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Published February 7, 2019

“The Ninja Gaiden games for the NES are the hardest games in the world”, how many times have you heard these words; The Ninja Gaiden games NES were easily the most difficult games to every gamer that has ever sat down in front of them. The first time I ever played Ninja Gaiden 3, I was 11; I played it briefly but never got into it.

I played Ninja Gaiden II for the first time when I was 10, I managed to beat it without rage quitting but Jaquio and Ashtar did not make killing them easy; always having the right ninjitsu made the battle easier. At the time, Ninja Gaiden on the NES was the only one I didn’t play that is until I got my emulator.

You see the jitsu right in front of you, the question is, do you need it?

So flash forward to the present 28 years, I have played and beat all 3 but I noticed something when I played each Ninja Gaiden game; they each have a tell, a cryptic message if you will about how to beat it. That cryptic message comes in the form of aspects of the game such as the ninjitsu you use or a specific power you use in the game.

I’ll discuss more of the aforementioned along with how to make playing Ninja Gaiden II’s difficulty easier since you can’t adjust the difficulty how you want and Ninja Gaiden 3’s greatest guarded secret never mind how to make the first Ninja Gaiden a cakewalk. Having said that, let’s explore…..

Ninjitsu(s) over the course of the 3 games

Every gamer, myself included, can agree that the Ninjitsu over the course of the 3 Ninja Gaiden games NES have evolved exponentially; their power as well as their overall use. Ninja Gaiden 3 introduced ninjitsu such as the Vacuum Wave which is great for destroying enemies and objects overhead.

The Fire Wheel Ninjitsu is a favorite by many including the Invincible Art of the Fire Wheel because you were made invincible for the 20 seconds you had it on you, it made battles with enemies easy because you got to mow down everyone on screen which gave you a definite rush; I know it did for me.

The Spin Sword Slash from Ninja Gaiden is another treasured ninjitsu, it allowed you to destroy bosses as well as enemies in a matter of seconds; a power I never really saw fit to abuse as everyone else did. I was all about the strategy and discovering weaknesses along with thinking critically.

Ninja Gaiden 3 has a hidden message if you know how to interpret it

So I was playing Ninja Gaiden 3 on NES a small-time ago and I really got into it, I mean like I would play the game everyday through every level using my strategies and gamer-brain. However, after playing it for 2 straight weeks, something dawned on me; Ninja Gaiden 3’s hidden message to gamers on how to beat it lies in, wait for it….the various Ninjitsu.

Simply, look at the Ninjitsu before you get it which helps you form a strategy on which ninjitsu is useful for which part of the game for example, if you’re having trouble with airborne enemies on 4-1 in Ninja Gaiden 3; you can use the Fire Wheel to destroy them since the jitsu fires skyward.

How about 6-2 when you’re making your way through that one room where you’re climbing through a bunch of intestines of sorts; every stage has a tell if you know exactly how to think strategically and how to use the resources around you which consists of whatever jitsu is present at the time.

You’ll want to use the Vacuum Wave for the ENTIRE 5-1 area that includes, A, B, C; enemies try to get “swarmy” via air and land. The Vacuum Wave keeps them off you.

Ninja Gaiden II’s difficulty and what one can do to make it easier

Now as you well know, Ninja Gaiden II is one of the most difficult games for the NES besides 3 but that doesn’t mean that it has to be hard or that “yourselves” can’t make the journey easier. That’s right, I’m talking about your ninja clones; they’re more than just ethereal bodies trailing and helping you.

With the right ninjitsu, they can make the most difficult level the easiest stage in the game. For example, if you have the Downward Dragon Fireball jitsu when you take on the first level boss, you can take the boss out lickety split; the fight’ll barely go 5 minutes.

The levels of the game are difficult but if you pick just one jitsu and get your clones, you’ll raze the level and destroy your enemies. The object here is to hit the red glowing orbs at a small distance so you know what you’re getting, but if you’re going to use a specific jitsu to destroy a boss like using the Fire Wheel on Jaquio and Baron Spider just make sure you don’t hit the red glowing orbs that’ll give you something that’ll give the boss the advantage or make them harder to kill.

Looking before leaping in Ninja Gaiden I will make the game cake

Ninja Gaiden I is full of pitfalls and areas that you have to either wait to jump over or just jump to get to in order to proceed. Man, I’ve fallen into my fair share of those pits but I found that the secret lies in just waiting to see what your enemies are going to do first. If you’re trying to get across to the other side of a platform and you see your enemy coming toward you.

The first thing you’re probably thinking is to get across before they land on you thereby knocking you off the platform but what I suggest you do is wait; let them jump off so you’ll have uninterrupted access to a platform without getting knocked off or having to do “extra” stuff just to get to the platform you want.

You’ll see a lot of these crevasses on Stage 2 and all throughout the level, looking before you leap will ensure that you don’t fall in the pit and as long as you exercise some patience (key).

If you’ve had no luck trying to find any of the original Ninja Gaiden games then you might be interested in the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy collection, it comes with a password option that’ll save your place in the game across all 3 games. Click here to check it out or you can get the originals here


The Ninja Gaiden games NES have provided a lot of unique challenges for gamers throughout the years but each one has a tell if you know how to approach them and decipher them like Ninja Gaiden II is all about hitting the red glowing orbs at a distance so as to get the right jitsu for the job or for the level.

Ninja Gaiden 3 is practically handing you the key to beating it which lies in the ninjitsu you get before you get it, and Ninja Gaiden I is just simply telling you to look before you leap when as you’re progressing through the levels. If you have any questions regarding my post then please leave me a message and I’ll get back to you. Thank you and Happy gaming.

Razer GameStore


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