The game opens with a view of the landscape, the beautiful Sky City Tokyo, and shifts to Muramasa’s weapon shop. Inside is Sonia, whom after a short conversation, finds herself overwhelmed by ninja from the Black Spider Clan. Hayabusa comes to her rescue, only to find himself outnumbered and Sonia being carried away by a member of the opposing clan.
Several enemies now surround Ryu Hayabusa, equipped with the Dragon Sword and shuriken as his starting weapons. On Path of the Acolyte and Path of the Warrior, these enemy ninja prove relatively weak. If you’ve never played Ninja Gaiden before, now would be the time to adjust to the gameplay. Using the standard control scheme, the left trigger is the guard button. Moving while guarding results in a short dash, known as Reverse Wind, which can be used to dodge most attacks, and using X or Y while guarding will result in a counterattack that generally puts Hayabusa in an advantageous position. If it’s your first time playing, it’s probably wise to leave the tutorial switched on as it will explain a majority of the abilities Hayabusa possesses, as well as running down Obliteration Techniques. Dispatch the enemies with the Dragon Sword, let your wounds heal if you suffered any damage, and take a look around. To the right of Muramasa’s shop is a path currently blocked by a gate, and to the left is a short walkway to a save statue. Head to the left and save your progress at the statue. Note that the save statues will heal you the first time you use them. Head back to Muramasa’s shop and press the right bumper (RB) to open the door. After a short cutscene where Muramasa tells Hayabusa why the girl had appeared, you can now head passed the gate that was locked before. If you haven’t already broken them, there are wooden crates/barrels in front of the gate which contain yellow essence, doubling as both a source of charging up Ultimate Techniques and the game’s currency.
As you walk down the steps passed the gate, around seven enemy Black Spider Ninja show up. Kill them and proceed to the door at the end of the path. Before going inside you can choose to kick open the chest next to the door. It contains a scroll depicting how to perform the Reverse Wind technique which you should be adept at by now. Head on inside and go to the left, meeting up with another group of six enemies. Once again, they’re fairly easy to kill. Once done here, proceed past them and open the chest in the room at the end of the hallway and turn around. Proceed down the path next to the one you exited and prepare for another fight. You’ll probably notice here that anything you can do, your enemy can do. In the middle of the hallway is a gap that the enemy ninja will probably jump over to get at you, if you don’t do the same thing first. If you miss the jump and land on the floor below, the enemy will follow you down there and the fight will still go on. Note that most of the enemies in Ninja Gaiden II are out for blood and will follow you as long as they can and won’t disappear easily. If you did fall, just finish off the enemy while your down there and open up the chest which contains the scroll for performing Shadowless Footsteps, the ability to run on walls. Note that after obtaining scrolls like these, all you have to do is perform the move to unlock the achievements associated with them. At one side of the room, if you fell, is a ladder. You can choose to climb it, or you can just jump against the walls lining the ladder and just jump your way back up. Cross the gap this time and go to your left.
More enemy ninja will appear for you to get rid of. You’ll notice in the corner is another chest, this one containing the scroll for the Furious Wind counter, yet another ability you already have, but another achievement for you to get. After killing off the enemy ninja, proceed forward but don’t jump down yet. To your right is a shrine with a chest containing the Art of the Inferno, the first fire ninpo you’ll obtain. Equip it and continue forward, remember to use Y+B to use whatever ninpo you currently have equipped when you need to. If you notice, before jumping down, there’s a glowing crystal skull across the gap. Jump across and pick it up. If you fail the jump, just kill the enemy ninja at the bottom and climb the ladder back to the top. To make the jump easier, jump forward and press forward and Y with the Dragon Sword equipped to perform the Flying Swallow and make the jump easier. After picking it up, jump down to the bottom. If you didn’t already kill the ninja down here, do so and then destroy all the barrels and open the chest which usually contains red essence, the kind that refills your ki for ninpo. Proceed up the stairs and prepare for a new type of enemy. Not only will you face the same ninja from before, equipped with katanas and claws, but you’ll face off against the Sai-wielding mages. Mages are capable of casting fireballs and causing pillars of fire to erupt underneath you, so make them your priority. After dealing with these enemies, open the chest in the center of the room. It contains Lives of the Thousand Gods, an item which will extend your life gauge and fully heal you, so only use it when you’re in need of health as it serves as the ultimate healing item. Proceed up the stairs and open the chest, usually containing a healing item like Herb of Spiritual Life.
Kick open the door to the right and proceed forward. Run along the wall into the incoming ninja and perform a Flying Swallow. If a Flying Swallow connects midair against an enemy ninja, it usually results in an instant kill by cutting them in half at the midsection. Finish off the rest of the ninja and proceed forward up the stairs. You’ll see another gap, this time with a pole sticking out of the wall. Either let the enemy ninja come to you, run along the wall to get across the gap, or jump on the pole and swing across to get to them. You’ll notice a dead ninja on the ground which you can inspect to get the scroll for Obliteration Techniques. Proceed forward and you’ll notice a few enemies already missing a random limb. Often times these enemies will respawn for while, allowing you to get in plenty of practice with Obliteration Techniques. Head on past them and you’ll approach another dead ninja, this one containing the scroll for the Flying Bird Flip. Save at the statue and approach the broken ladder. Jump against the walls and make your way up the hole.
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