Top 3 Hacks for Ninja Gaiden

One of the most difficult, yet readily available games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Ninja Gaiden introduced the world to amazing cut scenes, a great soundtrack, and impossible bosses. But the game’s difficultly hindered its popularity in the North American market despite having three entries into the franchise. Let’s find out what’s hidden in the game’s code in this countdown of the Top 3 Hacks for Ninja Gaiden.

Number 3 – Invincibility

By searching for the code that is activated when you use the invincibility power-up located at memory address 00C9, forcing the value to remain at a static value of 84 throughout the game will allow you to remain invincible for an infinite period of time. Since the game is almost impossible to beat anyway, walking through the Acts will be much easier using this hack. Many players found the game so difficult that they were never able to see what happens past the infamous Act 6-2. Note that falling down a pit will still cause you to lose a life and start the level over and getting the timer power-up will pre-destroy all of the obstacles and enemies on the screen before you can see them. Now you can unlock the mystery and zip through every level without the unnecessarily difficult challenges.

Take that annoying birds.

Number 2 – The Unfinished Script

By accessing the data located at 0x1A7E9, you can see several blocks of mysterious text that can’t be found anywhere in the final game. The text contains several words that were banned by Nintendo at the time of the game’s release. There’s even some poorly translated text embedded into the game’s ending scene [end, see you next]. A slightly modified version of this script can be found in the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy for the Super NES.

-Sea swallow

Number 1 – Debug Mode

Debug Mode & Sound Test

ES37 20
E538 E9
E539 CO

Replacing the memory values with those on your screen will enable the game’s built-in Debug Mode. Although the game will start up as normal, pressing start at the Act screen will present you with a level select screen.

Pressing the A button and moving the directional pad left or right will allow you to select any level.

The scenes are in hexadecimal format and you may notice that hex values up to FF exist. Selecting scene FF, for example, which represents the 8-bit value 255 doesn’t technically exist but appears to be accessible. Selecting this level will send to the player to glitch level that was never intended to be seen. These glitchy levels do not contain collision detection and will force the player to repeat the level for infinity. What a way to go!

Additionally, a secret sound test menu can be accessed when the Act Screen appears. Hold A and up, followed by pressing the start button.

A sound test screen will appear. This is different than the sound test menu that can be accessed without hacking through a button combination.

Changing values within the game’s memory may cause some unexpected results, so have fun with it.

Is there a code or hack that outshines the ones listed in this Top 3? Please let us know in the comments.