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In Ninja Gaiden for the Game Gear, players must guide Ryu Hayabusa, the last survivor of the Dragon Ninja clan, through a series of perilous levels. Many enemies await Ryu throughout the levels, as do various boss characters which Ryu must confront and defeat before proceeding.
Ryu has a horizontal life bar on the top left corner of the screen, which gradually depletes every time an enemy character hits him. Ryu can either grab blue potions to replenish part of his life bar or red potions to restore it fully. All enemy characters, except for the bosses, take one hit before going down. Bosses also have life bars like Ryu, and must be attacked multiple times to be defeated. Each sword attack from Ryu will take one block of life from a boss character.
Ryu can jump, attack with his sword, and climb walls. Ryu can also pick up a variety of other items: blue orbs and scrolls can be collected to increase his stock of power points. These points can then be used to power a variety of special attacks like a vertical wave, three-way shot or the basic shuriken horizontal shot. Icons for these weapons must be collected before Ryu can use them, and he can only hold one weapon at a time. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide