop the Statue of Liberty. Despite his haughty demeanor and belief in human inferiority, he is bested in a duel with Ryu. However, he later shows up in the "Realm of the Fiends" as the ritual to resurrect the Archfiend Vazdah reaches its crescendo, having recovered from his wounds and kidnapped Sonia. The two clash for a second time, and Ryu succeeds in slaying the arrogant demonic noble for good.


Voiced by: Daisuke Gori (JP), Daran Norris (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden II

The "Ruler of Storms" and one of the Four eater Fiends, Volf is a vicious, four-armed werewolf and the leader of the Beast-Men tribe of Fiends. When the Greater Fiends were released, he and his Lycanthropic underlings conquered the tranquil and beautiful Aqua Capital. For all of his savagery, Volf is also a proud warrior who seeks a worthy opponent.


Voiced by: Hidekatsu Shibata (JP), Steve Blum (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden II

The "Ruler of Flames" and one of the Four Greater Fiends, Zedonius is most demonic of the four in appearance, resembling a monstrous devil with pitch-black skin and bat-like wings. He has a low opinion of humanity, considering them little better than primates, and claims to have bestowed fire upon them centuries ago (without which, he insists, they would have been nothing). Upon his release, he lays siege to a Russia-esque city in Northern Europe and eradicates their military, demanding that they "submit or die".

  • Been There, Shaped History: It's subtly implied he was the one who gave fire to humanity, though Ryu doesn't believe him.
  • Big Red Devil: Subverted - Zedonius has the look down to a T except his skin is coal-black rather than red.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Mocks and insults Ryu, a ninja who's already succeeded in defeating Alexei and Volf by this point.
  • Death by Irony: After Ryu bests him in a clock tower, he's consumed by his own flames; the same thing happens when he's defeated a second time in the Fiend Realm.
  • Establishing Character Moment: He's first seen looking down on a human army with disdain before demanding their surrender, then obliterating them mercilessly when they defy him.
  • Fantastic Racism: Calls humans as little more than "monkeys", even throwing Ryu into this category.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Makes use of his wings to take to the air, forcing Ryu to either chase him down or wait for him to land.
  • One-Man Army: His introductory cutscene has him delivering a Curb-Stomp Battle to a well-armed modern army.
  • Playing with Fire: With a title like Ruler of Flames, it should come as no surprise he wields a variety of fire-based attacks.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Adds to his demonic appearance
  • Shooting Superman: The military of the city he attacks unleash a full artillery strike on him to absolutely no effect.
  • Title Drop: He invokes the name of his chapter "Surrender or Die!" when ordering the military to surrender.
  • Winged Humanoid: Bat-like wings typical of fictional demons

    Dagra Dai 

Voiced by: Shōzō Iizuka (JP), Peter Reneday (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden II

Originally a human philosopher in ancient times, Dagra Dai roamed the earth while the Fiends battled for supremacy. Stumbling upon the resting place of the Supreme Archfiend Vazdah, Dagra Dai gazed into its eyes and was transformed into a Fiend. Taking on the title of "Infernal High Priest", he brought the Four Greater Fiends together under the Archfiend's banner. In the present, Dagra Dai serves as the second main antagonist of Ninja Gaiden II, having orchestrated the release of the Greater Fiends and the ritual that will ensure Vazdah's resurrection.


Voiced by: Ryuzaburo Otomo (JP), Neil Kaplan (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden II

A Master Ninja and Overlord of the Black Spider Ninja Clan, Genshin is the best and most ruthless ninja the clan has ever created, with eternal lust for power and hatred towards the Dragon Ninja Clan. He didn't think twice when Elizébet offered him more power for his clan and an excuse to anihililate the Dragon Lineage. Genshin destroyed a great part of the Dragon Ninjas' village up to fighting against Joe Hayabusa, and managed to steal the Demon Statue for Elizébet. Throughout Ninja Gaiden II, Ryu is forced to duel with the Master Ninja multiple times, killing him on the third, but Genshin is resurrected by Elizébet as a Greater Fiend. Ryu prevails and finishes Genshin off once and for all. Despite his hate for the Dragon Lineage, both Master Ninjas develop a mutual respect for another.

  • Above Good and Evil: Joe accuses the Black Spider Ninja Clan to be corrupted by evil, but Genshin remarks the Ninja way knows neither good nor evil.
  • Animal Motifs: The spider, given what his clan's named after; even his armor sports this theme more so than the clan Mooks.
  • Arch-Enemy: Of the Dragon Lineage
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Not only does he hold the rank of Master Ninja for the Black Spider Ninja Clan, but he is so much stronger than any other clan members he's given the title of Overlord.
  • Back from the Dead: Dies in his third fight, resurrected by Elizébet into a Greater Fiend
  • Benevolent Boss: While Genshin is credited for being a ruthless, violent Overlord, many Black Spider Ninjas adore him; diary entries note how respectable Genshin is from the Mooks.
  • Cool Sword: Blade of The Archfiend
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: An uncommon male example
  • Driven by Envy: The Black Spider Ninja Clan being in the Dragon Ninja Clan's shadow for generations took its toll on Genshin, who grew to hate the Dragon Lineage entirely; their downfall is his ultimate goal.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Despite being at death's door, Genshin accepts his defeat gracefully, acknowledging Ryu's victory.
  • Large and in Charge: Genshin borders on gigantic, towering over many Black Spider Ninjas that were converted into Fiends even when he's still human. As a Master Ninja, he's the only other one in the series (sans Joe Hayabusa) in the modern trilogy to display just how powerful a Ninja of this rank truly is.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Although much taller than most Ninja, Genshin is still just as agile and powerful befitting a Master Ninja, proving to be more than a match for Ryu.
  • Mirror Boss: To an extent - Genshin can use the "Flying Swallow" technique, Counter-Attack, the Piercing Void ninpo (Sigma II only), has an "Ultimate Technique" similar to Ryu's as his Greater Fiend form, and picks up a version of the Izuna Drop in the last boss fights.
  • Ninja: Holds the rank of Master Ninja and clan overlord status
  • Playing with Fire: In the last fight, Greater Fiend Genshin starts imbuing attacks with fire
  • Recurring Boss: Fought a total of four times in a single play-through
  • The Rival: As the game progress, he comes to hate Ryu less and less, and regards him as more of a Worthy Opponent. When Ryu defeats him for the last time, he peacefully passes on without regrets, his envy and hate finally dissipated.
  • Take Up My Sword: Passes the Blade of the Archfiend to Ryu, who can use it alongside the True Dragon Sword. After the Goddess is awakened in Ninja Gaiden III, Genshin's spirit does this again to Ryu in a vision, while reactivating the power of the Blade.


Voiced by: Mariko Suzuki (JP), Kari Wahlgren (EN)
Debuting in: Ninja Gaiden II

A CIA agent tasked with to prevent Archfiend Vazdah from returning, Sonia heads to Tokyo to seek Ryu Hayabusa's help. Unlike Irene from the NES trilogy, Sonia is not so harmless, proving herself dependable and gutsy when Fiends aren't involved; throughout Ninja Gaiden II, she provides the Dragon Ninja with support and transportation to where the Demon Statue might be located.

  • Action Girlfriend: Invoked, ranging from raiding the "Daedalus" aircraft carrier with a bazooka to a Gunship Rescue after Ryu defeats Volf.
  • Distressed Damsel: When captured by Black Spider Ninjas in the first chapter, then handed over to Elizébet; this occurs again with Alexei.
  • Fanservice Pack: A notable small, red tattoo above her Absolute Cleavage, wearing a Spy Catsuit showing off plenty of skin and a body figure comparable to the women of Dead or Alive.
  • Faux Action Girl: Despite fighting countless Black Spider and tactical ninja Mooks offscreen on the Daedalus, Sonia still falls prety to this quickly when stronger foes are involved; see Distressed Damsel.
  • Guns Akimbo: Seen at the beginning of the game, where she even successfully kills two Black Spider Ninjas before getting captured.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lampshaded - the Canned Orders over Loudspeaker aboard the Daedalus takes a moment out of relaying frantic messages through the ship to make note of Sonia's appearance.
  • Ship Tease: Sonia is the only girl in the modern games whom Ryu shows a degree of affection and care - he was worried about her wandering in the Underworld when he knows he can't protect her at all times, and they share a hug at the end of the game.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Sonia, a CIA agent tasked to work with Ryu, who frequently straddles Faux Action Girl and Distressed Damsel in the modern series replaces Irene Lew, another CIA agent with similar status situations in the NES trilogy. Dead or Alive: Dimensions makes no effort to reveal Sonia is one of Irene's aliases.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Players can make Ryu shoot an arrow against Sonia, while she is on view and caged in the Underworld, during the boss fight against Alexei. Doing so prompts Sonia to let out a death cry and an instant game over.


Debuting in Ninja Gaiden III


Voiced by: Yumi Sudo (JP), Stephanie Sheh (EN)

Mizuki's adopted daughter, Canna is a bit afraid of Ryu at first, but quickly takes a liking to him.

  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: That monster players slay at the beginning of Ninja Gaiden III? It's Canna.
  • Break the Cutie: She doesn't take Ryu killing her father very well.
  • But Not Too Foreign: A quarter-Japanese, three-fourths-English.
  • Cute Mute: She uses her cell phone to communicate most of the time. Averted when she regains her speech near the end of the game.
  • Distressed Damsel: She gets captured twice
  • Final Boss: Transformed as the "Goddess" and equipped with the Dragon Sword.
  • Happily Adopted: Mizuki is actually her biological aunt, but Canna doesn't really care about that.
  • Informed Ability: Ashtear Higgins explicitly states there's something in Canna's blood that makes her special, which explains why she's the catalyst for the Goddess, but Ninja Gaiden III makes no mention of what this specific trait that Canna has is.
  • Morality Pet: Becomes one for Ryu; made more prevalent when Muramasa Lampshades the Dragon Sword cannot cut what is inherently good during Day 7, which allows Ryu to destroy the Goddess without killing Canna.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After Ryu manages to change her back to normal, Canna is remorseful over what she said to him prior to her transformation.
  • One-Winged Angel: Unwillingly into the Goddess, courtesy of her Evil Uncle.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her parents Theodore Higgins and Saya died in an accident when she was very young. The resulting trauma caused her muteness.
  • Shipper on Deck: She really wants Ryu to be her father, which implies being more than Just Friends with Mizuki. For bonus points, they are literally on a deck when she says it to him.
  • You Killed My Father: Ryu unknowingly strikes down a Brainwashed and Crazy Theodore, posing as the Regent of the Mask, with Canna witnessing it.

    Clifford "Cliff" Higgins 
Voiced by: Hiroaki Hirata (JP), Jonathan Lipow (EN)

Mizuki's brother-in-law and Canna's paternal uncle, Clifford Higgins is jokingly described by Mizuki as a Mad Scientist for the Japanese Ministry of Defense, since he conceives strange advanced weapons such as Ryu's target-locking bow.

  • Mission Control: In Day 6, although suspiciously unserious and unconcerned. He stops speaking to Ryu as soon as he enters the first cavern in the level.
  • No-Sell: If players use Ryu to shoot an arrow at him during a certain point in their fight in Day 7, Cliff permanently destroys the bow, leaving Ryu no long-ranged weapon for the rest of the game.
  • Walking Spoiler: With the amount of spoiler tags being used, this is a given.

Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima (JP), Lauren Landa (EN)

The second Canon Immigrant from the Dead or Alive series, Kasumi debuts in the Updated Re-release for the Wii U Razor's Edge as a free Downloadable Content character (unlockable character in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions). However, she previously appeared in a brief cameo in Sigma II, but only as The Faceless.

Kasumi is the younger sister of Ryu's childhood friend Hayate, from the Mugen-Tenshin Clan and Ayane's older half-sister. In her home series, Ryu watches over her after she becomes a runaway kunoichi for trying to avenge her brother.

For her appearances for the Dead or Alive series, head here.

  • Absolute Cleavage: When she wears her traditional blue and white costumes.
  • Badass Cape: With her default costume specifically created for Razor's Edge.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: In her home series, Kasumi is reluctant to fight her old clan; more often that not, she insists she does not wish for hostilities against anyone antagonizing her, but Razor's Edge shows exactly what she can do if that reluctance does not exist at all.
  • Braids of Action: One of her alternative hair styles.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Her primary visual motif, which appear from time-to-time while she fights.
  • Cleavage Window: With her default costume, formed between the outfit's cleavage itself and her Badass Cape.
  • Finishing Stomp: Her version of the Izuna Drop, which is a variation of one of her grapples from the Dead or Alive series. She stomps her victim's head again and again in mid-air until she finally crushes it to the ground.
  • Fuuma Shuriken: Kasumi can combine her throwing knives to create one, including a Precision-Guided Boomerang effect. If fully charged, it can cut any enemy in two through the waist.
  • Flash Step: Another of her trademark manuveurs from Dead or Alive, albeit it appears as a game mechanic common to all characters for Razor's Edge
  • Good Is Not Soft: She's still the nice, kind, Reluctant Warrior she is from her Dead or Alive, but gentle does not enter into the equation for the Ninja Gaiden franchise. She's basically a human ginsu that shows even the Mortal Kombat characters how disemboweling into itty bitty pieces is done.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Her costumes don't stand out as much as the other female characters, but she's still not very concerned with being seen.
  • Kamehamehadoken: Her Ninpo "Rending Wind"; its effect is similar to Ryu's Piercing Void, with the possibility of an additional radial attack at the end.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Like her Dead or Alive counterpart, Kasumi in Razor's Edge is balanced in all fields with lots of tricks up her sleeves.
    • Lightning Bruiser: She can potentially be one of the best characters in the game in the hands of advanced players. While she doesn't have Ryu's ease-of-use nor his defense, she has deadlier techniques, though they're trickier to pull off. Futhermore, Kasumi's the second fastest character after Ayane.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Her famous wakizashi from Dead or Alive gets upgraded to a katana (although its length is closer to a ninjato).
  • Lady of War: Despite being so young, she has a distinctive grace, even in her bloodier moments.
  • Panty Fighter: Three of her four costumes in Razor's Edge leaves her panties visible.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Itagaki is the reason Kasumi never appeared in Ninja Gaiden until Razor's Edge, as the creator was very vocal when saying that his "daughter" isn't the type of person who engaged in the same brutalities as Ryu, phrasing she was "too pure for this". By the time Kasumi made The Cameo in Sigma II, Itagaki was no longer part of Team Ninja, thus losing any reigns on the matter.
  • Reverse Grip: How she wields her katana, which is how Real Life ninjas usually wielded their ninjato.
  • Spy Catsuit: Her default costume in Razor's Edge, inherited from Dead or Alive 5 plus a blue cape to boot.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: A ninjato-length katana, kunai (although the ones she actually throws look more like Western knives) and a Fuuma Shuriken (formed by said knives).
  • Teleport Spam: Another prominent aspect of her fighting style carried over from Dead or Alive.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Her default hair style
  • Took a Level in Badass: Downplayed, and overlapping with Adaptational Badass and Depending on the Writer. Kasumi's creator, Tomonobu Itagaki, explicitly wanted to avoid a bloody, gory environment for her, but once he was no longer part of Team Ninja, she was soon added to Razor's Edge, where she forgoes her historic aversion to bloodshed and seems downright comfortable in spilling the blood of evildoers at first sight.
  • True Blue Femininity: She leans toward this more than counterpart (the prominent blue cape in her Spy Catsuit, her iconic blue kimono and another, more traditional female kimono).
  • What Happened To The New Costume?: In Sigma II, Kasumi wears a variation of her traditional blue Dead or Alive outfit; even though players only get to see the back side, many really liked it and were eager to see it properly. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear in Razor's Edge. It finally became playable as her "Digital Deluxe" bonus costume in Dead or Alive 6.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: In her traditional blue and white costumes.

    Ken Ishigami 
Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka (JP), Michael McConnohie (EN)

A member of the Internal Affairs department in the Japanese Ministry of Defense, Ken Ishigami personally meets with Ryu at the Hayabusa Village at the beginning of the game, citing terrorists are holding the British Prime Minister hostage in London.

    Ashtear Higgins 
Voiced by: Kōji Yada (JP), Jamie Alcroft (EN)

Ashtear Higgins is the Chairman of the Lords of Alchemy multinational corporation, which manufactures products ranging from toys to weapons of war. However, the Lords of Alchemy's true research lies in combining old alchemical secrets with advanced science to bring about a new world, even if that means destroying the current one in the process.

Voiced by: Masumi Asano (JP), Nicola Clarke (EN)

The chief Mad Scientist of the genetic labs for the Lords of Alchemy, Lovelace sends out multiple organic abominations against Ryu when he infiltrates the organization's South Pacific jungle complex.

  • Asshole Victim: Given her insults and mocking treatment of Ryu, Canna, and Mizuki, Lovelace is easily the least sympathetic of Ryu's enemies throughout the Ninja Gaiden series.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Lovelace is pushed into her own experiment by the Regent of the Mask, transforming her into a monster that Ryu has to defeat.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: She looks suspiciously like her English voice actress.
  • Rasputinian Death: Thrown into her a alchemic, genetic vat, transformed into a monster, has her arms cut off several times, decapitated and finally has her head cut in two vertically.
  • Techno Babble: Her attemps at explaining the virtual simulator sound meaningful.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Lovelace appears at the start of Day 4 and dies at the end of it.

    Mizuki Mc Cloud 
Voiced by: Yuko Kaida (JP), Ali Hillis (EN)

A member of the Japanese Air Defense Force, Mizuki McCloud provides most of Ryu's assistance throughout Ninja Gaiden III.

  • Ace Pilot: To pull off what she and Robert T. Sturgeon do at the beginning of Day 7, she has to be at least this.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Half-English, half-Japanese
  • Mission Control: During the first three days; played with when most of what she says during missions doesn't really have any informative value.
  • Multi-Ethnic Name
  • Parental Substitute: Becomes Canna's mother after the death of her niece's parents in an accident.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: She and Ryu unhesitatingly continue to fight against the Lords of Alchemy even after being criticized by the U.S. Army for their actions.
  • Ship Tease: Despite Irene Lew already being firmly re-established by Team Ninja, Ninja Gaiden 3 really tries to push the single mother tease with Mizuki through Canna’s innocent idea of wanting Ryu to be her father, Mizuki is apologetic at first for Canna’s remark but as the story goes Mizuki finds herself closer to Ryu, growing to be just like Canna who sees Ryu as her safe heaven in all the turmoil they found themselves in; however, in the end nothing comes out of that and Ryu moves on, as always.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Borderline parodied if it weren't over with so quickly. She gets dragged away by one villain because she's got a gun to her back and is fearing for Canna's life. When another villain appears grabbing her by the upper arm, she swats the hand away the second she sees her daughter safe.
  • Tamer and Chaster: The most modestly dressed Ninja Gaiden heroine by far, there’s zero fanservice on Mizuki’s part, the most skin she ever shows is her bare arms later in the game, when she gives her jacket to Canna.

    The Regent of the Mask 
Voiced by: Kenyuu Horiuchi (JP), James Brinkley (EN)

The primary villain of Ninja Gaiden III, the Regent of the Mask and his Lords of Alchemy followers take hostages in London with his terrorist group and assassinates the British Prime Minister. After fighting Ryu, he places the Grip of Murder curse on his right arm, forcing the Dragon Ninja to endure the pain of all the people he has ever killed. Afterwards, the Regent threatens world governments with surrender, citing his organization will destroy the world. As a high-ranking member of the Lords of Alchemy, the Regent is incredibly skilled in the alchemic arts, but is just as deadly with the sword, proving himself a foil to Ryu.

  • Alchemy Is Magic: The form of magic the Regent uses is less alchemic than it is conjuring curses and spells through incantations.
  • Back from the Dead: Cliff resurrected Theodore, but placed a Mask of Power, rendering him Brainwashed and Crazy to serve the Lords of Alchemy.
  • Badass Longcoat: Part of his attire; the coat also provides a In the Hood.
  • Big Damn Heroes: At the end of the boss fight against Cliff, Theodore dives in to save Mizuki from an alchemic blast and kills his brother.
  • Combat Commentator: The Regent sends amused comments at Ryu during the boss fights in Day 3 and Day 4. In fact, it's possible for players to target the Regent with the bow - shooting an arrow at him while he watches the fights and he simply deflects it effortlessly and laughs.
  • Cool Mask: Another part of his attire, a White Mask of Doom featuring Occult Blue Eyes.
  • Cool Sword: Uses a Royal Rapier.
  • Evil Brit
  • Evil Counterpart: To Ryu - both are champions to their respective clans and experienced combatants.
  • Faux Symbolism: Invoked during his broadcast of what the Lords of Alchemy intend to do.
    "Every nation must immediately agree to our terms of surrender. You have seven days. Exactly the number of days it took God to create this world."
  • Gloved Fist of Doom: The third part of his outfit
  • Heel–Face Turn: Once the mask is destroyed, Theodore regains his senses and joins Ryu in Day 7 to stop the Goddess.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Zigzagged; it's implied in order to lift the Grip of Murder curse, it requires the one who cast it in the first place to die. However, Theodore states as he was aware of what he did as the Regent, he uses this as an opportunity to not only save Ryu, but to pull a Redemption Equals Death.
  • Kick the Dog: The first thing players see the Regent do is brutally kill the British Prime Minister (it's implied the other hostages didn't get away alive, either). Near the end of Day 3, he pushes Lovelace into a genetic vat, transforming her into a monster when she's no longer of use to him (though given Lovelace proved herself to be a bitch, this counts more as a Kick the Son of a Bitch).
  • Large Ham: The Regent's loves lengthy, esotheric speeches about God, the universe or the end of the world.
  • Lightning Bruiser: One of the few non-Ninja human characters in the franchise to not only match Ryu's speed, but power. The Regent's grappling manuveurs will absolutely devastate players.
  • Papa Wolf: Played with; even if killing Canna will save the world, Theodore can't allow Ryu to destroy the Goddess when he's still the girl's father. Subverted as Theodore intentionally goaded Ryu into fighting him for one last time to get the chance to free him of the Grip of Murder, giving him a chance to rescue Canna without the curse holding him back, believing Ryu can do it without killing her. Turns out he was right.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: The Regent takes pleasure in describing how horrifically brutal Ryu is to his enemies and others who get in the way of his missions. Being a stoic ninja, Ryu expresses no attempts to refute him and continues his ways.
  • Recurring Boss: Four times in a single play-through
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: While not as unforgiving as Murai due to Ryu's lifebar being maxed-out from the beginning in Ninja Gaiden III, he's clearly the first enemy of the game who poses a challenge due to unpredictability, high-damaging grappling techniques and doesn't leave himself open for long for attacks. At harder difficulties, he becomes That One Boss.
  • Walking Spoiler: Knowing he's really a Brainwashed Theodore Higgins changes everything about the character.

Debuting in Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z

    Yaiba Kamikaze
Protagonist of the Spin-Off Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Yaiba Kamikaze is killed by Ryu Hayabusa at the beginning of the game, only to come Back from the Dead, resurrected as a Cyborg by Miss Monday. Working for Forge Industries, Yaiba uncovers a zombie infection spreading across Russia. At the same time, he desires to take Revenge on Ryu for killing him.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dies two more times over the course of the game - he survives from a thousand-meter Izuna Drop by Ryu and Miss Monday revives him once more after he frees (and kills) himself from Del Gonzo's control. At the start of their fight, Ryu even Lampshades how he can return.
    Ryu: "Why won't you stay dead?"
  • I Die Free: While it doesn't stick, he tears out his own heart (with its Explosive Leash) rather than remain Del Gonzo's slave one second longer. Especially significant since he had Ryu and Momiji at his mercy — being free was more important to him than his revenge.
  • Elemental Powers: As a Cyborg, Yaiba has access to fire, lightning, and bile as his strengths and weaknesses, however he cannot use Ninpo.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Miss Monday gives him an upgrade mid-battle as a counter Ryu's True Inferno ninpo.
  • Evil Counterpart: Yaiba's character was designed to be the exact opposite of Ryu's as an arrogant, bloodthirsty, reckless, and battle-hungry brute contrary to Ryu's stoic, composed, disciplined, and reserved nature.
  • Explosive Leash: Has one installed in his heart to ensure he's doing his job.
  • Expy: A composite of Deadpool (personality-based, though he's a lot darker), Raiden (cybernetics), and Ryu Hayabusa (revenge)
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Played with; Yaiba never intended to pull this, but he saves Ryu and Momiji from his Explosive Leash (by ripping it out along with his heart) which was about to be activated by Del Gonzo.
  • Improvised Weapon: He "creates" his weapons out of severing zombies and gigantic robot dogs.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ryu, of all people, still believes Yaiba has some aspect of goodness left in him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Yaiba is more proud of being a Jerkass.
  • Meaningful Name: Kamikaze means "Divine Wind"; the kanji "風" in his robotic left arm reads as kaze, meaning "wind". Lampshaded in the game where it states the Japanese Kamikaze plane fighters who killed themselves in droves in WWII actually took their name from Yaiba's clan since they were prone to insanely suicidal berserker tactics.
  • Not So Different: In Miss Monday's research of Ryu, she compares him to Yaiba about how similar they are - both men were easily killed in an encounter, brought back to life, and have been on exacting revenge. Yaiba in particular hates Ryu simply because he also sees them both as hardly different in terms of murderous deeds and wanton murder as a ninja, but Yaiba admits them while Ryu maintains an air of superiority Yaiba cannot tolerate.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The reason he joins Forge Industries is so he can fight Ryu again after Ryu killed him in their first fight.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Easily the most foul-mouthed character in the Ninja Gaiden franchise.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Just another random Mook whom Ryu slaughters, believing they stand a chance against the most powerful Ninja in the world. However, the game and complementary comic story featuring Yaiba shows his name may not be all that small since he was known to have killed dozens of Hayabusa clan ninja, collected their pendants as trophies, and was feared by many as a "Demon Ninja".
  • Unwitting Pawn: Del Gonzo takes advantage of his revenge against Ryu so he can stop him from thwarting his plans.
  • Villain Protagonist: In the trailers; in the game proper, Yaiba's a Card-Carrying Villain, who admits there's not a single shred of good in him.

    Miss Monday
The Hot Scientist who brings Yaiba back to life via cybernetics, Miss Monday serves as his Mission Control during his investigation of the zombie outbreak.

    Alarico Del Gonzo
The head of "Forge Industries" whom Miss Monday and the reluctant Yaiba work for.
  • Evil All Along: Del Gonzo is the one responsible for the whole zombie outbreak.
  • Expy: To Clifford Higgins of Ninja Gaiden III
  • Final-Exam Boss: By the time players fight him, they should know all the Elemental Powers combinations Yaiba has access to in order to damage him.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He's responsible for the zombie outbreak in Russia and takes advantage of Yaiba's revenge against Ryu so he can get rid of the latter from foiling his plans.


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