|The Revenge of Shinobi / The Super Shinobi|
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Mega-Tech, PlayStation 3 (PSN), Virtual Console, Steam|
|Number of players: 1|
The Revenge of Shinobi, released as The Super Shinobi (ザ・スーパー忍) in Japan, is a 1989 Sega Mega Drive game, developed and published by Sega as a sequel to Shinobi. It should also not be confused with the 2002 game with the same name.
Taking place three years after Shinobi, the criminal organization Zeed from the original game has reformed and renamed themselves Neo Zeed (literally New Zeed). Neo Zeed decide to have their revenge on the first game's protagonist Joe Musashi and his fellow members of the Oboro Ninja Clan, by killing Joe's master and kidnapping his fiance Naoko. Joe, having reached his Clan too late, manages to learn of 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 fiance before it's too late.
The Revenge of Shinobi is a traditional side-scrolling platform game. The player controls Joe Musashi, who must traverse 8 districts (Rounds; see below) before his final confrontation with the head of Neo Zeed. Each district consists of 3 scenes, the last of which is a battle against a unique boss character.
The D-pad moves Joe around, while , and are used to perform a ninjitsu technique, attack (with sword or shuriken knives, which must be collected) and jump respectively. A key move in The Revenge of Shinobi is the somersault, performed by jumping and pressing jump again at the height of a jump. The somersault maximizes Musashi's jumping height and enables him to throw 8 shuriken at once in mid-air. Additionally, some stages consist of multiple layers (e.g. indoor/outdoor, on or next to the road); switching between these is also accomplished using the somersault move.
Besides his regular assortment of moves and attacks, Musashi has the ability to perform four special ninjutsu techniques. Only one can be used in each level, unless a Ninjitsu item was picked up, or the ninjutsu of Mijin was used to reset your life total. The four techniques employed by Joe are as follows:
A variety of crates can be found in each level, some hidden in the scenery. These contain simple power-ups such as extra shuriken or health packs, as well as special items that award extra lives or Ninjutsu uses. Howeverm some crates contain time bombs, which detonate when their fuse runs out or if Musashi 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: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Hardest. As difficulty increases, amount of starting lives decreases from 10 to 1 and Musashi takes twice as much damage on Hardest. From the options menu, the player can also choose the amount of starting shuriken from 0 to 90 (though a code does exist that allows infinite shuriken). Player can choose the control layout for face buttons out of 4 selections. Options also include Sound Test to listen to music tracks.
The introductory cutscene and subsequent title screen feature the famous martial arts actor Sonny Chiba dressed as Hattori Hanzou from the popular TV series Kage no Gundan.
The Revenge of Shinobi was later released on the Mega Drive based arcade platform the Mega-Tech.
The game was also released in several compilations: Mega Games 2 and 6-Pak for the Mega Drive, Sega Classics Arcade Collection for the Sega Mega-CD, Sega Smash Pack for PCs, and Sega Smash Pack for the Sega Dreamcast. It was re-released for the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console in 2009 and on the Sega Vintage Collection series as part of the "Alex Kidd and Company" digital compilation for the Microsoft Xbox 360's Xbox Live Arcade in 2012.
From a strictly Japanese perspective, The Revenge of Shinobi was followed by Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (a.k.a. The Super Shinobi II). However, from a western perspective the Shinobi III name can cause problems, as it either implies Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi is the "second" game (with RoS being the first), or that Shadow Dancer is not part of the main series (which appears to contridict earlier promotional material).
Few comic strips were made primarly based off The Revenge of Shinobi. The Official Sonic the Hedgehog Yearbook 1991 had "The Dark Circle" single-part story, which can be seen as prequel to Sonic the Comic stories. Sonic the Comic would then host few more Shinobi story arcs, that are connected by a single plot of Joe Musashi rescuing Naoko and defending himself against Neo Zeed. Story arcs are: "The Fear Pavilion" (issue #1 to issue #6), "The Art of War" (#19 to #24) and "Power of The Elements" (#47 to #53). Sonic the Poster Mag 4 special issue also included a single-part story "Way of the Warrior".
Because of copyright issues regarding certain boss characters (many of which were based on cultural icons) there were at least four versions of the game released in Europe and North America, with the later two also appearing in Europe. Another revision was eventually released for the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console.
|1.00 (1989)||The Super Shinobi. This is the original 'final' version, only released in Japan and the only version released in Japan.|
Bosses clearly resembling Godzilla, Spider-Man, the Terminator and Batman are present. Both Spider-Man (albeit red and black, not red and blue) and Batman are actually impersonations by the boss of Chinatown, who upon defeat reverts to a small bat-like creature and flies away. Furthermore, enemies with flamethrowers resemble the movie character John Rambo.
|1.01 (1989)||The Revenge of Shinobi. First international release.|
Batman is replaced by the anime character Devilman. The fake Spider-Man is recoloured into the licensed character from Marvel Comics. Since he is now the real Spider-Man, he doesn't morph into a bat-like shape; instead he actually leaves the battle when enough damage is inflicted, with Devilman entering to replace him. Enemy soldiers with flamethrowers are also changed to bald men with headbands, away from their original likeness to John Rambo. Godzilla remains unmodified.
|1.02 (1990)||The Revenge of Shinobi. Second international release.|
Spider-Man is acknowledged by a copyright notice (Sega already had the license to the character for another game they were developing at the time, Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin). Godzilla is still unaltered.
|1.03 (1990)||The Revenge of Shinobi. Third international release.|
Godzilla is replaced by a skeletal dinosaur. Everything else remains intact from the previous revision, including the licensed use of Spider-Man. This version was used in the 6-Pak cartridge.
|1.04 (2009)||Since the licensed use of Spider-Man was for a limited period of time, the game was subsequently prevented from being re-released in recent years on compilations and digital download services. The 2009 release for the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console features a new specific software revision that omits the Marvel copyright notice and replaces Spider-Man with a pink palette swap of the character, which still behaves the same as the licensed Spider-Man. The picture of Sonny Chiba used on the title screen was also altered slightly to resemble a more generic ninja, presumably as the license to use his likeness also expired.|
Prototype versions also exist, one of which was (presumably mistakenly) released on the compilation Sega Smash Pack. This version features some cheats enabled by default, missing bosses and music, and other differences.
Instead of each region having their own ROM regional version, the game uses a single universal one. It runs different code depending on what region of console it detects at startup:
If it detects JAP console then it will show "The Super Shinobi" at title screen and the good ending will play fully, showing credits.
If it detects US console then it will show "The Revenge of Shinobi" at title screen and good ending will have credits cut.
If it detects PAL console then it will do same thing as for US console. The gameplay speed is not optimized for PAL thus being slower. Music plays at correct speed.
A suite of music from The Revenge of Shinobi 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 Koshiro himself. Music from the game was also performed at two concerts of PLAY! A Video Game Symphony in Stockholm, Sweden in 2007, and during the encore as the most voted song when PLAY! was performed in Singapore in June 2007.
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|
|Mega Drive, US (Sega Classic)|
|Mega Drive, US (Sega Classic; 1995 re-release)|
|Mega Drive, AU|
|Games in the Shinobi Series|
|Shinobi (1987) | Shadow Dancer (1989)|
|Shinobi (1988) | The Cyber Shinobi (1990) | Shadow Dancer (1991)|
|The Revenge of Shinobi (1989) | Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (1990) | Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (1993)|
|The GG Shinobi (1991) | The GG Shinobi II: The Silent Fury (1992)|
|Shinobi Legions (1995)|
|The Revenge of Shinobi (2002)|
|Shinobi (2002) | Nightshade (2003)|
|Shinobi 3D (2011) | 3D Shinobi III (2013)|
|Shinobi related media|
|The Super Shinobi & Works (1989) | Shinobi Original Soundtrack (2002) | Legend of Joe Musashi: Shinobi Music Collection (2009) | Shinobi 3D Original Soundtrack (2012) | Kunoichi Original Soundtrack (2014) | Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (2015) | The Revenge of Shinobi (2016)|
|Shin Shinobi Den Hisshou Kouryaku Hou (199x) | Shinobi The Complete Guide (2002) | Prima's Official Strategy Guide: Shinobi (2002) | Kunoichi Koushiki Guide Book (2003) | Kunoichi Perfect Guide (2004)|