Shadow of the Ninj is a futuristic ninja-themed side-scrolling action game by Natsume for the Nintendo Entertainment System originally released in Japan in 1990 and in North America and Europe in 1991.
Set in the year 2029, the evil dictator Emperor Garuda has taken over the United States of America, building a stronghold in the middle of the nation's "largest city". To stop Garuda and avenge the innocent lives that were lost in his reign, two ninja masters from the Iga clan, Lord Hayate and Lady Kaede, are sent to infiltrate Garuda's impregnable stronghold and assassinate him.
Shadow of the Ninja can be played by up to two players simultaneously, with one player controlling Hayate (the male ninja) and the other as Kaede (the female ninja). In either mode, the player can decide which character they want to control before the game actually begins. There are no actual performance differences between either character, but they are actually looking almost completely different looking in-game (and in other versions' manga-style covers) than as shown in the US cover art: Hayate is blonde and Kaede is green-haired, wearing a miniskirt and wielding a sword and a kunai.
The player character can run, crouch, climb ladders, attack, and jump like in most side-scrolling action games as well as hang onto an overhang and move under it. If the player has more than half of their vitality remaining, they can perform a special attack by holding a button for an extended period, summononing a thunderstorm that will damage all on-screen enemies, but at the cost of roughly half of their maximum vitality.
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