Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi is an enhanced adaptation of the original Shadow Dancer Arcade game, released by Sega for the Sega Genesis in 1990. The Master System version took elements from both the original Arcade version and this version, though is more heavily based on the former.
As well as a separate bonus mode that closely resembled the original Shinobi's shurikens mini-game, the game also featured a different control scheme for Yamato, the dog that acts as the secondary protagonist, as well as various small improvements and a different plot.
Differences From the Original Arcade Version
There are two versions of the Genesis port's story due to localization, where the plot and the protagonist's identity have been altered. In the original Japanese plot of the Mega Drive version, the main character is Hayate, who was brought over to America and raised by "Dick C. Kato", along with his pet dog Yamato. Hayate and Yamato set out to avenge Kato's death after he is killed by the mysterious organization called the Union Lizard. In the English version of the game the main character is Joe Musashi, the father of Hayate, and Kato is made into one of his students who dies. Yamato is made Musashi's pet dog after the original owner dies and the two seek vengeance.
Another distinction between the Genesis version and the Arcade version is that there is a meter that is filled by holding the attack button; upon release Yamato will attack the nearest enemy so long as he is barking, allowing for much more versatility in its usage than in the original.
Though exclusive to the Genesis for a long time, the game eventually became available on the PC/PS2/PSP (as part of the Sega Genesis Collection) and the Wii's Virtual Console.
After bringing down the Neo Zeed organization. Joe Musashi found his skills weren't needed anymore. He went to New York city and spent some time with Kato, his former martial arts student.
Musashi returned to his native land, refreshed and relaxed. Kato, meanwhile, heard that some nasty characters had taken over a local elementary school, and were holding the children as hostages. Naturally, he went to try and help the kids. What he found was shocking.
Kato was severely wounded at the school, and was not expected to survive. When he got the news, Musashi raced back to New York. But before he could get to the hospital, Kato passed away, leaving nothing but memories and his faithful dog, Yamato. Overcome with grief and rage, Joe Musashi promised Kato's mother that he would avenge her son's death.
Kato perished at the hands of one of the many Ninja warriors belonging to Union Lizard, a frighteningly vast and powerful group that took orders from a hideous, gigantic reptilian form. Since it could not communicate through words, the reptile's instinct guided it and many soldiers on a path that would result in world domination -- if no one stopped them. They've taken over New York, and are holding many terrified people hostage. Can you guide Joe Musashi and Yamato, the shinobi dog, through the ring of fire and triumph over this evil force?
~Passage from the game manual.
Yamato, once the pet of Musashi's late friend Kato, now gives his loyalty to our hero. Yamato isn't just a spectator -- He'll lay down his very life for you!
~Description of Yamato from the manual.
Times when Yamato can't attack:
- When there are no enemies on the screen.
- When Yamato and the enemies are on different floors.
- When an enemy Yamato was planning to assault suddenly jumps up or down to a different level. In this case, Yamato charges straight ahead, and after seeing that there's no one there, returns to his master's side.
Burning Down town- 1
This level is set in Brooklyn, the boss of the level is; 'The Stomper!'.
Battle on the Railway-2
Set in a railway station, the boss of this level is; 'The Mirage!'.
Statue of Liberty-3
Set in the Liberty Statue, the boss of this level is; The Blade!'.
In the Darkness-4
Set in a terrifying cavern, the boss of this level is; 'The Wheel of FIre!'.
The Reptile Sauros-5
The lair of the game's ultimate protagonist 'Sauros'. Before fighting him though, Hayate/Joe will have to pass a little test.
The three types of spells available:
- Fire - Columns of fire cook enemies.
- Tornadoes - Two tornadoes join forces to blow foes away!
- Meteorites - Meteorites fall from the sky like a killer rain.
In the original Japanese version, the protagonist was Joe's son Hayate. Western versions changed him to Joe.