Yosuke Hayashi Wants Players To Feel Each Katana Slice In Ninja Gaiden 3

By Spencer . July 14, 2011 . 6:01pm


I made sure to play Ninja Gaiden 3 before speaking with Yosuke Hayashi, lead designer and head of Team Ninja. The demo (which Kris outlined) went from one bloody battle to the next. Enemies tried to stop Ryu with machine guns and rocket launchers, which put up a poor fight. Ryu sliced through people, not monsters, with his katana.


Compared to Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, which had enemies vanish in a puff of purple smoke, Ninja Gaiden 3 felt more brutal in comparison and that’s kind of what Hayashi wanted.


Aside from bloody screenshots, we saw Ryu’s glowing red arm. What happened to Ryu?


Yosuke Hayashi, Team Ninja Head: Ryu’s right arm is a key element of the game and has been cursed by his enemies. Killing makes Ryu’s arm begin to glow red. This cursed energy can be stored and later used to attack enemies.1


1In Ninja Gaiden 3, Ryu can unleash his ultimate technique, an attack that quickly dispatches enemies, when his arm is glowing red.


I remember you said you wanted to demonstrate the consequences of violence in Ninja Gaiden. Is this your way of doing this?


We consider gore and violence different elements. This time we wanted to show you what we think of violence. A core concept of the game is cutting through flesh and bone and when you cut through an opponent it feels visceral. Also, enemies [in Ninja Gaiden 3] are human, not demons or monsters. When you see limbs and heads falling on the ground before, those were creatures. This time you have to cut through a human being.




Will we see any new weapons in Ninja Gaiden 3?


This time we focused on the katana and what it’s like for players to cut through flesh and bone. As you proceed through the story, you will acquire different katanas. We also have ninpo in the game. It wasn’t in the demo because we wanted players to see what it was feel what it is like to kill enemies with the katana. In the future we’ll be able to show you this element.


I saw Ryu has new moves like sliding and scaling walls with kunai. What other moves does Ryu have new for Ninja Gaiden 3?


With this game, we set out to have Ryu as a Japanese dark hero and that means a ninja from the feudal time period. We thought about what a ninja can do back then and that’s why we added climbing to the game. As you proceed through the game, Ryu will have different actions based on the time period. At this point, we can’t reveal the exact details of those.


ninja33 ninja35


You mentioned Ryu as a dark hero, but as a character I don’t feel he’s as developed as some of the female characters like Rachel. How do you plan on expanding Ryu’s character for Ninja Gaiden 3?


In the other Ninja Gaiden titles, Ryu is focused on killing enemies and he didn’t show who he was. This time we want to show Ryu’s personality and how he relates to others. When Ryu is unmasked he is a regular man, just like us. Therefore, he must feel similar emotions. We want to show this side of Ryu, his human side, and how he can relate to everyone.


Will we see other playable characters like Ayane and Momiji from Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2?


While I was the producer of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, this time I want to focus on Ryu, a Japanese dark hero. The direction of the game is different, so Ryu Hayabusa is the only playable character in the story.


Hayashi also touched on Ninja Gaiden 3’s difficulty and other projects Team Ninja are working on in the shadows. We’ll discuss those tomorrow.

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  • z_merquise

    First, it’s Arc Sys’s Mori and now Hayashi. Looks like some of these Japanese developers were really interested on these ‘dark heroes’. I hope it won’t turned to be something like “I’m so dark, I’m emo”.

    Still, their plan to further add depth to Ryu’s character sounds interesting.

    It’s too bad that Ryu is the only playable character here. I remember that they were hinting Kasumi (of Dead or Alive) to appear in the next Ninja Gaiden game.

    • Setsu Oh

      i hope too. and to further what yousid.. harry potter kind of darkness i don’t want it either. if they could read jiraishin by tsutomu takahashi….

  • Wait, so his enemies curses allow him to unleash a super? Last time I checked, curses are supposed to be bad. 8)

    There’s probably a plot thing to do with it though.

    • Yosuke didn’t even answer Spencer’s first question. He talks about the arm, not what happened to Ryu.

      • Setsu Oh

        i don’t like spoilers. i don’t mind him giving him the runaround.

        • I wouldn’t be concerned about the whole corrupted arm thing if I thought it would be a big spoiler. It just feels like something that would obviously be revealed in a future trailer.

  • Souji Tendou

    Uhhh…. [Pic]

    I’m happy of what we NG fans get from NG2, just stay with the delimb system that way and we’re all happy.

    Also, more Katanas? WHAT? You gotta be kidding me, and judging from the interview, we won’t encounter any Fiends? WHAT? Ahhh… I”ll just pretend I’m in a bad dream right now.

    • Setsu Oh

      well i’m not of the same opinion… fiends are boring. it is like going from zombies(real people) to infected(fiends) n RE5. i don’ feel like playing anymore.

      gaming needs more ‘reality’ ninja? maybe.
      i’m not against some sort of extra montain pass mission with fiends though. like..; special stages all linked together by a sub plot…..like going that way instead of this and get to a part of the game where a fiend monster and its minions ambushes you, then next stage on a mission’s other path the nderling of that fiend tries to get you (with its minions) then on next mission…..wait! i’m not paid by tecmo! :)

  • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

    You mean I can’t play as my raven-haired shrine goddess? Or use the falcon talons, kusari-gama, fails?? Or slicing through enemies with a buttery swiftness??? http://www.nooooooooooooooo.com/

    Well wtf? It’s like they’re taking 1 step forward, 2 steps back. I will say, I’m at least looking forward to seeing how they make the “super ninja” more “human”, so to speak.

    • Setsu Oh

      i’m for less breasts fest and more gore. lets get serious!
      if they do some extra thing like in resident evil3-if i remember correctly- where you get to see how everyone from the past games been doing after you finished the game…why not.

  • “Will we see other playable characters like Ayane and Momiji from Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2? 
    While I was the producer of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, this time I want to focus on Ryu, a Japanese dark hero. The direction of the game is different, so Ryu Hayabusa is the only playable character in the story.”

    I really love this man.

    • theworldofnoboundries

      At least this one will be more focus on the story like those Ninja Gaiden in SNES….. hopefully lol.

      • That´s exactly my point, even though I really don´t care too much about a solid story on an action game, I mean, gameplay “uber alles”, and of course, a good atmosphere helps a lot too. Now, If they want to complement the game with a solid story, cool!, why not?.
        This whole discussion reminds me of Metroid Other M, NG3 will probably have the same consequences, big fanboys rants.

        • Setsu Oh

          the thing is jp devs kind of drop the ball too much about story to turn toward gameplay: mario, sonic, kof streetfighter… the main games world widely known as AAA titles(or wannabe , for sonic and some others hehe) lack some story content. mortal kombat has a story. ok , it is a silly one for some people(i still dont have my copy idon’t know more than what i tried in gaming shops) but to me it beats sf4 ‘i’m a better wrestler than you’! or ‘leave my mask alone!’ or even tekken’s
          ‘i i’ll kill all the other mishima’s this tekken! let’s all meet next tekken!yay!!’.

          i’m tired of silly stories. i want to know what is the news on raidou, what is with the ninja clan..hayabusa? i don’t even know its name. i know ayane hates kasumi is kasumi hating ayane or is it a vegita/goku relationship? everything can be taking care of with clever 4-5sentences a subject in dialogues(in cancellable cinemas or in game dialogues) or files to get from the enemies and read later.
          i want to know more about the lore, not have another :
          ‘-…but master!! we thought you were dead!!!
          -ryu, ken, you are old enough not to follow me around like cubs’ end credits.

          and this time atleast they should know that you DON’T employ theater actors but tv series(/movie actors with experience in dubb)! ‘the baby’ jokes will follow  tecmo long enough for them to know that i hope.

          • I understand, and I can relate. being Vanquish the best recent example of a great game (personally) with an absolute crappy story. Still, I absolutely adored Vanquish, but yes, a good script never hurts. But really, for me a good script is not always THAAAT NECESSARY. You mentioned KOF, S.F and Tekken, in terms of story, I choose tekken, the good thing about tekken, is that the game doesn´t take things too seriously, they mock themselves, silly stories…almost surrealist, sadly, and as you said, there´s still that “i i’ll kill all the other mishima’s this tekken! let’s all meet next tekken!yay!!” thing, but everytime I watch Paul, Lee or Law endings, I just forget about the “serious” part.
            With Kof and SF, I never really felt that they need a complex story, I´m just happy with character´s intros and silly-clever punchlines (being MVC3 the undisputed king), in fact, whereas a lot of people loved the intricate story of Blazblue, I really don´t liked it, in fact, arcae mode was still ok, but story mode, It was just too much…as I said I prefer those cool intros and a decent ending, let players figure out the rest.
            Regarding NG3, I really liked the nihilism of the next gen saga, but I also yearned for a better script (wich was the core element of the original saga), as I said, a good script won´t hurt, and what I´ve seen so far of the gameplay, I fear not, so even though they fail with the “story part” I´m buying this game on day 1.

          • xAKUM3TSUx

            Especially since KOF is more about the devs of other SNK titles bringing all the great characters in ONE game that lets u make the “Ultimate Dream Team”. The King of Fighters started out from just being a game where all it was really about was who you wanted to play and not the story. In that sense I (in my opinion) love the story of KOF but it’s different since it’s arcade mode for the past years was considered the story. So not MANY peeps really even knew about the story and just considered it your “regular 3 on 3 fighter”. Street Fighter is kind of the same in the arcade mode style.

            In reality you have some that totally LOVE a story that you might think sucks. Like Guilty Gear 2’s I thought was BEAST! but lots thought it sucked…still some admitted the game is pretty fun and crazy- and the story didn’t stop’em from buying it. Not everything is gonna be perfect in a game: My example of a bad story but a good game is BlazBlue.

            So yup I agree with sebastion on this.

  • “A core concept of the game is cutting through flesh and bone and when you cut through an opponent it feels visceral. Also, enemies [inNinja Gaiden 3] are human, not demons or monsters. When you see limbs and heads falling on the ground before, those were creatures. This time you have to cut through a human being.”

    Really, I love this guy.

    • Setsu Oh

      yea….about that,  i still don’t see the intestines spilled on the ground, or the guys choking on their apple, or hearing them drown in their blood. why not go all the way? it was fun to kill guys with their own arms in shadow of rome…one of the most underrated game of the ps2 era. thx to final fight…..oh sorry.godofwar. :)

  • mikanko

    During the demo of the game at E3 his idea of “feel every katana slice” seemed like his excuse for the game slowing down, and zooming in with the single button presses to finish off enemies.  This makes the game look like it’ll be a lot less fun to play, and hope to hell it can keep the pace of the games predecessors.

    Also I clearly remember alternate playable characters mentioned before when they talked about DLC.  So I wouldn’t rule them out completely, just yeah, you’ll have to pay for them. <.<;

    • Crimson_Cloud

      … kinda remember the good old ps2 era where you would get a full game with all the content with a decent price. 

      • Setsu Oh

        …and the dlc as a second game…wait that was the wii with mario galaxy 1 and 2…; :)

      • Well, it didn’t change, at least if your willing to play games with PS2 graphics. But expecting that the graphics gets better, the games get bigger and still cost the same price is a bit naive I think.

        • Crimson_Cloud

          I was thinking more of the games today where you get half content and all the additional stuff like levels, costumes and characters are bought through DLC, when it’s clearly it should have been there in the game from the start. Not all of them are like that of course, but some companies tend to misuse the network purchase to get more money out of us.

    • Setsu Oh

      i wouldn’t mind extra missions with chars who appear through the game, like what did ayane do or went to afte she talked with ryu? see in dlc.

      if i could for the fight push l1 to have focus(camera closeup) then hold it , press x for disembowlment, or square for beheading….. f not, the next guy just press square for katana slice, the sword gets stuck on the spine(1 chance out of 30 slice strike), press kick to disengage or triangle  to do magic like make the guy explode in the opposite direction to splash the  guy you have yet to kill at 1m in front of you…

  • Crimson_Cloud

    Loved the Ninja Gaiden 2, but somehow I’m having doubts for the sequel. The zooming camera with every finish kill, or whatever is it called, is a bit annoying for me. 

    • Setsu Oh

      yep that too.

  • glemtvapen

    “This time we want to show Ryu’s personality and how he relates to
    others. When Ryu is unmasked he is a regular man, just like us.
    Therefore, he must feel similar emotions. We want to show this side of
    Ryu, his human side, and how he can relate to everyone.”

    So, they’re giving Ryu a vagina now? Can’t anyone be a badass nowadays without the need to show “emotions.”

    This game has accelerated its descent to crap-hell. And here I thought Itagaki leaving was the best thing that happened. I was dead wrong.

    • Hi, I understand you may be displeased with the direction of this game, but the tone isn’t appreciated.

      Please look over our community guidelines before commenting again.


    • have you ever played the NES versions?, he was pretty “human” to me, or as you said, he was pretty much “a man with a vagina”. 

      And again…

      “A core concept of the game is cutting through flesh and bone and when you cut through an opponent it feels visceral. Also, enemies [inNinja Gaiden 3] are human, not demons or monsters. When you see limbs and heads falling on the ground before, those were creatures. This time you have to cut through a human being.”

      “Yeah, that´s so gay”

    • Setsu Oh

      too bad there is no dislike button…
      i didn’t like ryu from past games because in the videos (yep i don’t own a copy of any ng. i didn’t bother with it until this one BECAUSE of that new char dev direction) he is just another termintor. no facial emotion no talking that can be related to his own character and mood, no nothing. badasserie is lone wolf and cub, yojimbo and others. even them laugh, have emotions and feel. they look human until they kill some hardboiled guys in a badass manner. and then go bck to being human. Haomaru, kyo kusanagi, goro daimon, sonny chiba-tsurugi is awesomme!-, even rugal, gatts….they all have human emotions without being like this horrible version of samus aran we got treated with (i never missed so much yokoi sensei’s view as i read and watched and listened about other M) ….R.I.P..
      i just hope they will go back and not watch recent humiliationinja movies, and get a drunk on black and white movies of samourais and actors….deliver so good ice but not smoothie like personnality. dont get t wrong this time tecmo!

      • As I replied you earlier, there´s nothing wrong with pure nihilism (NG1 XBOX-NG2 360), It totally worked for me. But thats exactly why the franchise needs a new direction, not because the previous games were bad, nor because the franchise needs to forget bout that, the way I see it and feel it, It´s just because they want a different approach, that´s all. I imagine that they, as creators and artists, want to do different things, even though It´s a sequel. It´s not devolution nor evolution, It´s just something else.

      • I also think that the adding of character sounds nice and has nothing to do with “getting a vagina”. As if guys don’t have emotion. Look at the crazy Majima of Yakuza and then anyone should tell me he would have come off better or manlier if he just would be a “I just kill because I have to” Terminator kinda boring guy.
        Of course I doubt that they make him a crazy asshole, seeing him being the hero and all, but still, character isn’t negative and doesn’t mean crybaby.

    • visits house of a ninja he just killed

      ”I am so sorry i killed your son here are some flowers boho ho”

      I agree with you 100 percent

  • darkfox1

    Now im gonna know how it feels to cut someone with a Katana :D. Wonder if it will make people Cringe? 

  • Setsu Oh

    REALLY?that’s it? what about the qte ive seen ? what about the ever the same ‘wait have you seen me’ light reflector type of clothing a ninja shouldn’t wear but ryu does? i do not want qte in my games anymore.

    just tell us ‘use -x- for disembowling’ ‘use -square- forcutting verticaly’, ‘use etc’. qte drops you out of the expeerience. i never liked jeopardy or any of those ‘quick tell us the right answer or get lost tvgames !. i am not to start now.

    it is a ninja game, i expect it to REALLY hard on hard. not just tutorial less.
    i loved the VERY challenging shinobi and regret sega does somehting else than releasing that in hd and panzer dragoon FULL hd collection. acquire is doing shinobido but i don’t know if it will in some way give me my tenchu fix.
    there is a lack of ninja games out there with dismemberment and decapitations and disembowelments -gore is i think part of ninja gaiden, tenchu has stylish kills,  shinobi stylish cutting- ….i would like the kills to be as big gore wise has the fact that ryu has to doge missiles. he can take care of choppers but doesn’t dismember? how epic is an enemy with one limb left, trying to stick a grenade on you as a last move?

    i love the fact that i won’t have to do with the weird fact that hayabusa kicks ass but is guided by ayane who is YOUNGER than him.

    what about some question about the whole lore of doa/ninja gaiden question? the only time we got somethng apporaching a story telling sequecnce was for doa 3 ultimate if i remember well: with why ayane hates kasumi, who is kasumi what is the clan etc…or some sort. even if i can’t play ayane this time because it seems to be there is some content story-wise this time, will we have some explanations and whatnot about the clan, who is ryu, his role in it, what is his relationship with ayane, kasumi, ein? i’m not saying i want the whole cast of doa in ninja gaiden, but until now we have seen too much of the physique of the girls not enoughstory/char dev. i know what type of char is terry bogard, ryu, ken or even benimaru nikaido. i can’t tell you in which category of person falls hayabusa, kasumi or ayane. oh, yea, they are cute. (ryu too) that is about it. i really have the impression of knowing garcia from shadows of the damned damned damned better than any other char of doa or NG and i played doa since the first one.

    oh and another thing. i know my tone is a bit harsh, but there is no hard feeling from me here. just that if i dont have what i want there is not much chance i’ll get that game. no qte, good gore, story/char dev/explanation about the clan, hopefully timeframe compared to doa…available FROM THE START less obnoxious NINJA CLOTHES to choose from -go see tenchu or shinobi or even ninjablade for inspiration-. i don’t play s&m heroes clothed with latex and i don’t like  the one in soulcalibur. i won’t suffer one full game with latex just to have a better clothed hero. i didn’t play reddeadredemption for that reason -and others-.

    this is it folks, THE ninja gaiden i was waiting for….or is it? don’t mess up your chance to get a clan start with doa and ninja gaiden and both link them together.

  • Sakurazaki

    So no extra characters, weapons, and we have different time periods (?), lol.

    I feel a bit disappointed, but I’ll just have to wait and see… I was expecting the sequel to have an enhanced multiplayer.

  • So lack of gibs and flying body parts will make me feel like I sliced something? Right! Ninja Gaiden will never be the same again without Itagaki.

  • xAKUM3TSUx

    I think this is one of those games I might just watch videos on Youtube after it comes out. And then make my decision later. I’ll at least give it that much of a chance.

  • Extra_Life

    There’s a lot of negativity towards the game here… It certainly seems a different Ninja Gaiden (and maybe doesn’t warrant a ‘3’ in that sense), but I’m definitely giving the game the benefit of the doubt and playing it before writing it off. Itagaki may have left, but he wasn’t the only person that made the previous games. I’m looking forward to it.

  • eilegz

    crappy camera, unfair dificulty and crappy story its what this next gen Ninja Gaiden its characteristic…. Ninja Gaiden should return to its 2d roots specifically nes one

  • PrinceHeir

    “Will we see other playable characters like Ayane and Momiji from Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2?”

    i want Ayane and Momiji :(
    DLC maybe???

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