3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Cheats & Cheat Codes for Nintendo 3DS

3D Shinobi III key art

3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Cheats & Cheat Codes for Nintendo 3DS

Also known as The Super Shinobi II, Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master is the third and final game in the trilogy of Shinobi titles on the Sega Genesis. Originally released in the summer of 1993 for the Genesis, the 3DS port of the title would arrive as 3D Shinobi III in 2013. It exists as one of many classic Sega titles ported to the Nintendo 3DS as part of the Sega 3D Classics initiative. These ports are re-releases of classic Sega titles featuring stereoscopic 3D visuals. Notably, the ports themselves feature development by studio M2. M2 is a renowned developer with a long legacy of quality ports (especially of arcade shmups and obscure run n’ gun titles).

Though Shinobi III is the third game in the Shinobi series on the Genesis, its Japanese title is actually more accurate. The game is the true sequel to The Revenge of Shinobi, with Shadow Dancer being a rework of a separate Sega arcade title and not technically part of the Shinobi series outside of its Western console release. In addition to being the last of the Shinobi games on the Genesis, Shinobi III was one of the last first-party titles for Sega’s 16-bit hardware before the company shifted resources to focus on the Sega Saturn.

The Nintendo 3DS port of Shinobi III is noteworthy for being one of the more critically successful entries in the 3D Classics collection. Further, in addition to reviewers praising the game’s still impressive visuals and audio, the port from M2 and the incorporation of the new stereoscopic 3D visuals make 3D Shinobi III one of the better ways to experience an all-time Sega classic.

3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Premise

3D Shinobi III gameplay

Shinobi III is a side-scrolling action platformer similar to the first two titles in the series on Sega Genesis. However, where Shinobi III excels over its predecessors is in its presentation, performance, and accessibility. Unlike The Revenge of Shinobi, Shinobi III is a fairly beginner-friendly experience and one of the more approachable action-platformers of the era. In comparison to similar titles like Tecmo’s Ninja Gaiden, Shinobi III is a far more forgiving game. Notably, the 3DS version of the title enhances the game’s accessibility and ease of use thanks to its additional buttons and new controller mapping options that make throwing shurikens easier than ever before.

Players will move from left to right in a gauntlet of increasingly challenging stages, each with its own boss at the end. The player character, Joe Musashi, can run, jump, slash with his katana, and throw shurikens. Additionally, players have access to 4 different Ninjitsu attacks that act as screen-clearing moves. Players can only use one Ninjitsu attack per level, though secret power-ups in each stage allow players to earn an additional use. Further, Shinobi III is also the first game in the series to introduce three new moves. These include the running slash, the wall jump, and the ability to block incoming attacks.

The 3DS release of 3D Shinobi III includes a plethora of unique options that help to make it the definitive release of the game. Among them include the ability to switch between the Western and Japanese versions of the game, CRT filters to emulate playing the game on older monitors, and the new “Expert Mode”. Aside from these new options, though, 3D Shinobi III is very much the same classic platformer on the 3DS that players may remember from the Genesis.

3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Main Characters

3D Shinobi III artwork

The story of 3D Shinobi III sees players returning once again as the Ninja Master Joe Musashi. After retiring at the end of The Revenge of Shinobi, Joe returns to action in Shinobi III to stop the evil Neo Zeed crime syndicate. Accordingly, the only characters to speak of in the game are the hero and his antagonist, the Shadow Master. The main characters in 3D Shinobi III include:

  • Joe Musashi: The Ninja Master and hero of the Shinobi games, Joe Musashi is the player character. Following his retirement at the end of The Revenge of Shinobi, Joe returns to action when the evil crime syndicate Neo Zeed becomes active again.
  • Shadow Master: The mysterious leader of Neo Zeed, the Shadow Master is the primary antagonist of Shinobi III. He is a ninja with comparable skills to Joe’s.

Games in the Shinobi Series

Sega’s Shinobi series is one of the best action-platformer franchises of the 16-bit era. Following a successful trilogy of titles on the Sega Genesis, the series would also receive a modern update courtesy of the 6th-generation reboot on the PlayStation 2. Shinobi III is the only game in the series to receive the Sega 3D Classics treatment on the Nintendo 3DS, a testament to its place as arguably the best game in the franchise. Games in the Shinobi series include:

  • Shinobi (Arcade, 1987)
  • Shadow Dancer (Arcade, 1989)
  • The Revenge of Shinobi (Sega Genesis, 1989)
  • The Cyber Shinobi (Sega Master System, 1990)
  • Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (Sega Genesis, 1990)
  • The G.G. Shinobi (Game Gear, 1991)
  • The G.G. Shinobi II: The Silent Fury (Game Gear, 1992)
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (Sega Genesis, 1993)
  • Shinobi Legions (Sega Saturn, 1995)
  • Shinobi (PS2, 2002)
  • The Revenge of Shinobi (Game Boy Advance, 2002)
  • Nightshade (PS2, 2003)
  • Shinobi (3DS, 2011)

3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Cheats & Cheat Codes

Despite being the easiest of the Shinobi games on Genesis, there are still some cheats available for Shinobi III to make players’ time with the title a breeze. These cheats are consistent across all versions of the game regardless of platform. That said, players should go into using these cheats knowing that their effectiveness on the 3DS version is only partially confirmed.

Infinite Shuriken

Completing the following steps will unlock the ability to have an infinite number of shuriken.

  • Enter the Options menu
  • Find the Shuriken option and set the number to 0
  • Find the Sound Effects option and set it to Shuriken
  • Move the cursor back to the Shuriken option and leave it there.

If done correctly, the 0 will change to the infinity symbol, indicating unlimited shuriken.


Players can obtain Invincibility by selecting the following songs in the BMG Selection menu under options. Scroll to these songs and press the button to play them in this order:

He runs, Japonesque, shinboi walk, sakura, getufu

Note that this cheat works on other versions of Shinobi III but has not been confirmed to work on the 3DS re-release.

3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Cheat FAQs

Can you level-select in 3D Shinobi III?
Unfortunately, no. The Level Select cheat from previous versions of Shinobi III does not return in the 3DS release.

How long does it take to beat 3D Shinobi III?
A normal playthrough will take players roughly 2.5 hours. That said, completing every aspect of the game (including all the new features in the M2 port) can take up to 9 hours.

Is 3D Shinobi III hard?
Interestingly, Shinobi III is one of the more forgiving action-platformer titles on the Genesis. The difficulty of the game is fair, and the game gets more challenging at an appropriate curve. It’s much easier than The Revenge of Shinobi but does still have some difficulty spikes.

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