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Traditional ninjutsu made deadlier by futuristic cyborg technology.

Ninjas, as far as popular culture is concerned, are cold, efficient killers. What better way to make them even deadlier than to take out the human factor and make them into literal death machines? Nothing makes a ninja's arsenal more awesome than some high tech upgrades!

The Cyber Ninja is the ninja of the future, but unlike your typical technologically enhanced assassin they still use the traditional ninja image with either traditional, or upgraded, Stock Ninja Weaponry, and almost never a gun - they're still ninjas after all! To keep with appearances, you can expect these ninjas to have some sort of personal cloaking device and body modifications that would enhance their already superhuman conditioning. Being espionage agents, you can bet that they would be skilled hackers when it comes to information.

The heyday of the Cyber Ninja would have been the Eighties, especially with the rise of Cyber Punk mixed with Japan Takes Over the World. These ninjas would often be the perfect agents for high-tech corporate espionage or assassinations in such stories, or could even serve as a mook army for an evil tech corporation. Even after Japan's economic bubble burst, the combination of the ninjas' traditions with futuristic technology is one that sticks with popular culture to this day.

A subtrope of Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot. Compare Samurai Cowboy. Will tend to overlap with Street Samurai and Corporate Samurai, but both tropes envelop more specific concepts (the former is a freelancer in a campaign against authority while the latter is a corporate agent and more civilized than the former).

NOT related to Ghost Pirate, though a fight between the two would be totally awesome.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In some entries of the Brave Series:
  • In the Gundam franchise:
  • Ghost in the Shell: Aside from their heavy usage of firearms, the members of Section 9 are this to a tee. Cybernetically enhanced bodies, experts at infiltration, hacking, and hand-to-hand combat, and often finding themselves having to use these strengths against physically more powerful enemies.

    Comic Books 
  • The initial arc that introduced the War Machine armor in the pages of Iron Man, involved a group of cybernetic ninjas slicing up Tony Stak's normal suit, requiring a bit of More Dakka.
  • A backup feature of Savage Dragon involved the cybernetic Superpatriot going up against a group of ninja cyborgs. For added coolness, they were also Nazis.
  • There is a minor "Jobber"-type for-hire villain in Fred Perry's Gold Digger that is called "Tech Ninja", expert in espionage and using technological devices to replicate some of the more advanced Supernatural Martial Arts moves of the setting.
  • In The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, to contrast with the noble, stern Samurai design of Cyclonus, Whirl is given a sleeker ninja-esque design, additionally capable of both popping up and vanishing almost from nowhere.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Johnny Mnemonic the titular character was chased by a cyborg ninja with a monofilament wire concealed in his thumb.
  • Mirai Ninja aka Cyber Ninja features, well, a ninja bedecked with cybernetics.

    Literature 
  • In Altered Carbon Takeshi Kovacs temporarily sleeved in a "tech-ninja" body, that particular model had mostly organic augmentations except the shaped charge in the hand but some older ones he'd used before were cybered up.
  • Jack Blank features a Peacemaker named Cyberai; a ninja with bionic limbs. He gets killed when a Rüstov Para-Soldier rips off one of Cyberai's legs to replace the one he lost in battle.
  • The eponymous threat from the Choose Your Own Adventure novel Ninja Cyborg.
  • William Gibson's cyberpunk novel Neuromancer had a "vat-grown ninja" named Hideo who is also referred to as a "clone" (presumably the product of genetic engineering). He was an exceptionally deadly fighter. Molly tries to take him on because her old boyfriend Johnny was killed by a similar assassin, but her leg, broken in an earlier confrontation and not fully healed, breaks again before anything can really happen.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In RPGs like Cyberpunk and Shadowrun this is a common variation on the Street Samurai archetype.
  • The Tech-ninja clans in Rifts Japan deploy these, along with Juicer and Crazy Ninjas, to keep up with their mystic rivals from traditional clans.
  • Future Card Buddyfight: Ninjas make up one of the main majorities of Katana World, and many of them are futuristic. This includes Electron Ninja, Shiden, and Nanomachine Ninja, Tsukikage (a large ninja made of a swarm of nanobots, giving him a limited form of immortality because he's technically a blob monster).
  • Mage the Ascension had a rather obscure faction of mages called the Go Kamisori Gama who were literally cyborg ninja mages (and considering that mages were already reality warpers, the most powerful of them capable of permanently rewriting the laws of physics, or of (and this is a much "easier" trick) erasing the very concept of their own existence such that no human mind could perceive them), there's some serious overkill involved there. Do you really need ninjutsu and an ion cannon implanted in your arm when you can just be a member of the Trenchcoat Brigade like a "normal" mage?
  • Various stealth specialists in Infinity fit this trope (though in a nod to pragmatism, most carry guns of some sort), but the stand-out examples would have to be Yu Jing's various ninja troops. Or at least, they would be if Yu Jing actually had ninja, which it most certainly does not.
  • The various Imperial Temple Assassins of the Officio Assassinorum in Warhammer 40,000 fit the archetype of the futuristic ninja assassin in various ways. Vindicare Assassins are stealthy, long-range killers that stick to the shadows and hunt prey with silenced sniper rifles. Callidus Assassins are shapeshifters who get close to their targets and eliminate them with poisoned knives, swords that phase in and out of reality, and sidearms that project waves of brain-melting energy. Culexus Assassins are soulless psyker-hunters who can render themselves invisible to the naked eye and punch peoples' souls out with their unarmed strikes (although their primary weapon, a massive helmet-mounted contraption that fires bolts of anti-psychic energy, isn't much of a ninja weapon). Finally, Eversor Assassins are drug-fuelled berserkers who largely eschew stealth in favor of simply killing all the witnesses, ripping their victims apart in melee with swords and claws.

    Video Games 
  • Zer0 from Borderlands 2. It's hard to tell whether this person is a cyborg or not, but the character has a sword for his melee weapon, uses a digital Invisibility Cloak as an Action Skill and can toss explosive kunai as one of his upgrades.
  • Phantom from Dirty Bomb is one, though his suit seems to be based off of samurai armor. He can turn invisible at will to either land a string of headshots or straight up slice someone with his katana.
  • All of the ninja borgs from Gotcha Force have details that indicate that they're manufactured, but the one that most clearly fits is obvious Cyber Ninja, who shoots lasers, has Hard Light Fuuma Shuriken on its arms, and can cause damage with a series of tackles from multiple angles augmented by a Force Field.
  • Towards the end of Mark of the Ninja you start encountering these when your boss (apparently) turns on you and equips your fellow ninja with technology stolen from the Disc-One Final Boss (technically they're only ninja wearing Powered Armour rather than being actual cyborgs, but they still have the look and feel of this trope).
  • Shadow Man from Mega Man 3 was built from the ground up to resemble a ninja. He's even got a Fuuma Shuriken!
  • The Mega Man X series has a few:
    • Magna Centipede from Mega Man X2 is a ninja hacker centipede robot who can teleport, hack X's systems and throw homing magnetic mines for shurikens. He used to be from the Maverick Hunter's 0th Special Unit, who were a covert ops unit.
    • Blast Hornet from Mega Man X3 is a ninja hornet robot who throws exploding bees in place of shuriken. Like Magna Centipede, he also used to be from the 0th Special Unit.
    • Dark Mantis from Mega Man X8 is a ninja mantis robot who throws Battle Boomerangs made of darkness, fires arrows made of darkness, performs Wall Jumps, and has two huge mantis arm blades as his primary melee weapons.
    • X is able to become one via the Shadow Armor in Mega Man X6, allowing him to survive touching Spikes of Doom and cling onto walls, but at the cost of using special weapons or air-dashing.
  • Mega Man Zero has Hidden Phantom, one of the Four Guardians of Copy X and the head of the Neo Arcadian intel unit. He's a Reploid like any of his brethren, and is very ninja-like — using body doubles, Fuuma Shuriken, a tanto and shadow powers to go along with it.
  • Mega Man Battle Network has Dusk (aka Dark Miyabi) and his NetNavi ShadowMan.EXE, proving that even in an advanced world of internets, ninjas are still good and running.
  • Metal Gear features a recurring archetype of a "Cyborg Ninja":
    • Black Ninja in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
    • Cyborg Ninja/Grey Fox from Metal Gear Solid.
    • Olga Gurlukovich in Metal Gear Solid 2 is forced to masquerade as one. Both Raiden and Solidus incorporate elements of the aesthetic as well — Raiden was originally intended to be revealed to be a cyborg in an early draft and elements of this do remain in his character and design, while Solidus uses similar technology to Olga and has some samurai aesthetic flourishes.
    • Raiden eventually becomes one for real in Metal Gear Solid 4 and beyond.
  • Cyrax and all of his clones (Sektor, Cyborg Smoke, Cyber Sub-Zero, Triborg) from Mortal Kombat.
  • In The Ninja Warriors, the title characters are a cyborg ninja and kunoichi. Essentially ninja Terminators.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal features robot ninjas — complete with Laser Blades — as recurring Mooks.
  • Hostuma from Shinobi and Hibana from Nightshade (Kunoichi).
  • Strider Hiryu may be 100% human biologically, but his equipment and robot summons fit this trope to a T.
  • The entire Foot Clan from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but that was more of a case of censorship.
  • Yoshimitsu from the Tekken series is a descendant of the Manji ninja clan from Soulcalibur and successor to the title of Yoshimitsu who wears Powered Armor and carries a Laser Blade — a laser katana to be exact.
  • In Shinobi III: Revenge of Ninja Master, the Shadow Master is an cyborg Evil Counterpart to Joe Musashi.
  • Zero of Anarchy Reigns is an unusual example in that his powers are based around his own skill while he relies on nanomachines to survive, which makes him one of the odd non-cyborg characters in the game.
  • Kai Leng from Mass Effect 3 is never referred as a ninja but is a cyborg assassin with East Asian roots who fights using a katana.
    • From the multiplayer, there's the N7 Shadow and N7 Slayer, both of whom use Japanese-style swords and their unique powers over regular guns.
  • In Virtua Cop 3, Gale is a mercenary ninja who has outfitted his arsenal with high tech equipment, which includes stealth technology. He is hired by ECM for his services to fight off the Virtua City Police Department.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon: The Replica Assassins, who having cloaking devices and move insanely fast, were apparently developed as a result of research into operating in zero gravity environments.
  • Yandere Simulator: In a Shout-Out to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Yandere-chan is turned into a female cyborg ninja à la Raiden, her running speed is nearly doubled, and she gains an "Energy Sword" that immediately dismembers anybody she attacks (Senpai cannot be attacked due to his aura).
  • Warframe has plenty of sleek space-armors (frames) capable of performing acts of stealth and agility in this space-setting. The "Ash" frame comes closest to the Space-Ninja theme though with Shurikens and Smokescreens.
    • Warframe has this in absolute spades; the Ash frame is the most overtly ninja-like with built in smoke screens and shuriken, but a ton of frames have ninja-esque abilities, and any one of them can easily be set up to throw 20 shuriken in under a second, and all of them, even the big stompy ones, are both absurdly mobile and move silently (and for some reason, it's possible to silence any weapon if you so choose, up to and including "shotgun rocket launcher" (you *can* play it as a traditional shooter, although that's missing the point a bit)). It's a free to play game, and was early on advertised with the slogan "Ninjas Play Free", which might have been a bit too on the nose to keep.
  • Genji from Overwatch, who's pretty clearly designed after the Cyborg Ninjas from Metal Gear and uses shurikens and a katana in a semi-futuristic setting. Lampshaded in a Halloween event voiceline.
    "My Halloween costume? Cyborg ninja!"
  • Kaigin from Atlas Reactor has nanomachine enhancements and is therefore mostly human. He still dresses like a ninja and uses wristblades and shuriken in a setting rife with Clarke's Third Law level of technology.
  • Empire Earth: The expansion's final epoch has Cyber Ninjas as an optional unit, a melee fighter that can shut down buildings.

    Western Animation 
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): The Foot Tech Ninja wear cybernetic armor that not only makes them faster and stronger but has an inbuilt invisibility device.
  • Transformers:
    • The Transformers Generation One featured the Nightbird, a twenty foot tall female ninja robot built by the Japanese. The Decepticons make their intent to steal Nightbird and manipulate her for their own ends.
    • Transformers Animated has Prowl, along with Jazz and Master Yoketron. Prowl is a ninja robot, but he can combine with a sidecar forming a samurai.
  • The Fearsome Hand of Four, a team of power-armored cyborg ninja, take on Batman and Red Hood in Batman: Under the Red Hood.

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