Ninja Gaiden (JP) is an NES video game released in 1989 by Tecmo. While not the first installment in the series (an arcade game of the same name was released prior), it is more widely known than any other before it and was the first in the NES Ninja Gaiden series. The game was eventually ported to the SNES as a part of Ninja Gaiden Trilogy and the Wii's Virtual Console, among other systems not owned by Nintendo. The arcade version of this game was available on the Wii Virtual Console and will be made available on the Switch through HAMSTER's Arcade Archives.
In all there are a total of six challenging sidescrolling levels that the game's protagonist, Ryu Hayabusa, will have to venture through. The character has a simple life bar which is at all times displayed at the top right of the screen along with the enemies' bar as well (if Ryu is battling one). Among other things seen up here is the level, score and timer. At the end of every act the player will be required to battle a boss, with six in all.
Ninja Gaiden graced the cover of volume 5 of Nintendo Power magazine in 1989 and was present in various forms in subsequent issues in the Counselor's Corner and Howard & Nester comics. Various sequels have been released on a multitude of consoles, and it's not uncommon to have Ninja Gaiden present in "top 100" or "200" video game lists - In Nintendo Power's top 200 games of all time list, Ninja Gaiden placed an astonishing #89/200 - no easy feat for a list of triple A titles.
The game also won 2 awards in the 1989 Nintendo Power Awards: "Best Challenge" and "Best Ending".
- NES Version at Nintendo's Wii Virtual Console page (North America)
- NES Version at Nintendo's 3DS Virtual Console page (North America)
- NES Version at Nintendo's Wii U Virtual Console page (North America)
- Famicom Version at Nintendo's Wii Virtual Console page (Japan)
- PC-Engine Version at Hudson Soft Virtual Console page (Japan)
- Famicom Version at Nintendo's 3DS Virtual Console page (Japan)
- Famicom Version at Nintendo's Wii U Virtual Console page (Japan)