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| File:Ninja combat.jpg|
Cover for the Neo Geo home version
|Designer(s)||Tsutomu Maruyama (丸山勉)(producer, director)|
|Composer(s)|| Hideki Yamamoto (山本秀樹)|
Hiroaki Shimizu (宏明清水)
|Mode(s)||Single-player, 2 player cooperative|
It was one of the launch titles for both the Neo Geo MVS (arcade) and AES (home) systems. Among action side-scrolling games, it is notorious for its high level of difficulty and odd design and gameplay ideas.
The story, set in the year "199X", follows the twin ninja warriors Joe (ジョー) and Hayabusa (ハヤブサ, lit. "Falcon") (curiously sharing their names with Joe Musashi and Ryu Hayabusa), who are waging a battle against an evil ninja clan Kage Ichizoku (影一族, lit. "Shadow Family"). Their mission is to fight their way into the enemy home fortress, Ninja Tower (ニンジャタワー, "Ninjatawa"), which has emerged from the ocean in the center of New York City, to once and for all defeat the Shadow Family and its leader, the long thought-dead demon sorcerer Genyousai, and crumble the Ninja Tower.
The journey takes the ninja heroes from an amusement park to the top of Ninja Tower. Along the way, they must survive endless attacks from the members of Kage Ichizoku and their minions. Joe and Hayabusa uses shurikens as their primary weapon, although other weapons that aid them along the way are nunchakus, maces, ratchets, battle axes, spiked clubs, and katanas. A special somersault attack can be used to knock down a multiple enemies in a row. As an art of ninpo kairou, a fire dragon can be summon to destroy all enemies on the screen. ). When defeated, three of the bosses: Musashi (ムサシ), Kagerow (カゲロウ, lit. "Mayfly") and Gembu (ゲンブ), become allies and fight alongside Joe and Hayabusa as optional player characters.
The gameplay of Ninja Combat requires extremely skilled players to progress through the game, due to its high level of difficulty. Many players and reviews have shown disdain to the slow control response and the survival rate.
The original soundtrack from both Ninja Combat and The Super Spy, along with the arranged versions by SNK Sound Team and KONNY, was released by Pony Canyon and Scitron on November 21, 1990, before the game was released.
Ninja Combat was re-released through Nintendo's Virtual Console download service in Europe and Australia on October 26, 2007, and in North America on June 2, 2008. It is also one of the five games ported to the PlayStation 2 in the game compilation ADK Tamashii in 2008.