|The Revenge of Shinobi|
Sega Genesis cover
|Platform(s)||Sega Genesis, Mega-Tech|
|Genre(s)||Platform, hack and slash|
The Revenge of Shinobi, released in Japan as The Super Shinobi (ザ・スーパー忍, Za Sūpā Shinobi), is a video game developed and published by Sega in 1989. It was the first Shinobi game developed for the Sega Genesis, and was later released on the coin-operated version of that console, the Mega-Tech.
Alongside Shadow Dancer , the game is a sequel to Shinobi , and features an original score by Yuzo Koshiro. The game was included in the compilations: Mega Games 2, Mega Drive 6 Pak, Sega Classics Arcade Collection (for the Sega CD), and Sega Smash Pack (for the PC and Dreamcast). It was also re-released for the Wii Virtual Console in 2009, on the PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network and Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade download services in 2012, and for iOS and Android devices in 2017 via Sega Forever.
Taking place three years after the first game, the criminal organization Zeed from the original game has since reformed and have renamed themselves "Neo Zeed". They decide to have their revenge on the Oboro Ninja clan and Joe Musashi by killing his master and kidnapping Joe's bride. Joe, having reached the clan too late, manages to learn about Neo Zeed's plot by his dying master. Joe decides to travel the world to gain his revenge on Neo Zeed as well as try to save his bride before it's too late.
The game is a traditional side-scrolling platform game. The player controls Joe Musashi and must complete eight districts before the final confrontation with the head of Neo Zeed. Each district consists of three scenes, two of which are platforming levels and the third being a battle against a unique boss character.
The directional pad moves Joe around while the A, B, and C buttons are used to perform ninjutsu techniques, attack and jump, respectively. A key move in The Revenge of Shinobi is the somersault, which maximizes Joe's jumping height and enables him to throw eight shuriken at once in mid-air. Additionally, some stages consist of multiple layers, such as the first scene of the Military Base and the freeway in Area Code 818. Switching between layers is also done with the somersault move.
Alongside his standard moves and attacks, Joe has the ability to do four special ninjutsu techniques. Only one can be performed in each level, unless a ninjutsu item was picked up, or the ninjutsu of Mijin was used.
A variety of bonus crates can be found in each level, some hidden in the scenery. These include simple powerups such as extra shuriken or health packs, as well as special items to gain lives or extra ninjutsu attacks. Besides powerups, some crates may contain time bombs: explosives that detonate when their fuse runs out or if Joe comes too close (though he can walk out of the blast radius if the player is quick enough).
The game is divided into four difficulties. As difficulty increases, more enemies appear per stage; on Hardest, Joe takes twice as much damage and the number of starting lives decreases from 10 to 1. From the options menu, the player can also choose the number of starting shuriken from 0 to 90 (though a technique does exist that allows infinite shuriken). The game has two different endings, depending on whether Joe rescues his bride or not.
The game's director Noriyoshi Ohba intended Revenge of Shinobi to be a showcase for the then-new Genesis hardware as well as to adapt the series to something better suited for a home console. As a result, the game is more story-driven with Joe Musashi not rescuing multiple hostages in each level as in the original game, but a single hostage at the end. A life bar was introduced as being more appropriate for a console game of that scope. Ohba intended Revenge of Shinobi to have a high level of difficulty to get the player to think about how they could best beat the game. The game's ninja magic was intended to be helpful in particular situations or boss encounters, making certain parts of the game much easier if the player knew which ninja magic to use at what time.
Some of the game's enemies are notably too similar to various characters from film and comic books, a fact that Ohba attributes to his own lack of creativity. He made rough sketches of these characters based on what he had in mind at the time, expecting that the character designer would modify them and add their own creative touches for the final game. However, they did not, resulting in some enemy characters who were similar to the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Batman, Spider-Man, and Godzilla.
Because of copyright issues regarding certain enemy characters (many of which were based on cultural icons) there were at least four versions of the game in Japan and North America, with the later two also appearing in Europe.
The credit roll, shown when achieving a "good" ending, was removed from the non-Japanese versions of the game. In versions 1.00 and 1.01, "©SEGA 1989 / MUSIC ©1989 YUZO KOSHIRO" would be shown at the bottom of the title screen like normal; when the Spider-Man copyright notice was added to the game, all copyright bylines were moved to a screen displayed before the intro.
The version included in volume 1 of the PC Smash Pack collection appears to be a prototype version. The internal ROM date says March 1989, and the product number is filled with zeroes. In the notes section of the ROM header (at 0x1C8), there is the string, "A0115 Sega_Channel", whereas all other releases have that area filled with ASCII space characters. The header is also only marked as being a Japanese release, while all other versions are marked as Japanese, US, and European.
The title screen always uses The Super Shinobi regardless of the console region. The game has an invincibility mode in the options screen, and a level select at the main menu. Enabling invincibility also gives infinite lives from falling offscreen, going out open doors, and using Mijin (it also prevents the player from gaining lives). There are other changes found in the options menu: the shuriken option is spelled "syurikin" (in other versions, it is spelled "shurikin"), and the sound test option lacks music titles, showing only a hex number (in other versions, sound effects are numbered in decimal).
There is no copyright screen. The introduction uses the final version Round 1 music (The Shinobi) instead of its own theme. The sound effect when Musashi changes his grip does not play, and the sparks when shuriken hit the sword stay on screen longer. There are no demos other than the opening animation (i.e. no plot text or gameplay demos).
Using Mijin uses up ninjutsu; in other versions, ninjutsu is still available after using Mijin. Mijin also remains selected after it has been used, instead of switching to Ikazuchi. There is also no shouting sound effect when ninjutsu are activated.
The final game has 19 music tracks, but this version only has the first seven (the order of music in the sound test is unchanged). Because of this, there are differences in what music is used for what round, but even when the music is in all versions, different tracks are used. The music used in 1-1 is China Beat, and 1-2's music is "Make Me Dance" while, in the final version, both stages use The Shinobi. The game over screen has no music and is missing the Masked Ninja's laughter. The drum samples used throughout the game are also different.
For the most part, the enemies resemble the REV00 versions including the two-phase fight with Metamorpher, appearing as an imposter Spider-Man and Batman.
Some bosses appear incomplete. Monster-G, the boss of Round 7, seems to be invincible, and the fight ends after the boss goes through a few attacks. The Round 3 and 8 bosses appear to be missing completely (although the maps themselves are there); the game switches to the end of the level screen shortly after starting. There is no ending either: the game loops back to Round 1 after 8-3.
The game received 5 out of 5 stars in Dragon ; the final boss battle was criticised, however, for being too difficult.MegaTech magazine praised the "smart gameplay, graphics and sound". Mega placed the game at #18 in their Top Mega Drive Games of All Time. Reviewing the game's appearance in Sega Arcade Classics, Glenn Rubenstein said it "was one of the first Genesis games released, and it shows how far Sega has come since then."
In 1997 Electronic Gaming Monthly ranked Revenge of Shinobi the 83rd best console video game of all time, saying it "packs fantastic level design and even better gameplay." They also praised the novelty of battling obvious clones of Spider-Man, Batman, the Terminator, and Godzilla.
A sequel to The Revenge of Shinobi, titled Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master , was released in 1993.
A suite of music from the game was performed live by an orchestra at the Fourth Symphonic Game Music Concert in 2006 at the Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Germany. The arrangement was done by original composer Yuzo Koshiro. Music from The Revenge of Shinobi was also performed at two concerts of PLAY! A Video Game Symphony in Stockholm, Sweden in 2007. It was also played during the encore as the most voted song when PLAY! A Video Game Symphony was performing in Singapore (June 2007).[ citation needed ] Sound effects from the game were also used in the Heavy Shinobi fight in Sonic Mania.
Sonic the Hedgehog is a 1991 side-scrolling platform game and companion to the 16-bit Sega Genesis game of the same name for the 8-bit Game Gear and Master System consoles. Ancient—a studio founded by composer Yuzo Koshiro for the project—developed the game and Sega published it to promote the handheld Game Gear. The 8-bit Sonic is similar in style to its Genesis predecessor, but reduced in complexity to fit the 8-bit systems. It was released for the Game Gear on December 28, 1991, and for the Master System around the same time. It was later released through Sonic game compilations and Nintendo's Virtual Console.
The YM2612, a.k.a. OPN2, is a sound chip developed by Yamaha. It belongs to Yamaha's OPN family of FM synthesis chips used in several game and computer systems.
Shinobi (忍) is a side-scrolling action game produced by Sega originally released for the arcades in 1987. In Shinobi, the player controls a modern-day ninja named Joe Musashi who has to stop a terrorist organization named Zeed who are kidnapping the students of his clan. Shinobi was later adapted by Sega to their Master System game console, followed by conversions to other platforms such as the Nintendo Entertainment System, PC Engine, and various home computers, as well as downloadable emulated versions of the original arcade game for the Wii and Xbox 360. A port of the arcade game joined the Nintendo Switch in January 2020 through the Sega Ages series. The success of Shinobi inspired the development of various sequels and spin-offs of the Shinobi series.
Streets of Rage is a side-scrolling beat 'em up video game developed and published by Sega for the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1991. The game was later converted for the Game Gear, Sega CD and Master System and was later rereleased as part of various compilations, as well as onto various download services.
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, released in Japan as The Super Shinobi II, is an action game developed and published by Sega for the Mega Drive/Genesis console that was released in 1993. It is the direct sequel to the previous The Revenge of Shinobi. The game was originally intended to be released in 1992, and to be very different from the final version of the game in terms of levels and storyline.
Yuzo Koshiro is a Japanese video game musician programmer, and president of the game development company Ancient. He is often regarded as one of the most influential innovators in chiptune and video game music, producing music in a number of genres, including various electronic genres, experimental, symphonic, hip hop, jazz, and synth-rock.
Sega Classics Arcade Collection is the name of two compilations released for the Sega CD. Despite their titles, both versions of Sega Classics Arcade Collection include only the Sega Genesis ports of all the games included.
Streets of Rage 3 is a side-scrolling beat 'em up developed and published by Sega in 1994 for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. It is the third installment of the Streets of Rage series and the last game in the original trilogy. It was later released for the Japanese version of Sonic Gems Collection for the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2, and for the Wii Virtual Console in September 2007. The game also appeared in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Streets of Rage 2, released in Japan as Bare Knuckle II: The Requiem of the Deadly Battle, is a side-scrolling beat 'em up video game published by Sega in 1992 for the Mega Drive/Genesis and developed by an ad hoc team of several companies: Sega, Ancient, Shout! Designworks, MNM Software and H.I.C. It is the second game in the Streets of Rage series, a sequel to Streets of Rage and followed by Streets of Rage 3 and Streets of Rage 4.
Shinobi Legions, known as Shinobi X in Europe and as Shin Shinobi Den in Japan, is an action game in the Shinobi series, developed and published by Sega in 1995 for Sega Saturn.
Shinobi is a series of video games created by Sega. The ninja (shinobi) Joe Musashi is the protagonist of the original series of games.
The Cyber Shinobi is a side-scrolling action game produced by Sega that was released for the Master System in 1990. It was the third Shinobi game for the console and served as a futuristic-themed sequel to the original Shinobi. The game was released in Canada, Europe, Australia and Brazil, at a time when the Master System was discontinued in other markets.
The G.G. Shinobi (ザ・GG忍) is a side-scrolling action game by Sega released for the Game Gear in 1991. It was the first Shinobi game developed specifically for a portable game platform. The player controls the modern-day ninja Joe Musashi, protagonist of previous Shinobi games, as he goes on a mission to rescue four kidnapped comrades from an enemy, gaining control of the other ninjas as the game progresses in a manner inspired by Mega Man. It was followed by The G.G. Shinobi II: The Silent Fury in 1993. The G.G. Shinobi was one of the first Game Gear games available on the 3DS Virtual Console in March 2012.
Joe Musashi is a player character and main hero in Sega's Shinobi series of video games, first introduced in 1987. The character has achieved great popularity during the late 1980s and early 1990s, when it was used as one of Sega' mascot characters. During this time he was cast as the protagonist of the original arcade game as well the Mega Drive/Genesis sequels The Revenge of Shinobi and Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, also starring in two Game Gear titles. The Mega Drive/Genesis game Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi also starred Joe Musashi in its overseas release, although the character was originally written to be his estranged son in the Japanese version. In more recent Shinobi titles, he appears as an unlockable character in the 2002's Shinobi and its follow-up Nightshade and in Shinobi 3D, which stars his father Jiro.
Shadow Dancer (シャドー・ダンサー) is a side-scrolling action game produced by Sega originally released as an arcade game in 1989. It is the second and the final arcade game in the Shinobi series, following the original Shinobi itself. The player controls a ninja aided by an attack dog, who is fighting to save the city from a terrorist organization.
Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi is a side-scrolling action game developed and published by Sega for the Sega Genesis in 1990. It was re-released via emulation services such as the Wii's Virtual Console and Microsoft Windows in 2010, and was also included in the North American version of Sega Genesis Collection for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable.
Streets of Rage is a series of side-scrolling beat 'em up video games, centering on the efforts of several ex-police vigilantes trying to rid a fictional, large American city from a crime syndicate that has corrupted its local government. The first three games in the franchise were developed and published by Sega for the Sega Genesis in the early 1990s, and have since been ported and re-released on various platforms. A fourth entry, Streets of Rage 4, was released in 2020.
Shinobi, known in Japan as Shinobi 3D, is a video game developed by Griptonite Games and published by Sega as part of the Shinobi series, and was released worldwide in November 2011.
Motohiro Kawashima is a Japanese video game composer and techno producer. He is best known for his collaborations with composer Yuzo Koshiro on various games, including Streets of Rage 2 and 3. He graduated from Kunitachi College of Music.
The Sega Genesis Mini, known as the Mega Drive Mini in regions outside of North America, is a dedicated console modeled on Sega's Genesis. The Mini emulates the original console's 16-bit hardware, and includes 42 games ported by M2. It was released in North America and Japan in September 2019, and in Europe and the Middle East the following month.
What is rather confusing is the naming convention. In Japan, the title is The Super Shinobi II, clearly showing that it is the sequel to the first Mega Drive / Genesis game, and that the gameplay should be different to the arcade titles.