ninja gaiden

Ninja Gaiden [Mega Drive / Genesis – Beta / Cancelled]


This is Ninja Gaiden for the Genesis. It is (in theory) a conversion of the 1988 coin-op, but basically the only thing that it is similar to the original is the HUD, because everything else was completely reworked. It was never released (even if some websites claims the opposite) in any region, and since it is available online and we can play it, it is not hard to understand why. Apart from being still bug-filled, it is one of the worst beat’em up on the console, featuring a really bad graphic engine even for the time (1992), a moveset pratically inexistent and some of the most less creative enemies ever.


Gamefan - October 1992


Ninja Gaiden [XBOX – Beta]


Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox was released in 2004, but it was first shown in 2002, with a trailer that contain many beta elements and differences. In 1999, Team Ninja started work on the “Next-Generation Ninja Gaiden Project”. The first stage of development was to create the game on the Sega NAOMI arcade system board. They then planned to move the project to the Dreamcast console for further development and release, but this was abandoned when Sega announced the end of Dreamcast product line in 2001.

At this point, Tecmo decided to release Ninja Gaiden as a launch title for the Sony PlayStation 2 in the United States. Itagaki, however, had other plans; the Team Ninja Leader was impressed with the software development kits for the Xbox and pushed for his team to develop for the Microsoft console.

In the 2002 beta Ryu’s model / suit is slightly different from the final one.  The copter boss was in the train turnstyle area, instead than on the bridge like the final game. In this same area we can see Ruy on the electricity tower, but he cannot go over there in the final. Other scenes, as the one with a ninja that  came out from the ceiling of the first level, were never used. Also the graphic of the game was still incomplete, with ugly textures and a lot of aliasing. There are a Green “U” Nimpo in the same screenshot of the “X” item, this Nimpo doesn`t appear i the final version and this “X” neither appear in this level, in the final version, this appear in an alley where you find the windmill shuriken.

There are even some screens with a removed (?) puzzle in wich Ruy has to find an X item (that looks like the Xbox prototype  / development hardware) to open a passage. It’s possible that this puzzle was used in some demos or side missions from the Black version, but we dont have any confirmation about it. The X item was reused in Ninja Gaiden 2 as an easter egg and it heals all your magic and health.

Thanks to for some of these screens!



train turnstyle

Super Shinobi 2 (Shinobi 3) [MD/G – Beta]


Shinobi 3 (released in Japan as Super Shinobi 2) was originally set to be released in 1992. Several gaming magazines (including GamePro, Mean Machines SEGA and Computer & Video Games) gave previews and even reviews of the game, showing pictures of levels, enemies, artwork and special moves which were not seen in the final version at all. For reasons unclear, Sega had put the game back into development and delayed its release until 1993. When Shinobi 3 was finally released, a lot of game features seen earlier were missing, while new ones had come in place. – [Info from wikipedia]

For more info:




Onimusha [Playstation 1 – Cancelled]

Capcom officially announced Onimusha for the Playstation 1 in April 1999 and Japan release date was planned for Winter 1999. Name of the game was Onimusha: Demon Warrior. Mpx manage to find one page prescreen in EDGE. I haven’t played PS2 Onimusha but according to article, plot is same as in released version. Engine is Resident Evil 2 engine and its stated that in Japanese launch preview only one level was available. According to EDGE release date for game was Christmas (Japan). According to wikipedia: The PSX version of Onimusha was about 50% complete before it was cancelled.

Here is link to “rumor” about Onimusha switching to PS2. At Tokyo Game Show 1999. Capcom offical announced that Onimusha became PlayStation 2 videogame. Tentative release date was summer 2000. Here are more info from IGN.

Here is something important: Capcom on that TGS released 3 videos of PSX version: Intro CG, Battle montage and Puzzles and battles. I cant find this videos only. According to GIA: Of particular interest is the introduction movie, highlighting some of the most realistic human figures ever seen in computer-generated FMV.

Here is information about game from GIA. They is some wrong info that Onimusha started as N64 game which is false.
Here is PlayStation Dengeki preview of game from 1999 scanned by Kid Fenris
Thanks a lot to mpx for the article!

Thanks to Xan124 and mpx for the link to the videos!