The Revenge of Shinobi

From Sega Retro

For the Game Boy Advance game, see The Revenge of Shinobi (2002).


RevengeOfShinobi title.png
The Revenge of Shinobi / The Super Shinobi
Publisher: Sega
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Mega-Tech, PlayStation 3 (PSN), Virtual Console, Steam, PlayStation Now, Android, iOS
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥6,000 G-4019
Sega Mega Drive
$64.99[1] 1105
Sega Mega Drive
$29.95[2] 1105C
Sega Mega Drive
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
£34.99[3][4] 1105
Sega Mega Drive
369[5]F 1105
Sega Mega Drive
DM ? 1105
Sega Mega Drive
?Ptas 1105
Sega Mega Drive
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
R$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
₩? GM4004JG

Wii Virtual Console
¥600[6] pts ?
Wii Virtual Console
$800[8] pts ?
Wii Virtual Console
€800[9] pts ?

$2.99[10] 211207
€2.49[10] 211207
£1.99[10] 211207
$3.49[10] 211207

Sony PlayStation 3
¥571 (600)[16] NPJB-00090
Sony PlayStation 3
$4.99[12] NPUB-30325
Sony PlayStation 3
€4.49[13] NPEB-00413
Sony PlayStation 3
£3.69[14] NPEB-00413
Sony PlayStation 3
$6.75[17] NPEB-00413
Sony PlayStation 3
₩6,300[15] NPHB-00251
PlayStation Now
¥? ?

Google Android OS
(Sega Forever)
FREE Everyone 10+
Google Android OS
(Sega Forever)
Google Android OS
(Sega Forever)
(Sega Forever)
FREE 12+
(Sega Forever)
FREE 12+

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.

Revenge of Shinobi does not reference the arcade sequel to Shinobi, Shadow Dancer. However the Mega Drive reimagining, Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi, is considered a sequel to this game.



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 A, B and C 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.

Ninjutsu techniques

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:

  • Ninjutsu of Ikazuchi (the art of thunder): Envelopes Musashi with a shield of lightning energy that sustains damage for four consecutive hits.
  • Ninjutsu of Karyu (the art of fire): Summons four dragon-shaped columns of flame that move across the screen and damage all enemies in their path.
  • Ninjutsu of Fushin (the art of floating): Improves Musashi's agility by heightening his jumping capability.
  • Ninjutsu of Mijin (the art of pulverizing): The most powerful Ninjutsu technique in the game. Musashi explodes, damaging all enemies on screen at the cost of one life. Minjin will, like Karyu, destroy all weaker enemies on screen, but with this Ninjitsu, Musashi's power against boss enemies is much greater. This is an interesting and strategic Ninjitsu, as though Joe loses a life in performing it, doing so causes his health to be fully restored and he is granted an extra Ninjitsu attack. It is possible to use Mijin on Joe's last life, but this requires a Continue to be used to resume his quest.


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.


  • Ibaraki Province, Japan: This bamboo forest is where the game begins. Through these ancient ruins, Musashi must make his way to The House of Confusion. At the end of this district, he is confronted by the mighty samurai Blue Lobster.
  • Tokyo: Musashi begins this stage near a rocky canyon. Winged ninja swoop down from the sky to attack him. Past the waterfalls, Joe stalks the darkened roof tops of Tokyo, and eventually enters a blinding disco where he must battle with the Shadow Dancer.
  • The Military Base: This military complex of Neo Zeed's is heavily guarded by armed soldiers. Joe must contend against light infantry as well as enemies armed with flame throwers and attack dogs. The second scene takes him 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, which Joe must defeat in order to progress.
  • Detroit: Detroit is one big junkyard, with countless cars being moved by conveyor belts and into a melting furnace. A tough Terminator-like android guards the site.
  • Area Code 818: This stage takes Musashi past skyscrapers and freeways. The final battle is fought on top of an armoured vehicle carrying a gigantic ballistic missile.
  • Chinatown: After a showdown with the kung-fu gangs of Chinatown, Musashi hops on board a speeding train. Eventually he finds himself in the clutches of a shapeshifter who attacks in the form of Spider-Man and Batman. A revised version (1.01; see below) of the game replaced Batman with Devilman. The first scene of this round contains a particulary hard jump, which you also will encounter in the next round. It's recommended to practise the jump here as you don't get punished for failing it yet.
  • New York: Ninja and machine gunners guard the breakwater of New York's dockside. Leaping from boat to boat, Joe infiltrates Neo Zeed's container ship and comes face to face with Godzilla. The first scene has a famously hard jump. Ninjutsu of Fushin isn't helpful in this case as it only increases your vertical reach of a jump while horizontal distance stayes the same.
  • Neo Zeed Marine Stronghold: Here Musashi will face his final enemy, the leader of Zeed himself. His fiancee Naoko is trapped somewhere beneath the maze-like cellars of this stronghold, and Joe must terminate Zeed quickly before Naoko is killed by the latter's trap.

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.


Main article: The Revenge of Shinobi/Achievements.



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).

Comic adaptation

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.

Version Details
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.

Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English The Revenge of Shinobi The Revenge of Shinobi
English (US) The Revenge of Shinobi The Revenge of Shinobi
Japanese ザ・スーパー忍 The Super Shinobi

Version history

Main article: The Revenge of Shinobi/Changelog.
System Version Size Date Comment Ref Icon
Google Android OS
0000010000020000010000000000001.2.1 41MB 201808062018-08-06 [22] RoS Android icon 109.png Download.svg (41.41 MB) i
Google Android OS
0000010000010000010000000000001.1.1 48MB 201709262017-09-26 [23] RoS Android icon 111.png Download.svg (47.56 MB) i
Google Android OS
0000010000010000000000000000001.1.0 48MB 201709132017-09-13 [23] RoS Android icon 109.png Download.svg (47.57 MB) i
Google Android OS
0000010000000000090000000000001.0.9 45MB 201707262017-07-26 [19] RoS Android icon 109.png Download.svg (44.88 MB) i
0000010000020000010000000000001.2.1 134.3MB 201808062018-08-06 [24]
0000010000010000020000000000001.1.2 178MB 201710092017-10-09 [25]
0000010000010000010000000000001.1.1 201709252017-09-25 [24]
0000010000010000000000000000001.1.0 177MB 201709132017-09-13 [26]
0000010000000000090000000000001.0.9 157MB 201707262017-07-26 [20]

Production credits

Source: In-game credits (Japanese version only)[27]


The Revenge of Shinobi's soundtrack was composed by Yuzo Koshiro, who composed the music for other games including the Streets of Rage series.

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.

Digital manuals

Magazine articles

Main article: The Revenge of Shinobi/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Main article: The Revenge of Shinobi/Promotional material.


Physical scans

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
92 №3/90, p80[28]
83 №1990-02, p66[29]
81 №, p83[30]
94 №2, p98/99
94 №4, p36/37[31]
93 №99, p92[32]
70 №91, [1]
88 №28, p36/37[33]
96 №6, p76/77[34]
81 №3, p78[35]
91 №9, p21
90 №1, p65
85 №9/93, p73[36]
94 №1, p80[37]
93 №17, p94
94 №1, p16-18[38]
95 №2, p36/37[39]
91 №3/90, p97[40]
92 №3, p58/59[41]
93 №14, p18/19
100 №23, p54
96 №5, p51[42]
90 №18, p67
90 №81, p63/64
97 №5, p51
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
25 reviews

Mega Drive, US
Revengeofshinobi md us cover.jpg
Mega Drive, US (Sega Classic)
RoS MD US Box Classic.jpg
RoS MD US Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, US (Sega Classic; 1995 re-release)
Revengeofshinobi md us classics cover.jpg
RoS MD US Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, EU
Revengeofshinobi md eu cover.jpg
RoS MD EU Cart.jpg
Revenge Of Shinobi MD EU Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, JP
RoS MD JP Box.jpg
TheSuperSHINOBI MD JP CartTop.jpg
RoS MD JP Cart.jpg
Supershinobi md jp manual.pdf
Mega Drive, AU

Mega Drive, BR
RevengeofShinobi MD BR cb cover.jpg
RoS MD BR Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, KR

SuperShinobi MD KR carttop.jpg
SuperShinobi MD KR cartback.jpgSuperShinobi MD KR cart.jpg
Mega Drive, KR (re-release)

SuperShinobi MD KR 4064 cart.jpg
Mega Drive, CA
RoS MD CA Box.jpg

Mega-Tech version

RevengeofShinobi MT cover.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
2009 1.04
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 4d35ebe4
1990 1.03
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 fe91ab7e
1990 1.02
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 05f27994
1989 1.01
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 5c7e5ea6
MD5 c296021f74ab1192ed7e1865cdebc972
SHA-1 d5807a44d2059aa4ff27ecb7bdc749fbb0382550
1989-09 Cartridge 1.00

External links


  1. File:GamePro US 009.pdf, page 47
  2. File:SegaVisions US 09.pdf, page 20
  3. File:Raze UK 03.pdf, page 59
  4. File:ACE UK 37.pdf, page 51
  5. File:PlayerOne FR 002.pdf, page 37
  6. (archived: 2009-03-10 18:35)
  7. (archived: 2018-01-28 13:27)
  8. 8.0 8.1 (archived: 2010-11-22 22:48)
  9. 9.0 9.1 (archived: 2017-08-23 02:00)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 (archived: 2013-05-22 21:21)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 (archived: 2017-05-25 04:56)
  12. 12.0 12.1 (archived: 2017-06-29 13:39)
  13. 13.0 13.1 (archived: 2018-04-02 19:26)
  14. 14.0 14.1 (archived: 2018-04-02 19:25)
  15. 15.0 15.1 (archived: 2018-04-02 19:26)
  16. 16.0 16.1 (archived: 2012-11-17 11:14)
  17. 17.0 17.1 (archived: 2018-04-02 19:26)
  18. (archived: 2016-01-29 18:24)
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 (archived: 2017-08-04 13:43)
  20. 20.0 20.1 (archived: 2017-08-21 18:59)
  21. (archived: 2017-08-21 19:02)
  22. (archived: 2018-08-16 16:29)
  23. 23.0 23.1 (archived: 2018-08-16 16:29)
  24. 24.0 24.1 (archived: 2018-09-16 23:45)
  25. (archived: 2017-10-29 01:46)
  26. (archived: 2017-09-14 05:31)
  28. File:ASM DE 1990-03.pdf, page 80
  29. File:BeepMD_JP_1990-02.pdf, page 68
  30. File:SSM_JP_19950901_1995-09.pdf, page 85
  31. File:CGtC UK 04.pdf, page 36
  32. File:CVG UK 099.pdf, page 92
  33. File:TGM UK 28.pdf, page 36
  34. File:Joystick FR 006.pdf, page 76
  35. File:MDAG UK 03.pdf, page 78
  36. File:MegaFun DE 1993-09.pdf, page 65
  37. File:MegaTech UK 01.pdf, page 80
  38. File:MeanMachines UK 01.pdf, page 16
  39. File:PlayerOne FR 002.pdf, page 36
  40. File:PowerPlay DE 024.pdf, page 97
  41. File:Raze UK 03.pdf, page 58
  42. File:SegaPro UK 05.pdf, page 51

The Revenge of Shinobi
RevengeOfShinobi title.png

Main page | Comparisons | Development | Magazine articles | Promotional material | Region coding

Music: The Super Shinobi & Works (1989) | | The Revenge of Shinobi (2016)

Games in the Shinobi Series
Shinobi (1987) | Shadow Dancer (1989)
Sega Master System
Shinobi (1988) | The Cyber Shinobi (1990) | Shadow Dancer (1991)
Commodore Amiga
Atari ST
Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
ZX Spectrum
IBM PC compatibles
Shinobi (1989)
Sega Mega Drive
The Revenge of Shinobi (1989) | Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (1990) | Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (1993)
Sega Game Gear
The GG Shinobi (1991) | The GG Shinobi II: The Silent Fury (1992)
Sega Saturn
Shinobi Legions (1995)
Nintendo Game Boy Advance
The Revenge of Shinobi (2002)
Sony PlayStation 2
Shinobi (2002) | Nightshade (2003)
Nintendo 3DS
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 Rise of Hotsuma (2002) | Shinobi The Complete Guide (2002) | Prima's Official Strategy Guide: Shinobi (2002) | Kunoichi Koushiki Guide Book (2003) | Kunoichi Perfect Guide (2004)