SEGA Master System
The Ninja

The Ninja was released for the Master System in 1986 derived from an earlier game known as 'SEGA Ninja' released for the arcades and the SG-1000.

It was likely part of many Master System collections for two reasons: it was cheap being one of the few budget games available for the console, and secondly because it’s an OK game if you like them basic and short.

It's still a nice little blast – easily completed - but can catch a player out in places - if you play it once every 10 years or so that it. Unfortunately, reviews were not very positive citing the shortness of the game as the main issue but overall the gameplay was very good.

Graphics are basic but pretty solid for the era there are some nice touches to be seen such as multiple layers of scrolling typically found in later games. All the action is smooth and the game is very responsive.

Sound is appropriate but very limited. There are 5 tunes in the game (with the main tune having potential to result in an earworm) and very few sound effects. Still they work nicely.

Boxed copies can be found on Ebay cheaply and is included on some of the Master System handheld devices such as those from Funstock and Blaze.

The Ninja European Case
The Ninja European Case

Case Quote

Throughout your journey to the Ohkami Castle, you'll battle evil Ninja Warriors. Once there, your must destroy their leader, Gyokuro. Only then will you be able to save the princess from her prison inside the castle.


From the game,

Early in Japan's Edo era, in about the year 1630, there existed a province called Ohkami in the western region. Peace had continued there for many years until the feudal lord passed away Gyokuro, an evil vassal seized power and his oppressive rule caused great hardship to the people. The princess who opposed him was confined to the dungeon in the Ohkami Castle.

Gyokuro has the Ohkami Ninja under his command. Utilising various Ninjutsu techniques, in addition to the one which transforms them into a wolf, they protect him from the people who are his enemies.

Being indignant at the unreasonable rule of Gyokuro and his Ninja, Kazamurai (The Player) courageously challenges them to a fight in order to rescue the princess and restore peace.

However, at first, knives are the only weapons Kazamaru can use. Proceed to the castle and capture the Ninjutsu Secret Scrolls while mastering its technique and fighting the Ninja. Only in this way will you be able to save the princess and return the land to its former state of tranquility.

Good Luck!

From the manual,

Ever since Gyokuro came into power as the ruler of a once peaceful land of Ohkami, the countryside has been in turmoil.

Gyokuro has sent his Ninja out to torment the people. He's even locked up the princess in the basement of the castle.

Someone has to take a stand against the wicked Gyokuro if peace is to be ever restored. Armed only with ninja dark, the brave Kazamaru accepts the challenge. But he's going to need your help.


You take the role of Kazamaru, a young Ninja (good guy in blue vest) setting out to destroy the evil Gyokuro and rescue the princess.

The gameplay is some-what run 'n' gun defeating the enemies and then a boss known as Ninniku. Most stages (called Steps) are vertically scrolling with a top-down view. Most areas are open and its possible to backtrack to the beginning.

What makes The Ninja a little interesting in some variations and this can be from the direction of the scrolling or the situation be it running free vs moving from log-to-log on a river.

alt : Cannot see the video?
The Ninja (Master System)
The Ninja (Master System) The Ninja (Master System)

Video is shamelessly embedded from Youtube. All credit to the video owner. No infringement intended.

The Steps are very short and not difficult. There is no time limit to completing them.

A status screen is shown at the start of each step detailing progress on a map scroll. It will also show: hi-score, 1-up score, Player (no of lives remaining) and scrolls in possession.

Map Screen

The D-Pad moves Kazamaru around the screen in all directions and he can fire darts whilst running.

BUTTON 1 will fire a shuriken in the direction being faced.

BUTTON 2 will fire a shuriken at 0 degrees (upwards) only.

BUTTON 1+2 will make Kazamaru invisible for a very short time. Use to evade enemies as he can still move whilst invisible and enemy projectiles or other objects will pass through.

Kazamaru is killed with a single hit. The Step will restart roughly in the same position. Enemies will come from all directions and fire projectiles such as darts and sickles. Most can be blocked from a shuriken from Kazamaru.

Touching enemies is OK however some Steps have hazards such as tumbling rocks which will kill also.

Enemies will get more numerous, quicker and meaner looking but they will always spawn in the same place and will still only take one hit to kill.

Ninniku will take several hits to kill and move around much faster. Some shurikens from cannot be blocked. They are defeated when red.

When the boss is defeated the Step ends and Bonus Points are awarded and are calculated as:

No x of enemies / No x darts used x 20,000

Getting a Hit Ratio of 100% awards additional 50,000 points are awarded. To do this, ensure that none of Kazamaru projectiles miss a target. This will also include shooting down incoming enemy projectiles.

The game begins with three lives and when gone it is game over with no option of continue.

Extra lives are awarded at the following scores: 30,000, 100,000 and 300,000 points.

There is a two-player, turn-based mode exists but its rather pointless.

Secret Scrolls

There are three secret scrolls that are of great help to Kazamaru. Red and Blue scrolls are usually left behind by defeated enemies; however, the rest of the green scrolls must be found in their hidden locations.

Their uses are:

The Secret Scrolls
Red Scroll

Red – The Secret Book of Pinwheel Darts.

Upgrades darts to Pinwheel Darts. These can kill multiple enemies in a single shot.

Blue Scroll

Blue – The Secret Book of Ohkami Feet

Gives a (very much needed) boost in running speed. Very useful for the later steps.

Green Scroll

Green – The Secret Book of Ohkami Castle

After collecting all five, the entrance to the Princess’ prison will be known which is basically a shortcut to the end of the game.

Screenshots (Steps)

It is a rather short game and can be completed in under 15 minutes!

The Thirteen Locations in the Land of Ohkami

The Ninja (Steps 1-13)
The Ninja Step 1 The Ninja Step 1 The Ninja Step 1 Boss

1. A Grassy Field

The Ninja Step 2 The Ninja Step 2 The Ninja Step 2 Boss

2. A Craggy Cliff

The Ninja Step 3 The Ninja Step 3 The Ninja Step 3 Boss

3. The Prairie

The Ninja Step 4 The Ninja Step 4 The Ninja Step 4 Boss

4. A Shrine

The Ninja Step 5 The Ninja Step 5 The Ninja Step 5 Boss

5. A River Bank

The Ninja Step 6 The Ninja Step 6 The Ninja Step 6 Boss

6. Town Street

The Ninja Step 7 The Ninja Step 7 The Ninja Step 7 Boss

7. A Small Town

The Ninja Step 8 The Ninja Step 8 The Ninja Step 8 Boss

8. Residential Samurai Area

The Ninja Step 9 The Ninja Step 9 The Ninja Step 9 Boss

9. A Stone Wall

The Ninja Step 10 The Ninja Step 10 The Ninja Step 10 Boss

10. Inside Terrace

The Ninja Step 11 The Ninja Step 11 The Ninja Step 11 Boss

11. Inside Ohkami Castle (Wooden Floor)

The Ninja Step 12 The Ninja Step 12 The Ninja Step 12 Boss

12. Inside Ohkami Castle (Tatami Room)

The Ninja Step 13 The Ninja Step 13 The Ninja Step 13 Boss

13. Inside Ohkami Castle (Maze)

Cheats and Tips

Green Scroll Locations (Five)

Step 1 – Kill the transforming Ninja.

Green Scroll 1

Step 4 – Fire at the dog statue on the far left five times.

Green Scroll 2

Step 6 – In the first Samurai house surrounded by a moat on the left-side of the screen. Cross the bridge and head to the top-right corner. Stand at the bottom of the bush for the scroll to appear.

Green Scroll 3

Step 8 – Proceed into to the grounds of the house on the right. In the top-right corner there is a bush. Stand next to this for the scroll to appear.

Green Scroll 4

Step 9 – When the boss appears, leave him be and head to the far right of the screen on the same platform the boss is on. The scroll should appear. Collect then defeat the boss.

Green Scroll 5

Without having all of the scrolls you cannot proceed to Step 13. The game will throw back to the Step where a scroll was missed and you need to continue from there. Harsh.


Step 10 – As detailed on the last green scroll.

Proceed along the middle of the stone/grey walkway to the stairs. This leads to another walkway with bushes on the left and right of the path.

There are three grey statues on the left.

Go up to the last statue and fire at it three times then disappear three times. The entrance will open and the Step will end.

Maze Entrance

Maze Route

After entering, go left. Head far-right at the first gap and proceed upwards.

Fire and use disappearing mostly here and allow the enemies to chase you. Beware enemies from the bottom of the screen following.

Stay along the right until an opening. Head left and up the centre. It will keep a few enemies out whilst the final boss appears - guns and all!


Perfect! This game can be played with the Dega or KEGA Fusion Emulators which can be downloaded from the Master System Emulators page.

Misc Info


A review

A review

A review

Master System SEGA!

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