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Video Game / The Revenge of Shinobi

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You are Joe Musashi, a ninja out for revenge against the evil criminal organization 'Neo Zeed'.

You are Musashi, master ninja. You are one of the mystic warriors, who see and know all things. You are deadly! Now you must destroy the vicious army of Neo Zeed. If you fail, then Naoko, their beautiful prisoner dies!
— "Back of the case.''

The Revenge of Shinobi, originally known as The Super Shinobi, is a 1989 action game developed and published by Sega for the Sega Genesis. It is set after the original Shinobi and ignores the arcade version of Shadow Dancer.

In the year 19XX, the evil crime syndicate Zeed was reduced to rubble by the powers of stealth possessed by the Shinobi master, Joe Musashi. It seemed as if the world had returned to peace. But three years later, the villains reform themselves as Neo Zeed and cast the world into darkness, killing all ninjas who could oppose them. Joe returns all too late to the now destroyed Oboro Clan and learns from his dying master that Neo Zeed has kidnapped his fiance Naoko. Burning with vengeance, the hero sets out for the heart of Neo Zeed.

Gameplay involves reaching the goal of each area without needing to search for targets like in Shinobi and Shadow Dancer. On top of some demanding platforming, the Neo Zeed warriors are relentless and must be dealt with carefully at either long or close range. The hero can find a powerup that enhances all his attacks and perform limited Ninjutsu abilities to eradicate enemies.

The game notably credited Yuzo Koshiro for its soundtrack on the title screen and is well-known for a whole bunch of shameless unauthorized cameos from pop culture characters as enemies and bosses which were unfortunately removed one by one with each re-release.

In 1993, a much faster-paced sequel called Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master was released. And don't confuse this with the 2002 Game Boy Advance game of the same name.

This game features the following tropes:

  • Antepiece: The Chinatown level has one really wide gap between platforms to jump over about half way through the level, but there are no enemies or hazards to worry about. A few stages later, at the wharf, the player has to pull it off over a Bottomless Pit.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The Round 5 boss fight is against an armored tank that's carrying a massive missile. To stop it, Joe must destroy its three exposed cores while jumping over electric currents.
  • Attract Mode: It alternates between a text crawl with the storyline and gameplay demos. The demos have really lame gameplay, and by changing the difficulty settings you can make Joe die even faster or prevent him from dying. The latter case causes the demo to go on forever until you press Start due to running out of inputs.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Jutsu of Mijin in Revenge of Shinobi causes Joe to explode and do enormous damage to everything onscreen. It's the only Ninjitsu that can be used repeatedly without needing additional pick-ups (though you need to have one use to use it to begin with) the cost of consuming a life every single time it's used. Needless to say, using it on your final life isn't a good idea...unless you WANT to go out with a bang. Nevertheless, Mijin can be your best friend in this game. While it's true that using it will cost you a life, if you use it when you're almost out of energy and about to die, you'll continue with your life gauge at full and in the same space you were before. No need to restart the stage.
  • Bad Habits: The Kasumi enemy is a kunoichi disgused as a Catholic nun. She cannot be attacked initially, but as soon as you pass her, she ditches her disguise and leaps at you with a dagger.
  • Barrage of Bats: The round 6 boss, the Spider-Man rip-off, summons a few bats to attack Shinobi after he changes into the Batman/Devilman rip-off.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Only outside of Japan. The tablets on the walls in The Cellar Maze (8-2) are Japanese numerals that can help identify which disjointed section of the maze that you're in.
  • Bookends: The final level is a dungeon that recycles its graphics from the one that's briefly seen during the second half of Round 1.
  • Boss Battle: After every second act.
  • Brain in a Jar: The weak spot on the machinery fought at the end of Round 3 is one. Naturally, it is regularly exposed for no reason.
  • Breakable Power-Up: The POW item sets your shurikens on fire, replaces the puny dagger with a sword for more range and allows Joe to block projectiles while walking. The bad news is that all of that is lost upon taking any damage.
  • Classic Cheat Code: On the options menu, set Shurikens to 00 and leave the cursor stopped for a while. Ta-da, infinite ammo.
  • Collision Damage: Subverted; merely touching an enemy causes Joe to be knocked back but doesn't actually hurt him.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The second portion of Round 5 takes place on a highway. In the background, the gray cars are the ones that will not hurt Joe by collision damage. The red cars will hurt Joe with collision damage.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Had a strip in the British Sonic the Comic.
  • Continuing is Painful: If you use a continue, the life gauge will be reset.
  • Crate Expectations: Items are either found on crates or hidden in thin air. Their contents are always the same.
  • Creator Thumbprint:
    • The background of the building climb stage is signed by Atsushi Seimiya.
    • On the next stage, Takashi Yuda's signature can be seen in the highway and the following boss fight.
  • Damsel in Distress: Joe's fiance Naoko is held hostage by Neo Zeed.
  • Defeat by Modesty: The Pink Dragon dancers are one of the few enemies who don't explode when they die... instead, after nine hits, you knock their bra off and they surrender while desperately trying to cover up!
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Nearly every enemy explodes spectacularly upon death.
  • Dem Bones: In Revision 1.03, Godzilla is modified into a skeletal dinosaur with exposed organs.
  • Descending Ceiling: Better be quick about the final boss if you're not craving a Naoko sandwich. A shuriken through the slots in the walls can slow it down.
  • Double Jump: Double jumps enable the Punishing Rain, a Spread Shot of 8 shurikens. It also switches between foreground and background layers on levels that have them, and you better master the input's timing.
  • Game-Over Man: The continue screen is very plain and has no character on it, but there's a chance of the Final Boss' Evil Laugh playing when the screen pops up.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Killing the Ninja Master can get like this, given he appears completely invulnerable and even the boss-killing Mijin magic deals no damage to him. As it turns out, you can only attack his body, which is usually protected by his deadly Kabuki hair — until he overextends it in his initial strike, which leaves an opening that Joe can throw a shuriken at... or even detonate a Mijin into.
    • The correct path in the penultimate level, The Cellar Maze, is very frustrating to find and many a player resort to maps to navigate it.
  • Heart Container: Joe's maximum health is boosted at certain score thresholds.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The overdramatic death jingle truly is imbued with the feeling of shame. And this is also added with the Evil Laugh of the Final Boss, ridiculing and haunting you.
  • Infinite 1-Ups: There's a hidden 1-Up over a bottomless pit that's impossible to collect without trickery but actually awards two lives at once. Since it is in the very beginning of the area, you can recollect it to your heart's content.
  • Interface Spoiler: In versions of the game where one of the bosses turns into Spider-Man, the game spoils the appearance of the character right from the beginning with a copyright notice about his appearance being used under license by Marvel Comics during startup.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo:
    • In the early versions of the game, Musashi will fight against thinly-disguised pastiches of Rambo, The Terminator (or the Hulk, depending on how you look at it), Spider-Man (who later became official for a time, see Special Guest below), Batman, and even Godzilla as bosses. Unfortunately, the companies that made the characters started catching on, so shipment of the games was stopped in order to modify the sprite data. This happened at least 3-4 times, with each revision removing or altering the characters in question. By the time of the Wii re-release, Rambo was sprite-swapped, Spider-Man was recolored pink, Batman was a mutated Devilman ripoff, Godzilla's skin was peeled off and Sonny Chiba's face on the title screen was replaced by a constipated guy's. Yep, that's right: only the Terminator/Hulk survived.
    • A prototype for the game contains an unused cartoony bonus level where the Mandara boss from the original Shinobi arcade game is depicted as an Ultraman character.
  • Limit Break: You can use one Ninjutsu per life, plus any you find hidden around each level.
  • Low Clearance: In the second part of Round 6, Joe Musashi is on top of a moving train and must periodically jump or duck to avoid beams while in a tunnel.
  • Magical Mystery Doors: The final level is a dungeon with various marked doors. The player must figure out the correct route towards the Ninja Master.
  • Market-Based Title: The Super Shinobi in Japan and The Revenge of Shinobi overseas.
  • Meaningful Background Event:
    • A highway is seen in the background of the junkyard level. The second half of the next Round happens to take place over it.
    • The red car obstacle in the highway level comes once for every two gray cars that move past the background.
    • Towards the end of the subway level, it gets out of the tunnel and the next stage's wharf appears in the background.
    • As you advance into the wharf, a battleship becomes visible in the background. It is the second act of Round 7.
  • Multiple Endings: Either Joe saves Naoko and they watch the sunset together or he fails and mourns Naoko while imagining her face in the sky.
  • Nintendo Hard: You can set the game to the easiest difficulty and start out with both 10 lives and infinite shurikens and still have a hard time tackling the game's platforming and boss battles.
  • Notzilla: The next-to-last boss is a Godzilla-lookalike called Monster G that was replaced by a skeletal zilla in the revisions.
  • Obvious Beta: Sega once sent a beta build of this game by mistake for an emulated compilation re-release for PCs.
  • One-Man Army: A Highly-Visible Ninja single-handedly takes on numerous warriors and armed forces of all colors and sizes on a trip around the world and wins.
  • Poison Mushroom: Some crates contain timed bombs. If Joe happens to walk over an exposed bomb, it will detonate on the next instant with just enough time to jump out of the way.
  • Prehensile Hair: The Ninja Master uses his Kabuki hair as a stabbing weapon and a Battle Boomerang.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • The intended solution for the first boss is to bait out an attack so you can jump behind the samurai and backstab him.
    • The Ninja Master is only vulnerable when he makes a stabbing motion with his hair. Moreover, you must throw shuriken in the gaps on the walls to halt the Descending Ceiling over Naoko.
  • Sequential Boss: The Chinatown boss is a shapeshifter who takes the form of Spider-Man and then turns into a vampire Batman. In the revised versions, the fight starts with the actual Spider-Man who flees after being defeated, and then a Devilman lookalike swoops in.
  • Special Guest: After the initial release, Sega obtained the license to use Spider-Man for a set of licensed games, and modified the shapeshifter boss in this game to actually be Spidey in the first phase. Unfortunately, once Capcom and Activision got the license years later, Sega had to change Spidey's suit to pink to get around licensing issues.
  • Stellification: If you take too long defeating the Final Boss, your girlfriend is crushed and you see her in the sky instead of at your side in the ending cutscene.
  • Super Drowning Skills: In The Revenge of Shinobi, in the first 2 acts of the Tokyo stage (rocky canyon near Tokyo and Tokyo itself), the second act of the Detroit stage (car factory), the second act of the Area Code 818 stage (freeway), the first act of the New York stage (the docks), and the first act of the Neo Zeed Marine Stronghold stage (the mariner), Joe is killed instantly if he falls in water.
  • Traintop Battle: Round 6, Act 2 takes place on top of a subway train.
  • Turns Red: Most of the bosses change color as they take damage, and some of them become more aggressive.