Challenge Show | Ninja Gaiden Black

Sina Hosseini
4 min readSep 2, 2023

Welcome to the second part of the Challenge Show, where all challenges of Ninja Gaiden Black are showcased!

Note: This minimal list can be applied to NG ’04 as well. Otherwise, I’ll explain the details (And those who want to know the differences between NGB and the base game, can check out this article from KeenGamer).

As a guy who beat both NG ’04 and NGB games respectively, with Normal difficulty, here’s the experience I have to share. So, let’s get down to business:

1. There is no checkpoint system at all, and once you die, you’ll go back to the last save point.

Who else killed this boss to enter the new chapter, and then after falling (=dying) went back to the last save point which is in the previous chapter?! (Image credit: Saltyman YouTube channel)

2. Weapons (plus, some techniques) can be obtained only by exploring the environments, they’re not given directly through the story via a cutscene. So, if you face a boss, and wield only your main sword, then it’s your fault.

3. The camera system makes the game harder, as it sometimes doesn’t let you do what you want. Even though there’s a reset camera button in both games, and you can control the camera in NGB, there are still some platforming sections that need a well-fitting camera.

Who remembers this plaforming part from hell? (Image credit: Saltyman YouTube channel)

4. The action system works differently: you kill your enemies, they drop blue, red, or yellow essence, and you absorb them to perform a powerful attack. But, you’ll lose the essence if you do so. For example, blue essences are health items, and if you absorb one to perform a strong action, then you lose the chance to fill your health bar.

5. There is a tutorial where Murai, one of the main characters of the story, teaches you how this system works. But this tutorial is removed in NGB, and you have to rely on “trial and error” methods to find the mystery behind the fights, if NGB is your first NG experience.

6. If you see the old bosses again, just as training to face a new boss, then you should not be surprised. Every retro challenge is possible to witness through your experience, even a little elevator section.

7. You have a bow that can be used in two ways: by pressing the B button that makes Ryu lock on a random target, or by holding the B button that takes you to the first-person mode. But there is a problem: once you enter the first-person mode, you see nothing else than Ryu being attacked by a random bowman, until you move somewhere else to find a better spot to use the bow.

Who remembers this part and its moving maces?! (Image credit: Saltyman YouTube channel)

8. Certain boss fights are harder compared to NG ’04, meaning that your past tricks are now useless in NGB.

9. Button mashing is not your friend, and that’s why counterattacks don’t work in this way.

10. Your bow is the only way to eliminate tanks, helicopters, and enemies using machine guns.

11. There is no way to buy anything in the last chapter, and since item no. 8 applies to its boss as well, you should have some health items in your inventory from previous chapters, otherwise, your chance to win is slim. Thankfully, after finishing each chapter, your health bar is filled in, but it’s not enough for the final boss of NGB.

12. There is a maze level at the end of the game, with each part of it harder than another, until you know the secret it utilizes.

13. It’s impossible to pause the game (=go to the inventory) while under the attack of the enemies or the bosses (=being in an attack animation), leading you to unreasonable deaths, before using any health items.

14. There is a button mapping issue in both titles, where pressing the X button, which is both the interact and the action button, doesn’t let your command perform exactly. For example, if you want to open a chest near an enemy, the game gets confused about performing your desired command. So pressing the X button may open the chest, or may attack the enemy.

15. And finally, your bow has no crosshair, making certain parts of fights tricky…

That was all my experience to share with those who don’t know much about NGB. So, please don’t forget to share your feedback with me!



Sina Hosseini

A man with the mission to cover obscure games/topics to add something new to your knowledge of gaming!