%%@@# O@o%%%%# @OO%%#% O@O%o@ @@O%@ %#O%%@ @#%%%%%%%%@O#%%%%%@ %#%%%%@ %@%%%O O@%%%%@ O@%%%%%%%%%%%%@#%%%%@% #%%%@ @%%%%@ o%%%O@O %o%%%%%%%%O@@oo#%%%%@ #@@ #%%%%O OO@ @%%%%%%#O @%%%%oo @## o@@O@# O#%%O#O #%%%O@ @o%O #%%%%%# #%%%O@%#O@@#%@%%%@#@ %%%o#O#@@ @%%%%%%%#@#%%%%@%### #%%%O @%%%%%# @%%%@#o%%%%#@%%%%%@o#%%%o%%%%%@ O%%%%%%%%O#%%%%#o%%%##%%%%%# %#%%%%%%o#@ #%%%@O%%%%%##O%%%%# O%%%%%#%%%%@@%%#@@%%%%@%%%%###%%%##o%%%%@ @Oo%%%%% O#o%%O%%O%%%%##@%%%O O%%%%O@#%%%%@@%%#@#O%%@#%%%%@@o%%#@ O%%%%# @ @@%%%%%@o%%%%#o@%%%# @%%%@ @%%%%@ @%%%o @%%%%%%%# %O%%%@%%%%@ O%%%%O o@#@o@o%%%%%%O#@%%o#% o@%%@ @%%%@ @%%%@ @%%# @%%%%#@ o#%%%%%o @%%%@ #@O%%%%#@# ##@ o%@@ O@#O %O@#O @@ @O@@@ O#@@ %@@ @@@@@# Shinobi F A Q / Walkthrough By:FeLLi FeL _____________________________________________________________________________ --------------------------------- ----- VERSION HISTORY ----- --------------------------------- Version 1.2 | March 5, 2003 Corrected some minor errors. Many thanks to Newtype for submitting Super and Hard mode boss strategies. Version 1.1 | February 3, 2003 Wow, it's been awhile. Sorry for the long delay, folks. Let me tell you that the wait has been worth it. The guide is totally complete with all the locations of the Oboro Coins written down, and tons of other stuff. Check it out in the Appendix section! I also reformatted the guide and did a proofread through it. Whew, it's been a lot of work. I'm proud. =) I want to give my cordial thanks to David for helping me out. Yay! Version 1.0 | December 2, 2002 The basic walkthrough for all stages is complete. As far as I can see, you have the necessary tools to help you complete the game on Normal. I will update whenever there is a need to until it is fully complete. That doesn't mean it will be done within the next week or even close. If you are familiar with my work, then you know that it takes a LONG time before I am completely done. Please be patient. Your patience will pay off. I guarantee it. If you find any grammar errors or awkward sentences, don't tell me about them. I'll proofread the guide another time. _____________________________________________________________________________ C O N T E N T S -=-=-=-=-=-=-=- 01. Introduction 02. Story 03. Game Basics Controls Overview 04. General Tips 05. Stage Guide 06. Appendix Oboro Coin Locations Bonus Stuff 07. Outro Legal Junk Contributor Credits Special Thanks Closing | | -+-\________________--------------------------------------_______________/-+- | \ 01. Introduction / | -+-/________________--------------------------------------_______________\-+- | | Have you seen my socks? I last saw them on my feet, but after I inserted the brand new Shinobi disk in my purring PS2, they suddenly vanished! There I was sitting there, sock-less and cold, and pondering what could have happened to them. Finally, I have come to the conclusion that, perchance, Shinobi may have knocked them off. After all, it's not every day, week, month, or even year that you get to see a 2D-based franchise, which has been absent for the past seven or so years, don a whole new mask and blossom into a 3D world filled with twitching life and breath-taking graphics. SEGA's prized franchise is finally back; this time taking full advantage of Playstation2's "Emotions Engine" and exploding into a work of art. What is Shinobi? It is not surprising that one would ask such a question, considering that the very first game of the franchise predates the Mesozoic era. At its core Shinobi had always been a straightforward action beat 'em up--gameplay which was strictly centered around 2D movement and attacks. SEGA knew that with the advent of 3D games Shinobi's main foundation wouldn't appeal to the new generation of gamers. They needed style. They needed gore. It was time to elevate the franchise to new heights. And opportunity knocked, in the form of the PS2's powerful hardware and unanimous popularity. Game production began apace. Now seven years after the last Shinobi graced the Sega Saturn, a new generation Shinobi rose from the ashes to capture a new legion of fans. Without completely departing from its main formula, Shinobi remains as a pure action, kill everything type game that oozes with style and beauty. The game puts you in the boots of young Hotsuma, the leader of the notorious but disbanded Oboro Clan. With only revenge set on his mind, Hotsuma hopes to find the one responsible for the death of his comrades. And so for the millionth time in video game history, we join our protagonist on a journey driven by vengeance to settle his vendettas. | | -+-\________________--------------------------------------_______________/-+- | \ 02. Story / | -+-/________________--------------------------------------_______________\-+- | | The following was taken from the instruction manual, word-for-word. Raised together within the Oboro Clan, Hotsuma and Moritsune were seldom apart during their youth. Being younger of the two, Hotsuma looked up to Moritsune, and considered his older brother to be a superior warrior. Eventually, the Oboro Clan commandment was revealed to the two boys after they discovered Akujiki, the sword that would be used in the ritual to decide the clan's leader. The commandment deems that the next clan leader must be determined by a duel to the death between the eldest clan heirs--in this case, Moritsune and Hotsuma. Aware of their destiny, the brothers trained incessantly, instructed by their foster parent, Kobushi. 10 years have passed as the brothers refined their techniques and honed their senses. The duel occurred beneath a full moon as cherry blossom billowed in the wind. Not long after, a massive earthquake struck Tokyo, and a mysterious Golden Palace appear in the center of the city. With the appearance of the palace came the arrival of a self-proclaimed sorcerer who summoned Hellspawn to wreak havoc upon the city. Capital members were reported dead, and the city's residents became paralyzed with fear. With the Oboro Clan ravaged and Tokyo on the verge of collapse, Hotsuma places himself at the heart of the chaos, determined to reach the mysterious Golden Palace and avenge the death of his clan. | | -+-\________________--------------------------------------_______________/-+- | \ 03. Game Basics / | -+-/________________--------------------------------------_______________\-+- | | The single coolest feature in the entire game is Hotsuma's scarf. The physics are viscerally striking, especially the way it flows with every movement. Man, I'm so impressed. You better g'damn believe that this was the ONLY thing that kept me coming back for more. Anyway, this section is pretty long, but everything contained within this section is for your own good especially if you don't have the manual. Plus you never know when you may find something interesting. --= Controls =-- D-Pad - Switch among three different types of ninjutsu Left Analog Stick - Move Hotsuma around Right Analog Stick - Rotate camera view Circle Button - * Jump or double jump * Confirm selection on certain screens Cross Button - * Confirm selections * Stealth-dash Triangle Button - * Cancel selections * Throw Shuriken Square Button - Attack with Akujiki L1 Button - Quick camera view change L2 Button - Use ninjutsu R1 Button - Target nearest enemy R2 Button - Switch lock-on targets START Button - Pause game SELECT Button - Not used --= Overview =-- Shinobi's core gameplay holds true to its predecessors. It revolves mainly around employing some super ninja moves and beating the crap out of your opponents. (In fact, with one included feature you are encouraged to kill as many enemies as possible.) The only difference is that you now work with a fully adjustable 3D camera, which follows the action quite well. Shinobi can be compared to another of SEGA's recent underrated masterpiece, Gungrave. They both star dark and moody bad-asses. They both involve a lot of killing. They both overall just kick a lot of butt! The basic feel of the game is like this: you go through eight stages; each stage is made up of two "levels". So, if you multiply 8 by 2, you get 16! That makes sixteen levels of blood-spewing enjoyment! There are no puzzles or silly village people with whom to talk; just pure, unadulterated action. There are, however, barriers called "kekkais" (which I believe carries the same meaning) you need to release in order to progress through the level. You must either kill all the enemies that appear, or destroy locking mechanisms I tend to call sealing devices dispersed throughout the area. Nicely colored kekkais represent those which you still need to dispel. Black ones form once you pass through certain "checkpoints". These black kekkais prevent any unnecessary backtracking should you somehow get lost and forget which direction you need to go to reach the level's end. Shinobi still hasn't lost its lust for making your trek through a level very frustrating. Shinobi is rife with pitfalls, and battles with hordes of ninjas and alien creatures should be expected. You fight a foreign entity known as Hellspawn, or shikigami, which comes in all shapes and sizes, each type of enemy having its own strengths and weaknesses. Every level concludes with a tough boss. The boss is usually one of your undead former comrades (how ironic). Defeating the boss allows you to advance to the next level. Die, and you just have to try again and again. The most frustrating part is that if you happen to kill yourself en route to the boss, you need to start all over from the beginning of the level. Hotsuma's mind is sharp like the blade of his clan's heirloom, so make use of his wits, techniques and ninja reflexes to overcome each and every level. Good luck; who knows what destiny has in store for you. INDICATORS -=-=-=-=-=- You may notice that the screen is divided into several interfaces: * Life Gauge : This appears in the lower left corner of the screen. Your life is represented by ten flames. If they all get extinguished, you die. * Shuriken Bar : The row of daggers off to the right represents the number of Shurikens you still have remaining. You will get fewer than what you would normally begin with if you restart a boss fight. Use them wisely; you never know when they are really needed. * Slash Gauge : This keeps track of Akujiki's current appetite. Akujiki gets hungry fast and that's represented by the depletion of each red piece. Once it's empty, Akujiki begins feeding on its wielder. * Ninjutsu : Hotsuma has mastered the art of using ninjutsu, so you immediately have three different types at his disposal. It is located next to the Life and Slash Gauge. You can choose from Ka'en (fire), Kamaitachi (air missiles) and Raijin (makes you invincible). * Tate Icons : The number of orbs represents the number of enemies that are in the vicinity. The orbs burn as the enemies are defeated. ITEMS -=-=-= While playing the game, you may encounter a few items scattered around the levels. Here are what they are and what they do: * Yin : Red balls that are used to feed Akujiki. Can be obtained from defeated enemies. You get one Yin for each enemy you kill. Certain enemies give two. * Yang : White balls that restore one slot of your life gauge. Can be obtained from defeated enemies. * Shurikens : Ninja daggers that are used to throw at enemies. Shurikens can momentarily paralyze enemies. These are effective against only those who can actually be hit by them. Very effective against all aerial opponents. * Makimono : A special item that allows you to use ninjutsu. There are two of these on almost every level. You always begin the level or a boss fight initially with one. * Oboro Coin : A gold coin with the Oboro Clan emblem on it. Collect as many of these as possible to unlock goodies. You have to COMPLETE the level to confirm that you found these coins. STEALTH-DASH -=-=-=-=-=-=- This move was designed to befuddle. Basically, Hotsuma dashes to wherever you direct him and leaves a ghostly image of himself at the last place he's been. This convinces his enemies that this double is actually him, so they would go to it and attack, giving the real him enough room to effortlessly dispose of them. For the first few levels, your silhouette can easily fool them. As you get to harder levels, it without a doubt becomes harder to deceive your opponents. However, no enemy is able to outstrip your speed. Therefore, the same strategy (which is to get behind the enemy and attack) can be recycled over and over again and still work like a charm. To move behind your enemy, target and stand in front of him, then press left or right and stealth-dash simultaneously. Hotsuma is very athletic, as he can double jump and stealth-dash whilst in the air, but only once! As long as Hotsuma touches something solid before returning to the ground, he can continue to stealth-dash for as long as he wants. And here's a tip you should never forget (though it's common sense, I tend to overestimate the intelligence of some of my readers): You should ALWAYS push the analog stick in the direction in which YOU want Hotsuma to move. Let me remind you that although this is a 3D game, SEGA implemented 2D controls on a 3D plane. The controls respond somewhat differently depending on where the camera is. If you want to move to Hotsuma's upper-left, then move the stick in a 45-degree angle to the, well, upper-left. Huzzah! TATE -=-=- A Tate (pronounced ta-tay) occurs when Hotsuma manages to strike four or more enemies before the first enemy crumbles. When a Tate occurs, you're rewarded with a sweet ass cut-scene of Hotsuma sheathing his sword (or other variations), and as he does your enemies literally separate into pieces. You can even Tate bosses, but that's not as easy as it sounds. COMBOS -=-=-=- There are a few attacks which you can string together to form a devastating combo. Hotsuma's basic sword combo is pretty effective by itself, but if you add a touch of variation you can make it much more powerful. The following are other moves which Hotsuma can use to eviscerate his foes. THUNDER KICK Controls: Back + Square Hotsuma kicks his opponent to break the opponent's guard. This should be used only to break his guard; don't use it to down your opponent! ROUNDHOUSE SLASH Controls: 360-degree turn on analog stick + Square Just as the controls indicate, Hotsuma does a 360-degree swipe with Akujiki. This attack is his most powerful normal attack. It is performed on the third or fourth slash. The drawback is that Hotsuma becomes vulnerable for a short period of time after using this move. AIR COMBO (OR AIR TATE) Controls: R1 + Cross + Square What this does is that it keeps Hotsuma aloft for as long as there are still enemies present and within his reach. He dashes to the nearest enemy and strikes it until it drops dead, then he continues on to the next. This is very, very effective against a slew of aerial opponents. Target a nearby enemy, jump up, then dash, attack, dash, attack, etc. Continue this button pattern until all the enemies in the vicinity are vanquished. Simple, clean and easy. No more will you have to tediously jump up and slash to eliminate enemies again. SPECIAL ATTACKS -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Hotsuma is capable of pulling off special attacks: both melee and long-range. To execute a special melee attack, you must first have a surplus of Yin in the Slash Gauge because performing this attack burns 'em up like gas. Have an enemy targeted, then press and hold Square to charge up Akujiki. While you charge it, you cannot move nor receive any damage. Otherwise the process will be interrupted and will not be executed properly. If it is pulled off successfully, this move could easily penetrate a straight line of enemies and instantly finish off the weaklings. To perform the long-range attack, called the Shuriken Burst, you must have an abundant Shurikens. This attack uses not one, not two, but eight Shurikens at once. Double jump into the air and press Triangle. Hotsuma remains aloft for a split instant and ejects a dozen or so Shurikens in all directions. This attack does not kill; it merely paralyzes and weakens whomever the Shurikens hit. On a full supply of Shurikens, you can use this attack a total of three times. WALL RUN -=-=-=-=- One of the coolest features in the game. To wall run jump toward a wall, and Hotsuma automatically sinks his spikes into them for a firm hold. His shoes were specially designed to cling to walls, so he could run wildly around without falling off. Some levels limit which walls you can and cannot climb. Other levels were designed to give you wall-running bliss. Usually, walls you can cling to are lighter in color, and many a time you can utilize your brain cells to determine whether a wall is climbable or not, given the situation. AKUJIKI -=-=-=-= Your primary companion is a living and breathing sword named Akujiki, which literally translates into "evil eat" in Japanese. When you begin the game, Akujiki's powers aren't realized yet. It's not until the beginning of the second stage that its powers are finally revealed. When it's awakened, you need to constantly feed it with the souls of creatures you slay because if you don't take life, then it take yours to make up for the deficiency. Each time an enemy perishes at Akujiki's blade, a red glowing ball called Yin sprouts from the corpse. Akujiki resonates with it and eats it up. A single Yin refills one portion of the Slash Gauge. If you are in dire need of some Yin, the best way to save yourself is to execute a Tate. By performing a Tate, you not only witness an extremely cool and violent sequence, you can also completely refill the Slash Gauge! You may think that Akujiki is a useless sword since all it does is drain your life when it's unsatisfied, but you have never been so wrong. Akujiki is the very tool you need to win bosses. It feeds on souls not only to appease its appetite, but to also increase its cutting power. By killing enemies Akujiki builds up its power. This technique is called Zan. Akujiki's power is reflected by three colors: blue, purple and fuchsia. Common sense dictates that the last color represents its final and most powerful state. When in this state, it can cut anything asunder and deal three times more damage than it normally can when in a neutral state. The downside to this is that Akujiki maintains a charged status for only a very short period of time. It doesn't take much for it to revert to a neutral state again. Receiving damage while it's charged is one of these causes; doing nothing with it is the other. At any rate, making full use of its power is the key to conquering Shinobi. RANKING -=-=-=-= At the end of every stage, you get a screen showing your ranking. These are the components that determine your ranking: * Time : The time you took to complete the stage; boss battle time included. * Kill : Percent of enemies you killed. * Tate Points : Points accumulated based on the number of Tates you were able to perform. * Boss Points : Points are based on the number of attacks you used to defeat the boss. The fewer, the better. * Makimono : The number of Makimono (scrolls) remaining in the stage. Your score will be better if you do not use any. * No Damage : Points given only if you complete the stage without incurring any damage. * Total : Totaled points. * Rank : You will be graded based on the scores of the above categories. You can get a C, B, A, or S rank with "S" rank being the best. See Appendix section for ranking guide. | | -+-\________________--------------------------------------_______________/-+- | \ 04. General Tips / | -+-/________________--------------------------------------_______________\-+- | | Here are a few things that I think should be discussed, so that you may become a better Shinobi player. If you have anything to add, feel free to send me whatever's on your mind. The true way to play Shinobi is to crush everything you come across. Akujiki was created for this reason. Instead of allowing you to chicken out and flee the scene, you're forced to quench Akujiki's thirst for carnage by killing enemies. Even though this is true, you don't have to fight EVERY enemy that comes your way. Use your ninja intuition and judge the situation. If you're low on Yang, you want to fight minimal battles. If you're low on Yin, you want to fight more. If you're low on both, that's always a tough situation to get out of unless you have mastered using Tate. For any sticky situation using Tate at the right time saves your skin. You do have to remember, though, that Tate is possible only when there are four or more enemies on screen. No less. Tate instantly mutilates all enemies on screen and fully restores your Slash Gauge. It works to your advantage on both accounts. To execute a Tate every time means that you have to defeat the enemies pretty quickly. Button-mashing is not the smartest way to accomplish that. You have to be able to beat down your opponents with as little hits as possible. Ground enemies are always more vulnerable in the back. All enemies are most vulnerable if you attack them AS they attack you. Knowing these key points will greatly improve your game. - - - Taking advantage of Akujiki will greatly increase your chances of survival. In order to defeat tough enemies and bosses, you must charge up Akujiki. By doing so you can inflict more damage upon the enemy. As I mentioned in the basics, each enemy Akujiki slays increases its cutting power. Its power is indicated by the color of the blade. Usually it takes about five enemies to build its power to maximum. By then you can kill regular enemies in one hit and bosses in a few. - - - Whether you agree or not Shurikens are a vital tool and contribute a lot to the gameplay. Don't waste them like you do with your parent's money. =) I was watching my friend play the other day and noticed that he used five to six Shurikens at one time on ONE enemy. Bear in mind that if a Shuriken can affect the enemy, ONE Shuriken is enough! I should also suggest that you use your last resort, a Shuriken Burst, only if the screen is overcrowded with enemies. You have to remember that each time you use Shuriken Burst, a whole bundle is expended! - - - Using stealth-dash should be second nature by now. You easily have the upper- hand by making use of it. It's like a self-defense mechanism. None of your foes can match your agility, so use it wisely and to your advantage. Don't do some nonsensical stealth-dashing only to impress yourself or others. Believe me, you are not a good player. It only seems that way. - - - Use your Makimonos very sparingly. Like the Shuriken Burst, use one only if you are backed up into a corner, or if you're near the end of the level and you don't give a damn. On another note, if you want to conserve your Makimonos for the boss but always end up dying and losing all of them, you can simply press START and retry BEFORE Hotsuma falls to the floor and you get the Game Over screen. You will reset the battle with a full inventory of Makimonos! - - - Ka'en ninjutsu does three times more damage when you use it on your opponent from the back. That's the most powerful offensive ninjutsu you have. - - - Xybreed's advice to anyone who wants to beat Super: If you can assure that you will not be hit and you can kill almost any enemy in one hit, play Moritsune, otherwise play as Joe Musashi. Also, don't bother with Joe's Shurikens, unless you use them for my "Cheap Trick against Benisuzume", which is described in the respective strategy section (4-B boss). - - - All in all, have fun...or try anyway! | | -+-\________________--------------------------------------_______________/-+- | \ 05. Stage Guide / | -+-/________________--------------------------------------_______________\-+- | | You're thinking that why would anyone in her right mind make a walkthrough--a long one at that--for such a straightforward game. The answer is quite simple. Even though you are the consummate Shinobi master, there still are a lot who are new and completely struggling with the stages themselves. Although there aren't very many, I aim to help those few breeze through the game and fully enjoy Shinobi as the epic masterpiece that it is. For those who don't need guidance on navigating through the levels, but are seeking some hints on how to defeat the enemies, your needs have been accommodated as well (though they aren't great tips). At the end of every level walkthrough, you will find addenda called "Level Notes". There I talk about the enemies found in the level. This guide is at your disposal, so I hope you use it well! NOTES: o Let me stress that this walkthrough wasn't designed to help you attain the coveted S-rank on every level! It just helps you get THROUGH the level. Some people just don't get it. o Oboro Coin locations are found in the APPENDIX section! o I obviously don't know all the official boss names. Thanks to my creative license, I came up with TOTALLY ORIGINAL (hyuk) names for some bosses. Really. I did. o If you guys were hoping to get a good read, be prepared to be disappointed. There's only so much you can jest about with a game whose game mechanics are limited to "jump and kill stuff". So it's purely a no-nonsense guide. |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 1-A | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| Although this is the very first level of the game, you will be able to jump right in on the action. This game is relentless when it comes to intense battles and out-of-your-goddamn-seat action. The streets are, for now, empty and quiet. Take this chance to acclimate to the controls, acquaint yourself with the walls, and above all, learn the art of Hotsuma's stealth-dash. You start out on the streets. Head forward, and the first batch of ninja scum appears. Simply kill everyone to dispel the kekkai (barrier) blocking the alley. Keep in mind that the same must be done for every kekkai you come across in the future. They can be broken either by eliminating all the enemies in the immediate area or by destroying special sealing devices, which you will see in later levels. Head through the alley and into the next area, where vicious rabid dogs cover every inch of the street. After picking up the Makimono floating above the debris, you may notice a row of kanji characters appear on the upper-right corner of the screen. This represents the number of enemies that are in the vicinity. Eliminate all the enemies in the alley ahead before the first enemy disappears to perform Hotsuma's signature Tate move. Everything else is simple stuff. Just follow the route. Once you reach the first unmanned tank firing projectiles at you, it's time to switch strategies. Plow through the enemies and head straight for the tank. Hop on top of the turret and begin whacking it. Don't stand next to the turret, or it will knock you off. In a few slashes, the tank will be history. Clean up the rest of the baddies to break the kekkai. This alley's equipped with vent-like things that intermittently spout streams of black gas that are harmful to the health. Wait for the mist to die off, then head past them or run along the walls above them. At the small maze of crumbled buildings, there is a small alley booby-trapped with those vents, but you could easily bypass them via the walls. At the end of the alley is a Makimono. If you peek around the corners and explore the other places, you may find other items of interest. Finally, to leave head toward the orange kekkai. Here three warriors pop out from the ground as you get near, so deal with them to release the kekkai. The path leads through a short alley occupied by some dogs and the usual. As you enter the last area, head to your right to find another Oboro Coin in an alcove. Now you have to deal with another tank. After crushing it, the second wave of enemies appears. You must defeat them in order to break the kekkai at the end of the street. Afterward, hop over the ledge located along the east buildings and into an alley, where you will find the last Oboro Coin hidden among some debris. Entering the slum parking lot, Hotsuma is surprised by a sudden ray of light being shined upon him. Enter... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: HELICOPTER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is a normal helicopter outfitted with a bunch of missiles. It also comes equipped with side winders. There's not much of a strategy to discuss here. Keep up with the chopper until it stops. Then get under it and slash at its underside. This is the easiest way to destroy this unsound helicopter. Don't mind the ground troops. If you try to attack the "nose", its fast, spinning propeller blades will slice you up. You can deal double the damage by attacking a missile as it is released from its compartment. As an interesting note, you can destroy the missiles as they come at you by timing them right and slashing with Akujiki. In no time at all this aircraft will go down with minimal effort. ============================================================================= LEVEL NOTES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies ~~~~~~~~~ This is the introductory level, which allows you to get used to the controls and the scheme of things. As such, the enemies just give you a taste of what you will be going up against in the later levels. Most of the enemies are very weak. The toughest enemy is the tank, which you can safely destroy by hitting the part which connects the turret. The dogs are hardly worth your effort. The normal blue samurai warriors are one type of enemy you will be seeing throughout the entire game in different variations. Heck, you pretty much will be seeing the same (sometimes different) enemies, except they become progressively stronger. Their increased strength and abilities are usually denoted by a change in color and/or extra equipment. |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 1-B | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| This level takes place on a series of high ground. Pitfalls are abound. In addition, you will be introduced to your first aerial opponent. It doesn't pose too much of a threat unless you let it live for too long. In the same area, on a high rooftop off to the left is a Makimono. To snag this bad boy, you need to travel to where the sealing device is and use the nearby wall to wall run and get you across without falling into the abysmal pits. Afterward, destroy the sealing device to proceed. In the next area, don't jump down the steps. Cling to the walls instead and use them to avoid the hell-geysers. Plus it's the only way you will be able to reach the ledge on the other side. Simply refrain from going down the steps at the alley entrance and jump toward the wall. Alternate between the left and right walls and continue along the bare walls to get past the columns on each side. Shortly afterward, you encounter your first wall-crawler. Right now, they can hardly be considered dangerous. They just throw Shurikens to stun you, and if you stay by the wall at one spot for too long, they can hurt you somewhat. Simply paralyze them with your own Shuriken and slash them. The following open area is where the first Oboro Coin of this level resides. It's on an isolated rooftop, which you can reach only by clinging to the walls and running around to it. Then just break the sealing device to head into the next alley. After coming out of that long alley, look to your right to find a high ledge with the second Oboro Coin sitting atop it. Hop on the wall and double jump, then dash to it. Now the rest of the way is pretty straightforward. The second Makimono to be found is resting on another rooftop separated from the rest. You won't see it until you reach the fourth or fifth kekkai. Again, use the wall to help you reach it. Your presence there will draw out some Hellspawn, so be careful! If you want to avoid the rest of the battles in the area, use the next wall; it leads you straight to the sealing device and in front of the kekkai. However, if you want a good ranking, you had better not chicken out! The final kekkai is reinforced with two sealing devices instead of the usual one. Expect to see this setup more often in the future. There can be as many as four in the same area. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: AOMIZUCHI ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your ultimate weapon is using his own attacks against him. Whenever he starts his attack, a blue light surrounds him for a brief moment. Then he rears back and lunges forward, covering a great distance in front of him. At the start of the fight, refrain from doing any drastic movements and slowly back up to the edge. He approaches you very slowly, so you have to wait. He has to come in moderately close range for this to work. Just as he is about to pierce your heart with a powerful stab attack, stealth-dash behind him or to the side. When he charges while you're standing near the edge, the momentum of his attack pushes him over the edge. Let me stress that you should never move the analog stick in his direction when you dodge, or dash backward. Each time he falls off the roof, about 1/8 of his life diminishes. Repeat this until he is left with the last bit of his health. Now it appears as if SEGA knew we would pull this trick off, so they decided that the last chunk of his health must be stolen by Hotsuma's own hands. Simply use Ka'en ninjutsu magic (fire) to finish him off. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [BOSS STRATEGIES FOR ALL MODES] Submitted by Newtype Ace Basic strategy: Stealth-dash to the side or behind him, but it doesn't work if he starts one thrust from his starting position and then immediately does a second thrust - he will push you towards your death if you don't move away, and he doesn't fall if you move away. The most effective thing to do when you see this is to jump once during his second thrust, and then when you're about to fall jump once again. When you're about to fall again, stealth-dash towards his back. That will certainly make him fall to the edge and is quite easier to do. Be watchful though because sometimes he doesn't do a second thrust right away but runs towards you. If he does this, just do nothing and wait for the thrust (he WILL do it whenever you're close to him). HARD (Moritsune): start with basic strategy. When he starts summoning his lackeys, fill up your Tate gauge to 4 and give him the final slash from behind him. One hit miracle. You could also use your shield while filling up your Tate gauge. HARD (Hotsuma): Same strategy as Moritsune and it's two-hit miracle this time unless it's a critical blow. SUPER (Joe): Start with basic strategy. But when he starts summoning distractions your job will be a lot harder coz it's very difficult for Joe to collect Tate points with his weak sword and even kill the boss with one slash. My strategy is to keep on making the boss fall over the edge by getting close to him and making him chase you to the edge. You'll need to do a lot of dashing to keep his lackeys from tracking down your movements. You can also use his attack to make him kill his own men which is very effective. If you find yourself cornered, just do a shuriken burst to cancel the opponents' moves. for the finishing blow, choose one: shuriken, shuriken burst, flame scroll. SUPER (Moritsune): Same as Hard /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ ============================================================================= LEVEL NOTES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies ~~~~~~~~~ This level introduces you to some aerial opponents. They are not too tough. The only thing worth noting is that they can spit fireballs. Even so, your health hardly budges when damaged. Nothing to worry about. A few slashes to the head usually finishes one off. |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 2-A | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| Akujiki has awakened. It now depends on you to satiate its craving for malice and blood. More details on that in the basics section. Remember that you can now take full advantage of Zan. The first area brings forth four warriors for you to deal with. Kill all of them to open up the kekkai. The following area is the same thing. Just go nuts and kill everything. The path that branches to the left, however, leads to a dog statue and a Shuriken lying in front of it. Going near it causes the statue to spring to life. This will happen much more often as you head deeper into the level. A formidable foe drops in on the arena ahead. Quite simply, attack him mainly from behind. He puts up quite a challenge, especially if this is your first time through. Dart away when he takes to the air. Don't stick around and let him crush you underfoot or shake up the ground. Defeating him opens the path to the next area. To obtain the Makimono floating above the last archway, double jump to the crest embedded in the center and kick off the crest to perform an extra double jump, then stealth-dash to the item to pocket it. After collecting the item, proceed to the platform ahead to face off against four fighters. Follow the path the rest of the way to do routine stuff: hacking enemies, breaking kekkais and moving toward the boss. In the area where there are three different ground levels, go to the highest level and stand near the two dog statues. Look out into the vista, toward the archway from which you came, and you will see the Oboro Coin floating in mid-air. Simply double jump and stealth-dash directly to it. That's the only one this level offers. The second Makimono is hidden inside a red, mini-house object here. Smash the one on the left when you enter the last area. Before you can move past the final kekkai, you must eliminate a pack of white mongrels and two bird warriors wielding huge spears. Only then will you be able to finally confront the boss of the level. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSSES: SHIROGANE & AKAGANE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Akagane (the girl) and Shirogane (the guy) form a fearsome duo. Akagane is the agile one, while Shirogane stays mostly in one place and swings his weapon over his head to create an oscillating blade that is always in constant motion. He can also stretch out his chain and hurl it in your direction. It could break through obstructions and has a reach of over a yard or two. Avoid getting close to him, or you will suffer terrible whiplash. Akagane, on the other hand, prefers close-range combat. The only time you should attack her is when she is about to perform an attack of her own. Even then, you must attack in moderation because she can break free and retaliate. Always be ready to dodge away. Though it may seem logical to remove Akagane first, you will have a better chance at surviving if you eliminate Shirogane. While it's hard to get past his weapon, it's not impossible. You can easily freeze him in place with a Shuriken. Afterward, quickly get up all in his face and deliver unrelenting pokes to his belly. He can't attack if you're too close, so he will try to run farther away from you. Therefore, you need to stealth-dash up to him to keep in his face with continued flurries of slashes. In the meantime, be on the look-out for Akagane. Akagane is much easier to deal with. Hotsuma's stealth-dash technique EASILY discombobulates her, giving you a wide opening to hack her up. However, most of the time, she appears to be unfazed by your attacks and could return a few attacks of her own. In any case, she still shouldn't be taken so lightly. If you don't eliminate either Shirogane or Akagane in time, they will come together and send out a slew of white mongrels to distract you. While you are busy dealing with those rabid dogs, they combine their powers to create a powerful fire ball. Once you hear Akagane yell out "Catch this!" be ready to move away, or be ready to be roasted. Keep in mind that you shouldn't totally ignore the dogs, or Akujiki will drain your waning health. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [BOSS STRATEGIES FOR HARD/SUPER] Submitted by Newtype Ace HARD (Moritsune): Wait for the dogs. Use Raijin (optional), make everybody gather up close to you and do Shuriken Burst (also optional), fill up Tate points to max, slash Akagane (one hit will most often do ^_^), and then slash Shirogane. Easy...oh, Shirogane might survive one slash if it's not critical. HARD (Hotsuma): Same strategy as Moritsune, but I believe you need to slash them a little more if you're not doing critical hits. SUPER (Joe): Run (dash if you like) back and forth above the fence on either side of the arena until the dogs show up, or keep doing Shuriken Bursts above the two (Shurikens can hurt them too). Just make sure you dash before you land or Akagane's retaliation might hit you. When the dogs come out, get close to Akagane and Shirogane and do a Shuriken Burst to stop them from doing their combination attack, then attack the dogs while dashing like crazy to prevent Shirogane from tracking your movements. You can use Raijin now if you like, just make sure you land two or three hits on Akagane to hurt her or kill her (most preferable pattern is: dash towards a dog, slash once, then dash again, then slash, and so forth until it dies). When you kill Akagane, Shirogane will be easy. Just keep throwing Shurikens at him while waiting for the dogs, or practice on how you would slash him when you fill your Tate gauge. The best way to be able to land a sword slash at him is to hit him with a Shuriken first so that he'll stop swinging his weapon and roll somewhere else. So stop in front of him when he's about to stand up, then slash him and follow him to where he's escaping while slashing (you can land two or maybe even three hits on him before your Tate gauge fades if you're lucky). Keep repeating the pattern until he dies. Another strategy is to run towards him then jump or double jump, lock-on and slash (but sometimes, he gets to hit you first). SUPER (Moritsune): Use same strategy as in Hard. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIES] Submitted by ShadowNemises The girl Shirogane is easy to beat if you wait for the dogs to appear and Tate her. I have also found that they both occasionally double over and yell "No!" I'm assuming they're fighting the curse of the talisman, but it gives you an opportunity. I suggest taking her out first by dancing around the edge and dodging the fire ball, which also hurts the devil dogs (go figure). Akagane the boy is easy after she's dead, just shadow dash in and give a slash before he roles away. They both freeze for about three seconds if you hit them with a shuriken. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ Submitted by Christopher Richards During the stage, if you search all the small red houses like things you can find different items that are useful. One such one is another Makimono. I found that saving the two Makimonos, the one you picked up and the one you start with, for the boss helps out a lot. When you get into the battle, all you have to do is do a stealth-dash as soon as they appear and press L2 twice using both Makimonos with the bursting inferno (the fire attack). This right- off-the-bat kills the girl and leaves the guy almost drained. Now all you have to do is hold down the R1 lock on for him since there are no other enemies in the area and use stealth-dash to get up into his face. This turns the battle into a very short battle. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ Submitted by Zallonzio Immediately at the beginning of the fight walk up to Akagane and Shirogane as she is moving away from him. Use the Ka'en (fire ninjutsu) it will kill Akagane right-off-the-bat and take out more than half Shirogane's life. Then use Kamaitachi (Shoots out blue waves from the sword) to quickly finish off Shirogane. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ ============================================================================= LEVEL NOTES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies ~~~~~~~~~ A new addition to the Hellspawn family are these cute, little white pups that can tear you apart if you're not careful. They're no different from the dogs from Stage 1-A. They just might be a tad faster. Not too far into the level, you will also encounter the first type of bird warrior. These guys usually like to drop in and create a tremendous shockwave on their landing. They are one of the toughest enemies in the game, so exercise caution when dealing with them. They can sustain a great amount of damage if you continue to attack them from the front. However, they instantly bite the dust upon a few lethal blows from the back. |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 2-B | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| The normal samurai guys that you could easily mutilate in two seconds before have now been replaced by heavily trained warriors who can block your attacks and attack you with much more aggressiveness. They carry shield-like things with them, so you need to slice them up from behind now. As if they weren't annoying enough, the winged pumpkin-head creatures have seeped into this level and spread themselves deep into the shrine area. In the beginning area you will encounter the newly enhanced samurai guys, now attired in brand-spankin' new green jumpsuits. As I said before, stealth-dash behind them and attack them from the back. Their backsides are more susceptible to attacks of all kinds. The first Makimono is in the area in which you begin the level. You have to jump over the wall on the left into a small secluded area. After dealing with the pumpkin-heads that appear, break the small houses to unveil it. Just further past the kekkai is an arena, where a few winged creatures will descend on you like flies to rotten meat. No big deal. Flick them off like flies and continue to the next area, where you come to a building in the center. If you are in need of Yang, you can jump the wall to come to another secluded area, but beware: they're not freebies. Hunt around for the sealing devices and take down any groups who dare to oppose you (and there are plenty, believe me). There are three sealing devices in total in this area. Destroy all three to get past the kekkai. Follow the serenely quiet path to meet some resistance halfway to the second platform. The path ends with a pink kekkai and three sealing devices floating RIGHT in front of it. Shame on you if you can't figure out what to do here. The kekkai of the next area is powered by four sealing devices. Eventually you reach an area dominated by pitfalls and enemies who decide to attack en masse. On the other side is a platform with a Makimono resting on top of it. You can reach this side of the area via the right-hand wall (the white part). (It's on your right if you center the camera on the Makimono.) Beware, the platform on which it sits is very thin. This means that if you overdo it on the stealth-dashing or double jumping part, you may completely miss it and plunge into the darkness. Slash the four sealing devices here and move on. Run under the last few Japanese archways to enter a clearing. The steps leading up to the shrine is secured by the final kekkai. Defeat all the enemies here: three to four flying things and three bird warriors. Now you can finally rescue your beloved Kobushi-sama, but wait...! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: HELL HELICOPTER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A helicopter back from hell...with a vengeance! Beating it involves the same strategy from the first encounter: simply stay under it and slash its underside. You may notice that it hovers slightly faster than before and that it doesn't remain in one spot for an extended period of time. Deal with the demon warriors as they come, but always follow it and stay under it, or you will drown in a shower of bullets. Keep attacking its belly, and you'll permanently down it. ============================================================================= LEVEL NOTES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies ~~~~~~~~~ A new breed of ninja warriors make their first appearance here. They are much more aggressive and are able to block many of your attacks. Still they won't be able to discern which is the real you: the shadow or the guy behind them? As is the strategy for any enemy, just dash behind them and they won't even know what hit them until it's too late. However, it can spell trouble if you are ambushed by too many at one time. |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 3-A | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| At once, Hotsuma is greeted by a pack of wild, armored dogs who hold sharp blades in their mouths. One would wonder how they are able to avoid slicing their mouth open. Interestingly, these samurai hounds are deft with the sword. Don't take them too lightly. You will deeply regret it. The best and only strategy is to stay calm and dodge them as they strike. Since their sword can block most of your attacks, they are invulnerable to your attacks from the front. They take damage only if you attack their backside. Usually one slash, if not two, does the trick. After the first pack is dispatched, a second drops in. Skinning these mutts opens up the first kekkai in the area. In the alcove across from the kekkai is the first Makimono to be found in this level. Head to the long corridor to encounter a group of fierce fighters--enemies you've bumped into from the previous levels. Nothing too tricky here. Slash, dodge, slash, dodge, etc. The usual stuff. Jump through the hole in the ground to drop to the lower level. In the next area, you encounter a motley gang of ninja warriors and those damn dogs! Again, the usual stuff here. Your top priority is getting rid of the dogs first, as they can be a nuisance if they live for too long. Again, destroying two waves is required to break the kekkai here. If you're needing some Yang, there is one behind the metal cover. Just swing through it, and Akujiki will cut through the thing like a hot knife through butter. Before you can ascend through the hole above you, you need to tend to another group of enemies. I'm not worried, are you? On the upper level, use the wall to link you to the other side, or do a daring "double jump then stealth-dash" technique to traverse the wide gap. After dissolving the kekkai, you arrive in an area in which there are several goodies to be obtained. On the platform to the far north is an Oboro Coin. Below it is the second Makimono. Use the wall on the left side and run along it until you reach the disfigured part. From there double jump and dash to the platform on which a Shuriken is resting. Then leap to where the Oboro Coin resides. Getting the Makimono should be a cinch from here. Simply drop below. At the very bottom level, two fairly large groups of enemies are guarding the kekkai. After you destroy the first, the second one comes to replace them. When you reach the debris at the end of the corridor, you find that the only way to go is up. Well, up you go. Ascend the second hole when the spraying of the black smoke ceases. The next area is occupied by a bunch of those annoying vents--the very same from Stage 1. Luckily, you can easily sneak past them. Move forward only when they have stopped with the hissing noise. The following areas have an army of evil minions waiting for a prey. Only watch out for the dogs. The second Oboro Coin can be found in the area before the tank, behind a pair of metal coverings. After dismantling the tank, drop down two holes and you will reach the final area before the boss. The final kekkai is under heavy security. You will have to slog through a series of enemies before it is dispelled. Destroying the tank before the samurai warriors should be viewed as top priority, so head straight to the back and whack the tank, ignoring the oncoming warriors. You need to eliminate about four groups of enemies, all of which don't include those unusually strong mutts thankfully. However, the upcoming boss battle will surely make up for that. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: OLD MAN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This old man is guarded by those sword-wielding mongrels, making this battle a bit tougher. Hell, which battle isn't tough? Oh yeah, those helicopter ones. Anyway, the boss himself isn't tough. The guy is a damn chicken wuss. He doesn't attack you per se. Instead, he sics his pets on you; he can summon them at will. If you approach him in an attempt to cover Akujiki with his blood, he curls up and retreats into his portable Chinese take-out box thing and teleports to another part of the battle area. His craven antics alone are what make this battle so frustrating. His pets are way more aggressive around him, so stick to the walls and keep a move on to avoid getting mauled to death. Head to where the old man is, jump over his line of mongrels and attack him straight on. You can manage to squeeze in only one slash before he teleports, leaving you alone with the pups. Instead of sticking around, take to the walls and move away. Shortly after he disappears, his dogs will follow. Here's the main problem: whenever the old man receives any blows, he uses his healing power to restore his health, albeit slowly, but steadily. If you allow him to revitalize himself completely every time, you will get nowhere in this battle. To prevent this, you need to spring into action every time he appears. Set up camp in the center of the room and keep an eye out on all four ends by rotating the camera. As soon as you spot a larger and thicker puff of smoke begin to appear, swiftly move in that direction. Jump over his soldiers and go for a full frontal assault. Attacking his backside is useless, since the giant container protects his ass. Repeat this method until you reduced his health to a moderately small amount. Then use Ka'en ninjutsu magic. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [BOSS STRATEGIES FOR HARD/SUPER] Submitted by Newtype Ace HARD (Moritsune): Use Raijin (optional). Make the dogs gather up close to you and do a Shuriken Burst (also optional); just make sure you don't hit the old geezer or he'll run away when he recovers. Then get face-to-face with the fool and kill him with ONE blow (Beware, he can recover his HP when you're not attacking him...BAH! Who cares!) HARD (Hotsuma): Same with Moritsune but takes two or three hits this time (one if critical). SUPER (Joe): Same as Hotsuma, only this time, you can't paralyze them with Shuriken. SUPER (Moritsune): Same as Hard. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIES] Submitted by ConspiracyMan First, run towards him and run around in circles until all his dogs are around you, then do a Shuriken burst (press triangle while double jumping). This should effectively paralyze all of his dogs, then you can take them out with a few swipes; that should charge up Akujiki quite a bit. Now you can slash him (the boss) for a very large amount of damage. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ Submitted by Bryan Thompson As you know the mongrels may be the first thing you see. Instead of dodging them though take all of them head on. Every time you kill one, Akujiki becomes stronger. The easiest way to kill the mongrels is to stealth-dash behind them and slash. Once all the mongrels are gone go for the old man. If this is done correctly you should get "Tate" and a nice bonus when you see your stage results. This is how I got a S rank on stage 3-A. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [TIP] Submitted by Studly_do_right While a head on attack does do minimal damage, but if you attack him from the side you will do much more. Stand on either side of him and slash or use Ninjutsu magic to dispose of this character very quickly. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ ============================================================================= LEVEL NOTES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies ~~~~~~~~~ Immediately after you begin the level, you are attacked by a pack of wild dogs wielding blades. Now I've gotta find that trainer! They can get extremely annoying and be harmful to the health if you don't handle them with prudence. They always attack in tight-knit packs. One never strays too far from the pack to pounce on its prey. Because they have swords, they can quickly diminish your health. The only way to go is to attack them from behind. Attack them as they attack YOU. I find that they receive the most damage this way. If they are escorted by a few ninja warriors, taking care of the dogs is of utmost importance. Usually you can see them get ready to leap on you, but when you're all caught up in the heat of a battle, it's sometimes hard to pay any attention to the one or two skulking in the shadows. That's why it's important that you don't focus all your attention on what you're thrashing. Keep an eye out on the surroundings. |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 3-B | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| Avoid stepping in the sticky web-like substance in the ground. It's so strong that Hotsuma will have trouble moving through it, making him vulnerable to all types of attacks. If you do get stuck, stealth-dash like crazy since that is the only option. As you head to the first sealing device of the area, a group of four-legged creatures that resemble spiders--mutated ones--pops out of the ground and attacks. They're not too tough. As usual, get behind them and slash. Just be careful about where you step; you never know if you may find yourself dragged down by their abominable creations. Destroy the two sealing devices: one above the sticky substance and the other at the end of the wrecked corridor. Head through the short corridor that links the two areas together. On the way you meet up with those annoying wall enemies. Stun them before they stun you and give a good spanking. The next area features a series of corridors. Most of them have been obstructed, but there are a few goodies to be found in some. On one side of the area is a white nest, which continuously spawns a never-ending army of killer spiders unless you destroy it. You can find a Makimono near the first nest, as well as a Yang on the other side. Now head all the way to the other side and enter the last corridor on the right. This leads to the next area of the level. Navigate around all the spider residue and collect the Yang and Shuriken from the back. Face the broken chunk of the upper level and jump to your left, to the slanted part of the wall to boost yourself to the platform above. This place is where you would have ended up had you gone through the corridor with the spider nest located in the middle. From this perspective, identify those walls which are still intact and can be used for wall running. The ones that are still white in color are in good condition. Now leap to the right part of the wall by doing the standard double jumping and stealth-dashing. Then follow it to the other small platform on the other side. Look to the left to find a thin strip of the path remaining. Scale the wall on the right to reach it. Finally head down the ramp to the pink kekkai. In the next area kill the four spiders that sprout from the ground and jump to the disconnected support beam on the left to help you reach the platform above, where you will find the Oboro Coin of the area. There are two sealing devices. One of them can't be reached by normal means. You need to climb the left-hand wall and perform a jump slash or double jump. Follow the long path to the next area. Head to the end, toward the gleaming Shuriken in the distance. You may pass a corridor on the right which has a sealing device floating in the center. Ignore it for now. At the end, you will find sealing devices on either side, but destroy the one on the left and return to the previous corridor you ran past (the one with the spider nest). This tight-spaced corridor is teeming with spiders, additional wall enemies and that baneful sticky residue. When you enter the next area, head to the left to find a sealing device in one of the alcoves. In an alcove next to the spider nest is the final sealing device of the area. You next find yourself in a rather vast area with several spider nests set up at different parts of it. This part of the mall has become a large breeding ground for these insects. Your main concern is destroying the source of all the pain--the nests. The second Makimono is tucked away in the corner. There are two sealing devices, both of which are found on higher levels of the area. One of them is overt to view, resting on a ledge in the corner and out of your reach. You will stumble across the other, which is stashed away in an alcove, on the way to the first one. To reach each, you need to, as per usual, run along the walls. After they're destroyed, you can finally proceed to face the boss. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: MAMA SPIDER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is one enormous spider who has gone through a morbid mutation. It's so large that its body can hardly fit in the space you're in. It can use its powerful legs to attack when you're close and spit acid balls when you're far away. It is protected by an incredibly hard-plated exoskeleton that can deflect any weapon right back at the aggressor. The only viable weak spot is its rear end. You must somehow jump that high to attack it. The environment here allows you to run on the walls, so you could jump toward the mama spider from there. In fact, using the walls is part of the strategy. Notice the spider nests scattered about? They may seem like a hindrance, but they actually help you. They spawn more spiders with which you need to appease Akujiki's hunger. Not only that: by killing all the spiders, you increase Akujiki's cutting power. So when you attack the big momma, you could dish out a significant amount of damage. Keep whacking its weak spot with a fully charged blade to end the battle. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [ALTERNATIVE STRATEGY] Submitted by ShadowedSoul At the beginning of the match, stay far enough away from the Boss so that all he does are his long distance projectiles. Make sure not to touch the 'Spider Manufacturers' either, just evade his attacks until the peons appear. All the small spiders should come up at about the same time, and when they do, back up away from the boss. All the small spiders should walk closer, gathering into a nice little package. Kill them all quickly with normal attacks and more attacks, then immediately go in for the kill. The projectiles are very easy to dodge, with simple front/side dashes, and if you mix in enough dashes while you kill the small spiders, they shouldn't bother you then either. All in all, the killing session is only a matter of seconds. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ ============================================================================= LEVEL NOTES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies ~~~~~~~~~ The strange creatures you find crawling throughout the level are members of the insect family that includes spiders, scorpions, etc. (as if you didn't already know). They produce a film of sticky web-like substance that's stronger and tougher than molasses. Thankfully, they won't spit it out when you're present. The substance has already been strewn throughout the area beforehand. Anyone can agree with me when I say that they're very irritating. Most of the time these spiders pop out from a nest, and they will continue to grow in numbers unless you eradicate the source. Other times they just appear out of thin air. I have noticed that a lot of games tend to do stuff like that. |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 4-A | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| The wide lava pit can be crossed by the usual way. If you go forward following the path of burning buildings, it will ultimately lead to the same area. You will have lots of fire moth creatures to deal with, as well as a new type of warrior that has been injected with the fiery flames of hell. The easiest way to deal with the fire moths is to use your Shurikens. They either kill them instantly or paralyze their wings. Don't worry about falling into the lava. You won't die from third-degree burns; you just lose some health. In addition, the buildings aren't good for wall-climbing, so there goes your chance to show off to your friends here! When you get to the second large lava pit, jump off to the right to obtain an Oboro Coin. Then return to the former path, stick to the left and jump to the path on the other side. Past the second kekkai, you will be greeted by a tank and a batch of fire moths at the T-intersection. How nice. Decimate this group of fiends to continue on. Near the second tank is a street lantern in an alcove. Break it to reveal a Makimono. After dispatching this gang of enemies, head to the left to find the second Oboro Coin of the level hidden in the left alcove. If you take the path that branches off to the right, you will encounter a bevy of enemies. It isn't worth the effort to get a measly Yang unless you're about to die. Continue down the one-way path. You eventually end up in an area that looks very familiar. Don't worry, you didn't make one big circle. SEGA might have gotten lazy with the level designs or something. Cross the pit and break the lantern on the left of the T-Intersection to find the second Makimono. The next area is dominated by two large pits. An annoying tank is firing away in the distance, accompanied by surrounding fire moths. Once they're destroyed, a second group of fire moths will replace them and guard the kekkai with their lives. Of course, they must die for you. The following areas lead through a course of narrow paths through the burning village. Eventually, you wind up in a rather large area riddled with fun lava pits. The last kekkai is heavily guarded by two massive tanks and a bajillion fire moths. Shuriken the fire moths that are hovering above the lava. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: HOMURA ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ IMO, he's one of the coolest characters ever. Too bad he had to turn into a bad apple. As with all other bosses, you have to exercise caution with this guy. He has no real combat skills other than his special, inherent powers. This means that Hotsuma's Shurikens will have a profound effect on him. Like the 3-A Boss, he too likes to teleport around the place, except his teleportation skill can become a lethal weapon. When he does his disappearing act, move as far away from him as possible because he could disappear with a big bang. Literally. As he begins to teleport, he envelopes himself in a sphere of flames that explode outward, dealing major damage if you are close enough. While he is on the ground or in reachable places, go up to him and cautiously maneuver around the fireballs he shoots out. He can shoot only three at a time, so rush in after the third flies by. Sometimes he sends out a single fireball that is larger and moves slower. Don't look down on it! It is all of his energy condensed into one ball. If you are caught within the range of the blast, you can guarantee that even the biggest band-aid won't patch up your wound. If you're having trouble getting close to him, chuck a shuriken to put him in place. To inflict more damage, eliminate as many of those disc-like enemies to power up Akujiki, then attack Homura (the boss). If you can execute a Tate, you can end the battle very easily. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [BOSS STRATEGIES FOR HARD/SUPER] Submitted by Newtype Ace HARD (Moritsune): I don't remember if he's as "shy" in Hard as he is in Super or not. When you try to get close to him too quickly (dashing, air dashing, jumping) he will teleport away with a bang. Anyway, wait for the army of soda caps, fill up your Tate gauge, Shuriken him to make him stay in place before you approach him, slash once, and he's dead... HARD (Hotsuma): Same as Moritsune. I just don't remember how many times you need to hit before you can kill him. It ain't that hard anyway. SUPER (Joe): Same as Moritsune but you can't paralyze him with Shurikens this time, so you have to approach him while he retaliates. Just make sure you don't dash or jump when you're close to him because he's very shy and doesn't like to be surprised :P SUPER (Hotsuma): Same as hard. Shurikens may not work if you throw them from a distance. Don't dash or jump when you're close to him, or you'll go Boom! /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ ============================================================================= LEVEL NOTES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies ~~~~~~~~~ In the first area you encounter flying creatures with a large...thing that passes as its mouth. From this orifice comes a ball of flame. Not only that, but they can ram their little bodies into you and dish out quite some damage. It's not bad if one of them charges at you, but if you're hit continuously the amount of damage can add up quickly. They can instantly become fluttering annoyances. The ninja warriors now don a whole new suit and have been improved upon with better skill and intelligence. The strategy required to beat them remains the same: get behind them and hack, hack, hack! |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 4-B | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| The orange kekkai is separated by a very wide lava pit that you cannot cross. Period. Break the two sealing devices to dispel the pink kekkai. However, before going off look behind you. You may notice an Oboro Coin floating in mid-air above the molten lava. There is a low ledge for you to stand on, and on it is a Makimono. To get the Oboro Coin, you need to jump to it, then quickly double jump backward and dash to avoid cooking yourself in the molten lava. This level is basically comprised of a series of huge caverns all connected together by tunnels. Everywhere you look there's lava. The purpose of this entire level is to lead you around in a huge circle that ultimately ends in front of the orange kekkai you saw earlier. The large cavern ahead is home to a dozen fire moths and its daddy tank. Be careful when you jump from one floating platform to the other, as the tank's projectiles can shove you into the lava. You need to stay in constant motion. There is a sealing device off to the far right, so head over there first thing and tear it up. After that, head to where the tank is and whack it like crazy while taking care of those moths. Once they're gone, it becomes a lot easier to destroy the remaining two sealing devices. You can find another Oboro Coin, suspended in the air in front of the last sealing device, in the next cavern. To obtain it, head to the platform on which the last sealing device is. Line the camera up with the coin, so that you won't have to make any redundant adjustments whilst in the air. Now double-jump and dash; you should be able to zip right through it and pocket it. If not, try again. Be careful not to fall into the lava. In the third cavern, you can find the third coin of this level. Follow the small path below the large solidified lava rock around to find it lying at the end. There are three sealing devices, two of which you can easily access by jumping around. The third one, floating over the center lava rock, is harder to reach. Use Hotsuma's trusty Shuriken to break it. Line yourself up with it so that you are directly facing it. Using a Shuriken is kinda tricky since you have to make sure it travels in a straight line. Use the L1 button to make things easier. Then fire a Shuriken. You will immediately notice the Makimono hanging in the air as you enter the next cavern. It should be easy enough to get without my help, although you should remember to land back on solid ground! Break the four sealing devices here as usual. The only problem is that the fire moths will stick to you like iron to a magnet. When you reach the last cavern, go straight for the tank, as it poses the bigger threat. While you're on the small platform, send any fire moths you can target into the lava using your trusty Shurikens. After the tank is destroyed, the platform begins to fluctuate. It won't help much, but it's necessary to note it or something. You can use your Shurikens against those sealing devices which you are too lazy to destroy by double jumping. After breaking the kekkai in that cavern, you follow a path that leads to the orange barrier you saw when you had begun the level. Destroying all the enemies breaks the kekkai and allows you to confront the boss of this level. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: MOTH LADY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Fighting an aerial opponent over hot, molten lava always spells trouble. Here are the things you need to focus on: you need to avoid falling into the lava and incinerating yourself, dodge all of her attacks, take care of her underlings while dodging THEIR attacks, pacify Akujiki, feed Akujiki to charge it, and keep in constant motion. Whew. Did I get everything? Probably. The only thing that somewhat facilitates the battle is the climbable walls around the cavern. Those rocks which are marked with a white dotted line are climbable. Therefore, you could scale the walls to kill the time until the next army of fire moth-like creatures appear. You could also jump from the wall or jump from the center platform to the boss and slash her to inflict (very little) damage upon her, but it's effective only with a fully charged Akujiki. As you begin the fight, immediately cling to the walls and start running in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise fashion until you run into the Moth Lady hovering somewhere close to you. Take this chance to swipe her once. It takes off about a centimeter of damage--every bit counts! A single slash impels her to move to another part of the cavern, so run along the walls until you see her again. Repeat this until she yells, "Let the fun begin!" That's when her small army of fire moths encompasses the center platform. On the center platform, execute an Air Combo (or Air Tate as some other people call it) to take care of the moths, but in the meantime you need to watch out for the Moth Lady's attacks, such as the devastating napalm bomb or something of similar nature. You need to kill all, if not most, of the fire moths to fully charge Akujiki. When Akujiki is glowing purple or a fuchsia color, it's time to go in to deliver a fatal blow to the Moth Lady. A fuchsia-colored Akujiki can take off nearly 2/3 of her life! Keep whacking her with a powered-up Akujiki, and she will bite the dust. Whew. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [BOSS STRATEGIES FOR HARD/SUPER] Submitted by Newtype Ace Things to watch out for: 1. She'll say something and fly over the center platform (don't know what she says in English) that will make the center platform burst into flames and hurl you away with massive damage. When you see this trick coming at you, forget about the butterflies and cling to a wall. If there are butterflies remaining while your Tate gauge is gone, you must kill them 'cause they will just give you a hard time the next time she starts summoning them. 2. If you have a fully charged sword, lock-on to her BUT before you jump make sure she's not hovering in circles around the center platform, or you will 99% of the time hit air. And if she's throwing fireballs at you, just move a little to the left or right before you jump at her. HARD (Moritsune): Keep running in circles on the walls of the arena and occasionally slashing her if you like. When she starts summoning her butterflies, do a jump-dash-jump to get to the center platform (use Raijin now if you like) and start powering up your Tate gauge. Be sure you don't jump too far away from the center platform, or you may fall down and ruin your chance. Make sure you come back on the platform and just hit another target if you feel like you will wander too far away from the center (the butterflies tend to gather around you if you stay in the middle). When your sword is fully charged, lock, jump, dash towards her and show her who's boss. SUPER (Moritsune): Same as Hard. SUPER (Joe): Same strategy as Moritsune, but you need to hit her with a fully charged blade around 4 or 5 times before she dies, or once if you score a very critical hit. (I did it once, but I don't know how it happened and I was even surprised that a critical blow can deal FIVE times damage...Hmmm, it really puzzles me.) Anyway, you don't always have to fill up your Tate gauge before you hit her. If you feel like you'll just ruin your chance if you try to chase the last butterfly, then forget about it and go for the boss (with at least 6 kills. Any less and you won't be satisfied with the damage you will inflict). It's gonna be the longest battle you've yet to experience in Super mode. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [ALTERNATE STRATEGY FOR SUPER ONLY] Submitted by Xybreed THIS TRICK ONLY WORKS ON SUPER MODE, AND YOU MUST PLAY AS JOE MUSASHI: If you can't beat the boss of 4-B on Super Mode, you're probably still a pretty good gamer 'cause you made it to Super Mode to begin with. If you don't mind getting a C rank on the level, you can easily beat Benisuzume with Joe Musashi without getting hit. Here's what to do: Right at the start of the battle, jump over to the wall to the left of her, lock onto her, and throw a Shuriken (without releasing on the lock). The lock will carry your view over to the other side of the room after she does her all powerful fire explosion on the middle platform (hence the reason you're on the wall right now, she does this EVERY time you hit her on Super Mode). When she stops on the other side of the room, throw another Shuriken at her. When she starts to do her all powerful technique, let up on the lock. For the next instruction, it is kind of hard to explain so I'm going to use compass directions. Let's say that when you started the level you were facing north, staring into her face. South is roughly where she was the 2nd time you hit her, so the wall behind her is the south wall. You were on the wall to the left of her, so we'll call that the Blessed West Wall. The four walls each have a small damaged part where you have to jump to get to the next segment. From the Blessed West Wall, move toward the south wall until you would have to jump to get to the south wall. Now turn around so you are facing the north wall, and lock onto her again. Wait until she stops moving and throw a Shuriken. The view will carry you over to the south wall, only now you are equally close to her no matter which one she stops at. As long as you hit her every time she stops, she will not get the chance to summon the small moths. Since your sword does not eat your health, you may continue this pattern until she dies. It will take roughly 15 minutes, but you will defeat her without taking damage, and you will not fall off the wall because you are throwing a Shuriken every now and then. Note that Joe's Shurikens really only do about 1 millimeter damage each on a 19" TV, so the 15 minutes is no joke. Good luck! =) /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ ============================================================================= LEVEL NOTES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies ~~~~~~~~~ There hasn't been much of a change since the last level, except this level's taking place in a whole new environment, thus allowing certain enemies, such as the fire moth, to have the upperhand. As always, if the fire moth is flapping above the lava, pin it down with a Shuriken for a quick and easy kill, you heartless bastard. Other times using the Air Combo would work well. |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 5-A | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| The whole city has been flooded by unnatural causes. This entire level is composed of sunken buildings and lots of water. The only way to move through the level is to travel along the walls. You have to keep in mind that even though Hotsuma is a skilled killer, he cannot swim. He has a hydrophobia, which means he's always had a fear of water. I'm not serious, but it's a good guess, yes? You can't blame him, though, because the current here is so strong that even a submarine will succumb to its mighty force and get swept away within seconds. Anyway, begin by killing the winged Hellspawn here and breaking the sealing device to move on. After passing the first barrier, you arrive in the first district (I like to call them districts, so work with me here). Making full use of the walls here is a big deal, and that's just how you're going to nab the first Oboro Coin located against the western wall. Run along the adjacent wall, then jump out and dash back to cling to the wall. You may notice that the water level rises and falls capriciously. This behavior will be present throughout the entire level. When it recedes, you can walk on the ground below, but only for a short time. If it rises again, you will instantly drown. Be careful! Anyway, there are three sealing devices in the first district. Each one is protected by flying Hellspawn and those winged warriors. Once the path opens, scale the walls of the numerous buildings to proceed to the next district. The flying Hellspawn like to make sporadic appearances in these tight spaces, but pay them no heed. If you need the Yin, you can Shuriken them to send them to a watery grave. You can see the first Makimono to the north. After snatching the prize, head to the first sealing device to the south, where you will no doubt meet some resistance. The second is on top of the toppled building, against the wall up ahead. The last is easily found on the concrete platform. Cling to the wall and follow it down. Jump from wall to wall. Watch out for the wall-crawler on the way. She might paralyze you, causing you to plunge to a premature death. Ignore her altogether to be safe and continue to the next district. To get the Makimono in the third area, you must wait until the water recedes then go for it. For the two out-of-reach sealing devices, just use your Shurikens unless you're trying to conserve them. Watch your back! You will be ambushed in the narrow alley. When you enter the fourth district, stick to the left wall and dispatch the single flying Hellspawn with a Shuriken. Whatever you do, don't land on the ground in the center, as the water level will soon rise to a point at which you could drown. Head toward the first sealing device in sight. Most of the enemies here can be taken cared of by your all-dominating Shurikens. The second Oboro Coin is hidden next to the slanted building. You will see it when you reach the second sealing device. The remaining sealing device can be found in the right-hand nook beside the pink kekkai. After the kekkai is dissolved, we can finally face another former comrade and retrieve that sassy girl! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: KONGOU ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After facing such a tough aerial opponent in the last match, it should be a relief to battle against a human again--well, a supposedly dead human who was a former member of the Oboro Clan. Kongou wields an enormous Shuriken with a wide diameter and spiky things on the sides. Even if he appears to be very bulky and muscular, he's very swift, acrobatic and able to parry most of your attacks. Kongou controls the power of electricity--both his body and weapon channel with this innate power. His lackeys, though, spit fire balls. Attack his body only when you see an opening. Always attack the area where his weapon won't be in the way or it will block all attacks. Kongou likes to cart-wheel around the area, so follow suit and stealth-dash. The best time you can catch him off guard is as he is about to swing his Shuriken around at you. He has a few impressive moves: 1) he leaps into the air and dives back to the earth, creating a slight tremor on his impact, 2) he uses a leg stomp move that's similar to something you would see in a wrestling match. With his first attack, he can leap from one side to the other as if he were a friggin' cricket and fill you with a tangy jolt of electricity. You wouldn't even see him coming. That attack has the potential to knock you into the water, and unlike lava, once you get in you will never come back out. Fortunately, you have a safe refuge from his ravaging, electricity-suffused blows. See that small storage building? Get atop it and Kongou can't touch you (although there is a slight chance he CAN reach you, but that doesn't happen very often); his sidekicks can, but they aren't the huge threat Kongou is. When you try to jump slash his lackeys, always be sure you dash away while airborne, or you will suffer some intense pain. As always, super charge Akujiki and deliver lethal blows to that damn ruffian. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [BOSS STRATEGIES FOR ALL MODES] Submitted by Newtype Ace Hmm...5-A. This stage really pisses me off. Too many lucky shots from those bats will eventually hurl you into the pit. General strategy: Killing the lackeys is the most difficult task in this battle 'cause they're too far away from one another. The best thing to hunt them down is to face the direction of where you think your next target is while holding target. This will automatically rotate the camera and focus on where the next target is. HARD (Moritsune): He's a pretty easy boss for this stage of the game. I don't have much strategy for this guy 'cause it's pretty easy to get behind him and slash him. I even killed him once with Joe without using Tate gauge. SUPER (Joe): Hunt down lackeys before killing him if you want a short battle. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [ALTERNATIVE STRATEGY] Submitted by ShadowNemises 1. His drop-kick thing leaves him open to attack from the rear and everywhere except the side with the huge shuriken...I found it easy to kill him without powering Akujiki... 2. Shadow dash seems to be the only thing you have do in the battle except slice...I found it easy to ignore the enemies altogether because its easy to avoid the projectiles they shoot... 3. On that note, you can slash him 3 times from behind him...and then he does his drop-kick thing again, just repeat it and use the fire Ninjutsu when he's near death... That's sorta a cheap way to beat him...to each his own, but I found this a very quick way to kill him. Just don't let him get into a corner or your dead. That's about it, he's one of the easier bosses in my opinion... /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ ============================================================================= LEVEL NOTES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies ~~~~~~~~~ This level features some of the most annoying enemies you will ever face in the game. The ninja warriors now have a pair of damn wings affixed to their back, giving them a slight advantage. In addition, you have those blue pumpkin head, winged Hellspawn to deal with. Nearly every type of enemy here can fly. The only exception is the wall-crawler, who just crawls around on the wall randomly pitching Shurikens. Using the Air Combo works wonders in this level! And if you can't get some of these enemies to keep still, feel free to paralyze them for a moment. Paralyzing them will bring them to the ground for a moment, allowing you to pummel them with merciless attacks before they take flight again. You especially need to hold down the winged ninja warrior because he can become quite dangerous. |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 5-B | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| That girl just keeps getting abducted by one bad guy after another. It never ends! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: FOX FACE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Damn snake-fox-whatever hybrids are nothing but trouble! This thing is a user of ice, so his attacks have the ability to freeze its victims. On a lighter note, using the Ka'en ninjutsu magic will be one of the deciding factors of this fight. The first thing you should notice is that he lacks the mobility you have. His only method of movement is--you guessed it--teleportation. When he teleports, he surrounds himself in a column of ice. If you are within its range, you will definitely get painful frostbite. Whenever he teleports, look at the ground. If some cold air start to gather around under your feet, MOVE away! The strange disc-like thing affixed to his back is the source of all his ice power. By observing how the "slots" (or hole things) move, you will be able to read his attacks and avoid them. If all of the holes glow, he will unleash a huge particle beam. If the holes glow one at a time, he will shoot some ice balls consecutively. If he opens up all the slots, then a bevy of swift-slithering snakes will emerge from them. They are LIGHTNING FAST, and I'm not kidding. Watch out when their fangs glow red. Keep on your toes and lop off their heads without regard to your health. If possible, do a Shuriken Burst to momentarily paralyze them. They are way too fast for you to dodge all of them completely. When dealing with the snakes, always do it behind him where his attacks can't touch you. If he's leaning against the edge, attack his body once and retreat. This forces him to teleport to another area. The preferable location to resume the fight is in the center. Skinning all of the snakes increases Akujiki's cutting power to a near-maximum, so take this opportunity to strike the body, not the snake coils, but the semi-human body. Attacking other parts, even the back, is ineffective. Once you attack him once, get out of the way. He usually begins to teleport as he receives damage. To add extra damage, jump into the air and cast Ka'en magic. It's particularly effective against him. Charge up Akujiki once again and deliver the coupe de grâce. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [BOSS STRATEGIES FOR HARD/SUPER] Submitted by Newtype Ace This guy does his ice blast after summoning his lackeys, so the challenge is to beat the cheapest paralyzing move in the game. HARD (Moritsune): With one scroll and one Shuriken Burst, he doesn't deserve to be boss of this stage ^_^. When he summons his snakes, use Raijin and then immediately do a Shuriken Burst (but make sure they're already mobile or you won't hit them) to keep them in place. Just whack away at the snakes to fill your Tate gauge then deal the final blow on the boss, and he'll die in one slash! SUPER (Joe): This time, you can't paralyze the lackeys. But hey, your Shurikens can hit him. So what you do is hit him with a Shuriken after (not during) he summons his snakes to prevent him from doing that ice blast and make him teleport somewhere else. Then whack away at the snakes and deal the final blow to him. Do this twice and he's dead. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 6-A | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| This crazy institute is booby-trapped with copious high-energy lasers and pools of toxic goo. Throughout the institute, you will be, for some reason, making plenty of descents through vertical shafts crawling with new enemies you will learn to hate. The areas are always densely populated by these special tripod robots that shoot lasers, as well as a few wall-crawlers. You first encounter them just as abruptly as you begin the level. Run high along the walls to sneak past the trick lasers. Just head to the end of the corridor, and the door slides open for you even if you haven't killed any of the enemies. The next corridor's lasers are programmed to fluctuate, so either slide under them or climb over them as you did with the first ones (you need to get OVER the second laser field though). Whichever way you feel suits the situation, go for it. I believe in you, young ninja. Take the elevator down the shaft, and watch out for those annoying robots. Switch from one elevator to the other until you reach the bottom, then head through the door here. Jump out to grab the floating Makimono in the next shaft. Don't worry if you fall; the elevator is here to catch you. The elevator never stops moving, so get off as soon as you hit the door at the bottom. Enter the next shaft, but before you can hop on the next elevator trip down, a few robots appear, along with a gargantuan ogre who wields a large metal pipe. This type of Hellspawn is troublesome. Though it's powerful, it's also very slow and usually straggles behind. You can choose to either finish him off or weave around him with your super nimble feet. Up to you. You don't get anything particularly special in return for beating him. Anyway, descend and hop off to the next elevator. You will see three platforms, all of which have some robots who are just itching to meet you. Dispose of them, then take one of the elevators to the bottom. In this shaft there are sealing devices on each platform, so take care of all three on your descent. Get past the next area in the same fashion, except the platforms here are positioned perpendicular to one another. After heading through the same rooms for awhile, you're finally treated to a refreshing change. The large area you arrive at features several "laser walls" moving up and down, and an army of robots scattered around. Below you, a narrow straight path is extended from one end to the other. The goal here is to land safely on that path and cross it. From your perch, target all the enemies you can and dispatch them with your Shurikens. Since they're hovering over the toxic goo, one Shuriken can send them to an early grave. You won't be able to nail them all, but you will get most of them. At least now you won't get fried and get screwed up by errant photon balls. You can surmount the first laser field by one of two ways: jumping over or sliding under it. To slide under it, time it carefully, and jump forward only as it rises. Or just do a double jump and stealth-dash over it as it lowers. Avoid all the lasers on the path and head through the exit on the right. Whew. Another shaft. Fun. Look to your immediate left and up. You will see a Oboro Coin floating next the wall, next to the entrance. The walls here are climbable, just to note. In addition, there are three sealing devices in this shaft. The first one is in front of you. Then afterward look down to locate the remaining two. There is no fluctuating platform, or elevator, here so you need to rely entirely on your wall-crawling abilities. Stop next to each sealing device and slash to deactivate it. After the third is destroyed, the door at the bottom should let you through. The door leads you to another room that's similar to the one that preceded the previous shaft. However, the path to the exit is now blocked by a stomping ogre and several surrounding robots. Down all the robots you can reach from the platform, then jump toward the path. Revolving peacefully in front of the ogre is another Makimono. If you don't want to risk fighting it on such a narrow path, aim at its twin heads to paralyze him, then trot past him to the exit. Descend the next shaft and destroy the two sealing devices to release the kekkai blocking the door at the bottom. The next is a bit more tricky, as there is no elevator. Find and destroy the sealing devices situated at different points of the shaft. Do this in haste; you have no time to waste! When the door opens, you will be ushered into the final and largest shaft. Here you will find many small platforms built along the walls with a single elevator rising and falling in the center. On some platforms is a sealing device. There are four in total. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: BLIND SWORDSMAN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your battle ground is a flooded, claustrophobic corridor with climbable walls all around. Your opponent is deprived of the ability to see; he's blind, but DO NOT look down upon him. He's refined his skills to take on any sort of danger. The purpose of the ankle-deep water is to help him determine which direction you're coming from. After all, even a ninja can't walk across water so quietly. When he pinpoints your location, he sends out a myriad of powerful air missiles nonstop! To avoid this, get on the walls and stay there. In order to trounce this guy, you need to master the art of scaling walls without any slip-ups. Though he is blind, he has reflexes and instincts that can rival a lion's. You won't be able to touch him without getting impaled by his painful attacks. Helping him will be a little more than half-dozen of those tripod laser-shooting things. For this battle, they have been enhanced with a new attack that could shoot a stream of sizzling lasers over long distances and move them around at will. Your Shurikens are going to be the sharpest tools in the shed, alongside Akujiki in this battle. It's imperative that you use them just as you are told to. When you begin the fight, hang around the walls and wait for the machines to appear. Don't waste your Shurikens yet. When the peons finally appear, they always are positioned close to the walls, except one or two. Don't try to destroy them by jumping from the ground unless you enjoy dying. Get yourself at the same height as they are on the walls and approach them. Then swing your sword to lay waste to each. You have to do this quickly in order to keep Akujiki charged at a fairly constant level. Once you've built up Akujiki's cutting power, quickly run back to the boss, jump off the walls and while still airborne, target him and throw a Shuriken. This paralyzes the boss, giving you one chance to deliver a devastating blow. After ONE blow, quickly retreat and climb back onto the wall. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Once you get the hang of things, this won't be such a frustrating battle, although it would be nice if we could just trash those pesky machine things. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [BOSS STRATEGIES FOR HARD/SUPER] Submitted by Newtype Ace HARD (Moritsune): Wait for the army of lackeys, fill up your Tate gauge while making sure you don't step in the water. If it happens when he's swinging his sword like crazy, he'll just deflect whatever attack you use on him. Hit him with a Shuriken before the last slash so you can get behind him and slash him there. SUPER (Joe): Your Shuriken can't paralyze him but it's still useful. Before or after you kill the final lackey, hit him with a Shuriken or do a Shuriken Burst above him. This will make him run away to the other end of the corridor. He'll be vulnerable from behind, so just chase him while he's running from you, and slash at his back. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [ALTERNATIVE STRATEGY] Submitted by Z? The Makimonos do a LOT of damage to him (as in, about 1/3 of his life), if you can set them off right next to him. If you're quick with math, you're probably thinking: 1/3 x three scrolls = dead boss. So, to hell with honour among ninjas; let's get cheap on his ass. Here's what to do: Play through the level from the start, making sure to pick up the other two Makimonos as you go through the level. Once you get to the boss, immediately stealth-dash to the far end of the room, and stand on the stairs right behind him. He can't sense you when you're on the stairs. Hold down the target button; as soon as he's done talking, the lock symbol will appear over him. Cast the Makimono immediately. As soon as you have control again, smack him with a Shuriken, slice him once in the back, and jump on the wall. (This is to make him run to the far side of the level.) Follow him to the far side. When he stops, smack him with another Shuriken. (Otherwise, he may run away from your blast...not good.) Drop down right beside him, and let him have it with the Makimono. Again, once you have control, Shuriken him and slice him again, then hit the wall. Follow him to the far end, and repeat with your final Makimono, and he should be dead before those pesky minions even show up. Sometimes he seems to take less damage than expected from the Makimonos, so even with this strategy it took four tries for me to beat him. Still, I had much better luck than I did with the regular strategy. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ ============================================================================= LEVEL NOTES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies ~~~~~~~~~ Tough? No. Annoying? Definitely. Given the surroundings, these guys are the very source of pain during your excursion through the level. When they open their armor and expose the core, they can shoot wildly accurate pink balls of laser at you, causing Hotsuma to convulse and stuff. Another enemy of interest is the massive two-headed ogre. The guy is a klutz, but that's what makes him so dangerous. Picture a 500+ pound metal crate fall on you. Yeah, that's exactly how Hotsuma feels if he happens to be underneath one when it body slams him. It hurts even if it swings its huge metal pipe at him. Ouch. Its armor makes it nearly indestructible, but stabbing its face changes that. One thing can paralyze it--a Shuriken. Leave it to your Shurikens to get any job done! You will be seeing them a lot more in the final stages. |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 6-B | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| Again, you get to jump right in a boss battle against... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: YATSURAO ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yatsurao is just like any other boss you have encountered in the game, which translates into heavy hits and lots of frustration. At first, it may seem nearly impossible to beat him, but the key is to calm down and focus. If you get too anxious, you are sure to die all the time. Yatsurao isn't exactly the mobile type, but since its upper body is ten times the size of Hotsuma's body, you can predict that his arms are able to reach long distances. In fact, they could sweep across the entire platform in front of him. Therefore, it wouldn't be a good idea to stay in front of him for too long. He uses his arms to squash, pound and backhand Hotsuma, inflicting major damage upon our hero. You can dodge these by either double jumping over them or quickly dashing to the other side without delay. You also have to realize that you're fighting over some bubbling toxic waste. If Hotsuma decides to take a dive or gets knocked into it, it's an automatic game over. Because of this it's also not a good idea to remain on the narrow ramp leading up to the boss. In addition to Yatsurao's hand attacks, he can cast various spells from his eyes and forehead. One spell manifests under Hotsuma's feet and erupts in three pillars of intense light energy. This spell is more annoying than threatening. If Hotsuma is hit, the impact will push him away and possibly into the toxic waste. This spell, thankfully, can be avoided very easily by moving forward or backward a little. He doesn't use it as often as his one other spell. One of his other two spells is hardly worth mentioning. He creates a barrier in front of him to shove his aggressor away. It takes him a long time to conjure such a barrier, so you can see it coming from a mile away, indicated by its frothing head and glowing hands. His last spell is the most threatening. He shoots double balls of energy from his eyes. If Hotsuma is struck by them, he will become momentarily paralyzed. Once he is paralyzed, it is hard to wriggle free from Yatsurao's grasp. You need to mash the stealth-dash button to get away. Yatsurao is able to consecutively fire three of these at once. The one factor that makes this boss difficult is that a normal sword swipe to his face cuts away less than a centimeter worth of his health. The only way we can inflict a decent amount of damage is to strike only when Akujiki glows a deep purple and practically radiates purple-ish flames, which means you must murder about six of Yatsurao's minions. That doesn't demand too much from you, except you also need to avoid getting fried by his attacks. The best way is to stand at the very back, where you are free to move around without fear of falling into the goop. Wait for Yatsurao to fire up his twin purple balls and dodge the first two. As he charges the third, start running up the ramp and prepare to jump over it as it comes by. At this point, you will get a brief reprieve from his attacks. Take this opportunity to kill as many of those floating heads to strengthen Akujiki. As soon as it glows a pretty purple, go up to Yatsurao's head and slash it once or twice. Retreat back to the back platform and repeat. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [BOSS TIPS FOR HARD/SUPER] Submitted by Newtype Ace HARD/SUPER (Anybody): I don't know if anybody's come up with this trick already but here it is anyway: if you do a
to his forehead you can't follow it up with another because it takes a little longer before his head props back into place, I guess ^_^' So, what you should do is press Yep, these ninjas have the ability to swing their swords more than once while airborne! Follow up with again and again and again. So there! Fill up your Tate gauge with 8 or 9 kills, then get in his face and stick to it until he dies. You really don't have to do the double slash if you want - it merely helps your timing while you're waiting for his head to bounce back into place while in midair. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 7-A | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| This is one of my favorite levels. Fighting under cherry blossoms and a full (pink?) moon makes things really dramatic! In my opinion, the music is way too mellow for a hostile atmosphere. Man, what was the composer thinking? Where's the adrenaline (no pun intended) rush?! You start off in an area where there is very shallow water with a bridge and a gazebo to the far right. When you move forward a bird warrior drops in from the sky, carrying a long stick with a rounded blade at the end. As it descends on the platform, some female warriors and floating heads that spit fireballs also appear to back it up. Anyway, tend to the most powerful of the bunch--the bird warrior--before anything. You can go around whacking the floating heads to super charge Akujiki and then go for a quick and clean kill. It's up to you. This first confrontation is pretty unnecessary, so if you want, you can ignore it altogether and head to the northwest path to leave the area. The doors which have torches flanking both sides open up for you as you approach them. The next area features two kekkais. Killing the four female ninjas will clear both kekkais. Don't go through the door yet and head up the slope instead. You come to a small clearing with a traditional Japanese shrine on one end. A Makimono is lying in front of the fence, but as you approach it you get ambushed by two bird warriors and their sidekicks. You're sealed in, so you have no choice but to call upon the power of the war gods and eliminate them. After doing so, go behind the small building to find the first and final Oboro Coin (on Normal) of the area. The long treacherous path is teeming with enemies, mainly kunoichies (female ninjas) and a few of those floating heads. You soon arrive in a waterfall area. This is the part where people tend to mess up the most. The waterfalls gush down with a mighty force, so you have to avoid them at all costs. To overcome this area, you need to jump from one wall to another. Those walls which you need to cling to are marked with something that resembles an eye and other strange characters. Before you begin, however, target the nearby floating head and down it with a Shuriken. Ok, listen carefully. To be able to pull this off, you need to do these things: jump out and away from the waterfall in front of you but toward the next wall. Then as Hotsuma drops jump again and stealth-dash. This should get you to each wall just fine. Repeat until you near the third wall, where you will need to down another floating head for extra safety precautions. Afterward, just jump toward the Makimono at the end and on the grassy ground. A single bird warrior welcomes your arrival. With the cramped quarters why don't we just shove it off? It works to the same effect as beating it with your own two hands. Upon its demise the kekkai dissolves, allowing you to continue on. The surroundings may become familiar as you proceed along the level. In the area where there are two kekkais, head straight through the double doors, ignoring the side path. Unless you are hurting for some Yin, taking a small detour does you no good since the area doesn't yield anything except hostility. The path ahead presents a slew of enemies that come at you one after another. If you have the endurance, then stick around to fend them all off. If not I'd suggest you just keep going without looking back! Once you reach the wet area with the gazebo in the center, you will encounter a great number of enemies. Again, if you want, you can stick around to play, but if you're low on health you need to move on. Before you can cross the wide gap, a single bird warrior protected by three kunoichies stand in your way. Dispose of them accordingly to make this crossing easier. Now this is a really risky jump. Make a running jump and jump again as you fall (not immediately after the first), then stealth-dash. The goal was not to land safely on the ledge on the other side, but to cling to the wall. You can tackle the hinged fence to knock it down or smash it with a sword swipe, but just be careful. The final area is guarded by three tremendous bird warriors, as well as a glut of floating heads. How lovely. Killing them releases the last kekkai and leads you straight to the boss, who happens to be... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: AGEHA ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well, well, this is surprising. The little missy can stealth-dash too! This will make things pretty damn tough. Unlike before, the main problem now is actually being able to hit the boss. Even your own stealth-dash won't be able to confuse her so easily--although it WILL, just not very often. Her lackeys are unlike anything you have SEEN before, but they are the very same projectile-shooting scumbags of a different cloth. However, they won't be appearing until after a few minutes have gone into the battle. You need to make use of this time to learn how Ageha moves and reacts. Attacking her poses the main problem, as she can stealth-dash and practically mimic anything Hotsuma can do. Her custom-made Shurikens not only paralyze, but they also devour a little of your health. I found that she receives more damage than a boss normally would, so even Akujiki at its neutral state will have a significant effect on her. I still recommend that you should power up Akujiki to its peak power to show her what a real ninja is all about! When her reinforcement arrives, go around finishing them off, or they will be a huge burden. This might sound a little unsophisticated, but you need to keep jumping around to keep Ageha from slapping you silly while you deal with those strange creatures. Although she was a former member of the Oboro Clan, she doesn't quite possess great ninja skills as you would expect, and it shows. Your Shurikens have a great effect on her. Therefore, once Akujiki is ready for some killing action, stun her with a Shuriken, then go for a quick and dirty kill. She can sometimes block them, but it doesn't happen very often. If it does, jump up Hotsuma style and fling one at her from the air. Surprisingly, I defeated her on my first try. Not to flaunt my abilities or anything, but she was a rather easy boss. Now YOU can show her who's boss and give what this traitor deserves! /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [BOSS TIPS FOR HARD/SUPER] Submitted by Newtype Ace Weakness: Her backside Stay airborne when she does her special move 'cause she can't use it in the air. HARD (Moritsune): Wait until there are 8 lackeys, then slash away at them, run towards the girl (never dash or jump when you're close to her), lock, then dash around her and slash her back. This strategy works if you don't want to spend too much time memorizing all her moves. SUPER (Joe): Use Moritsune's strategy. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ ============================================================================= LEVEL NOTES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies ~~~~~~~~~ This level gives rise to a new breed of female ninja. They're tough, they're curvaceous, and they've got no face! Don't underestimate them. They can throw Shurikens that can paralyze. They can even do a Shuriken burst when the situation calls for it, so be weary of that. And most of the time, they never leave themselves open for attacks...in the front, that is. Like any other enemy you have encountered thus far, they can be pummeled like a punching bag from behind. Boxing, anyone? The giant bird warriors also make an appearance here. They're not too tough, although they're able to dish out a lot of damage if you let them. Then you have the floating heads, which arbitrarily spit out fireballs and sometimes charge at you. They're more irritating than threatening. Draw them all into one big cluster, then do an Air Combo to finish them off. |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 7-B | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| What a sentimental reunion. However, there isn't time for hugs and kisses. He is SO bent on having you dead. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: MORITSUNE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For the first time, the lackeys aren't so annoying. They are, in fact, your lifesavers. If you are in dire need of Yang (restorative items), you can murder these lovable seahorse-like creatures. As they perish and reduce to nothing, they leave behind a memento of their peace. Beware of their headbutts! Though they could hardly be considered threatening, they sure can get annoying if you are rammed in the bum one too many times. This is just like fighting your own shadow, except Moritsune just happens to have twin sabers...and has heckuva lot more life than you do. Splendid. He can also perform Hotsuma's trademark stealth-dash, except he is much more skilled at it. Again, the problem here is actually being able to attack Moritsune himself. He could deftly avoid any attacks you throw at him and still reciprocate. Moritsune casts powerful spells to keep you at bay and throws life-sucking Shurikens that create a puff of green smoke upon contact. Never stay in one spot too long, or you will suffer paralysis from the said Shurikens. Deciding to jump slash him is also a very bad idea. If you aren't going to attack, stay away from him! Don't get too cocky when you think you've got him ensnared. Look again. See how easily he can pull away from your attacks and make you eat dirt? Sometimes he might appear to be off-guard, but he's not. The safest moment to attack is the second he composes from an attack. However, be aware that he doesn't stop at one slash, he could try to strike at least five times before he ceases. Sometimes if you can stealth-dash to him when he least expects it, you may be able to catch him off-guard and give him a taste of your blade. You should take that opportunity to deliver at least three slashes, then STOP. Quickly dash away, or you will be a sitting duck. Afterward, continue to kill off his lackeys in great numbers to strengthen Akujiki. Once its all powered up, quickly approach him and pray that you will be able to make contact. If not, quickly retreat. As I have mentioned previously, the deaths of his lackeys will keep you alive if you employ them properly. Remember to dance around him always, and do NOT stay in one spot for too long unless you enjoy watching Hotsuma spew a fountain of blood, you masochist. This battle itself is more like a test of endurance--it will take a long time to beat this guy down. Be patient, and you will eventually defeat him. It personally took me 15 minutes. Take as long as you want. To hell with the Boss Points! You need to beat this guy! You can try besting him with minimal attacks later! /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [BOSS TIPS FOR HARD/SUPER] Submitted by Newtype Ace Bro's reflexes are as fast as a PS2's processor. I wonder if that's fair... Weakness: kick (darn! with all the fast moves he can evade, it took me two hours to figure out that your slowest move is the one and only move he can't see!)!! HARD (Moritsune): Wait until there are 8 or 9 lackeys before you start whacking at them. When your sword is fully charged, approach him by running. Never dash or jump towards him 'cause he's even more shy than the 4-A boss, and he will chop your butt. When you're close to him, kick him and then dash around his back and then slash away at his health. SUPER (Joe): Use Moritsune's strategy. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [TIP] Submitted by LessThanJake2486 When Moritsune is near you jump, and he will copy that jump. Then do a double jump; he, however, does not copy this; instead he tries to slash thin air. =) Now dash on the ground and unleash a devastating combo. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 8-A | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| This level takes place on the rooftops of a collection of buildings. This level is quite difficult in that the number of enemies are unceasing, and they are tough! In addition, you must be careful not to fall off at any point of the level, or you are forced to start over. There are a lot of unnecessary battles here, so unless you are aiming to get a S-rank, I suggest fighting only if it is necessary. I have played this level enough times to know that you can maintain a fairly healthy life gauge until the end of the level, at which point a nearly full life gauge is of utmost importance. If you choose to fight, I have one tip for you: Shurikens are your friends! Don't be afraid to waste them, as you can find them scattered all over and enemies even drop them sometimes. Begin by jumping to the next rooftop to destroy the first sealing device of the area. Follow the roof to the left and to the next sealing device. Then get atop the adjacent rooftop. Using the wall you will be able to reach the platform on which the kekkai is. Before it's released you need to destroy the last sealing device that's located across the kekkai. The next area is a corridor held together by two adjoining buildings. A line of Yin is lain out on each side, so stock up on them to feed Akujiki. Run all the way to the black doors, and they will open on your arrival. They open up to reveal another set of rooftops. Follow the path out and around to the roof on the left. A pair of floating heads and aerial ninjas will appear to thwart your progress. Take care of the floating heads first and Shuriken the aerial ninjas to stop them, then jump straight for the tall, upright pillars to the right. Take the Shuriken bundle and target the floating head in front from afar, then take it down with a Shuriken. Leap from wall to wall until you reach the third one, where the floating head had been. Now look behind you and center the camera. Jump back to the outer wall, facing the south side, of the second pillar. Now your goal is to double jump then stealth-dash to the lower, dark- shaded rooftops (a lone floating head is hovering there aimlessly), below the black double doors on the other side. Once you land on the next roof, a group of enemies suddenly pops out of nowhere and attacks. As always take out the floating heads first to make killing the aerial ninjas a cinch. Now drop to the lower rooftop located against the north wall and to the right of the double doors to find a Makimono. Then head for the exit. In the next corridor a couple of floating heads will appear. Take this chance to eliminate them one by one with your Shurikens to gather up some needed Yin, or do a risky Air Combo. In the next area, get on the high rooftop and dispose of the guys that appear. Shuriken them to paralyze them momentarily, then go all out. Simple as that, except it's not that simple when you're completely outnumbered. Anyway, instead of making a huge pounce to the outlying rooftop, drop down to the lower rooftop, so that you are facing the next set of interconnected rooftops. As you get near the most elevated rooftop, a group of floating heads drops in with an abominable two-headed, armored ogre. If you want to save yourself some trouble, ditch them and head straight for the next rooftop to the right. It leads straight to the double doors and out of this hellish area. In this corridor, take out the floating heads with your Shurikens to rack up those Yin. You wind up in an area that looks strikingly familiar to the beginning of this level. On the high perch, feel free to eliminate those floating heads. Then follow the roof to the left and to the second rooftop. Destroy the sealing device by flinging a Shuriken or clinging to the wall and slashing it. Here you will encounter a myriad of aerial ninjas. Ignore them and keep going! On the next rooftop another batch of enemies drop in, but pay them no heed! Run past them as if they weren't there. If you look under the platform which leads to the kekkai, you will find an Oboro Coin floating between the two buildings. It's easy enough to collect just by sticking to the wall and running past it. Focus on taking out the remaining three sealing devices. One is suspended in the air in the center of the area. Another is on a low rooftop near the kekkai. The last one is stashed away in a corner, which can only be accessed via some wall-running. So cling to the wall next to the kekkai and run across to the other side. You eventually come to the sealing device. One slash is all it takes to make it go away! Work the corridor as you did with the previous ones until you reach the next set of rooftops. This part is a little dangerous, as you will encounter a huge ogre. You can stun him in place and just weave around him. Head for the tall pillars and work them in the same fashion. Target the floating heads and down them. A Makimono can be found on one side of the pillar. Just down and to your left as you work your way through this. The first of four sealing devices is suspended high in the air, next to the last pillar. Get to it and destroy it accordingly. Two out of three of the sealing devices are out in the open. You can use your Shurikens if you're too lazy to scale the walls, or are too afraid to screw up. The last one, however, is resting on a low rooftop to the right of the kekkai. After that is destroyed, the kekkai opens up. This is the last corridor you need to go through, so cherish every last second. Or not. Take care of the enemies here if you wish. In the last area head over to the rooftop between two tall pillars. Cling to one of them and work your way up, so that when you leap to the door on the other side you won't fall to your demise. Double jump and stealth-dash at the last second. Immediately you will be greeted by a group of floating heads and an ogre and... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: DOOR OF DOOM ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Welcome to the door of death. The other side awaits. This is one tough door. At first this may not seem like a boss fight at all. In fact, it's not really; it's just one tough nut to crack. Your boss is an opponent in disguise. It's the door in front of you! The door is forever guarded by an ogre and several floating heads. Every time you kill them, they just keep coming back. Anyway, the main target is the golden crest in the center. Press R2 to confirm your target. Dispose of the extra baggage (the ogre and the floating heads) to charge up Akujiki. Then jump up and slash as many times as possible. If you hack away without any slowdowns, Hotsuma will stay aloft for a little while. If you have a fully charged sword when you do this, the door should burst open within a short time. ============================================================================= LEVEL NOTES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies ~~~~~~~~~ By now any enemies that are thrown at you won't surprise you one bit. Once you've seen one, you've seen them all. Flying ninja warriors and floating heads abound, as well as sporadic appearances by twin-headed ogres. This level managed to give me a lot of trouble, mainly due to those damned ninja guys. Focus on killing them first by taking away their ability to fly. |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| | STAGE 8-B | |>-------------------------------------------------------------------------<| You're finally inside the Golden Palace. Since this is the last level, expect it to be tough. Really tough. You're forced to battle an overwhelming number of enemies. I hope you've been refining your skills up to this point. It's going to pay off. Head forward and slice through the divider in front. You will be seeing many of these en route to the boss. They are colored differently from the usual surroundings. After leaving your starting point, you wind up in a corridor with a kekkai blocking one end. One sealing device is next to it, but the other two are stored in separate rooms behind the strangely designed dividers. However, upon your entrance to each room you are ambushed by elite ninja warriors and strong flying Hellspawn. You must defeat all the enemies in the room to leave. (Expect this to happen almost every time. If you're not in the mood to fight, you can also use Shurikens to destroy sealing devices.) Once the kekkai is down, head in to retrieve a spare Shuriken. As you reach the kekkai on the other side, a quartet of flying Hellspawn makes a sudden appearance and attacks. Closing in from behind is a twin-headed ogre. Defeat the four flying Hellspawn in haste to charge up Akujiki. Then immediately go after the ogre and slash its head with a fuchsia-colored Akujiki. As future reference, the ogre drops quite a bit of Yang upon its demise, so if at any time you need to restore some life you can extort some Yang from these ogres. They won't appear as often as the other enemies, but when they do be careful around them. Destroy the four sealing devices in the next area to dispel this kekkai as usual. The next area is a bit different. Instead of having to deactivate all sealing devices, you need to eliminate all the enemies in the area, on both sides. There are kekkais in two rooms on the right side of the corridor. Enter each and wipe out all the enemies there to release both kekkais. They lead to the same area, so don't worry. The two other rooms are storage rooms for a Yang and a Shuriken. The next corridor is congested with four flying Hellspawn and an ogre on the opposite end. Depending upon which door you come from, it could be reversed. Slash through each flying Hellspawn, then deliver a one-hit kill to the ogre with a fully charged Akujiki. After the skirmish in the corridor, you won't be meeting anymore of these guys in the rooms housing the sealing devices. After dissolving this kekkai follow the corridor to the corner to encounter more flying Hellspawn. Breeze through them to finally enter a different area where there are a bunch of platforms hanging over a dark abyss and giant tubes adorning the walls. The platforms rise and fall, so don't jump to the next when it's elevated. You only want to do normal jumps and maybe double jumps. Don't ever do a double jump plus a stealth-dash unless necessary. Flapping overhead are a pair of flying Hellspawn that continuously spit out fireballs. Ignore them and hop up the platforms on the other side whilst destroying each sealing device. Work the next room in the same manner, except you may need to double jump and dash to some of the platforms. The first sealing device is floating above the first fluctuating platform. Two others can be gotten by using Shurikens, and the last one is floating above the other fluctuating platform. You may notice an Oboro Coin hovering to the lower left of the kekkai, near the bottom. The problem with getting it is that the entire wall might not be climbable, so you will have to do some risky maneuvers, albeit not too difficult, to get to it. Only those parts of the wall with designs and images can be clung to. A kekkai halts your progress as you head around the corridor. You are greeted by several elite ninjas. Eliminate them and the next batch of ninjas to continue. In the next area kill the three flying Hellspawn and grab the Makimono from the back. Now cling to the wall and start making your way up the vertical shaft by jumping up and sticking to the wall. You pop out from the shaft and into a room turned sideways. Seems the shaft you came from was really a corridor! Anyway, scale the walls and ascend again, then head into the corridor on the side. In the next area eliminate the sealing devices and the group of ninjas. In the small area beyond the kekkai, go around killing the flying Hellspawn and ninjas first, then take care of the ogre. This will prove a little tough, so you should first lure the ogre out of its stomping ground. This way you can have some room to fight the ninjas without getting squashed or swatted by the ogre. Anyway, head to the back and drop in the hole. You land in a corridor, where it appears as if everything is back to normal. Follow the long corridor. Along the way you'll meet some heavy resistance by the usual flying Hellspawn and ninjas. After the second group is dispatched, you will finally reach the kekkai guarded by four ninjas. Dispose of them to continue into a large room. Pick up the Makimono, and follow the winding path up, hopping up the steps and fighting enemies along the way, and around. It's a long way up, so take your time. When you finally reach the top, you're stopped by a kekkai, some flying Hellspawn and an ogre. As per the usual method to progress, dispose of these garbage. Now it's time to settle some other pressing matters... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ STAGE BOSS: HIRUKO ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You finally get to square off against this freak with the weird hairdo. This fight starts off slow. All Hiruko does is cast various elemental spells. Take this chance to check out his attacks. You may notice though that your attacks slash right through him. Don't panic! He's just momentarily invincible, so keep slashing him to initiate the real battle! Be careful of his devastating spells. He can cast up to four different kinds: lightning, fire, ice and scattered shot projectiles. The spell he will cast can be predicted by looking at the color of the eyes that appear when he utters the incantation of the spell. Red eyes: a huge slow-moving fireball is shot out. This is probably the least threatening, as you can simply avoid it from a distance. White eyes: shoots a line of projectiles (similar to the ones the Mama Spider from Stage 3-B spat out). Blue eyes: sends out four huge balls of ice capable of freezing you. This spell probably poses the biggest threat. Green eyes: sends streaks of lightning bolts to rain down on you. All of these spells can fortunately be avoided. You just need to keep on your toes and be alert. Know beforehand which direction the attacks will be coming from and you'll be able to finesse around them and go for Hiruko himself. When the real battle finally starts (indicated by the change in music and the sudden appearance of his life bar), it's time to take a more cautious approach. The borders around the balcony have disappeared and walls have been erected in mid-air for you to cling to if Hiruko teleports near them. Don't remain too close to him for an extended period of time because he can ward you off with a sphere of...ribbon stuff. Hiruko finally gets serious. Occasionally, he fires a moving string of proton beams that converge on you. The gaps between each beam is wide enough for you to slip through, but they come at you so fast that you will need to SEE him cast it if you want to dodge them. Eventually his lackeys will join the fray. They just happen to be thin strips of animated talisman papers. They're hard targets to hit sometimes. They float around and shoot fireballs. Typical stuff. While you're dealing with these underlings, you need to watch out for Hiruko's attacks. Like the battle with Moritsune, these lackeys will leave bits of Yang around when they perish, allowing you to replenish your health during the fight. Remember not to take these floating talismans head on. When you approach them, dash around to confuse them so that you're not an easy target. Their fireballs can be pretty deadly. If you have Shurikens to spare, wait until a whole army of them appears and then perform a Shuriken Burst to stun them all at once. From this point on this battle will continue just like all the other battles you have fought in up to this point. This means that the basic strategy is to power up Akujiki and deteriorate his life little by little (although it won't be very little if you attack him with a fully charged Akujiki). Wait until there are at least five talismans around, so that you can feed Akujiki without any slow-ups. Remember to use the Thunder Kick to break his guard. After a few more slashes to severely wound him, he will be finished. And... On Super mode, the key to beating Hiruko is slicing him with a fully-charged Akujiki from the back with Joe. Do a kick in front, then stealth-dash behind him and attack. The talismans themselves are a pain in the butt. What you should do is get in front of one and leave a shadow of yourself. This gives you a very brief moment to bludgeon this fool. Do the same to each one. Good luck. Don't give up! /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ [ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIES] Submitted by Fallen That boss fight for level 8-B is very difficult and painful (not to mention it takes a long time). One thing that I found makes the battle a bit more manageable is to memorize the different sounds that Hiruko makes. He has a different incantation for each spell so you can figure out how you need to dodge without even looking at him. It's also a good idea to stay near him when he appears on the ground and listen for a funny sounding 'whoop' noise. When he makes that noise he begins casting the spell that enables him to teleport on top of you and spin around attacking (which is not fun). If you hit him shortly after the 'whoop' noise you will interrupt the spell. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ Submitted by Doaal - When he casts the fire spell, if at any time during the casting (even just one second at the start) you go directly under him and back away, he'll shoot the fireball at his feet rendering it harmless. - You can tell when he's about to do that annoying teleport attack when he makes a noise ("Ha!" or something like that). After he says it, you have about four seconds to run up to him and slash him to cancel that attack. If he does do the teleporting thing the best defense I found is to stealth-dash in a wide circle. If you time your stealth-dashes right (leaving as little time as possible between them), then he won't hit you. If he gets lucky he'll hit you once or twice. Also while he's teleporting, when he says "Ha!" again that means it's his last teleport attack, and you need to get out of there because he'll reappear with a shockwave that knocks you back and hurts you. - Hitting him in the back does twice the damage (I think this is the case with all bosses). An easy way to do this is to give him a lightning kick (since he blocks your attacks from the front anyway) then stealth-dash behind him and slash. If you do it properly, the scream will sound a little different. With a fully charged Akujiki (8 burning icons) on Super with a backstab, it takes off about 50% (25% from the front) of his health but you need insanely good timing and luck for this. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ Submitted by Mike First of all, make sure that you get all three Makimono scrolls from the previous stage and set your ninjutsu to Raijin before you go into the next stage. This will save you the trouble of having to switch it every time you have to retry...if you have to retry. Anyways, the concept sounds simple, but actually pulling it off is a different story. So, what you want to do is make sure he summons all those stupid talismans, but don't kill them yet. Wait 'til he does that irritating teleporting thing (you should hear him shout out before he does it). Once you hear him shout, use the Raijin magic. Go around and kill all the talismans while he's trying to hit you. After he pounds the floor, he'll just chill there for a little bit and wait for you to dash behind him to give him a new crack. Just repeat it and you should be able to kill him pretty quickly. If you hit him in the front while your sword is fully charged, he won't take that much damage-- maybe a quarter of his life. So make sure you're pretty close to him to make it easier to dash behind him. But like I said, it's easier said than done. /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/ ============================================================================= LEVEL NOTES ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enemies ~~~~~~~~~ Nothing you haven't seen a million times before. They've just been beefed up a bit. Throughout this level you encounter flying Hellspawn, elite ninja guys and twin-headed ogres, the flying Hellspawn and ninjas being the majority. Disposing of the flying Hellspawn first should be viewed with utmost priority, as their exploding fireballs is the root of all pain. No longer will they plummet to their death with only a Shuriken. You now have to murder them by hand. This is very problematic in rooms where there is no ground below you. That's why sometimes the best way to deal with them is to not deal with them at all. The ninja warriors are no different, except now they're covered from head to toe with hard-plated armor. Still their back are their main weak spot. The twin-headed ogre once again wins the award for being the toughest enemy of the lot. As always its weak spot is its head(s); hitting anything else will just cause your sword to fling right back at you. It wields a pretty large metal beam (stick or whatever), one with which it can use to protect its weak spot. It packs a lot of physical power, so refrain from recklessly rushing in, only to get knocked nearly unconscious. Thankfully, it's slow, so you can see the attacks coming before they completely pan out. | | -+-\________________--------------------------------------_______________/-+- | \ 06. Appendix / | -+-/________________--------------------------------------_______________\-+- | | =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~= O B O R O C O I N L O C A T I O N S =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~= I would like to thank David, a very good friend and a gaming buddy, for his support and help. Without him, I don't think I would have ever survived the nightmare that is Shinobi on Super mode. He helped me compile this list of coins. He is the greatest!! Lots of bearhugs and kisses! S T A G E 1 – A ******************  From the orange barrier of small maze-like area, jump to the other side to find it at the dead end.  After coming out from the alleyway to the last area, go to your immediate right to find this hidden in an alcove.  Found in the last area before the boss. After defeating the last tank at the end of the street, hop up to the high ledge. Then jump to the ledge on the other side to find it tucked away to the left side, nestled next to some debris. HARD  In the same area as the first coin, but in the alley with the Makimono at the end. There is an alcove on the right side of the wall with this coin in it. SUPER  Again, in the same area as the Hard coin, except it's suspended in the air. Double jump and stealth-dash from the highest building to snag it. S T A G E 1 - B ******************  Second area, on an isolated rooftop. Use the walls to reach it.  Third area, to your immediate right when you enter this area. The coin is on a high ledge. You can access it by double jumping off the wall and then stealth-dashing to it. HARD  At the last area of the level, before going to face the boss, the coin is placed on the normally unreachable building in the back. Head to the kekkai to lure several aerial enemies out. You must have mastered the Air Combo trick for this to work, and proceed to jump up, slash, stealth-dash and follow up with continuous Air Combos to reach the other side. Then jump along the platforms to the coin. SUPER  From where you obtained the second coin on Normal, look to the north and to the east to a dilapidated building. There's a small space in-between; the coin is there. You need to properly utilize the double jump technique and then use stealth-dash to get back onto the ledge. S T A G E 2 - A ******************  The large clearing with several elevated land masses. The coin is hanging in the air on the left (assuming you're looking forward from the entrance). On the highest land mass, focus your camera back to the entrance and you should see it floating in front of you. Double jump and stealth-dash to it. HARD  In the area where you found the first Makimono atop the archway. This one is sitting atop an archway in the middle. Get on one of the statue bases nearby and use it to boost you up there. SUPER  Floating over a huge pitfall. Stand on the platform with the Shurikens on it and double-jump toward the coin, then stealth-dash back. S T A G E 2 - B ******************  After the first kekkai, you arrive in an area with a Japanese building erected in the middle. The coin is floating in the air, in the middle of the area. Get on the roof of the building and perform a double jump and stealth-dash combo. HARD  In the area where the second Makimono is with the huge pitfall. It's on the highest stone platform which is protruding from the bottomless pit. To get to it, you must go to where the Makimono is by wall-running all the way around starting from the right side. Then carefully jump to the platform. SUPER  Suspended in the air in the same pit area as the Hard coin. This one is floating near the platform that held the Hard coin. Double jump from the wall to get it, then stealth-dash back to the platform. S T A G E 3 - A ******************  On the far platform on the other side in a large, crumbled three-story room. It's on the platform right above the one holding the second Makimono of the level. Wall-run to it. You have to do some improvising to get past the broken wall chunks. It's easier to do this on the west wall, where you can jump to the platform with a Shuriken, then to the coin.  Near the end of the level, you start to see metal coverings that protect rooms. This coin is behind one of the plain metal coverings (ones with no designs) in the area before the tank. Slash them open to find this coin. HARD  In a room behind metal coverings at the very last area with the second tank. SUPER  Located in the same room as coin , but hovering in the air next to the platform. This one is a bit frustrating because once you miss it and drop to the bottom level, you'll have to climb back up to the top. A real PAIN in the patooty. S T A G E 3 - B ******************  After going down an incline, you come to a room with a sealing device suspended in the air. On the high ledge in the back of the room is this coin. Jump to the brown, broken support beam on the left and quickly kick off it to the ledge. HARD  Sitting in an alcove in the large breeding room that's littered with webs and spider nests. Head to the kekkai and look to your right. Wall run the yellow-ish wall to it. SUPER  On a ledge above the FIRST long incline leading to the second floor (a spider nest is in front of it). Ascend and look on the ledge behind you. S T A G E 4 - A ******************  To the side of the second lava pit. Double jump to the ledge.  After destroyed the second tank, go through the kekkai and head to your immediate left to a small nook. The coin is here. HARD  To the left side of the large lava pit. This is in the area where you meet the third enemy tank. SUPER  Floating in the air in one of the nooks near the second tank. Double jump to it. S T A G E 4 - B ******************  From where you begin the level, go to your right and you'll see the coin floating slightly above the lava. Drop down to a lower ledge (where a Makimono is) and jump toward the coin to snag it, then quickly jump BACK and stealth-dash safely to the ledge.  In the large cavern infested with fire moths past the first tank. It's in the air. Go to the very last platform next to the kekkai and stand at the edge. Look behind you and up. Line yourself up with the coin, double jump and stealth-dash to claim this bad boy.  At the end of a thin path in the large cavern after the one where you got coin . Get on the path below the enormous rock in the center and follow it to the end. HARD  In the first large cavern with the tank and its legion of fire moths. On your upper right when you first enter. SUPER  Suspended HIGH in the air in the same cavern as coin . I recommend using Joe for this, as this will take a long time to get. Don't want that damn sword to take your life before you take the coin, do you? S T A G E 5 - A ******************  After the first kekkai, you arrive in the first district. From the kekkai here, look to your left to see a ramp. The coin is located on the wall next to it.  In the last district before the boss. It's located to the lower right of a ramp. Go to the kekkai, then look to your left and you'll see it as plain as day. HARD  In the second district, located next to the Makimono. SUPER  In the area with the second Makimono. This is actually well-hidden since it's submerged in water when the water level is high. You have to wait until the water recedes and then nab the thing. It's located in a nook opposite from the kekkai. Stand on the big block building in the center and look behind you. S T A G E 6 - A ******************  Past the area where you had to go through a large room with several laser fields. When you enter the next shaft immediately after exiting that room, look to your upper left to see this coin. HARD  The very last room with all the platforms. When you enter, look to the right to see it. Determine a landing spot beforehand. SUPER  On the platform located directly across the kekkai. A twin-headed ogre rises from it. S T A G E 7 - A ******************  Take the right-hand path at the path split to come to a small clearing. The coin is located behind the shrine building. HARD  This one is pretty damn hard to miss. It's in front of a large, single waterfall, hanging over a pit into which the water gushes. Be careful not to touch the waterfall itself. SUPER  In the area where there are a half-dozen waterfalls over one big pitfall. Look straight across before you start jumping and you shouldn't miss it. S T A G E 8 - A ******************  When you begin the level, look immediately behind you and up. The coin is floating above the door. You can either stick to the walls and run up to get it, or jump from the adjacent rooftop.  In the third large, open area you will see this coin floating on the far isolated rooftop. So jump to the building directly opposite of it. A straight line of floating heads will appear in front of you. Double jump and stealth dash to the first one and perform an Air Combo (you must be pretty proficient with it) to reach the coin. After getting it, just jump onto the lowest rooftop.  Under the path in front of the kekkai of the fourth area. Stick to the wall and run along it to get it.  Floating next to a large pillar in the very last area before you face the door boss. There are two pillars. The coin is on the left-hand side of the left pillar. HARD  In the first area where you first begin the level, go straight ahead to the first sealing device. Now look to your left. The coin is located under the elevated half of the roof. SUPER  The fourth area that looks exactly like the first area of the level. When you first enter, the coin is to your left, near the bottom corner. S T A G E 8 - B ******************  Located in the lower left corner when facing the kekkai of the second platform-jumping room. HARD  After reaching the first Makimono, keep ascending the wall until you reach a room twisted out of proportion with sealing devices. The coin is right above you when you first enter the area. SUPER  At the very top of the last room. Beat the twin-headed ogre and look behind you. =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~= B O N U S S T U F F =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~= Most of the stuff you're about to feast your eyes on can be unlocked through collecting as many Oboro Coins as you can. What you can unlock is solely dependant on the number of coins you currently have. To obtain more coins, you simply have to beat Normal, Hard and then Super. Remember that you must COMPLETE the level to save your coins. Your newly collected coins will not overwrite and erase old ones. Rather they will be added together to make up your total. INTRO MOVIE & DEMO ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ If you stay on the title screen without pressing the start button for about 15 seconds, the game engine triggers an intro movie which features a collage of all the movies you will see throughout the game. Nonetheless, it's really a thrill to watch! Once you return to the title screen from the movie, let it sit again and you'll witness a demo of how a real Shinobi player plays the game! Study it carefully and try to apply some of the moves to your own game! RANKING GUIDE ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Here's a mini-guide that tells you how each category contributes to the final ranking of the stage. On an important note, time and the number of coins DO NOT affect your ranking in any way. Period. These are the TOTAL points possible for each category: Kill Percentage – 15,000 pts. Tate Point - 35,000 pts. (add or subtract a little) Boss Point - 30,000 pts. * Makimono - 6,000 pts. No Damage - 10,000 pts. * The boss total actually depends on the boss. You get 20,000 for members of your clan. For bosses that are of demon nature, you are bestowed 30,000 pts. for your victory. The ONLY exception is the duo in Stage 2-A, in which there are two bosses. Now I will discuss how the points are calculated. Kill Percentage - For every 1% you gain, you earn a rough estimate of 150 points. Tate Point - This is very hard to say since the data I gathered wasn't exactly consistent. For every 1% of enemies you Tate (based on the above Kill Percentage), you earn a very, very rough estimate of 50 points (add or subtract some). Performing a Tate on a boss makes up for some lost points. Boss Point - Regardless of what or who the boss is, points are deducted for every successful hit you do. Not just a few points. I'm talking about by the thousands. It can drop from 30,000 to 20,000. You get no points for using ninja magic. Scale based on number of hits (may change slightly): 1 = 30,000 pts. | 2 = 20,000 pts. | 3 = 10,000 pts. 4-15 = 2000 pts. | 16-24 = 1000 pts. | 25 above = 0 pts. Makimono - Each UNUSED Makimono is worth 2,000 points. You have a total of three for each level. No Damage - As the name implies, you get this ONLY if you receive NO damage whatsoever. Not even a nick or a scratch. You get it or you don't. Add it all up. Depending upon your total, you are rewarded with one of the following grades: S = 45,000+ pts. A = 35,000+ pts. B = 25,000+ pts. C = Below 25,000 pts. UNLOCK HARD MODE ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Complete the whole game on Normal to unlock Hard mode difficulty. UNLOCK SUPER MODE ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Complete the whole game on Hard to unlock Super mode difficulty. UNLOCK EXTRA OPTIONS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Art Gallery : Collect about 20 Oboro Coins to unlock this. To unlock all the artwork, you must beat EVERYTHING. That means completing the game on Super. Good luck!! Movie : Collect about 10 Oboro Coins to unlock this. You can view only those movies which you have already seen. Stage Select : Collect about 2 to 3 Oboro Coins to unlock this. You can play only those levels which you have already beaten. Cycle across the levels and choose the difficulty. When you are ready, simply go to GAME START to begin. When you beat the level, the game will save your progress for that level. UNLOCK EX STAGES ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Many people refer to them as the VR Missions mainly because of the striking resemblance to MGS' beloved training missions, but the correct name is EX. There are 9 levels in all, each consisting of nearly everything you have done in the normal game. The goal of each is to reach the checkpoint to move on to the next area. You will be attacked by all the enemies you've met in the game, including a new addition to the Hellspawn neighborhood who happens to be a formidable adversary. Basically, the EX stages exist to help you refine your ninja skills, which DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. By the time you beat Super, you will already have elite Shinobi skills. Weird. Anyway, you need 50 Oboro Coins to unlock this which means you need to snag every last coin in the game. You'll find the EX stages unlocked after the 8-B stage on Stage Select. CHARACTER SELECTION ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Moritsune : Collect 30 Oboro Coins altogether. You will have unlocked him by the time you reach Stage 3-B on Hard, assuming you haven't missed any coins. Joe Musashi : Collect 40 Oboro Coins altogether. You will have unlocked him by the time you reach Stage 2-A on Super, assuming you haven't missed any coins. Here's a run-down on each ninja. Many thanks to Xybreed for typing this out. Hotsuma ~~~~~~~~~ Whom you use initially, Hotsuma has the weakest sword attacks, but Akujiki does not eat his life as fast as it does for Moritsune's life. Hotsuma is the "middle class" in speed with average defense also. In short, since he's the main character, he's well-rounded. He also has the weakest magic attacks. Moritsune ~~~~~~~~~~~ You probably know that he's the fastest and strongest with his sword, and that when wielded by him Akujiki has a case of the munchies. You probably didn't know that he has the weakest defense and second strongest magic attacks (and once you get to Super mode you'll care about magic attacks...A LOT, though maybe not as much if you play through all of Super Mode with Moritsune). One of the best things that he and Hotsuma share though is that their Shurikens paralyze. This is actually very good, especially against big enemies like the ogres and the bird warriors. Musashi ~~~~~~~~~ Joe Musashi is the slowest and the second strongest with his sword. On the plus side, his sword doesn't eat his life. He also has infinite Shurikens that do damage instead of paralyzing. There's really only two reasons you'd want to use this guy: He has the best defense and magic attacks out of the three. Since level ranks do not depend on difficulty, the fact that you aren't Tate-ing the bosses shouldn't matter to you; just pray you get through Super mode. If you'd like an example of how strong his magic attacks are, on Super Mode I was fighting Moritsune on the rooftop (1-B). I used ONE Ka'en (fire) magic attack, and he had about 1/8 of his life LEFT after it. It did about 5/6 of the life bar against the boss of 3-A (guy with ninja dogs), and it even still does around 1/4 to Benisuzume (4-B Moth boss). GLITCH ^^^^^^ Here's an interesting glitch: as I was battling against Akagane in Stage 2-A, I threw a Shuriken at Akagane as she was about to either do a special attack or jump back. What happened was that after she had been momentarily paralyzed, her body disappeared! Her "presence" was still there, but you could see her only when she attacks. You can also see only the talisman on her. After I struck her with another Shuriken, she returned to normal. Whether this is a glitch or not, I am not certain, but it sure as well was amusing.