Inindo: Way of the Ninja
Developer(s): Koei
Publisher(s): Koei
Release Date: Flag of Japan: July, 19, 1991 (PC-88)
September 27, 1991 (PC-98)
November 13, 1991 (MSX ROM)
November 28, 1991 (MSX FD)
December 1, 1991 (X68000)
March 19, 1992 (SFC)
August 1, 2003 (25th anniversary pack)
August 5, 2005 (Number series)
Flag of the United States.svg: March 19, 1992 (SNES)
European flag: December 5, 1993 (SNES)
Genre: Role-playing game
Game Modes: Single Player, Multiplayer
Ratings: CERO: All ages
ESRB: Rating US-Teen
Platform(s): NEC PC-8801SR, NEC PC-9801, MSX2, Sharp X68000, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Windows ('98~XP)

Inindo: Way of the Ninja (伊忍道 打倒信長, Inindō Datō Nobunaga; Translated as: "Path of the Iga Ninja: Overthrow Nobunaga") is the third entry in Koei's Rekoeition series, historical simulation titles which incorporate role-playing game elements. Unlike other Rekoeition titles, Inindo: Way of the Ninja heavily focuses on the role-playing aspect and the simulation part is minimal.

The game also presents a negative image for the titular character of the Japanese version, Nobunaga, a contrast to the heroic image seen in the Nobunaga's Ambition series. Unlike the English localization for later titles in the aforementioned series, historical figures keep their names in Japanese naming order (family name first, then given name) throughout this game's script. In other words, Mitsuhide is called Akechi Mitsuhide in this game.

Kou Shibusawa is the game's producer and Nobuhiro Ide is the game's music composer.


In the year 1581, Oda Nobunaga led 40,000 to wipe out the ninja in Iga. The leader of the Iga ninja, Momochi Tanba, was prepared to fight to the death. However, the night before the decisive battle, Tanba called a young man to his side. Seeing unbridled potential within the youth, Tanba ordered the young man to escape the slaughter.

The young man fled the disaster and was raised within a tranquil ninja village. His fundamental ninja training was taught to him by the granddaughter of the village elder, Rin.

A year later, Nobunaga's ninja head hunters reached his village. As they close in on the young man, a messenger reports that Akechi Mitsuhide has betrayed their lord at Honnouji. The report saved the young man by the skin of his teeth. He then heeds the advice of the village elder to search for their clan's fire spell held within a mountain cave. The youth succeeds this task and sees that Nobunaga is still alive. He swears to slay the villain for his fallen countrymen.

The cutscene that happens after the first dungeon determines which one of two available story paths the game will follow. The player can spot which story it is based on Nobunaga's condition after Honnouji. If he is covered in bandages, this will be the game's Normal version. If he looks uninjured, this is the game's Sorcerer route. The Normal route has other ninja and soldiers fight players, while the Sorcerer route sics supernatural monsters to hurt opponents. The story route also changes the ending's text.

A third bonus scenario is also available on the PC-8801 and PC-9801 versions.


The player controls a mute, young male hero whose name can be decided at the start of the game. After the mandatory cave, the player is free to wander to whatever province they desire. As they roam the overhead world map, the screen darkens to signify the night and day. The hero needs to rest and will need to either camp out or stop at an inn to recover his strength. Repeating the process may cause the game's time to proceed forward. If Nobunaga is at war with someone, there might be a cutaway to a bird's eye view of Japan. The game will automatically end by the year 1601.

Ultimately, the goal of the game is to join forces with one of the fifteen reigning daimyo and kill Nobunaga. They will be at war with Nobunaga, though who is fighting him is randomized in each play-through. The player is free to choose which daimyo they wish to offer their allegiance. Depending on the player's luck, the hero can gain the Trust of a daimyo nearby Nobunaga's base at Azuchi Castle. Daimyo can trust the hero if he fulfills various missions when he is at least level 15 or level 18. They can do these tasks on the 1st~15th in every month.

Once the daimyo gains the maximum trust rating with the protagonist, they will declare war against Nobunaga's army. Their conflict suddenly changes the traditional role-playing game setting to be a tactical strategy sequence. The map changes to a hexagon grid and the player orders armies to attack large regions of land at once. These sequences can also be used to help stifle Nobunaga's expansion and to protect nearby daimyo.


Most battles in the game are random encounters within dungeons or after resting at an inn. Action is standard turn-based Japanese RPG flare, and the player's party acts first. The party has six options available to them. They can perform the standard actions of attacking with their weapon, casting magic, using items within the selected character's inventory, or escape.

In each battle, the ally and enemy parties are separated by three spaces (seen as dots in the SNES/SFC versions). Both allies and enemies can either throw weapons or cast spells from afar. Each ally can "Throw" a secondary weapon to hit faraway foes. To close or distance the space between the two parties, allies can choose the "Move" function to shift their position. The ally proximity to an enemy may change their overall behavior. If the player is struggling against a particular foe's keep-away game, change the formation. Each enemy awards a fixed amount of experience, so it's advised to leave areas once they become too easy for the party to slay.

Although the daimyo's trust is needed to whittle down Nobunaga's forces, the final battle against Nobunaga will use this method of combat. Therefore, it helps to obtain reliable party members.

Second player control is limited to combat. They control the ally party on every even turn in battle.

Party MembersEdit

The hero cannot recruit party members until he reaches Level 7. He can find allies at Inns, Tea Houses, or Castle Towers. They can be recruited by building their trust rating with the hero. Depending on the character, it may require they defeat them in battle, chatting with them, or by greeting them at dungeons. If the hero reaches a high level, they cannot recruit party members. However, the likelihood of allies offering their assistance increases. He can recruit a maximum of two party members at any time.

Party members are divided by four main classes: Samurai, Ninja, Monk, and Tao Priest. The Samurai, Monk, and Tao Priest are called Warrior, Sage and Wizard respectively in English.

Class Traits Sub Classes
Samurai (Warrior) Strong physical attributes, no magic support Samurai, Ronin, Swordsman
Ninja Balanced class. Offers both magic and physical attack support. Iga Ninja, Female Iga Ninja, Koga Ninja, Female Koga Ninja, Fuma Ninja, Negoro Ninja
Monk (Sage) Spell casting class. Physical and magic capabilities vary on sub class. Ideal healing class. Mendicant, Sohei, Hermit
Tao Priest (Wizard) Weakest physical attributes, but strongest spell caster. Sage, Mystic, Magician

In the Japanese version, the player can recruit actual historical figures such as Fuuma Kotaro, Hattori Hanzo, Maeda Toshiie, and Tenkai. They are interspersed with various original characters in the game. Historical names are omitted in the English version and replaced with names like Tofumaru, Fuwa Danjo, Arashi, or Amagi Koji. Their responses to the hero in either language are static, but they change based on their Trust rating with him.

The PC versions of the game adds a special trait with female party members. The couple can pretend to be married and can settle in a vacant house within the town. Villagers can then offer the "newly weds" special information regarding the surrounding daimyou or the war situation. The feature can also serve as a free substitute for an inn. This feature is removed in the Nintendo versions of the game.

Training GroundsEdit

The player may choose to complete these ten dungeons to obtain all ten spells in the game. It's highly recommended to obtain these spells on the first play-through.

  1. Iga Cave - mandatory
  2. Mount Fuji
  3. Mount Tsukuba
  4. Mount Haguro
  5. Mount Osore
  6. Oshima
  7. Mount Ontake
  8. Mount Ochi
  9. Mount Tsurugi (Mount Ken in the English port)
  10. Mount Aso
  11. Mount Hiei

Additionally there are secondary dungeons located near these training grounds to help level up the main party. They also offer unique treasure for adventurers.

Differences between portsEdit

  • The pseudo marriage feature and the bonus scenario are removed in the SNES and SFC versions.
  • Battle visuals has the camera positioned behind the player's party in PC versions, depicting them as tall figures against their enemies. The SNES/SFC version has a flat, side view with party members being depicted as tiny sprites turned to the side. As such, the visuals for battle are completely different from one another.
  • The MSX2 Rom version cuts or simplifies many of the game's cinema.
  • SNES/SFC version has the slowest text speed of all other ports.
  • Visuals for Nobunaga's death speech are completely different in the game's ending between versions. The PC versions features a close-up of the hero and Nobunaga as he dies. The SNES version merely has his sprite topple over with scrolling text.
  • Like other SFC ports for Koei titles, the Japanese title of the game is known as adds the "SUPER" label in it. Its name is therefore SUPER Inindō Datō Nobunaga.

Related MediaEdit

Koei released a soundtrack CD of the game's music in 1991.

One of the events for celebrating 30 years of Nobunaga's Ambition includes hosting an all Nobunaga event in Hyaku-man nin no Nobunaga no Yabou. One of the sixteen different Nobunagas available for earning is his persona from this game.



External LinksEdit