Ninja Gaiden (NINJA 外伝) is a series of action-adventure video games by Tecmo. The series was originally known as Ninja Ryukenden (忍者龍剣伝 Ninja Ryūkenden, lit. "Legend of the Ninja Dragon Sword") in Japan. The word "gaiden" in the North American title means "side-story" in Japanese, even though the Ninja Gaiden series is not a spinoff of a previous series.
The series gained popularity on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System for its tight action-platform gameplay, catchy music and, according to G4's X-Play, for being the first console game to have the story presented in cinematic cutscenes. The 8-bit trilogy was enhanced for the 16-bit Super NES in 1995. Sega also released two Ninja Gaiden games for the Game Gear and Master System, the latter only for PAL regions. A new game, titled Ninja Gaiden, was released in 2004 as a 3D action game on the Xbox, developed by Team Ninja, the makers of Dead or Alive. The Ninja Gaiden franchise is well-known for its high degree of difficulty, particularly the original NES version and the Xbox revival.
Ninja Gaiden as a whole primarily focused on its protagonist, Ryu Hayabusa. The first three games in the series, commonly known as the NES Trilogy (because they were first released on the Nintendo Entertainment System) were platform, beat-'em-up games. In 2004, the series was revived by Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki and the development team Team Ninja. This post-2004 edition of the series focuses more on hack-and-slash elements, rather then platforming. The revamp series is also connected to the Dead or Alive, featuring characters from both series; in the official canon, the events of Ninja Gaiden take place before those of Dead or Alive.
Links with Dead FantasyEdit
Four Ninja Gaiden characters have appeared in Dead Fantasy: Ryu , Momiji, Rachel and Ayane; Ryu and Ayane also appear as main characters in Dead or Alive. Kasumi also had a minor cameo role in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.
This is the list of games in order of release:
- Ninja Gaiden (1988)
- Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (1990)
- Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom (1991)
- Ninja Gaiden (2004)
- Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword (2008)
- Ninja Gaiden II (2008)
- Ninja Gaiden Shadow (1991)
- Ninja Gaiden Trilogy (1995)
- Ninja Gaiden Black' (2005)
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma (2007)
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (2009)
- Ninja Gaiden 3 (2012)
- Ninja Gaiden 3D (TBA)