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In Ninja Gaiden, you play Ryu, a powerful ninja whose father has been killed. Ryu sets out to kill the boss who killed his father, taking out hordes of the evil one's underlings along the way.
To succeed, Ryu must battle through six American cities, punching and kicking opponents who appear both in front and behind him. Ryu's attacks consist mainly of punches and kicks, but there are several other attacks in his repertoire:
The Overhead Grab — Consists of jumping over an opponent, grabbing them by the neck, and then tossing them;
The "Phoenix Back Flip" — Consists of running up a wall, flipping backwards over an opponent, and then tossing them;
The Sword Attack — An occasional hidden power-up allows Ryu to wield a ninja's blade for short periods;
Hanging Kicks — Using the red button atop the joystick, Ryu clings to an overhead pole or lamppost and swing kicks opponents.
To progress from level to level, Ryu must wipe out all of his opponents and fight a boss character at the end of each level. The final boss appears at the end of Level 6.
Two players can play Ninja Gaiden simultaneously. Player One is always dressed in blue. Player Two is always dressed in pale red. Hidden objects are scattered throughout the game and are revealed when phone booths, trash cans, and other fragile objects are shattered by flying bodies. ~ Anthony Baize, All Game Guide