Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
From Sega Retro
|Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi|
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Mega-Tech, Virtual Console, Steam|
|Developer: Sega R&D 9 M2|
|Sound driver: SMPS 68000|
|Number of players: 1|
Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (シャドーダンサー ザ・シークレット・オブ・シノビ) is a Sega Mega Drive action game developed by Sega R&D 2 and published by Sega. First released in Japan in December 1990, the game is an expanded reworking of the 1989 arcade game Shadow Dancer, featuring improved controls and more refined gameplay exclusive to this Mega Drive version.
- 1 Story
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 History
- 4 Versions
- 5 Production credits
- 6 Digital manuals
- 7 Magazine articles
- 8 Promotional material
- 9 Artwork
- 10 Physical scans
- 11 Technical information
- 12 External links
- 13 References
A.D 1997, New York City
Having vanquished the evil crime empire Neo Zeed, Shinobi was not heard from again. His combat ninja skills were not needed in a peaceful world.
But a new threat arose. In a reptilian form that lived on vicious instinct alone. The colossal monster moved slowly and quietly, and its attack was relentless. The souls unfortunate enough to live became 'hostages' mass panic swept the streets.
It remained only for Shinobi to take action. The ninja of the shadows. His weapons were stealth and quickness of attack. His only allies when facing over whelming force.
Relying on ninja weapons and magic, Shinobi fought on. Assisted by his faithful dog. This is the story of their defiance..
— Introduction 
The story according to the US manual adds the extra detail that Joe Musashi (following the events of The Revenge of Shinobi) decided to visit his student, Kato in New York. Shortly after Joe left, Kato learned of the Union Lizard's takeover of an elementary school, and he decided to assist in the rescuing of the hostages. However, Kato was fatally wounded by a subordinate of Union Lizard, and when Joe raced back in to the US, it was too late — Kato died from his wounds. After this, Joe swore to Kato's mother that he and Yamato (Kato's pet dog) would avenge Kato.
The Japanese version of the backstory differs from the overseas releases. The protagonist is not Joe Musashi, but his estranged son Hayate, who was born in 1977 and raised in the United States after being separated from his true parents. Kato (whose full name is Dick C. Kato) was Hayate's foster father in this version and the man who trained him in the ways of ninjutsu. This backstory implies that the events of The Super Shinobi took place sometime before 1977, although there is nothing in the original game to suggest this was meant to be the case.
The game is a side-scrolling action platformer. It more closely resembles its arcade progenitors than the other Mega Drive Shinobi titles do. Shinobi can be moved with or and can crouch with . He can move while crouching with and . Shinobi is armed with a sword, can throw shurikens, and can kick enemies, all performed with depending on his proximity to the target. He has an unlimited number of shurikens. He can jump with . + jumps off platforms and + jumps up to higher platforms; these button combinations are also used for jumping over a fence to the background and back to the foreground in one stage. Shinobi also has a special ninjutsu ability that can be used once per stage with to eliminate all enemies on screen.
The goal of most stages is to rescue all the hostages and reach the exit. Shinobi can only take one hit before losing a life in this game, so the player is forced to engage enemies cautiously. Shinobi takes a hit when he touches an enemy weapon; other contact with the enemy knocks him back instead, potentially leaving him vulnerable to a fatal hit. The player has a limited number of lives (but can collect more over the course of the game). If the player runs out of lives, the game ends, but the player can choose to continue the game at the start of the current round if there are continues remaining.
Rescuing male hostages awards bonus points and occasionally an extra life. Extra lives can also be earned in the bonus rounds that appear in between each round or are occasionally dropped by enemies. Rescuing female hostages give Shinobi enhanced attacks for the rest of the stage (or until he loses a life).
Assisting Shinobi is his loyal companion Yamato. When Yamato finds an enemy, he barks at him; he can be ordered to attack by holding , which charges his meter at the bottom of the screen, and releasing when his meter is full. If the enemy is on the same floor and not blocking the attack, Yamato darts over to him and stuns him, allowing Shinobi to finish him off. The enemy can parry Yamato's attack and hurt him, which causes him to shrink to a puppy and become unable to attack temporarily.
There are three difficulty levels. Changing the difficulty level significantly influences enemy placements and their number (unlike Revenge of Shinobi and Shinobi III, where only health and lives are reduced). Bosses remain unchanged aside from a boost in health. The game gives bonuses for not using shurikens or ninjutsu spells during the stages before the boss. The game also has some secret score opportunities, such as defeating a boss with only one second on the timer remaining (using ninjutsu). There is also a "Non-Shuriken" mode where the player does not have access to shurikens at all and must engage foes in melee range. Shinobi can still use shurikens against bosses and during the bonus stages.
Each stage gives the player a predetermined ninjutsu spell that can be cast once to eliminate all opponents on screen (as well as enemy projectiles).
|Fire Columns ()|
|Conjures pillars of flame.|
|Summons two tornadoes.|
|Meteorites rain from the sky.|
|Union Lizard Coin|
|Dropped by some enemies. Gives the player one or two extra lives.|
|Battle on the Bridge|
|Statue of Liberty|
|In the Darkness|
|The first stage of this round consists of five rooms, each dedicated to a particular enemy from the prior rounds, forcing the player to demonstrate mastery over the enemy. This is the only stage without a time limit. Players can exploit the respawning ninjas in rooms 4 and 5 to augment their score.|
A bonus round is played in between each round. Shinobi jumps off a skyscraper and throws shurikens at ninjas that are flying toward him. There are fifty ninjas total in each bonus round. The game gives rewards for certain results:
Curiously, the game awards the player an extra life for hitting no ninjas.
It was included as part of the North American and European versions of the Mega Drive Mini 2 in 2022.
There are no known differences (the Japanese release also displays English text), same ROM is used for all regions. Only music is optimized for PAL system, the gameplay is slower than intended.
- Main article: Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi/Production credits.
- Main article: Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi/Magazine articles.
Mega Drive version
|Mega Drive, US (Sega Classic)|
|Mega Drive, IT (US import, Italian Manual)|
|Mega Drive, PT|
|Mega Drive, AU (Vertical manual)|
|Mega Drive, BR (cardboard)|
- Main article: Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi/Technical information.
ROM dump status
|512kB||1990-12||Sega Mega Drive Classics||World Trade Center censored|
- Sega of Japan Virtual Console pages: Mega Drive
- Nintendo catalogue pages: US
- Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi on Steam
- File:ShadowDancer MD JP Box.jpg
- https://sega.jp/history/hard/megadrive/software.html (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-20 09:51)
- VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, "February 1991" (US; 1991-0x-xx), page 44
- ACE, "February 1991" (UK; 1991-01-08), page 68
- Ação Games, "Maio 1991" (BR; 1991-05-21), page 8
- http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/u44QhunUW7oGLY02HorOacEG6EJWz7m8 (Wayback Machine: 2010-11-22 22:47)
- http://www.nintendolife.com/games/megadrive/shadow_dancer_the_secret_of_shinobi (Wayback Machine: 2017-07-04 14:04)
- https://www.nintendo.fr/Jeux/Console-virtuelle-Wii-/Shadow-Dancer-The-Secret-of-Shinobi--278854.html (archive.today)
- https://www.nintendo.co.jp/wii/vc/software/01.html (Wayback Machine: 2017-11-23 05:03)
- http://vc.sega.jp:80/vc_shadow/ (Wayback Machine: 2007-02-09 19:34)
- https://steamdb.info/app/34282/ (Wayback Machine: 2019-11-12 21:32)
- http://steamdb.info/app/34282/ (Wayback Machine: 2016-07-30 04:19)
- http://steamdb.info/app/34282/ (Wayback Machine: 2013-05-22 19:29)
- http://steamdb.info/app/34282/ (Wayback Machine: 2019-11-12 21:32)
- File:Shadow Dancer MD, Introduction.pdf
- File:MD UK Box Back SonicEASDH Alt.jpg
- 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2001-xx-xx), page 202
- Beep! MegaDrive, "December 1990" (JP; 1990-11-08), page 28
- The Complete Guide to Sega, "" (UK; 1991-05-xx), page 108
- Console XS, "June/July 1992" (UK; 1992-04-23), page 133
- Cool Gamer, "9" (RU; 2002-10-13), page 184
- Computer & Video Games, "February 1991" (UK; 1991-01-16), page 44
- Electronic Gaming Monthly, "April 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 20
- Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 1, "" (RU; 1999-xx-xx), page 356
- Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 10, "" (RU; 2003-10-08), page 155
- Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 86
- Famitsu, "" (JP; 1990-1x-xx), page 1
- GamePro, "March 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 70
- The Games Machine, "Febbraio 1991" (IT; 1991-xx-xx), page 71
- Génération 4, "Février 1991" (FR; 1991-xx-xx), page 96
- Hippon Super, "January 1991" (JP; 1990-12-04), page 40
- Hobby Consolas, "Diciembre 1991" (ES; 1991-1x-xx), page 86
- Joystick, "Janvier 1991" (FR; 199x-xx-xx), page 122
- Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-xx-xx), page 81
- Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "January 1993" (UK; 199x-xx-xx), page 94
- Mega Drive Fan, "February 1991" (JP; 1991-01-08), page 83
- Mega Play, "March/April 1991" (US; 1991-04-xx), page 42
- MegaTech, "Xmas 1991" (UK; 1991-12-06), page 80
- Micromanía (segunda época), "Septiembre 1991" (ES; 1991-0x-xx), page 27
- Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 140
- Player One, "Juin 1991" (FR; 1991-xx-xx), page 26
- Power Play, "3/91" (DE; 1991-02-15), page 139
- Raze, "July 1991" (UK; 1991-05-30), page 38
- Sega Power, "May 1991" (UK; 1991-04-04), page 32
- Sega Power, "October 1991" (UK; 1991-09-05), page 54
- Sega Pro, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-19), page 28
- Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 67
- Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 87
- Tilt, "Février 1991" (FR; 1991-0x-xx), page 54
- Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-03-20), page 153
- Video Games, "1/91" (DE; 1991-03-27), page 83
- Zero, "April 1991" (UK; 1991-0x-xx), page 88
|Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi|
Music: Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (2022)
|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)|
|Sega Ages Shinobi (2019)|
|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) | Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (2022)|
|Shinobi: The Fear Pavilion (1994) | Shin Shinobi Den Hisshou Kouryaku Hou (1995) | Prima's Official Strategy Guide: Shinobi (2002) | Shinobi: The Rise of Hotsuma (2002) | Shinobi: The Complete Guide (2002) | Shinobi the Wide Ilustration Archive (2003) | Kunoichi Koushiki Guide Book (2003) | Kunoichi Perfect Guide (2004)|