With the release of Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z this week, players will meet an all-new warrior in the long-running Tecmo Koei/Team Ninja action series. The question, however, is whether Yaiba can hold a candle to long-time favorite Ryu Hayabusa.
To his credit, Ryu is still human underneath his ninja clothes, but you'd be hard-pressed figure out if he’s man or cyborg, based on all the incredible ninja moves he performs. That said, here are 10 reasons why you shouldn't mess with him. Yaiba, take a seat!
Even when he's sick, he's unstoppable
In Ninja Gaiden 3, Ryu becomes infected with the "Grip of Murder," which leaves a large demon-like mark on his arm. Despite being overcome by its power, he still manages to fight the good fight. Remember that the next time you have a fever.
His diving pile driver breaks spines
One of Ryu's most devastating moves involves grabbing an enemy in mid-air and sending them crashing to the ground with a high-speed pile driver. Not only can he do it to destroy enemies in the Ninja Gaiden series, but also the Dead or Alive fighting franchise. WWE Superstar The Undertaker could learn a thing or two.
He can teleport
Ninjas are both fast and agile, but as usual, Ryu takes this to another level. He can teleport in the midst of battle, moving out of harm's way and countering his would-be attacker with a few well-timed slices.
His ninpo will crush you
One of Ryu Hayabusa's greatest abilities are his special ninpo attacks, which can easily clear the screen of most enemies. Whether he uses wind-powered swords or a scorching flame attack, rivals cower in fear at his immense power.
He can wall-run and jump like a boss
Not only is Ryu a combat master, but he can also get around with ease. In addition to his teleporting technique, Ryu uses physical strength to run along walls and continuously jump to reach higher areas. In Ninja Gaiden 3, he can use daggers while wall-running, which he flings at enemies’ heads.
He mastered multiple weapons, including a staff and Wolverine claws
Just because the Dragon Sword is the most powerful weapon ever crafted doesn't mean you have to rely on it. In Ninja Gaiden 2 and 3, Ryu can switch to other weapons, including a powerful staff and a pair of Wolverine-style claws that turn foes into sashimi.
He knows all the hot ladies
Ryu isn't the only one fighting the good fight in the Ninja Gaiden franchise. Several women join the battle, including the powerful Ayane, the devastatingly beautiful (and strong) Momiji and the hammer-carrying Rachel. For good measure, Kasumi also appears in Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge – and is just as dangerous as she is pretty.
He's deadly from long range
Enemies will take pot shots at Ryu thinking he cannot reach them. Not to worry – along with being able to throw shurikens, Ryu can take them out with his trusty bow and arrow. For good measure, the explosive arrows drive the point home, leaving baddies in a bloody heap.
He doesn't let ego get in the way
Unlike most of the enemies he battles against, Ryu Hayabusa doesn't let ego blind his techniques. Instead, he concentrates on what he does best and runs into each boss battle with ultimate cunning and strategy. No one can rattle this ninja.
He's been at it for 26 years
With his superior skills, you'd think Ryu was a new face on the video game scene. However, he's been around for well over two decades. He first appeared in the original Ninja Gaiden in 1988, and has put enemies in their place ever since. He aged incredibly well.
Become a master ninja with these Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z beginner's tips.