Hello and welcome to what content could appear within a potential Ninja Gaiden Challenger Pack. Previously, we looked at Hayabusa and how he could play as a fighter. In this part, we will look at what kind of content both retro and modern Ninja Gaiden could provide to Smash.
Ninja Gaiden Stage
Sky City Tokyo was one of the more memorable locations in Ninja Gaiden in both the classic and modern games. While the first level of the original Ninja Gaiden or perhaps the Zharkan District in the modern series could serve as a stage, Sky City Tokyo left quite the impression on fans. It was even Hayabusa’s stage when he appeared in Dead or Alive as well as Warriors Orochi 3. While the level has yet to be revisited (partially due to a lack of recent Ninja Gaiden games), it can't be denied this is a location fans are especially fond of.
Caution: Intense violence and moderate amounts of gore and potentially offensive language
The stage would be situated in front of Muramasa’s recently-opened blacksmith shop. This character and shop is a staple of the modern series and is the location for the opening of Ninja Gaiden 2. The stage also features other aspects of Sky City Tokyo beyond Muramasa’s shop such as the brilliant pagodas, flowering cherry blossom tree, and skyscrapers in the distance; all set at nighttime and awashed in neon glow.
The stage would have walk-off blast lines on either side. The left side has a three-story pagoda with platforms that can be passed through. This pagoda sits on a main stage platform which is connected by an arching red bridge that extends over a chasm below. The other side consists of two different levels. The stage itself consists of a single flat platform that extends to the right blast zone. Above this main level is a secondary platform that is leveled with the three-storied pagoda. Sitting on this high platform is the Muramasa shop which also has two stories. Two separate first story platforms frame the shop’s front door followed by the arching roof above. This sits slightly higher than the pagoda across the expanse. On occasion, an aircraft with a searchlight will appear between these two towering sections which can be used as a temporary floating platform. The pagoda, bridge, shop, and aircraft can all be destroyed as well but we’ll return after some time. This makes the stage quite large albeit slightly smaller in terms of vertical measurements to Gaur Plains.
In terms of background content, the stage will sit on a hill with the expanse of the city sitting below. Sky City Tokyo blends the old and the new which is a nice contrast to the classic and reboot dynamic. This is evident in the traditional elements like pagodas, cherry blossom trees, and stone lanterns existing alongside modern elements such as neon signs, aircraft, and skyscrapers. In terms of cameos, the blacksmith Muramasa as well as one of the main characters, Irene Lew would appear. This would make sense as both are present in the opening sequences of Ninja Gaiden II. Other potential cameos include:
- Momoji, Hayabusa’s apprentice.
- Sanji, a ninja-in-training.
- Rachel, a Fiend-Hunter who allied with Hayabusa.
- Mizuki McCloud, a member of the Japanese Self Defense Force who assists Hayabusa.
- Jō Hayabusa, the father of Ryu and leader of the Hayabusa Clan.
- Kureha, Hayabusa’s childhood friend who died in the beginning of the first Ninja Gaiden.
- Ayane and Kasumi, two main characters from Dead or Alive who also appear in Ninja Gaiden.
- Black Spider Ninja Clan members. They are one of the many enemies Hayabusa fights.
- Genshin, a monstrous Fiend and head of the Black Spider Ninja Clan.
- Obaba, a 100-year old witch who was the former leader of the clan before being killed by Genshin.
- Rasetsu, the Fiend boss of Sky City Tokyo who initially kidnapped Irene.
- An alternate boss besides Rasetsu could also appear in the form of the massive Buddha Statue.
Ryu Hayabusa Mii Swordfighter
Downloadable fighters usually don’t have Mii Outfits based on themselves but a Mii Swordfighter outfit based on Ryu Hayabusa would be absolutely perfect. It would be interesting to see both versions; classic and modern appear. If a Ryu Hayabusa outfit isn’t a viable option, perhaps Genshin, Bloody Malth, or Regent of the Mask is a better option.
Hayate Mii Brawler
Since Dead or Alive content has been included in this proposal; why not go the extra mile and include a Mii Outfit? While the series is known for their buxom beauties, perhaps something more appropriate is in order. Hayate is the brother of Kasumi, half-brother of Ayane and is the reason why Kasumi left her home and clan to find him. This led to Kasumi being hunted by her clan members. Hayate would work well as a Mii Brawler and his importance to the story (and being Ryu Hayabusa’s friend) is a good reason to include him.
Nobunaga Mii Swordfighter
Nobunaga is a main character from the Samurai Warriors series which also led to Hyrule Warriors and Fire Emblem Warriors being made. This would be quite an interesting Mii Outfit as Nobunaga Oda was actually a real person in history though his portrayal is a highly fictionalized version. Nobunaga is a powerful warlord who cut a bloody gash into Japan in order to conquer it but, historically, would be betrayed by his retainer. He sometimes appears as a villain or as an anti-hero. He would wield the Demon Slayer Sword, a purple and red double-edged sword.
Sterkenberg Cranach Mii Swordfighter
If you are scratching your head at this, don’t worry because you probably aren’t the only one. Sterkenberg (or Sterk for short) hails from the Atelier series, a long-running Action RPG game developed by Gust Studios, a division of Koei-Tecmo. He is a loyal knight from the kingdom of Arland within the Atelier Arland series. His appearance in Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland or his more recent appearance in Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland would probably be the most appropriate. However, his appearance in Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland would be a nice yet gloomy addition. He would wield the Knight Sword or Eternal Sword in battle. The Knight Sword is an elegant yet sharp sword for those with refined tastes while the Eternal Sword is a legendary sword wrapped in gold and a green gem set in its pommel.
Ninja Gaiden Spirit and Spirit Battles
Ability: Shooting Item Damage Increase
Character: (Black), x5 (Black)
Stage: Sky Town Tokyo
Rules: Team Battle
- Ally with Zero Suit Samus to defeat the Greninja
- Prefers using the Neutral Special
- Blaster items appear frequently
Ability: Weapon Attack Increase
Character: Snake (White)
Stage: Suzaku Castle
Rules: Stamina Match
- Opponent is equipped with Killing Edge
- Battering sword-based items appear frequently
- Item damage increases randomly
- Prefers using item-based attacks
Ability: Easier Dodging
Character: (if Byleth Challenger Pack is present), (Red)
Stage: Green Greens
Rules: Stamina Match
- Weapon damage increased
- Winds produced on the stage increase
- Opponent isn’t affected by the winds
Ability: Upgrade at level 99
Ability: Critical Hit Increase
Stage: Find Mii (Battlefield)
- Opponent’s speed increases gradually during battle
- Favors using Smash attacks
- After losing 50% health, Ganondorf gains a Final Smash
- All opponent’s attacks deal fire-damage
Rules: Stamina Battle, Timed battle (2 minutes)
- Robin is equipped with a Rocket Belt
- Opponent’s projectiles deal more damage
- Favors using Side Specials
- Robin’s Tomes are limitless
Ability: Critical Health Stars Double Increase
Rules: Stock Match
- Opponent comes with two stocks and the player has 1
- Losing the first stock changes the opponent to Metal in the second stock
- Opponent is equipped with a Reaper’s Scythe
- Opponent is constantly in Rage Mode
Ability: Landing Lag Decrease
Stage: Suzaku Castle
- Favors Side and Up Special
- Increased jumping ability
- Reduced landing lag on aerial moves
Ability: Undamaged Attack + Speed Increase
Stage: Boxing Ring
Rules: Stamina (2 stocks)
- Speed increase
- Ending lag reduced
- Punching and kicking attacks deal more damage
- Soccer Ball appears often
Ninja Gaiden Music
Act 1 - Ninja Gaiden
Act 3 Part 1 - Ninja Gaiden
Boss Battle 03 - Ninja Gaiden II
Act IV - Ninja Gaiden III
Muramasa’s Shop - Ninja Gaiden
Go the Distance - Ninja Gaiden
Blood of the Dragon - Ninja Gaiden II
Fighting Soul - Ninja Gaiden II
A Hero Unmasked - Ninja Gaiden III
Heavy Machinery - Ninja Gaiden III
She - Ninja Gaiden III
The 3rd Death of Yaiba - Ninja Gaiden Z Yaiba
Hunter’s Moon (Hayabusa’s Theme) - Dead or Alive 4
Outside of the Fighter Pass
Snake: Grey Fox? Is that you? Did you become human, finally?
Otacon: That’s not Grey Fox, Snake. This is Ryu...
Snake: Ryu...looks a little bit different. Kind of has an Ibuki, Guy, and Zeku vibe going on.
Otacon: ...Hayabusa. You didn’t let me finish my sentence, Snake. He is Ryu HAYABUSA. He is a super ninja.
Snake: Great. What we really need, a super ninja.
Otacon: I’m surprised you don’t know him, Snake. You guys got your first break around the same time. Anyways, Ryu Hayabusa is a super ninja who can use all sorts of secret ninja techniques and weapons. He uses these to fight demonic creatures called Fiends.
Snake: But can he do a Hadouken?
Otacon: Again, wrong Ryu.
Snake: How about a Shoryuken?
Otacon: I imagine he could if he tried. How about instead of thinking how their names are the same, you focus on the fight? Ryu Hayabusa is a fighter not to be taken lightly.
Snake: Maybe I could be called Solid Ryu…
Pit: Whoa, it’s a ninja!
Palutena: This isn’t any regular ninja. It’s none other than Ryu Hayabusa.
Pit: I bet he can do all sorts of ninja magic!
Ayane: Ninpo is not magic.
Pit: Hey! Who are you?!
Ayane: The name is Ayane and I’m an ally to Ryu.
Pit: You here to back him up or something?! Bring it on!
Palutena: Now now, Pit. What is it you want, Ayane? Plan to join the fight?
Ayane: Not now but maybe next time. I’m here to give you some intel on Ryu.
Pit: Hey, what gives?
Palutena: Don't tell me you are scoping out the competition to help out Ryu...
Ayane: Please, Ryu has all he needs to wipe the floor with you. I used to spy on him so I know all his techniques and abilities. Maybe I just felt bad for you so I thought I’d pass some pointers.
Pit: Well, if that’s the case, then spill the beans!
Ayane: Ryu can use ancient Ninja techniques called Ninpo which allows him to control the elements. Not to mention he is super fast...like insanely fast. He can also use a variety of unique weapons like his Dragon Blade and gigantic scythe. When he gets his Final Smash, you better hope you got some water on you cause it’s burning hot.
Palutena: Pit, she was kind of mocking you earlier.
Pit: She was?! Hey!
Ayane: You can figure the rest out on your own...or not. Take care, feather boy! poofs away
Pit: Hmph, that’s a ninja for you! Here one second and gone another!
Ninja Gaiden has been a part of Smash Ultimate DLC speculation back before we only knew we were getting Joker. Back then, it was Erdrick, Steve?, Hayabusa, and Doomslayer. Times have certainly changed and we are …. Slowly….going full...half-steam into Vol 2. Despite Erdrick technically showing up in Vol 1, Steve, Doomslayer, and, most importantly to this article, Hayabusa are nowhere to be seen. Hopefully, this changes in Vol 2. Ninja Gaiden might seem a bit of a strange addition considering the modern era of the games are still not on a Nintendo console. That being said, it can’t be denied the series has left a katana-size mark on the gaming industry and including it in gaming’s largest crossover is really something that should have been done a while ago.
Graphics: @Zerp, Venus of the Desert Bloom
Social Media: @Zerp
Special Mentions: @NonSpecificGuy