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Ninja Gaiden Black: First time doing Master Ninja

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So despite what people think of me, I have never finished Master Ninja difficulty in Ninja Gaiden Black. I beat it in Sigma 2, Sigma, 3, Razor's Edge and the original 2004 version (where Very Hard was the highest), but when I reached the halfway point of Black's Master Ninja Mode I got burned out (having been playing NG nearly exclusively for the better part of a year). So now, I've decided, to finally end this once and for all (and maybe focus on beating NG2 on MNM afterwards too).

I'll just put some notes here.

Chapter 1

  • quite the rude awakening, on my first few attempts I barely got past the first few fights until I remembered how to chain UT's and that you start with the lunar and nunchucks on Master Ninja - something that I do enjoy.
  • having played the original 2004 version nearly 20 times, I keep forgetting how much more dangerous these ninjas are thanks to their grabs which seem to auto activate if you are open.
  • I like that, due to playing all the games, I have no idea where the items are since they switch between games and difficulties.
  • Murai wasn't as much of a pain as I thought he would be, just spammed the living hell out of the wall attack and a few UT's to his face with the Dragon Sword.

Chapter 2

  • I love fighting the samurai and mages, always a fun combination. 
  • The music when Ryu enters the village, all dead, is grand. One of my favorite tracks out there.
  • Overall nothing too special, though this level does contain my two least favorite fights in the series. The horses...
  • I honestly don't know who thought this was a good idea, the concept is that you shoot the riders of their horses but due to the horrid aiming system and fact that they auto rapid fire at you with perfect accuracy means you are better of doing it melee style - which takes forever.
  • The flame-dude on the horse fight always annoyed me too, I actually got hit by him once (when he dismounted, something Sigma cut from the game as I recall) and lost 90% of my HP.

Chapter 3

  • My favorite chapter as I recall, just great to play. Finally have some toys to play with (counter, GT, izuna, swallow etc), pretty fun that they dump those toys at you all at once in this chapter while on other settings and versions it is spread out more. Maybe they wanted Chapter 1 and 2 to be proving grounds, and let you go nuts from this chapter onwards.
  • Dynamo is still one of my most hated and loved fights. Straight up he is a joy to fight and his music is kick ass, but on Master Ninja he can be such a bore. So many things can go badly for you, sometimes he'll just do whatever he wants and pop his shield constantly while not doing his melee attacks and just doing front-faced shots.
  • I always hated that about him, he has so many random moves you cannot dodge or anticipate. If you are up close he can, sometimes, just shoot you which is 3 frames and tracks you. 
  • My general tactic for him is to drop a smoke bomb, run up to him and pop flame-wheel ninpo and just spam light-heavy-heavy while switching it up with smoke bombs to keep him confused. If he does a physical attack I block it and dodge the follow up grab which I punish again. Usually takes me half an hour of retries to get a near perfect attempt, but it's worth it. I still have a Talisman of Rebirth that I want to save for the blob boss later-on.

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Your a people Roy? I thought you where a Roy.

I'm not sure about dynamo either, he's a cheeky fella that's certain.

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Ended up being a filthy cheat and loaded an older save where I was further into the game haha. Just beat chapter 11 with my favorite boss Doku, god what a machine of a boss. Just listen to that soundtrack:

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Lord Doku: Ancient Japanese Darth Vader vs Roy the bitchninja. HAJIME!!!

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Going to try and muster the dexterity to beat Awakened Alma tonight, that fight always gives me chills. Also need to backtrack a lot afterwards for a free Talisman of Rebirth that's still waiting to be picked up (was at max).

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Beat it. After Alma it was a pushover, game didn't stand a chance. Did end up dying once to the final boss because I got massively cocky. Going to do a 100% playthrough now, never did this for this game which can be pretty hard thanks to the bonkers challenges it has at times which you have to complete.

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So, what do you think about NGB compared to Sigma? What's your favourite and why?

Ona side note, did you figure out how to fight awakened Alma? Have any tips for it?

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Sigma 2 had something to fix, Sigma 1 didn't, and it falters as a result imo. With Sigma 2 at least for all its changes, it took a clear and honest step forward for each step back. Sigma 1 is just taking steps back. It removed little nuances like Marbus's weakness to IS while downgrading once tough foes like the Berserkers by making them 100% parriable. It changed the dodge. Added a completely broken weapon that wrecked the early game. Removed costumes while not adding new ones. Removed a lot of advanced tech like the Alma juggle. Rachel was a glorified War Hammer Ryu with less mobility, lacking her originality twist that she got in Sigma 2. Bosses like Gamov didn't really add anything, while the added Dynamo Brother fight was more an annoyance than anything else. Removing a lot of the puzzles also made the game feel more like NG2, while still having way too big empty areas to explore that held nothing in them - kind of losing what made NGB so special. It wasn't all bad though, some of the redesigned enemies are nicely done and I like how the Red Ninjas and Black Spider Clan got redesigns to be more inline with NG2. The Survival Mode DLC is also excellent.

My favorite version of the game remains the original 2004 edition. Just the way it plays is just so perfect to me, especially with UT's not being able to be charged manually. 

Awakened Alma for me is just spamming FS haha until she drops and then Gleaming Blade. I know you can do a parry setup (yes you can parry her) but it takes a lot of luck to get that loop in and it's still pretty dangerous.

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I see. So Awakened Alma remains a mystery, I just don't know what they had in mind with her, I refuse to think she's just a badly designed boss in a game that scratches perfection. I've heard she was too vulnerable to the UF in the original, so maybe they turned her into this thing while trying to just fix her.

Also I had no idea that you coudn't charge UT's manually in the first game. I actually wished old NG games had an option to deactivate ET and UT, so you could use the partial charged moves without activating ET and UT if essence is on the battlefield. In those regards I really like how UT's are designed in RE.

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Awakened Alma has a pattern, to some extent. There are videos of ShowR and Sneh hitting her 100% of the time, but to quote JTB "you're only seeing attempt #109281". That's more luck than anything else.

I think her design is excellent though, as she's a boss that is always hard as a result. That's one thing NGB and NG2 do extremely well, no matter how good you are a boss will always give you a run for your money because of their dodge and guarding mechanics.

In terms of balance, she used to be extremely easy in NG2004. You could even infinite her with the Flails if you were close, just hit her once and keep on mashing light-attack's first attack and she would dodge right in it constantly.

In terms of UT's I like NG2004's version best. You could still use UT's with OLUTS to get more essence IF you got the kill with it, making it a nice balance of "do I or do I not OLUT". NG3:RE also had a good mechanic I feel in terms of how the karma gain worked. I did NOT like that you could manually charge in NG3:RE though.

The biggest downside in the whole design of it all is that UT's give the most essence when used to kill, and also the most karma. By allowing a player to charge manually the best course of action will always be to find a way to UT kill every enemy. Or in NG3:RE's case, just spam the shit out of it for massive karma used to level up. I did really like that storing your blood-rage charge gives you a higher multiplyer of karma, effectively rewarding you for playing well and not relying on it. Watching a Karma Run in any Ninja Gaiden game is a test of patience, really boring. Some cool setups for sure but dear god does it bore me to death.

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Over the years, I've heard this boss mentioned countless times. What is her deal? I've seen high level videos so I know what she looks like, but having not played it or fully understanding NG's mechanics, I'm not sure what you guys are on about.

What's her deal? Any way to explain to an NG peasant like me?

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I'll post it in some quick notes to give you a general idea:

  • she has a randomized algorythm that decides whether she auto dodges you or not. There's a random chance she does not dodge, at which point your attack can still just bounce off dealing no damage. Even auto-targetting moves like magic will just be dodged at a whim with full i.frames.
  • at higher settings she also summons two lackeys to fight with her, which increase in difficult version per difficulty. She summons two per 20% damage taken.
  • her damage output is INSANE. Her Charged Orb deals around 40% damage to a maxed out healthbar, and her grab around 75%. If you haven't been exploring and upgrading, she'll one-shot you easily.
  • she has VERY few openings, as she loves to projectile spam. It can easily happen that you'll be dodging projectiles for a minute straight trying to find that opening, only to have her dodge you.
  • she has a ton of health as well, meaning if you're unlucky the fight can take over 5 to 10 minutes.


Should be noted that the method he uses for knocking her down is very unreliable, because when she lands she can just decide to get back up again and shoot orbs - so it's a gamble.

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So when she lands is the only time you can damage her?

And yeah I saw how a few times she landed and I was like 'ok he's gonna charge attack' then she just instantly cancels that and starts the projectile shit again.

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You can hit her in the air, but that's really unlikely and very dangerous as that means being close to her for her grab. She really is a boss you have to play to understand just how stupidly hard it can be haha.

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Probably interesting for you Dark Blood, but I dove into the lab with the Kitetsu against Awakened Alma and other fights and DAMN this weapon is good. XXY wrecks things alive, even Alma. She has trouble dodging it and it returns inside her huge hurtbox. You can dodge her run-attack at the last few frames and get an XXY in, really sweet. I'll link the video when it's up next week!

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Woah I can't belive no one seemed to know something like this... you have to post the video on NGRealm too! So basically did you find a solid tactic for her. You should try to no damage her, or do no ninpo no UT, something like this. I think no damage should have been done already, but not with your tactic probably...

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Yeah pretty confident I can No UT no ninpo no damage her now. Just need some practice with the tech since she can cancel into a grab if you mistime it. I am in Belgium now so i will record it next week including my TDS tactic which also seems 100percent safe. Pretty excited!!!

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Will render the video on Kitetsu tomorrow, granted looking at it's a horrible run haha. But I do showcase how to hit her 100% of the time. I plan on doing runs with every weapon (including the Laser Sword in NG04). Not tired of this game just yet.

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I'm looking forward to your content. Are you actually recording the full runs? Or did you do just Alma?

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I'm recording the whole shabam. Rendering my 100% run now, then will hopefully render my Kitetsu Run up until chapter 14 tomorrow.

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