STAGE 73: Ninja Gaiden

Created in 1988, Ninja Gaiden was originally known as Ninja Ryukenden, which would translate to originally as  ”Legend of the Ninja Dragon Sword.” Developed by Tecmo (now named Koei Tecmo) The first Ninja Gaiden game was an arcade beat em up, in the vein of Double Dragon and was very well received. Even in saying that, many who played the game regarded it as being far too difficult, which would basically foreshadow things to come for the series that starred the legendary ninja hero Ryu Hayabusa.

 Later that year, when the first Ninja Gaiden title was released on the NES, the series took a whole new direction to accommodate the limits of the console. No longer a beat em’ up with the occasional sword wielding, the game was now an action platformer. The game was an instant success, and would spawn two more sequels, Ninja Gaiden II, and Ninja Gaiden III, released in 1990, and 1991, respectively. All three games were well received, and would follow a formula that would become a staple for the series, all three games were brutally unforgiving. Difficulty seemed to be the name of the game for Ninja Gaiden, as well as the tight gameplay, amazing music and, new to the NES for the time, the use of cut-scenes to tell the story.

The use of cutscenes were definitely lightyears ahead of the curve, and certainly weren’t commonplace within games of the time, especially for what the NES had to offer.  Although These cutscenes may be simplistic by modern standards, they were revolutionary at the time.  And what’s Even more incredible is that despite this, they’re still are effective and gorgeous to look at even through this day.

Even as the technology became more advanced and various video game series would jump into the world of 3d, with the adventures of Ryu Hayabusa starting off as a 2D side scroller action genre ultimately becoming a 3D action game. The ninja gaiden series would never forget its roots by offering a challenge for those looking for some responsive gameplay, fast paced action and even more amazing and memorable Music.

So this is why THIS STAGE of the Retro VGM revival Hour we are covering some of the best Music tracks from the various games in the Ninja Gaiden Series.

So Get your dragon sword ready for the amazing adventure that awaits in front of you…
Let’s get going!!!


Download this episode directly HERE (right-click and choose “Save As”!)



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Full track listing:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Game – Composer – Title – Company⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


1.) Ninja Gaiden – Mikio Saito & Ryuichi Nitta – “L.A Stage, NY Stage, Las Vegas Stage Boss & Final Stage Boss“ – October 1988 – Tecmo – Arcade

2.) Ninja Gaiden – Keiji Yamagishi & Ryuichi Nitta –  “The Dragon Ninja, Bravery: On the Clutches, Showdown: At the Portal of Death (Battlefield) & The Amazing Ryu/Credits Theme“ – December 9, 1988 – Tecmo – NES

3.) Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos – Ryuichi Nitta – “Chaosium Sword, Overdrive, The Parasprinter & A Long Way To Go“ – April 6, 1990 – Tecmo – NES

4.) Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom – Rika Shigeno & Kaori Nakabai – “Stage 2-1/7-2, Stage 2-2/5-2, Stage 4-1/7-1 & Stage 4-2/7-3” – June 21, 1991 – Tecmo – NES

5.) Ninja Gaiden – Takashi Horiguchi – “Escape in a Forest, Pursuit in Tokyo & The Land of Enemy“ – July 1992 – SIMS/Sega – Sega Master System

6.) Ninja Gaiden – Kenji Yamazaki – “Assault, Skyscraper & Siragane” – November 1, 1991 – Japan System House/Sega – Game Gear

7.) Ninja Gaiden Shadow – Hiroyuki Iwatsuki – “Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3 & Stage 5“ – December 13, 1991 – Natsume/Tecmo – Game Boy

8.) Ninja Gaiden (Ninja Gaiden Black/Ninja Gaiden Sigma) – Makoto Hosoi, Wakana Hara & Ryo Koike – “An Easy Enemy, Revival of the Dead, Iron and Sword & Devil“ – March 2, 2004 – Team Ninja/Tecmo – Microsoft Xbox, PS3 & PlayStation Vita

9.) Ninja Gaiden II (Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2)  – Hiroyuki Akiyama, Ryo Koike & Takumi Saito – “Murderous Intent, Fighting Soul, Standing Tall & Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Theme“ – June 3, 2008 – Team Ninja/Koei Tecmo – Xbox 360, PS3 & PlayStation Vita

10.) Ninja Gaiden 3 (Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge) – Takumi Saito, Ryo Koike, Hiroaki Takahashi & Riichiro Kuwabara – “A Hero Unmasked, Heavy Machinery, Betrayal & She“ – March 20, 2012 – Team Ninja/Koei Tecmo – Xbox 360, PS3 & Wii U

11.) Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z – Grant Kirkhope – “Yaiba Main Theme, Ninja Fight, Reception From Hell, Dragon Ninja & Brilliant Ryu“ – March 18, 2014 – Spark Unlimited/Koei Tecmo – PS3, Xbox 360 & Windows PC

12.) Warriors Orochi 3 (Musō Orochi 2) – Masato Koike & Keiji Yamagishi – “Brilliant Ryu (Dynasty Warriors/Samurai Warriors MIX)“ – December 22, 2011 – Omega Force/Koei Tecmo – PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, PSP, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, Wii U & Xbox One

13.) Warriors All-Stars – Masato Koike & Keiji Yamagishi – “Brilliant Ryu (Ryu Hayabusa Stars Mix)“ – March 30, 2017 – Omega Force/Koei Tecmo –  PS4, PlayStation Vita & Windows PC

14.) Dead or Alive 2 – Shigekiyo Okuda, Shouichi Koike & Makoto Hosoi – “The shooted (Theme of Ryu Hayabusa)“ – October 16, 1999 – Team Ninja/Koei Tecmo – Arcade, Sega Dreamcast, PS2 & PS3


Posted by Edgar Velasco

PODCASTER who runs 2 different shows. Loves 8bit music, retrogaming , comics and Pro wrestling ..... and Platypuses are awesome