The Revenge of Shinobi


The Revenge of Shinobi (1989) is the second Shinobi game and features the ninja master, Joe Musashi, as the shinobi. This game is a direct sequel to Shinobi, and features a soundtrack by video game music composer Yuzo Koshiro. The game was included in numerous compilations, such as Mega Games 2, Mega Drive 6 Pak, Sega Classics Arcade Collection (for Mega-CD), and Sega Smash Pack (for the PC and Dreamcast). It was released for the Wii Virtual Console in 2009 and on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 via each platform's respective download service in 2012.


Three years after their defeat at the hands of Joe Musashi, the criminal organization Zeed has reformed and have renamed themselves "Neo Zeed". They decide to have their revenge on the Oboro clan and Joe by killing his master and kidnapping his bride, Naoko. Joe, having reached the clan too late, manages to learn about Neo Zeed's plot from his dying master. Joe decides to travel the world to gain his revenge on Neo Zeed and try to save his bride before it's too late.


The Revenge of Shinobi All The Rounds Screen.png
The 8 Rounds
Oboro Village, Ibaraki Province, Japan
This bamboo forest in the Ibaraki prefecture is where the game begins. Through the ruins of the Oboro Village, Joe must make his way to Oboro Ninja Mansion. At the end of this district, he is confronted by the mighty samurai Blue Lobster.
Joe begins this stage near a rocky canyon, assaulted by winged ninja. Once he makes it past the waterfalls, he moves on to the darkened roof tops of Tokyo and eventually into a blinding disco, where Joe must battle with the Shadow Dancer.
The Military Base U.S.
This Neo Zeed occupied military complex is heavily guarded by armed soldiers. Joe will encounter light infantry as well as flamethrowers and attack dogs. The second scene takes Joe on board an air carrier; if he touches one of the air locks, he dies. The aircraft is controlled by a powerful supercomputer that houses a human brain.
Detroit is one big junkyard with heaps upon heaps of cars that run through conveyor belts and into a melting furnace. A tough Terminator-like android guards this wreckage.
Area Code 818
Area code 818 takes Joe past skyscrapers and freeways. The final battle is fought on top of an armored vehicle that carrys a gigantic ballistic missile.
After a showdown with the Hua-Long kung-fu gangs of Chinatown, Joe hops on board a speeding train. Eventually he finds himself in the clutches of characters resembling Spider-Man and Batman (Devilman for the 1.01 version of the game). In the PAL Mega Drive manual, the boss is described as a single shapeshifting character known as the Web-Bat.
New York
Ninja and machine gunners guard the breakwater of New York City's dockside. Leaping from boat to boat, Joe infiltrates Neo Zeed's container ship and comes face to face with Godzilla (turned into a dinosaur skeleton in version 1.03, referred to as a brontosaurus in the PAL manual).
Neo Zeed Marine Stronghold
This is where Joe faces his final enemy, the leader of Neo Zeed. After passing by the Marine, Joe needs to find the right way on a large and well-guarded labyrinth. The beautiful Naoko is trapped somewhere beneath the cellar maze of this stronghold, and Joe must terminate the boss quickly before the cell trap kills Naoko. There are two endings to the game, which depend on whether or not Joe defeats the boss in time.


The game is a traditional side-scrolling platformer. 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 of which is 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 Hassou tobi (in Japanese: 八双飛び: Hassou styled flight), or double jump, which maximizes Joe's jumping height and enables him to perform a shuriken burst. 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 (outdoor/indoor, or on-the-highway/next-to-it) is also done with the double jump.


The Revenge of Shinobi is considered the best in the Shinobi series. The game received 8/10 from IGN, and 5/5 in Dragon; the final boss battle was criticized, 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."


The Revenge of Shinobi introduced many new moves for Joe Musashi and its famed soundtrack, as composed by Yuzo Koshiro, is considered the best on the Genesis. 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 himself. 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).

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