Ninja Gaiden (Master System)

From Sega Retro

For other games with the same name, see Ninja Gaiden.


NinjaGaiden SMS title.png

Ninja Gaiden
System(s): Sega Master System
Publisher: Sega
Licensor: Tecmo
Genre: Action[1][2]

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Master System
Sega Master System
Sega Master System
£32.9932.99[5][6] 7101
Sega Master System
Sega Master System
Sega Master System

Ninja Gaiden (忍者外伝) for the Sega Master System is a platform action game developed by SIMS and published by Sega in 1992. Though the game bears a "reprogrammed by Sega" line, it is a unique game from any previous Ninja Gaiden work. While considered tame in terms of difficulty compared to the other releases in the series, the Master System version is still considered one of the finest games in the Master System library.

The Master System version takes place in an alternate timeline and is not considered a part of the official Ninja Gaiden continuity.


Ryu Hayabusa is a member of the Dragon Clan, who have protected Japan for generations. One day he is away from home, he receives a message that the Dragon Village, home of the Dragon Clan, has been brutally massacred. He rushes home finding that all but one of the village members have been killed. The last survivor of the village tells Ryu with his dying breath that the sacred Bushido scroll has been stolen. The Bushido is a scroll of power so strong that its owner can control the world. As the last ninja of the Dragon Clan, the fate of the world is in its hands. He embarks on a trip to regain the Sacred Scroll of Bushido from the hands of the evil Shogun of Darkness and his minions.


Ninja Gaiden is a platforming action game. Ryu walks with Left and Right. He crouches with Down and jumps with 2. He can grab higher platforms with Up while jumping up to them and then pull himself up them with Up+2. Ryu can climb and move along the ceiling. He cannot climb vertical walls as he did in the NES versions, but he can do wall jumps by pressing 2 when touching a wall. He can also climb through horizontal walls. He uses ladders with Up and Down.

Ryu swings his sword with 1 to attack. Pressing Up+1 uses the special weapon, which drains the energy meter. Ryu can find different special weapon items throughout the levels. Each weapon attacks differently and costs a different amount of energy to use. All weapons can be used while crouching or jumping. Pressing 1+2 at the same time performs a "desperation attack" that kills all enemies on the screen but also takes a quarter of Ryu's health.

Ryu has 20 health points, shown as a gauge in the top-right of the screen. He loses health whenever he takes damage from an enemy. When he loses all of his health, he loses a life. Each act is timed, and he also loses a life if time runs out. The game ends if Ryu loses all of his lives. Many levels contain various hazards in addition to the enemies (though they are easier to navigate compared to the other games in the series).

A staple of the Ninja Gaiden series, the story is narrated through manga-style panel illustrations between each level.


Ninja Gaiden SMS, Items.png
Destroy to release an item. Collect the item by walking over it before it disappears.
Ninja Gaiden SMS, Items.png
Heals Ryu for 10 health points.
Ninja Gaiden SMS, Items.png
Blue Combat Point Counter
Increases Ryu's special weapon energy by 50.
Ninja Gaiden SMS, Items.png
Red Combat Point Counter
Increases Ryu's special weapon energy by 100.
Ninja Gaiden SMS, Items.png
Blue Bonus
Gives the player 5,000 bonus points.
Ninja Gaiden SMS, Items.png
Red Bonus
Gives the player 10,000 bonus points.


Ninja Gaiden SMS, Weapons.png
Ryu throws a shuriken horizontally. Costs 5 energy.
Ninja Gaiden SMS, Weapons.png
Super Shuriken
Ryu throws a larger, stronger shuriken. Costs 10 energy.
Ninja Gaiden SMS, Weapons.png
Four-Way Whirlwind
Ryu shoots small vortexes in four directions (directly upward, downward, in front, and behind). Costs 20 energy.
Ninja Gaiden SMS, Weapons.png
Ryu releases four fireballs that home in on enemies. Costs 40 energy.
Ninja Gaiden SMS, Weapons.png
Ryu surrounds himself in a ring of fireballs, which renders him invulnerable to damage and destroys any enemies it touches. Costs 50 energy.


NinjaGaiden SMS Chapter1.png

Escape in a Forest
Map: 1️⃣ 
With his village in ruins, Ryu attempts to escape to the nearby forest to evade the enemy force who wants to hunt down the last survivor of the Dragon clan. At the end of the level, Ryu faces a large sumo wrestler.

NinjaGaiden SMS Chapter2.png

Pursuit in Tokyo
Maps: 1️⃣ | 2️⃣ 
Ryu travels to Tokyo to face off a powerful Yakuza Oyabun who might have information about the enemy. Fight on top of the streets and rooftops of the capital and fight armed thugs. Boss of the chapter is a yakuza leader who is surrounded by his army of henchmen.

NinjaGaiden SMS Chapter3.png

Samurai in Tsutenkaku
Maps: 1️⃣ | 2️⃣ | 3️⃣ 
Ryu heads for Osaka to find location of a samurai who is in league with the enemy and faces him, wondering why a honorable man like him would side with bunch of murderers. Fight through slums and ruined buildings to reach your objective.

NinjaGaiden SMS Chapter4.png

Rescue Geisha
Maps: 1️⃣ | 2️⃣ | 3️⃣ 
In his last breath, Samurai admits that his daughter was kidnapped by a man who calls himself, "Shogun of Darkness" in order to force his cooperation and begs Ryu to save her. Ryu resolves to honor the last request of an honorable warrior and heads off to Mt. Fuji. Navigate through waterfalls and pitfalls to fight a jetpack equipped soldier.

NinjaGaiden SMS Chapter5.png

Land of the Enemy
Maps: 1️⃣ | 2️⃣ | 3️⃣ 
After being rescued, Geisha informs Ryu that Scroll has been taken to a place called the "Castle of Darkness" in the far north of Japan. Covered by snow and ice, Ryu travels through treacherous, cold terrain and faces off a man with uniform called "ice monster" capable of controlling cold.

NinjaGaiden SMS Chapter6.png

Maps: 1️⃣ | 2️⃣ | 3️⃣ 
Ryu goes through a dark cave filled with traps, molten hot lava and creatures from darkness. While Ryu defeats a stone golem brought to life by the heinous powers of the Shogun, Geisha is captured again.

NinjaGaiden SMS Chapter7.png

Maps: 1️⃣ | 2️⃣ | 3️⃣ 
Finally reaching the Castle of Darkness, Ryu battles all sorts of enemies from samurai troops to ninjas. At the end of the level he faces off with a kabuki dancer who is heavily armed with heat seeking paper fans and a radar guided kabuki mask(?).

NinjaGaiden SMS Chapter8.png

A Decisive Battle
Maps: 1️⃣ | 2️⃣ 
Wounded by a surprise attack from the Shogun, Ryu receives an unexpected help and enters the final battle with his nemesis, with the fates of himself, Geisha and potentially the entire world hanging in balance.


There seems to be two versions of the game: the first version tells the story through the eyes of Ryu himself, explaining his experiences in great detail, and the second version is narrated from an outside source, but some details of the plot are not explained as much. Furthermore, certain dialogue and names vary between the two versions as well, such as the names of chapters. For example, the samurai in the third chapter is not named in the second version and is simply called "Kendo Samurai". In the first version, the name of the game is also mispronounced between the chapters as "Ninjya Gaiden".

Production credits

In-game credits


Magazine articles

Main article: Ninja Gaiden (Master System)/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advert in Mega Force (ES) #3: "Julio 1992" (1992-xx-xx)
Print advert in Mega Force (ES) #11: "Marzo 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
also published in:

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
Ação Games (BR)
Aktueller Software Markt (DE)
Consoles + (FR)
Computer & Video Games (UK) PAL
Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide (UK)
Game Power (IT)
Game Zone (UK) PAL
Hobby Consolas (ES)
Joypad (FR)
Joystick (FR)
Mega Force (FR)
Micromanía (segunda época) (ES)
Mean Machines (UK) PAL
Mean Machines Sega (UK)
Player One (FR)
Sega Power (UK) PAL
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
Sega Force (UK) PAL
Sega Master Force (UK) PAL
Supergame (BR)
Supersonic (FR)
User (GR) PAL
Video Games (DE)
Zero (UK)
Sega Master System
Based on
26 reviews

Ninja Gaiden (Master System)

Master System, EU
NinjaGaiden SMS EU Box.jpg
NinjaGaiden SMS EU Cart.jpg
Master System, PT
NinjaGaiden SMS PT cover.jpg
Master System, AU
NinjaGaiden SMS AU cover.jpg
NinjaGaiden SMS AU Cart.jpg
Master System, BR
NinjaGaiden SMS BR cover.jpg
NinjaGaiden SMS BR Cart.jpg
NinjaGaiden SMS BR Manual.pdf
Master System, KR
NinjaGaiden SMS KR backcover.jpgNospine.pngNinjaGaiden SMS KR cover.jpg
NinjaGaiden SMS KR cart.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Master System
CRC32 1b1d8cc2
MD5 2cd25b3d9a1ced329a551d7fc3c0f01e
SHA-1 4c65db563e8407444020ab7fd93fc45193ae923a
256kB Cartridge (EU)
Sega Master System
CRC32 761e9396
MD5 b070dc2ba3f106e89d1e9551f49a0027
SHA-1 c67db6539dc609b08d3ca6f9e6f8f41daf150743
256kB Page


  1. File:NinjaGaiden SMS EU Box.jpg
  2. File:NinjaGaiden SMS KR backcover.jpg
  3. Sega Power, "August 1992" (UK; 1992-07-02), page 11
  4. Computer Trade Weekly, "" (UK; 1992-07-13), page 13
  5. Sega Force, "August 1992" (UK; 1992-07-09), page 85
  6. Game Zone, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-08-19), page 27
  7. Hobby Consolas, "Marzo 1993" (ES; 1993-xx-xx), page 15
  8. Ação Games, "Outubro 1992" (BR; 1992-10-01), page 28
  9. Aktueller Software Markt, "November 1992" (DE; 1992-10-09), page 151
  10. Consoles +, "Septembre 1992" (FR; 1992-0x-xx), page 130
  11. Computer & Video Games, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-08-15), page 30
  12. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 147
  13. Game Power, "Ottobre 1992" (IT; 1992-xx-xx), page 64
  14. Game Zone, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-08-19), page 26
  15. Hobby Consolas, "Septiembre 1992" (ES; 1992-0x-xx), page 84
  16. Joypad, "Août/Septembre 1992" (FR; 1992-07-1x), page 68
  17. Joystick, "Juillet/Août 1992" (FR; 1992-0x-xx), page 180
  18. Mega Force, "Juin 1992" (FR; 1992-06-05), page 90
  19. Micromanía (segunda época), "Septiembre 1992" (ES; 1992-0x-xx), page 84
  20. Mean Machines, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-08-27), page 86
  21. Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 135
  22. Player One, "Septembre 1992" (FR; 1992-09-10), page 98
  23. Sega Power, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-08-06), page 34
  24. Sega Pro, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-08-13), page 28
  25. Sega Pro, "November 1992" (UK; 1992-10-08), page 25
  26. Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 71
  27. Sega Force, "August 1992" (UK; 1992-07-09), page 84
  28. Sega Master Force, "September 1993" (UK; 1993-07-22), page 12
  29. Supergame, "Outubro 1992" (BR; 1992-10-xx), page 38
  30. Supersonic, "Juillet/Août 1992" (FR; 1992-xx-xx), page 20
  31. User, "Aprílios 1993" (GR; 1993-0x-xx), page 52
  32. Video Games, "9/92" (DE; 1992-08-26), page 99
  33. Zero, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-08-13), page 36

Ninja Gaiden (Master System)

NinjaGaiden SMS title.png

Main page | Maps | Hidden content | Magazine articles | Reception

Sega Master System
Prototypes: Prototype

Ninja Gaiden games for Sega systems
Sega Game Gear
Ninja Gaiden (1991)
Sega Master System
Ninja Gaiden (1992)
Sega Mega Drive
Ninja Gaiden (unreleased)
Sega Dreamcast
Ninja Gaiden (unreleased)