Forums  /  Shinobi series  /  Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master  /  Shurikenless Mode

Hey folks! I'm new to this but Shinobi 3 has been a favorite of mine since I was young, and on Keaur's good advice I played the entire game without throwing a single shuriken.

I'm working on getting the time down (it's REALLY execution heavy), but I think it's a viable to be its own category.

- Ninjutsu/melee attacks are ok
- Picking up shuriken powerups is ok
- Start with 0 shuriken; dying to reset to 0 is ok
- No game over continues


Hey Vec. Glad to see you around.

So this category can definitely be a thing. One thing to note is that 6-button mode can be achieved with two controllers.
Ideally, this is how one would perform a category like this as there is an exclusive button for melee and another for kunai (they're shurikin in the options, but Joe throws kunai).
To acquire this mode, follow this: You need a 6 button controller plugged into port 1 and any regular controller in port 2. Highlight "Options" on the main menu. Normally when you're in the Options menu, it says "Options" at the top, with an S on the end. Highlight Options but don't go into it yet. On Controller 1, hold the Mode button and on Controller 2, hold UP on the D-Pad and the C Button. With all these buttons held down, press Start on controller 1. Now you're in the Options menu, it now just says "Option" at the top without an S. This means 6 Button mode is on. A is the Block button. B is a Melee attack. C is Jump X uses Ninjitsu magic Y and Z throws Kunai.

With that enabled, it would probably make better instead of accidentally picking up kunai and jumping into a pit just so you can achieve 0 kunai and be able to melee again.

If you have a run of it using the 6-button mode, I'll create the category.


Note to self: don't create forum threads when you're tired.

The only thing that I see wrong with six button mode is that it feels too easy having the kunai and attack buttons be separate - I feel way more focused and satisfied when I get through a run of the game having done every attack input correctly. Never having to fear that an incorrect button input would kill a run just feels weird.

Certain elements in the game can only be activated by kunai (i.e.; the time bomb at the end of the third(?) room in Stage 5) or the Mijin/Kariu ninjutsu, so life management (affectionately dubbed ammo management) could add tension to the run too.

Also, all my runs so far have been glitchless & emulated, so I don't know if implementing glitches would make or break the feel of the run yet. It might feel different on console.


I think if a category like this were to exist, 6 button mode would have to be allowed because there would be no way to know whether the runner is using a 6 button controller or not. And besides, I'm not sure many people would be willing to do a run where the slightest mistake at any point would kill the run.

And the bomb at stage 5 can be avoided by clipping as Keaur does in his runs. And if you can't clip there, you can use a mijin/kariu as you said.


I actually attempted to do this as run material a year ago. I've yet to complete a run due to negligence on my own behalf, and a few things I've encountered along the way. One thing to note, I use a model 1 genesis and do the six button mode with two controllers as described above. It's a very good run to attempt, what I've found is to follow the any% route just minus the kunai glitches.

I almost always run slash through the whole thing. Not only does this give Joe Musashi a lot of invincibility frames,but you can easily mash the sword button without movement to take care of a lot of enemies in the way. Alternatively you can jump/jump kick a route to not kill enemies but I find it easier to slash away. You will never lose the POW buff from bumping into enemies even if you miss a slash and start that animation. Only other point is to heavily use the self-destruct ninjitsu, so you gotta pick up lives when you can. Not only do you need to use it twice in Electric Demon 1, but if you lose a POW during a boss fight its a good backup strat to slash away with your daggers until you're almost dead then destruct them. NEVER use the lightning shield when fighting the ninja master during the second phase. Twice I've gone to use it right when the music changes over and he flips through the doors, it softlocks joe musashi to the ninja master. Run killer. Other than that, I seem to get around the 35 minute mark near the end. So, to each their own on a route unless it gets more solidified in the near future. Hope this picks up would be fun to get more people doing it!


I completed a run based off of Faust4712 run. So could we have a category for No Kunai?


After trying to pick up this category from watching Faust run this, I also want to point out that even with 6 button layout, do not use melee attack while double jumping. It will still throw kunai and invalidate the run. You can hold down and break out of the spin with a kick, however. Outside of that, it's a solid run with a smaller increase in challenge due to managing lives.

CoolHandMikeCoolHandMike likes this. 

Yes you are completely right. I wish the game would not spray out those kunai like that. The most important point of using the 6 button mode however is to be very careful about inputs during entrances and phase transitions of some bosses. You can easily hardlock the game. Not all of them have that awful property but enough do to make it a real problem and something to keep in mind. Of note are the 2nd to last, and last boss. Later I can make a list of the bosses that hardlock under this mode.


Guess it really is just the last two bosses that have that softlocking. So basically just don't press anything until the fight begins or during transitions. Don't press the ninjitsu button especially.


So if you are using an emulator like Bizhawk. You do get some cool advantages that are beneficial for running this game in this mode. For instance this is my setup with the controller.

Even though to activate the 6 button mode you need two controllers with button mapping you only need to use one with an emulator. If you map the Player 2 Up and C to some unused button like "BACK" or "L Trigger" or whatever, and Player 1's Mode button to that same button you can easily activate 6 button mode. Just hold that button while having the "Options" selected in the start menu then press start. Make sure to hold it until the options menu pops up. If you did it right you will see the top label be "Option" instead of "Options".

Also you should not map the kunai button for the No Kunai mode. And of course you can move around what buttons do what with the button mapping.


I think we're getting to the point where we can start building out guides for the no-kunai run. Best strats for bosses, routing choices and backups, etc.