Ninja Gaiden Shadow

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North American box art.

Ninja Gaiden Shadow is a scrolling platform hack-and-slash developed by Natsume and published by Tecmo for the Game Boy and released in 1991. It is the sixth game in the Ninja Gaiden series, and is meant to be a prequel to the first NES game, Ryu is trying to defeat the evil Emperor Gulf, a servant of Jaquio.


I never played this game when it was popular. Instead, I saw it on a list of the best Game Boy games and played it in an emulator. It took me a couple tries, but I finally beat it on 2017-08-02.


I do not own the game, but I have beaten it.


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4 5 5 5 3

Best Version: Game Boy

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The game has decent graphics and sound for Game Boy.
  • There is a good amount of variety among the enemies, bosses, and level design.
  • In the brief time you have, the game presents a good challenge.


  • The plot is pretty dull.
  • With only 5 levels, and the first being fairly easy, the game is over before you know it.
  • So much from the original game engine has been cut, it feels like a hollow game. You can't wall jump, there are no cut-scenes between levels, and Ryu has only a single ninja art (the manual explains it by saying he hasn't yet learned the rest).


  • The North American release didn't even bother to create new box art, and European release even kept the same title as their NES release despite the games being entirely different. This no doubt tricked a lot of kids into thinking something they were getting the full game.


Box Art






Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Ninja Gaiden Shadow
Japanese 忍者龍剣伝GB 摩天楼決戦 Ninja Ryu Ken Den GB Matenro Kessen Legend of the Ninja Dragon Sword GB: Skyscraper Showdown


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