PS2 Walkthroughs: Shinobi Walkthrough

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Shinobi Walkthrough


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                         Shinobi F A Q / Walkthrough
                           Written by AdrenalineSL 
                     Version 1.2: Released March 5, 2003
                            

       The very latest versions and updates can be found at GameFAQs:
                          http://www.gamefaqs.com

_____________________________________________________________________________

This is currently [Version 1.2] of Adrenaline's Shinobi strategy guide and 
walkthrough for the Playstation®2 console.

The guide is as complete as it can be. I have no desire to add anything else 
to it. However, I'm always willing to accept new contributions that append to 
what I already have, suggestions for improvement, corrections, and whatever 
other things you have floating around in that zany brain of yours. The e-mail 
lines are open. Send away! 

Contact me: toiletrabbit(at)hotmail(dot)com


---------------------------------
-----    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
******************

[1] From the orange barrier of small maze-like area, jump to the other side 
    to find it at the dead end.

[2] After coming out from the alleyway to the last area, go to your immediate
    right to find this hidden in an alcove.

[3] 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 

[4] 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 

[5] 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
******************

[1] Second area, on an isolated rooftop. Use the walls to reach it.

[2] 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 

[3] 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 

[4] 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
******************

[1] 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

[2] 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 

[3] 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
******************

[1] 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

[2] 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 

[3] 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
******************

[1] 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.

[2] 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 

[3] In a room behind metal coverings at the very last area with the second
    tank. 

SUPER

[4] Located in the same room as coin [1], 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
******************

[1] 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 

[2] 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 

[3] 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
******************

[1] To the side of the second lava pit. Double jump to the ledge.

[2] After destroyed the second tank, go through the kekkai and head to your 
    immediate left to a small nook. The coin is here.

HARD 

[3] To the left side of the large lava pit. This is in the area where you 
    meet the third enemy tank.

SUPER 

[4] Floating in the air in one of the nooks near the second tank. Double jump 
    to it.


 S T A G E  4 - B
******************

[1] 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.

[2] 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.

[3] At the end of a thin path in the large cavern after the one where you got
    coin [2]. Get on the path below the enormous rock in the center and 
    follow it to the end.

HARD 

[4] In the first large cavern with the tank and its legion of fire moths. On
    your upper right when you first enter. 

SUPER 

[5] Suspended HIGH in the air in the same cavern as coin [3]. 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
******************

[1] 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.

[2] 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

[3] In the second district, located next to the Makimono.

SUPER

[4] 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
******************

[1] 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

[2] The very last room with all the platforms. When you enter, look to the 
    right to see it. Determine a landing spot beforehand.

SUPER

[3] On the platform located directly across the kekkai. A twin-headed ogre 
    rises from it.


 S T A G E  7 - A
******************

[1] Take the right-hand path at the path split to come to a small clearing.
    The coin is located behind the shrine building.

HARD

[2] 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 

[3] 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
******************

[1] 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.

[2] 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. 

[3] Under the path in front of the kekkai of the fourth area. Stick to the
    wall and run along it to get it.

[4] 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

[5] 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

[6] 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
******************

[1] Located in the lower left corner when facing the kekkai of the second
    platform-jumping room.

HARD

[2] 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

[3] 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.
 
 
SHINOBI MANGA
^^^^^^^^^^^^^
No, your eyes have not deceived you. There IS a Shinobi manga (a manga is a 
Japanese comic book). I'm not quite sure exactly by what method it can be 
obtained, but my friend informed me that it came packaged with his copy of 
Prima's strategy guide. The manga artwork isn't very good, IMO. There are 
several interviews with the game's artists, like Tsuchibayashi Makoto, 
Fukazawa Hitoshi and Iwao Nobuto. The manga's story itself focuses around 
Ageha, Moritsune, Hotsuma and basically the entire Oboro Clan during their 
earlier years. Some of it actually (but vaguely) ties in with the actual game 
plot. 

For those of you who don't own the manga, you're not missing much. Unless you 
are a collector, this manga isn't really worth getting. The artwork in the 
back of the manga is quite nice, but it consists of only about two pages. 
Because I am such a nice person, I have generously transcribed the original 
interviews of the aforementioned game artists from the manga and posted them 
at the following link. Please feel free to donate a copious sum of money to 
me or set up a shrine to worship me.

http://www.ffrevelation.net/shinobi_interview.txt

You'll find it there. It's a friend's website, so don't harass the webmaster!



 |                                                                         |
-+-\________________--------------------------------------_______________/-+-
 |  \                              07.  Outro                           /  |
-+-/________________--------------------------------------_______________\-+-
 |                                                                         |


The unofficial Shinobi strategy guide was created on November 12, 2002. 
© 2002-2003 AdrenalineSL. All rights reserved.

All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole and  in part 
in any form.  Playstation 2 and Playstation 2 logos are registered trademarks 
of Sony, Inc. Shinobi is a registered trademark of SEGA, Inc. The author of 
this document is in no way affiliated with Sony Entertainment of America. You 
may not place this document on your website or reproduce it in any way 
without the author's consent.

This  Shinobi FAQ / Walkthrough was  written  by  AdrenalineSL, who holds all 
copyright for  this document, in whole and in part. This guide may be used 
for private and personal use only. You may not permit anyone under any 
patents to reproduce it, in part or in whole, or use it for profitable 
purposes. All content within this file is owned and created by Stephanie Lee.  
Should you attempt any infringement of these terms under the false belief 
that you are safe from international copyright law, it must be said that you 
are a moron. 

You may download the file  through a  web browser onto  a single computer for 
your  personal, non-commercial  use only.  You may not permit anyone  else to 
modify the file or use it for any  commercial purpose, display, performance, 
sale or rental.  It absolutely cannot be decompiled, disassembled, modified, 
or create derivative works based on the documentation in whole or in part. Do 
not remove any copyrights. 

DISCLAIMER: Shinobi, the Shinobi logo, Hotsuma's scarf, and all related 
characters are copyright and property of SEGA, Inc.
 

Contributor Credits
--------------------

Newtype Ace – For taking the time to write up Hard/Super strategies for most 
of the bosses! I would like to give him a thousand (if not more) thanks for 
doing this.

Xybreed – For contributing a number of things. Many thanks!

Lawrence David M A1C 86 CS/SCMOC – For pointing out that it is correctly 
called ninjutsu magic, not ninjitsu magic.

Ryan K – For a great tip on conserving your Makimonos during boss battles.

Klonoa7 – For his excellent Coin FAQ that helped me find all the coins. 


o|                        S P E C I A L  T H A N K S                       |o
¯|¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯|¯

Adrenaline would like to thank the following for their somehow making this 
FAQ possible:

SEGA – For publishing such a wonderful game.

Overworks – For creating the game and keeping the tradition alive.

David – For helping me with this FAQ. He's helped me with countless other 
FAQs. What would I do without him?

AstroBlue - For generating the Shinobi art found at the top of the FAQ. His 
Sin and Punishment FAQ was one of my main inspirations for the making of this 
Shinobi FAQ.

Atom Edge – For allowing me to host the interviews of the game artists on his 
website.

CJayC – For hosting my guides.

IGN FAQs – For also hosting my guides and for selecting me to be the second 
ever FAQ Writer of the Week. How cool is that.

Electronics Boutique – For suckering me in to pay up my 25 bucks (long 
story). What a bunch of money-grubbing pigs.


o|                              C L O S I N G                              |o
¯|¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯|¯

I think it's about time I take a more meaningful approach to how I should 
write my conclusions. Usually, I would just tell you that this is the end and 
that you should get the hell out, but I'm not going to say any of that this 
time. Instead, I'm going to share my thoughts and opinions; thus, I'm dubbing 
this section as "Adrenaline's Corner". (It is still named Closing, as you can 
see.) 

Months and months before it had been released, I kept a very watchful eye on 
SEGA's new ninja title, reading all the previews, drooling over all the 
screenshots, and thinking: "Wow, how COOL is that scarf?! Where can I get 
one?!" Then the month of November rolled in--the month for which Shinobi's 
release was slated. Naturally, I was ecstatic. To kill the time before it was 
released, I read the reviews of Shinobi from OPM and EGM. Both gave it 
considerably low scores. That wasn't the problem. The problem was the reason 
why they had given it low scores: those pansy-ass bitches thought the game 
was challenging. Too challenging. Not only that, they thought it was also too 
repetitive.

Well, I'll be a kangaroo's left foot! This is the legendary Shinobi franchise 
we're talking about. A franchise, whose history can be traced back to the 
mid-80s, that is known to deliver a stellar pure-action adventure. Shinobi 
holds true to SEGA's popular formula, one which they have recycled over and 
over again. Quite simply, it follows a kill-everything-and-beat-the-boss type 
theme with no real objective other than to present a challenge. For anyone 
who has played any of the games should know that the hero won't go around 
talking to 90 million people on the screen just to find out he has run out of 
coffee beans. It's a melting pot of action, a whacked-out story and a bit of 
one's insanity. Just the way I love it.

I need to stop myself before I continue to go off on a tangent, so I will now 
leave you with these words: you have stuff in your nose. Adieu.


"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."

~AdrenalineSL

Shameless plug--Other FAQs by yours truly:
http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/8212.html


============================================================================= 
                               MUCHAS GRACIAS!!!
=============================================================================

                                        /^  ^^    ///
                     / // ^  ^       /O%G%/t(   /////
                     O(@@ 6@e    /RG(t////~t%K^/ //^/
                      DeFtones   @#(((^  ^//~6K%^^^^
                                R@G%/~     //(CK@
                               @@B6((~/ ^^^~/~t%@
                               @@R6((~((/%/~(/CO@   /
                               @@GC%GtC~/~((tte@@^
                              /@QGCCtCCt%tCCQQR@@/^^/
                              RBC%tCCGGC/GCeR@@@/////
                             (#O((%%CGG#KKR@BB@et/~//
                             et(/tt(K@@#K#eGGOQet////
                            C~/(((OB#OGC%6eGGKGGC(///
                        ^^ % /(OKeC%tCC6C6666OG%~// /
                      / ^(t/~%G6(tC%(%tC%%C6%%///////
                    ^  ^%/(%KCC(((%((/(/(~// //^//~//
                       C/%R@(t(/^        ^^   / / ///
                   ^/^(t#@(((/^  !~AdrenALiNe~!
                   ^%%@@(~/~/^          ^    ^//^// /
                    /(//////// ^  /  / R~%G^C~Gt~/^ ^
                     // ////// / ^^^///////G/ ~/ ///^
                     /// ^//^/// / /   /^ / ^//// ///

                       _Adrenaline_ Deftones 1995 
                   ------------------------------------
                  The Unofficial Shinobi Strategy Guide
                   Copyright © 2002-2003 Stephanie Lee
                              December 2002

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