READ BEFORE POSTING: NG2 FAQ (Glitches, Skulls, Bosses, and more!) SPOILERS.
Please don't post until I post the credits.
Table of Contents
3. Ninja Cinema
4. Mission Mode
6. Crystal Skulls
NG- Ninja Gaiden, the original game on the xbox.
NGB - Ninja Gaiden Black, the remake of NG so people without XBL could get the DLC.
NGS - Ninja Gaiden Sigma, another remake of Ninja Gaiden for the PS3.
PotA - Path of the Acolyte, the easiest difficulty.
PotW - Path of the Warrior, the "normal" difficulty.
PotM - Path of the Mentor, the second highest difficulty.
PotMN - Path of the Master Ninja, the hardest difficulty.
DS - Dragon Sword, the sward you start the game with.
TDS - True Dragon Sword, obtained late in the game as a part of the storyline.
VF - Vigoorian Flails, a nunchuck-type bladed weapon.
DCTF - Dragons Claw and Tiger's Fang, the dual katanas.
BotA - Blade of the Archfiend, the dual katanas that you get at the end of the game.
UT - Ultimate Technique, the attack that happens when you hold Y.
OL - On-Landing, you do a technique on landing. The most common OL technique is the UT, where you instantly absorb any nearby essence to perform a UT.
ET - Essence Technique, when you hold Y and pull in essence to charge for a UT.
IS - Incendiary Shrunken, the shrunken (although they look more like kunai) that explode.
FS - Flying Swallow, the attack where you fly towards an enemy and try to cut their head off.
ID - Izuna Drop, the attack that tosses the enemy into the air, grabs them, and slams them into the ground.
LotG - Life of the Gods, you use nine of these to increase your maximum health.
LotTG - Lives of the Thousand Gods, you use this to increase your maximum health.
JotDS - Jewel of the Demon Seal, you use this item to increase the level of a Ninpo spell
ToR - Talisman of Rebirth, this item revives you when you die.
RoT - Rod of Trials, the item that gives you access to the Tests of Valor.
GCS - Giant Crystal Skull, the giant crystal skull that appears in chapter 13 after you get all of the other skulls.
MM - Mission Mode, which you download from the XBL marketplace.
2. Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do the difficulty achievements stack?
A: Yes, but this question only applies to beating the game on Warrior and getting the achievement for Acolyte. You have to beat Warrior to unlock Mentor, and you have to beat Mentor to get Master Ninja, so you can't start on Master Ninja and get all 4 difficulty achievements in one game.
Q: How do you get the weapon achievements? You don't get some weapons until later in the game!
A: You need to finish the game first and start a new game+ to start the game with the weapon. Obviously, this doesn't apply to the Dragon Sword, since you have it at the start of the game.
Q: What's the difference between loading the save you made after the credits and choosing NEW GAME on a difficulty you beat and keeping your weapons?
A: Loading the save you made after the credits starts you at the start of the game with all of the same stats that you had when you finished the game. If you do this however, you can't upload any scores to the leaderboards.
Choosing NEW GAME on a difficulty you already beat will reset everything to level 1 and remove health and Ki upgrades. If you want to upload your scores to the leaderboards, you want to use this method.
Q: But what if I want to start a whole new game? Is the only way to delete all my saves?!?
A: No, when you pick NEW GAME from the main menu on a difficulty you have already beaten, you are presented with a question asking you if you want to keep your weapons and Ninpo. Simply answer NO and you will start a new game with nothing carried over.
Q: If I'm going for the weapon achievements, can I switch to a different weapon to injure (but not kill) enemies or bosses?
A: No, you cannot switch to a different weapon to injure enemies or bosses. You can however, switch to a different weapon as long as you don't hit an enemy with it.
NOTE: If you are doing a Vigoorian Flails run you MUST switch to a different weapon in Chapter 10 to depress the switch just before the stairs, as the Flails don't have any attacks that can press the switch down. You'll still get the achievement though, assuming you remember to re-equip the other weapon immediately after you press the switch.
Q: Does it matter if I load the save I made after the credits or start a new game with my weapons reset to level 1 to get the weapon achievements/weapon run leaderboards?
A: For the achievements, no, it doesn't matter which you choose. If you want to upload your score, you have to start a new game on the difficulty you already beat and reset your weapons to level 1.
Q: Can I use the BotA to get the Dual Katana Master achievement?
A: Yes, you can use the BotA even though the achievement description says you need to use the DCTF.
Q: I didn't get all of the achievements on my first game, can I play a new game+ and get them there, or do I need to play a fresh game to get the achievements?
A: You can get all of the achievements in a New Game+.
Q: Can I use Ninpo/projectiles for the weapon achievements/leaderboards?
A: You can't not use projectiles or Ninpo. They are REQUIRED to finish the game, so obviously you can use them and not mess up your achievements/weapon leaderboards.
Q: If I beat the game on Acolyte, can I start a new game+ on Warrior or vice versa?
A: No, New Game + only lets you carry over your stats on a difficulty that you have already beaten. You cannot beat Acolyte then start a New Game+ on Warrior, or any other combination of two different difficulties.
Q: What are the Tests of Valor?
A: The Tests of Valor are areas of the game in which you are challenged to kill dozens of enemies in an area for a reward.
Q: Are the tests of Valor required or optional?
A: They are completely optional, however they do give you good items and achievements, so if you don't do them you'll be missing out on those.
Q: How do you get the Tests of Valor to light up?
A: You have to get the Rod of Trials in Chapter 2. It's just outside the room where you get the Falcon's Talons (also see the glitches section). Also, some ToVs don't light up if there are enemies nearby, so go look around for enemies to kill.
Q: Can the Tests of Valor be done on a New Game+?
A: Yes, the ToV can be done on a New Game+ if they are kicking your ass on your first game.
Q: How many Tests of Valor are there, and what chapters are they in?
A: There are 9 Tests of Valor, and they are located in Chapters 3-11, one test per chapter. They are all fairly obvious, so unless you play the game with your eyes shut, they are pretty hard to miss.
Q: Auto saving or manual saving?
A: Definitely manual. Sure, auto saving may be nice since you only have to press one button to do everything, but it only leaves room for you to be screwed later in the game, if you want to backtrack or restart a chapter, or get hit with the game breaking glitch in chapter 10 (see glitches section).
Q: What do you get for finding the Crystal Skulls/Giant Crystal Skull?
A: Every Crystal Skull you collect will increase your kill bonus by 3%. You also get an achievement for every 10 you find, and a gamer picture when you find all 30. Collecting the Giant Crystal Skull will net you an additional 10% boost to your kill bonuses. In total, you can get a 2x multiplier to your kill bonuses. (Also see skulls section)
Q: When the DS becomes the TDS, does it always become level 4?
A: Yes, the TDS is always level 4, even if it was only level 1 or 2 beforehand. However, you get the TDS late in the game, so unless you're trying to conserve essence, you should just upgrade the DS as much as you can to make the game easier.
Q: How do you upload your score to the leaderboards?
A: At the end of every chapter, you have the option to upload your score before proceeding to the next chapter.
Q: I forgot to upload my score when I beat the game. Is there a way to manually upload it?
A: No. You will only be given the option to upload your score at the end of a chapter if you beat your previous high score. Your only option is to beat the score on the leaderboards again.
Q: I beat the game once, and started a new game. Why can't I upload my score?
A: You need to beat your old score. Obviously it would be pointless to upload a score when your place on the leaderboards would remain unchanged or lower.
Q: When I view the leaderboards, they usually freeze on me! How can I prevent this?
A: Just slow down while scrolling. Scroll 2 or 3 pages at a time then wait for it do download everyone's gamerpic before you scroll another 2 or 3 more pages.
Q: Why can't I use my LotG or LotTG?
A: Because your health is maxed.
Q: Why isn't my Talisman of Rebirth working?
A: Because you didn't equip it.
Q: I found a silver X in chapter 4. What does it do?
A: It heals your health. The white glow that appears around you should have made it fairly obvious, as it's the same glow that happens when you use an item to heal your health.
Q: I downloaded a costume, and when I play the game it says it can't find the costume and that it needs it to continue. How do I fix this?
A: To quote the Usage Restrictions found on the download screen which you should have read before you downloaded:
The item you are trying to download is subject to usage restrictions. You can use this item on the first Xbox 360 console that you used to download it. Access to this item will also be granted to all users on this first console. If you transfer the item using a memory unit or other storage device [or redownload it on another console], you will also be able to use it on other Xbox 360 consoles, but you'll need to sign in to Xbox LIVE with your Xbox LIVE account on that console before accessing the item.
So if you are getting the mentioned error message, sign in to XBL and it'll let you play. You can also just delete the costumes and leave them deleted, if you can't connect to XBL.
On a side note, these usage restrictions apply to everything you download from the XBL Marketplace, NG2 related or not.
3. Ninja Cinema
Q: What is it?
A: Ninja Cinema is an option that allows you to record your game play. You can also download other peoples' replays through the leaderboards. You can also upload one replay file to XBL for others to see.
Q: How do you turn it on?
A: Simply go into the options, and turn it on.
Q: How much space does it take up on my hard drive/memory card?
A: Usually, a single replay that goes from one save statue to another will average anywhere between 50 KB to 250 KB, depending on how long it is and what's going on in the clip. If you record an entire chapter on one file, I would imagine it could go to 500 KB or possibly more. I doubt any single replay file would be over 1 MB.
Q: I turned it on, but it doesn't say REC. How do I get it to record?
A: Sometimes the game likes to not show you the REC in the corner of the screen. However, as long as it is set to ON in the options, it is recording. You can also tell it's recording when you go to save your game; it takes slightly longer to save both your game AND your replay.
Q: Can you record an entire chapter, instead of just save point to save point, without not saving for the entire chapter?
A: Yes. Simply start the chapter with ninja cinema OFF, and play the chapter through to just before the end in one sitting, without dying, saving whenever you want. Just before the end of the chapter, press the BACK button and turn ninja cinema ON. When you save the game after the chapter is over, it saves the entire chapter's replay. If you want to do this for the next chapter as well, remember to turn ninja cinema back OFF sometime before the first save statue of the next chapter.
You can also use this trick if you want to save more than one part of a chapter, for example from the 2nd save point to the 5th save point. Using my example, just quit to the main menu after saving at the 2nd save point, load that save, play through saving at the 3rd and 4th save point (optional), and when you get to the 5th save point, turn ninja cinema ON, then save your game. It'll save all of the game play between the 2nd and 5th save point.
Q: How do I upload a video? It says I'm not ranked, but I am!
A: You need to be ranked in the top 2,000 on the Karma leaderboard to be able to upload a video.
Q: Is there a quick way of deleting tons of videos?
A: Yes, but only if you have a memory card. Go to the xbox dashboard and copy your saved games and NG2's system preferences file to the memory card. Then go back and press Y on NG2 and choose to delete everything.
If you don't have a memory card, then you'll just have to suck it up and spend the time deleting them, or just go to the dashboard and delete everything using the method mentioned above, including your saved games and system preferences file.
4. Mission Mode
Q: What is it?
A: Mission mode is a mode that takes Ryu and throws him into an area with predetermined stats for each mission; the length of your health, how many Ki slots, how many items, etc.
Q: How do I get it?
A: Go to the XBL Marketplace, download it, and it'll appear on the main menu. You need to patch your game though, so you won't be able to play it if you refuse the update.
Q: Do my stats carry over from the campaign?
A: No, your stats do not carry over to mission mode. Every mission has its own stats.
Q: What is green essence?
A: Green essence is a Karma multiplier. Each green essence will increase your multiplier by 1, up to a maximum of a 5x multiplier. It does wear off after a while and go back to 1x, so use it wisely. Also, you can use one green essence to charge a full UT, just like red and blue essence.
To save time and space, I'm only listing reproducible glitches that actually affect the game play or glitches that can be abused for your benefit. Pointless glitches won't be listed here.
Patches have since been released to fix some of these glitches. The fixed glitches will remain here as a reference and for the people who can't update their games. I'm not sure if all the glitches have been fixed, but if you want to experience them just clear your xbox's cache to delete the patches.
GAME BREAKING GLITCH IN CHAPTER 10 (Pre-patch only)
Chapter 10, right after the second save point, there is a pool of acid with enemies in it. If you die in this room and choose to continue, the enemies won't spawn, and since the enemies don't spawn, you will be unable to continue. Hopefully, you've been using manual saving and have a save at the start of the chapter so you can restart the chapter, but not the whole game. If you've been using auto saving, or manual saving but not keeping backup saves, then the only way to get past the glitch once it happens is to restart the entire game.
UNABLE TO OBTAIN ROD OF TRIALS
Some people have reported that the Rod of Trials doesn't appear for them in Chapter 2 after killing all the enemies just outside of the room where you get the Falcon's Talons. A simple way to avoid this glitch is to stay in the flat area of land and not go up the stairs at all.
GETTING THE GAMERPIC FOR FINDING ALL THE SKULLS EARLY
If you go on the leaderboards, and find and watch a replay of a person that has all 30 skulls IN THE VIDEO, you will unlock the gamerpic for finding all of the skulls. You will not get the achievements, however. This is somewhat complicated, as there's no way to tell if the person had all 30 skulls when he made the video, so you just have to pick random videos and watch them.
MURAMASA'S SHOP GLITCH (Pre-patch only)
Muramasa sells you unique items that you missed, such as Ninpo spells, Life of the Gods, weapons, etc. If you are playing on a new game+, with maxed health and Ninpo spells, you can't pick up the items again (it just gives you essence). Muramasa then sells them to you. However, after a while, you will be maxed on Life of the Gods, Lives of the Thousand Gods, and Jewel of the Demon Seal, and you will be unable to use them since your health and Ninpo spells are maxed. Since you are unable to use them, and Muramasa wants to sell them to you, you won't be able to buy them to show other items you have missed. If you don't carefully plan for this glitch ahead of time, then you'll have a hard time getting more than 7 Ki slots. The July 4th patch fixed this problem by stopping Muramasa from selling you items you missed when you are on a new game +.
SKIP RASETSU FIGHT IN CHAPTER 2
If you want to skip this fight, just get pushed through the gate. You won't get the Karma for killing him though.
RANDOMLY DISAPPEARING BOSSES
This can happen on any boss in the game, and seems to be fairly random. If a boss disappears but its health bar remains on the screen, then you'll have to reload your previous save and fight the boss again, and hope the glitch doesn't happen again. Thankfully, this doesn't happen very often; I had it happen 2 times in 9 games.
YELLOW ESSENCE FARMING
Chapter 1 - After the second save statue, kill the enemies, cross the river, kill the enemies again, and proceed around the corner. Kill the two enemies that attack you and backtrack back around the corner. Go back forward again and kill the enemies again. Repeat as much as desired. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2YyQnT2YYM
Chapter 1 - Just after the previous farming spot, you swing across some bars. Fall down below and kill the enemies. Climb back up, fall down below, and kill the enemies. Repeat as much as desired. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJvXloNjQwE
Chapter 2 - Just before the third save point, you have to drop into a hole in the roof. Just kill the enemies, but don't drop down the hole. Instead, hang over the ledge of the roof and jump back up. The enemies will respawn. Repeat as much as desired. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrqgTnNg0zk
Chapter 9 - In the green tunnels where you fight the worm boss, don't kill the boss but kill the smaller beetles as much as desired. Works better if you do it before you trigger the boss.
Chapter 9 - Only works on Master Ninja difficulty. Proceed to the first save point, then backtrack. The mines in the area will keep respawning forever, so keep killing them with the speargun for essence. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIOALwMysOA
6. Crystal Skulls
Note: There are a total of 30 crystal skulls hidden throughout the game. All the skulls are found by the end of chapter 11. If you are following this in order to find them all, I've included the total amount you should have after finishing each chapter. They do carry over, so even across multiple playthroughs - you only need to find them once. This works when playing on different difficulties as well, you aren't required to play new game+ to keep all the skulls you've found so far - they are automatically saved as found across all play types. Every time you pick up a skull, your kill bonus for killing enemies will increase by 3%. When you get the Giant Crystal Skull it will add another 10% to your kill bonus. There are also 3 achievements associated with finding them (20 gamer points for every 10 skulls found), and a gamer picture of a skull once you find them all. The picture looks exactly like the achievement pictures for finding the skulls, except it doesn't have the numbers on it.
Chapter 1: 2 skulls
1. After obtaining the fire Ninpo, you will come outside to a ledge where you are supposed to jump off and land below to fight a bunch more guys. If you time it right, you can jump across to the roof on the other side and get a skull. If you mess up, there's a ladder where you can climb up and try again.
2. Up next to the first flaming archers you encounter. Run up and jump off the tree halfway down the stairs as you walk towards the bridge they are firing from.
After finishing chapter 1 you should have a total of 2 skulls.
Chapter 2: 2 skulls
1. On the river bed shortly after learning the water-run technique. Under the bridge, it's resting on the bottom. Hold A to dive down and pick it up.
2. After defeating the sub boss in chapter 2 in the room with giant golden dragon winding around, go to the second floor and when you jump over to the platforms with the yin-yang items, you can smash through the wall to find a new room with a skull on one of the shelves.
Total of 4
Chapter 3: 2 skulls
1. After leaving the first main area, you'll come to a set of stairs. Climb them all the way to the top to see the skull right in front of you.
2. As soon as you learn how to perform the invisible path technique, go the opposite way of the main path. There is a small crevice in the wall you can run back and forth on to reach a rock platform with the skull waiting for you.
Total of 6
Chapter 4: 3 skulls
1. In the streets shortly after exiting the subway. After running for a little while and turning a few corners, you come across an open area and some crowded apartment buildings to your right. There's a skull on one of the steel apartment exterior staircases/balconies somewhat near a ninja corpse. Wall run to reach it.
2. Near the midpoint of the level, when jumping from the broken overpass to a ladder - you should see a ledge with a skull on it in front of you. Simply jump over to it and grab it.
3. On the girders inside the Statue of Liberty. When you're climbing up the stairs to the save point, jump on the girders in the middle of the room and you should see it resting in the corner of the room.
Total of 9
Chapter 5: 3 skulls
1. On a boat in the second body of water you can access. Instead of crossing the bridge - hang left and go around the corner to where you obtain the Kusarigama - run across the river and on one of the boats, there is a skull.
2. Shortly after, you'll walk into a marketplace type area. Go through the door after the save point and look immediately to your right.
3. After you pick up the spear gun and kill a group of enemies, you'll pass up a boat on the right. Right after the boat, look to the right and kill the exploding jellyfish things. They keep spawning for a while, so just keep blasting them and racking up essence. After they're all dead, you can swim over there for a skull at the bottom of the floor on your left.
Total of 12
Chapter 6: 3 skulls
1. At the very beginning of the level, after you flip up between the pillars - immediately turn and jump on the roof that is sloping down into the water. Cross over to the other side of the roof and walk down a few steps to the skull tucked away very near to where you first jumped up.
2. After the giant skeleton boss, continue on until you get back outside. Slice the rope on the guillotine for a skull.
3. In the library inside the castle (where you fight a lot of ninjas and there is a fireplace) there's a skull in one of the bookshelves. It will appear after you make the books fall out by hitting the bookshelves.
Total of 15
Chapter 7: 2 skulls
1. When you first reach the controls at the front of the ship and start destroying them, a skull will be uncovered slightly to the left of the main control panel.
2. In an alcove on your right after you start walking into a new hallway around the time that you find the Tonfas off a dead ninja. It's next to some debris.
Total of 17
Chapter 8: 4 skulls
1. In the snow when you're crossing the minefield. It's after the first section of mines where everyone was shooting at you through the windows of the three story building. Be careful with this one, because there are mines right under the skull, so jump over to it, grab it, and jump away quickly.
2. Once you get back inside again and leave the bell tower, you'll begin descending down a winding square staircase. In one of the holes on the wall with candles in it there is a skull.
3. After you enter the subway, in the room before where you find the Dignitary's ID Card - there is a skull on the right hand side of the room.
4. On the one of the gears about halfway up the area where you're jumping from one to another. It should be somewhat difficult to miss, but it's on one of the medium sized horizontal ones.
Total of 21
Chapter 9: 4 skulls
1. In the big open body of water you come to with the two searchlights. Head all the way to the right hand corner and it's behind one of the big wooden towers.
2. After using the jade mask and entering a new area you will eventually come to a rope you must use to climb across to reach the other side. About midway through this climb - just past the giant tree, there is a branch you can turn and swing towards on your right. Swing to this and then to one more branch, then jump again onto the small piece of land for the skull and a hidden shop.
3. After defeating the worm boss, right after the save there is another area with smaller worm enemies, the skull is on the far right hand side of this area just sitting on the ground.
4. After watching the short cinema with the dead ninjas floating down the river. Jump into the water and it's in a little alcove on the left near the bottom midway to the other shore.
Total of 25
Chapter 10: 2 skulls
1. After the fight with the worm enemies in the acid pit you'll flying bird flip into the area above you. Here wall run on the wall to your immediate left and then jump to the one on the right. Once on solid ground, turn around and wall run one more time from the wall on the left, and jump to the ledge in front of you where a skull awaits.
2. In the area with ninety-billion mini flying dragon enemies, you will descend some stairs. Once it levels out, if you follow it around to the left instead of where the story takes you, there's a skull on the ground in a small open area.
Total of 27
Chapter 11: 3 skulls
1. After passing the second shop you'll climb up a ladder and jump out a window into a familiar setting in the village from the first game. Head to the right of the village and turn right into a narrow alley near the exit, there's a skull in the far back right corner of this alley.
2. After passing through an underwater tunnel into a new area, the skull is sitting inside a small wooden structure on the right. Slash the front of the structure to get to the skull.
3. Right after leaving the ninja fortress, instead of climbing across the rope in front of you - head to your left and drop down into the opening in the floor. Follow this area back to the beginning of the original game and jump down all the ramps. The final skull is waiting in the cave.
Total of 30
Chapters 12-14: NO SKULLS
Here is a video posted by someone other than myself on youtube:
Note: This video contains every skull except the second skull in chapter 10. Also note that he killed the enemies before making the videos, so you will obviously have to kill enemies to get to some of the skulls.