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Published February 16, 2019

Ninja Gaiden 3 NES was a terrific game that has so much to offer gamers in the ways of gameplay and all the ninjitsu that you can use to destroy your enemies along with the bosses, I can say with 100% certainty that it is definitely the best in the entire NES series. Ninja Gaiden 3 NES was definitely a joy to play as long as you were able to master everything about the game.

One of the things that I definitely adored about the game was the various ninjitsus including the new one that they added like the Vacuum Wave, and the Invincible Fire Wheel ninjitsu which is a classic favorite to those who have enjoyed using its power over the years.

The new add-on, the Sword Upgrade gives your sword some extra reach which is great because you’ll be able to destroy your enemies at a distance; the ninjitsu is even more handy when you use it against bosses like using the Vacuum Wave when fighting the boss on 6-3 but more on that later.

In this post I’ll discuss the ninjitsus, the levels that require the right ninjitsu to get past along with why the sword upgrade is important to find and keep in every level in which you find it; I’ll also be talking about ninjitsu regarding bosses as far as which ones to use. Without further ado, let’s start with…….

The Ninjitsus

Invincible Fire Wheel, Fire Wheel, Vacuum Wave, Windmill Shuriken, Fire Dragon Ball; pick one, you can’t go wrong or can you; your choice of ninjitsu can impact how you strategically approach a level. I didn’t think so at first because I was playing this game like I was playing Ninja Gaiden II NES, but after countlessly bombing out, I came to the conclusion that Ninja Gaiden III had to approached differently.

The ninjitsus are the key to playing through a level or an area in the level flawlessly like using the Invincible Fire Wheel to get through 4-2 after finding it there or even using the Fire Dragon Ball on 6-1 and keeping it until you get to 6-2 then switching it out for the Vacuum Wave which is more potent for getting rid of the enemies in the area not to mention getting the 1-up.

7-1 is a level that’ll require the use of the Invincible Fire Wheel to make it past, just don’t be so quick to run through so you avoid getting the Windmill Shuriken by mistake so exercise caution as you’re running the gauntlet here.

Which levels require the ideal ninjitsu

As you well know, having the right ninjitsu can mean the difference between getting and stacking extra lives or dying a million times in the same spot in a level. Well, I’ve taken the liberty of experimenting with the various ninjitsus and the results were extraordinary, here are levels to use which ninjitsu

1-1A, Any ninjitsu

1-1B, Fire Wheel

1-1C, Any

Boss – Fire Dragon Ball

2-1A, Windmill Shuriken or Fire Wheel

2-2A, Fire Wheel

2-2B, Fire Dragon Ball

2-2C, Fire Wheel

2-2D, Fire Wheel

Boss – Fire Wheel

3-1A, Vacuum Wave; you’ll come to a part of the level when you see an extra life. Use your Vacuum Wave jitsu just before attempting to get the 1up, the purple fish will die before reaching you.

3-2A, Fire Dragon Ball

3-2B, Fire Wheel, Fire Dragon Ball or Invincible Fire Wheel

3-2C, Invincible Fire Wheel or Fire Wheel

3-2D, Invincible Fire Wheel or Fire Wheel

Boss – Invincible Fire Wheel

4-1A, Fire Wheel until you get the Fire Dragon Ball

4-2A, Fire Dragon Ball then Invincible Fire Wheel, keep for the rest of the level

Boss – Invincible Fire Wheel

5-1A, B and C, Vacuum Wave

5-2A, Fire Dragon Ball or Fire Wheel

5-2B, Fire Wheel

5-2C, D and E, Invincible Fire Wheel

Boss – Invincible Fire Wheel

6-1A, B, C and D, Fire Dragon Ball

6-2A, Vacuum Wave

6-2B, Vacuum Wave or Fire Wheel

Boss – Vacuum Wave, use it to protect yourself from falling rocks after he crashes into the wall; you can do this as you’re stabbing him to death

7-1A, Invincible Fire Wheel

7-2A, Fire Wheel then Fire Dragon Ball

7-2B & C, Vacuum Wave

7-2D, Fire Dragon Ball

7-3A, Fire Wheel or Vacuum Wave

7-3B, C & D, Vacuum Wave

Boss 1st & 2nd form – Fire Wheel

Boss 3rd – Windmill Shuriken

*If you die while trying to kill one of the endgame bosses, you’ll go straight to the boss that killed you after you make it back to them. For example, if you died at the 2nd endgame boss on Level 7; all you have to do is make it back to that boss after making it past all of 7-3 and you’ll get to take on that boss again.

The sword upgrade – always get and keep

The sword upgrade is the newest addition to the game and it was one of the reasons that I fell in love with the game in the first place, it is easily a must have item because you’ll be able to get past all bosses with ease not to mention it’ll help you slay enemies from a safe distance even bosses like the one at the end of stage 4.

My advice, anytime you see this item, grab it and keep it always. You’re always going to need it; it’s always going to come in handy. The sword upgrade makes the gameplay in the game a practical breeze and if we’re being honest here, it’s actually a better addition to the game than the shadow clones from Ninja Gaiden II.

There are areas in the game where the sword upgrade is in a not so ideal place, death-defying even like in the final area of 3-2 and there are some areas where you’ll have to mow down some enemies to get to it like on 5-2.

So when you find the sword upgrade, get it, keep it and abuse it on everything that has movement you’ll really get to see and enjoy its usefulness.

Advice regarding bosses vs. ninjitsu

Advice regarding bosses and ninjitsu, here’s some tips about which ninjitsu to use on which boss; my advice is twofold. First, always make sure you have the right ninjitsu before you face the boss. Second, if you combine your sword strikes and ninjitsu you can make your ninjitsu last longer.

There’s nothing worse than running out of ninjitsu just before a fight ends or running out of it while you’re facing off against the boss; I’d even go so far as to say use the ninjitsu as you need to, it’s not necessary to abuse it.


Ninja Gaiden III is a game that requires a lot of strategy to really get into the game but if you use the ninjitsus and use them on the stages that you’ll need them for along with using the sword upgrade then you’ll be fine. Using your ninjitsu to slay bosses can be a little difficult but if you use your ninjitsu to avoid danger and use your sword mostly, you’ll own most bosses.

Don’t forget that if you die fighting one of the endgame bosses, you’ll get to take on that boss again after you make your way back to that boss’ area from 7-3. If you have any questions about my post then please send me a message and I’ll get back to you. Thank you and Happy gaming.

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