hide results

    Advanced Combat FAQ by aaxe

    Version: 11.5 | Updated: 03/21/05 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    ...............................................................................
    ...............................................................................
    ...............................................................................
    .....................................::........................................
    ..................................::NN::.......................................
    ................................::NNN::........................................
    .........................::::..::NNN::.::......................................
    .......................::NNNN::NNNN::NNNN::....................................
    ................::.......:::.::NNN::.::::......................................
    ..............NNNN:.........::NNN::............................................
    ............:NNNNN:........::NNN::.............................................
    ...........:NNNNNN:.......::NNN::..............................................
    ..........:NNNNNNN:......::NNN::...............................................
    .........:NNN::NNN:.....::NNN::................................................
    .......::NNN:.::NN:....::NNN::..::............:::...::::....::...........::....
    ......::NNN::.::NN:...::NNN::..:II:.........::NN..::NNNN::.:JJ:.........:AA:...
    .....::NNN::..::NN:..::NNN:....:II:.......::NNNN:::NNNN::..:JJ:......:::AAA:...
    ....::NNN:::..::NN:.::NNN::....:II:.....::NNNNNN::NNNN::...:JJ:....:::AAAAA:...
    .....NNN......::NN:::NNN::.....:II:...::NNNN::NNNNNN::.....:JJ:...::AAA..AA:...
    ..::NNN::.....::NN::NNN::......:II:.::NNNN:.::NNNN::.......:JJ:...:AAAAAAAA:...
    ..:NNN::......::NNNNNN::.......:II:.:NNNN::..:NNNN::.......:JJ:..:AAA::::AA:...
    ::NNNN::......::NNNNN::........:II::NNNN::...:NNN:.........:JJ:.:AA::..::AA:...
    ..::::........:GNNN::...........::..::::......:::..........:JJ:.:::......::....
    .............:GGNN::.......................................:JJ:................
    ..........::GGGN::....................................:::..:JJ:................
    .........::GGG::....................................::JJ:..:JJ:................
    ........::GGG::....................................::JJJ::.:JJ:................
    .......::GGG::....................................:JJJ:::..:JJ:................
    ......::GGG::...................................::JJJJ:::::JJJ:................
    .....::GGG::....::..............................::JJJJJJJJJJJJ:................
    ...::GGG:.....::GG::..............................::::::::::::.................
    ..::GGG::.....::GGGG::.........................................................
    .::GGG::....::GGGGGGGG::.......................................................
    .:GGG:....::GGGG::::GGGG::.....................................................
    :GGG::.....:GGG:..::::GGG:....::..::..::................::::::::....::.....:::.
    GGG:........::......:GGGG::.::AA::II::DD::............::EEEEEEEE::.:NN:..:NNNN:
    GGG::.............::GGGG::.::AAA::II::DDD::.........::EEEEEEEEEE::NNNN:::NNNN:.
    GGGG::...........::GGGG::.:AAAAA::II::DDDD::......::EEEE::::...::NNNNN::NNNN:..
    ::GGG::........::GGGG::.:AAA..AA::II::DDD:DD::....:EEEEEEEE:..:NNNN:NNNNNN::...
    ..::GGGG::....::GGGG::::AAAAAAAA::II::DD:::DDD::::EEEE::.....:NNN:::NNNN::.....
    ....::GGGG::::GGGGG:::AAA:::::AA::II::DD::..:DDD::EEE::::::::NNNN:::NNNN::.....
    ......::GGGGGGGGGG::.AA::...::AA::II::DDDDDDDDDD:EEEEEEEEEE:NNN::..:NNN::......
    ........::::::::::...::......:::.:::.:::::::::::.::::::::::.:::.....:::........
    ...............................................................................
    ...............................................................................
    ...............................................................................
    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Advanced Combat
    
    By aaxe
    
    Version 11.5
    
    Copyright Information
    ---------------------
    Copyright 2005, aaxe
    
    This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal,
    private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
    publicly without advance permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or
    as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of
    copyright.  Just contact me via GameFAQs if you wish to reuse this material.
    
    History
    -------
    Version 11.5, 03-31-2005 - Added add'l Free Form Combos, Added LowH, REG,
    LARGE, BOSS Conditions, adjusted/expanded/renamed Weapon Matrix to Move Matrix.
    Added Ascii art.  Added add'l Free form combos.  Reorganized Sections.
    Expanded Encounter Comboing Section.
    
    Version 11.0, 03-08-2005 - Completed Legacy Combat section, added add'l Free
    Form Combos.  Added Weapon Matrix Section.
    
    Version 10.5, 01-13-2004 - Add'l corrections.  Added comprehensive weapon level
    damage listings to move list.  Added Phantom State.  Added Legacy Advanced
    Combat.  Added add'l Free Form Combos.  Added Counter Hit (CH) status.  Added
    Weapon Differentiation section.
    
    Version 9.5 - Added add'l Free Form Combos.  Will finish hit points sections
    someday.
    
    Version 9.0 - Added hit points to Move List section.  Added appropriate
    comments to Move List Discussion section.  Add'l corrections (Thanks,
    fizzguy47)
    
    Version 8.5 - Reorganized Document.  Began Move List Discussion section (Thanks
    cjh87)
    
    Version 8.0 - Added add'l Free Form Combos (Thanks again, ShadowBlade786).
    Added add'l Wall Running techniques and Ceiling Running (Thanks, oasisbeyond).
    Added Ninja Gaiden Tribute section.
    
    Version 7.5, - Added Essentials Section for a quick list of absolutely
    necessary Ninja Gaiden techniques.  Added Uninterceptable Attacks section
    (thanks Lupin Roamer).  Updated Wall Run designations (vWallRun, hWallRun).
    Changed Crush description to Clear.  Added add'l Free Form Combos (50 DS!).
    Added NEARWALL and WSTUN properties.
    
    Version 7.0, 09-08-2004 - timebomb13rob Discovered Kitetsu Life Regaining
    Trick, Discovered iWR post Wind Path.  Updated many Free Form Combo sections.
    Added Soul Bind, Soul Eraser, Cremator, Dragon Slaughter, Guillotine Throw,
    Dark Dragon Gates of Hell and Dragon's Claw In-depth Move Discussions.
    Updated Wind Path Designations (vWP, hWP).
    
    Version 6.5, 09-02-2004 - Discovered Step Cancel.  Discovered On-Landing
    Cancel.  Added add'l Advanced Combat sections.  Added add'l Free Form Combos.
    Fleshed out Nunchaku Free Form Combo Section as it is a viable weapon in the
    HP.  Added add'l Weapon Discussions.  Added Enemy Discussion.  Added Intercept
    Free Form Combos section.  Corrected Retreating Tide.
    
    Version 6.0, 08-30-2004 - Reorganized Advanced Combat section.
    
    Version 5.0, 08-25-2004 - Add'l corrections.  Add'l content.  Added add'l
    Combos.
    
    Version 4.5, 08-23-2004 - Add'l corrections.  Added Auto Targeting section.
    Expanded Basic Combat section with Weapon and Combo Descriptions.  Began in-
    depth research into various Ninpo Canceling options.
    
    Version 4.0, 08-13-2004 - Corrected confusing move lists.  Added Hurricane Pack
    sections.  Added Ninpo Cancel Combos.  Added Lunar Combos.  Added Wind Path
    Combos.  Added Encounter Comboing Sections.
    
    Version 3.5, 07-27-2004 - Discovered Ninpo Cancel.  Added add'l Kitetsu, Dragon
    Sword Counter Attack combos.  Added add'l Vigoorian Flail combos.  Added
    partial Lunar information and move list.  Added Hurricane Pack Disclaimer.
    
    Version 3.0, 07-14-2004 - Added Advanced Shuriken Use, Who Watches the
    Watchers, Flying Swallow and Red Hot Iron Brand Sections
    
    Version 2.5, 07-05-2004 - Discovered Spin Stun.  Discovered Crumple Stun.
    Various corrections. Added Wind Path section. Added Bo Section.
    
    Version 2.0, 06-05-2004 - Various additions.
    
    Version 1.5, 04-27-2004 - Various corrections.
    
    Version 1.0, 04-23-2004 - Added add'l Free Form Combos. Added add'l Just Frame,
    Combo Flow and Wind Path. Updated Essence Avoidance. Corrected Ripping Dragon
    Kick, Arashi Shinjitsu and Cloven Helmet
    
    Version 0.5, 04-21-2004 - Initial release.
    
    Table of Contents
    -----------------
    1.  Prologue
    	a.  Introduction
    	b.  Essentials
    		1.  instant Block
    		2.  instant Charge
    		3.  On-Landing
    		4.  Auto-Targeting
    		5.  Free Form Combos
    		6.  Rolling Techniques
    		7.  Wind Path
    		8.  Enemy Awareness
    		9.  Projectile Use
    		10. Ninja Gaiden Tribute
    
    2.  Conventions
    	a.  General Movement
    	b.  Conditions
    	c.  Requirements
    	d.  Properties
    
    3.  Basic Combat
    	a.  Basic Combat Overview
    	b.  Enemy Types
    		1.  Small
    		2.  Regular
    		3.  Large
    		4.  Boss
    	c.  Weapon Discussion
    		1.  Classes
    		2.  One-Handed Melee Weapons
    		3.  Light Two-Handed Melee Weapons
    		4.  Heavy Two-Handed Melee Weapons
    		5.  One-Handed Projectile Weapons
    		6.  Two-Handed Projectile Weapons
    		7.  "Useless" Weapons
    	d.  Ninpo Discussion
    		1.  Art of Firewheel
    		2.  Art of Inferno
    		3.  Art of Ice Storm
    		4.  Art of Inazuma
    		5.  Summary
    	e.  Auto-Targeting
    	f.  Weapon Differentiation
    		1.  One-Handed vs. Two-Handed
    		2.  Light Two-Handed vs. Heavy Two-Handed
    		3.  Dragon Sword vs. Kitetsu
    		4.  War Hammer vs. Dabilahro
    		5.  Nunchaku vs. Flail
    		6.  Lunar vs. All
    		7.  Unlabored Flawlessness vs. All
    		8.  Unlabored Flawlessness vs. Dark Dragon Blade
    		9.  Dragon Sword vs. Nunchaku vs. Lunar (Hurricane Pack 1)
    
    4.  Advanced Combat
    	a.  Move Recovery
    	b.  Command Buffering
    	c.  Just Frame
    	d.  Audio Cues
    	e.  Downed Advantage
    	f.  Rolling Techniques
    	g.  Essence Avoidance
    	h.  Protection and Invincibility
    	i.  Additive Damage
    	j.  Combo Flow
    		1.  Sections
    		2.  Breakers
    		3.  Transitions
    		4.  Enders
    	k.  Encounter Comboing
    		1.  Distance
    		2.  Time Span
    		3.  Frugality
    		4.  Hinderance
    		5.  Benefit
    		6.  Difficulty
    	l.  Enemy Priority
    	m.  Enemy Awareness
    	n.  Fighting Engine Discussion
    		1.  Guard Breaking Enemies
    		2.  Guard Breaking/Crushing Ryu
    		3.  Combo Growth
    		4.  Spin Stun (SPIN)
    		5.  Crumple Stun (CRUMPLE)
    		6.  On-Landing (OL)
    		7.  On-Landing Cancel (OLC)
    		8.  instant Charge (iC)
    		9.  instant Block (iB)
    		10. Wind Path Stun (WPS)
    		11. Advanced Shuriken Use
    		12. Ninpo Canceling (NINC)
    		13. Step Canceling (STEPC)
    		14. Grounding Knockdown (GROUND)
    		15. Depth
    	o.  In-depth Move Discussion
    		1.  Flying Swallow
    		2.  Red Hot Iron Brand
    		3.  Izuna Drop
    		4.  Six Paths Spin
    		5.  Flying Bird Flip Options
    		6.  Counter Attack
    		7.  Runaway Lightning
    		8.  Wind Path
    		9.  Soul Bind
    		10. Soul Eraser
    		11. Cremator
    		12. Dragon Slaughter
    		13. Guillotine Throw
    		14. Dark Dragon Gates of Hell
    		15. Dragon's Claw
    		16. Burial Kick
    		17. Steel Severer
    	p.  Dial-A-Combo
    	q.  Enemy Arsenal
    	r.  Phantom Invincibility
    
    5.  Character Traits
    	a.  Advanced Enemy Abilities
    	b.  Easy
    	c.  Normal
    	d.  Formidable
    	e.  Deadly
    
    6.  Hidden Moves
    	a.  All Weapons
    		1.  Who Watches the Watchers
    	b.  Dragon Sword
    		1.  Tranquil Clearing
    		2.  Rooted Windmill
    	c.  Kitetsu
    		1.  Soul Bind
    		2.  Soul Eraser
    	d.  Dragon Sword/Kitetsu
    		1.  Burial Kick
    		2.  Life's Circle
    
    7.  Move List
    	a.  Dragon Sword/Plasma Sword, True Dragon Sword/Plasma Sword Mk. II
    	b.  Nunchaku
    	c.  Vigoorian Flail
    	d.  War Hammer
    	e.  Dabilahro
    	f.  Spear Gun
    	g.  Wooden Sword
    	h.  Kitetsu
    	i.  Unlabored Flawlessness
    	j.  Dark Dragon Blade
    	m.  Lunar
    	n.  Shuriken
    	o.  Windmill Shuriken
    	p.  Incendiary Shuriken
    	q.  Bow
    	r.  Strong Bow
    	s.  APFSDS Arrows
    	t.  Explosive Arrows
    
    8.  Move Matrix
    	a.  Melee
    	b.  Melee Notes
    	c.  Projectile
    	d.  Projectile Notes
    	e.  Ninpo
    	f.  Ninpo Notes
    	g.  Essence/Ultimate Technique
    	h.  Essence/Ultimate Technique Notes
    
    9.  Move List Discussion
    	a.  Dragon Sword
    		1. Level 1
    		2. Level 2
    		3. Level 3
    		4. Level 4
    		5. Scroll
    	b.  Nunchaku
    		1. Level 1
    		2. Scroll
    	c.  Vigoorian Flail
    		1. Level 1
    		2. Level 2
    		3. Scroll
    	d.  War Hammer
    		1. Level 1
    		2. Level 2
    		3. Scroll
    	d.  Dabilahro
    		1. Level 1
    		2. Level 2
    		3. Level 3
    		3. Scroll
    	e.  Spear Gun
    		1. Level 1
    		2. Scroll
    	f.  Wooden Sword
    		1. Levels 1-6
    		2. Scroll
    	g.  Kitetsu
    		1. Level 1
    		2. Scroll
    	h.  Unlabored Flawlessness
    		1. Level 1
    		2. Scroll
    	i.  Dark Dragon Blade
    		1. Level 1
    		2. Scroll
    	j.  Lunar
    		1. Level 1
    		2. Level 2
    		3. Level 3
    		4. Scroll
    	k.  Shuriken
    	l.  Windmill Shuriken
    	m.  Incendiary Shuriken
    	n.  Bow
    	o.  Strong Bow
    	p.  APFSDS Arrows
    	q.  Explosive Arrows
    	r.  All Weapons
    
    10. Hurricane Pack
    	a.  Game Changes
    	b.  Intercept
    	c.  Uninterceptable Attacks
    		1.  All Characters
    		2.  Murai
    		3.  Dynamo
    		4.  Tentacle Fiend
    		5.  Monk Fiends
    		5.  Zombie Dragon
    		6.  Alma
    		7.  Tank Battalion
    		8.  Attack Helicopter
    		9.  Inazuma/Inferno Worm
    		10. Ogres
    		11. Moat Guardian
    		12. Doku
    		13. Ice Fiend
    		14. Smougan
    		15. Awakened Alma
    		16. Spirit Doku
    		17. Gogohn
    		18. Vigoor
    		19. Dark Disciple
    	d.  Essence Farming
    	e.  Repeat Encounters
    	f.  Enemy Changes
    
    11. Free Form Combos
    	a.  Damage Discussion
    	b.  Dragon Sword
    	c.  Nunchaku
    	d.  Vigoorian Flail
    	e.  War Hammer
    	f.  Dabilahro
    	g.  Kitetsu
    	h.  Unlabored Flawlessness
    	i.  Dark Dragon Blade
    	j.  Lunar
    	k.  Standard Shuriken
    	l.  Windmill Shuriken
    	m.  Incendiary Shuriken
    	n.  Wind Path
    	o.  Intercept
    
    12. Legacy Advanced Combat
    	a.  Ninja Ryukenden
    	b.  Ninja Gaiden Trilogy
    		1.  Ninja Gaiden
    		2.  Ninja Gaiden and the Dark Sword of Chaos
    		3.  Ninja Gaiden and the Ancient Ship of Doom
    	c.  Summary
    
    13. Credits
    
    --PROLOGUE--
    If you wish to skip the bulk of the discussion of the Combat Engine, then
    simply skip to the Essentials Section to see the list of techniques that
    are required for high-level play.  Otherwise, simply read on.
    
    INTRODUCTION
    ------------
    This document will outline the advanced techniques that Ryu may utilize to
    confront his adversaries.  While the canned combos and basic moves are listed
    for comprehensiveness, the scope of this document is to expand upon the basic
    tools outlined in the game.  There are many facets to the Combo System that go
    undocumented both in-game and in the manual itself, so it's up to the forum
    members of this board and other boards in particular to hash out the specifics.
    Please see the credits section for the people responsible for gathering this
    information.
    
    The primary difference between this game and every other action game ever
    created to my knowledge is that this game incorporates fighting game hit
    properties and statuses heavily into the combat engine.  Whereas most games
    include the bread and butter HIT, CLEAR, IA, THROW, GROUND and WALLSTUN
    statuses, Ninja Gaiden incorporates over 50 statuses and properties that are
    specifically assigned to specific strikes, weapons, attacks and even other
    states.  There are even inter-dependencies between the statuses such as the
    ability to CRUMPLE and opponent after placing them in SPIN state.  This does
    not even include the hundreds of different, animated reactions that are induced
    by simple HIT state.  No other action game currently features this depth of
    combat.
    
    Note that this document will not entail specific strategies for specific
    enemies unless used for demonstration.  This document is to outline the combos
    both canned and free form as well as the properties of the strikes themselves.
    
    The Hurricane Pack does not invalidate any of this information.  The Combat
    Engine is largely intact, whereas the Karma system has underwent a complete
    overhaul.  I have added the Hurricane Pack information to the end of the
    document, but the Lunar's move list and Free Form Combos will fall in line with
    the rest of the weapons.
    
    ESSENTIALS
    ----------
    This document has grown to a rather large size, so it seems necessary to
    summarize the techniques that will get you started on your way to Advanced
    Combat without having to read the entire thing.  Therefore, this section will
    list the techniques that are required for high-level play.  You can use the
    document find function (Ctrl+F or Edit->Find) to locate the description of
    the technique listed.
    
    1.  instant Block - Ryu is a defensive powerhouse.  To the experienced player
    very few attacks will actually ever connect with him.  The instant Block
    technique is vital to avoiding damage in the game.  If you've attained the
    Hurricane Pack, the most useful technique in the game is called Intercept.
    
    2.  instant Charge - Ryu's most powerful techniques are usually too time-
    consuming to pull off mid-encounter.  Therefore, the instant Charge state
    exists.
    
    3.  On-Landing - The On-Landing status is one of the two that grant you
    instant Charge.
    
    4.  Auto-Targeting - The Auto-Targeting system of Ninja Gaiden is sublime.  As
    such, it is easy to take it for granted.  One should read this section to
    understand how to determine what enemy you can strike.
    
    5.  Free Form Combos - The bulk of the research done by myself and the people
    contributing to this document is contained within this section.  It outlines
    many Combo variations that are not readily evident.  It is organized by
    weapon or technique.
    
    6.  Rolling Techniques - It is fairly safe to say that Ryu's defensive options
    are more important than his offensive options in this game given that he is
    completely outnumbered almost every step of the way.  Consequently, the game
    designers have made Ryu the most defensively capable game character ever.  It
    is absolutely essential to high-level play to understand the evasive options
    of this section.
    
    7.  Wind Path - One of Ryu's most effective techniques is the Wind Path.
    It's not altogether obvious that you can turn around in mid-air, post-Wind
    Path and strike your opponent.  This trait makes it an essential tool in the
    player's arsenal.
    
    8.  Enemy Awareness - This concept is two-fold.  Both the player and AI
    awareness are discussed in this section.
    
    9.  Projectile Use - While Ryu heavily favors his melee arsenal, projectile
    use is integral to the game.  Do not neglect it.
    
    10. Ninja Gaiden Tribute - In my opinion, this is the single greatest fan
    fiction project I have ever seen.
    
    oasisbeyond.cjb.net
    
    Click on the Ninja Gaiden Tribute link either bittorrent or direct download.
    I cannot recommend this thing enough.  If you have even a passing interest in
    Ninja Gaiden, this movie is 100% NECESSARY.  Bear in mind that it is a totally
    comprehensive spoiler.
    
    --CONVENTIONS--
    We'll use standard fighting game conventions in this guide as Ryu's arsenal
    depends greatly upon his orientation to his opponents.  Please refer back to
    this section when perusing the Move List section.
    
    General Movement:
    The directions will follow a numbering system used in fighting games, but
    altered for the 3D nature of the game.  The numbers reflect positions of the
    joystick in those games, but we alter it for this discussion:
    
    789
    456
    123
    
    Where 8 represents a jump straight up (A), 7 and 9 represent jumping away from
    (4+A) and toward (6+A) an opponent, respectively, 1 and 3 represent rolls away
    from (4+L) and towards (6+L) an opponent respectively, 6 represents regular
    movement towards his opponent and 4 represents regular movement away from his
    opponent where 5 represents Neutral position.
    
    , - Then: Input right side command after left side command
    / - Or: Left side command can be substituted with right side command
    ~ - Quickly: Input right side command very quickly after left side command
    + - And: Input left side and right side commands at the same time
    () - Hold: Hold the button longer than a simple tap
    	r - Release: Following Charge, release the button or direction
    [] - Optional: Commands within brackets are optional
    360 - 360 degrees: One whole 360 degree rotation of the left analog stick
    tap - Merely tap the button
    ... - Pause before the next command is issued
    etc... - Et Cetera: Too many options to list after the last command
    repeat - Repeat: repeat the previous command
    oscillate - Oscillate: Oscillate between the two listed command
    charge - Hold the button used to initiate the command for differing severities
    
    Commands:  You can obviously reset your commands to however you want them, but
    this is the default configuration.
    X - Light Attack: X Button
    Y - Heavy Attack: Y Button
    B - Projectile: B Button
    A - Jump: A Button
    R - Reset camera: Right Trigger
    L - Block: Left Trigger
    W - Karma Window: White Button
    K - Map: Black Button
    S - Inventory: Start
    RC - Switch Camera Mode - Right-stick Click (Hurricane Pack only)
    LC - Switch Encounter Timer - Left-stick Click
    X+A - Wind Run - X+A Buttons
    Y+B - Ninpo - Y+B Buttons
    
    RW/Roll - Reverse Wind/Roll: L+any direction, Ryu will roll
    RJ - Roll Jump: Cancel a roll recovery animation with a jump and vice versa
    RC - Roll Cancel: Cancel recovery, block, stun or attack animation with a Roll
    JC - Jump Cancel: Cancel roll animation with a jump
    FPP - First Person Projectile
    HP - Hurricane Pack
    
    Conditions:  These designations represent conditions in which Ryu or an enemy
    can reside.
    
    OL - On-Landing: When Ryu contacts the ground after a jump without an attack.
    
    OLC - On-Landing Cancel: When Ryu cancels the On-Landing state with a Block.
    
    iC - instant Charge: When the Charge animation from a Y attack is skipped due
    to certain conditions.
    
    iCOL - instant Charge On-Landing: Now that there are two ways to achieve iC,
    this term is no longer redundant.  Instant Charge gained from an On-Landing
    condition.
    
    iCI - instant Charge Intercept: Instant Charge gained from a successful Inter.
    
    iB - instant Block: Instantaneous block mid-combo w/o the transition animation.
    
    IA - In Air: Ryu must be in the air and not currently attacking.
    
    WR - While Running: Ryu must be running or a run must be buffered.
    
    iWR - instant While Running: WR condition can be buffered by jump/Wind Path.
    
    WB - While Blocking: Used in Counter Attacking, enemy must strike a blocking
    Ryu.
    
    WP - Wind Path: Successfully Wind Path off of an enemy, stunning them, when
    only WP is designated, either vWP or hWP will suffice.
    
    vWP - Vertical Wind Path: Wind Path off of an enemy by jumping straight up.
    
    hWP - Horizontal Wind Path: Wind Path off of an enemy by jumping at them.
    
    BS - Block Stun: The simple block animation, only keeps the enemy from
    attacking.
    
    GB/BREAK - Guard Break: When either Ryu's or an enemy's block is defeated.
    
    GC/CRUSH - Guard Crush: When an large enemy's attack is interrupted, and when
    Ryu is Guard Broken with damage received, Guard Crush does not imply Guard
    Breaking.
    
    NINC - Ninpo Canceling: Using a Ninpo to cancel the entire recovery of moves.
    
    STEPC - Step Canceling: Using a Nudge to cancel the recovery of the DS/
    Kitetsu WR X, as soon as the X comes out, you must quickly return the stick to
    Neutral and then quickly move the stick back to forward.
    
    NEAR - Near an enemy.
    
    NEARWALL - Near a wall.
    
    DOWN - Near a downed enemy.
    
    LEVELG - Level Ground: Ryu must perform this over level ground.
    
    INTER - Intercept: The "Just Defend" blocking concept introduced in the HP.
    
    WINDRUN - Wind Run: X+A, Ryu's auto-homing, jump attack.  Gained PHANTOM
    status in HP.
    
    WALLCLING - Wall Clinging: Ryu must cling to the wall without running.
    
    WALLRUN - Wall Running: Ryu must be wall running for certain properties to be
    applicable, when only WP is designated, either vWallRun or hWallRun will
    suffice.
    
    vWALLRUN - vertical Wall Running: Ryu will run straight up a wall.
    
    hWALLRUN - horizontal Wall Running: Ryu will run along the wall.
    
    cWALLRUN - Ceiling Wall Running: Ryu can run across the ceiling briefly.
    
    BEHIND - The enemy is directly behind Ryu.
    
    LEFT - The enemy is slightly to Ryu's left side.
    
    RIGHT - The enemy is slightly to Ryu's right side.
    
    PHANTOM - Ryu will leave a Phantom image of himself behind.  This usually
    indicates some frames of invincibility.  Ryu perfects this ability later in
    life when he can summon two identical Phantoms that will obey his movement
    and attack commands (although he hasn't mastered this technique in this game).
    
    LOWH - Low Health: Ryu has very low health, and his health bar is flashing red.
    
    Requirements:  These designations appear immediately after the name of the move
    and describe its requirements.
    
    Lvl# - Weapon Level: Designates at which level the move is available
    Scroll - Scroll Technique: Technique is gained via scroll
    # Essence - The number of Yellow Essence Orbs needed to activate a move
    DS - Dragon Sword
    PS - Plasma Sword
    Nun - Nunchaku
    Lunar - Lunar Bo
    Flail - Vigoorian Flail
    Kit - Kitetsu
    WarHammer - War Hammer
    Dabi - Dabilahro
    TDS - True Dragon Sword
    PSM2 - Plasma Sword Mk. II
    UF - Unlabored Flawlessness
    DDB - Dark Dragon Blade
    Shuriken - Shuriken
    Windmill - Windmill Shuriken
    Incendiary - Incendiary Shuriken
    Bow - Bow
    SBow - Strong Bow
    APFS - APFSDS Arrows
    Expl - Explosive Arrows
    
    Ninpo - Any Ninpo Art must be selected
    Firewheel - Art of Firewheel must be your selected Ninpo
    IceStorm - Art of Ice Storm must be your selected Ninpo
    Inferno - Art of Inferno must be your selected Ninpo
    Inazuma - Art of Inazuma must be your selected Ninpo
    
    Izuna - You must have acquired the Izuna Drop scroll
    Counter - You must have acquired the Counter Attack Scroll
    Guillotine - You must have acquired the Guillotine Throw Scroll
    Inter - You must have acquired the Intercept Scroll.
    
    Sun - Armlet of the Sun
    Moon - Armlet of the Moon
    Benediction - Armlet of Benediction
    Fortune - Armlet of Fortune
    Tranquility - Armlet of Tranquility
    
    All - You can do this move with any weapon
    SMALL - Small Enemy: Small enemies.  See Enemy Types Section.
    REG - Regular Enemy: Regular enemies.  See Enemy Types Section.
    LARGE - Large Enemy: Large enemies.  See Enemy Types Section.
    BOSS - Boss Enemy: Boss-type enemy.  See Enemy Types Section.
    
    D: - Denotes the damage in number of hit points
    (#,#) - Denotes that an input accounts for more than one strike
    
    Properties:  These designations follow the commands of a move and describe its
    affects.
    
    BLOCK - Block Stun: The inability for an enemy to attack back while defending
    against Ryu's onslaught.  Many different animations for differing Block Stuns
    exist for both Ryu and enemies.
    
    HIT - Hit Stun: The inability for an enemy to attack back while being struck
    by Ryu.  Many different animations many exist for the different ways in which
    Ryu can strike an opponent and vice versa.  Hit Stun denotes the generic
    animation with no other special properties.  This is assumed for a successful
    hit, so it is never denoted except in discussion.  This does not imply Guard
    Break.
    
    STAGGER - Stagger Stun: A longer Hit Stun where the enemy either falls
    backwards slightly or doubles over in pain.  This usually means that the
    opponent will not be able to dodge or block the next hit.  This does not
    imply Guard Break.
    
    BREAK - Guard Break: Break the block of a regular, blocking opponent for
    long enough to Ryu to strike them and induce HIT, a different animation and
    property from a Block Stun.  Applies to Ryu as well as noted in the Conditions
    section.
    
    CLEAR - Clear Away: Knock Regular enemies away.  Applies to Ryu as well as
    noted in the Conditions section.  Does not imply Guard Break.
    
    MULTI - Multiple Opponent: This move will strike multiple opponents.  Ryu's
    strikes will always register damage with whatever is in the way, but moves with
    this property are obviously designed to strike multiple opponents
    simultaneously.
    
    THROW - Denotes a move where Ryu captures the enemy in some way and throws
    them.  Applies to Ryu as well as noted in the Conditions section.
    
    DECAP - Denotes a move will decapitate regular enemies if their health is low.
    
    DEAD - Denotes a move that will kill or decapitate regular enemies with full
    health, also used to designate dead body.
    
    REC - Recovery: An attack that causes significant recovery time, however, you
    can usually still iB or Ninpo Cancel.
    
    ET - Essence Technique: A Y attack were a single Yellow Essence is used to
    activate the move.  In the Hurricane Pack, you can achieve this move simply by
    charging it long enough.
    
    UT - Ultimate Technique: Depending upon the level of the weapon, the most
    devastating Essence attack, unblockable by many enemies.  It requires either
    2 Yellow Essence or a single Blue or Red.  In the Hurricane Pack, you can
    achieve this move simply by charging it long enough.
    
    lLAUNCH - little Launch: Enemies will be launched into the air, but not long
    enough to be attacked, however, they will still be placed in GROUND state
    when they land.
    
    LAUNCH - Regular enemies will be launched into the air long enough to be
    attacked.
    
    SELFLAUNCH - Both Ryu and any enemies will be launched into air.
    
    ABSORB - Life Force Transferal: Ryu will absorb the life force of the enemy.
    Applies to some enemies as well.
    
    PROJ - Projectile: Ryu will throw the weapon, and it can return to him.
    Applies to some enemies as well.
    
    JF - Just Frame: The move must be input in a certain frame window.
    
    BEHIND - Foe Behind: The enemy must be behind Ryu.
    
    GROUND - Grounding Knockdown: Regular enemies will be knocked down instantly.
    Ryu will return to the ground as well if IA.
    
    SPIN - Spin Stun: Regular, non-blocking/Guard Broken enemies will be spun
    around, unable to attack momentarily.  Applies to Ryu as well.
    
    CRUMPLE - Crumple Stun: Regular non-blocking/Guard Broken enemies will
    be stunned briefly before dropping to their knees, with certain moves, they
    will be spun.  Applies to Ryu as well s noted in the Conditions section.
    
    WSTUN - Wall Stun: When you throw or hit an enemy into a wall, they will be
    stunned appropriately.  Applies to Ryu as well.
    
    WPS - Wind Path Stun: Every regular enemy has two unique Wind Path Stun
    animations, most Large enemies have one, and a few bosses do as well, when
    only WPS is designated, either vWPS or hWPS will suffice.
    
    vWPS - Vertical Wind Path Stun: When Ryu jumps straight up and Wind Paths off
    of an enemy, you will get vertical Wind Path Stun.
    
    hWPS - horizontal Wind Path Stun: When Ryu jumps at an enemy and Wind Paths
    off of them and continues his forward momentum, you will get horizontal Wind
    Path Stun.
    
    PARRY - Parry: Some enemies have the ability to parry Ryu's attack and render
    them harmless.  This also introduces a unique PARRY stun to Ryu.  He must
    cancel either by, ROLLC, NINC, etc...
    
    LOCK - Weapon Lock: Causes Ryu and his opponent to lock each others' weapons.
    
    PROT - Protection: Ryu is granted some sort of Protection during the attack
    frames of this move, but is not totally Invincible.
    
    INV - Invincible: Ryu is TOTALLY Invincible during the attack frames of this
    move.
    
    CH - Counter Hit: When either Ryu or an enemy is hit during an attack
    animation.  This will frequently change the status inflicted of the strike.
    
    --BASIC COMBAT--
    Basic Combat Technique is the way of playing where you are simply capable of
    utilizing the canned combos, infrequently implementing projectiles and relying
    heavily upon Ninpo.  Team Ninja has implemented many fighting game ideas
    (Buffering, On-Landing, proximity, move interruption, cancellation, etc) to
    accommodate those of us who like to show a bit of flair when dealing with the
    enemies.  Additionally, Basic Combat entails the ability to simply block and
    roll out of the way of obvious incoming attacks and manually re-orienting Ryu
    mid-combo to face enemies in his vicinity.
    
    The purpose of this document is to expand upon these basic techniques as Ninja
    Gaiden has without a doubt the most complex and gratifying combat engine in any
    action game.  Successfully beating the game is not as important or enjoyable as
    using Ryu as diversely as possible.  It is just as impressive watching Ryu
    skillfully avoid damage as it is inflicting it.
    
    BASIC COMBAT OVERVIEW
    ---------------------
    The Basic Combat Engine is detailed in the manual and in the in-game menu.  Ryu
    has the ability to use an immense cache of techniques even starting out in the
    game.  Offensively, he has a literal encyclopedia of moves and canned combos
    and magic techniques.  Defensively, he can Block, instantly jump and/or roll in
    any direction, Wall Run, Wall Stick, Flip, Counter Attack and now Intercept.
    When engaged in a combo, Ryu can point himself in the direction of any attack
    and instantly orient the next blow in that direction.  All of these things can
    be considered beginning techniques.  One cannot hope to finish this game
    without first grasping these inherent abilities as button mashing will not get
    you very far.  Indeed, Murai seems designed specifically to counteract button-
    mashers.
    
    ENEMY TYPES
    -----------
    There are four different classifications of enemies as far as the hit
    properties of the Combat Engine are concerned.  The classifications are small,
    regular, large and boss.
    
    1.  Small - These enemies are almost always harmless.  It usually only takes
    one hit from any weapon to kill them.  They are utilized in the game solely for
    the purpose of generating Essence.  Small enemies include Bats and Crows.
    
    2.  Regular - Regular enemies comprise the bulk of the encounters in the game.
    These enemies are roughly human-sized and all of the hit properties talked
    about in this document apply to them.  They can be easily Thrown, Launched,
    Guard Broken, Spin Stunned, Crumple Stunned, Grounded and Decapitated.  When
    referencing a Combo listed in this document, it will always work with a
    regular enemy, but not necessarily with a large one.  Regular enemies include
    SATs, Imps, Soldiers, Ninjas, etc.
    
    3.  Large - Large enemies consist of a different constitution altogether.  They
    cannot easily be Thrown, Launched, etc.  However, there are specific moves or
    series of moves with each weapon that can induce almost every property onto
    almost every large enemy.  But, in most cases, it is very difficult to do so.
    If a move is listed as having a Guard Break property, that will almost never
    affect a large enemy.  Large enemies include Gallas, Ogres, Evolved Imps, etc.
    
    4.  Boss - Boss enemies have a totally different set of rules from the other
    three classes.  Typically, you cannot do any of the afore-mentioned properties
    although, you can still sometimes Wind Path and Weapon Lock them.  To induce
    any sort of Stun usually requires the use of a specific move or a large amount
    of damage.
    
    WEAPON DISCUSSION
    -----------------
    Every move in the game has some use. The combos in particular are very
    specifically designed, and I will discuss this in the next section. Likewise,
    the weapons serve particular purposes.  Every weapon is fairly balanced and has
    very specific strengths and weaknesses. Of course, the Nunchaku and Wooden
    Sword are the weakest, while the Dragon Sword is the most well rounded and the
    Unlabored Flawlessness is the strongest in certain scenarios and the Dark
    Dragon Blade has the strongest UT on a single opponent.
    
    1. Classes - There are three classes of the melee weapons: One-Handed, Light
    Two-Handed and Heavy Two-Handed and two classes of projectile weapons: One-
    Handed and Two-Handed.  The One-Handed weapons include the Dragon Sword,
    Kitetsu and the Wooden Sword.  With these weapons, you can Shuriken Interrupt
    during almost any Combo Section, and Ryu will quickly return the weapon to its
    scabbard (with the appropriate animation).  Likewise, he has a unique walking,
    running and nudging animation while brandishing the weapon.  Light Two-Handed
    Weapons include the Nunchaku, Flail and Lunar.  Like the One-Handed Weapons,
    Ryu does not need to return the weapon to his back after every combo or before
    he can move.  As such, there are unique movement animations for these weapons
    as well.  However, you cannot Shuriken Interrupt combos with these weapons for
    the most part, since both of Ryu's hands are occupied most of the time.  Heavy
    Two-Handed Weapons must be returned to his back before Ryu can do anything
    after a Strike or Combo.
    
    The One-Handed Projectile Weapons include Shuriken, Windmill Shuriken, and
    Incendiary Shuriken.  The Two-Handed Projectile Weapons include the Bow, Strong
    Bow, APFSDS and Explosive Arrows.  One-Handed Projectile Weapons can be used
    mid-combo with the One-Handed and Light Two-Handed Melee Weapons and they can
    be utilized in the air.  Two-Handed Projectile Weapons cannot, though you can
    aim them in the First Person with two levels of zoom.
    
    2. One-Handed Melee Weapons:  The weapons are based upon the Katana and as such
    Ryu employs many strikes that are related to the Bushido style of Samurai
    combat.  Ninjas weren't usually known to have such quality weapons, as most
    employed the much shorter (and many times lower-quality) Ninja-To (which
    neither Ryu nor any of the other Ninjas in the game wield).
    
    Dragon Sword - This weapon has the most abundant move list. It also possesses
    the most hidden techniques and serviceable combos as you can see in the Free
    Form Combos section. However, the UT is only useful against either launchable
    or very tall single enemies whereas many other UT's are far more useful and do
    not require contact with an enemy for activation.  To make up for this, the DS
    is the only weapon with two separate UT's.
    
    Kitetsu - Every game needs a trick weapon, and the Kitetsu fits this
    description nicely. Once you offset the life leaching with the Tranquility
    Armlet, this weapon becomes extremely enjoyable to use. You get Life
    Absorption, Weapon Projectile, Excessive Decapitation, Flying Swallow, Izuna
    Drop, etc...  It's not as useful as the Dragon Sword, but its flashiness makes
    up for this in spades.  Also, it magically splits into two phantom swords with
    many of its moves.
    
    Here is another great little tip from timebomb13rob on the GameFAQ's board:
    
    "We all know if have the Kitetsu and the Armlet of Tranquility armed your
    health bar won't diminish or increase.  But, if you use a Ninpo like the
    IceStorm, Inazuma or Inferno (but not Firewheel) during the animation your
    bar will increase like if Ryu didn't have the Kitetsu equipped."
    
    Wooden Sword - The Wooden Sword is a place holder until you get the Unlabored
    Flawlessness.  As such, there is no good reason to ever utilize this weapon.
    This weapon is only good for placing restrictions upon your play-style.  That
    is, if you want the game to be as difficult as possible, you will utilize the
    Wooden Sword exclusively.  It cannot Decap and nor does it have any ET/UT's or
    Azure Dragon for that matter.
    
    3. Light Two-Handed Melee Weapons:  These weapons are largely based upon the 5
    systematized weapons of Kobudo.  In Feudal Japan, it was illegal for a commoner
    to brandish a bladed weapon like a Katana.  The Okinawans cleverly converted
    their farming implements into weapons that could pass as mere tools.  These
    weapons were the Nunchaku, Bo, Kama, Tonfa and Sai.  The Kama and Nunchaku are
    represented by the Vigoorian Flail and Nunchaku, the Lunar represents the Bo
    while the Samurai Mages wield Sai.  Only the Tonfa is absent from the game.
    
    Nunchaku - The sole purpose for this weapon is Combo generation. The low damage
    and lack of decapitation allows you to rack up ridiculous combos if you're
    shooting for Essence (in the HP at least).  If you equip the regular Shuriken
    as well, you can rack up 100 Hit combos very easily only using three enemies.
    
    You can get much more use out of the Nunchaku in the HP.  You only attain the
    Flail in the HP after you collect so many Scarabs.  Therefore, you might never
    get the Flail and will have to contend with this weapon instead.  Regardless,
    it is very useful up until the point where you can gain the Flail.
    
    Vigoorian Flail - No significant launching ability really balances this weapon
    out. Its Flying Swallow derivative Red-Hot Iron Brand is actually much safer
    than Flying Swallow given its options. High combo generation is key to this
    weapon as well, and it excessively DECAPs which could either be a positive
    aspect or a detriment depending upon what you're trying to accomplish.
    
    Lunar - This weapon was introduced in the Hurricane Pack.  Like the other Light
    Two-Handed weapons, the combo ability of this weapon is extremely high while
    it suffers in damage ability.  Unlike all other weapons (other than the Wooden
    Sword), this is the only weapon that gains the DECAP feature once it is leveled
    up.  Unlike the other Light Two-Handed Weapons, you can both Launch and Self-
    Launch with this weapon.
    
    4. Heavy Two-Handed Melee Weapons:  These weapons are very much opposed to
    Asian weapon philosophy of succinct, portable and agile construction.  They
    are much more representative of medieval European weaponry.
    
    War Hammer - This is arguably the least useful of the two-handed weapons, but
    does have some unique properties. The best is the 360 degree UT and the Six
    Paths Spin throw. Obviously, damage is very high at the cost of slow startup
    and recovery, although Ninpo Canceling can offset this somewhat.  A one-Hit
    kill Counter Attack is very useful. However, there is no Launching (Self or
    otherwise), and no Shuriken Interrupting.  It is by far the cheapest two-handed
    weapon, so those that aren't able to farm up enough Essence can still get a
    fully upgraded Heavy Two-Handed weapon for only 5000 Essence (since you pick up
    this weapon by free at the beginning of Chapter 8).  Not bad.
    
    Dabilahro - This weapon is extremely powerful. It has the same drawbacks as the
    War Hammer, but it also has the problem of a linear UT. However, Flaming Hell
    Slash is arguably the safest and most damaging technique in the game. Although,
    it was nerfed slightly in damage and protection in the HP because of this.  It
    is the most expensive weapon in the game to upgrade aside from the Unlabored
    Flawlessness.  It is a bit unbalanced, though, with the Asura Slash.
    
    Unlabored Flawlessness - This is the best weapon in the game pre-HP. Its
    usefulness has been lessened greatly given the stingy Essence engine and throw
    happy enemies now. Forest Winds and Mountain Fires at 5% health and Sun Armlet
    will kill most enemies with one use. Likewise Flying Dragon Falling Slash with
    the same situation will decimate most bosses. Plus, you get an Izuna Drop with
    this weapon.  Its UT is very powerful against multiple opponents, but there is
    more powerful Technique against singular ones.
    
    Spear Gun - A projectile weapon that Ryu utilizes both underwater and on land.
    It has no Combos, and has the additional restriction of not being able to
    Block while armed with it.
    
    Dark Dragon Blade - Depending upon whether or not you have the HPs, you get
    this weapon in different ways.  Regardless, it is free in both approaches
    although a significant amount of work is necessary in either approach.  Given
    this, it is an interesting choice of a weapon.  At first glance, it is not all
    that powerful, as it is the Sealed Version of the Blade.  This would explain
    why you don't get all the techniques that the Dark Disciple can utilize.
    Regardless, there are four things that make it worthwhile: it's free, it
    EXCESSIVELY Guard Breaks; more so than any other weapon, its UT is the most
    damaging in the game against one opponent, it has the most differentiation of
    regular Y attacks of any other weapon.
    
    Aside from these things, it also is the only weapon that leaves a black trail,
    and it glows purple.  So, aesthetically, it is a cool choice as well.
    
    5.  One-Handed Projectile Weapons:
    
    Shuriken - Ryu starts off with these weapons, and has an infinite amount of
    them.  Given their extremely low damage, their usefulness could be questioned.
    However, they are extremely useful for Combo generation, enemy interruption,
    distancing and canceling.
    
    Windmill Shuriken - Ryu may attain this weapon for free in Chapter 4.  Given
    the fact that you can use this weapon infinitely, it is the projectile weapon
    of choice.  Its damage is significant and can cause DECAPs.  However, you
    cannot throw this is as many different ways as you can the regular shuriken.
    
    Incendiary Shuriken - This weapon can not only destroy enemies very quickly,
    but can give Ryu access to areas by destroying walls.  It has the same
    limitations of the Windmill Shuriken.
    
    6.  Two-Handed Projectile Weapons:
    
    Bow - Ryu gains this weapon in Chapter 2.  While you cannot Combo with it,
    it is extremely strong and can kill some enemies in one hit.
    
    Strong Bow - Ryu can trade his Bow for this weapon in Chapter 8.  The arc of
    the arrow's path is removed given the strength of the weapon.
    
    APFSDS Cores - Armored Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot arrows are
    capable of penetrating hardened targets like Tanks and Helicopters as well as
    being able to penetrate multiple "soft" targets (i.e. humans) in a row.
    
    Explosive Arrows - The have an area affect that makes them very useful for
    taking out clustered enemies.
    
    7.  "Useless" Weapons:
    
    There are no useless weapons in the game.  Every weapon, no matter how weak,
    is effective when you first acquire it at least .  In many cases, the
    "superior" version of the weapon is either prohibitively expensive, or
    unlocked via Scarabs.  Therefore, those that play the game without
    Scarab Hunting or Essence Farming can still enjoy a wide variety of offensive
    options.
    
    The only exception to this is the Wooden Sword.  However, the more hardcore
    Ninja Gaiden fans have elected to complete the game using only the Wooden
    Sword as a sort of zen-like mastery of the game.
    
    NINPO DISCUSSION
    ----------------
    Ryu has the ability to utilize four types of Ninpo throughout the game.
    There is a fairly undocumented feature in the game that makes Ninpo use not
    as simple as it initially seems.  A large amount of moves can be instantly
    cancelled using Ninpo.  In particular the slower Two-Handed Melee Weapon
    Techniques can be totally cancelled with Ninpo.  The lack of animation in
    the canceling in some instances can be explained away by Ninja Magic as
    well.  This allows for a saving grace in many instances where Ryu has
    misjudged an action.  Each Ninpo in the game serves a fairly particular
    purpose.
    
    1. Art of Firewheel - While the Firewheel does not make you invincible like the
    other Ninpo, you do have the ability to actually move around during its
    execution while being VERY well protected.  Unfortunately, you can never
    upgrade this Art.  Each time you touch an enemy with Firewheel, it does 33
    points of damage, and in the case of REG enemies, they are CLEARed away.
    
    2. Art of Inferno - This is arguably the most damaging of the Ninpo.  You have
    the ability to aim the fireball as well.  The explosion is an area affect,
    so you can take out clustered enemies.  Some enemies are either partially
    or totally unaffected by this technique.
    
    3. Art of Ice Storm - Ice Storm allows you to rack up huge combos and increase
    your Essence Generation.  It is especially useful against three or more
    ground-based enemies, since each hit on each enemy counts as an additional
    hit.  The damage done is not significant when compared to Inazuma or Inferno,
    however, so this Art has its place.
    
    4. Art of Inazuma - Inazuma is the safest and easiest Ninpo to use.  It auto-
    targets all surrounding enemies and strikes them instantaneously.
    Unfortunately, it is not the strongest Ninpo in the game, and some enemies
    are either partially or totally unaffected by this technique.
    
    5. Summary - Keep in mind that many bosses are simply immune or have 100%
    effective defenses to one or all of the Ninpo types.  There doesn't seem to be
    any silly, contrived way to determine if a particular Ninpo will be ineffective
    towards any single boss (like use Fire on Ice enemies).
    
    Lastly, its interesting to note that Ryu has command over 4 elements in-game
    (water, wind, fire and electricity), yet he commands control over Earth as
    well as demonstrated with the fight with Vigoor's First form.
    
    AUTO-TARGETING
    --------------
    Apparently, there is also some confusion on how Ninja Gaiden handles the
    targeting of enemies.  Obviously, there is some system in place, but some
    people have incorrectly surmised that the game is totally dependent upon
    auto-targeting the closest enemy.  This is not true at all.  The system in
    place is much more complex, but at the same time, user-friendly.
    
    Ninja Gaiden employs a user-controllable, auto-lockon system.  There is no
    button that makes Ryu lock-on to an enemy, and neither is there an on-screen
    indicator.  However, Ryu will actually look at the enemy that is auto-
    targeted.  He'll turn his head appropriately in all directions.  If the enemy
    is behind him, he'll look as far as he can to whatever side the enemy is
    closest.  Even if the enemy is burrowing in the case of Imps, Ryu's head and
    eyes will follow the enemy while underground.  The system is always on.  The
    way that it works is that the game will auto-target the closest, offensive
    enemy.  By offensive, the game means the closest enemy that is attacking or
    not Grounded, Burrowing or Dead.  Even though this system is in effect, it is
    user-overridable at any time, so should you want to continue to juggle that
    dead body lying on the ground rather than striking the alive and attacking
    enemy standing right next to you, you have this choice.  This is a fact.  You
    can be surrounded by a group of enemies and can re-orient Ryu to whatever
    enemy in whatever stage in his combo.  The only time this will not work is if
    the enemy is out of melee range (although shuriken aiming will still work).
    
    The only exception to this rule is that some combos need to be Combo Broken
    in order to branch.  Combo Breaks are performed with the Block button.
    
    Example:
    Stand outside the Stairway to the Imperial Gates where the Imps will respawn in
    groups forever as long as you leave the area after the last one is defeated.
    Select any Shuriken, and stand right in the middle.  The Imps will most likely
    surround you, so jump up in the air and push a direction along with B.  You can
    pick which one in range to throw it at.  Likewise, if you are grounded and have
    a Fiend in front of you and in back of you, you can X the enemy in front, and
    then immediately, 6+Y the enemy behind you.  If you're in the air, you can X, X
    the enemy that you juggled and turn away from him and Helmet Splitter a enemy
    underneath you. If you've got your Inferno going, you can point in the
    direction of the enemy that you want to hit. The camera won't change until the
    Fireball actually comes out, but you have control over it. It defaults to the
    closest enemy that is currently offensive (i.e. attacking, not dead, grounded
    or burrowing), but you have control over it at all times as long as the enemy
    is in range.  Also, you can combo break all combos with a press of the L
    trigger, so if you are in the middle of Cremator, you can switch to Dragon and
    Phoenix.  In most cases, the appropriate animation must still finish, however.
    
    The only weapon that doesn't allow you to do the Auto-Targeting override is the
    Bow, since moving the stick in a direction puts in FPS mode.  However, if
    you simply align yourself with an enemy before you hit B, you will target that
    enemy in most cases such that the input would look like 6(5), B instead of 6+B.
    
    Those that detract from the combat system of Ninja Gaiden are simply either
    unwilling or unable to explore the depths of the combat options available to
    you.  No game currently released gives you as many options concurrently and is
    as capable of forcing you to realize those options as this game on the highest
    difficulties.
    
    WEAPON DIFFERENTIATION
    ----------------------
    One of the not-so-obvious facets of the Combat Engine is just how different
    all of the weapons (much less the attacks) are from one another.  This section
    will attempt to delineate the differences.  As stated before there are the
    three classes of melee weapons: One-Handed, Light and Heavy Two-Handed.  But,
    it may not be so obvious why one would use the War Hammer over the Dabilahro,
    or why one would use the Nunchaku at all.  This section will explain this.  See
    the Weapon Discussion section above for definitions of the weapon classes.
    
    1.  One-Handed vs. Two-Handed - The Dragon Sword, Plasma Saber and Kitetsu are
    considered the One-Handed Melee weapons (discounting the Wooden Sword), even
    though Ryu uses both hands for a good amount of the attacks.  Regardless, it
    would be possible to wield the Dragon Sword, Plasma Saber and Kitetsu with one
    hand effectively whereas the rest of the weapons would be fairly useless.  This
    is the distinction.
    
    The practical differences between the One-Handed and Two-Handed Weapons are
    four-fold.  The One-Handed weapons are very well rounded while the Two-Handed
    Weapons (both the Light and Heavy varieties) are for the most part specialized
    to a specific role.  While the One-Handed weapons dish out average damage and
    average strike number, the Two-Handed Weapons specialize in either Combo
    generation in the case of the Light Two-Handed Weapons or damage generation in
    the case of the Heavy Two-Handed Weapons.  In both cases of the Two-Handed
    weapons, a specialization in one area means a lack of prowess in the other
    (combo vs. damage).
    
    The second difference between the One-Handed and Two-Handed Weapons lies in the
    usage of projectiles.  Ryu is MUCH more capable of deploying projectile weapons
    while utilizing the One-Handed Weapons.  While he is still able to utilize them
    mid-combo with the Light Two-Handed weapons, the usage is restricted when
    compared to the Dragon Sword/Plasma Saber and Kitetsu.  Conversely, Ryu cannot
    really use projectiles at all when using the Heavy Two-Handed Weapons.
    
    The third difference is that the One-Handed Weapons have a very nice aerial
    repertoire while the Two-Handed Weapons are relegated to ground use largely.
    The One-Handed Weapons are both able to inflict LAUNCH and SELFLAUNCH and at
    the same time stay suspended in the air longer to deal with those foes that
    have just been launched.  At the most, Two-Handed Weapons have lLAUNCH.  See
    the Basic Combat Overview for definitions of theses statuses.  The Lunar is
    the exception of this rule as will be described below.
    
    The fourth difference is in the walking and running animations.  Ryu can walk
    or run with both the One-Handed and Light Two-Handed Weapons unsheathed for a
    time.  There are separate idle, standing, walking, nudging, climbing and
    running animations for every weapon in between the two classes.  But, the
    Heavy Two-Handed weapons much be returned to Ryu's back before he can move
    around.
    
    So, if one is attempting to determine which type of weapon is most suitable,
    the answer is determined by what kind of role is desired.  Does one want to be
    specialized or well-rounded?
    
    2.  Light Two-Handed vs. Heavy Two-Handed - As touched upon above, the Light
    Two-Handed Weapons are used to generate high combos while Heavy Two-Handed
    Weapons are used to generate high damage.  To compliment each other, the Light
    Two-Handed Weapons don't generate a lot of damage with each strike, and the
    Heavy Two-Handed Weapons aren't capable of large Combos.  So, if your aim is
    to complete the game as quickly as possible, but still kill enemies, you would
    most likely elect to use the Two-Handed Weapons.  If, however, you are going
    for Combo Count and Essence Generation, then the Light Two-Handed Weapons
    should be your focus.
    
    Secondly, the UT's of the Light Two-Handed Weapons are autocombo attacks
    whereas every UT for the Heavy Two-Handed Weapons (aside from the Dark Dragon
    Blade) is a single, extremely damaging attack.
    
    3.  Dragon Sword vs. Kitetsu - The Dragon Sword/Plasma Saber is the
    utilitarian weapon of the game while the Kitetsu is the "trick" weapon.  As
    described in the Weapon Discussion sections, the Kitetsu has the most status
    effecting attacks in the whole game, and even some statuses are unique to
    Kitetsu alone.  While, it may seem obvious then, to use Kitetsu exclusively,
    there are two balances for the weapon in regards to the comparison between it
    and the Dragon Sword/Plasma Saber.  However, there are even balances to those
    balances.  The Level 3 Dragon Sword/Plasma Saber have similar damage
    statistics to the Kitetsu.  So, before you gain the True Dragon Sword, the
    damage between the two weapons is fairly interchangeable.  However, this is
    balanced out by the fact that Kitetsu slowly drains Ryu's life (even though
    it won't kill you).  This unfortunate side effect can be offset in two ways.
    You can either acquire the Armlet of Tranquility, or you can judiciously
    employ Soul Bind into your gameplay.
    
    However, once you have acquired the True Dragon Sword/Plasma Saber Mk. II,
    Ryu's ultimate weapon is more powerful with single strikes.  Again, this is
    still balanced out by the fact that Kitetsu's UT is more useful than the
    True Dragon Sword's UT.
    
    4.  War Hammer vs. Dabilahro - At Levels 1 and 2, the War Hammer is much
    more useful than the Dabilahro given Steel Severer and Six Paths Spin.  These
    two moves all by themselves make the weapon useful.  See the In-depth Move
    Discussion section on why this is so.  However, if you have the funds, the
    Level 3 Dabilahro is a very efficient killing machine, and the War Hammer
    becomes much less attractive.  But, given the fact that you can achieve a
    fully capable, Level 2 War Hammer for just 5000 Essence in total (given the
    in every scenario the War Hammer is free), it should be plain to see how
    useful the weapon is, even aside from the unique moves.
    
    5.  Nunchaku vs. Flail - The Nunchaku and Flail are very similar at Level 1.
    At Level 2, you get some very unique techniques with the Flail, whereas it is
    impossible to upgrade the Nunchaku.  Depending upon which version of the game
    you are playing the Nunchaku have VERY different levels of usefulness.  In
    HP1, you get the Nunchaku at the beginning of the game and thus, WAY before
    the Flail, whereas in the original game, their retrievals are but 1 or 2
    Chapters apart.  Indeed if you forgo the collection of Scarabs altogether,
    you will NEVER acquire the Flail.  In this case, the Nunchaku is very useful
    for a LARGE portion of the game.
    
    The Nunchaku are incapable of DECAP whereas the Flail excessively DECAPs.  If
    one is attempting to keep the enemies around longer, and therefore keep their
    Combo Count up, then the Nunchaku are a much better choice.  Aside from this,
    though, the Flail is the clear choice.
    
    6.  Lunar vs. All - The Lunar is somewhat of a combination of all of the
    Weapon Classes even though it is placed into the Light Two-Handed Weapon
    classification.  Unlike other Two-Handed Weapons (aside from the Unlabored
    Flawlessness), the Lunar has lLAUNCH, LAUNCH and SELFLAUNCH capabilities.  It
    is still hampered by the Two-Handed Weapon projectile use limitation, however.
    Aside from this, the Lunar is also the only weapon that gains DECAP ability
    throughout its lifespan (aside from the Unlabored Flawlessness).
    
    The Lunar only gains the LAUNCH and SELFLAUNCH properties at Level 3, however.
    At this point, in the game, most of the other weapons are extremely useful as
    well.  But, regardless, the ability of a high Combo Count generating weapon to
    inflict LAUNCH and SELFLAUNCH statuses is very attractive.
    
    7.  Unlabored Flawlessness vs. All - The Unlabored Flawlessness and Wooden
    Sword gain a damage bonus inversely proportional to Ryu's health.  Therefore,
    whenever Ryu is low on life, the damage for both of these weapons increases
    appreciably.  This is a totally unique property in the game.  In the original
    game, the Unlabored Flawlessness was without a doubt the best weapon in the
    game.  A person with high skill could easily breeze through the rest of the
    game upon retrieval of this weapon.  However, this was balanced out by the
    fact that is was (and actually still is) prohibitively expensive, and you have
    to be at very low life to utilize it to its full potential.
    
    In HP1, the usefulness of the Unlabored Flawlessness was truncated severely.
    This was done in two ways.  First, every single enemy in the game was given at
    least one move that was unable to be Counter Attacked.  Secondly, the bosses'
    resiliances to the effects of the UF were increased dramatically.
    
    The UF is not available in HP2.
    
    8.  Unlabored Flawlessness vs. Dark Dragon Blade - Most people believe that the
    Dark Dragon Blade is useless given the presence of the Dabilahro and how
    difficult it is to acquire.  This is not necessarily the case.  The Dark Dragon
    Blade's unique property is that it BREAKs excessively.  Secondly, the UT for it
    is arguably the most useful in the game.  And for those that aren't adept at
    keeping a low level of life for the Unlabored Flawlessness to function
    properly, the Dark Dragon Blade is a final alternative.
    
    9.  Dragon Sword vs. Nunchaku vs. Lunar (Hurricane Pack 1) - With the arrival
    of HP1, everyone's approach to Ninja Gaiden changed 100%.  It is impossible to
    complete Ninja Gaiden Hurricane Pack using the same strategies as is utilized
    in the original Ninja Gaiden.  That is covered in more detail later in this
    guide, but the biggest cause of this is the fact that you basically start the
    game with 3 weapons and the most useful technique in the game.  While you
    technically have to acquire the Intercept and Lunar, they happen so quickly
    in succession (10 minutes into the game) that it is as good as starting with
    them outright.
    
    At Level 1, these three weapons are ENTIRELY different and serve entirely
    different, yet complimentary purposes.  In the Dragon Sword, you again have
    versatility and launching, in the Nunchaku you have protection and speed, and
    in the Lunar you have reach and power (the fact that you can pull off a Raven
    Streams on Chapter 1 is almost an unbalancing advantage).
    
    Throughout the game, the Nunchaku quickly begins to lose its luster as the
    Flail is introduced.  The advantage of the Flail is that it is a Light Two-
    Handed Weapon with a Flying Swallow derivative named Red-Hot Iron Brand
    (which is actually more useful than Flying Swallow itself to the advanced
    Ninja Gaiden fan).  However, the Dragon Sword and the Lunar progress very
    similarly in ability throughout the game.  There will always be a scenario
    when a Lunar will be a slightly better choice of weapon that the Dragon
    Sword or Flail.
    
    --ADVANCED COMBAT--
    Advanced Combat entails all of those finer details that are not readily
    apparent without some element of discovery.
    
    MOVE RECOVERY
    -------------
    Most of Ryu's moves incorporate some number of frames where he is vulnerable to
    attack and cannot attack again.  You need to be aware of moves that may inflict
    heavy damage; they also put Ryu at an extreme disadvantage if they miss.  The
    most obvious case of a high risk, high reward move is the Flying Swallow.  Some
    enemies can dodge this attack altogether which will force Ryu into a landing
    animation where he is completely vulnerable.  Learn the disadvantages and
    vulnerable or cancelable frames of every move.
    
    To compensate, you can instant Block from almost every move where Ryu has
    recovery frames.  This will not protect you from Throw moves, though, and you
    cannot instant Block during the attack frames of a move.  To compensate for
    this, you can usually Ninpo Cancel in these scenarios.
    
    COMMAND BUFFERING
    -----------------
    Command Buffering means that you can input the commands for a move during the
    animation of another move, and it will come out after the previous move has
    completed.  You can buffer all 360 moves in the animation of many other
    animations.  This makes it easier to perform these moves outside of regular
    circumstances.  You can also buffer the WR condition as well as several other
    conditions.  The timing is usually pretty strict such that the spin of the
    joystick must coincide with the end of the previous move's animation.
    
    JUST FRAME
    ----------
    Just Frame is a term borrowed from the fighting game world that means that a
    command must be input in a certain frame window in the character's animation
    for it to come out correctly (where a frame equals 1/60th of a second).  This
    does not mean that you can simply mash the buttons to get the technique to come
    out.  To qualify as a Just Frame, the input must be done in the correct window.
    If it is not, another move will be done, the move simply won't come out, or you
    will miss out on the benefit of the earliest possible activation.  Several
    moves and many combos rely on this precise timing.
    
    The tilde (~) character implies Just Frame as well, as the command must be
    issued extremely quickly after the previous command or the following move will
    not come out.
    
    AUDIO CUES
    ----------
    Almost every enemy has a death rattle.  That is, when you land killing blow,
    it will instantly give a unique sound that signifies its death.  This happens
    even before you can usually notice its death animation.  The significance of
    this is that if you're battling a particularly troublesome group of enemies,
    you can instantly determine when it's time to move onto another enemy by the
    sound the make when they pass on.
    
    Additionally, enemies make certain sounds which signal more damaging moves, so
    you'll be forewarned of the imminent danger.  The most obvious examples of this
    are Smougan's Flame Wing Attack and Alma's Column Throw.
    
    DOWNED ADVANTAGE
    ----------------
    Most regular enemies have a Knockdown state in which they are still vulnerable
    to Ryu's onslaught.  You can hit the prone bodies of enemies with almost
    everything in Ryu's arsenal aside from a few auto-aiming projectiles.  One of
    the more useful techniques is to perform a Flying Swallow or Red-Hot Iron Brand
    on a fallen foe.  Additionally, you can continually launch, re-launch and combo
    a dead body for sometime before it explodes in a pool of blood.
    
    While attacking a dead enemy will usually make you miss your Encounter Time
    Bonus, it can help you generate additional Essence.  Some enemies are without
    a death rattle as well.  As such, it's sometimes a good idea to go for a bit
    of overkill.
    
    An interesting detail is that all enemies have different death animations
    depending upon how they are killed.  Sometimes, they will fly backwards, end
    over end if killed with a CLEAR move.  Sometimes, they will be knocked face
    first into the dirt if killed with a GROUND move.  Then, obviously, you have
    the DECAP death scenario as well as CRUMPLE.
    
    ROLLING TECHNIQUES
    ------------------
    One of the most important techniques in the game is Roll Jumping.  Ryu can
    cancel the recovery animation of a roll (Reverse Wind) with a jump and vice
    versa.  What this means is that he can continually move much faster than
    regular running by continually rolling then jumping and then rolling again.
    This technique is called Roll Jumping.  You can avoid pretty much every
    projectile in the game by using controlled versions of this technique.  It is
    absolutely essential to even survive many of the boss encounters in the game,
    Alma in particular.  It is a technique to be mastered, though, as it is simply
    not a matter of continually pressing roll followed by jump.  Ryu must be aimed
    to effectively defend against the more severe projectiles in the game.  Ryu is
    Invincible during a very small frame window in the roll, too.
    
    You can also cancel the recovery animation from a Guard Break/Crush with a roll
    as well, and then proceed to Roll Jump.  Guard Breaks/Crushes happen when a
    strong enemy hits Ryu with enough force to remove his block and throw his
    weapon back.  While you are vulnerable during this animation, you can cancel it
    with a roll.  Of course, you're vulnerable during some frames of the roll as
    well.
    
    The combination of these two techniques makes Ryu quite a defensive force.
    
    ESSENCE AVOIDANCE
    -----------------
    Ryu gathers Essence simply by being around it.  You can walk near it, jump away
    from or into it and be thrown in its vicinity to pick it up.  The Y charging
    moves of almost every weapon have an Essence Technique and an Ultimate
    Technique.  If you suck up just one Yellow Essence, you'll get only the Essence
    Technique (which is different than just charging Y as well).  If you suck up
    more than one Yellow or a single Blue or Red, you'll get the Ultimate
    Technique, which is usually an auto-combo or a devastating single strike.  Note
    that some enemies will drop the maximum amount of Yellow Essence if they were
    killed by a UT.
    
    Sometimes, it can be difficult to farm enough Essence to activate this Ultimate
    Technique.  Which is why a method to guaranteeing Essence Avoidance exists.  As
    long as you are holding the Block button, you will not gather Essence.  You can
    be thrown into it, you can stand or jump right on top of it, but it won't be
    gathered.  You can even jump in the air over it and as long as you keep the
    Block button held in, it will stay put.  Ryu can Roll Jump and perform many
    attacks in the air with the Block button held.  This is a very powerful
    technique for unleashing multiple Ultimate Techniques as you can kill just two
    enemies of any kind and be assured that you can pull of an Ultimate Technique.
    
    From kkkkkk_1 on the GameFAQs board:
    
    "Lastly, I don't know if a lot of people know this, but you can do a lot of the
    normal moves of the game while holding onto Block. You can jump, do instant
    Charge landings, and Flying Swallow without letting go of Block if you do a
    roll (by nudging the analog stick) first - useful if you need to instant
    Block."
    
    This is a better description of what I touched upon.  It is useful for Essence
    Avoidance as well.  Ryu will also neglect to gather Essence if he continually
    attacks without using a Charge move.
    
    If Essence is too far away from you, or you are unable to reach it, you can
    always begin an ET/UT to pull the Essence toward you, and let go of Y as it
    comes in range.
    
    ENCOUNTER COMBOING
    ------------------
    You can neglect to pickup Essence from an encounter if you know that another
    encounter is going to happen in an adjacent area.  You can then utilize that
    Essence to begin the encounter with a UT.  You can pull it through walls and
    doors as well.  There are many, MANY scenarios where this is possible
    throughout the game.  This is EXTREMELY useful to get some of those Encounter
    Counters that seem impossible.  This technique is called Encounter Comboing.
    
    From kkkkkk_1 from the GameFAQs board:
    
    "You can kill the wildlife and use their essence for UTs as well. Most crows
    and rats leave behind a small blue orb so you can do an ET or UT right at the
    start of an encounter."
    
    By extension, you can also use any non-enemy Essence to do this as well.  In
    the HP particularly, there are many chests where non-enemy Essence can be
    utilized for an ET/UT.  This results in some very interesting approaches to
    level completion especially in the Ninja Fortress and Tairon Chapters.
    
    For this type of gameplay to work, you'll need to memorize the encounters in
    the game for both the regular game and Hurricane Pack 1, since they all
    differ greatly.  You must keep several things in mind when trying to judge
    whether or not an encounter is a viable candidate for comboing.
    
    1.  Distance - What distance is there to cover between the Encounters?  If the
    distance between the two encounters is too far, the Essence will dissipate
    before you can reach your next set of enemies.  If an additional wave of
    enemies appears in the same spot, this point is obviously moot.
    
    You can usually look for shortcuts to the next area, or plan out a method
    of traverse that might include Wall Running or clever traversal.  You might
    have to get creative.
    
    2.  Time Span - How much time would it take to get between the Encounters?
    Again, if you can't get to your new location before the Essence disappears,
    then it will be for naught, and you're better off just utilizing it for its
    inherent properties.
    
    You can usually save a lot of time by exiting the area right after the last
    enemy is killed, but you need to be careful that you don't leave to early or
    your Encounter Bonus will be completely lost.  Of course, if you are not
    concerned with Karma at all, since it has no bearing in the game whatsoever,
    you can disregard this idea altogether.  If this is an acceptable course of
    action, MANY additional Encounters become combo-able.
    
    3.  Frugality - Is the Essence better used for Currency, Health or Ninpo?
    If you are concerned with Ryu's own survival, wealth or spiritual wholeness,
    then sometimes it is better to go ahead and utilize the inherent properties.
    Obviously, if your game has developed to the point that your considering how
    efficiently you can Encounter Combo the entire game, you'll probably not need
    to be replenishing your Ninpo or Health.  Although, you need to keep getting
    those weapons.
    
    4.  Hinderance - Is there some occurance to keep the Essence from being drawn?
    That is, do you need to go get a Scarab, or trigger a cutscene or some other
    such hinderance?  Keep in mind, that Essence stays afloat regardless of what
    is going on in the game outside of only a couple of factors.  An area can
    even load (like the transition from Dworku Monastery Annex to the Monastery
    interior), and you can still pull the Essence through the door.  However,
    there is only one Encounter close enough for you to be able to use any
    Essence that you generate outside the door.
    
    5.  Benefit - Would the Encounter actually benefit from an Encounter Combo?
    Some Encounters are so easy, that you don't necessarily need to utilize a UT
    make them easier.
    
    6.  Difficulty - Given all of the above factors, is it simply too difficult
    to accomplish?  If you have to hold down Block, jump over a tree, open a
    door and flip a switch to get to your next Encounter, it might not be
    possible to keep from gathering the Essence around you.
    
    PROTECTION AND INVINCIBILITY
    ----------------------------
    There are many instances where Ryu is totally Invincible, but there are also
    many instances where Ryu is merely well protected or unable to be knocked out
    of his attack but still capable of taking damage.  Instances of Invincibility
    include UTs' attack frames (but not dash or leap frames), all Ninpo except
    Firewheel, Flying Swallow's Attack Frames, Talisman of Rebirth use and certain
    Combos.  Instances of Protection include Firewheel and the 360 moves for the
    Dabilahro, War Hammer and UF.  Believe or not, you can actually be hit out of
    Firewheel in this game.  To test this, fight against the Pill Bugs or enemies
    with explosive attacks.  You are also vulnerable during Cremator.  Fighting
    the most large enemies can show you this.
    
    No attack in this game is 100% safe.  One of the balancing things about the
    combat engine is that it is impossible to utilize only one technique throughout
    the entire game.  While one technique might make you Invincible to fireballs
    you can still be thrown out of it, or the recovery will get you.  A good
    example of this is Cremator.  This is one of the safest techniques in the game
    against regular enemies.  You are very well protected from the front or back,
    and you cannot be hit by projectiles (just like Murai when he uses it).
    However, you can be thrown from the side, you can be Flying Swallowed, and you
    can be hit by an Uninterruptible Attack.
    
    If someone claims that this is not the case, they are simply misinformed.
    
    The Hurricane Pack took great strides to even the game out.  The Counter
    Attack has been greatly balanced by fact that most of the enemies have been
    given either Guard Break or Throw moves.  Likewise, the ability to attack from
    Bird Flip has been countered greatly by the enemies that can hit you in mid-air
    now.
    
    ADDITIVE DAMAGE
    ---------------
    Unlike most other action games, the damage scaling in Ninja Gaiden is
    considerable.  That is, Ryu does not register damage for one attack only.  He
    will take damage for anything that legitimately hits him, anytime.  This means,
    that Ryu getting knocked into a wall and being hit with a Tail Swipe at the
    same time will register the damage for both attacks.  The only time that this
    doesn't apply is when Ryu is being actively thrown.  He seems to be
    Invincible to additive damage in throw frames.
    
    Weibull has put together some great videos showing this effect in particular.
    Logon to his FTP server (http://weibull760.dyndns.org:8989) and download the
    the "Need to work on Intercepts" and other various videos.  The Intercepts
    video shows how Shadow Alma kills Ryu with FULL health with two volleys of
    consecutive Firewheels, and there was nothing he could've done to stop it once
    he missed the first one.
    
    Another shows how Ryu can be killed at full health by three simultaneous Helmet
    Splitters issued by three different SAT Fiends all at the exact same time.
    
    However, Ryu will trade damage in many instances of the game.  Times when Ryu
    will take damage, but cannot be interrupted are in the initiation dashes or
    leaps of the UT's.
    
    COMBO FLOW
    ----------
    The combo system is fairly robust and is composed of several pieces.  Sections,
    Transitions and Enders make up the combo flow and each has unique properties.
    
    1. Section - A section is simply the moves of a command that don't have the
    unique properties of a transition or ending.  In between each section, you can
    reorient Ryu to point in the direction of an enemy, throw a projectile (unless
    either the melee or projectile is Two-Handed), iB (Instant Block), Combo Break
    or Ninpo.
    
    2. Breaker - A Combo Break is when you tap Block quickly, so you can break the
    combo flow and restart the series.  It won't register as animation, but it will
    IMMEDIATELY end the command chain.  You'll still commit the animation of the
    last strike, but you can then buffer what you want your next move to be.  It
    doesn't work as well with repetitive combos (Cremator and Dead Soul Bind), but
    you can still do it.  If you have impeccable timing, you can forgo the L in
    some cases, but it makes it easier.  However, this will not suffice for some
    Combos such as Izuna Drop, when you'd rather not do the Drop part, but would
    rather Helmet Splitter.  In this case, you must Combo Break or Shuriken
    Interrupt.
    
    3. Transition - A transition is a section that has more than one branch.  That
    is, the next move could be multiple different melee attacks.
    
    4. Enders - Many of the combos in the game can be interrupted with projectiles
    and defensive maneuvering.  The exception to this is in the Combo Ender.  The
    longer or more damaging combos' final strikes will typically generate a
    severely safe and damaging technique at the cost of a long recovery or starting
    animation.  Unless you have dispatched every enemy (or at least every one in
    the current round), you'll be very vulnerable to attack.  There are many times
    where it is advisable to not end a combo, so you can escape retribution.
    However, almost every Combo Ender can be Ninpo Cancelled.
    
    ENEMY PRIORITY
    --------------
    Most battles in Ninja Gaiden require you to fight more than one type of enemy
    at the same time.  This makes the battles much more strategic on many levels,
    and few other action games can claim this feature.  So, it's important to
    know going into any encounter which enemies should be concentrated on first.
    In the case of projectile using enemies, Ryu should almost always do his best
    to neutralize that threat first.
    
    ENEMY AWARENESS
    ---------------
    This concept applies to both how one should treat enemies, and how the AI
    determines aggressiveness.  First of all, it is extremely important for Ryu
    to be aware of his surroundings at all times.  This includes both enemies
    and structures as some of Ryu's most damaging techniques come from Flying
    Bird Flip and Wall Running.  Also, almost every enemy has either a ranged
    or distance attack that can easily strike Ryu from off screen.  Once
    awareness has become a focal point of one's play style, the game becomes much
    easier.
    
    Secondly, the AI routines for the game are fairly diverse.  One particular
    aspect involves enemy awareness.  It's fairly well known that the enemies in
    Ninja Gaiden are possibly the most aggressive and cunning in any game, ever.
    There is one aspect to the encounter where they altered this trend slightly
    at least for certain enemies.  Enemies can be unaware of Ryu.  Human
    enemies like Samurai, Vigoorian Military and SATs can go on regular patrol
    without making visual or aural contact with Ryu.  However, once Ryu comes
    within their VERY large range, they become aware of him, and are TOTALLY
    relentless in their attacks.  Conversely, Fiends and Ninjas are 100% aware
    of Ryu at all times and are also 100% relentless.  However, some Large enemies
    and Large Fiends are somewhat impartial to Ryu's presence (but not all,
    obviously).  If Ryu is outside their comfort zone, they will let him be for
    the most part.  How this breaks down into a percentage is unknown as there are
    many times when a Gallas will walk around his area, but then all of a sudden
    decide to pounce upon Ryu from very far away.  However, many times, they will
    make visual contact with him and attack without any provocation whatsoever.
    This is intentional as no other enemy in Ninja Gaiden displays this behavior.
    
    FIGHTING ENGINE DISCUSSION
    --------------------------
    There is some doubt as to whether or not the Combo System in Ninja Gaiden is
    really as fully featured as this document attempts to prove.  Some believe
    that the game consists of mostly useless moves with several over-powered
    techniques that can be utilized without fail in every scenario.  This could
    not be further from the truth.  And most likely, these arguments are started
    by people that have only played the game on Normal difficulty (if at all).
    
    The game doesn't randomly pick whether or not a move will Guard Break,
    Decapitate, CLEAR, GROUND, etc...  It is all based on several factors.  The
    size of the enemy, the type and health of the enemy, the distance to the
    enemy and the move utilized and the difficulty setting all determine the
    properties of the hit as well as the damage.
    
    So, looking at the move list at the bottom of this document, I have tried to
    compile a list of combos and the effects of their single hits therein.  While
    it may seem random that you get hits tacked onto pre-existing combos per
    level of weapon, this is not the case.
    
    1.  Guard Breaking Enemies - There seem to be three types of constitution in
    the game as far as how characters react to Ryu's strikes while they are
    blocking.  An enemy in Block Stun will simply be unable to strike Ryu back.
    If Ryu strings together consecutive Block Stunning strikes, he will not break
    through a continuously Blocking opponents.  Regular humans and the humanoid
    Fiends can be Guard Broken rather easily whereas the larger Fiends take much
    more punishment before they are affected.  Large enemies don't even Block, and
    you need to hit them with particular moves to knock them out of their attacks.
    A move that will GUARD BREAK a large enemy will typically CLEAR a regular
    enemy.  The third class is reserved for Boss type creatures that are either
    impervious to Block Stun altogether or must be attacked a certain way to
    initiate it.  On higher difficulties some regular enemies must be Guard
    Broken in order to be hit at all (i.e. Doku's Samurai).
    
    One facet of the game that I have not researched much at all are the hit
    properties of a successful attack (i.e. one that is not Blocked).  There are
    many facets of this system that must be explained to fully utilize Ryu's
    abilities effectively.  Crumple and Spin Stunning are extremely useful to
    achieve, but take some planning to setup.  We will look into this more in
    future versions of this document.
    
    2.  Guard Breaking/Crushing Ryu  - Guard Breaking and Guard Crushing apply
    to Ryu as well, although they are handled a bit differently.  A Guard Break
    against Ryu will register as his weapon being thrown back, and he will be
    unable to attack for the duration of this animation aside from Ninpo.  He
    has many defensive options in this scenario, however, which usually begin
    with the timely use of a Reverse Wind.  He cannot Counter Attack a Guard
    Breaking move, but he can Intercept it.
    
    Guard Crushing has the same properties except for the fact that a bit of
    damage is applied to Ryu regardless of the fact that he was blocking.
    
    3.  Combo Growth - As you progress in level of weapon, combos will have more
    Guard Breaking moves introduced into the flow.  For instance, we will discuss
    the progression of the basic combo for the Dragon Sword.
    
    You can do Crimson Slash over and over again to a Blocking enemy, and you
    will never Guard Break.  You either have to do a singular Guard Break move
    before you start this combo, or interrupt the enemy mid-swing for this combo
    to be successful.  Even then, most of the quicker enemies can cancel their
    attacks in their attack frames if they see a strike coming.  You have access
    to this Combo from the beginning of the game.  To test this, play Chapter 2,
    The Hayabusa Ninja Village on Very Hard.  The Samurai Block pretty much
    incessantly.  If you use nothing but Crimson Slash, you will see that you
    have to interrupt an attack to even hit them most of the time.
    
    However, once you upgrade to Level 4 by acquiring the True Dragon Sword, this
    combo finally gets a Guard Breaking Y at the very end.  At that point, though,
    you will have to follow up immediately with something else as the recovery
    from that Y at the end is significant.  But, it isn't even as simple as that
    as the X immediately preceding the Y is a Grounding Knockdown (even though it
    doesn't BREAK).
    
    Ryu starts off the game with Tiger Roar.  This Combo will Guard Break on its
    last hit.  You will have to follow up with something quickly to even inflict
    damage.  However at Level 2, you get Fang of the Wolf which tacks an extra
    strike onto the end which Decapitates under the correct conditions.  Finally,
    at Level 3, you get Blade of the Dragon's Tail which gives you a Clear Away
    strike after the Decapitation strike which will knock regular enemies
    away.  However, in Dragon Tear, the final Y does not Clear Away whereas Blade
    of the Dragon's Tail does.  There are obvious scenarios where one would want
    to knock an opponent away, keep them close or knock them to the ground.  All
    of the weapons follow this design scheme where you have to pick and chose where
    it appropriate to GUARD BREAK, CLEAR or GROUND.  The Heavy Two-Handed Weapons
    simply trade Combos for singular Guard Breaking strikes.  Combo differentiation
    is not limited to Guard Breaking or Clearing strikes, obviously.
    
    4.  Spin Stun - Several attacks in Ryu's arsenal will cause a non-blocking
    enemy to spin around briefly to its side which makes it vulnerable to a follow
    up attack.  While this may seem like a simple correlation, it's really not
    the case.  The enemies in Ninja Gaiden have the ability to cancel their attacks
    more so than even Ryu can in some cases.  Many enemies have what could be
    described as excessive evasive abilities.  They can flip and cartwheel out of
    the way of Ryu's strikes mid-combo.  However, when they are stuck in a Spin
    Stun, they are unable to evade or Counter Attack which on the higher
    difficulties (and the Hurricane Pack in particular) is extremely useful.
    Additionally, if you kill an enemy with a move that usually induces Spin Stun
    or hit them with consecutive SPIN strikes, they will Crumple Stun instead.
    They can simply Block, however, and avoid the SPIN or CRUMPLE.
    
    5.  Crumple Stun - Almost nobody talks about this extremely useful hit
    property.  It seems to be unique to the Dragon Sword's Violent Gale and the
    Kitetsu's Soul Bind.  You get different animations for each type, but the
    effect is the same in both instances.  They will slowly drop to their knees
    and then to the ground.  Regular enemies are TOTALLY prone during this
    animation.  You have two options at this point.  You can either utilize this
    time to attack another active enemy, or you can then immediately follow-up with
    a technique which you know will kill the prone enemy.  Ryu is very prone to
    this as well.
    
    6.  On-Landing - Ninja Gaiden implements a fairly unique technique of On-
    Landing.  That means when Ryu lands from a jump that did not include a
    Grounding move (such as Y attacks IA), then the 10-20 or so frames in which
    Ryu first contacts the ground is considered On-Landing.  There are several
    unique properties to this state.
    
    7.  On-Landing Cancel - There are times when you might want to forgo the On-
    Landing condition.  In such a case, if you tap L On-Landing, you can negate
    its effects and do whatever normal move you'd like.  The L must be tapped just
    as Ryu's feet touch the ground, however, and you cannot be inputting a
    direction.  You must return the joystick to the Neutral position.  Therefore
    it would look like:
    
    On-Landing Cancel - IA, ...[5~]Block, etc.
    Actual Commands:  IA, ...[5~]L, etc.
    
    You can actually forgo the Block altogether if you have awesome timing.  The
    first frame of Ryu's recovery animation (i.e. the instant that his momentum
    shifts from downward to upward) is the first frame where OL is not available.
    
    8.  instant Charge - The charging animation can take some time, which is why
    the developers implemented an "instant Charge" condition to the move list.  Ryu
    will skip the animation before the weapon begins to glow.  This is an extremely
    powerful technique.  But, You can be knocked out of it, however.  The benefits
    from an instant Charge are threefold when compared to a regular Charge.
    
    - You skip the initial frames of unsheathing the weapon altogether.  This is an
    obvious frame advantage.
    
    - You do not need to hold Y in order to gather Essence.  It will automatically
    come to you fully regardless of how long you had Y depressed.
    
    - Depending upon how you initiated it, you are granted some invincibility
    frames at the release of the Y which you do not have if simply had Charged.
    
    There are now two ways in which you can reach instant Charge.  You can gain iC
    from an OL or an Intercept.  To attain it via On-Landing, you must hold or tap
    Y just as you're landing from a jump that did not include a melee attack.  If
    you do this, you'll get an instant Charge condition.  You can also gain iC post
    Intercept.  In fact, it will override the standard Y attack altogether.  Simply
    tap Y immediately following a successful Intercept, and you will be granted iC.
    
    9.  instant Block - If you see an incoming attack, you can stop your Combo (but
    not strike) and hold Block.  You won't register a Block animation until the
    enemy strikes you, but it will be blocked nonetheless as long as you are in
    recovery frames.  Ryu is very defensively capable and a lot of people overlook
    this ability.  Again, the absence of a transition animation in this particular
    scenario can be explained away with Ninja Magic.
    
    10.  Wind Path Stun - When you press A in the vicinity of an opponent standing
    on the ground while Ryu is still airborne, he does the Wind Path move.  He'll
    disappear, leave a PHANTOM and teleport off of their body; briefly stunning
    them along with a unique animation.  This is very useful later in the game when
    you come upon regular opponents that have Uninterruptible Attacks (i.e. Gallas'
    Tail Swipe and Bite).  You are also granted a VERY SMALL number of INV frames
    as you PHANTOM.
    
    For a long time I thought that the Wind Run move (X+A) was useless.  It simply
    jumps you to the nearest enemy or wall or whatever direction you push (in the
    case of no surrounding enemies).  It doesn't make sense that you need an extra
    move to have you jump to an enemy when you could just as easily do it
    yourself.  But, whenever you're fighting Gallas and want to interrupt the Tail
    Swipe or Bite, Wind Run can prove very useful.  Additionally, the Wind Run has
    been given a PHANTOM and a ground launching effect in the HP.  You can
    continually Wind Run one right after the other without any landing animation
    whatsoever.  You don't even need to Roll Cancel.  It is a JF command, though.
    
    Wind Path is arguably one of Ryu's most useful techniques.  You can Wind Path
    vertically or horizontally.  If you've jumped with at the enemy , then
    following the Wind Path you can quickly re-orient yourself towards the enemy
    and attack.  This simple addition to the system, makes Wind Path EXTREMELY
    powerful.  Additionally, there is a separate animation for Ryu for a vertical
    Wind Path as opposed to a horizontal Wind Path.  That is, if you jump straight
    up and Wind Path off of an enemy Ryu will flip upside down and right himself
    mid-air.  Concordantly, the enemy will animate being knocked to the ground.
    However, if Ryu jumps at the enemy (with a Vector), he will animate differently
    as will his enemy.  The enemy will be forced to turn in the opposite direction
    as Ryu uses the enemy to continue his forward momentum.  The enemy will be
    knocked closer to the ground than if merely hit with a vertical Wind Path.
    While there doesn't appear to be any bonus for a horizontal Wind Path Stun,
    this is just another example of the unbelievable amount of detail given to even
    the smallest aspect of the game.
    
    11. Advanced Shuriken Use - You can cancel many attacks with a Shuriken
    Interrupt both on the ground and in the air.  Likewise, you can cancel shuriken
    with attacks as well.  The longer attack animations of the Windmill Shuriken
    and Incendiary Shuriken allow you to fake the shuriken toss and cancel it
    completely into an attack as long as the attack is done soon enough.
    
    Also, you can manually aim your shuriken as well.  If you have three Fiends
    surrounding you, you have the option of which one to hit with the left analog
    stick.  If you chose to not input a direction, the closest, offensive one will
    be auto targeted.  You can override this with a direction while on the ground
    or in the air at any time, as long as the Fiend is within Ryu's attack range
    (i.e. not behind a wall, burrowing or dead).  You can tell whom Ryu is locked
    onto by his head.  He will look at the Fiend he is going to strike.  Very
    subtle and very, very cool.
    
    Lastly, shuriken will interrupt many enemies' attacks in the game.  If an
    attack is imminent, you can usually throw a single Shuriken to interrupt it or
    force the enemy to Block or Evade.
    
    12. Ninpo Canceling - The only time when Ninpo will actually Combo is during
    an Grounding Move or a Combo Ender.  It will cancel the recovery frames of
    these two types of moves.  However, when using the Heavy Two-Handed Melee
    Weapons (War Hammer, UF, Dabilahro, DDB), if you see danger imminent, you can
    cancel the recovery of every Combo Section into a Ninpo.  Typically, these
    Combo Enders or Two-Handed combos are only capable of iB or Ninpo Canceling.
    This will be outlined in the Free Form Combo section.
    
    Typically, the best Ninpo to use is Firewheel, since it will not immobilize
    you.  However, if you're looking for a high Combo count, Art of Ice Storm is a
    nice option as well.
    
    13. Step Canceling - There is a very specific way to use Ryu's Nudge (6~5) to
    cancel the recovery of the WR X of the Kitetsu and the DS.  This is very
    powerful as it will give you access to every attack in each weapon's arsenal
    immediately following a WR X.  The only moves that Combo normally out of WR X
    are an additional X or Azure/Scarlet Dragon.  Using this technique, you have
    access to the entire arsenal at the same frame advantage as the Combo-able
    moves.
    
    14. Grounding Knockdown - An enemy falls down not just because they have
    endured a significant amount of damage.  Ryu must actively attempt to
    knockdown an enemy with specific strikes.  The most beneficial state for an
    enemy to be in for Ryu is DOWN.  You must use a GROUND move to put an enemy
    in this state.  If an enemy is in DOWN state, then there is basically nothing
    they can do if Ryu is persistent enough in his attacks.
    
    15. Depth - Couple these ideas with the fact that you will very seldom fight
    one enemy at a time much less one TYPE of enemy in this game, and you can see
    that the Combo system is complex and very much necessary.  Never before in an
    action game was it necessary to not only gauge when to use quick, light strikes
    versus slower, heavier strikes, but also necessary to gauge the different
    properties of each of those types of attacks.  In one attack, Violent Gale,
    you have the choice to Spin Stun an enemy if you think that will be enough and
    then be immediately capable of launching in to a different move, or self-
    launching from another similar move, or to tag the extra hit onto the move to
    get that Crumple Stun (and in the process, introduce recovery).  Couple this
    with the fact that neither one of Crumple or Spin Stun attacks Guard Break,
    but the launching and self-launching attacks do and you have an unbelievably
    deep system.
    
    As you see at the top of this document there are a plethora of other hit
    properties which are unique to strikes in the system.  Each facet is equally
    as complex.  It is simply not thrown together willy-nilly.  The system is very
    deep and extremely balanced.  Over the life of this document, I might begin to
    discuss each property in-depth.
    
    IN-DEPTH MOVE DISCUSSION
    ------------------------
    1.  Flying Swallow - This move is not the over-powered equalizer that some
    people claim it to be.  It's recovery is extremely long and it's not even
    guaranteed.  Additionally, whereas most moves that introduce recovery long
    enough to be thrown by an enemy, you could always Ninpo Cancel.  This is
    not the case with Flying Swallow.  You cannot Ninpo Cancel Flying Swallow.
    Of course, if you take the precaution of casting a Firewheel before doing
    a Flying Swallow, you will be much more protected. But, if you are facing a
    throw-happy group of enemies, your Flying Swallow landing is a guaranteed
    throw against you.
    
    To prove that Flying Swallow is not overpowered, you can select Chapter 3
    and the Level 2 Dragon Sword.  The SATs will be crawling all over this level.
    Now, on the Normal setting, if you do a Flying Swallow at somewhat close range
    or from the wall, you will get a Decapitation with one hit.  However, if
    select a harder difficulty, or initiate the move from a different distance,
    you will not get a Decapitation.  To further this observation, the SAT Riot
    Guards can block the FS outright as can many, many other regular enemies
    throughout the game.
    
    Generally, it is not possible to iC from a successful Flying Swallow.  The
    falling and landing animation of Flying Swallow will not Combo or cancel into
    anything.  Additionally, it is the only attack in the game that cannot be Ninpo
    Cancelled.  So, you must Shuriken Interrupt to change your state from Flying
    Swallow to simply IA. Once you throw a shuriken, you revert back to simply
    being IA. The frame window between the attack frames and recovery frames is
    very small, so I would list this as a Just Frame.  You cannot throw a shuriken
    too late or too early for this to work. To do this with Flying Swallow, you
    must be attacking in one of the following scenarios.
    
    - Flying Swallow Resistant Enemies: Where you have initiated the Flying Swallow
    before the apex of your jump. It must be done VERY quickly.  The Flying Swallow
    will bounce off the enemy, and you will be able to iC normally.
    
    In the case of Ghuls, once the Fiend loses its head, though, you will not be
    granted IA status.
    
    - Wall Run Flying Swallow - The Flying Swallow done from the Wall Run will
    allow you to Shuriken Cancel every time regardless of if there are even any
    enemies around.
    
    - Wind Path Flying Swallow - Believe it or not, you can actually Flying
    Swallow off of a successful Wind Path if the enemies line up correctly. Very
    cool looking.
    
    - Blocked Flying Swallow - You can obviously do anything you want if your
    Flying Swallow is blocked.  You are instantly put in an IA state.
    
    2.  Red-Hot Iron Brand - One of the ways that the Vigoorian Flail is superior
    to the Dragon Sword is that the Flying Swallow type move of Red-Hot Iron
    Brand recovers in an IA state.  Unlike the Dragon Sword, your options from
    Red-Hot Iron Brand are much more diverse as you can Sweeping Strike, Dragon
    Emperor Kick or iCOL with it without Shuriken Canceling.
    
    3.  Izuna Drop - In the same pattern, people seem to think that Izuna Drop
    is invincible.  While it is very flashy and cool, it's very detrimental to
    attaining Time Bonuses, and you have no protection whatsoever in the three
    strikes leading up to the actual grab.  Almost every enemy has an uppercut
    move specifically designed to pluck Ryu out of the air.  However, if an
    opportunity opens up, and you are able to successfully use it, then you also
    get splash damage upon the landing.
    
    4.  Six Paths Spin - This move is commonly overlooked as it appears identical
    to Hundred Man Slash of the Dabilahro and the Dark Dragon Blade.  However, it
    is actually a throw as opposed to Hundred Man Slash.  If you hit a regular
    enemy with the spike during the spinning, that enemy becomes impaled on the
    weapon, spun around and smashed into the ground.  Additionally, the body that
    is impaled on the spike can strike other enemies during the spinning.
    
    5.  Flying Bird Flip Options - The techniques in the game that could be argued
    as being overpowered are the Flying Bird Flip attacks.  The Y attacks from
    Flying Bird Flip are the most damaging in the game aside from UT's.  As such,
    they could be abused somewhat given the fact that Ryu was fairly well
    protected while Wall Running.
    
    Prior to the HP, enemies did not have a good defense against continued use of
    Flying Bird Flip attacks.  Now, many enemies have very good defenses against
    abuse of the Wall Run including Jump Interrupting attacks and Flying Swallows
    of their own.
    
    6.  Counter Attack - This technique was VERY abusable on regular enemies
    prior to the HP.  This was due to the fact that many enemies lacked Guard
    Breaking or Throws.  So, you could select a Heavy Two-Handed Weapon, and
    simply Counter Attack each move and get One-Hit Kills for it.  In the HP,
    every enemy has at least one Guard Breaking move or Throw neither of which
    can be Counter Attacked.  Keep in mind that both the Counter Attack techniques
    and number vary greatly between weapons.
    
    7.  Runaway Lightning - NEAR X, ...NEAR Y (JF)
    While it's not a hidden move, Runaway Lightning is very difficult to pull off.
    Runaway Lightning is a Just Frame attack meaning, that when you input the Y
    after the X determines whether or not you get Wide Heavens or Runaway
    Lightning.  If you input Y too early or too late, you'll get the move where Ryu
    kicks the enemy up into the air.  In Runaway Lightning, Ryu climbs up and over
    the enemy, jumps into the air, does a flip behind the enemy, and he strikes the
    enemy in the back of the head.  The frame window is pretty big, but you have to
    pause after hitting X before hitting Y.  Additionally, I've found that both
    hits from the X have to hit cleanly (i.e. the enemy can't block or roll out of
    the way) for Runaway Lightning to come out.  It instantly grounds an enemy and
    makes you Invincible during its execution.
    
    From JynxShot on the GameFAQ's board:
    "With the level 2 flails, pressing the X button once will have Ryu strike 3
    times with the blades.  Every strike is accompanied by a 'whooshing' noise.  The
    first 2 strikes are in front of Ryu, hitting your target. The third strike and
    noise is Ryu pulling the other half of the weapon back over his shoulder.  When
    you hear the 3rd 'whoosh' noise, as Ryu pulls it over his right shoulder, hit Y.
    
    Frankly, after the initial hits, as long as Ryu is pulling the chucks over his
    shoulder, hit Y. Listening for the 'whoosh' noise will help nail your timing
    down."
    
    8.  Wind Path - A newly discovered property of the Wind Path is that it grants
    you iWR upon reaching the ground, even if you reverse your direction mid-air.
    Needless to say, this is EXTREMELY powerful as it is VERY difficult to gain WR
    in the middle of the fight.  Obviously, you cannot come in contact with a wall
    off of your Wind Path, but other than that, there aren't any restrictions.
    
    This is on top of all of the benefits of actually gaining a Wind Path Stun as
    described above.  Combining the two effects, you can totally incapacitate two
    enemies at almost the same time.
    
    9.  Soul Bind - I have given the name Soul Bind to the 6+X, X, X, X, X move
    where Ryu (or Doku for that matter) impales his enemy and their soul jettisons
    out of their back where the wound is made.  The Soul then traces around the
    body and transfers to Ryu.  You do not need to input the X, X before the Crazed
    Bones Slash (6+X) for the move to come out as stated in Dead Soul Bind.  The
    most obvious advantage to Soul Bind is that it transfers life from the enemy to
    Ryu. However, this is the least useful of the properties as the amount of life
    both absorbed and transferred is nominal.  It will help in a Bind (pun
    intended), though.  There are two much more useful properties of a successful
    Soul Bind, however.
    
    First of all, a successful Soul Bind Crumple Stuns an enemy.  Read the
    description above for the bonuses of this hit property.  Obviously, this is
    extremely useful in setup as most enemies are defenseless once Grounded, and
    the Crumple Stun makes them even more prone as they will be unable to do
    anything during its animation.  This gives Ryu the ability to possibly
    concentrate efforts elsewhere.
    
    Secondly and most importantly, you also gain TOTAL invincibility during its
    successful execution.  You cannot be thrown or attacked in any way to interrupt
    the Soul Binding.  This makes it a candidate for one of the most useful moves
    in the game.  The only other times where Ryu is in this state is during the
    execution of a UT.  On top of this, you can follow the Soul Bind with 5 other
    Soul Binds.
    
    Obviously, all of this must be balanced out somehow, and it is.  First off,
    the Soul Bind is not a Guard Break.  Therefore, enemies can block it outright.
    Secondly, its attack frames are fairly slow which means that it can be dodged
    outright and Ryu cannot instant Block from it.  Next, the damage from a Soul
    Bind is nominal.  Lastly, if you do not do a Soul Eraser (Y) immediately
    following an of the Soul Binds, the recovery is ridiculous.  If Ryu is only
    engaged with one foe, then this is moot since it grants CRUMPLE.  However, if
    there are other enemies around, beware.
    
    10. Soul Eraser - You can only issue a Soul Eraser post Soul Bind.  It seems
    like an obvious choice, and it's true that you should usually follow Soul Bind
    with Soul Eraser (unless you're looking for a Crumple Stun).  However, the most
    powerful property of this attack was discovered by Shadowblade786 which lead to
    the creation of this section.  As shown in Chosen Soul Eraser in the Free Form
    Combo Section below, you can actually target Soul Eraser.  So, you are not
    limited to simply Soul Erasing the enemy you are Soul Binding.  You can chose
    any surrounding enemy.  This makes this technique extremely useful.
    
    11. Cremator - Another extremely safe and repetitive technique is found in the
    Level 2 Vigoorian Flail.  Cremator is the series where Ryu very quickly flips
    the Flail over his shoulders and protects his back and front with the blades.
    Contrary to popular belief, you are not Invincible while doing this move.
    Large enemies have many attacks that can knock you out of it, and many other
    enemies have other techniques that will defeat Cremator outright.  Also, Ryu's
    flanks are vulnerable to attack.
    
    Consequently, you have the ability to orient Ryu as you see fit once Cremator
    has started (just like most of the other combos in the game).  This is
    important, because Ryu's flanks are vulnerable, and you may want to
    concentrate the brunt of the attack on an incoming enemy rather than the one
    you originally targeted.
    
    Oddly enough, we see why Projectiles are deflected by Cremator whenever Ryu
    tried to throw Shuriken at Murai.  He uses Cremator with the Nunchaku and
    deflects the Shuriken back at us.  Ryu is not as adept at this technique as
    Murai is, so Projectiles are simply deflected.
    
    There are several options to the end of Cremator.  One of them is discussed
    below, but another much more destructive option is to Ninpo Cancel the
    extended recovery of Cremator.  If you have Art of Icestorm equipped and have
    captured 3 enemies in your Cremator, then you will be looking at a 100+ Hit
    Combo will relatively little effort.  The dichotomy of something called Ice
    Storm following something called Creator so nicely should not go unnoticed.
    
    12. Dragon Slaughter - The other option is to issue a Y after the last
    X (it must be precise), and you will get a very well protected clearing move
    called Dragon Slaughter.  There are instances will you will not want to use
    this technique, however, as listed above.
    
    13. Guillotine Throw - While this move is offensively very useful, it has one
    of the worst recoveries in the game.  As such, you pretty much need to use it
    in a very linear fashion.  That is, if you have a lead enemy that can be
    thrown into its counterparts, then that will allow you to recover in time.
    However, if you do this move on a single enemy and its body doesn't hit any
    other enemies, then you can expect a quick retribution.  Use discretion.
    Basically, it's only useful for crowd control, nostalgia and flash factor.
    
    A new method of achieving the Guillotine Throw as been discovered, though.
    You do not need the forward momentum previously thought.  You can Guillotine
    Throw from a vertical WindPath.  This makes vWP fairly useful indeed.
    
    14. Dark Dragon Gates of Hell - The Dark Dragon Blade is almost always
    overlooked as a viable weapon given that those who wield it most likely have
    a Level 3 Dabilahro or Unlabored Flawlessness.  When compared to these two
    weapons, the Sealed Dark Dragon Blade is a bit underpowered.  However, there
    is one move that stands above the others in certain scenarios.  The UT for
    the Dark Dragon Blade, Dark Dragon Gates of Hell, is unique as it is the only
    Heavy Two-Handed Melee Weapon autocombo.  It does more damage than any other
    UT in the game on a single enemy, and like all other autocombo UT's, you can
    direct it at any enemy.  With the advent of HP2, the Dark Dragon Blade is
    EXTREMELY useful as the UF is not available.
    
    15. Dragon's Claw - This Level 3 Lunar Combo is SEVERELY overused.  It is very
    long, very weak and very breakable.  However, there are some good aspects to
    it.  Namely, the Guard Break that comes with the first hit of the Y at the end.
    Unless the enemy evades this strike, then they will be both Guard Broken and
    Cleared Away in the same series.  While this is useful, the Lunar has much
    more damaging and specialized techniques that should replace this one unless
    Ryu is completely outmatched.
    
    16. Burial Kick - It would be easy to place this move in the flash category and
    miss some of the more useful properties of the move.  It's quite easy to set
    this move up to follow an extremely hard strike that you know will kill a
    regular enemy.  The benefit of setting this up is that the Burial Kick will
    usually cancel recovery of a hard strike like Haze Straight Slash or Divine
    Cicada.  That way, you can recover quickly and negate the unfortunately side-
    effects of the more lagging moves.  Very, subtley useful.
    
    17. Steel Severer - This move along with Six Paths Spin fortifies the War
    Hammer as a viable alternative to the Dabilahro (especially if you forgo the
    final Dabi upgrade).  This is the quickest Heavy Two-Handed Melee weapon attack
    in the game.  Controlled use of this strike will get you out of almost any
    problem.  The attack and recovery frames rival the Light melee weapons.
    
    DIAL-A-COMBO
    ------------
    One of the most pervasive, incorrect, obviously desperate and pathetic
    arguments that people wage against Ninja Gaiden is that it incorporates a
    "Dial-A-Combo" system.  Of course, it goes without saying that it is pathetic
    and sad anytime someone has a vendetta against a videogame of all things, but
    those that cling to this argument in particular are very amusing.  Anyone who
    states this is either simply misinformed or outright lying.
    
    Dial-A-Combo was invented with Mortal Kombat 3.  Midway was largely unable to
    come up with a deep and competitive fighting engine, so Dial-A-Combo is what
    the game implemented.  The defining characteristics of a Dial-A-Combo system
    are thus:
    
    1.  The move list is composed of largely interchangeable strikes that have no
    differentiating features other than appearance.
    
    2.  Arbitrarily assigning specific button presses to those interchangeable
    strikes.
    
    3.  The player is totally unable to branch these "combos" from one to another.
    
    4.  The opponent is unable to defend against the combo once it has started.
    
    Ninja Gaiden's combos feature NONE of these things.
    
    In contrast, Ninja Gaiden implements two levels of melee strikes; light and
    heavy.  Heavy strikes are always slower and more powerful than light strikes.
    In most cases, they out-range the lighter strikes, but are more linear.
    As such, they are not interchangeable, and the only people to claim this are
    those that aren't capable enough to see this obvious fact (or feign
    ignorance).  Every strike in the game has specific reach, recovery, damage
    and hit property list.  This is covered in the Move List section.
    
    ENEMY ARSENAL
    -------------
    One of the most difficult things to do in the game is to memorize the hit
    properties and tendencies of all the enemies.  Once, you do this, however,
    you will be pretty much unstoppable.  You can classify creatures by whether
    or not they have at least one throw, Guard Break, Guard Crush or
    Uninterceptible or Unblockable Attack.  Since these are the only moves
    capable of defeating a Block, they should be placed in priority of what you
    are looking to avoid.
    
    Tecmo was wise to the general population of Ninja Gaiden discovering this,
    so in both the Hurricane Packs, they tweaked EVERY single enemy to possess
    at LEAST one Guard Breaking move.  This way, it was impossible for Ryu to
    stand there and simply Block.  In most cases, enemies were given multiple
    new moves.  I will outline these moves in the new Enemy Guide.
    
    In most cases, these moves are telegraphed somewhat, so you should plan
    accordingly.  For example, Imps do not possess either a throw, Guard Crush,
    Unblockable or Uninterceptible Attack.  So, you never have to be concerned
    with an Imp outright defeating your Guard on their own.  However, MANY of
    their moves in the Hurricane Packs Guard Break.  What this means is that
    you constantly have to be worried about simultaneous attacks.
    
    PHANTOM INVINCIBILITY
    ---------------------
    This is a little known, but extremely useful tool in Ryu's toolbox.
    Whenever Ryu does a move that produces a Phantom, that usually means that
    he's granted a split second of complete invincibility.  This is great to
    know if you're having a lot of difficulties with Black Spider Clan Ninja.
    So, if they stick you with an Incendiary Shuriken, you always have at
    least three ways to disarm it so to speak.  You can do an attack from a
    Flying Bird Flip, Wind Path, or Reverse Wind.  You can also Block right
    as the Shuriken is exploding, but you'll still take damage.
    
    This also holds true for about 20 frames of the Reverse Wind move.
    
    --CHARACTER TRAITS--
    The enemies in the game fall into several distinct categories based upon their
    abilities.  Most characters possess basic abilities like combos and
    projectiles, but certain abilities elevate the enemy to a different level of
    difficulty. These tangible abilities include: Teleportation, Guard Breaking,
    Throwing, Counter Attacking, Uninterruptible Attacks, Severe Projectiles and
    Deadly Attacks.
    
    For a description of enemies, please refer to my Bestiary/Enemy Guide.
    
    ADVANCED ENEMY ABILITIES
    ------------------------
    Teleportation - The ability for an enemy to instantaneously appear and
    disappear removing Ryu's ability to inflict damage upon them.  This also gives
    them the ability to sometimes strike Ryu without warning.
    
    Guard Breaking - When an enemy possesses the ability to break Ryu's guard, this
    makes Ryu vulnerable to a follow-up attack by another enemy.  Ryu's only
    defense in this instance is to RC or JC.
    
    Guard Crushing - When an enemy both Guard Breaks Ryu and damages him slightly
    in the process.
    
    Throwing - Some enemies possess the ability to grapple with Ryu; totally
    negating his guard.  This a very dangerous technique as Ryu must actively avoid
    it, rather than just holding block incessantly.
    
    Counter Attacking - Very few enemies possess the ability to strike Ryu through
    an attack, but the danger is there.  Secondly, some enemies have the ability to
    anticipate Ryu's attack and block it in a way where Ryu is made vulnerable.
    
    Uninterruptible Attacks - Most larger enemies possess attacks that CANNOT be
    broken by anything in Ryu's offensive arsenal.  No matter what, the enemy will
    complete the animation regardless of what Ryu does to interrupt it.  Ryu can
    either avoid it or utilize a Ninpo to become immune to it.  There is a third
    option such that Ryu can Wind Path off of regular enemies if he has enough
    time.  This move will cease the animation of the Uninterruptible Attacks of
    regular enemies.
    
    Severe Projectiles - Most enemies possess projectiles of some sort, even if
    this involves making themselves the projectile.  But, certain enemies have
    projectiles that can either Guard Break Ryu or penetrate his guard altogether.
    
    Deadly Attacks - Usually, a boss will possess at least one Deadly Attack that
    will drain a majority of Ryu's health in one strike.  Ryu must do his best to
    avoid these attacks.  Frequently, though, the severity of these attacks can be
    lessened if you quickly press the attack buttons.  Some regular enemies possess
    this ability as well.
    
    Invincibility - Some enemy attacks render them invincible.  You must either
    evade it, or change to an invincible state yourself.
    
    Extreme Mobility - Some enemies have extreme dodging abilities such that they
    can separately evade each strike within in a combo.  Frequently, they must be
    hit with an extremely quick attack in order to be stunned long enough to be
    hit.
    
    EASY
    ----
    Enemies in this classification possess no ability to inflict damage on Ryu if
    Ryu chooses to constantly block.  That is, they do not possess either Guard
    Breaking, Throws, Severe Projectiles or Deadly attacks.  Enemies that fall into
    this category are Shadow Clan Ninjas, Lesser Fiends, Bats, etc...
    
    NORMAL
    ------
    Enemies in this classification possess at least one of the afore-mentioned
    abilities and attack in groups of three or more.  This group is composed of
    Black Spider Clan Ninjas and the Vigoorian Military.
    
    FORMIDABLE
    ----------
    Formidable enemies possess more than one of the aforementioned Advanced
    Abilities, and almost always attack in groups of three or more.  The various
    Gallas and Fiendish MSAT soldiers belong to this group.
    
    DEADLY
    ------
    Most bosses (but not all) fall into the deadly category as most of them possess
    multiple attacks that can either break or defeat Ryu's guard outright and at
    least one Deadly Attack as mentioned before.  Alma and the Evolved Fiends both
    reside in this category.
    
    --HIDDEN MOVES--
    There are at least three hidden moves in the game.  I will update this FAQ as
    more are uncovered.  The names are of the discoverer's creation.
    
    ALL WEAPONS
    -----------
    1.  Who Watches the Watchers - (L), 4/6
    If you lightly press the analog stick left or right while blocking, Ryu will
    slowly shuffle clockwise or counter-clockwise.  I haven't found a use for this.
    But, it's cool to continually face enemies as they circle you.
    
    DRAGON SWORD
    ------------
    1. Tranquil Clearing (Lvl2) - OL X (MULTI)
    This undocumented move makes Ryu do a spinning slash that can be comboed
    extensively upon landing from a jump.  It does more damage than a standard X.
    
    2. Rooted Windmill (NEAR) - 6+X (DECAP)
    If an enemy is near to Ryu when he initiates his Windmill Slash, Ryu will spin
    in place and hold the DS in both hands instead of rolling some distance.
    
    KITETSU
    -------
    1.  Soul Bind - 6+X, X[, X, X, X, X, X] (All X's Absorb, INV, Final X GROUND)
    I have given the name Soul Bind to 4 X's following the Crazed
    Bones Slash (6+X).  You do not need to input the X, X beforehand for the move
    to come out, hence the absence of "Dead" designation.  And to further
    differentiate between the two strikes, Soul Bind grants INV.  Crazed Bones
    Slash only grants CRUMPLE.
    
    2.  Soul Eraser - 6+X, [6+]Y (CLEAR, PHANTOM)
    Likewise, you don't need to input the slashes of Dark Rain for Soul Eraser to
    come out.  Additionally, you can direct the actual Eraser part.
    
    DRAGON SWORD/KITETSU
    --------------------
    1. Burial Kick - NEAR, DEAD/DECAP X (CLEAR)
    Ryu will kick the dead body of a foe away if it hasn't fallen to the ground,
    yet.  You can know if this move is usable by the either the Death Rattle uttered
    by a slain enemy, or a decapitation.  This is useful, because the body will
    release the Essence away from Ryu, so you don't have to worry about avoiding it
    (if you're attempting to do so).  Additionally, the body will strike other
    enemies as well.  The kick is a totally different animation than any other
    attack in the game, and its attack window is much faster.  Lastly, it's
    wonderful for cancelling the recovery of the slower Heavy attacks.
    
    There is not damage listing available for it, since the kick is only usable on
    an already expired enemy.  However, it would be interesting to see what damage
    is applied to enemies that are hit by a fellow enemy's body, either by Burial
    Kick, Guillotine Throw or Six Paths Spin as an enemy can be killed by any of
    these scenarios.
    
    2. Life's Circle - BEHIND/LEFT/RIGHT X
    One of the great aspects about the animation engine is the attention to detail.
    Ryu's opening strike of Crimson Slash or Dark Rain animates totally differently
    depending upon Ryu's orientation to his targeted enemy.  That is, if the enemy
    is directly in front of him, Ryu will bring the DS/Kitetsu straight down with
    both hands from over his head.  If the enemy is behind Ryu, he'll do a little
    turn beforehand.  If the enemy is to Ryu's right side, he'll slash with one
    hand from right to left, and he'll reverse this motion if the enemy is to his
    left side.
    
    The third X of Crimson Slash shares this property as well.  In that case, the
    slash is 360 degrees, one-handed, horizontal and very, very quick.  It also
    CLEARs on CH.
    
    --MOVE LIST--
    I will include a comprehensive move list as to facilitate the discussions in
    this FAQ.  To provide worth to the lists, I've included conditions and
    properties to the moves as well.  Please note that there are at least three
    hidden moves in the game.   I will update this FAQ as more are uncovered.
    
    DAMAGE DISCUSSION
    -----------------
    I've now added a Damage Listing to each move as well.  If a Damage Listing is
    surrounded by parenthesis (7,7), then that means that the move strikes more
    than once, and the damage is listed for each strike.  This information is
    based on observations taken during the game played on Normal and Very Hard.
    Damage was calculated by killing certain enemies with regular shuriken only.
    Each shuriken counts as one hitpoint.  Then, certain enemies were killed on
    Normal and then Very Hard to calculate the differences between the hitpoints
    between the two difficulty levels.  The following information was derived:
    
    Normal
    Lesser Shadow Clan - 30
    Shadow Clan - 50
    Black Spider Clan - 250
    Lesser Imp - 60
    Imp - 100
    Gallas - 450
    
    Very Hard
    Lesser Shadow Clan - 36
    Shadow Clan - 80
    Black Spider Clan - 300
    Lesser Imp - 80
    Imp - 160
    Gallas - 800
    
    Then, each strike in each move was used exclusively to kill the enemy, and the
    enemy's total health was divided by the number of strikes it took to kill it.
    In the case of enemies that cannot be hit with shuriken, the then known Damage
    Listings were used to kill the creature.
    
    The Damage Listings now apply to every level of the weapon where D1 equals a
    level one weapon, D2 equals a level 2 weapon, and so-on.  If a question mark is
    present, that means that the move's damage quotient has not been verified,
    yet.  The lack of a number immediately following the D indicates that the
    damage is the same regardless of weapon level.
    
    
    DRAGON SWORD/PLASMA SWORD, TRUE DRAGON SWORD/PLASMA SWORD MK. II
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    "A Japanese Sword handed down in the Hayabusa Ninja Clan.  It is carved out of
    the fang of a Dragon."
    
    "The Legendary Ultimate form of the Dragon Sword achieved by fitting the
    Dragon's Eye into it."
    
    This is Ryu's ancient katana that the story is based upon.  The move list is
    compatible for the 4 versions of the sword.  It's the most developed and well
    rounded weapon in the game.
    
    You upgrade the weapon the same in both the original game and Hurricane Pack
    1.  You acquire the True Dragon Sword/Plasma Sword MK. II the same way as
    well.  In Hurricane Pack 2, you begin with the Level 2 Dragon Sword, Counter
    Attack, Izuna Drop and the Guillotine Throw.  You acquire the True Dragon
    Sword/Plasma Sword MK. II at the end of the 3rd Phase after defeating the Ice
    Fiend.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Crimson Slash - X, X, X
    D1: 10, 10, 15
    D2: 15, 15, 20
    D3: 22, 22, 33
    D4: 33, 33, 44
    
    Dragon Tear (Lvl4) - X, X, X, Y (Y DECAP, BREAK)
    D4: 33, 33, 44, 50
    
    Tiger Roar - X, X, Y (Y BREAK)
    D1: 10, 10, 20
    D2: 15, 15, 25
    D3: 22, 22, 40
    D4: 33, 33, 66
    
    Cloven Helmet - X, Y, X, Y (1st Y SELFLAUNCH)
    D1: 10, 25, 15, 30
    D2: 15, 30, 20, 30
    D3: 22, 40, 28, 40
    D4: 33, 33, 33, 50
    
    Fang of the Wolf (Lvl2) - X, X, Y, Y (1st Y BREAK, 2nd Y DECAP)
    D2: 15, 15, 25, 32
    D3: 22, 22, 40, 32
    D4: 33, 33, 50, 50
    
    Blade of the Dragon's Tail (Lvl3) - X, X, Y, Y, Y (1st Y BREAK, 2nd Y DECAP,
    3rd Y CLEAR, REC)
    D3: 22, 22, 40, 32, (20,40)
    D4: 33, 33, 50, 50, (25,50)
    
    Fiend's Bane Kick - X, X, 6+X, X (3rd X STAGGER, 4th X CLEAR)
    D1: 10, 10, 15, 10
    D2: 15, 15, 20, 15
    D3: 22, 22, 28, 20
    D4: 33, 33, 38, 22
    
    Early Winter Rain - X, X, 6+X, Y (3rd X STAGGER, Y STAGGER, REC)
    D1: 10, 10, 15, (2,2,4)
    D2: 15, 15, 20, (4,4,6)
    D3: 22, 22, 28, (6,6,8)
    D4: 33, 33, 38, (10,10,12)
    
    Blade of Nirrti (Lvl2) - X, Y, X, X, X, X (Y SELFLAUNCH, PHANTOM)
    D2: 15, 30, 20, 20, 20, 40
    D3: 22, 40, 28, 28, 28, 50
    D4: 33, 35, 33, 33, 33, 50
    
    Izuna Drop (Scroll) - X, Y, X, X, X, Y (1st Y SELFLAUNCH, 2nd Y MULTI, THROW,
    BREAK)
    D2: 15, 30, 20, 20, 20, 40
    D3: 22, 40, 28, 28, 28, 50
    D4: 33, 35, 33, 33, 33, 60
    
    Windmill Slash - 6+X (DECAP)
    D1: 25
    D2: 25
    D3: 30
    D4: 30
    
    Blade of the Undefeatable - Y (BREAK)
    D1: 30
    D2: 35
    D3: 40
    D4: 50
    
    Haze Straight Slash - Charge Y (BREAK, CRUSH, DECAP)
    D1: 40
    D2: 50
    D3: 60
    D4: 70
    
    Extinction Straight Slash (1 Essence) - Charge Y (ET, DECAP, PROT, REC,
    PHANTOM)
    D1: (25,25)
    D2: (40,40)
    D3: (50,50)
    D4: (55,55)
    
    Hundred Wing Blade (2 Essences) - Charge Y (UT, INV, PHANTOM)
    D1: (5,20,20,20,20,20,50)
    D2: (5,20,20,20,20,20,50)
    D3: (10,25,25,25,25,25,62)
    
    Storm of the Heavenly Dragon (Lvl4, 2 Essences) - Charge Y (UT, INV, PHANTOM)
    D4: (10,25,50,50,50,50,50,50,50,50,50,100)
    
    Azure Dragon - 6+Y (SELFLAUNCH)
    D1: 25
    D2: 30
    D3: 40
    D4: 45
    
    Scarlet Dragon - 6+(Y) (Launch/BREAK)
    D1: 30
    D2: 35
    D3: 45
    D4: 50
    
    Blade of the Twin Dragons (Lvl4) - 6+(Y), Y, Y (1st Y Launch/BREAK, 3rd Y
    CLEAR)
    D4: 50, 50, (75,25)
    
    Violent Wind - WR, X (SPIN)
    D1: 20
    D2: 25
    D3: 36
    D4: 46
    
    Violent Gale (Lvl2) - WR, X, X (1st X SPIN, 2nd X CRUMPLE)
    D2: 25, 28
    D3: 36, 38
    D4: 46, 50
    
    Thunderclap Kick - WR, Y (2nd Strike of Y CLEAR)
    D1: (5,5)
    D2: (5,5)
    D3: (10,10)
    D4: (10,10)
    
    Flying Crane (Lvl2) - 360+Y (DECAP, MULTI, lLAUNCH)
    D2: (25,25)
    D3: (30,30)
    D4: (33,33)
    
    Gleaming Blade (Lvl3) - 360+Charge Y (DECAP, MULTI, lLAUNCH, PROT)
    D3: (31,31,31,31,35)
    D4: (33,33,33,33,40)
    
    Roaring Gleam (Lvl3, 1 Essence) - 360+Charge Y (DECAP, MULTI, lLAUNCH,
    PROT)
    D3: (31,31,31,31,35)
    D4: (33,33,33,33,40)
    
    Annihilating Gleam (Lvl3, 2 Essences) - 360+Charge Y (UT, DECAP, MULTI,
    lLAUNCH, PROT, PHANTOM)
    D3: (35,35,35,35,40)
    D4: (40,40,40,40,50)
    
    True Dragon Gleam (Lvl4, 2 Essences) - 360+Charge Y (UT, DECAP, MULTI,
    lLAUNCH, PROT, PHANTOM)
    D4: (50,50,50,50,60)
    
    Fiend Sealer - DOWN, Y
    D1: 80
    D2: 100
    D3: 150
    D4: 200
    
    Tranquil Clearing (Lvl2) - OL X (MULTI)
    D2: 20
    D3: 28
    D4: 40
    
    Burial Kick - NEAR, DEAD6+X (CLEAR)
    D1: 10
    D2: 10
    D3: 10
    D4: 10
    
    2. Counter Attacks
    
    Gleaming Cross (Scroll) - WB, Y (MULTI, DECAP, INV)
    D1: (25,25)
    D2: (25,25)
    D3: (25,25)
    D4: (30,30)
    
    Fiend's Bane Kick (Scroll) - WB, X[, X] (First X Launch, 2nd X CLEAR, PROT)
    D1: (5,5), 10
    D2: (5,5), 10
    D3: (5,5), 10
    D4: (10,10), 20
    
    3. Jumping Attacks
    
    Blade of the Empty Air - A, X
    D1: 15
    D2: 20
    D3: 28
    D4: 33
    
    Helmet Splitter - A, Y (BREAK, GROUND)
    D1: 20
    D2: 25
    D3: 40
    D4: 50
    
    Blade of Nirrti (Lvl2) - A, NEAR, X, X, X, X (4th X DECAP, BREAK, PHANTOM)
    D2: 20, 20, 20, 40
    D3: 28, 28, 28, 50
    D4: 33, 33, 33, 50
    
    Izuna Drop (Scroll) - A, NEAR, X, X, X, Y (Y THROW, MULTI, BREAK)
    D2: 20, 20, 20, 40
    D3: 28, 28, 28, 50
    D4: 33, 33, 33, 60
    
    Air Destruction Slash - 7/9, X
    D1: 22
    D2: 30
    D3: 32
    D4: 42
    
    Falling Dragon Blade - 7/9, Y
    D1: 25
    D2: 30
    D3: 34
    D4: 44
    
    Flying Swallow (Lvl2) - 9, NEAR, 6+Y (DECAP, PROT, REC, PHANTOM)
    D2: 50
    D3: 55
    D4: 60
    
    Guillotine Throw (Scroll) - 9, NEAR, 6+Y (THROW)
    D: 33
    
    Wind Path - NEAR, A (PHANTOM)
    D: 0
    
    4. Wall
    
    Cicada Slash - X/Y
    D1: 25
    D3: 30
    D3: 46
    D4: 50
    
    Flying Bird Flip - A
    D: 0
    
    Flying Swallow (Lvl2) - WR, X/Y (DECAP, PROT, REC, PHANTOM)
    D2: 50
    D3: 55
    D4: 60
    
    Divine Cicada Slash - Flying Bird Flip, X/Y (BREAK, DECAP, MULTI, INV,
    PHANTOM)
    D1: 44
    D2: 54
    D3: 64
    D4: 68
    
    5. In Water
    
    Wave Reverser - On Surface X/Y, X/Y
    D: 25, 30
    
    Ripple Slash - While Swimming On Surface X/Y
    D: 40
    
    Floating Blade - Underwater X/Y, X/Y
    D: 30, 30
    
    Gleaming Water Dragon - While Swimming Underwater X/Y
    D: (25,40)
    
    NUNCHAKU
    --------
    "A weapon made by joining two sticks together with a chain.  It is very suited
    to free-form combo attacks."
    
    This weapon is one of the standard 5 systematized weapons of Kobudo consisting
    of two rods connected by a chain.  There isn't a lot of use for this weapon
    once the Flail has been located, unless you are trying to avoid decapitations.
    You cannot achieve decapitations with this weapon.
    
    You attain this weapon in Chapter 4 in the original game, but in Hurricane Pack
    1, you begin with this weapon which increases its usefulness appreciably.  It
    is unavailable altogether in Hurricane Pack 2.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Dragon and Phoenix - X, X, X, X, X, X (Last X BEHIND, RIGHT)
    D: (4,2,2), 8, 8, 8, 8, 10
    
    Fire Pit - X, X, Y (Y CLEAR)
    D: (4,3), 8, 25
    
    Wide Heavens - X, Y (Y lLAUNCH)
    D: (4,3), 17
    
    Sweeping Kick - 6+X (CLEAR)
    D: 10
    
    Flame Wheel - Y, Y (2nd Y CLEAR)
    D: 17, 40
    
    Auspicious Crane - Charge Y
    D: 25
    
    Auspicious Phoenix (1 Essence) - Charge Y (ET, DECAP, CLEAR, PROT, PHANTOM)
    D: 75
    
    Gathering Clouds (2 Essences) - Charge Y (UT, INV, PHANTOM)
    D: (5,10,10,5,10,10,15,15,20,25,10)
    
    Earth Slide - WR, X (GROUND)
    D: 13
    
    Thunderclap Kick - WR, Y (2nd Strike of Y CLEAR)
    D: (10,10)
    
    Demon Chaser - DOWN, Y
    D: 80
    
    2. Counter Attack
    
    Ring of Heaven Kick (Scroll) - WB, X/Y (Launch)
    D: 20
    
    3. Jumping Attacks
    
    Sweeping Strike - 7/8/9, X
    D: 20
    
    Dragon Emperor Kick - 7/8/9, Y
    D: 33
    
    Guillotine Throw (Scroll) - 9, NEAR, 6+Y (THROW)
    D: 33
    
    Wind Path - NEAR, A
    D: 0
    
    4. Wall
    
    Flying Bird Flip - A
    D: 0
    
    Hell Drop - Flying Bird Flip X/Y (PHANTOM)
    D: 30
    
    Mountain Crane - Flying Bird Flip, X/Y, Y (2nd Y MULTI, CLEAR, PHANTOM)
    D: 30,(20,20)
    
    5. In Water
    
    Aqua Thrust - On Surface X/Y
    D: 15
    
    Water Formation Kick - Underwater X/Y
    D: 20
    
    VIGOORIAN FLAIL
    ---------------
    "A weapon used by Medieval Vigoorians; it can be swung like Nunchaku in
    combat."
    
    The Flail is an advanced, Nunchaku-type weapon with ornamental kama connected
    by a chain.  The Kama themselves are part of the systematized 5 weapons of
    Kobudo.  Team Ninja saw fit to combine the two distinct weapons successfully
    into one deadly implement.  Most strikes will decapitate.  The Flail will
    generate the highest combos, but the combo enders have the significant
    recovery.  This weapon doesn't have any significant launchers available.
    
    In the original game, you attain this weapon in Chapter 6 out of a chest.
    However, in Hurricane Pack 1, you are granted this weapon after you retrieve
    a certain number of Scarabs.  In Hurricane Pack 2, you start off with this
    weapon.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Dragon and Phoenix - X, X, X, X, X, X (2nd/5th X STAGGER, 4th X PROT, 6th X
    REC, CLEAR, BEHIND, RIGHT All X DECAP)
    D1:
    D2: (5,5,4), 17, 17, 17, 17, 20
    
    Cremator (Lvl2) - X, X, X, 6+X, X, X, X, X (4th-7th X, PROT, 8th X REC, CLEAR,
    PROT, All X DECAP)
    D1:
    D2: (5,5,4), 17, 17, 11, (5,5), (5,5), (5,5), (5,5)
    
    Dragon Slaughter (Lvl2) - X, X, X, 6+X, Y (Y, DECAP, MULTI, CLEAR)
    D1:
    D2: (5,5,4), 17, 17, 11, (20,25)
    
    Fire Pit - X, X, Y (Y DECAP, CLEAR)
    D1:
    D2: (5,5,4), 14, 50
    
    Wide Heavens - X, Y (Y lLAUNCH)
    D1:
    D2: (5,5,4), 33
    
    Runaway Lightning (Lvl2) - NEAR, X, Y (THROW, PROT)
    D2: (5,5,4), 67
    
    Sweeping Kick - 6+X (CLEAR)
    D1:
    D2: 20
    
    Flame Wheel - Y, Y (2nd Y CLEAR)
    D1:
    D2: 33, (25,25)
    
    Auspicious Crane - Charge Y (CLEAR)
    D1:
    D2: 50
    
    Auspicious Phoenix (1 Essence) - Charge Y (ET, DECAP, CLEAR, PROT, PHANTOM)
    D1:
    D2: 65
    
    Gathering Clouds (2 Essences) - Charge Y (UT, INV, PHANTOM)
    D1:
    D2: (?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?)
    
    Ripping Thunder (Lvl2) - 6+Y, Y, Y (2nd Y DECAP, 3rd Y CLEAR)
    D2: 25, (25,25), 50
    
    Earth Slide - WR, X (GROUND)
    D1:
    D2: 13
    
    Thunderclap Kick - WR, Y (2nd Strike of Y CLEAR)
    D1:
    D2: (10,10)
    
    Demon Chaser - DOWN, Y (DECAP)
    D1:
    D2: 100
    
    2. Counter Attack
    
    Ring of Heaven Kick (Scroll) - WB, X/Y (Launch, INV)
    D1:
    D2: 50
    
    3. Jumping Attacks
    
    Sweeping Strike - 7/8/9, X
    D1:
    D2: 30
    
    Dragon Emperor Kick - 7/8/9, Y
    D1:
    D2: 33
    
    Red-Hot Iron Brand - 9, NEAR, 6+Y (DECAP, PROT, PHANTOM)
    D1:
    D2: (15,10,5)
    
    Guillotine Throw (Scroll) - 9, NEAR, 6+Y (THROW)
    D: 33
    
    Wind Path - NEAR, A
    D: 0
    
    4. Wall
    
    Flying Bird Flip - A
    D: 0
    
    Hell Drop - Flying Bird Flip X/Y (PHANTOM)
    D: 50
    
    Mountain Crane - Flying Bird Flip, X/Y, Y (2nd Y DECAP, MULTI, CLEAR,
    PHANTOM)
    D: 50,(40,40)
    
    5. In Water
    
    Aqua Thrust - On Surface X/Y
    D: 15
    
    Water Formation Kick - Underwater X/Y
    D: 20
    
    WAR HAMMER
    ----------
    "Rachel's War Hammer.  A Fiend Hunter's weapon, it is suitable for taking the
    heads off of Fiends."
    
    Rachel's large, ax-like, two-handed hammer is a good weapon to use against
    Fiends, at least until you have a fully upgraded Dabilahro.  The Six Paths Spin
    is unrivalled in usefulness when used against crowds of Fiends.
    
    Ryu comes across this weapon the same way in both the original game and
    Hurricane Pack 1.  He acquires the weapon after he travels to the Shadow Realm
    in Hurricane Pack 2.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Ram's Head Drop - X
    D1: 26
    D2: 40
    
    Horse Head Crush - X, X (2nd X BREAK)
    D1: 26, 26
    D2: 40, 40
    
    Gleam of Heaven and Earth - X, Y (Y GROUND, DECAP)
    D1: 26, 100
    D2: 40, 180
    
    Surging Wave - Y
    D1: 40
    D2: 67
    
    Flaming Torrent (Lvl2) - Y, Y (2nd Y DECAP, CLEAR)
    D2: 67, 70
    
    Thunder Tremor - Charge Y (BREAK, GROUND)
    D1: 50
    D2: 67
    
    Rage Tremor (1 Essence) - Charge Y (ET, PROT, PHANTOM)
    D1: 80
    D2: 100
    
    Tremor of the Heavens (2 Essences) - Charge Y (UT, PROT, PHANTOM)
    D1: 150
    D2: 200
    
    Steel Severer - 6+X (DECAP, CLEAR)
    D1: 35
    D2: 40
    
    Flaming Whirlwind - 6+Y (DECAP, BREAK, CLEAR, REC)
    D1: 50
    D2: 67
    
    Earth Slide - WR, X (GROUND)
    D1: 13
    D2: 13
    
    Thunderclap Kick - WR, Y (2nd Strike of Y CLEAR)
    D1: (10,10)
    D2: (10,10)
    
    Six Paths Spin (Lvl2) - 360+Y (THROW, CLEAR, MULTI, PROT)
    D2: (20,20,20,50)
    D2: Throw (150)
    
    Corpse Crusher - DOWN, Y
    D1: 100
    D2: 160
    
    2. Counter Attack
    
    Reigning Spiral (Scroll) - WB, X/Y (DECAP, CLEAR)
    D1: 80
    D2: 100
    
    3. Jumping Attacks
    
    Avalanche Drop - 7/8/9, X/Y
    D1: 40
    D2: 60
    
    Guillotine Throw (Scroll) - 9, NEAR, 6+Y (THROW)
    D: 33
    
    Wind Path - 7/8/9, NEAR, A
    D: 0
    
    4. Wall
    
    Flying Bird Flip - A
    D: 0
    
    Rolling Thunder - X/Y
    D1: 60
    D2: 80
    
    Raging Thunder - Flying Bird Flip, X/Y (DECAP, GROUND, REC, INV, PHANTOM)
    D1: 75
    D2: 100
    
    5. In Water
    
    Aqua Thrust - On Surface X/Y
    D: 15
    
    Water Formation Kick - Underwater X/Y
    D: 20
    
    DABILAHRO
    ---------
    "A two-handed sword used by ancient Vigoorian Berserkers.  Due to its 100-
    pound heft, it is very powerful."
    
    This large, two-handed ornamental blade is instrumental in Ryu's arsenal.
    It is very useful for the Gallas unless you have the Unlabored Flawlessness.
    
    In the original game and Hurricane Pack 1, you gain this weapon after
    retrieving a certain number of Scarabs and reaching Chapter 8.  You begin
    with this weapon in Hurricane Pack 2.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Destroyer of Armies - X, X, X, X
    D1: 26, 26, 26, 30
    D2: 36, 36, 36, 36
    D3: 40, 40, 40, 40
    
    Whirling Empire Blade (Lvl3) - X, X, X, X, X (5th X CLEAR)
    D3: 40, 40, 40, 40, 50
    
    Flaming Hell Slash (Lvl3) - X, X, [X, X, X,] Y (Y, DECAP, CLEAR, REC)
    D3: 40, 40, 40, 40, 50, 80
    
    Gleam of Heaven and Earth - X, Y (Y GROUND, DECAP)
    D1: 26, 100
    D2: 40, 180
    D3: 50, 180
    
    Inferno Slash - Y (DECAP, BREAK, REC)
    D1: 50
    D2: 67
    D3: 67
    
    Purgatory Slash - Charge Y (GROUND, REC)
    D1: 50
    D2: 67
    D3: 100
    
    Hundred Demons Blade (1 Essence) - Charge Y (ET, PROJ, PROT, PHANTOM)
    D1: 80
    D2: 90
    D3: 100
    
    Asura Slash (2 Essences) - Charge Y (UT, PROJ, MULTI, PROT, PHANTOM)
    D1: 100
    D2: 150
    D3: 200
    
    Flaming Inferno - 6+X
    D1: 33
    D2: 33
    D3: 33
    
    Flaming Whirlwind - 6+Y (BREAK, CLEAR, DEAD, DECAP, REC)
    D1: 80
    D2: 90
    D3: 100
    
    Earth Slide - WR, X (GROUND)
    D1: 13
    D2: 13
    D3: 13
    
    Thunderclap Kick - WR, Y (2nd Strike of Y CLEAR)
    D1: (10,10)
    D2: (10,10)
    D3: (10,10)
    
    Hundred Man Slash (Lvl2) - 360+Y (MULTI, CLEAR)
    D2: (20,20,20,50)
    D3: (25,25,25,60)
    
    Corpse Crusher - DOWN, Y
    D1: 100
    D2: 160
    D3: 180
    
    2. Counter Attack
    
    Reigning Spiral (Scroll) - WB, X/Y (DECAP, CLEAR, DEAD, MULTI, INV)
    D1: 60
    D2: 80
    D3: 100
    
    3. Jumping Attacks
    
    Foot Crusher - 7/8/9, X/Y
    D1: 35
    D2: 40
    D3: 60
    
    Guillotine Throw (Scroll) - 9, NEAR, 6+Y (THROW)
    D: 33
    
    Wind Path - 7/8/9, NEAR, A
    D: 0
    
    4. Wall
    
    Flying Bird Flip - A
    D: 0
    
    Thunderous Blade - X/Y
    D1: 40
    D2: 60
    D3: 80
    
    Raging Thunderous Blade - Flying Bird Flip, X/Y (DECAP, CLEAR, REC, INV,
    PHANTOM)
    D1: 60
    D2: 75
    D3: 100
    
    5. In Water
    
    Aqua Thrust - On Surface X/Y
    D: 15
    
    Water Formation Kick - Underwater X/Y
    D: 20
    
    SPEAR GUN
    ---------
    This firearm is a harpoon delivery system.  Ryu can use it both above and
    underwater.  Ryu cannot block with it armed.
    
    The original game and Hurricane Pack 2 give you this weapon in the same
    manner during Chapter 11.  It is not available in the 2nd Hurricane Pack.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Spear Shot - X/Y
    D: 25
    
    Earth Slide - WR, X (GROUND)
    D: 13
    
    Thunderclap Kick - WR, Y (2nd Strike of Y CLEAR)
    D: (10,10)
    
    2. Jumping Attacks
    
    Dragon Emperor Kick - X/Y
    D: 33
    
    Guillotine Throw (Scroll) - NEAR, Y (THROW)
    D: 33
    
    3. In Water
    
    Spear Shot - On Surface/Underwater X/Y
    D: 60
    
    WOODEN SWORD
    ------------
    A wooden, practice sword that Ryu can purchase.  Once your health drops to one
    tenth and five percent of your total health, you get a large offensive boost,
    and it will glow.  You can upgrade this weapon to the Unlabored Flawlessness.
    You cannot achieve decapitations with this weapon.  It will increase in
    strength slightly with each upgrade, but not enough to make it a viable weapon.
    
    Muramasa will sell this weapon to Ryu in the original game, but in Hurricane
    Pack 1, you get it after so many Scarabs.  It is not available in Hurricane
    Pack 2.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Crimson Slash - X, X, X
    D: 5,5,5
    
    Tiger Roar - X, X, Y
    D: 5,5,10
    
    Cloven Helmet - X, Y, X, Y (1st Y SELFLAUNCH)
    D: 5, 8, 5, 10
    
    Fiend's Bane Kick - X, X, 6+X, X
    D: 5,5,5,8
    
    Early Winter Rain - X, X, 6+X, Y
    D: 5,5,5,(2,2,2)
    
    Blade of the Undefeatable - Y
    D: 10
    
    Scarlet Dragon - 6+(Y) (Launch/BREAK)
    D: 10
    
    Sweeping Kick - 6+X (CLEAR)
    D: 10
    
    Earth Slide - WR, X (GROUND)
    D: 13
    
    Thunderclap Kick - WR, Y (2nd Strike of Y CLEAR)
    D: (10,10)
    
    Fiend Sealer - DOWN, Y
    D: 50
    
    2. Counter Attacks
    
    Gleaming Cross (Scroll) - WB, Y (INV)
    D: (4,4)
    
    Fiend's Bane Kick (Scroll) - WB, X[, X] (2nd X CLEAR, PROT)
    D: (2,2),5
    
    3. Jumping Attacks
    
    Blade of the Empty Air - A, X
    D: 5
    
    Helmet Splitter - A, Y
    D: 10
    
    Air Destruction Slash - 7/9, X
    D: 6
    
    Falling Dragon Blade - 7/9, Y
    D: 15
    
    Guillotine Throw (Scroll) - 9, NEAR, 6+Y (THROW)
    D: 33
    
    Wind Path - 7/8/9, NEAR, A
    D: 0
    
    4. Wall
    
    Flying Bird Flip - A
    D: 0
    
    Cicada Slash - X/Y
    D: 15
    
    Divine Cicada Slash - Flying Bird Flip, X/Y (INV)
    D: 20
    
    5. In Water
    
    Wave Reverser - On Surface X/Y, X/Y
    D: 5, 10
    
    Ripple Slash - While Swimming On Surface X/Y
    D: 20
    
    Floating Blade - Underwater X/Y, X/Y
    D: 10, 10
    
    Gleaming Water Dragon - While Swimming Underwater X/Y
    D: (15,20)
    
    KITETSU
    -------
    "The weapon used by Doku, it is a cursed Japanese sword that feeds off souls
    of those it slays. "
    
    Doku relinquishes this demonic, life-siphoning, duplicating Daito (Japanese
    long sword).  It has many unique properties such as: projectile-capability,
    Invincible life-force transferal, excessive decapitation, cloning and the
    unfortunate tendency to leech the user's life-force.  Fortunately, you can
    offset the last trait with the Armlet of Tranquility.  Many of the Kitetsu's
    strikes are weaker than the TDS, but its special properties more than make up
    for this deficiency.
    
    In the original game and Hurricane Pack 1, you acquire this weapon
    after defeating Doku.  In Hurricane Pack 2, you gain the Kitetsu after
    defeating the Tentacle Fiend.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Dark Rain - X, X, X (3rd X DECAP, GROUND)
    D: 20, 20, (10,10)
    
    Stab of Overpowering Evil - X, X, Y (PROJ, DECAP, GROUND)
    D: 20, 20 (25,25)
    
    Dead Soul Bind - X, X, 6+X, X[, X, X, X, X, X] (All X's after Soul Bind
    Absorb, INV, Final X CRUMPLE)
    D: 20, 20, 25, (10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10)
    
    Soul Bind -  6+X, X[, X, X, X, X, X] (All X's Absorb, INV, Final X GROUND)
    D: 25, (10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10)
    
    Soul Eraser - X, X, 6+X, [6+]Y (CLEAR, PHANTOM)
    D: 20, 20, 25, 50
    
    Blade of Nirrti - X, Y, X, X, X, X (BREAK, PHANTOM)
    D: 20, 35, 20, 20, 20, 50
    
    Izuna Drop (Scroll) - X, Y, X, X, X, Y (1st Y SELFLAUNCH, 2nd Y MULTI, THROW,
    BREAK)
    D: 20, 35, 20, 20, 20, 60
    
    Stab of Extinction - Y (PROJ, DECAP, BREAK, SPIN)
    D: (25,25)
    
    Haze Straight Slash - Charge Y (DECAP, BREAK, CRUSH)
    D: 50
    
    Extinction Straight Slash (1 Essence) - Charge Y (ET, DECAP, BREAK, PHANTOM)
    D: 100
    
    Bassara (2 Essences) - Charge Y (UT, MULTI, DECAP, PHANTOM)
    D: (?,?,?,?,?,?)
    
    Crazed Bones Slash - 6+X
    D: 25
    
    Azure Dragon - 6+Y (SELFLAUNCH)
    D: 35
    
    Scarlet Dragon - 6+(Y) (LAUNCH, BREAK)
    D: 35
    
    Beheaded Demon - WR, X[, X] (X SPIN, 2nd X MULTI, DECAP, CLEAR)
    D: 33, 33
    
    Thunderclap Kick - WR, Y (2nd Strike of Y CLEAR)
    D: (10,10)
    
    Hundred Curses Slash - 360+Y (MULTI, DECAP, SPIN)
    D: (11,11,11,11,11,12)
    
    Fiend Sealer - DOWN, Y
    D: 100
    
    Burial Kick - NEAR, Dead 6+X (CLEAR)
    D: 10
    
    2. Counter Attacks
    
    Gleaming Cross (Scroll) - WB, Y (DECAP, MULTI, INV)
    D: 50
    
    Fiend's Bane Kick (Scroll) - WB, X[, X] (First X LAUNCH, 2nd X CLEAR, PROT)
    D: (5, 5), 10
    
    3. Jumping Attacks
    
    Blade of Nirrti - 7/8/9, X, X, X, X
    D: 20, 20, 20, 50
    
    Izuna Drop (Scroll) - 7/8/9, X, X, X, Y (Y THROW, MULTI, BREAK)
    D: 20, 20, 20, 60
    
    Helmet Splitter - A, Y (BREAK, GROUND)
    D: 50
    
    Air Destruction Slash - 7/9, X
    D: 32
    
    Falling Dragon Blade - 7/9, Y
    D: 34
    
    Flying Swallow - 7/9, NEAR, 6+Y (DECAP, PROT, REC, PHANTOM)
    D: 33
    
    Guillotine Throw (Scroll) - 7/9, NEAR, 6+Y (THROW)
    D: 33
    
    Wind Path - 7/8/9, NEAR, A
    D: 0
    
    4. Wall
    
    Flying Bird Flip - A
    D: 0
    
    Cicada Slash - X/Y
    D: 50
    
    Flying Swallow - WR, X/Y (DECAP, REC, PHANTOM)
    D: 33
    
    Divine Cicada Slash - Flying Bird Flip, X/Y (BREAK, DECAP, MULTI, INV,
    PHANTOM)
    D: 66
    
    5. In Water
    
    Wave Reverser - On Surface X/Y, X/Y
    D: 25, 30
    
    Ripple Slash - While Swimming On Surface X/Y
    D: 40
    
    Floating Blade - Underwater X/Y, X/Y
    D: 30, 30
    
    Gleaming Water Dragon - While Swimming Underwater X/Y
    D: (25,40)
    
    UNLABORED FLAWLESSNESS
    ----------------------
    The ultimate form of the Wooden Sword is a large, two-handed Oar with glowing,
    red Kanji.  Once your health drops to one tenth or five percent of your total
    health, you'll receive a large offensive boost, and the Kanji will glow.  In
    this state, it is the most powerful weapon in the game.
    
    Ryu receives this weapon the same way in both the original game and Hurricane
    Pack 1 by spending an inordinate amount of Essence upgrading the Wooden Sword.
    It is unavailable in Hurricane Pack 2.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Flaming Hell Slash - X, X, Y (Y CLEAR)
    D: 60,60,80
    DM:
    
    Flying Dragon Falling Slash - X, Y, X, X, X, X (Y LAUNCH, 5th X GROUND, REC,
    PHANTOM)
    D: 60,70,60,60,60,70
    DM:
    
    Izuna Drop - X, Y, X, X, X, Y (1st Y SELFLAUNCH, 2nd Y MULTI, THROW, BREAK)
    D: 60,70,60,60,60,80
    DM:
    
    Forest Winds and Mountain Fires - X, (Y), Y (1st Y SELFLAUNCH, JF, 2nd Y CLEAR)
    D: 60,75,100
    DM:
    
    Boulder Splitter - Y (BREAK, REC)
    D: 80
    DM:
    
    Steel Splitter - Charge Y
    D: 90
    DM:
    
    Tempered Steel Splitter (1 Essence) - Charge Y (ET, CLEAR, PROT, PHANTOM)
    D: 100
    DM:
    
    Earth Splitter (2 Essences) - Charge Y  (UT, MULTI, DEAD, INV, PHANTOM)
    D: 350
    DM:
    
    Flaming Inferno - 6+X
    D: 55
    DM:
    
    Flaming Whirlwind - 6+Y (BREAK, CLEAR, DECAP, REC)
    D: 60
    DM:
    
    Earth Slide - WR, X (GROUND)
    D: 13
    
    Thunderclap Kick - WR, Y (2nd Strike of Y CLEAR)
    D: (10,10)
    
    Hundred Man Slash - 360+Y (MULTI, CLEAR)
    D: (40,40,40,80)
    DM:
    
    Corpse Crusher - DOWN, Y
    D: 200
    DM:
    
    2. Counter Attack
    
    Reigning Spiral - WB, X/Y (DEAD, INV)
    D: 160
    DM:
    
    3. Jumping Attacks
    
    Flying Dragon Falling Slash - 7/8/9, X, X, X, X (BREAK, DECAP, PHANTOM)
    D: 60,60,60,70
    DM:
    
    Izuna Drop - X, X, X, Y (Y THROW, MULTI, BREAK)
    D: 60,60,60,80
    DM:
    
    Avalanche Drop - X/Y
    D: 70
    DM:
    
    Guillotine Throw - 7/9, NEAR, 6+Y
    D: 33
    DM:
    
    Wind Path - 7/8/9, NEAR, A
    D: 0
    
    4. Wall
    
    Flying Bird Flip - A
    D: 0
    
    Rolling Thunder - X/Y
    D: 100
    DM:
    
    Raging Thunder - Flying Bird Flip, X/Y (GROUND, DEAD, REC, PHANTOM)
    D: 150
    DM:
    
    5. In Water
    
    Aqua Thrust - On Surface X/Y
    D: 15
    
    Water Formation Kick - Underwater X/Y
    D: 20
    
    DARK DRAGON BLADE
    -----------------
    "An evil blade that has been sealed away by the Hayabusa Ninja clan.  Chaos
    brings out its hellish power."
    
    Aside from the Unlabored Flawlessness at five percent health, this is actually
    the strongest weapon in the game.  It has many, subtle properties that prove it
    so, as almost every move is either a Guard BREAK or a CLEAR Away.  Also, the
    Dark Dragon Gates of Hell is nearly as strong as Earth Splitter on one foe.
    This weapon represents the Sealed version of the sword as you cannot do many
    of the moves that are seen in the game when it is used.  However, you do get
    a lot of the exact same combos.
    
    In the original game, you would receive the Dark Dragon Blade during Chapter 13
    in a Successive Playthrough.  In Hurricane Pack 2, Muramasa would give you this
    weapon after retrieving all 50 Scarabs.  Ryu comes across this weapon at the
    end of Phase 4 in the 2nd Hurricane Pack after defeating Doku.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Gleam of Heaven and Earth - X, Y (Y BREAK)
    D: 50, 100
    
    Flaming Hell Slash - X, X, Y (1st X BREAK, 2nd X DECAP, 3rd X CLEAR, INV)
    D: 50, 50, 100
    
    Dark Dragon Descending Fiends - Y (BREAK)
    D: 80
    
    Dark Dragon Flaming Demon - Charge Y (CLEAR)
    D: 100
    
    Dark Dragon Cauterizing Slash (1 Essence) - Charge Y (ET, MULTI, DECAP, CLEAR,
    PROT, PHANTOM)
    D: 160
    
    Dark Dragon Gates of Hell (2 Essences) - Charge Y (UT, DEAD, INV, PHANTOM)
    D: (?,?,?,?,?,?)
    
    Hundred Demons' Bite - 6+X (BREAK)
    D: 50
    
    Flaming Whirlwind - 6+Y (DECAP, CLEAR, REC)
    D: 200
    
    Earth Slide - WR, X (GROUND)
    D: 13
    
    Thunderclap Kick - WR, Y (2nd Strike of Y CLEAR)
    D: (10,10)
    
    Hundred Man Slash - 360+Y (MULTI, CLEAR)
    D: (40,40,40,80)
    
    Corpse Crusher - DOWN, Y
    D: 200
    
    2. Counter Attack
    
    Reigning Spiral (Scroll) - WB, X/Y (DEAD, DECAP, MULTI)
    D: 200
    
    3. Jumping Attacks
    
    Fool Crusher - 7/8/9, X/Y
    D: 70
    
    Guillotine Throw (Scroll) - 7/9, NEAR, 6+Y (THROW)
    D: 33
    
    Wind Path - 7/8/9, NEAR, A
    D: 0
    
    4. Wall
    
    Flying Bird Flip - A
    D: 0
    
    Thunderous Blade - X/Y
    D: 100
    
    Raging Thunderous Blade - Flying Bird Flip, X/Y (CLEAR, MULTI, DECAP, INV,
    PHANTOM)
    D: 150
    
    5. In Water
    
    Aqua Thrust - On Surface X/Y
    D: 15
    
    Water Formation Kick - Underwater X/Y
    D: 20
    
    LUNAR
    -----
    "A weapon said to contain mysterious power of the Moon.  It's made of a strong
    Willow Tree."
    
    The Lunar is a Bo, and Ryu uses Boujutsu whilst handling the weapon.  This is
    another weapon from the 5 systematized weapons of Kobudo like the Nunchaku and
    the Kama pieces of the Vigoorian Flail.  The weapon's strengths are the
    substantial mid-combo protection, combo length, non-contact UT and coverage.
    Its weaknesses are relative its relative weak strength and lack of a Flying
    Swallow type move.
    
    This weapon was unavailable for the entire original game.  In Hurricane Pack
    1, Ryu finds the weapon in the Shadow Ninja Fortress in Chapter 1.  He begins
    the 2nd Hurricane Pack with it.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Raven's Strike - X, X, X (2nd Strike of 3rd X SPIN)
    D1: 8, (4,4,4), (5,5)
    D2: 10, (5,5,5), (5,5)
    D3: 14, (7,7,7), (10, 15)
    
    Dragon's Claw (Lvl2) - X, X, X, Y (1st strike of Y BREAK, Last strike of Y,
    CLEAR, DECAP)
    D2: 10, (5,5,5), (5,5), (5,5,10,10)
    D3: 14, (7,7,7), (10, 15), (25,25)
    
    Raven Light - X, X, Y (Y, GROUND)
    D1: 8, (4,4,4), 25
    D2: 10, (5,5,5), 30
    D3: 14, (7,7,7), 44
    
    Twilight - X, Y (Y CLEAR)
    D1: 8, 30
    D2: 10, 33
    D3: 14, 44
    
    Infinite Fury (Lvl2) - X, Y, Y (1st, 3rd strikes of Y BREAK)
    D2: 10, 33, (10,10,10,12)
    D3: 14, 33, (12,12,12,14)
    
    Arc of the Moon - Y
    D1: 30
    D2: 40
    D3: 50
    
    Soul of the Crescent - Charge Y (1st strike of Y BREAK, 2nd Y CLEAR)
    D1: (25,25)
    D2: (30,30)
    D3: (33,33)
    
    Shrouded Crescent (1 Essence) - Charge Y (ET, CRUSH, PHANTOM)
    D1: (30,30)
    D2: (40,40)
    D3: (50,50)
    
    Raven's Veil (2 Essences) - Charge Y (UT, MULTI, DECAP, PHANTOM)
    D1: (25,25,25,25,30)
    D2: (30,30,30,30,40)
    D3: (50,50,50,50,60)
    
    Lion's Rage - 6+X (Last Strike of X LAUNCH)
    D1: (4,4,4,4)
    D2: (5,5,5,5)
    D3: (8,8,8,8)
    
    Lion's Rage (Lvl2) - 6+X, X (Last Strike of X's LAUNCH)
    D2: (5,5,5,5), (5,5,5,5)
    D3: (8,8,8,8), (8,8,8,8)
    
    Lion's Rage (Lvl3) - 6+X, X, X (Last Strike of X's LAUNCH)
    D3: (8,8,8,8), (8,8,8,8), (8,8,8,8)
    
    Black Widow - 6+X, Y (Last strike of Y CLEAR)
    D1: (4,4,4,4), (10,10)
    D2: (5,5,5,5), (20,20)
    D3: (8,8,8,8), (25,25)
    
    Black Widow (Lvl2) - 6+X, X, Y (Last strike of Y CLEAR)
    D2: (5,5,5,5), (5,5,5,5), (20,20)
    D3: (8,8,8,8), (8,8,8,8), (25,25)
    
    Black Widow (Lvl3) - 6+X, X, X, Y (Last strike of Y CLEAR)
    D3: (8,8,8,8), (8,8,8,8), (8,8,8,8), (25,25)
    
    Crescent Strike - 6+Y (LAUNCH)
    D1: (5,10)
    D2: (10,15)
    D3: (15,20)
    
    Full Moon Strike (Lvl3) - 6+Y, Y (1st Y LAUNCH, 2nd Y SELFLAUNCH)
    D3: (15,20), (10,15)
    
    Lunar Explosion (Lvl3) - 6+Y, Y, Y (1st Y LAUNCH, 2nd Y SELFLAUNCH)
    D3: (15,20), (10,15), 40
    
    Purgatory's Rivet - WR, X (CLEAR)
    D1: 15
    D2: 20
    D3: 33
    
    Twin Serpent Strike - WR, Y
    D1: (20,10,10,20)
    D2: (30,10,10,30)
    D3: (40,15,15,40)
    
    Raven Streams (Lvl3) - 360+Y
    D3: (25,25)
    
    Nirmanakaya - DOWN, Y
    D1: 100
    D2: 150
    D3: 200
    
    2. Counter Attack
    
    Concealed Thrust (Scroll) - WB, X/Y (CLEAR, MULTI, INV)
    D1: (8,8,10)
    D2: (10,10,15)
    D3: (15,15,20)
    
    3. Jumping Attacks
    
    Tempest - 7/8/9, X
    D1: 12
    D2: 15
    D3: 20
    
    Phantom Moon - 7/8/9, Y (GROUND)
    D1: 30
    D2: 35
    D3: 40
    
    Guillotine Throw (Scroll) - 7/9, NEAR, 6+Y (THROW)
    D: 33
    
    Izuna Drop (Scroll) - 7/8/9, NEAR, X, Y (Y THROW, MULTI, BREAK)
    D: 20, 80
    
    Wind Path - 7/8/9, NEAR, A
    D: 0
    
    4. Wall
    
    Flying Bird Flip - A
    D: 0
    
    Phantom Moon - X/Y
    D1: 30
    D2: 35
    D3: 40
    
    Gibbous - Flying Bird Flip, X/Y (CLEAR, MULTI, DECAP, INV, PHANTOM)
    D1: 40
    D2: 45
    D3: 50
    
    5. In Water
    
    Aqua Thrust - On Surface X/Y
    D: 15
    
    Water Formation Kick - Underwater X/Y
    D: 20
    
    SHURIKEN
    --------
    "A simple, cross-shaped throwing star."
    
    These four-sided, hand-thrown, metal projectiles occur in a limitless
    supply thanks to Ninja Magic.  They will disappear shortly after being
    thrown as to not give away the Ninja's presence.
    
    Ryu always has access to standard Shuriken in the original game and both
    Hurricane Packs.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Ground Throw - B
    D: 1
    
    Iron Rain - B~B~B~B (JF)
    D: 1, 1, 1, 1
    
    Flood Waters - WR B
    D: (1,1,1,1)
    
    2. Jumping Attack
    
    Rain Drops - B
    D: (1,1,1,1)
    
    3. Wall
    
    Platinum Rain - Flying Bird Flip, B
    D: (1,1,1,1,1,1)
    
    WINDMILL SHURIKEN
    -----------------
    "A giant shuriken with four folding blades.  When thrown, it returns to the
    thrower like a boomerang."
    
    Ayane's "Legendary Weapon" is hidden in an Alley next to Han's Bar in
    both the original game and Hurricane Pack 1.  When Ryu throws it, it unfolds
    in mid-air and then returns to him.  He stores it folded up on his left arm.
    It makes a "whoosing" sound as it travels to the target.  This is especially
    noticable if you have surround sound hooked up and throw the Windmill
    Shuriken at the screen and listen as it travels to the back speakers.
    
    In Hurricane Pack 2, Ryu acquires this weapon after defeating the first wave
    of Vigoorian Ninja.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Ground Throw - [WR 6+]B
    D: 25
    
    2. Jumping Attack
    
    Aerial Throw - 7/8/9, B
    D: 25
    
    INCENDIARY SHURIKEN
    -------------------
    Ryu can uses these explosives as an offensive weapon and to open up pathways
    in the game.
    
    In the original game and Hurricane Pack 2, Ryu acquires these fused, explosive
    devices in Chapter 6 from the Library in the Monastery.  He finds them in
    the first chest in Hurricane Pack 2.  Like all other projectiles in the 2nd
    Hurricane Pack, Ryu has an infinite amount of arrows for the weapon.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Ground Throw - [WR 6+]B
    D: (1,50)
    
    2. Jumping Attack
    
    Aerial Throw - 7/8/9, B
    D: (1,50)
    
    BOW
    ---
    Ryu acquires the bow in Hayabusa Village in the original game and Hurricane
    Pack 1 during the 2nd Chapter.  It is not available in Hurricane Pack 2.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Single Shot - B
    D: 20
    
    Tensioned Shot - (B)
    D: 25
    
    Precise Shot - (B) 1/2/3/4/6/7/8/9 [R, R, repeat] rB
    D: 25
    
    STRONG BOW
    ----------
    "A composite bow made in Vigoor in medieval times.  It cannot be pulled by
    people of average strength."
    
    In the original game and Hurricane Pack 2, Ryu acquires this weapon by placing
    his standard Bow in a receptacle in an abandoned building overlooking the
    Military Supply Base Main Gate during Chapter 8.  In Hurricane Pack 2, Ryu
    finds it in a chest at the top of the Core.  Like all other projectiles in
    the 2nd Hurricane Pack, Ryu has an infinite amount of arrows for the weapon.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Single Shot - B
    D: 50
    
    Tensioned Shot - (B)
    D: 55
    
    Precise Shot - (B) 1/2/3/4/6/7/8/9 [R, R, repeat] rB
    D: 55
    
    APFSDS ARROWS
    -------------
    Ryu finds these arrows in the Military Supply Base of Chapter 9 in the
    original game and Hurricane Pack 1.  Muramasa will sell them to Ryu in
    Hurricane Pack 2.  Like all other projectiles in the 2nd Hurricane Pack, Ryu
    has an infinite amount of these types of arrows.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Single Shot - B
    D: 100
    
    Tensioned Shot - (B)
    D: 110
    
    Precise Shot - (B) 1/2/3/4/6/7/8/9 [R, R, repeat] rB
    D: 110
    
    EXPLOSIVE ARROWS
    ----------------
    "Arrows with explosive tips.  Very destructive."
    
    Ryu finds these arrows in the Military Supply Base of Chapter 9 in the
    original game and Hurricane Pack 1.  Muramasa will sell them to Ryu in
    Hurricane Pack 2.  Like all other projectiles in the 2nd Hurricane Pack, Ryu
    has an infinite amount of these types of arrows.
    
    1. Ground Attacks
    
    Single Shot - B
    D: 150
    
    Tensioned Shot - (B)
    D: 160
    
    Precise Shot - (B) 1/2/3/4/6/7/8/9 [R, R, repeat] rB
    D: 160
    
    --MOVE MATRIX--
    There is much too much data contained with in the Move List section to be
    quickly surveyed (unless you are as obsessive about this game as I am).
    Therefore, I have constructed this Matrix to visually show the strengths
    and weaknesses of these tools.
    
    Keep in mind that while this section is purely opinion-based, I have done
    significant amounts of research to come up with these figures.
    
    Attributes determine the effectiveness of the weapon in certain categories.
    The Attributes range in effectiveness on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is
    the least effective and 10 is the most effective.  Please, note that this
    scale should not be compared to a scholastic scale.  That is a 6 or lower
    is not a failing score.  Rather a score of 5 denotes average ability in
    that particular attribute.  A 0 indicates no effectiveness in that
    Attribute whatsoever.  The Attribute listings are as follows:
    
    Strn - Strength: How hard does the weapon hit on average
    Agil - Agility: How quickly do the strikes come out
    Rang - Range: What kind of range does the weapon have
    Tech - Ultimate/Essence: How useful are the Ultimate/Essence Techniques
    Cmbo - Combo Potential: What is the weapon's Combo potential
    Prjl - Projectile Use: How useful are projectiles with the weapon
    Brak - Guard Break: What is the Guard Breaking potential of the weapon
    Prot - Protection: What sort of protection does the weapon provide
    Aerl - Aerial: How competent is the weapon in the air
    Mult - Multiple Opponents: How well does the weapon strike multiple enemies
    Watr - Water Effectiveness: How well does the weapon handle in the water
    Prty - Special Property: Does the weapon have many special properties
    Decp - Decapitation: How much does this weapon decapitate or bloodlet
    OVER - OVERALL: Overall effectiveness of weapon; not an average
    
    MELEE
    -----
    This section covers the melee weapons.  The Weapon listings are as follows:
    DS1  - Dragon Sword Level 1
    DS2  - Dragon Sword Level 2
    DS3  - Dragon Sword Level 3
    PS1  - Plasma Sword Level 1
    PS2  - Plasma Sword Level 2
    PS3  - Plasma Sword Level 3
    Nun  - Nunchaku
    Lnr1 - Lunar Bo Level 1
    Lnr2 - Lunar Bo Level 2
    Lnr3 - Lunar Bo Level 3
    Wood - Wooden Sword
    Fla1 - Vigoorian Flail Level 1
    Fla2 - Vigoorian Flail Level 2
    Hrpn - Harpoon Gun
    Kit  - Kitetsu
    War1 - War Hammer Level 1
    War2 - War Hammer Level 2
    Dab1 - Dabilahro Level 1
    Dab2 - Dabilahro Level 2
    Dab3 - Dabilahro Level 3
    TDS  - True Dragon Sword
    PSM2 - Plasma Sword Mk. II
    UF   - Unlabored Flawlessness
    UFM  - Unlabored Flawlessness at Maximum Strength
    DDB  - Dark Dragon Blade
    
        |Strn|Agil|Rang|Tech|Cmbo|Prjl|Brak|Prot|Aerl|Mult|Watr|Prty|Decp|OVER|
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DS1 |  4 |  5 |  5 |  2 |  5 |  5 |  3 |  4 |  6 |  3 |  5 |  5 |  4 |  4 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    DS2 |  5 |  6 |  5 |  2 |  7 |  6 |  4 |  6 |  8 |  5 |  5 |  5 |  5 |  5 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    DS3 |  6 |  7 |  5 |  5 |  8 |  7 |  5 |  7 |  8 |  6 |  5 |  5 |  6 |  7 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    PS1 |  4 |  5 |  5 |  2 |  5 |  5 |  3 |  4 |  6 |  3 |  5 |  5 |  4 |  4 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    PS2 |  5 |  6 |  5 |  2 |  7 |  6 |  4 |  6 |  8 |  5 |  5 |  5 |  5 |  5 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    PS3 |  6 |  7 |  5 |  5 |  8 |  7 |  5 |  7 |  8 |  6 |  5 |  5 |  6 |  7 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    Nun |  3 |  7 |  1 |  3 |  5 |  4 |  2 |  6 |  4 |  6 |  3 |  2 |  0 |  4 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    Lnr1|  3 |  7 |  6 |  7 |  5 |  4 |  2 |  6 |  4 |  6 |  3 |  3 |  0 |  4 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    Lnr2|  4 |  8 |  6 |  7 |  7 |  5 |  3 |  9 |  5 |  7 |  3 |  5 |  5 |  5 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    Lnr3|  5 |  9 |  6 |  7 |  9 |  7 |  4 |  9 |  8 |  9 |  3 |  7 |  8 |  8 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    Wood|  1 |  4 |  6 |  0 |  3 |  5 |  1 |  1 |  3 |  1 |  4 |  0 |  0 |  1 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    Hrpn|  5 |  1 | 10 |  0 |  2 |  7 |  5 |  0 |  3 |  1 | 10 |  1 |  0 |  3 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    Fla1|  5 |  7 |  1 |  6 |  5 |  4 |  2 |  7 |  8 |  8 |  3 |  6 |  7 |  5 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    Fla2|  6 | 10 |  2 |  6 |  9 |  5 |  4 | 10 |  8 | 10 |  3 |  8 |  9 |  7 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    Kit |  6 |  8 |  8 |  7 |  9 | 10 |  5 |  9 |  9 |  7 |  5 | 10 |  9 |  8 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    War1|  7 |  1 |  7 |  7 |  1 |  1 |  6 |  5 |  1 |  5 |  3 |  5 |  3 |  5 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    War2|  8 |  2 |  8 |  7 |  2 |  1 |  7 |  7 |  1 |  8 |  3 |  7 |  4 |  6 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    Dab1|  7 |  2 |  8 |  8 |  3 |  1 |  6 |  8 |  1 |  5 |  3 |  5 |  6 |  4 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    Dab2|  7 |  3 |  8 |  8 |  4 |  1 |  7 |  9 |  1 |  6 |  3 |  5 |  7 |  5 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    Dab3|  8 |  4 |  9 | 10 |  5 |  1 |  8 | 10 |  1 |  8 |  3 |  5 | 10 |  8 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    TDS |  7 |  8 |  5 |  8 | 10 |  9 |  5 |  7 | 10 |  7 |  5 |  9 |  7 | 10 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    PSM2|  7 |  8 |  5 |  8 | 10 |  9 |  5 |  7 | 10 |  7 |  5 |  9 |  7 | 10 |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UF  |  8 |  5 | 10 |  7 |  5 |  3 |  8 |  4 |  4 |  5 |  3 |  5 |  8 |  8 |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UFM | 10 |  5 | 10 |  9 |  5 |  3 |  8 |  4 |  4 |  6 |  5 |  5 |  8 |  9 |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DDB |  8 |  1 |  9 | 10 |  2 |  1 | 10 |  3 |  1 |  2 |  3 |  6 |  9 |  8 |
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    MELEE NOTES
    -----------
    In this section I will describe why I gave certain weapons certain
    effectiveness ratings.  If you disagree or would like to question some
    rating, please do so in the GameFAQs Ninja Gaiden board.
    
    1.  Strength - This one is easy enough.  Unlabored Flawlessness at maximum
    strength beats out every other weapon by an order of magnitude.
    
    2.  Agility - The Flail conquers this section for having the least
    amount of REC moves, the most useful Red-Hot Iron Brand, and Runaway
    Lightning has to count for something.
    
    The War Hammer and DDB come in last for obvious reasons.
    
    3.  Range - Dabi, Unlabored Flawlessness and the DDB all take the top spots
    with Flaming Inferno.  UF gets the nod, though, for Flying Dragon Falling
    Slash. Kitetsu places well for Soul Bind and Stab of Extinction.
    
    Flail and Nunchaku come in last for obvious reason.
    
    4.  Ultimate/Essence Techniques - Asura Slash and Gates of Hell tie for most
    useful UT.  Watch any of the HP2 videos for proof of this.  True Dragon
    Sword/Plasma Saber Mk. II edge out the competition as well for variety
    between Storm of the Heavenly Dragon and Annihilating Gleam.  If only we
    got to keep Hundred Wing Blade...
    
    The lack of Annihilating Gleam hurts the Level 1 and 2 Dragon Sword
    significantly.
    
    5.  Combo Potential - Again, it should be no surprise that the Dragon/
    Plasma Sword takes the top spot here.  Too many options.  Kitetsu,
    Lunar Level 3 and Flail Level 2 follow closely behind; Kitetsu for all of
    the WR options, Lunar for LAUNCH and SELFLAUNCH and the Flail for Cremator
    and extensive Y options.
    
    The War Hammer Level 1 comes in last, but regains a bit of ground when you
    upgrade and receive Six Paths Spin.
    
    6.  Projectile Use - Kitetsu nudges out the Dragon Swords for projectile use
    because of Stab of Extinction.  To understand this Attribute and the
    differences between One-Handed, Light Two-Handed and Heavy Two-Handed
    Weapons, check the Weapon Differentiation section.
    
    The Heavy Two-Handed Weapons all come in last besides the UF for its aerial
    capabilities.
    
    7.  Guard Break - The DDB defeats all of the other weapons' Blocks all day
    long.  If you've got some turtling enemies, there is only one cure.  The
    other Heavy Two-Handed Weapons place well, too.
    
    Once again, the Harpoon Gun and Wooden Sword bring up the rear.
    
    8.  Protection - The Flail scores a 10 in Protection due to the general
    coverage given to Ryu's flanks and back by pretty much every move in the
    movelist.  Cremator also increases its ranking due to the fact that the
    only thing that can hit you out of this move are various Uninterruptible/
    Interceptible Attacks.  Kitetsu scores highly, because you are totally
    invincible during Soul Bind.  The Dabilahro should be obvious, but in
    case it's not, Destroyer of Armies is ridiculously safe and Asura Slash
    is nearly broken as far as protection is concerned.
    
    You'll note the jump between the DS1/PS1 and DS2/PS2.  That's to account
    for both the addition of Dragon Gleam and Tranquil Clearing and the
    expansion of the circular Fang of the Wolf.
    
    The Wooden Sword scores a 1 due to the lack of any charge moves or Azure
    Dragon.
    
    9.  Aerial - The Dragon Swords nudge out Kit for not having an OL X.  Lunar
    and Flail are tied because Red-Hot Iron Brand and Izuna Drop are
    interchangable as far as usefulness is concerned.  Lunar would score higher
    if the Izuna wasn't so hard to get into.  The big jump from Level 2 Lunar
    to Level 3 is the addition of the SELFLAUNCH Full Moon Strike.
    
    All of the Heavy Two-Handed Weapons score equally poorly, except the UF
    which obviously has a competent air arsenal.
    
    10. Multiple Opponents - Level 2 Flail tops the Lunar for multiplicity
    just because of Cremator.  The War Hammer edges into the top 3 because of
    Six Paths Spin.
    
    11. Water Effectiveness -  This is a no brainer.
    
    12. Special Property - Kitetsu alone reigns supreme here.  It is the only
    weapon capable of inflicting every single state available in Ninja Gaiden.
    The Dragon Sword follows closely behind with Flail placing third due to
    Runaway Lightning and Red-Hot Iron Brand.
    
    Again, the poor, broken Boken stays after class.
    
    13. Decapitation - Whirling Empire Blade takes off heads left and right,
    so the Dabi naturally secures the top spot.  Right behind it are Kitetsu,
    and the Flail (largely for Cremator).  The Lunar doesn't deal enough
    damage, so the noggins don't go flying as much.  Therefore, it doesn't place
    with the number 2 guys.
    
    The Nunchaku, Level 1 Lunar, Wooden Sword and Harpoon Gun are incapable of
    DECAP, so they score a 0.
    
    14. Overall - It should come as no surprise that the True Dragon Sword/
    Plasma Sabre Mk. II comes in first.  Its overall versatility and ability
    to handle every situation in the game makes it an easy choice.  The
    Unlabored Flawlessness at maximum strength is a little less usable, but
    not enough to deduct any points.  The Dabi would've score higher if it
    could deal with the special case bosses better (i.e. Smaugon, Alma, etc.).
    
    Concordantly, it should also not be surprising that the Wooden Sword
    comes in last.  It avoids a goose egg by being useful for play-limiting
    options (i.e. walking around like a badass and killing everyone with
    nothing but a stick of wood).
    
    This particular Attribute will probably change the most over time.  If
    Tecmo addresses Asura Slash in the next Hurricane Pack, then the Dabi
    will be balanced nicely.
    
    PROJECTILE
    ----------
    This section compares the differences between the Projectile Weapons.
    Keep in mind that the scale is based solely on the Projectile Weapons
    and has no relationship to the Melee Weapons whatsoever.
    
    Unless something changes, we'll assume limited uses of the weapons
    which will affect overall effectiveness.
    
    The Weapon listings are as follows:
    Shu - Shuriken
    WShu - Windmill Shuriken
    IShu - Incendiary Shuriken
    Bow - Bow
    SBow - Strong Bow
    APFS - APFSDS Arrows
    Expl - Explosive Arrows
    
        |Strn|Agil|Rang|Cmbo|Brak|Aerl|Mult|Prty|OVER|
    -------------------------------------------------
    Shu |  1 | 10 |  5 | 10 |  0 | 10 |  1 |  1 |  5 |
    -------------------------------------------------|
    WShu|  4 |  5 |  5 |  8 |  5 |  5 |  3 |  5 | 10 |
    -------------------------------------------------|
    IShu|  6 |  5 |  5 |  8 |  0 |  7 |  4 |  5 |  8 |
    -------------------------------------------------|
    Bow |  5 |  1 |  8 |  1 |  2 |  0 |  1 |  1 |  2 |
    -------------------------------------------------|
    SBow|  6 |  1 | 10 |  2 |  4 |  0 |  1 |  8 |  5 |
    -------------------------------------------------|
    APFS|  8 |  1 | 10 |  2 | 10 |  0 |  8 |  9 |  6 |
    -------------------------------------------------|
    Expl| 10 |  1 | 10 |  5 |  5 |  0 | 10 | 10 | 10 |
    -------------------------------------------------
    
    PROJECTILE NOTES
    ----------------
    
    1.  Strength - This one is easy enough.  Explosive Arrows blow
    everything else away... literally.
    
    2.  Agility - Standard Shurikens allow the most mobility in every scenario.
    
    3.  Range - With the capability of zoom, the Strong Bow and its ordinance
    outclass everything else in this attribute.
    
    4.  Combo Potential - Again, the Standard Shuriken most easily incorporate
    themselves into Combos.
    
    With the discovery of the ability to get a Bow shot off post-Intercept, the
    Explosive Arrows break away from the rest of pack slightly.
    
    5.  Guard Break - Armor Piercing Arrows defeat guard and plating quite
    handily.
    
    6.  Aerial - The Standard Shuriken rule the skies just by the sheer number
    of different uses.  Incendiary Shuriken nudge out the Windmill Shuriken for
    Ryu's ability to throw 2 IA.
    
    7.  Multiple Opponents - APFSDS Arrows will pass through targets and the
    Explosive Arrows have a fairly large blast radius.
    
    8.  Special Property - With the area effect and speed of the Explosive
    Arrows, no other projectile comes close.
    
    9.  Overall - Throughout the course of the game, the Windmill Shuriken
    always seems to be the fall back.  But, the usefulness of Explosive Arrows
    cannot be overlooked.
    
    NINPO
    -----
    This section compares the differences between the Ninpos.
    
    Unless something changes, we'll assume limited uses of the Ninpo and Level
    3 acquisition which will affect overall effectiveness.
    
    The Weapon listings are as follows:
    Fire - Fire Wheel
    Ifno - Inferno
    IceS - Ice Storm
    Inza - Inazuma
    
        |Strn|Agil|Rang|Cmbo|Prot|Mult|Prty|OVER|
    --------------------------------------------
    Fire|  4 | 10 |  1 |  5 |  5 |  3 |  8 |  5 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    Ifno|  8 |  5 |  9 |  1 | 10 |  5 |  5 |  4 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    IceS|  6 |  0 |  4 | 10 | 10 |  8 | 10 |  8 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    Inza| 10 |  0 | 10 |  2 | 10 | 10 |  0 | 10 |
    --------------------------------------------
    
    NINPO NOTES
    -----------
    
    1.  Strength - Inazuma at Level 3 handily beats out the other Ninpo as
    far as strength is concerned.
    
    2.  Agility - The ability to move while in Fire Wheel makes this the
    primary reason to use it over the others in some cases.
    
    3.  Range - This Attribute should be self-explanatory.
    
    4.  Combo Potential - Ice Storm is the obvious choice here as it's damage
    is spread out over many, many hits as opposed to deliverying all of its
    payload in one strike.
    
    5.  Protection - All Ninpo aside from Fire Wheel grant you INV.  However,
    you are still fairly well protected from Regular enemies with Fire Wheel.
    
    6.  Multiple Opponents - Inazuma edges out Ice Storm for multiplicity due
    to its instantaneous nature.
    
    7.  Special Property - Ice Storm looks cool...
    
    8.  Overall - Inazuma has saved me more times than any of the other
    techniques combined.
    
    ESSENCE/ULTIMATE TECHNIQUE
    --------------------------
    
    The Weapon listings are as follows:
    ExtS - Extinction Straight Slash
    HnWB - Hundred Wing Blade
    SoHD - Storm of the Heavenly Dragon
    RGlm - Roaring Gleam
    AGlm - Annihilating Gleam
    TGlm - True Dragon Gleam
    APhx - Auspicious Phoenix
    GaCd - Gathering Clouds
    RTrm - Rage Tremor
    TroH - Tremor of Heavens
    HuDB - Hundred Demons Blade
    ASls - Asura Slash
    Bsra - Bassara
    TSpl - Tempered Steel Splitter
    ESpl - Earth Splitter
    TSpl - Tempered Steel Splitter Maximum Strength
    ESpl - Earth Splitter Maximum Strength
    DDCS - Dark Dragon Cauterizing Slash
    DDGH - Dark Dragon Gates of Hell
    SCrt - Shrouded Crescent
    RaVl - Raven's Veil
    
        |Strn|Agil|Rang|Cmbo|Aerl|Mult|Prty|OVER|
    --------------------------------------------
    ExtS|  4 |  7 |  6 |  2 |  3 |  2 |  1 |  3 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    HnWB|  5 | 10 |  6 |  6 |  1 |  8 |  5 |  6 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    SoHD|  9 |  3 |  7 |  6 |  8 |  1 |  7 |  8 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    RGlm|  5 |  1 |  1 |  6 |  5 |  7 |  5 |  5 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    AGlm|  6 |  1 |  2 |  7 |  5 |  8 |  6 |  5 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    TGlm|  7 |  1 |  3 |  8 |  7 |  9 |  6 |  6 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    APhx|  3 |  7 |  6 |  2 |  3 |  2 |  1 |  3 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    GaCd|  7 | 10 |  6 | 10 |  2 |  9 |  6 |  7 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    RTrm|  5 |  3 |  4 |  3 |  2 |  2 |  3 |  1 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    TroH|  6 |  4 |  5 |  4 |  5 |  5 |  8 |  5 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    HuDB|  5 |  3 |  9 |  3 |  4 |  1 |  5 |  3 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    ASls|  7 |  4 | 10 |  6 | 10 | 10 |  8 | 10 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    Bsra|  7 | 10 |  6 |  7 |  3 |  9 |  9 |  8 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    TSpl|  5 |  3 |  5 |  1 |  3 |  3 |  5 |  3 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    ESpl|  8 |  5 |  6 |  1 |  8 |  6 |  7 |  7 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    TSpM|  7 |  3 |  5 |  1 |  3 |  3 |  6 |  5 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    ESpM| 10 |  5 |  6 |  1 |  9 |  5 |  9 |  8 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    DDCS|  8 |  8 |  7 |  6 |  8 |  6 |  8 |  6 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    DDGH| 10 | 10 |  8 | 10 |  5 |  7 |  9 |  9 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    SCrt|  4 |  2 |  6 |  5 |  2 |  5 |  4 |  5 |
    --------------------------------------------|
    RaVl|  7 |  9 |  7 |  8 |  9 | 10 | 10 |  8 |
    --------------------------------------------
    
    ESSENCE/ULTIMATE TECHNIQUE NOTES
    --------------------------------
    This section will describe the benefits and hinderances
    between the various techniques in the game.
    
    1.  Strength - Dark Dragon Gates of Hell and Earth Splitter  Maximum Strength
    split the crown so to speak.  If every hit of Dark Dragon Gates of Hell hits,
    it is slightly stronger than Earth Splitter, but not enough to deduct a point.
    
    Some people will probably argue Asura Slash's Strength rating.  It placed
    this lowly due to the fact that all three prongs have to hit the enemy to
    register full damage.  So, the only way that you're going to achieve that is
    to either face an EXTREMELY large enemy, or be right up in their face.
    
    Obviously, the Essence Attacks rate the lowest in this scale.  Curiously
    enough, though, Hundred Wing Blade places fairly low.  Izuna Drop actually
    hurts more than Hundred Wing Blade.  I guess that this is to account for
    Izuna Drop's vulnerability.
    
    I need to do a lot more research into the actual damage listings of the
    various UT's.  This particular attribute will fluctuate greatly in the
    coming versions, most likely.
    
    2.  Agility - For the most part, the autocombo attacks reign supreme here.
    The startup animations of all of the autocombos usually utilize a very
    long dash that needs to make contact with at least one of the intended
    victims.  In addition to this, you have complete control over the intial
    enemy selected and any enemies in range once the autocombo is initialized.
    Raven Veil claims a high spot for its allowance of control once the
    technique has started.
    
    The techniques that score poorly in this category are those that you have
    little control over such as Storm of the Heavenly Dragon, Shrouded Crescent
    and the Gleams.
    
    3.  Range - Range defines both how far Ryu can strike out against his enemies
    with the technique or how far reaching the projectile is from the technique.
    Asura Slash and Hundred Demons' Blade (not Bite) are the top performers in
    this category.  Dark Dragon Gates of Hell scores higher than the rest of the
    autocombo ET/UT's due to the seemingly longer initiation dash, and the length
    of the Blade itself.
    
    The Gleam techniques of the Dragon Sword round out the bottom.  They score
    lower than Raven's Veil due to the fact that you can actually control the
    tornado in Raven's Veil.
    
    4.  Combo Potential - Combo Potential obviously means how conducive the
    technique is to your Combo Counter.  While all hits register as separate
    strikes on the counter, it is better to space them out than do them all at
    once.  This way, if there are any respawns taking place, they'll happen in
    staggered intervals allowing you to keep you count up.  For this reason, the
    multi-hit techniques like the autocombos score higher than the all at once
    techniques.  Gathering Clouds saves the day here, as the extreme amount of
    lighter strikes kicks the count up noticeably.
    
    Gates of Hell and other Heavy Two-Handed strikes place very low in this
    category by design.
    
    5.  Aerial - This unique trait entails the ability to intercept airborn
    opponents.  Storm of the Heavenly Dragon tops this category for obvious
    reasons.  Although, it is a bit hard to setup.  Cauterizing Slash performs
    well as Ryu jumps up into the air with the initial swing.  Asura Slash
    just dominates this category as well.  This is one of the areas that needs
    to be balanced in this game.  Asura Slash shouldn't really affect airborne
    opponents at all.  The other column UT's (Earth Splitter and Raven's Veil)
    score appropriately.
    
    6.  Multiple Opponents - This property aligns with the Combo Potential
    property, but is more concerned with body count than Combo generation.
    Therefore, the Heavy hitting techniques can score well in this category,
    unlike the Combo Category.  Once again, Asura Slash dominates in this
    category, but True Dragon Gleam and Raven's Veil score just as well given
    Asura Slash's forward-facing requirements.
    
    Storm of the Heavenly Dragon scores poorly given the very strict activation
    requirements as usual.
    
    7.  Special Property - Rounding out the categories is the Special Property
    Attributes.  These entail little details that aren't summarized with the
    rest of the lot.  Raven Streams gets a 10 in this section for being a
    moveable Ice Storm for the most part.  Bassara and Dark Dragon Gates of
    Hell score highly for getting a full-on Essence Explosion with every
    single hit.
    
    8.  Overall - The usefulness of Dark Dragon Gates of Hell and Asura Slash
    are unquestionable.  The Essence Techniques bring up the rear in this
    scenario.
    
    --MOVE LIST DISCUSSION--
    This section will dissect every move of the game.  This section will be
    organized by weapon and level.
    
    DRAGON SWORD
    ------------
    As stated before, the Dragon Sword is the most upgradeable and well-rounded
    weapon in the game.
    
    1. Level 1: You begin the game with the Dragon Sword at this level.  The
    Dragon Sword is a katana and even though Ryu is a ninja, he wields it with
    striking fluidity.  Ninjas were not known to carry such large and unwieldy
    weapons for the most part.  They preferred much smaller and disposable
    armament due to their chosen type of combat.  If a ninja was going to use a
    sword at all, it would have most likely been a ninja-to which was a very
    short sword with no guard and a straight blade.  However, all ninjas in this
    game wield katanas, as it's a much more elegant-looking weapon.  To
    compensate, the sword-type that Ryu and his enemies utilize looks to be a
    cross between a standard katana and a wakisashi in length, so it may be used
    both single-handed and two-handed easily.
    
    The Dragon Sword itself is fairly ornate for a katana.  The tsuka (grip)
    is fairly short given the length of the sword.  The menuki (grip ornament)
    is some sort of gold encasing while the tsuka-ito (grip-wrap) is a deep red
    color; wrapped in the traditional sense.  It is unknown what the tsuka-ito
    is made out of as it was usually cotton.  But, given that the blade itself
    is made out of a Dragon's Fang; one can only surmise from where the grip
    wrapping came.
    
    The scabbard is without a sageo (cord), and it's not apparent how it
    attaches to Ryu (as samurai swords where generally worn at the waist).  The
    scabbard's kojiri (tip) is gold as well.
    
    The Dragon Sword gives off a very faint white wave whenever it is swung.
    Anything viewed through this wave is distorted.
    
    The Plasma Sword is an altogether different animal.  It's a longer light-
    saber type device fashioned with a green energy blade, a mechanical hilt
    with several adjustment controls and what can only be described as a
    containment device for a scabbard.  It gives off a green wave and a static
    sound whenever it is swung.
    
    Crimson Slash - Crimson Slash is one of Ryu's beginning Combos.  Ryu slashes
    once, horizontally from right to left, reverses this strike slashing
    laterally across the enemy's abdomen with one hand, then spins quickly around
    bringing the Dragon Sword down over his head in a two-handed strike.  This
    Combo has no special properties whatsoever.  Therefore, it can only be used
    as an opening series on enemies that don't Block or Evade.  However, you can
    utilize it on Guard Broken, Attacking or Stunned enemies.
    
    The opening strike differs depending upon where the enemy is in relation to
    Ryu.  See the three versions of Life's Circle in the hidden moves list for a
    description of this as well as Tranquil Clearing.  All four of these instances
    subtly change the animation of all of the Dragon Sword strikes.
    
    Tiger Roar - Ryu slashes twice like Crimson Slash, but instead of finishing
    with a reverse strike, he brings the Dragon Sword down with his right
    hand accompanied with a stomping motion.  This last strike is a Guard Break.
    At higher levels, you can follow this Guard Break immediately with two more
    Y strikes.
    
    Cloven Helmet - This is an unlisted Combo that introduces the SELFLAUNCH
    property.  Ryu begins with an standard X Slash, but then follows quickly
    into Azure Dragon.  He then does an aerial version of the first strike of
    Crimson Slash, and then issues a Helmet Splitter.
    
    Fiend's Bane Kick - Ryu slashes from right to left, then quickly left to
    right, and then stabs straight forward impaling the enemy.  This gives a
    unique animation where the regular enemies double over and get stuck in a
    STAGGER (which introduces the branching possibility here).  Ryu then spins
    in place very quickly while kicking the enemy away with the Clearing Kick
    portion for which the Combo is named, which turns him around one additional
    revolution due to the force of the kick.  A non-blocking enemy will be
    Cleared.
    
    This is a very robust branching Combo, such that the Double Over Hit Stun
    gives you the ability to Combo Break here as well.
    
    Early Winter Rain - This Combo proceeds like Fiend's Bane Kick, but instead
    of a Clearing move at the end, Ryu does three extremely quick kicks to the
    face of the enemy which induces a STAGGER.
    
    This is a very robust branching Combo, such that the Stagger Stun gives
    you the ability to Combo Break here as well.
    
    Violent Wind - This is one of Ryu's most powerful starting techniques.
    He lunges out with the DS from right to left while taking a huge step
    forward while his torso is almost parallel to the Ground.  By itself, it
    induces Spin Stun which is benefit enough.  It's power is not limited to
    that obviously.  At Level 1, it Combos into both Azure Dragon and
    Scarlet Dragon.  However, you can Step Cancel it as well which will give
    you EVERY other offensive option at the same frame advantage as the
    Azure Dragon, Scarlet Dragon and Level 2's Violent Gale.
    
    Windmill Slash - This is a very useful offensive/defensive option.  Ryu
    does a Reverse Wind while attacking with the DS.  You can substitute
    this move for every starting X of every DS Combo.  This gives you a
    placement option, as you move a significant distance during the initiation
    of the move in whatever direction you like.  It also grants iWR which at
    Level 2 is DEVASTATING, because it gives you instant access to Violent
    Gale.
    
    This move will also DECAP.
    
    Another hidden move comes from the fact that there are actually two
    Windmill Slashes.  If the enemy is farther than arm's reach away from Ryu,
    then he'll Reverse Wind along the ground with the Dragon Sword held in one
    hand and slash.  If the enemy is NEAR, then Ryu will flip in place on the
    ground and hold the DS in both hands for the slash.  Very cool.
    
    Blade of the Undefeatable - This is Ryu's stand-alone Guard Breaking move.
    Ryu unsheathes the DS, quickly grasps it with both hands and slashes
    VIOLENTLY from right to left.  He picks his right leg off of the ground
    slightly and slams it down with the cutting motion.  Since, this is Guard
    Breaking, the benefits are obvious.  It DECAPs as well.
    
    Haze Straight Slash - Ryu will unsheathe the DS like in Blade of the
    Undefeatable, but instead of grasping it with both hands, he holds it out
    with his right hand and cradles the hilt with his left while the hilt of the
    blade absorbs energy as long as Y is held.  The blade will grow brighter
    and brighter until it stops absorbing energy.  Once released, Ryu instantly
    dashes along the ground with both feet (and an accompanying camera position
    change, usually), charges forward and brings the blade to bear to his left
    side with both hands slashing straight though any non-blocking enemies while
    actually traveling through the enemy's body.  It will usually strike twice.
    
    This move Guard Breaks and DECAPs.  It is also a candidate for OL.
    
    Extinction Straight Slash - This move appears very similar to to Haze
    Straight Slash except for the fact that it is accompanied by an Essence
    Explosion before the release of the button.  Also, Ryu will emit an Essence
    Explosion with the release of the Y button along with leaving a Phantom
    behind.  This strike also Guard Breaks, DECAPs, but it hits harder
    than Haze Straight Slash.  Also, a Blocking enemy will stop Haze Straight
    Slash, whereas Ryu will travel through their body in Extinction Straight
    Slash.
    
    Hundred Wing Blade - This is Ryu's beginning UT.  After either charging long
    enough or gathering the pre-requisite Essence, Ryu emits a full Essence
    Explosion (Red and Orange rather than just white).  After releasing Y, he
    begins the move just like Extinction Straight Slash, such that he dashes
    forward, leaving a Phantom.  Unlike Extinction Straight Slash, Ryu must make
    contact with the enemy to really start the series.   If he makes contact, he
    follows up the Extinction Slash part with two consecutive 360 degree one-
    handed slashes from left to right, a violent one-handed slash from right to
    left, another slash from left to right, a spinning, jumping one-handed
    slash, vertically  from right to left  and then finally disappears in mid-
    air, leaves a Phantom, reappears and falls while slashing diagonally down
    from right to left.  It is pretty evident that Ryu does this entire series
    with one hand with every strike being accompanied by an Essence Explosion.
    If the other Ultimate Techniques didn't exist, this would be one of the
    cooler things to do in the game.  It is a shame that it is replaced outright
    with Storm of the Heavenly Dragon, once you create the True Dragon Sword.
    But, that is one of the balancing aspects of the game as SotHD is only
    really effective against singular foes.
    
    Ryu is totally invincible during the attack frames, and the move is
    unblockable to all but Boss characters.  You can direct every single hit
    as well, so if you're surrounded, you can pick which enemy to strike.
    
    Azure Dragon - Ryu unsheathes the DS with his right hand, does a 360 spin
    very quickly and uppercuts the enemy into the air while at the same time
    jumping up to meet them while grasping the DS with both hands.  The move
    obviously SELFLAUNCHes and BREAKs.
    
    Scarlet Dragon - Ryu unsheathes the DS and grasps it in both hands to his
    right side.  He then scrapes the blade along the ground (producing sparks)
    which will both LAUNCH or BREAK depending upon whether or not the enemy is
    Blocking.  This strike gains additional strikes with the True Dragon Sword.
    It is also stronger than Azure Dragon as far as damage is concerned.  It's
    extremely useful for crowd thinning as you can knock enemies over ledges
    fairly easily with this move.
    
    Fiend Sealer - When Ryu positions himself over a downed enemy, Ryu will bring
    the DS above his head with both hands with the blade pointed down.  He then
    stabs the Grounded enemy through either the back or torso depending upon how
    the enemy is lying on the ground.
    
    Burial Kick - Ryu quickly spins from left to right (the opposite of every
    other kick in the game) as he CLEARs the enemy away.  You can only perform
    this move on enemies that are DEAD or DECAP and still standing.  The use of
    this move comes with the fact that the enemy's now Dead body, becomes a
    projectile that will strike other enemies.  You can even hit jumping enemies
    out of the air with this kick should they happen to attack while you're
    clearing a dead enemy.
    
    Blade of the Empty Air - Ryu slashes from left to right much like in the
    first strike of Crimson Slash.
    
    Helmet Splitter - Ryu places the DS between his legs and jumps down to the
    ground running the opponent through.  Like most Y attacks, this move Guard
    Breaks.  It also GROUNDs.
    
    Air Destruction Slash - Ryu does a fully diagonal 360 degree spin in the air
    with the DS unsheathed before landing.  It is very useful for catching flying
    enemies before they can attack.  Ryu will brace himself on the ground after
    the move much like falling from a high altitude.
    
    Falling Dragon Blade - Since Ryu is jumping with a vector in this move, he
    brings the DS over his head with both hands and slices down vertically to his
    right side while falling.  It's fairly difficult to land this move after
    acquiring the Level 2 Dragon Sword due to the fact that you'll usually get
    Flying Swallow or Guillotine instead.
    
    Cicada Slash - Ryu will spin in the air vertically once, and come down
    striking with the DS from above his head.
    
    Divine Cicada Slash - You can only issue this move from a Flying Bird Flip.
    Because of this limitation, it is one of the most powerful moves in game.
    Ryu will disappear and leave a Phantom, reappear, spin vertically in the air
    one more time than he does with Blade of Nirrti, and brings the DS down on
    his enemy with both hands in an overhead strike.  This move Breaks, DECAPs,
    will hit MULTI and you are invincible during the execution.
    
    Every person's Dragon Sword technique should include this move liberally.
    
    Wave Reverser - While stationary on the surface of the water, Ryu can strike
    twice vertically; once down and then another time up lifting himself out of
    the water slightly.
    
    Ripple Slash - While swimming on the surface of the water, a single slash
    will be performed
    
    Floating Blade - While stationary underwater, Ryu can slash twice.
    
    Gleaming Water Dragon - While swimming underwater, Ryu unsheathes the DS and
    spins like a corkscrew through the water slashing liberally all the while.
    
    2. Level 2: You can upgrade your Dragon Sword to Level 2 in Chapter 3, The
    Skies of Vengeance.  The sword does not change in appearance at this time.
    
    Fang of the Wolf - This is a continuation of Tiger Roar.  Now, after the
    Guard Break Y, Ryu will spin around quickly with a little jump with the DS
    outstretched in one hand and decapitate his enemy with one strike.  This is
    MULTI and DECAP move that is very, very useful.
    
    Blade of Nirrti - Ryu will perform the first strike of Crimson Slash, quickly
    follow it up with Azure Dragon, and then perform aerial versions of the first
    two strikes of Crimson Slash, pull the blade back through the enemy in a
    vertical slash.  After this, he disappears leaving a Phantom, reappears and
    spins vertically in the air twice along with his Phantom and brings the blade
    down vertically with the enemy's body to the ground with an Essence Explosion
    happening where the enemy lies.
    
    Flying Swallow - Ryu disappears in mid-air, leaves a Phantom, reappears and
    flies forward spontaneously with the DS and slashes from left to right
    traveling through any non-blocking enemies.  If it is blocked, Ryu bounces
    off and recovers in IA state.  This move Breaks and DECAPs.
    
    This is Ryu's bread and butter move.  If you are not using this move on
    regular enemies, then you are not playing the game correctly.  However, it
    is not overpowered as there is significant, TOTALLY-UNCANCELLABLE recovery
    frames in the landing animation.  Because of this, you need to refine your
    Flying Swallow technique and simply not just throw it out at any time.
    
    There are very specific instances of when this move should be used.  If you
    are apt to throwing this move out randomly, you will be met with failure time
    and time again.
    
    Violent Gale - This is a continuation of Violent Wind.  Now, instead of only
    being able to Combo into Azure Dragon, Scarlet Dragon or STEPC, Ryu will
    slash back the other way from the initial X.  This strike is also a Spin
    Stunning Strike and as such, the second X will Crumple Stun a Spin Stun
    enemy.
    
    You can also reverse the direction of the second X at any time.  So if you
    wanted to "cross up" any enemy, you could run it through on one side, and
    then come back the other way.  Ryu can cover a lot of ground offensively
    with this move.  It's extremely good for positioning.
    
    Flying Crane - Ryu spins around once, DS unsheathed and then jumps
    up himself launching any opponents close to him.  This move classifies as a
    little Launch (lLAUNCH) move as you don't have enough time to do something
    aerial to them before they hit the ground.  Still, it's a very useful move
    when getting pounded on by several enemies at once (which is pretty much
    the entire game).  You'll want to watch out for enemies avoiding this move
    as they will wait to Counter Attack you once you land.  Enemies will
    SPECIFICALLY wait for this move to finish before attacking (Imps in
    particular).
    
    Tranquil Clearing - This is an interesting move that isn't listed in the
    move list.  Even more interesting is that you don't get it until Level 2.
    Ryu will land on the ground spinning around once on axis while holding
    the DS out.
    
    At any rate, this is the OL X move which Combos extensively.  When you
    feel that an OL Y will get interrupted, this is just as good an option.
    Also, you can think of this as your OL Combo option while the Y's are
    generally OL Power options (just like the X and Y buttons themselves).
    
    Anything that starts with an X can be substituted with OL X.  It's a MULTI
    move.
    
    3. Level 3: You can upgrade your Dragon Sword to Level 3 in Chapter 5.
    The sword does not change in appearance at this time.
    
    Blade of the Dragon's Tail - After the DECAP Y strike of Fang of the Wolf,
    Ryu has one more option where he quickly back flips and somehow strikes
    vertically with the DS on both sides of his body at the same time in a
    figure-8 type of motion.  It's very cool looking.  This is the final step
    in the Tiger Roar Combo. In the event that the enemy wasn't killed with
    the DECAP Y previous to the last strike, you can hit Y again and get the
    CLEAR move.
    
    You can also catch enemies that are trying to attack you from behind by
    repositioning yourself mid-combo.
    
    Gleaming Blade - Flying Crane now gets a Charge option.  Now, Ryu will
    kneel with the DS off to his left waiting to initiate the spin.  This
    is a different stance than the Y Charge.  This is extremely useful for
    when you want to delay the onslaught.  Unfortunately, the properties of
    this move are very confusing.  You cannot be knocked out of it once the
    spin starts, but when you can actually take damage is very ambiguous.
    To get total INV status, you need to get to Roaring Gleam.  Otherwise, you
    will only trade damage.  However, ANY amount of charge outside of Essence
    will grant you 3 spins on the ground before Ryu does his lLaunching strike.
    
    The move BREAKs, DECAPs, SPINs, lLAUNCHes and is MULTI.
    
    Roaring Gleam - This is an expanded version of Gleaming Blade once you get
    one Essence.  You get an Essence Explosion and 2 extra spins as well.  The
    best part is that you get granted INV status briefly while you are in
    PHANTOM state.
    
    4. Level 4: You automatically receive the True Dragon Sword in Chapter 13, The
    Fiendish Awakening.  At this point, you can see the Dragon's Eye in the hilt,
    and the sword gives off a faint white glow at all times.
    
    The Plasma Saber gains a crackling energy type of effect once the Dragon Eye
    is affixed to it.
    
    Storm of the Heavenly Dragon - Ah yes, the move that every Ninja Gaiden owner
    shows to his/her friends.  While this move has seen some action in the 2D
    realm never before has this looked so good.  Ryu does two consecutive Azure
    Dragon-like uppercuts and disappears mid-air leaving a Phantom as usual.  But,
    instead of simply reappearing, he teleports away, Flying Swallows the enemy
    TEN times from every possible direction juggling them in the air.  He then,
    teleports above the enemy and issues a wall-less Divine Cicada Slash.  The
    coolest part of the move happens, though after Ryu lands, as he actually
    wipes blood off of the DS's blade.  BADASS.
    
    Blade of the Twin Dragons - Scarlet Dragon becomes EXTREMELY useful in this
    Combo.  After Ryu drags the DS along the ground, he then does a cartwheel
    like motion with the DS in one hand slashing the enemy, and then follows up
    with a little Azure Dragon, followed by a complete back flip accompanied by
    a vertical strike.  This last strike CLEARs, DECAPs and BREAKs.
    
    Dragon Tear - Crimson Slash finally grows up.  Ryu can now follow the
    overhead final X of Crimson Slash with an additional spinning, jumping,
    two-handed Grounding, DECAP, Guard Breaking strike. If you know the enemy was
    not killed by the 3rd X in Crimson Slash, the Y will almost certainly
    DECAP while they are still lying on the ground.
    
    True Dragon Gleam - This is the Ultimate Technique of Roaring Gleam.  If you
    gather 2 Essence, Ryu gets the Ultimate Essence Explosion, plus an
    accompanying Tornado.  Extremely useful.
    
    5. Scroll: These are various Scrolls that you can pickup or purchase
    throughout the game.
    
    Izuna Drop - This moves looks just like Blade of Nirrti except for the fact
    that for the Y attack, Ryu captures the enemy's body, lifts it up higher into
    the air, flips both himself and the enemy upside down, initiates a spin where
    the bodies spin multiple times in the air, as they both fall, and then finally
    drives the enemy's head into the ground with an Essence Explosion, and then
    gingerly flips away.  The Throw section of the move Guard Breaks enemies that
    happen to be caught in the blast radius and also GROUNDs.  You are invincible
    during the Throw section.
    
    Gleaming Cross - The Y Counter Attack looks and acts a lot like Flying Crane.
    This difference is that it's unblockable and instantaneous.
    
    Fiend's Bane Kick - After the strike connects with a WB Ryu, he spins and
    strikes with both a DS slash from right to left followed seamlessly by a fierce
    Roundhouse kick to the face that Launches the enemy.  He can then chose to
    continue the move with the second X where he will finish his first revolution,
    jump and spin into the air at the same time and CLEAR the mid-air opponent away
    with an jumping Roundhouse.
    
    NUNCHAKU
    --------
    Depending upon if you are playing the original game, Hurricane Pack 1 or 2,
    you attain this weapon in different ways.  In the original game, you gain it
    off of an expired Black Spider Clan Ninja in Chapter 4, Imperial City
    Infiltration.  In Hurricane Pack 1, you begin the game with it.  But, you do
    not have access to it at all in Hurricane Pack 2.
    
    At first glance, the Nunchaku looks fairly generic with its gray, unadorned
    handles, single chain and silver caps.  However, the rods that compose the
    Nunchaku are very long in general.  The length of the two rods seems close to
    what would be found in a three-section staff.  Again, this is probably just
    Team Ninja exercising their artistic license.
    
    It gives off a light-blue wave with every swing.
    
    1. Level 1 - You cannot upgrade the Nunchaku.
    
    Dragon and Phoenix - This is the standard cancelable, branching Combo of both
    the Nunchaku and Flail.  With the first X, Ryu steps forward holding the
    Nunchaku with both hands (right-hand over left-hand over his right shoulder)
    and strikes by bringing the handle over his shoulder and chambering (catching)
    the other handle under his armpit.  Then, he flicks his wrist and so the
    Nunchaku flicks back from under his shoulder striking again and flinging back
    over his shoulder to be caught by his left hand again.  He strikes twice with
    one press of the X button.  Also note, that there is less recovery on this one
    strike than any other strike in the game.  The second X simply makes him pull
    the Nunchaku under his armpit with his right hand doing a vicious uppercut.
    The third X makes him switch hands very quickly after catching the handle by
    winging the Nunchaku across his torso and flinging it over his left shoulder
    to catch it with his right hand and reversing the stance.
    
    Now his left hand is over his right over his left shoulder.  The fourth X makes
    Ryu swing the Nunchaku with his left hand across his torso from left to right,
    where the handle taps his back and reverses motion back to right to left while
    Ryu guards with his right hand.  The fifth X makes Ryu catch the handle behind
    his back with his right hand to flip it vertically in front and swing it
    behind him and over his head, so that he can catch the handle with his left
    hand and repeat the motion.  This strike gives him 360 degrees of protection
    as he whips the Nunchaku around his waist again and flips it out vertically
    with one additional, vertical twirl of the striking rod.  The final X has Ryu
    catch the handle once again in his right hand behind his back, do a 360 degree
    turn and uppercut with the handle.  He then re-chambers with his armpit, and
    then returns back to his initial stance with an outstretched, guarding left
    hand.  Phew.  You'll want to avoid the sixth X more often than not as the re-
    chambering is considered recovery, although if you and your enemy are fairly
    isolated, you can get away with it.
    
    Upon closer inspection, the momentum of the final uppercut continues as the
    handle taps Ryu on the back, and then Ryu will twirl the Nunchaku horizontally
    behind him waist level, then twirl and subsequently chamber the Nunchaku to his
    right, vertically before returning to his original stance.  I used to consider
    this last move recovery, but technically it isn't.  Ryu is vulnerable in the
    front for this section, but all of that twirling behind his back registers
    damage.  So, the last X of Dragon and Phoenix actually hits BEHIND and RIGHT.
    
    Each X only corresponds to about 20 or so frames, so it's fairly difficult to
    know when to branch.  But, once you get the hang of it (largely by going by the
    whoosh sounds), you'll be branching seamlessly in no time.  To most people,
    this no doubt looks like a bunch of stick flicking.  However, to a martial
    artist, it is very good form and a very competent and challenging series.  The
    astounding part is that every possible move out of Dragon Phoenix at every
    stage is animated accordingly.
    
    Some of the strikes in this series have NO recovery whatsoever given that Ryu
    returns to his initial stance.  At these points, you can Shuriken Cancel as
    well as with the Dragon Sword and Kitetsu.
    
    Fire Pit - Ryu will perform the first three strikes of Dragon and Phoenix, but
    then do a 360 degree spin while swinging the Nunchaku laterally from his
    reversed stance gained from the second X.  The final strike will CLEAR enemies
    away.
    
    With the last X, Ryu will fling the Nunchaku at waist level 180 degrees in
    front of him with a 360 degree turn for strength and then return to his initial
    stance.
    
    Wide Heavens - Ryu issues his first 2 strikes from the single X command, and
    then immediately, jumps, flips upside down by kicking the opponent off their
    feet and then spinning mid-air with another kick to lLAUNCH the enemy.  This
    is a great move, and you can use it just about anywhere with the Nunchaku
    (even interrupting most Combos).  However, since it is lLAUNCH, you don't
    have as many options as say with the Dragon Sword, but the opponent does land
    GROUND as will every lLAUNCH move.  You are also considered IA during the last
    part, so you have those options as well.
    
    Sweeping Kick - Ryu holds both handles in his right hand performs a vicious
    Reverse Kick (not what you think) to the midsection of the enemy Clearing
    them.  This is a very competent crowd control strike.
    
    Flame Wheel - Ryu flexes back a bit to make the move stronger and unleashes
    the handle with his left hand horizontally across his midsection. He lets
    the handle tap him on the back before reversing the motion, doing a mountless
    inverted double kick to the face and at the same time continues to swing the
    Flail in his left hand to the enemy's knees.  (Both sets of simultaneous
    strikes register as damage).  Once he's upright again (but still flipping),
    he catches the handle in his right hand and returns to his initial stance.
    
    In the beginning, Ryu takes a few very short, quick steps forward striking
    vertically before inverting his body to do the simultaneous kicks to the
    face and horizontal slashes to the knees.
    
    Auspicious Crane - Ryu flexes back a bit charge the move as the handles
    gather energy.
    
    Auspicious Phoenix - This move begins the same way as Auspicious Crane.  But,
    after Ryu gathers an Essence (or waits long enough in the HPs), he then
    disappears leaving Phantom, reappears and dashes forward while striking with
    Nunchaku as he holds the left handle.  The Nunchaku will tap once on Ryu's
    left side before he returns it to his initial stance.
    
    Gathering Clouds - Ryu totally gets pumped thinking about guitars and hot
    babes.  Then he gathers the REAL ULTIMATE POWER in his 'chucks and then
    totally flips out and kills people.  For real.  The enemies crap their pants.
    
    Ryu dashes forward and delivers many single strikes while the weapon trades
    hands very quickly.  Midway through the series, Ryu turns 360 degrees and
    swipes the weapon across the enemy's (or enemies') face with with the 360
    eye-level swipe.  Ryu again issues several hand-swapping strikes before then
    issuing a the jumping, 360 degree Phantom, feet-clearing, Mountain Crane
    (without the assistance of Flying Bird Flip, one should note) with an
    additional 360 degree swipe at the face.  Then, Ryu will catch both handles
    in his original stance, but instead chamber with his right armpit and guard
    with his left outstretched.  He will then crouch a bit before returning to
    initial stance.
    
    Earth Slide - While Ryu is running forward (or granted iWR), he slides
    across the ground with his leg out, Grounding the enemy.
    
    Demon Chaser - When Ryu positions himself over a downed enemy, he'll step on
    the enemy's neck and strike them in the back of the head or their face
    (depending upon their position) with the Nunchaku.
    
    Sweeping Strike - While IA, Ryu will simply swing the Nunchaku from right to
    left.
    
    Dragon Emperor Kick - While IA, Ryu will flip upside down, right himself and
    then come crashing down on the enemy with an outstretched leg.  You can do
    this at anytime IA even if you're in the middle of a move.  It will cancel a
    variety of things as well.  Very useful.
    
    Hell Drop - When Ryu performs a Flying Bird Flip, he'll disappear, Phantom,
    and then reappear spinning twice, and then bringing the Nunchaku down on the
    opponent's head.
    
    Mountain Crane - You can extend Hell Drop with an additional Y OL.  Ryu will
    whip the Nunchaku around his body and then back again while spinning 360
    degrees himself.  Ryu will land in a kneeling position and pick himself up
    with a 360 degree turn while sweeping the weapon around his midsection for a
    vicious CLEAR attack while creeping forward a step.  You get both a PHANTOM
    at the apex of the jump, and an Essence Explosion upon landing. Again, this
    move will CLEAR and BREAK.
    
    Aqua Thrust - While on the surface of the water, Ryu will kick straight out.
    
    Water Formation Kick - While underwater, Ryu will kick straight out which
    moves him backwards slightly.
    
    2. Scroll - There are no unique Scroll moves for the Nunchaku.
    
    Ring of Heaven Kick - While Ryu is blocking, he will flip his Nunchaku out,
    but do a circular vertical kick that will LAUNCH the attacking enemy.
    
    VIGOORIAN FLAIL
    ---------------
    Depending upon if you are playing the original game, Hurricane Pack 1 or 2,
    you attain this weapon in different ways.  In the original game, you gain it
    from a chest in the Underground Cemetery in Chapter 6, The Monastery.  In
    Hurricane Pack 1, you must collect so many Scarabs before Muramasa will give
    it to you.  In Hurricane Pack 2, you'll begin with this weapon.
    
    1. Level 1 - At Level 1, the Nunchaku and Flail are somewhat similar, however,
    the Flail is capable of DECAP and is MUCH more prone to do so than most other
    weapons.
    
    The Flail is not a flail really in any sense of the word.  It's more like a
    combination of a Nunchaku and kama.  A flail is a European weapon with a very
    distinct handle and a some sort of barbed implement attached via a chain.  One
    would never use the striking face and the handle interchangeably.  In contrast,
    the Vigoorians modified standard Nunchaku and kama designs in order to generate
    this deadly weapon.  The weapon is composed of two kama (one-handed sickle)
    with wooden shafts for handles.  The heads are composed of metal, spherical tips
    forged with a single curved blade and adorned with 4 spikes on each head.
    These two kama are then attached by a small length of chain.  The blades
    themselves are carved fairly ornately and have some nice flourishes upon them.
    
    It would take an inordinate amount of skill to wield this weapon without
    hurting oneself.  If you watch the animations closely, Team Ninja was very
    careful to make the weapon believable using the Nunchaku animation.  Whenever
    a rod/kama taps Ryu's body, the blade is always facing out.  Likewise, Ryu
    always grabs the right places and there is no discernable clipping whatsoever
    (even during the hectic Gathering Clouds).
    
    Dragon and Phoenix - The only difference between this series and the one with
    the Nunchaku is that every strike in this series can DECAP.  As such, there
    will be gallons of Fiend or Human blood on the ground, walls and in the air,
    all in the appropriate spray patterns of every single strike.  Remarkable.
    See Nunchaku Dragon and Phoenix.
    
    Fire Pit - The final Y in this series can DECAP.  See Nunchaku Fire Pit.
    
    Wide Heavens - See Nunchaku Wide Heavens.  The two flipkicks still count as
    blunt force damage rather than cutting damage.
    
    Sweeping Kick - See Nunchaku Sweeping Kick.
    
    Flame Wheel - The second Y can DECAP.  See Nunchaku Sweeping Kick.
    
    Auspicious Crane - This move can DECAP.  See Nunchaku Auspicious Crane.
    
    Auspicious Phoenix - This move can DECAP.  See Nunchaku Auspicious Phoenix.
    
    Gathering Clouds - This technique tears it up.  See Nunchaku Gathering Clouds.
    
    Earth Slide - See Nunchaku Earth Slide.
    
    Demon Chaser - This technique can DECAP.  See Nunchaku Demon Chaser.
    
    Sweeping Strike - See Nunchaku Sweeping Strike.
    
    Dragon Emperor Kick - See Nunchaku Dragon Emperor Kick.
    
    Red-Hot Iron Brand - We finally come to Flail's Real Ultimate Power.  Ryu will
    disappear in mid-air, like Flying Swallow, and he'll fly forward very quickly,
    as well.  However, unlike Flying Swallow, Ryu will strike the opponent and do a
    flip over them with the Flails a-flailing.  See the In-depth Move Discussion
    section for more details.
    
    Aqua Thrust - See Nunchaku Aqua Thrust.
    
    Water Formation Kick - See Nunchaku Water Formation Kick.
    
    2. Level 2 - The Flail becomes much more ornate when it is upgraded to Level 2.
    Muramasa can do this in Chapter 7 - The Hidden Underground.
    
    Muramasa goes all out on this weapon, once Ryu allows him to upgrade it.
    Virtually none of the existing hardware is reused.  The wooden handles are
    replaced with what looks like to be metal, while the heads and caps are
    completely redesigned with what looks like to be gold and platinum.  The
    blades of the two kama are serrated, and given their new size, they look like
    they would do as much blunt force trauma as stabbing or cutting damage.  The
    blades themselves are elongated slightly and on the whole the weapon appears
    much shinier.  Not to be outdone by the rest of his handiwork, Muramasa
    attaches four red jewels into the hilts of each kama.
    
    Regardless, Ryu wields it just as nimbly as the Nunchaku or the level 1 Flail.
    
    Cremator - Cremator starts off like the first three strikes of Dragon and
    Phoenix, but then Ryu opens up the can.  He continually flips the Flail over
    his shoulders and trades hands at an INSANELY quick pace decimating everyone
    around him.  The final X has Ryu chambering the Flail to the right-side, then
    returning to starting position.  See the In-depth Move Discussion section for
    more details.  The ending of Cremator has Ryu chamber the Flail under his
    right arm while he blocks with his left hand.  This is different than the more
    robust ending of Dragon and Phoenix.  Additionally, you don't get the BEHIND
    protection.
    
    Dragon Slaughter - The final Y of Cremator makes Ryu jump and spin in the air,
    land with a sweeping strike at the enemy's legs knocking them off of their
    feet, and then reversing the swing and swiping them again across the
    midsection to CLEAR them.  See the In-depth Move Discussion section for more
    details.
    
    Runaway Lightning - Ryu will begin with his standard Flail strike, but then
    proceed to climb up the enemy's body, jump off of them, turn around in mid-air,
    and strike them in the back of the head, Grounding them.  See the In-depth Move
    Discussion section for more details.
    
    Ripping Thunder - Ryu will quickly do a 360 degree eye-level roundhouse kick
    from left to right to the enemy, but unlike Sweeping Kick, this move doesn't
    CLEAR and only a produces Stagger Stun.  However, following the move up with
    an additional Y gives you two quick strikes from the Flail; one left-to-right
    horizontal, waist-level strike and an immediately following vertical over-the-
    shoulder strike.  The second strike can DECAP.  Lastly, you can give
    another Y if you wish that issues another hopping, reverse kick that this time,
    will CLEAR the enemy.  Ryu lands kneeling supporting himself with his right
    hand.
    
    3. Scroll - See Nunchaku Scroll section
    
    Ring of Heaven Kick - See Nunchaku Ring of Heaven Kick.
    
    WAR HAMMER
    ----------
    In the original game and HP1, you can acquire the War Hammer after Doku
    captures Rachel.  In HP2, you receive after reaching the Shadow Realm.
    
    1. Level 1 - The Level 1 War Hammer is always free, no matter what version of
    the game you are playing.  The Level 1 War Hammer is much more powerful than
    the Level 1 Dabilahro.
    
    There really isn't an analog for this weapon in the real world.  No normal
    human would be able to use this thing with any amount of dexterity whatsoever.
    It appears very other-worldly.  It's not composed of any wood or steel, as it
    looks like it's composed entirely out of a smooth, flawless stone.  There
    really doesn't appear to be anything hammer-like about this weapon at all
    (much like the Vigoorian Flail).  The striking surface of the weapon is double-
    headed such that there is a huge ax blade on one side and a gigantic pike on
    the other.  During the course of the game, Ryu and Rachel both use both sides
    to inflict grievous wounds upon their foes.  Unless the material used to forge
    the weapon was both extremely rigid and extremely light, then no normal person
    would be able to wield this weapon with any efficiency whatsoever.
    
    The weapon possesses two handles.  The long shaft connecting the head to the
    jeweled hilt is the general use handle, but this shaft also has another nub
    protruding out of it as well much like a tonfa.  Only Rachel ever uses this
    nub, however.
    
    There is a single blue jewel embedded in the hilt of this weapon, and it glows
    blue.  A murky blue wave accompanies every swing of this weapon, and it seems
    to have some sort of connection to the world around it as it is able to
    elicit small eruptions from the ground.
    
    Ram's Head Drop - Ryu pulls the War Hammer off of his back and swings it over
    his head in a vertical strike imbedding the spike side into the ground.
    
    Horse Head Crush - Following Ram's Head Drop, Ryu quickly pivots around the
    imbedded weapon and uppercuts with the ax side of the weapon.  Ryu is left
    standing with the weapon lying on the ground in his right hand briefly before
    he returns it to his back.
    
    Gleam of Heaven and Earth - After the War Hammer touches the ground from Ram's
    Head Drop, Ryu jumps into the air with the head of the weapon still on the
    ground, pivots around the weapon and then pulls it off of the ground and
    smashes it into the enemy while he himself hits the earth.
    
    Surging Wave - Ryu spins slightly has he cleaves the War Hammer around his body
    from left to right.  This move is much safer than the aerial version that the
    Dabilahro possesses.
    
    Thunder Tremor - Ryu charges the War Hammer much like holding a baseball
    bat.  The Hammer glows blue.  When you release Y, Ryu jumps up in the air with
    a Phantom, and smashes the Hammer spike first into the ground.  The ground
    explodes at the impact point and rocks and debris jettison up.
    
    Rage Tremor - This move appears similar to Thunder Tremor, but a large circle
    of light and gas is emitted in the place where the spike strikes the ground.
    
    Tremor of the Heavens - This move appears similar to Rage Tremor, however, a
    huge circle of light and gas explodes in 360 degrees around Ryu when he
    strikes the ground.  This circle is composed of 5 or 6 of the Rage Tremor
    explosions.
    
    Steel Severer - Ryu very quickly spins around and uses his shoulder as a
    fulcrum as he pivots the War Hammer off of his back and hits the enemy with
    the ax side of the weapon.  This is the quickest Heavy Two-Handed Melee weapon
    strike in the game.  It CLEARs as well.  See the In-depth Move Discussion
    section for more details.
    
    Flaming Whirlwind - Ryu quickly slides forward in a kneeling position while
    swinging the weapon diagonally from right to left.  Any enemy hit will be
    CLEAR or DECAP.
    
    Earth Slide - See Nunchaku Earth Slide.
    
    Corpse Crusher - Ryu brandishes the War Hammer with his right hand and shoves
    the head of the weapon straight down through the enemy's prone body.
    
    Avalanche Drop - Ryu removes the War Hammer from his back while in mid air and
    gains a bit of momentum as he swings it back a bit before he swings it down
    while falling to the ground very quickly.
    
    Rolling Thunder - Ryu removes the War Hammer from his back while in mid air and
    swings it down while falling to the ground very quickly.
    
    Raging Thunder - Above the ground, Ryu Phantoms, flips vertically twice and
    then slams down the War Hammer while falling very quickly to the ground.
    
    Aqua Thrust - See Nunchaku Aqua Thrust.
    
    Water Formation Kick - See Nunchaku Water Formation Kick.
    
    2. Level 2 - The Level 2 upgrade is EXTREMELY cost efficient and useful given
    the Six Paths Spin.
    
    At level two, Muramasa takes a fairly obvious path in the redesigning of the
    weapon.  He affixes another jewel in the hilt and rounds out the curves of the
    implement a bit more.
    
    Flaming Torrent - Ryu spins the War Hammer an additional time after the
    Surging Wave cleaving whatever enemies that are in the way.  It's interesting
    to note how useful this guy is as well.  You get all of the benefits of the
    Lunar's Shrouded Crescent, but with MUCH more damage.
    
    Six Paths Spin - This is reason enough to pick the War Hammer as a weapon.
    It move is totally unique to this game.  Ryu See the In-depth Move Discussion
    section for more details.
    
    3. Scroll - You have access to the very powerful Reigning Spiral Counter Attack.
    
    Reigning Spiral - Ryu performs a Flaming Whirlwind instantaneously.
    
    DABILAHRO
    ---------
    You acquire the Dabilahro after collecting 25 Scarabs in the original game
    and HP1. In HP2, you begin with this weapon.
    
    1. Level 1 - The Level 1 Dabi is fairly analogous to the War Hammer
    functionally, but couldn't be farther from it in appearance.  The Dabi is
    simply a monstrous 100 lb. two-handed sword.  The design is very simply
    composed of a gigantic single-edged blade connected to an ornate handle.
    It's encrusted with a single red jewel.  The Vigoorians were fairly straight
    forward with its design as opposed to the Flail.  It leaves behind a white
    and red slash whenever it cuts through the air.
    
    While it would seem that this weapon would take little to know agility to use,
    this is not the case with Ryu.  He spins the weapon around very gracefully
    given its heft.  In HP2, the Vigoorian Berserkers wield a similar, albeit
    demonically enhanced version of this weapon with as much fervor as Ryu does.
    
    Destroyer of Armies - Ryu smashes the Dabilahro down and does an uppercut with
    it.  But, before he re-sheathes the weapon, he slashes once with one hand from
    right to left, then again from left to right.  One of the cooler things about
    this Combo is that if you put a brief pause as Ryu does the uppercut from the
    second X, then Ryu will be oriented in such a way, that he'll spin around to do
    the side-to-side slashes.  This is a very nice little touch.
    
    Gleam of Heaven and Earth - See War Hammer Gleam of Heaven and Earth.
    
    Inferno Slash - Ryu jumps up in the air, holds the Dabilahro behind him
    and over his head with both hands, and swings the sword down onto the ground
    in front of him as he lands.  He holds the blade to his left side.
    
    Purgatory Slash - Like with Inferno Slash, Ryu will jump into the air, but
    he'll do it much higher with Purgatory Slash.  Additionally, he'll bring the
    sword out in front of him much more when he brings it down to the ground.
    
    Hundred Demons Blade - This move looks like Purgatory Slash, but now you get
    a Phantom (with some Protection), and when the blade hits the ground, it
    sends out a red shockwave along the ground in a straight line.
    
    Asura Slash (2 Essences) - Ryu performs the same motions as Hundred
    Demons Bite, but instead of one shockwave coming out, a shockwave with three
    trails spreads out before Ryu.  It resembles a dragon's foot.
    
    Flaming Inferno - Ryu sticks the sword straight out in front of him with both
    hands.  This is an alternative starter to every X Combo much like OL X or 6+X
    with the DS.  The reach on this thing is ridiculous, but you pay for it in
    damage, obviously.
    
    Flaming Whirlwind - See War Hammer Flaming Whirlwind.
    
    Earth Slide - See Nunchaku Earth Slide.
    
    Corpse Crusher - See War Hammer Corpse Crusher.
    
    Foot Crusher - See War Hammer Avalanche Drop.
    
    Thunderous Blade - See War Hammer Avalanche Drop.
    
    Raging Thunderous Blade - See War Hammer Raging Thunderous Blade.
    
    Aqua Thrust - See Nunchaku Aqua Thrust.
    
    Water Formation Kick - See Nunchaku Aqua Thrust.
    
    2. Level 2 - You only receive a nominal increase in strength and the 360
    move in Level 2.  It is better to upgrade the War Hammer for much less if
    you don't intend on upgrading any further as you gain the Six Paths Spin
    with level 2.
    
    I guess Muramasa is unhappy with the bulk of this weapon, so for the first
    upgrade, he cuts a huge circular chunk out of the blade.  The handle also
    receives a single, tiny spire.  It looks like the weapon could now be used
    as a halberd as well for its hooking properties even though Ryu doesn't use
    the weapon as such.
    
    Hundred Man Slash (Lvl2) - This move looks identical to the Six Paths Spin,
    however, it is not a throw.  It simply CLEARs any enemies struck by the
    blade.
    
    3. Level 3 - At Level 3, the Dabilahro is a very oppressive weapon.  The last
    time Muramasa forges the blade, it comes back with yet another notch in the
    blade itself and increased the mass of the tip.  It is now truly a fearsome
    looking implement of destruction.
    
    Whirling Empire Blade - Ryu performs his Destroyer of Armies, but at
    the very end, he spins around quickly while kneeling for the final horizontal
    strike.  There will be a brief Essence Flash as Ryu's knees touch the ground
    with the last slash.  This will ruin most enemies' days.
    
    Flaming Hell Slash - The Flaming Hell Slash can be input any time after the
    initial two X's of Whirling Empire Blade.  After that, Ryu spins around and
    cleaves the sword around from right to left with one hand.  The great thing
    about this move is that you can input it at any point after the first two X's
    and it will animate accordingly.  You can use this move to single out enemies
    that might be holding back until you finish.
    
    4. Scroll - At Level 3, the Reigning Spiral is a one-hit kill on most
    regular enemies.
    
    Reigning Spiral (Scroll) - See War Hammer Reigning Spiral.
    
    SPEAR GUN
    ---------
    You cannot block with the Spear Gun.  As a consequence, you can neither
    Intercept, nor Counter Attack.
    
    Ryu attaches this weapon and its holster to his leg.  Whenever he is not
    using it, he returns it to its holster.  He uses both hands to fire it, and
    there is significant recoil on the weapon.  It has unlimited ammunition as
    well.
    
    1. Level 1 - This weapon is really only useful underwater.  Muramasa will not
    upgrade this weapon.
    
    Spear Shot - Ryu takes the weapon off of his leg, and fires once while
    stabilizing the gun with both hands.
    
    Earth Slide - See Nunchaku Earth Slide.
    
    Dragon Emperor Kick - See Nunchaku Dragon Emperor Kick.
    
    WOODEN SWORD
    ------------
    You acquire the Wooden Sword either buy purchasing it in the original game, or
    buy collecting 5 Scarabs in the HP1.  The Wooden Sword is not available in HP2.
    
    The Wooden Sword is a simple boken.  A practice sword used for samurai in
    training.  Any damage caused is due to sheer blunt force trauma.  As such, this
    weapon is simply a place holder until you are rich enough to upgrade into the
    Unlabored Flawlessness.  Many people wonder about the design choice of having a
    boken transform into a huge paddle, but that story is a very well-known tale in
    Japan.  It's based on the legendary Swordsman and author of the Five Rings,
    Myamoto Musashi.  For more information on this legend, see the Story Synopsis.
    
    1. Levels 1-6 - The only differences between the Level 1 DS and the Wooden
    Sword are that the Wooden Sword glows white when at low health, it does
    significantly less damage, it cannot DECAP and it replaces some of the DS's
    moves with the Nunchaku.  If Ryu were a pacifist, this is the weapon that he'd
    utilize.
    
    Crimson Slash - See Dragon Sword Crimson Slash.
    
    Tiger Roar - See Dragon Sword Tiger Roar.
    
    Fiend's Bane Kick - See Dragon Sword Fiend's Bane Kick.
    
    Early Winter Rain - See Dragon Sword Early Winter Rain.
    
    Blade of the Undefeatable - See Dragon Sword Blade of the Undefeatable.
    
    Sweeping Kick - See Nunchaku Sweeping Kick.
    
    Scarlet Dragon - See Dragon Sword Scarlet Dragon.
    
    Earth Slide - See Nunchaku Earth Slide.
    
    Fiend Sealer - See Dragon Sword Fiend Sealer.
    
    Blade of the Empty Air - See Dragon Sword Blade of the Empty Air.
    
    Helmet Splitter - See Dragon Sword Helmet Splitter.
    
    Air Destruction Slash - See Dragon Sword Air Destruction Slash.
    
    Falling Dragon Blade - See Dragon Sword Falling Dragon Blade.
    
    Cicada Slash - See Dragon Sword Cicada Slash.
    
    Divine Cicada Slash - See Dragon Sword Divine Cicada Slash.
    
    Wave Reverser - See Dragon Sword Wave Reverser.
    
    Ripple Slash - See Dragon Sword Ripple Slash.
    
    Floating Blade - See Dragon Sword Floating Blade.
    
    Gleaming Water Dragon - See Dragon Sword Gleaming Water Dragon.
    
    2. Scroll - The Wooden Sword has no unique Scroll moves.
    
    Gleaming Cross - See Dragon Sword Gleaming Cross.
    
    Fiend's Bane Kick - See Dragon Sword Fiend's Bane Kick.
    
    KITETSU
    -------
    You gain this weapon after Doku's defeat in both the original game and the
    Hurricane Packs.  The sword splits into two spectral swords for most of the
    weapon's movelist.  While it may appear as though Kitetsu is simply a
    tricky version of the Dragon Sword, this is not at all the case.
    
    1. Level 1 - Muramasa will not upgrade Kitetsu for you.  This most likely
    has to do with its evil nature.
    
    The Kitetsu resembles a traditional katana more closely than the Dragon
    Sword.  It's got a much more severe curvature to the blade, the hilt is
    longer, and the scabbard possesses a sageo unlike the DS.  Even though
    Ryu animates identically between the DS and Kitetsu (for the appropriate
    moves), Kitetsu is a much larger weapon, and it it much more curved at
    the end.  You get a little more reach with Kitetsu then you get with the
    Dragon Sword.
    
    As you'll realize soon enough, the Kitetsu drains the life of its user.
    This affect can be offset by the Armlet of Tranquility and as such, it
    should go hand-in-hand with the use of Kitetsu.  If you do not possess the
    Tranquility Armet, the Dead Soul Bind needs to be employed judiciously
    to return your leached life.  This blade gives off an evil, red glow when
    it is put to use.
    
    Dark Rain - Ryu will slash once from right to left, do a complete 360 and
    strike from left to right with the blade.  Then, Ryu will wield Kitetsu,
    breaking it into two blades, and then with the final two strikes, he will
    then spin the blades around him bringing them down on of the enemies head
    all the way to the ground.  Unlike the DS, the strikes in this series are
    much more capable of DECAP.
    
    Stab of Extinction - Ryu will unsheathe Kitetsu, spin 360 degrees and toss
    the blade away at neck level while kneeling on the ground.  The blade will
    spin around whilst in-flight, and it will cut through anything in its path
    both on the way away from Ryu and back towards him.  Regular enemies will
    be Cleared both on the way away from Ryu and on the way back, while Large
    enemies will be SPUN.
    
    Stab of Overpowering Evil - Ryu will strike twice and then immediately go
    into Stab of Extinction.
    
    Dead Soul Bind - Dead Soul Bind is just Soul Bind with the two strikes of
    Dark Rain leading into it.
    
    Soul Bind -  The Kitetsu's bread and butter move is Soul Bind.  After Ryu
    runs the enemy through, he will proceed to push the Soul out of their body
    through the exit would and absorb it; healing himself in the process.  There
    are so many properties and uses for this move that it warranted its own
    section.  Please see the In-depth Move Discussion section for more details.
    
    Soul Eraser - If one decides to forgo the Soul Bind in Dead Soul Bind, Ryu
    can issue a Y attack that will make him disappear, Phantom and dash forward
    with Kitetsu out in front of him.  See the In-depth Move Discussion Section
    for more details.
    
    Blade of Nirrti - See Dragon Sword Blade of Nirrti.
    
    Haze Straight Slash - See Dragon Sword Haze Straight Slash.
    
    Extinction Straight Slash - See Dragon Sword Extinction Straight Slash.
    
    Bassara - The Ultimate Technique with Kitetsu is very unique looking.  Ryu
    will pull Kitetsu apart and begin thrashing enemies left and right with the
    two blades spinning them furiously.  More specifically, he'll Extinction
    Straight Slash right into the enemy, pull the blade apart and slash right
    to left, left to right sequentially with either blade, slash right to left
    again with both blades at the same time with an overhead strike to boot.
    Ryu will then twirl each blade over and under each other for a total of six
    strikes in under a second; three times to his left side, and then three
    times to his right side.  Finally, Ryu will jump into the air, spinning,
    Phantom and bring both blades down and pull them through the enemy to each
    side whilst landing on the ground in a kneeling position.  He will then
    force the blades together again over his right shoulder.  Each strike is
    accompanied with a full Essence Explosion as well.
    
    Crazed Bones Slash - Ryu will stab Kitetsu forward and twist the blade into
    the enemy's abdomen, impaling them.  It grants you Crumple Stun instantly.
    You can also follow this up with Soul Bind.  Unlike the following Soul Binds,
    you are 100% vulnerable during the execution of this move.  You need to make
    sure that you can get into a Soul Bind before doing this strike at all.
    
    Azure Dragon - See Dragon Sword Azure Dragon.
    
    Scarlet Dragon - See Dragon Sword Scarlet Dragon.
    
    Beheaded Demon - In Beheaded Demon, Ryu will be running forward, place the
    blade in front of him and pull Kitetsu apart into its twin pieces, sticking
    his arms out to the side.  The second X will make Ryu spin counter-clockwise
    while bringing the blades parallel to each other and slashing from right
    to left.  He'll then force the blades back together.  This move DECAPs.
    Unlike Violent Gale, the 2nd X in this series CLEARs.  This is one of the
    areas in which the Kitetsu is superior to the DS.
    
    Hundred Curses Slash - Ryu splits Kitetsu into its twin blades and proceeds
    to spin around hold the blades out.  Ryu completes two full rotations while
    jumping before landing with the blades pointed parallel to his starting
    position before Ryu merges the blades back together.  This technique DECAPs
    excessively and Spin Stuns as well.
    
    Fiend Sealer - See Dragon Sword Fiend Sealer.
    
    Burial Kick - See Dragon Sword Burial Kick.
    
    Helmet Splitter - See Dragon Sword Helmet Splitter.
    
    Air Destruction Slash - See Dragon Sword Air Destruction Slash.
    
    Falling Dragon Blade - See Dragon Sword Falling Dragon Blade.
    
    Flying Swallow - The only difference between this move and the Dragon
    Sword's technique is that Kitetsu gives off a red glow unlike the DS's
    white glow.  See Dragon Sword Flying Swallow.
    
    Cicada Slash - See Dragon Sword Cicada Slash.
    
    Divine Cicada Slash - See Dragon Sword Divine Cicada Slash.
    
    Wave Reverser - See Dragon Sword Wave Reverser.
    
    Ripple Slash - See Dragon Sword Ripple Slash.
    
    Floating Blade - See Dragon Sword Floating Blade.
    
    Gleaming Water Dragon - See Dragon Sword Gleaming Water Dragon.
    
    2. Scroll - Kitetsu has no unique Scroll moves.
    
    Gleaming Cross - See Dragon Sword Gleaming Cross.
    
    Fiend's Bane Kick - See Dragon Sword Fiend's Bane Kick.
    
    Izuna Drop - See Dragon Sword Izuna Drop.
    
    UNLABORED FLAWLESSNESS
    ----------------------
    Once you upgrade the Wooden Sword up to Level 7, you attain this
    weapon.
    
    1. Level 1 - At 5% health, this is still the strongest weapon in the game.
    The Unlabored Flawlessness is a gigantic, two-handed oar with glowing red
    kanji running the length of the weapon.  The kanji translate roughly to
    Unlabored Flawlessness (at least an English sounding version of what it
    actually means).  When Ryu's life is at 5% and flashing, the kanji glow
    very brightly.  This is to signify the insane increase in damage.
    
    Flaming Hell Slash - Ryu pulls the Unlabored Flawlessness off of his back and
    swings it over his head in a vertical strike imbedding the blunt edge into the
    ground.  Ryu then quickly pivots around the imbedded weapon and uppercuts with
    the weapon.  Ryu is left standing very briefly with the weapon lying on the
    ground in his right hand briefly before he swings it horizontally with one
    hand.  He borrows this move from his Dabilahro style with this like-named
    strike.  This is one of those moves that animates differently depending upon
    how long Ryu delays the attack and where the enemy is positioned relative to
    Ryu.
    
    Flying Dragon Falling Slash - This series resembles the Dragon Sword's and
    Kitetsu's Blade of Nirrti, but there are significant differences both
    functionally and cosmetically.  Ryu cannot perform Blade of Nirrti or the
    Izuna Drop without an enemy to strike.  Conversely, you can perform Flying
    Dragon Falling Slash at any time.  Also, it looks much cooler as Ryu is
    swinging around a man-sized oar with one hand while being magically suspended
    in mid-air.  The last strike it much different from Blade of Nirrti.  Ryu
    Phantoms and does a couple flips before he brings the UF down with both hands
    to the ground with extreme force.  This is a bread-and-butter move for this
    weapon.
    
    Forest Winds and Mountain Fires - Ryu swings the UF down into the ground,
    quickly pivots around the handle and uppercuts up without leaving the ground.
    As the enemy falls back down, Ryu spins 360 degrees and bats the enemy's body
    away like a baseball in mid-air.
    
    Boulder Splitter - See Dabilahro Inferno Slash.
    
    Steel Splitter - See Dabilahro Purgatory Slash.
    
    Tempered Steel Splitter - This is a more powerful version of Steel Splitter.
    
    Earth Splitter - Ryu phantoms, jumps up into the air and flips multiple times.
    He then places the UF between his legs while an explosion goes off in mid-air.
    Ryu drops down through the explosion pushing it into the ground with the UF
    when second flaming geyser erupts from where he hit the ground.  It hurts a
    lot, but the range isn't so great.  He then pulls the UF out of the ground.
    
    Flaming Inferno - See Dabilahro Flaming Inferno.
    
    Flaming Whirlwind - See War Hammer Flaming Whirlwind.
    
    Earth Slide - See Nunchaku Earth Slide
    
    Hundred Man Slash - See Dabilahro Hundred Man Slash.
    
    Corpse Crusher - See War Hammer Corpse Crusher.
    
    Avalanche Drop - See War Hammer Avalanche Drop.
    
    Rolling Thunder - See War Hammer Rolling Thunder.
    
    Raging Thunder - See War Hammer Raging Thunder.
    
    Aqua Thrust - See Nunchaku Aqua Thrust.
    
    Water Formation Kick - See Nunchaku Water Formation Kick.
    
    2. Scroll - The Unlabored Flawlessness has no unique Scroll moves.
    
    Reigning Spiral - See War Hammer Reigning Spiral.
    
    Izuna Drop - See Dragon Sword Izuna Drop.
    
    DARK DRAGON BLADE
    -----------------
    You acquire the Dark Dragon Blade 3 different ways depending upon if you're
    playing the original game, HP1 or HP2.  In the original game, you can only
    acquire it via Successive Play.  In HP1, you get it for gathering 50 Scarabs.
    In HP2, you get it out of a chest halfway through the Phases after defeating
    Doku.
    
    1. Level 1 - Most of the single strikes with the DDB are Guard Breaking.
    All of the Charge and Essence moves are accompanied by a black wave.
    Muramasa won't upgrade this weapon, either.  It's the sealed version of the
    blade.
    
    As readily apparent during the opening cinema of the game, the Dark Dragon
    Blade is an extremely ornate and vulgar weapon.  The hilt appears to be a
    golden representation of a dragon's head, and the gigantic fanglike
    structures extend down from the bottom; hence the dragon's maw.  The guard
    is composed of two, long spires that extend straight out from the weapon.
    The Blade is composed of Black Dragon bones and looks metallic and somewhat
    glassy at the same time.  The blade itself is carved to resemble a black
    flame rising out of handle and there are red characters (not kanji) etched
    into both blunt faces of the sword.  The markings are Vigoorian.
    
    Whenever the blade is swung, a black trail is left behind, but the Blade
    glows purple when its full strength is being utilized.
    
    Gleam of Heaven and Earth - See War Hammer Gleam of Heaven and Earth.
    
    Flaming Hell Slash - See Unlabored Flawlessness Flaming Hell Slash.
    
    Dark Dragon Descending Fiends - Ryu jumps forward a bit and thrusts the Blade
    down at an angle in mid air.
    
    Dark Dragon Flaming Demon - Ryu suddenly dashes forward and slashes
    horizontally.
    
    Dark Dragon Cauterizing Slash - Ryu spins 720 degrees, pulls the Blade up to
    neck height and slashes an additional 360 degrees.  He then jumps up into the
    air in a circle while slashing the Blade backwards at the enemy's neck, yet
    again.  The final strike is accompanied by an Essence Explosion.
    
    Dark Dragon Gates of Hell - Ryu phantoms and dashes an EXTREMELY long
    distance into the enemy where he hits them by smashing the Blade down into
    the enemy's feet.  If this strike connects, then Ryu performs an auto-combo
    with the Blade whipping it around as it if weighed nothing.  First, he
    uppercuts them while holding the weapon with one hand.  Then he quickly
    slashes left and then right.  The right slash spins Ryu around, so he must
    slash to the left again spinning to correct himself while cradling the Blade
    with both hands.  Then, he performs another uppercut, and then finally
    spins the Blade over his head, turns around showing his back to the enemy
    and strikes the enemy with a behind-the-back stab.  Each hit is accompanied
    by a Full Essence Explosion and a very thick, metallic *chunk* sound.
    
    Hundred Demons Bite - See Dabilahro Flaming Inferno.
    
    Flaming Whirlwind - See War Hammer Flaming Whirlwind.
    
    Earth Slide - See Nunchaku Earth Slide.
    
    Hundred Man Slash - See Dabilahro Hundred Man Slash.
    
    Corpse Crusher - See War Hammer Corpse Crusher.
    
    Fool Crusher - See Dabilahro Fool Crusher.
    
    Thunderous Blade - See Dabilahro Thunderous Blade.
    
    Raging Thunderous Blade - See Dabilahro Raging Thunderous Blade.
    
    Aqua Thrust - See Nunchaku Aqua Thrust.
    
    Water Formation Kick - See Nunchaku Water Formation Kick.
    
    2. Scroll - The Dark Dragon Blade has no unique Scroll moves.
    
    Reigning Spiral - See War Hammer Reigning Spiral.
    
    LUNAR
    -----
    You can acquire the Lunar in the Shadow Ninja Fortress in HP1.  In HP2,
    you are equipped with a Level 2 Lunar by default.
    
    1. Level 1 - The Level 1 Lunar is still a very formidable weapon.
    
    The Lunar at Level 1 resembles any common bo.  It's a fully sized staff,
    red and capped with gold.  At this stage, it is a blunt force weapon and
    is not capable of decapitations.
    
    Raven's Strike - Raven's Strike is the Lunar's base Combo.  Ryu slashes
    from right to left once, and then brings the staff back to his right side
    while twirling the Bo.  The final X makes Ryu spin around 360 degrees
    while bringing the weapon around at the same time.  Finally, he twirls it
    one last time, and it ends up held with his right hand off to his right
    side while he kneels slightly.
    
    Raven Light - Ryu slashes from right to left with the Bo, and then twirls
    it vertically for several hits on his right side, before bringing above
    his head with both hands an swinging down vertically to the ground
    accompanied with a little hop for force.  This is a Grounding move.
    
    Twilight - Ryu strikes once from right to left with the Lunar and then
    stabs forward once with the end of the Bo.
    
    Arc of the Moon - Ryu rears back clasping the Lunar with both hands, and
    then spins around once with the Lunar outstretched horizontally.
    
    Soul of the Crescent - Just like in Arc of the Moon, Ryu rears back, but
    charges for a bit while the Lunar collects energy.  Once released, Ryu
    will swing around like Arc of the Moon, but hit harder.
    
    Shrouded Crescent - After collecting a single Essence or waiting long
    enough, Ryu will get an Essence explosion.  After releasing Y, Ryu will
    spin around twice.
    
    Raven's Veil - After collecting two Essence (or waiting long enough
    again), Ryu will create a Hurricane with his spinning motion and will
    rotate at least 5 times decimating all around him.  He'll end the move
    with an ending pose like Raven's Strike.
    
    Lion's Rage - Ryu will quickly spin the Lunar laterally to his right side
    and then flip it over and spin it laterally to his left side.  He will
    edge forward slightly while doing this.
    
    Black Widow - After Lion's Rage, Ryu will spin the Lunar out in front of
    him with one hand in a circle forming a shield of sorts, and then quickly
    grab it, spin around while ducking and swing the Lunar horizontally.
    
    Crescent Strike - Ryu spins once very quickly and flicks the Lunar around
    his shoulders horizontally before spinning the Lunar in a reverse motion
    with a vertical strike which Launches.  This is analogous to the Scarlet
    Dragon with the DS and Kitetsu.  Ryu will hit the enemy with both ends of
    the Lunar.
    
    Purgatory's Rivet - While Ryu is running, he will stop abruptly, bend
    backwards and flick the Lunar out in front of him twice.  This move CLEARs.
    
    Twin Serpent Strike - Ryu will use his running momentum to flip upside
    down, strike out in front of him with the rod.  He'll then spin the Lunar
    in his left hand under him.  Once Ryu becomes parallel to the ground, he'll
    hold the Lunar next to his waist while spinning on axis.  This makes Ryu
    appear to be a saw blade, before he lands on his feet.  Ryu will then land
    on his feet and commit one more 360 degree revolution before chambering the
    Lunar again.
    
    Nirmanakaya - Ryu jumps up quickly next to a GROUND foe, and
    brings the staff down across the enemy's body.
    
    Tempest - Ryu somersaults in mid-air several times before crashing
    down to the ground.
    
    Phantom Moon - Ryu turns in mid-air with his body parallel to the ground and
    spins several times with the Lunar held out before crashing down to the ground.
    
    Gibbous - Ryu phantoms before spinning one more time than Tempest before flying
    down to the ground with a crushing strike while holding the Lunar with both
    hands.
    
    Aqua Thrust - See Nunchaku Aqua Thrust.
    
    Water Formation Kick - See Nunchaku Water Formation Kick.
    
    2. Level 2 - Level 2 gives you one of the safest techniques in the game,
    Dragon's Claw.
    
    Aside from the Unlabored Flawlessness, this weapon undergoes the most drastic
    transformation.  When Muramasa reforges this weapon, he adds a pair of spires;
    one to each end, metallic spiral ridges, the shaft is colored black and a crown
    of two, sharp pikes on each face of the weapon.  At Level 2, this is a terribly
    fearsome weapon both in design and function.  Since the spires and pikes are
    added the weapon gains the ability to decapitate and shed blood.
    
    Dragon's Claw - Ryu adds in a little hop kick and a final 360 vertical flip
    where he both kicks and strikes with the Lunar and then reverses the
    Lunar's motion by swinging it back over his shoulder, Clearing anybody struck
    by it.  This arguably the safest technique in the game as you are constantly
    moving, and there is a Guard Break mid-Combo.  However, this series is
    EXTREMELY weak in strength and the quicker enemies can evade every strike in
    the series.
    
    Infinite Fury - Level 2 lets Ryu repeatedly stab forward after the initial
    Y stab of Twilight several times, before lunging straight forward with a
    very strong thrust.
    
    Lion's Rage - Level 2 adds one more revolution to the series where he moves the
    Lunar over to his left side.  Also, that X can now LAUNCH.
    
    Black Widow - Additionally, Level 3 allows you to tack on an additional Black
    Widow to the additional X of Lion's Rage.
    
    3. Level 3 - Level 3 grants you a 360 move and extensions to the other
    series Combos.
    
    At Level 3, Muramasa exchanges the silver hardware for gold, and then returns
    the rod back to its original, red color.
    
    Lion's Rage - Level 3 adds the final revolution to the series.
    
    Black Widow - Additionally, Level 3 allows you to tack on a Black Widow
    to this additional X.
    
    Full Moon Strike - Ryu can now SELFLAUNCH out of Crescent Strike by flipping
    the Lunar around his shoulders while jumping in the air.  This is analogous to
    Azure Dragon for the DS and Kitetsu.
    
    Lunar Explosion - Lunar Explosion simply allows for a Phantom Moon to be
    performed after a Full Moon Strike.
    
    Raven Streams - Ryu rears back a bit before spinning his body and
    simultaneously rotating the Lunar around his body before catching it in his
    right hand and blocking with his outstretched left hand.  He commits two
    horizontal Lunar twirls.  The first rotates around his mid-section while the
    second is spun around his head.
    
    4. Scroll - Both the Counter Attack and Izuna Drop are slightly different
    from the other weapon's iterations.
    
    Concealed Thrust - Ryu immediately initiates the Y strike of Infinite Fury.
    However, you get one less thrust out of the Counter Attack version.
    
    Izuna Drop - It only takes one X to setup the Izuna Drop with the Lunar.
    Otherwise, see the Dragon Sword Izuna Drop.  The timing and spacing is MUCH
    more strict with the Lunar.  I'm assuming that this has to do with
    balancing out the weapon.  The actual animation once Ryu has captured the
    opponent is identical.
    
    SHURIKEN
    --------
    Iron Rain - B~B~B~B (JF)
    Ryu will throw four shuriken while standing in VERY quick succession.
    Additionally, a different arm animation will accompany each toss.  This will
    come out as quickly as his running and jumping shuriken throw.  There is a
    benefit to this as you must do this mid-combo to gain the benefits of the
    move.  If you do not get the four unique arm animations, enemies with
    excessive mobility (Imp Fiends) will be able to dodge the Shuriken mid-combo.
    
    Platinum Rain - Bird Flip, B
    Ryu will throw six shuriken very quickly after a Bird Flip.  As with any Bird
    Flip option, you gain a significant advantage attacking from this lengthy setup.
    The most powerful property of this technique is that it grants you IA status at
    every stage of its animation, AND you do not get a landing penalty if choose
    to attack.  This is EXTREMELY useful.  With any other Bird Flip option, you are
    usually hit with an extended landing penalty from which you can usually only
    NINC or iB.  However, with Platinum Rain, you get the usual Bird Flip advantage
    (2 add'l Shuriken), but land as you do from a regular jump (with the ability to
    iCOL).  So, if you've setup a Divine Cicada but have noticed that all of the
    Imps you intended to cascade down upon decided to make a hasty retreat, you
    can alter your strategy and at least get some add'l damage in.
    
    Flood Waters - WR B
    Ryu will throw four shuriken very quickly WR.  You can do it in any direction
    and still keep Ryu's forward velocity.
    
    ALL WEAPONS
    -----------
    Ryu can perform the following moves with any weapon.
    
    Reverse Wind - This is the technical name for Ryu's Roll movement.  He will
    somersault along the ground with his weapon unsheathed and recover upon both
    feet.
    
    Wind Path - Ryu disappears right above an enemy and leaves a Phantom behind,
    while reappearing on the enemies' shoulders and jumping off of them.  There
    are actually two versions of Wind Path, hWP and vWP.  See the Wind Path
    Move Discussion for more details.  The visual difference between the two is
    such that the Vertical Version makes Ryu do another flip IA above the enemy.
    
    Guillotine Throw - Ryu grabs the neck of the enemy while being inverted in the
    air over the enemy and then uses his weight to flip over the enemy's shoulder
    and throw them at the same time.  This move is very useful for crowd control,
    and it is unblockable.  However, you are hit with SIGNIFICANT recovery upon
    successful completion of this move.  See the In-depth Move discussion section
    for more information.
    
    Thunderclap Kick - Ryu jumps forward, kicks and then flips over while in
    mid-air and kicks again.  A successful strike with the second kick will
    CLEAR.  Later on in Ryu's life (i.e. the DOA series), Ryu adds in a third
    revolution and an additional kick.  He then lands on the ground crouched and
    supporting himself with one hand.
    
    Block - Ryu has different block animations for every weapon.
    
    1.  Dragon Sword/Kitetsu/Wooden Sword - Ryu unsheathes the sword and holds it
    almost totally, perpendicular to the ground, upside down.  The blade reacts
    appropriately depending upon how Ryu is hit (from the side, straight-on, above,
    etc...).
    
    2.  Nunchaku/Vigoorian Flail - Ryu holds both ends of the weapon and pulls them
    tight out in front of them diagonally to the ground.
    
    3.  Lunar - Ryu holds the Lunar in the same fashion that he pulls the two
    halves of the Flail tight.  That is, he holds it out in front of him in a
    slightly diagonal way.
    
    4.  Heavy Two-Handed Weapons - Ryu brandishes all of the Heavy Two-Handed
    Weapons in the same manner whilst blocking.  He holds it with both hands upside
    down, perpendicular to the ground.  Visually, they provide much more coverage
    than the One-Handed Weapons.
    
    5.  Harpoon Gun - Ryu cannot block when this weapon is armed.  It holsters on
    his leg, ready for use.
    
    Vertical Jump - Ryu jumps straight off of the ground without flipping or doing
    anything else particularly Ninja-like.
    
    Horizontal Jump - Ryu will somersault in the air twice before landing on the
    ground already ready to strike.
    
    Wall Cling - Depending upon how Ryu commits the Wall Cling, he'll get different
    animations.  If he hits the wall straight on, he'll mount it with his foot and
    knee directly into it.  If you perform the Flying Bird Flip, you'll jump off
    regularly with Ryu stretched straight out and his arms crossed over his chest
    ready to issue a command.
    
    However, if you jump at the wall at an angle to do a Wall Cling, Ryu will
    rest on his side and brace himself with his hip and arm.  Then, if you issue
    a Flying Bird Flip, Ryu will somersault in mid-air doing a circular flip.
    This jump has the same properties as Flying Bird Flip, so it should be treated
    as such.
    
    Flying Bird Flip - Ryu jumps off of a wall perpendicularly and crosses his
    hands over his chest while he flips backwards.  With this move, Ryu achieves
    great height, and as such Ryu uses this move to initiate the most damaging
    moves in his arsenal.  It is a different state from IA.
    
    Depeding upon if you did a Flying Bird Flip from a Wall Run or Wall Cling, you
    have control over which direction you Flying Bird Flip.  This is very useful
    for crowd control.
    
    --HURRICANE PACK--
    This section will describe the changes in the game that occurred with the
    addition of the two Hurricane Packs.  Keep in mind that you can still play the
    original game whenever you want.
    
    GAME CHANGES
    ------------
    The majority of the combat system itself has remained unchanged.  The entirety
    of this document still applies. However, if you do not have the Hurricane Pack,
    you will need to disregard all information about the Lunar and Intercepts.  The
    majority of the Hurricane Pack changes were applied to the scoring (Karma)
    system.  See my Karma FAQ for more details.
    
    INTERCEPT
    ---------
    The most powerful defensive tactic in the game is introduced in the second
    chest.  The Hurricane Pack implemented the "Just Defend" notion and calls it
    Intercept.  If you anticipate an enemy's attack and precisely block with the
    proper timing, you the attack is totally nullified, and Ryu can then issue any
    command of his own.  A blue and White flash is emitted when the technique is
    successful, and you are awarded 1000 points if the Encounter Counter has not
    expired.  The power of the technique is unquestionable.  Additionally, you
    Combo meter will not reset by Intercepting, although, a successful Intercept
    does not count as a hit.  As a final bonus, you are granted around 20-30
    invincibility frames if you initiate an attack immediately after an Intercept.
    Unfortunately, Intercepts (like Counter Attacks) will still not nullify throws.
    
    One would think that this would new tactic would overshadow the use of Counter
    Attack.  However, this is not the case.  The attack following a successful
    Intercept is not guaranteed (unlike Counter Attacks).  Also, in every case,
    the Counter Attack either launches, knocks down or kills the enemies outright
    whereas with Intercept, you have to pick your next option.  If you can
    anticipate the attack that's coming, many scenarios will present themselves
    where a Counter Attack will be a better choice than an Intercept.
    
    There are a lot of subtleties to the system as well.  While it is impossible to
    issue a standard Y attack after an Intercept (it grants iC instead), nearly
    every other offensive and defensive move in the game is possible.  The most
    difficult to accomplish involve 360 degree motions of the stick.  Your timing
    must be perfect to do this.
    
    On the plus side, you are granted some invincible frames immediately following
    an Intercept as long as the action is an attack.  You are not limited to
    attacks following an Intercept, however.  Almost every defensive action is
    also possible post-Intercept.
    
    UNINTERCEPTIBLE ATTACKS
    -----------------------
    While the Intercept is an arguably over-powered technique. There are many, many
    attacks in the game which cannot be Intercepted.  They will be outlined here.
    Some things are easier to Intercept than others.  For example, Alma's Firewheel
    is capable of being Intercepted, but it is EXTREMELY difficult.  As such, some
    of these attacks are up for debate.
    
    1.  All Characters - All Throws
    2.  Murai - Auspicious Phoenix
    3.  Dynamo - Static Shield
    4.  Tentacle Fiend - Grab, Trip, Flail
    5.  Monk Fiends - Ritual, Glyphless Ritual
    5.  Zombie Dragon - Swipe, Stomp, Bite, All Tail Lashes
    6.  Alma - Bubble Throw, Leg Throw
    7.  Tank Battalion - Rundown, Main Cannon
    8.  Attack Helicopter - Missile Volley, Bombing Run
    9.  Inazuma/Inferno Worm - Lightning Ball, Fire Ring, Slap
    10. Ogres - Uppercut
    11. Moat Guardian - Immolation, Wing Flap, Stomp, Bite, Skewer, Leap
    12. Doku - Extinction Slash, Dead Soul Bind, Breath, Shockwave
    13. Ice Fiend - Ice Breath, Stomp, Ice Geysers
    14. Smougan - Bite, Fireballs
    15. Awakened Alma - Globe Fireball, Rushdown, Leg Throw
    16. Spirit Doku - Extinction Slash, Distance Dead Soul Bind, Breath
    17. Gogohn - Wing Dive, Lariat
    18. Vigoor -  Lasers, Bite, Stomp
    19. Dark Disciple - Dark Dragon, Shuriken, Torpedo
    
    ESSENCE FARMING
    ---------------
    The Essence Farming has been adjusted greatly in the Hurricane Pack.  Enemies
    no longer release their maximum Essence by being hit with a UT solely now.
    The Combo Count affects the Essence released greatly now.  However, Phantom
    Fish will release a lot of Essence by being hit with a UT regardless of Combo
    Count.
    
    The modifiers determining the length of the combo seem to have been adjusted as
    well.  Now, the Essence generated will increase in increments of 20, 50 and 100
    at least.
    
    REPEAT ENCOUNTERS
    -----------------
    Two things have changed as far as Repeat Encounters are concerned.  Before, if
    you were doing poorly in an Encounter, you could always leave before the timer
    was up and come back.  Everything would reset.  This is no longer the case.  As
    soon as the Encounter Counter starts, you must finish the Encounter the first
    time in order to gain Karma.
    
    Secondly, repeat Encounters no longer give any points at all.  An Encounter
    Counter will no longer be displayed upon redoing an Encounter.  This is true
    even throughout different Chapters with several exceptions.
    
    ENEMY CHANGES
    -------------
    So far, it looks as though every single enemy in the game received some sort of
    upgrade.  Some of them are simply balance issues, while the majority make the
    enemies' strategies totally new.  In every case, if an enemy was unable to
    penetrate Ryu's Guard, they have been given either a throw or multiple Guard
    Breaking techniques.  This makes the Counter Attack Technique much more
    balanced as it is no longer possible to simply sit there and Counter Attack
    Fiend after Fiend.
    
    Additionally, every Boss has been readjusted.  In many cases, cheap strategies
    that worked before no longer work at all.  Some Bosses have been completely
    reworked as far as their AI is concerned.  The two most blatant examples are
    Alma Awakened and the Tank Battalion.  Unfortunately, a few AI quirks are still
    evident in Dynamo and the Moat Guardian.  Hopefully, Team Ninja will realize
    these last few AI exploits and adjust them for the Hurricane Pack 2.
    
    There are several FAQ's already dedicated to the other changes.  There are
    better documents out there to answer this question.  Here are two:
    
    By VampireHorde
    http://db.gamefaqs.com/console/xbox/file/ninja_gaiden_x_hurricane_pack.txt
    
    By Fedzmonkey
    http://db.gamefaqs.com/console/xbox/file/ninja_gaiden_x_hurricane_pack_a.txt
    
    --FREE FORM COMBOS--
    Not all combos are listed in the in-game menu.  There are many variations on
    the canned combos and many instances where a move is capable of being cancelled
    by another specific move.  You can also forgo finishing almost every combo in
    the game if you see danger imminent, or you believe that it would be beneficial
    to avoid the final strike to avoid the lengthy recovery.  We will try to
    outline as many instances as possible.  Keep in mind that if any part of the
    combo is unavailable due to insufficient weapon level, then the combo won't
    work.
    
    Persons credited with the discovery are included within quotes before the
    command list.  If not enclosed in quotes, the term designates a move
    description or requirement.
    
    DRAGON SWORD FREE FORM COMBOS
    -----------------------------
    1. Violent Windmill - (6)+X, X, X, [,X,] r6
    You start with a Windmill Slash and follow with three more X's. The 2nd X will
    be a regular slash followed by Violent Gale as the engine will register you as
    WR if you've held right on the analog stick the whole time.  The Windmill Slash
    is the move where Ryu does a front somersault with the Dragon Sword unsheathed.
    The following three hits will come out very fast and progress in opposite
    directions of a NEAR enemy.
    
    2. Windmill Thunderclap Kick ("goatism") - (6)+X, X, Y r6
    Again, the Windmill Slash will register as WR, so you can pull out a
    Thunderclap Kick as well.
    
    3. Blade of the Hazy Slash ("Psychotic Kiske") - X, Y, X, X, X, ...OL Y
    If you delay the final X or Y of Blade of Nirrti or Izuna Drop and fall back to
    the ground, you will attain an iC.  This will usually decapitate the enemy
    lying on the ground.
    
    4. Blade of Tranquility ("holyvision") - X, Y, X, X, X, ...OL X, etc.
    
    5. Blade of Dragon Gleam ("holyvision") - X, Y, X, X, X, ...[1/2 Essence] OL
    Dragon Gleam
    Actual Commands: X, Y, X, X, X, ...OL 360+Y
    
    6. Blade of the Bleeding Helmet (Lvl2) - X, Y, X, X, X ...Y
    
    7. Violent Azure/Scarlet Dragon ("goatism") - WR, X, 6+Y/(Y)
    The Azure or Scarlet Dragon launchers can follow Violent Wind nicely.
    
    8. Violent Wind of the Twin Dragons ("goatism") - WR, X, X, 6+(Y), Y, Y
    Aside from the punny name, this is a very useful series as well.  There's a
    short delay between these but nothing serious.
    
    9. Late Winter Rain ("Psychotic Kiske" DEAD) - Early Winter Rain, ...Burial Kick
    Actual Commands: X, X, 6+X, Y ...X
    
    If the enemy is near death (DEAD), and you do an Early Winter Rain that kills
    them, the enemy will stumble backwards and catch themselves with their hand.
    The cool part is right before they get back up, you kick them square in the
    face.
    
    10. Tranquil Dragon - Tranquil Clearing, Y, ...Tranquil Clearing, Y, ...repeat
    Actual Commands: OL X, Y, ...OL X, Y, ...repeat
    
    The Y following Tranquil Clearing will automatically becomes Azure Dragon which
    will relaunch you.  The Tranquil Dragon series is infinitely repeatable.
    
    11. Tranquil Tear - OL X, X, X, Y
    Tranquil Clearing will also Combo into any other X Combo.
    
    12. Tranquil Dragon Tear ("Dark Falz213") - X, Y, X, X, X, ...Tranquil Tear
    Actual Commands: X, Y, X, X, X, ...OL X, X, X, Y
    
    13. Crimson Dragon Blade - Crimson Slash, ...Blade of the Twin Dragons
    Actual Commands: X, X, X, L, 6+(Y), Y, Y
    
    The last hit of the Crimson Slash will stun the opponent giving you time pull
    off Blade of the Twin Dragons.
    
    14. Storm of the Heavenly Dragon Gleam (2 Essences) - Storm of the Heavenly
    Dragon, [1/2 Essence] OL Dragon Gleam
    Actual Commands: (2 Essences) Charge Y, [1/2 Essence] OL 360+Y
    
    You can buffer the 360 motion of the joystick into any recovery frames, and it
    will come out.
    
    15. Fiend's Bane Annihilation ("Psychotic Kiske", Counter) - WB, X, ...X, Y,
    ...6+X, X, Y
    
    16. Many Fangs ("Psychotic Kiske") - Early Winter Rain, Windmill Slash, Fang of
    the Wolf
    Actual Commands: X, X, 6+X, Y, 6+X, X, Y, Y
    
    17. Scarlet Swallow Slash ("primetime2121") - Scarlet Dragon, B, 9, Flying
    Swallow, B, ...OL Y
    Actual Commands:  6+(Y), B, 6+A, NEAR, 6+Y, B, ...OL Y
    
    You can use this combo with any shuriken for slightly different affects.
    
    18. Counter Attack Dragon Sword ("primetime2121", Counter) - WB, X, ...X, Y, B,
    ...OL Y
    You can use this combo with any shuriken for slightly different affects.
    
    19. Helmet Destruction (LEVELG) - 9~Air Destruction Slash, Helmet Splitter (JF)
    Actual Commands: 6+A~X, ...Y
    
    You have to pause before entering the Helmet Splitter.  After that, you can jam
    on Y, and it will come out.
    
    20. Undead Reign (Ghul, facing) - Azure Dragon, Azure Dragon, X, X, X, X
    Actual Commands: 6+Y, 6+Y, X, X, X, X
    
    Ghuls can be juggled using this combo.  You must do two consecutive
    Azure Dragons from the front to get them to stagger and the become launched.
    They will then land on the ground and have to recover.
    
    21. Gleaming Crane (Counter) - Gleaming Cross, OL Flying Crane
    Actual Commands: WB, Y, OL 360+Y
    
    22. Fiend's Bane Initiation (Counter) - WB, X, ...(etc...)
    The first hit of the Counter Attack of Fiend's Bane Kick is a standard
    launcher.  If you pause before hitting X/Y and neglect to finish the move, you
    can easily continue this series.  There are too many variations to list as
    separate combos.  Very useful.
    
    23. Reverse Windmill - Reverse Wind~Windmill Slash (JF)
    Actual Commands: 1~6+X
    
    This move will catch an attacking enemy mid-animation, because you Roll out of
    the way and instantly Roll back in.  It is listed as a JF, because you cannot
    issue the Windmill Slash too early, and if you do it too late, you lose the
    bonus of the sneak attack.
    
    24. Deceitful Dragon - Reverse Wind~Azure/Scarlet Dragon (JF)
    Actual Commands: 1~6+Y/(Y)
    
    This move will catch an attacking enemy mid-animation, because you Roll out of
    the way and instantly Launch.
    
    25. Crimson Blades ("Shadowblade786") - [OL] X, Blade of the Twin Dragons
    Actual Commands: [OL] X, (Y), Y, Y
    
    Blade of the Twin Dragons comes out of X just like Izuna Drop or Blade of
    Nirrti.
    
    26. Holy Helmet (Izuna) - X, Y, X, X, X, L, Y
    Once you attain Izuna Drop, you can still do a Helmet Splitter at the end
    instead of the actual Drop throw as long as you Combo Break with L.
    
    27. Blade of the Absent Dragon - Blade of the Twin Dragons~/,Ninpo (JF)
    Actual Commands: 6+(Y), Y, Y~/,Y+B
    
    There is a curious allowance for Ninpo Canceling with the 3rd Y of Blade of
    the Twin Dragons.  You can Ninpo Cancel it at ANY time, even during the
    attack frames when Ryu is in mid-air.  Personally, I wait for the exact time
    when Ryu lands to do it, since you will still be credited for the hit.  You
    can do it while Ryu is still IA from the last Y, though, and he will quickly
    fall to the ground and initiate the Ninpo from there.  Both have their uses.
    
    28. Secret Handshake - X, X, 6+X, L, etc.
    Most of the weapons have a Combo that branches extensively.  For the Dragon
    Sword, the beginning of either Fiend's Bane Kick or Early Winter Rain.  You
    can Combo Break right here and start any other series as the hit stun from
    that strike is significant.  There are too many variations to list as
    separate combos.  Very useful.
    
    29. Violent Tendencies - X, X, 6+X, L, Violent Windmill
    Actual Commands: X, X, 6+X, L, (6)+X, X, X, [,X,] r6
    
    The 6+X of Fiend's Bane Kick is a good combo branch as it induces a pretty
    good hit stun.  You can Combo Break right there and do whatever you want.  A
    good option is Violent Windmill, since it is so quick.
    
    30. Tantrum - X, X, 6+X, L, Windmill Thunderclap Kick
    Actual Commands:  X, X, 6+X, L, (6)+X, X, Y r6
    
    The 6+X of Early Winter Rain is a good combo branch as it induces a pretty
    good hit stun.  You can Combo Break right there and do whatever you want.
    Another option is Windmill Thunderclap Kick.
    
    31. Icy Gleam ("Shadowblade786", IceStorm) - Flying Crane/Gleaming Blade/
    Annihilating Gleam/True Dragon Gleam, Ninpo
    Actual Commands - [Charge, 1/2 Essence] 360+Y, Y+B
    
    After doing any one of the Dragon Gleams all enemies around you should be in
    Launched state, perfect for sucking them in with Art of Ice Storm.
    
    32. Flaming Swallow ("Shadowblade786", FireWheel) - Ninpo, Wind Run/9,
    Flying Swallow
    Actual Commands: Y+B, X+A/6+A, 6+Y
    
    While engulfed in Art of Firewheel, do a Flying Swallow by either Wind Run
    or simply a forward jump.  You should first off cut through them, and then
    the enemy should burn up and get tossed in front of you.
    
    Note: There are many variations to Flaming Swallow.  You can let the
    FireWheel hit first, then Wind Run and Flying Swallow while the enemy is
    still in the air due to the FireWheel.  One of the best bonuses of
    utilizing FireWheel prior to a Flying Swallow is the protection it grants
    you during recovery.
    
    33. Dragon's Purge (Firewheel) - Blade of the Dragon's Tail~Ninpo
    Actual Commands: X, X, Y, Y, Y~Y+B
    
    Canceling into Firewheel allows you to avoid the extended recovery of the
    last Y, and at the same time, it allows you to setup a Flaming Swallow
    (see above).
    
    34. Icy Tear (IceStorm) - Tranquil Tear~Ninpo
    Actual Commands: OL X, X, X, Y~Y+B
    
    The final X is a GROUND hit and usually the last Y will simply decapitate.
    If it does not, or you're fighting a large enemy, you can cancel the
    recovery of the Y into an Ice Storm of big damage and Combo count.
    
    35. Reversing Violence - Violent Wind~Reverse Wind (JF)
    Actual Commands: WR X~6+L
    
    I haven't determined the exact frame window as it is VERY small, but you
    can cancel the recovery of Violent Wind into a Reverse Wind.  You'll know
    you did it correctly if you hear two "whoosh" sounds just like if Ryu had
    done an Air Destruction Slash.  The benefit to this is that if the enemy
    blocks Violent Wind, they will most certainly block the upcoming Violent
    Gale as well, since neither of the techniques is Guard Breaking.  You'll
    be left at a frame disadvantage.
    
    36. Cloven Helmet - X, Y, X, Y (1st Y SELFLAUNCH)
    This is a launch combo that almost everyone has discovered.
    
    37. Step Cancel - WR X~5~6, etc. (JF)
    To correctly perform the Step Cancel, you must immediately release the
    stick and move it back to 6 as the original X comes out.  Unfortunately,
    the move must be done so quickly that there is no way to do it on
    reaction (i.e. waiting to see if the enemy blocks the X).
    
    38. Unending Violence - STEPC, ...X~5~6, ...X~5~6, repeat (JF)
    Actual Commands: WR X~5~6, ...X~5~6, repeat
    
    The X following the Step Cancel can be done 10 frames into the running
    animation, Ryu will not animate a running stride usually associated with
    WR.  The initial X comes out about twice as fast as if you let the
    animation finish naturally.
    
    39. Circle of Violence - STEPC~Flying Crane (JF)
    Actual Commands: WR X~5~360+Y
    
    Unlike the rest of the STEPC series.  This one does not require a 6
    following the 5 as the 360 takes care of it.  It comes out VERY fast.
    
    40. Cascading Windmill - STEPC~Windmill Slash, etc.
    Actual Commands: WR X~5~6~5~6+X, etc.
    
    You must do a double tap of the stick for this to come out correctly.
    You have every Windmill Slash option available to you at this point.
    
    41. Crimson Beginning - STEPC~5, X, X, etc.
    Actual Commands: WR X~5~6~5, X, X, etc.
    
    You must return the stick to Neutral for this to come out correctly.
    You have every X, X option available to you at this point.
    
    42. Perching Swallow ("Shadowblade786") - X, Y, ...OL Haze Straight Slash/
    Extinction Straight Slash/Hundred Wing Blade/Storm of the Heavenly Dragon
    Actual Commands: X, Y, ...OL [Charge, 1/2 Essences]Y
    
    Begin Blade of Nirrti or Izuna Drop by pushing X, Y.  When you land,
    you can either press or hold y to get iC.  Let go for crazy damage.  You
    can also simply use an Azure Dragon.
    
    43. Scarlet Sealer - Scarlet Dragon, Reverse Wind, Fiend Sealer/
    Scarlet Dragon, etc.
    Actual Commands: 6+Y, 6+L, DOWN Y/6+Y, etc.
    
    44. Scarlet Triumph (Shuriken) - Scarlet Dragon, B~B~B~B, Reverse Wind,
    Scarlet Dragon, etc.
    Actual Commands: 6+Y, B~B~B~B, 6+L, 6+Y, etc.
    
    45. Flying Wall Flower (Shuriken/Windmill/Incendiary) - WallRun, X/Y~B (JF)
    The Flying Swallow initiated from a WallRun has slightly different properties.
    Regardless of if you actually hit an enemy or not, you can Shuriken Cancel the
    air recovery if you do it soon enough.
    
    46. Vader Blade ("darthvader06") - OL X, X, Y, Y, Y
    
    47. Tranquil Drop - OL X, Y, X, X, X, Y
    
    48. Portrait Hanger (NEARWALL, Guillotine) - 7/9, Guillotine, Scarlet/Azure
    Dragon, etc.
    Actual Commands:  4+A/6+A, NEAR, 6+Y, 6+Y/(Y), etc.
    
    If you Guillotine Throw an enemy into a wall, it will be WallStunned.
    Therefore, you have a great variety of options afterwards.
    
    49. Kaleidoscope (Shuriken, Lvl4) - Secret Handshake, X, (Y), B, X, X, Y, Y, B,
    6+(Y), Y, B, Dragon Tear
    Actual Commands: X, X, 6+X, L, X, (Y), B, X, X, Y, Y, B, 6+(Y), Y, B, X, X, X,
    Y
    
    This is a linking between at least one section of every ground based Combo that
    Ryu has with the True Dragon Sword.
    
    50. Kaleidoscope Sky (Shuriken, Lvl4) - Scarlet Dragon, Iron Rain, Roll, Azure
    Dragon, B, Tranquil Drop
    Actual Commands: 6+(Y), B~B~B~B, 6+L, 6+Y, B, OL X, Y, X, X, X, Y
    
    51. Revolution - X, [X, ]L, [1/2 Essence] Dragon Gleam
    Actual Commands:  X, [X, ]L, [1/2 Essence] 360+Y
    
    You can combo break out of the Crimson Slash into any of the Dragon Gleams.  If
    you do not Combo Break, you will get the generic Y attacks regardless of the
    360 motion.
    
    52. Fearsome Phoenix - Divine Cicada Slash, Flying Crane/Gleaming Blade/Roaring
    Gleam/Annihilating Gleam/True Dragon Gleam
    Actual Commands: Flying Bird Flip, X/Y, [Charge 1/2 Essences] 360+Y
    
    This series is awesome. It works especially good on Imps who have a tendency to
    avoid Divine Cicada Slash.  When they do their little backflips and whatnot,
    they'll be in for a rude awakening.
    
    53. Painful Peristyle - NEARWALL, Windrun/9, hWP, WallRun, A, Wall Run, Flying
    Swallow
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A, A, 6, 6+A, 6+Y
    
    This thing is a little hard to setup, but it is still vicious.  I discovered
    this guy in the Peristyle Passage, hence the name.  You need perpendicular
    walls for it to work.  Basically, you need to horizontal Wind Path off of an
    enemy stunning them, then you'll immediately WallRun along a wall, turn the
    corner so that you're pointing at the enemy again (continuing your hWallRun),
    and then issue Flying Swallow.  This is about the only way I've found to
    guarantee a Flying Swallow hit in any scenario, and it looks TOTALLY badass.
    
    54. Dragon Extinction - Extinction Straight Slash, 6, Azure/Scarlet Dragon,
    etc.
    Actual Commands: [1 Essence] (Y), 6, 6+Y/[Y], etc.
    
    For this series to work, an Extinction Straight Slash is necessary.  Otherwise,
    you won't pass through the victim's body with a Phantom...  You'll simply
    bounce off of their guard (if they block).  After you pass through their body,
    they are stunned long enough for you to direct your Azure or Scarlet Dragon
    back at them.  After that, you have every Scarlet/Azure Dragon option
    available to you.  I have tried this extensively with Bast Fiends (the most
    evasive enemies), and they will be caught every time if you actually hit them
    with the Extinction Straight Slash.
    
    55. Gleaming Crane - Flying Crane, Gleaming Blade/Annihilating Gleam/True
    Dragon Gleam
    Actual Commands: 360+Y, Charge [1/2 Essences] 360+Y
    
    You can buffer the charge of the second 360 move in the landing of the first.
    The nice thing about this is that you get the multiple rotations from anything
    higher than a Flying Crane (i.e. any amount of charge whatsoever).
    
    56. Rolling Dervish - Windmill Slash, BREAK, Flying Crane/Gleaming Blade/
    Annihilating Gleam/True Dragon Gleam
    Actual Commands: 6+X, L, [1/2 Essence] 360+Y/[Y]
    
    You have to combo break for the 360+Y to come out as any of the Gleams.
    Otherwise, you'll get an Azure/Scarlet Dragon instead.  This series is pretty
    brash, as you can roll into a group and immediately DECAP them all.
    
    57. Scarlet Underground (Shuriken) - Scarlet Dragon~B, Windmill Slash
    Actual Commands: 6+(Y)~B, 6+X
    
    NUNCHAKU FREE FORM COMBOS
    -------------------------
    1.  Wide Heavens Kick - Wide Heavens, Y
    Actual Commands: X, Y, Y
    
    Wide Heavens actually puts Ryu in an IA state.  Therefore, you can issue a
    Dragon Emperor Kick out of it.
    
    2.  Heavenly shuriken ("Psychotic Kiske", Counter) - Ring of Heaven Kick, B
    Actual Commands: WB, X/Y, B
    
    You can use any Shuriken with this which is why this series appears in this
    section.
    
    3.  Falling Heavens - Wide Heavens, 6+X (GROUND)
    Actual Commands: X, Y, 6+X (GROUND)
    
    The 6+X will count as iWR if done at the time On-Landing.  This is not a JF,
    because you can spam the 6+X as soon as the X,Y completes, and you will still
    do it.  If you wait too long, though, you will get a Sweeping Kick instead.
    
    4.  Thunderclap Heavens - Wide Heavens, ...OL 6+Y (JF)
    Actual Commands: X, Y, ...OL 6+Y (JF)
    
    The 6+Y will count as iWR if done at the exact right time upon landing.  It
    occurs a couple frames into Ryu's landing/kneeling animation.  It's listed as a
    JF, because you have to be precise in the timing.  If you hit it really early,
    you will get an Dragon Emperor Kick.  If you hit it a little later, you will
    get an OL Y. If you hit it too late, you will get Ripping Thunder instead.
    
    5.  Demon Capture - Earth Slide, Demon Chaser
    Actual Commands: WR X, NEAR X
    
    6.  Flailing Demon ("Shadowblade786", Counter) - Ring of Heaven Kick, 8,
    [Sweeping Strike,] Dragon Emperor Kick, Demon Chaser
    Actual Commands: WB X/Y, 8, [X,] Y, DOWN Y
    
    7. Lonely Dragon - X, [X, X,] Block, etc.
    Actual Commands: X, [X, X,] L, etc.
    
    Most of the weapons have a Combo that branches extensively.  For the Nunchaku,
    it is Dragon and Phoenix.  Any of the first three hits can be Combo Broken
    into anything else.
    
    8.  Dragon and Phoenix Kick - X, X, X, Sweeping Kick
    Actual Commands: X, X, X, 6+X
    
    9.  Heavenly Crane (Counter) - Ring of Heaven Kick, Wide Heavens, B, OL
    Auspicious Crane/Phoenix/Gathering Clouds
    Actual Commands: WB, X/Y, ...X, Y, B, ...OL [Charge, 1/2 Essences] Y
    
    You can use this combo with any shuriken for slightly different affects.
    
    10. Flaming Heavens - Wide Heavens, ...Flame Wheel
    Actual Commands: X, Y, ...L, Y, Y
    
    You have to OL Cancel with L to get Flame Wheel to come out.
    
    11. Sweeping Heavens Kick (Counter) - Ring of Heaven Kick, Sweeping Kick
    Actual Commands: WB, X/Y, 6+X
    
    This will very closely mimic the Fiend's Bane Counter Attack of the DS/Kitetsu.
    You can do a Sweeping Kick after the launch, and it will perfectly knock the
    enemy away.  Very l33t looking.
    
    12. Eye of the Storm ("Shadowblade786", Counter, IceStorm) - Ring of Heaven
    Kick~Ninpo
    Actual Commands: WB X/Y~Y+B
    
    13. Fireslide ("Shadowblade786", Firewheel) - Ninpo, Earth Slide
    Actual Commands: Y+B, WR X
    
    As you all know, all Two-Handed Melee Weapons have the Earth Slide (WR X).  So,
    while Firewheel is active, do Earth Slide into your opponent.  It should send
    the enemy flying lol.
    
    14. Kicking Bird - Sweeping Kick, WINDRUN/9, Sweeping Kick, WINDRUN/9, repeat
    Actual Commands: 6+X, X+A/6+A, 6+X, X+A/6+A, repeat
    
    You will switch sides with the enemy after every Wind Run, so you will actually
    have to move the joystick in opposite directions each time.
    
    15. Rain Dance - Flood Waters, Thunderclap Kick
    Actual Commands: WR B, Y
    
    The WR B flows exactly into Thunderclap Kick.
    
    16. Penance - X, ...X, ...X, repeat
    If pause just long enough to forgo Dragon and Phoenix, then Ryu will repeatedly
    flick the Nunchaku over his shoulder and in front of him.  It may seem silly to
    list this as a combo, but it actually will prove very useful in continually
    stunning enemies as the STUN from the first X is a little different from
    the subsequent X's, and the recovery is much shorter.  So, if you forgo the
    entire series, you'll usually have an enemy stuck in a nice little series.
    
    17. Firey Phoenix - X, X, X, Flame Wheel
    Actual Commands: X, X, X, Y, Y
    
    In the third strike of Dragon and Phoenix, Ryu returns to his beginning stance
    which is the best place to throw in Flame Wheel.
    
    VIGOORIAN FLAIL FREE FORM COMBOS
    --------------------------------
    1. Cremator Unleashed ("ivansverdlov", Lvl2) - X, X, X, 6+X, [X, X, X, X,] Y
    When you do the Cremator regularly, you finish the combo with a forward slash.
    If you press Y after doing the Cremator you will jump up and do an extra
    aerial, ground attack.  While this is technically just Dragon Slaughter, you
    can put the Y in at any time.
    
    2. Arashi Shinjitsu ("level 99 babe", Lvl2) - 9, Red Hot Iron Brand, Dragon
    Emperor Kick, ...Wide Heavens, ...Dragon Slaughter
    Actual commands: 6+A, NEAR, 6+Y, Y, ...X, Y, ...X, X, X, 6+X, X, X, X, X, Y
    
    Perform a Red Hot Iron Brand, followed by a Dragon Emperor Kick. A slight pause
    allows the animation to finish, followed by a Wide Heavens which launches.  The
    next attacks begin right before they hit the ground, executing the Cremator
    ended with a powerful whipping strike.  This combo is great for the Fiendish
    MSAT Soldiers later in the game. It kills them during its completion and leaves
    no room for retaliation.  The name means Reality Storm.
    
    3. Red-Hot Runaway Lightning ("Psychotic Kiske", Lvl2) - 9, Red-Hot Iron Brand,
    Runaway Lightning
    Actual Commands: 6+A, NEAR, 6+Y, NEAR X, ...Y
    
    4. Wide Heavens Kick - Wide Heavens, Dragon Emperor Kick
    Actual Commands: X, Y, Y
    
    5. Red-Hot Dragon Kick (Lvl2) - 9, Red-Hot Iron Brand, Dragon Emperor Kick
    Actual Commands: 6+A, 6+Y, Y
    
    6. Heavenly Shuriken ("Psychotic Kiske", Counter) - Ring of Heaven Kick, B
    Actual Commands: WB, X/Y, B
    
    You can use any Shuriken with this which is why this series appears in this
    section.
    
    7. Lonely Dragon - X, [X, X,] Block, etc.
    Actual Commands: X, [X, X,] L, etc.
    
    Most of the weapons have a Combo that branches extensively.  For the Flail,
    it is Dragon and Phoenix.  Any of the first three hits can be Combo Broken
    into anything else.
    
    8. Ripping Dragon ("Psychotic Kiske", Lvl2) - X, X, X, L, Ripping Thunder
    Actual Commands: X, X, X, L, 6+Y, Y, Y
    
    Don't finish the full Dragon and Phoenix combo, and instead combo break with L
    and interrupt with Ripping Thunder.  You should hear 6 swishing sounds before
    you hit L.
    
    9. Runaway Phoenix ("Psychotic Kiske") - X, X, X, L, Runaway Lightning (JF)
    Actual Commands: X, X, X, L, X, ...Y (JF)
    
    You can initiate Runaway Lightning from a combo broken Dragon and Phoenix after
    the third hit.
    
    10. Ripping Dragon Kick ("Psychotic Kiske", Lvl2) - X, X, X, 6+Y, Sweeping Kick
    Actual Commands: X, X, X, 6+Y, 6+X
    
    11. Counter Attack Vigoorian Flail ("primetime2121", Counter) - Ring of Heaven
    Kick, Wide Heavens, B, OL Auspicious Crane/Phoenix/Gathering Clouds
    Actual Commands: WB, X/Y, ...X, Y, B, ...OL [Charge, 1/2 Essences] Y
    
    You can use this combo with any shuriken for slightly different affects.
    
    12. Dragon and Phoenix Kick - X, X, X, L, Sweeping Kick
    Actual Commands: X, X, X, L, 6+X
    
    You must Combo Break here, otherwise, you will get Cremator instead.
    
    13. Falling Heavens - Wide Heavens, 6+X
    Actual Commands: X, Y, 6+X
    
    The 6+X will count as iWR if done at the time On-Landing.  This is not a JF,
    because you can spam the 6+X as soon as the X,Y completes, and you will still
    do it.  If you wait too long, though, you will get a Sweeping Kick instead.
    
    14. Thunderclap Heavens (Lvl2) - Wide Heavens, ...6+Y (JF)
    Actual Commands: X, Y, ...6+Y (JF)
    
    The 6+Y will count as iWR if done at the exact right time upon landing.  It
    occurs a couple frames into Ryu's landing/kneeling animation.  It's listed as a
    JF, because you have to be precise in the timing.  If you hit it really early,
    you will get an Dragon Emperor Kick.  If you hit it a little later, you will
    get an OL Y. If you hit it too late, you will get Ripping Thunder instead.
    
    15. Ripping Heavens (Lvl2) - Wide Heavens, ...Ripping Thunder
    Actual Commands: X, Y, ...6+Y, Y, Y
    
    If you miss the JF for Thunderclap Heavens, you can instead throw out a Ripping
    Thunder.
    
    16. Sweeping Heavens Kick (Counter) - Ring of Heaven Kick, Sweeping Kick
    Actual Commands: WB, X/Y, 6+X
    
    This will very closely mimic the Fiend's Bane Counter Attack of the DS/Kitetsu.
    You can do a Sweeping Kick after the launch, and it will perfectly knock the
    enemy away.  Very l33t looking.
    
    17. Frozen Hell (Lvl2, IceStorm) - Cremator~Ninpo
    Actual Commands: X, X, X, 6+X[, X, X, X, X]~Y+B
    
    Cremator's ending X is never a good option unless you intend to tack an Art of
    Ice Storm on right at the end to really boost your combo count.
    
    18. Demon Capture - Earth Slide, Demon Chaser
    Actual Commands: WR X, NEAR X
    
    19. Eye of the Storm ("Shadowblade786", Counter, IceStorm) - Ring of Heaven
    Kick~Ninpo
    Actual Commands: WB X/Y~Y+B
    
    20. Fiery-Hot Iron Brand ("Shadowblade786", Lvl2, FireWheel) - Ninpo, Wind
    Run/9, Red-Hot Iron Brand
    Actual Commands: Y+B, X+A/6+A, 6+Y
    
    While engulfed in Art of Firewheel, then unleash Red-Hot Iron Brand.  This
    move of course will not get every hit in because the FireWheel will hit him
    away.
    
    Note: There are many variations to Fiery-Hot Iron Brand.  You can let the
    FireWheel hit first, then Wind Run and Red-Hot Iron Brand while the enemy is
    still in the air due to the FireWheel.  This will give more damage, and you
    can get all the hits of Red-Hot Iron Brand.
    
    21. Gathering Iron Brands ("Shadowblade786", Lvl2) - Wind Run/9, Red-Hot Iron
    Brand, ...OL Auspicious Crane/Phoenix/Gathering Clouds
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A, 6+Y, ...OL [Charge, 1/2 Essence] Y
    
    After doing Red-Hot Iron Brand, you will automatically land behind regular
    enemies.  When you land, you'll achieve iCOL.
    
    22. Flailing Demon ("Shadowblade786", Counter) - Ring of Heaven Kick, 8,
    Sweeping Strike, Dragon Emperor Kick, Demon Chaser
    Actual Commands: WB X/Y, A, X, Y, DOWN Y
    
    23. Flaming Heavens - Wide Heavens, ...OLC, Flame Wheel
    Actual Commands: X, Y, ...[5~]L, Y, Y
    
    You have to On-Landing Cancel with L to get Flame Wheel to come out.
    
    24. Fireslide ("Shadowblade786", Firewheel) - Ninpo, Earth Slide
    Actual Commands: Y+B, WR X
    
    As you all know, all Two-Handed Melee Weapons have the Earth Slide (WR X).  So,
    while Firewheel is active, do Earth Slide into your opponent.  It should send
    the enemy flying lol.
    
    25. Red-Hot Wall Flower (Shuriken/Windmill/Incendiary, Lvl2) - WallRun, X/Y~B
    (JF)
    The Red-Hot Iron Brand initiated from a WallRun has slightly different
    properties.  Regardless of if you actually hit an enemy or not, you can
    Shuriken Cancel the air recovery if you do it soon enough.
    
    26. Kicking Bird - Sweeping Kick, WINDRUN/9, Sweeping Kick, WINDRUN/9, repeat
    Actual Commands: 6+X, X+A/6+A, 6+X, X+A/6+A, repeat
    
    You will switch sides with the enemy after every Wind Run, so you will actually
    have to move the joystick in opposite directions each time.
    
    27. Thunderstorm Dance (Lvl2) - Flood Waters, Ripping Thunder
    Actual Commands: (6) B, Y, Y, Y r6
    
    The WR B flows exactly into Ripping Thunder unlike the Nunchaku which flows
    into Thunderclap Kick instead.
    
    28. Thunder and Ice (Lvl2, Icestorm) - 6+Y, Y~Ninpo
    Actual Commands: 6+Y, Y~Y+B
    
    29. Aerial Assault - 9, Sweeping Strike, B, Dragon Emperor Kick
    Actual Commands: 6+A, A, B, Y
    
    This will work with any Shuriken, and it maximizes the amount of damage you can
    inflict in the air for the Flail.
    
    30. Bleeding Demon Capture - (6), B, Earth Slide, Demon Chaser
    Actual Commands: (6), B, X, r6, NEAR X
    
    31. Penance - X, ...X, ...X, repeat
    If pause just long enough to forgo Dragon and Phoenix, then Ryu will repeatedly
    flick the Flail over his shoulder and in front of him.  It may seem silly to
    list this as a combo, but it actually will prove very useful in continually
    stunning enemies as the STUN from the first X is a little different from
    the subsequent X's, and the recovery is much shorter.  So, if you forgo the
    entire series, you'll usually have an enemy stuck in a nice little series.
    
    32. Firey Phoenix - X, X, X, Flame Wheel
    Actual Commands: X, X, X, Y, Y
    
    In the third strike of Dragon and Phoenix, Ryu returns to his beginning stance
    which is the best place to throw in Flame Wheel.
    
    33.  Painful Peristyle - NEARWALL, Windrun/9, hWP, WallRun, A, Wall Run, Red-
    Hot Iron Brand
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A, A, 6, 6+A, 6+Y, etc.
    
    This thing is a little hard to setup, but it is still vicious.  I discovered
    this guy in the Peristyle Passage, hence the name.  You need perpendicular
    walls for it to work.  Basically, you need to horizontal Wind Path off of an
    enemy stunning them, then you'll immediately WallRun along a wall, turn the
    corner so that you're pointing at the enemy again, and then issue Flying
    Swallow.  This is about the only way I've found to guarantee a Flying
    Swallow hit, and it looks badass.
    
    Unlike the DS and Kitetsu versions of this move, you have several options
    after Red-Hot Firebrand hits.
    
    WAR HAMMER FREE FORM COMBOS
    ---------------------------
    1.  Horse Head Rage - Horse Head Crush, Surging Wave/Flaming Torrent/Thunder
    Tremor/Rage Tremor/Tremor of the Heavens
    Actual Commands: X, X, [Charge, 1/2 Essences] Y
    
    Horse Head Crush ends with Ryu being in the starting animation of Surging
    Wave, so all of these options flow naturally.
    
    2.  Flaming Horse Head (Lvl2) - Horse Head Crush, Flaming Torrent
    Actual Commands: X, X, Y, Y
    
    Horse Head Crush ends with Ryu being in the starting animation of Flaming
    Torrent, so it flows naturally.
    
    3.  Six Paths Spin - NEAR, 360+Y (THROW, MULTI)
    This move will impale nearby enemies and twirl them until they die.
    Additionally, any enemy struck with the impaled enemy will register damage as
    well.
    
    4.  Flaming Avalanche (Firewheel) - Avalanche Drop, ...Ninpo
    Actual Commands: [4/6+]A, ...Y+B
    
    The Grounding Move, Avalanche Drop's recovery can be cancelled with a Ninpo.
    
    5.  Running Riot - (6), X, ...Y r6
    The (6) must induce WR for the Sliding Kick, then you can hit a Y while still
    holding 6 to get Flaming Whirlwind.
    
    6.  Steel Whirlwind - Steel Severer, Reverse Wind, Flaming Whirlwind
    Actual Commands: 6+X, (6)+L, Y r6
    
    The Steel Severer knocks away regular enemies.  You have to Reverse Wind to
    move over to them, and then Flaming Whirlwind with hit them even when they're
    in GROUND state.  You have to hold the 6 from the Reverse Wind for this to
    come out quickly, though.
    
    7.  Candle Snuffer (Firewheel, "Shadowblade786") - Ninpo, NEAR~Steel Severer
    Actual Commands: Y+B, NEAR~6+X
    
    Now for this move, timing is everything.  Right when you hit your opponent
    with Firewheel, do a Steel Severer.  You should hit the enemy before it flies
    to far away.
    
    8.  Fireslide ("Shadowblade786", Firewheel) - Ninpo, Earth Slide
    Actual Commands: Y+B, WR X
    
    As you all know, all Two-Handed Melee Weapons have the Earth Slide (WR X).  So,
    while Firewheel is active, do Earth Slide into your opponent.  It should send
    the enemy flying lol.
    
    9.  Two-Headed Horse - Horse Head Crush, Horse Head Crush, repeat
    Actual Commands: X, X, X, X, repeat
    
    Horse Head Crush follows itself very nicely.
    
    10. Flaming Paths - Six Paths Spin, Flaming Whirlwind
    Actual Commands - 360+Y, 6+Y
    
    The Six Paths Spin ends with an enemy in GROUND state.  Therefore, you can
    close the deal with a Flaming Whirlwind.
    
    11. Gleam of Heaven and Steel - Gleam of Heaven and Earth~Steel Severer.
    Actual Commands: X, Y~6+X
    
    Since, the Gleam of Heaven and Earth GROUNDs on a successful hit, you can
    quickly follow up with Steel Severer to clear them (and usually kill them,
    too).
    
    12. Gleam of Heaven and Flame - Gleam of Heaven and Earth~Flaming Whirlwind.
    Actual Commands: X, Y~6+Y
    
    Since, the Gleam of Heaven and Earth GROUNDs on a successful hit, you can
    quickly follow up with Flaming Whirlwind to clear them off to the side (and
    usually kill/DECAP them, too).
    
    13. Ring of Fire (Firewheel, Lvl2) - Ninpo, Six Paths Spin
    Actual Commands: Y+B, 360+Y
    
    The benefit of this series is that you can light up Firewheel and then bring
    the enemy into your throw for some hellacious damage.  This is particularly
    useful for those EXTREMELY hardy REG enemies like Vigoorian Ninja.  For this
    to work, however, the enemy has to be outside the range of Firewheel
    initially.
    
    DABILAHRO FREE FORM COMBOS
    --------------------------
    1. Inferno Starter ("goatism") - Flaming Inferno, (any X combo)
    Actual Commands: 6+X, (any X combo)
    
    You can begin all of the Dabilahro's X combos with Flaming Inferno instead.
    You'll get a lot more distance, but the startup is slower.
    
    2. Surging Whirlwind - X, X, Y
    
    3. Flaming Fool (Firewheel) - Fool Crusher, ...Ninpo
    Actual Commands: [4/6+]A, ...Y+B
    
    The Grounding Move, Fool Crusher's recovery can be cancelled with a Ninpo.
    
    4. Running Riot - (6), X, ...Y r6
    The (6) must induce WR for the Sliding Kick, then you can hit a Y while still
    holding 6 to get Flaming Whirlwind.
    
    5. Frozen Empire Blade ("Shadowblade786", IceStorm) - Destroyer of
    Armies/Whirling Empire Blade~Ninpo
    Actual Commands: X[, X, X, X, X]~Y+B
    
    6. Fireslide ("Shadowblade786", Firewheel) - Ninpo, Earth Slide
    Actual Commands: Y+B, WR X
    
    As you all know, all Two-Handed Melee Weapons have the Earth Slide (WR X).  So,
    while Firewheel is active, do Earth Slide into your opponent.  It should send
    the enemy flying lol.
    
    7. Gleam of Heaven and Flame - Gleam of Heaven and Earth~Flaming Whirlwind.
    Actual Commands: X, Y~6+Y
    
    Since, the Gleam of Heaven and Earth GROUNDs on a successful hit, you can
    quickly follow up with Flaming Whirlwind to clear them off to the side (and
    usually kill/DECAP them, too).
    
    KITETSU FREE FORM COMBOS
    ------------------------
    1. Crazed Bones Eraser ("goatism") - 6+X, [X, X, X, X,] Y
    You can add Soul Eraser after the Crazed Bones Slash even if it's part of a
    combo.
    
    2. Leaping Beheaded Demon - (6)+A, ...X, X, r6
    Kitetsu doesn't have an instant WR condition starter other than landing from a
    jump.  It's useful then to not attack in the air and land to do an instant
    Beheaded Demon.
    
    3. Blade of the 100 Curses - X, Y, [X, X, X,] ...OL 360+Y
    
    4. Soul Rain: Soul Bind [X, X, X, X,] L, Dark Rain
    Actual Commands: 6+X, [X, X, X, X,] L, X, X, X
    
    You can follow a Soul Bind with a Combo Break and anything that will hit a
    Downed opponent, since regular enemies Crumple Stun after a Soul Bind.
    
    5. Bassara's Hundred Slashes (2 Essences) - Bassara, ...Hundred Curses Slash
    Actual Commands: (2 Essences) Charge Y, ...360+Y
    
    You can input the Hundred Curses Slash right at the ending animation of
    Bassara, and it will come out.
    
    6. Raining Heads:  WR X, L, Dark Rain
    Actual Commands: WR X, L, X, X, X
    
    7. Undead Reign (Ghul, facing) - Azure Dragon, Azure Dragon, X, X, X, X
    Actual Commands: 6+Y, 6+Y, X, X, X, X
    
    Ghuls can be juggled using this combo.  You must do two consecutive Azure
    Dragons from the front to get them to stagger and the become launched. They
    will then land on the ground and have to recover.
    
    8. Blade of Extinction - X, Y, [X, X, X,] ...OL Y
    
    9. Gleaming Crane (Counter) - Gleaming Cross, OL Flying Crane
    Actual Commands: WB, Y, OL 360+Y
    
    10. Fiend's Bane Initiation (Counter) - WB, X, ...(etc...)
    The first hit of the Counter Attack of Fiend's Bane Kick is a standard
    launcher.  If you pause before hitting X/Y and neglect to finish the move, you
    can easily continue this series.  Very useful.
    
    11. Icy Soul Bind (IceStorm) - 6+X[, X, X, X, X]~Ninpo
    Actual Commands: 6+X[, X, X, X, X]~Ninpo
    
    The last absorption of Soul Bind will GROUND regular opponents.  As such, you
    can continue the hurt by canceling into an Ice Storm.
    
    12. Demonic Initiation:  WR X, Scarlet Dragon/Azure Dragon, etc...
    Actual Commands: WR X, Y/(Y)
    
    There are too many variations after the Scarlet/Azure Dragon to list as
    separate combos.
    
    13. Soul Dragon - Soul Bind [X, X, X, X,] L, Azure/Scarlet Dragon
    Actual Commands: 6+X, [X, X, X, X,] L, 6+Y/(6)+Y, etc.
    
    You can follow a Soul Bind with a Combo Break and anything that will hit a
    Downed opponent, since regular enemies fall backwards after a Soul Bind.
    
    14. Chosen Soul Eraser ("Shadowblade786") - 6+X, [X, X, X, X,] NEAR 6+Y
    If surrounded by enemies while still sucking your enemy's life tap 6+Y.
    Instead of stabbing the enemy who is receiving the Soul Bind, Ryu can Soul
    Eraser an enemy near by.
    
    Basically, this means that you can target the Soul Eraser.  This is a very good
    tip, and makes Kitetsu much more versatile than before this trick was found.
    
    15. Reverse Soul Bind - Reverse Wind~Soul Bind, etc... (JF)
    Actual Commands: 1~6+X[, X, X, X, X], etc...
    
    This move will catch an attacking enemy mid-animation, because you Roll out of
    the way and instantly Roll back in.
    
    16. Deceitful Dragon - Reverse Wind~Azure/Scarlet Dragon(JF)
    Actual Commands: 1~6+Y/(Y)
    
    This move will catch an attacking enemy mid-animation, because you Roll out of
    the way and instantly Launch.
    
    17. Frost Bitten Fox ("Shadowblade786", IceStorm) - Hundred Curses Slash, Ninpo
    Actual Commands: 360+Y, Y+B
    
    After doing the Hundred Curses Slash all enemies around you should be in Spin
    Stun state, perfect for sucking them in with Art of Ice Storm.
    
    18. Flaming Swallow ("Shadowblade786", FireWheel) - Ninpo, Wind Run/9, 6+Y
    Actual Commands: Y+B, X+A/6+A, 6+Y
    
    While engulfed in Art of Firewheel, do a Flying Swallow by either Wind Run
    or simply a forward jump.  You should first off cut through them, and then
    the enemy should burn up and get tossed in front of you.
    
    Note: There are many variations to Flaming Swallow.  You can let the
    FireWheel hit first, then Wind Run and Flying Swallow while the enemy is
    still in the air due to the FireWheel.
    
    19. Step Cancel - WR X~5~6, etc. (JF)
    To correctly perform the Step Cancel, you must immediately release the
    stick and move it back to 6 as the original X comes out.  Unfortunately,
    the move must be done so quickly that there is no way to do it on
    reaction (i.e. waiting to see if the enemy blocks the X).  You will know
    that you did it correctly when Kitetsu doesn't return to one sword
    cleanly.
    
    20. Two-Headed Demon - STEPC, ...X~5~6, ...X~5~6, repeat (JF)
    Actual Commands: WR X~5~6, ...X~5~6, repeat
    
    The X following the Step Cancel can be done 10 frames into the running
    animation, Ryu will not animate a running stride usually associated with
    WR.  The initial X comes out about twice as fast as if you let the
    animation finish naturally.
    
    21. Bassara's Head - STEPC~Bassara (JF)
    Actual Commands: WR X~5~360+Y
    
    Unlike the rest of the Step series.  This one does not require a 6
    following the 5 as the 360 takes care of it.  It comes out VERY fast.
    
    22. Cascading Soul Bind - STEPC~Soul Bind, etc.
    Actual Commands: WR X~5~6~5~6+X, etc.
    
    You must do a double tap of the stick for this to come out correctly.
    You have every Soul Bind option available to you at this point.
    
    23. Demon Stab - STEPC~Stab of Extinction, etc.
    Actual Commands: WR X~5~6, Y
    
    While the animation of   comes out very quickly, it is
    still bound by it's slow startup.
    
    24. Demon Rain - STEPC~5, X, X, etc.
    Actual Commands: WR X~5~6~5, X, X, etc.
    
    You must return the stick to Neutral for this to come out correctly.
    You have every X, X option available to you at this point.
    
    25. Scarlet Sealer - Scarlet Dragon, Reverse Wind, Fiend Sealer/
    Scarlet Dragon, etc.
    Actual Commands: 6+Y, 6+L, DOWN Y
    
    26. Scarlet Triumph (Shuriken) - Scarlet Dragon, B~B~B~B, Reverse Wind,
    Scarlet Dragon, etc.
    Actual Commands: 6+Y, B~B~B~B, 6+L, 6+Y, etc/repeat.
    
    27. Flying Wall Flower (Shuriken/Windmill/Incendiary) - WallRun, X/Y~B (JF)
    The Flying Swallow initiated from a WallRun has slightly different properties.
    Regardless of if you actually hit an enemy or not, you can Shuriken Cancel the
    air recovery if you do it soon enough.
    
    28. Soul Sealer - [DEAD] Soul Bind, Soul Eraser, Reverse Wind, Demon Sealer
    Actual Commands: [X, X, ]6+X, [X, X, X, X,] Y, 6+L, DOWN Y
    
    29. Life Stealer ("timebomb13rob", IceStorm, Tranquility) - Dead Soul Bind~Ninpo
    Actual Commands: X, X, 6+X, X[, X, X, X, X, X]~Y+B
    
    Thanks to timebomb13rob, it has been discovered that you actually regain life
    with Kitetsu and the Armlet of Tranquility during a Ninpo.  If you're low on
    life, this is an excellent way to get Ryu back into shape.
    
    30. Gallows (Guillotine) - NEARWALL, WINDRUN/9, Guillotine Throw, Stab of
    Extinction
    Actual Commands: NEARWALL, X+A/6+A, NEAR 6+Y, Y~6
    
    After hitting the Y for Stab of Extinction, make sure that you hold a direction
    to direct which enemy you want to hit.
    
    31. Fearsome Phoenix - Divine Cicada Slash, Hundred Curses Slash
    Actual Commands: Flying Bird Flip, X/Y, [Charge 1/2 Essences] 360+Y
    
    This series is awesome. It works especially good on Imps who have a tendency to
    avoid Divine Cicada Slash.  When they do their little backflips and whatnot,
    they'll be in for a rude awakening.
    
    32. Painful Peristyle - NEARWALL, Windrun/9, hWP, WallRun, A, Wall Run, Flying
    Swallow
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A, A, 6, 6+A, 6+Y
    
    This thing is a little hard to setup, but it is still vicious.  I discovered
    this guy in the Peristyle Passage, hence the name.  You need perpendicular
    walls for it to work.  Basically, you need to horizontal Wind Path off of an
    enemy stunning them, then you'll immediately WallRun along a wall, turn the
    corner so that you're pointing at the enemy again, and then issue Flying
    Swallow.  This is about the only way I've found to guarantee a Flying
    Swallow hit, and it looks badass.
    
    33. Dragon Extinction - Extinction Straight Slash, 6, Azure/Scarlet Dragon,
    etc.
    Actual Commands: [1 Essence] (Y), 6, 6+Y/[Y], etc.
    
    For this series to work, an Extinction Straight Slash is necessary.  Otherwise,
    you won't pass through the victim's body with a Phantom...  You'll simply
    bounce off of their guard (if they block).  After you pass through their body,
    they are stunned long enough for you to direct your Azure or Scarlet Dragon
    back at them.  After that, you have every Scarlet/Azure Dragon option
    available to you.  I have tried this extensively with Bast Fiends (the most
    evasive enemies), and they will be caught every time if you actually hit them
    with the Extinction Straight Slash.
    
    34. Master of Puppets (LVLGRND) - Stab of Extinction, NEAR Fiend Sealer
    Actual Commands: Y, NEAR Y
    
    Stab of Extinction will initially knock the enemy away, but on its return,
    the enemy will be brought back to Ryu.  Usually, it does it returns them
    closely enough for you to immediately get a Fiend Sealer off.
    
    35. Fight Fire with Fire (Firewheel, LVLGRND) - Ninpo, Stab of Extinction
    Actual Commands: Y+B, Y
    
    Light up a Firewheel, and then do a Stab of Extinction on a REG enemy.  It will
    initially be knocked away, but if the move is done over level ground (LVLGRND),
    the Kitetsu will catch the enemy on its return to Ryu.  This will draw the
    enemy back to Ryu which will immediately burn them up with the Firewheel.
    
    36. Blackened (Inferno, LVLGRND) - Stab of Extinction, Ninpo, 6
    Actual Commands: Y, Y+B
    
    Issue a Stab of Extinction on a REG enemy.  It will initially be knocked away,
    but if the move is done over level ground (LVLGRND), the Kitetsu will catch
    the enemy on its return to Ryu.  This will draw the enemy back to Ryu which
    place it in GROUND state at his feet.  Burn off an Inferno just for flair, as
    the initial startup will CLEAR the enemy away (and burn them up in the process)
    and the fireball will then blow them away before they can get up.
    
    This works best with the lower level Infernos due to the extremely short time
    between initiation and execution.
    
    37. Trapped Under Ice (IceStorm, LVLGRND) - Stab of Extinction, Ninpo
    Actual Commands: Y, Y+B
    
    Issue a Stab of Extinction on a REG enemy.  It will initially be knocked away,
    but if the move is done over level ground (LVLGRND), the Kitetsu will catch
    the enemy on its return to Ryu.  This will draw the enemy back to Ryu which
    place it in GROUND state at his feet.  Now, Ryu can stir up an IceStorm for
    a nice, high Combo Count.
    
    Unlike Blackened listed above, this Combo works better with a fully upgraded
    IceStorm given the much larger diameter of effect and much longer duration.
    
    38. Ride the Lightning (Inazuma, LVLGRND) - Stab of Extinction, Ninpo
    Actual Commands: Y, Y+B
    
    Issue a Stab of Extinction on a REG enemy.  It will initially be knocked away,
    but if the move is done over level ground (LVLGRND), the Kitetsu will catch
    the enemy on its return to Ryu.  This will draw the enemy back to Ryu which
    place it in GROUND state at his feet.  Then, immediately charge up a
    Lightning bolt.
    
    Like Blackened, this series works best with a low level Inazuma for timing
    purposes.
    
    39. Hard Place - NEARWALL Beheaded Demon, 7~6, Beheaded Demon, repeat
    Actual Commands: NEARWALL WR X, X, 4+A~6, WR X, X, repeat
    
    Since the 2nd X of Beheaded Demon is a CLEAR move, this series is extremely
    useful for those EXTREMELY tenacious enemies like SAT Fiends.  They will be
    CLEARed, receive WALLSTUN, and you can hit them again if you're quick enough.
    
    UNLABORED FLAWLESSNESS FREE FORM COMBOS
    ---------------------------------------
    1. Flaming Inferno Starter ("goatism") - Flaming Inferno, (any X combo)
    Actual Commands: 6+X, (any X combo)
    
    You can begin all of the UF's X combos with Flaming Inferno instead.  You'll
    get a lot more distance, but the startup is slower.
    
    2. Unending Splitting Earth (2 Essence) - Earth Splitter, (L)+RJ, OL Y rL
    Actual Commands: Charge Y, 6+(L)~A, OL Y rL
    
    You can easily setup this perpetual UT, by making sure that you get at least
    two enemies caught in the blast.  Then, while the bodies disappear, avoid any
    living enemies until you can Essence Charge.
    
    3. Flaming Avalanche (Firewheel) - Avalanche Drop, ...Y+B
    Actual Commands: [4/6+]A, ...Y+B
    
    The Grounding Move, Avalanche Drop's recovery can be cancelled with a Ninpo.
    
    4. Running Riot - (6), X, ...Y r6
    The (6) must induce WR for the Sliding Kick, then you can hit a Y while still
    holding 6 to get Flaming Whirlwind.
    
    5. Fireslide ("Shadowblade786", Firewheel) - Ninpo, Earth Slide
    Actual Commands: Y+B, WR X
    
    As you all know, all Two-Handed Melee Weapons have the Earth Slide (WR X).  So,
    while Firewheel is active, do Earth Slide into your opponent.  It should send
    the enemy flying lol.
    
    6. Fanning the Flames ("Sabier", Firewheel, LOWH, Sun, LARGE/BOSS) - Ninpo,
    [2 Essence] Earth Splitter
    Actual Commands: Y+B, [Y]
    
    A lot of us know that that the UF at 5% health and the Armlet of the Sun
    equipped generates the most powerful moves against any foe/boss, including
    the UT.  However, if you have the UF at 5% health, equip the Armlet of the Sun
    and Fire Wheel Ninpo, this combination generates the most powerful attack
    damage in Ninja Gaiden.
    
    As you know, this Ninpo is different from the others since you can still fight
    with its effect even after the animation, hence giving added damage along with
    your basic attack.
    
    Most Regular enemies fall back from the Firewheel blast radius, but Bosses and
    Large enemies don't.
    
    The boss fights wherein this effect is most visible are:
    1. Ice Fiend
    2. Inazuma and Inferno Worms
    3. Smaugon the Flame Dragon
    4. Tentacle Fiend
    
    The reason I mentioned these bosses is because they are relatively slower than
    others, especially the Ice Fiend.
    
    And another thing, using this combination against the Tentacle Fiend, is
    especially useful.  After cutting both the tentacles with just a few swipes, I
    did the UT and its life went down by nearly 60%.
    
    7. Hell's Passage (Izuna, Firewheel) - Ninpo, Full Moon Drop
    Actual Commands: Y+B, X, Y, X, X, X, Y
    
    Unlike the Dragon Sword and Kitetsu, you can actually pull off an Izuna Drop
    while Engulfed in Firewheel.  The length of the UF, gives you just enough
    clearance to SELFLAUNCH and not CLEAR while Firewheel is going.  Plus, the
    splash damage you get from the end of Izuna Drop is accentuated by the Fire
    damage of Firewheel, too.
    
    DARK DRAGON BLADE FREE FORM COMBOS
    ----------------------------------
    1. Gleam of Demons Bite - Hundred Demons Bite, Dark Dragon Descending Fiends
    Actual Commands: 6+X, Y
    
    2. Hundred Hell Slashes - Hundred Demons Bite, X, Y
    Actual Commands: 6+X, X, Y
    
    3. Elementary Fool - Fool Crusher, ...Ninpo
    Actual Commands: [4/6+]A, ...Y+B
    
    The Grounding Move, Fool Crusher's recovery can be cancelled with a Ninpo.
    
    4. Running Riot - (6), X, ...Y r6
    The (6) must induce WR for the Sliding Kick, then you can hit a Y while still
    holding 6 to get Flaming Whirlwind.
    
    5. Fireslide ("Shadowblade786", Firewheel) - Ninpo, Earth Slide
    Actual Commands: Y+B, WR X
    
    As you all know, all Two-Handed Melee Weapons have the Earth Slide (WR X).  So,
    while Firewheel is active, do Earth Slide into your opponent.  It should send
    the enemy flying lol.
    
    LUNAR FREE FORM COMBOS
    ----------------------
    1. Lion's Claw (Lvl2) - Lion's Rage, L, Dragon's Claw
    Actual Commands: 6+X, [X, X,] L, X, X, X, Y
    
    2. Raven's Rage - X, X, L, Black Widow
    Actual Commands: X, X, L, 6+X[, X, X, X, Y]
    
    3. Leaping Lions (Lvl2) - 6+X, L, Full Moon Strike
    Actual Commands: 6+X, L, 6+Y, Y
    
    You must Combo Break Lion's Rage with a Block in this instance, or you will get
    a Black Widow regardless of the direction pressed with Y.  This is to account
    for the ability to change direction mid-combo.  Also, it is only beneficial to
    do one series of Lion's Rage, because subsequent X's will only make you whiff
    the Full Moon Strike.  One X is good enough for a Launch.
    
    4. Full Moon Drop (Lvl3, Izuna) - Full Moon Strike, Izuna Drop
    Actual Commands: 6+Y, Y, X, Y
    
    The move list designates Izuna Drop as IA only for the Lunar, but this combo
    will Izuna Drop every time.  The timing is a bit tricky, though.
    
    5. Runaway Raven (Lvl2, Firewheel/IceStorm) - Raven's Strike~Ninpo
    Actual Commands: X, X, X, Y+B
    
    The animation of Raven's Strike can only be followed by the Y that will make it
    Dragon's Claw, or a Ninpo Cancel.
    
    6. Raven Glow (Firewheel/IceStorm) - Raven Light~Ninpo
    Actual Commands: X, X, Y~Y+B
    
    Likewise, the GROUND of Raven Light is a Combo Ender.  As such, you can only iB
    or Ninpo Cancel from it.
    
    7. Retreating Tide (Lvl2, Shuriken/Windmill) - Full Moon Strike~[6+]B, OL Soul
    of the Crescent/Shrouded Crescent/Raven's Veil(JF)
    Actual Commands: 6+Y, Y~6+B, ...[1/2 Essence] OL Y
    
    This devastating combo comes from the ability to Shuriken cancel Full Moon
    Strike. This technique is VERY powerful as you can cancel it immediately upon
    leaving the ground. Ryu will only jump about 2 feet off of the ground when done
    correctly. The significance of this is that it grants you an iC mid combo,
    since the stun of the Windmill will either induce Block Stun or Damage Stun.
    For the best effect, you should aim your Shuriken in the direction of the enemy
    most likely to interrupt your OL.
    
    It doesn't work as well with Shuriken, because you have to throw 4 before
    coming back down.
    
    8. Face Lurker ("zidaneff9", Lvl2) (Windmill) - X, X, L, Lion's Rage, L, Full
    Moon Strike, Tempest, B, ...OL Soul of the Crescent/Shrouded Crescent/Raven's
    Veil
    Actual Commands: X, X, L, 6+X, X, L, 6+Y, Y, X, B, ...[1/2 Essence] OL Y
    
    The X, X targets a person, and stuns them enough for you to use 6+X, X.  If
    anybody tries to interrupt you, the 6+X, X stops them and hits them too (if
    they are close enough, they can be launched and dually owned!) and then 6+Y, Y,
    X - Windmill - instant Charge.
    
    9. Lion's Wind (IceStorm) - Lion's Rage~Ninpo
    Actual Commands: 6+X[, X, X,]~Y+B
    
    10. Twin Serpents' Moon (Lvl2) - Full Moon Strike, ...OLC~Twin Serpents' Strike
    (JF)
    Actual Commands: 6+Y, Y, ...[5~]L~6+Y
    You can OLC from Full Moon Strike into Twin Serpents' Strike
    
    11. Lion's Bite (Shuriken) - Lion's Rage, Iron Rain, Lunar Explosion
    Actual Commands: 6+X, B~B~B~B, 6+Y, Y, Y
    
    Lion's Rage launches which gives you time to quickly Iron Rain which suspends
    the enemy enough to get a Lunar Explosion.
    
    12. Suspension ("primetime2123", Lvl3) - NEAR, Crescent Strike, ...Lion's Rage,
    Full Moon Strike, Tempest, B, OL Soul of the Crescent/Shrouded Crescent/Raven's
    Veil
    Actual Commands:  6+Y, ..., 6+X, X, 6+Y, Y, X, B, [1/2 Essence] OL Y
    
    If you do this move correctly the enemy wont even touch the ground after the
    first launch.  It is a true juggle combo.  You need to be NEAR the enemy at the
    start, or the Crescent Strike will knock them too far away for the Lion's Rage
    to juggle them.
    
    13. Basaquer ("primetime2123", Lvl2) - NEARWALL Crescent Strike, ...Lion's Rage,
    BREAK, repeat/oscillate
    Actual Commands: NEARWALL 6+Y , ...6+X, X, L, repeat/oscillate
    
    You can juggle the crap out of the enemy in the corner by alternating Crescent
    Strikes with Lion's Rage.  It's important that you only do 2 of the Lion's Rage
    strikes, though and then Combo Break.
    
    14. Hell's Passage (Izuna, Lvl3, Firewheel) - Ninpo, Full Moon Drop
    Actual Commands: Y+B, 6+Y, Y, X, Y
    
    Unlike the Dragon Sword and Kitetsu, you can actually pull off an Izuna Drop
    while Engulfed in Firewheel.  The length of the rod, gives you just enough
    clearance to SELFLAUNCH and not CLEAR while Firewheel is going.  Plus, the
    splash damage you get from the end of Izuna Drop is accentuated by the Fire
    damage of Firewheel, too.
    
    15. Hard Place - NEARWALL Purgatory's Rivet, 7~6, Purgatory's Rivet, repeat
    Actual Commands: NEARWALL WR X, 4+A~6, WR X, repeat
    
    Since the X of Purgatory's Rivet is a CLEAR move, this series is extremely
    useful for those EXTREMELY tenacious enemies like SAT Fiends.  They will be
    CLEARed, receive WALLSTUN, and you can hit them again if you're quick enough.
    
    This move works a little better than Kitetsu's version of Hard Place, because
    the Lunar's coverage is a little better.
    
    STANDARD SHURIKEN FREE FORM COMBOS
    ----------------------------------
    While most people think that the standard shuriken is useless for damage, you
    can interrupt almost every action with shuriken; even air combos. You can use
    it to extend your combos, stun enemies, distance bodies if they're launched and
    interrupt enemy actions.  While the Windmill Shuriken deals significantly more
    damage than the standard shuriken, there are instances where standard shuriken
    are more desirable.  Additionally, Ryu will throw 3 WR, 4 IA, 6 Bird Flip and
    you can input 1 to 4 quick B's to get 4 different animations while on the
    ground.
    
    1. Shuriken Interrupt - (combo section), B
    
    2. Shuriken of Nirrti (DS/Kitetsu) - X, Y, X, X, X, B, X
    
    3. Splitting Shuriken (DS/Kitetsu, "Psychotic Kiske") - X, Y, X, X, X, B, Y
    The shuriken will distance the body enough so that Ryu won't register an Izuna
    Drop.  He'll instead do a Helmet Splitter on the enemy.
    
    4. Twin Dragon Shuriken (DS, Lvl3) - WR, B, Blade of the Twin Dragons
    Actual Commands: WR, B, (Y), Y ,Y
    
    5. Scarlet Nightmare (Kitetsu) -  Scarlet Dragon, B~Stab of Extinction~(6) (JF)
    Actual Commands: 6+(Y), B~Y~(6) (JF)
    
    This is a complicated one.  You must have regular Shuriken armed as any other
    projectile is too slow to cancel the Scarlet Dragon animation.  You must then
    quickly throw a Shuriken and immediately hit Y to begin the Stab of Extinction.
    Although, this is not enough as you must point in the direction of the enemy
    you struck as to aim the blade in that direction. But, you cannot hit the 6
    until after the animation has started or you will get another Azure/Scarlet
    Dragon.
    
    6. Greetings, Pain ("kkkkkk_1", DS/Kitetsu) - (6), B, Azure Dragon/Scarlet
    Dragon, [r6, ]etc.
    Actual Commands: (6), B, Y/(Y), [r6, ]etc.
    
    The first Y (Azure Dragon) is hit at the end of the roll for the running
    shuriken toss. The 6 from the WR will count as the 6+ for Azure or Scarlet
    Dragon.  This has the benefit of forcing the enemy to block before you reach
    them. This is especially useful against the Samurai and Mages in level 2 not
    for damage but to close the distance and attack without delay.
    
    This is a great Combo starter.  There are many options after the Azure/Scarlet
    Dragon.
    
    7. Preying Owl ("kkkkkk_1", DS/Kitetsu) - RJ/9, OL B, etc.
    Actual Commands: 6+L~A/6+A, OL B, etc.
    You can cancel the Jump Landing recovery with a WR Shuriken.  It flows as
    nicely as a Roll Jump.  You can combine this with Greetings, Pain above.
    
    8. Death From Above (Shuriken) - vWallRun, Flying Bird Flip, Platinum Rain,
    Helmet Splitter/Dragon Emperor Kick/Avalanche Drop/Fool Crusher/Phantom Moon
    Actual Commands: vWallRun, A, B, Y
    The excessive amount of Shuriken that are thrown during a Flying Bird Flip
    stun the enemy long enough to get a Helmet Splitter out.
    
    wINDMILL SHURIKEN FREE FORM COMBOS
    ----------------------------------
    1. Aerial Decapitation (Launch, DS/Kitetsu) - [X/Y,] B (IA)
    If the enemy is low on health and you launch them and either stay grounded or
    proceed aerial, you can throw the Windmill Shuriken up at them, and it will
    instantly decapitate them. You can cancel the standard air combos with a B at
    the end.
    
    2. Izuna Decapitation ("endevin", DS/Kitetsu) - X, Y, X, X, X, B
    
    3. Windmill Chaser (Vigoorian Flail): IA ...B, ...OL Y
    Since the Auspicious Crane/Phoenix/Gathering Clouds is the quickest dashing
    ET/UT, you can catch up with the Shuriken on its return.  You can do this with
    the DS and Kitetsu, too, but it's not as cool looking.
    
    4. False Witness - [IA] B~X/Y
    You can cancel the animation of a Windmill Shuriken toss if you quickly press
    attack afterwards.  This will sometimes make an enemy flip out of the way of
    the non-existent shuriken only to be hit by the melee attack.
    
    5. Crescent Moon Decapitation (Lunar) - 6+Y, Y, X, B
    Just like with the DS/Kitetsu, you can neglect to finish Izuna Drop and
    instead opt for the Windmill IA Decapitation.
    
    INCENDIARY SHURIKEN FREE FORM COMBOS
    ------------------------------------
    Ryu will throw 1 while on the ground but will throw 2 at once IA.
    
    1. Izuna Incineration ("endevin", DS/Kitetsu) - X, Y, X, X, X, B
    The benefit of this series is obvious.  You get the damage bonus equivalent to
    Izuna Drop, but you have better options than with the Drop splash damage.
    
    2. Fiend's Immolation (DS/Kitetsu, Counter) - WB, X, 6+B, etc...
    The Incendiary Shuriken will come out very quickly after the first hit of the
    Fiend's Bane Kick.  Then you are free to do whatever you please.  Be sure to
    point in the direction of the enemy you wish to hit, though.
    
    3. False Witness - [IA] B~X/Y
    You can cancel the animation of a Windmill Shuriken toss if you quickly press
    attack afterwards.  This will sometimes make an enemy flip out of the way of
    the non-existent shuriken only to be hit by the melee attack.
    
    4. New Moon (Lunar) - Full Moon Strike, Tempest, 6+B
    Actual Commands: 6+Y, Y, X, B
    
    Just like with the DS/Kitetsu, you can neglect to finish Izuna Drop and
    instead opt for the double Incendiary Shuriken throw.  Be sure to target the
    enemy you want to hit with the Shuriken.
    
    5. Lion's Fire (Lunar) - Lion's Rage/Crescent Strike, WINDRUN, 6+B
    Actual Commands: 6+X/6+Y, X+A, B
    
    Since both Lion's Rage and Crescent Strike Launch, you will need to place Ryu
    IA to get the double Incendiary Shuriken throw.
    
    6. Fire Starter (INTER) - INTER~B, 9, Guillotine Throw
    Actual Commands:  INTER~B, 6+A, NEAR Y
    
    7. Hot Seat - B, B, repeat
    A regular enemy will not be able to respond to being stuck with one Incendiary
    Shuriken.  You can throw another one before it can recover.  This is useful if
    you want its body to act as a grenade when it lands (and blows up again).
    
    WIND PATH FREE FORM COMBOS
    --------------------------
    Wind Path warrants its own section as you can do it with any weapon aside from
    the bows.  Most enemies have a Wind Path stun animation that renders them
    susceptible to follow-ups.
    
    1.  Winding Path - vWP/hWP[, vWP/hWP, vWP/hWP, repeat]
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A/A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A/A NEAR A, X+A/6+A/A NEAR A, repeat]
    
    You can continuously Wind Path off of enemies in close proximity.  You can do
    this with both a vertical and horizontal Wind Path
    
    2.  Torrential Path - hWP, [6+]B
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A, [6+]B
    
    You can follow a successful horizontal Wind Path with any projectile aside from
    the bow.  It is a guaranteed hit or hits.  Of course, you can target any enemy.
    
    3.  Mountain Climber - vWP, [6+]B, etc.
    Actual Commands: A NEAR A, [6+]B, etc.
    
    You can follow a successful vertical Wind Path with any projectile aside from
    the bow as well.  It is a guaranteed hit or hits.  Of course, you can target
    any enemy, but if you target the enemy that you Wind Pathed off of you are
    given an extremely amount of height.  You can follow up with any melee attack.
    
    4.  High Road - hWP~6+Y (JF)
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A~6+Y
    
    After a horizontal Wind Path with any weapon, you can initiate your GROUND
    move, and it will hit the stunned enemy.  It is a guaranteed hit, but you must
    actively target it.  Otherwise, you will simply do a GROUND move in the
    direction of the Wind Path.
    
    5.  Low Road - vWP/hWP, OL [Charge] Y
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A/A NEAR A, OL [Charge] Y
    
    You can follow up a Wind Path with an iC ET/UT.
    
    6.  Louis XVI (Guillotine) - hWP, [hWP, hWP,] Guillotine Throw
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A], NEAR 6+Y
    
    If two or more Regular enemies are lined up, you can horizontal Wind Path off
    of one and Guillotine Throw the next.
    
    7.  Henry VIII (Izuna) - hWP, [hWP, hWP,] Flying Swallow
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A], 6+Y
    
    If two or more Regular enemies are lined up, you can horizontal Wind Path off
    of one and Flying Swallow the next, provided that it is far enough away.
    
    8.  Anne Boleyn (Windmill, DEAD) - WP, [WP, WP,] 6+B
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A], 6+B
    
    If the enemy is low on health, a successful Wind Path will stun them long
    enough to decapitate them FROM BEHIND with the Windmill Shuriken.  Gruesome.
    
    9.  Rocky Road (Firewheel/IceStorm) - WP~6+Y, Ninpo (JF)
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A/A NEAR A~6+Y, Y+B
    
    As with any Grounding Move, you can Ninpo Cancel the animation.
    
    10. Running Wind - WINDRUN, ...WINDRUN, repeat (JF)
    Actual Commands: X+A, ...X+A, repeat
    
    One unique property that differentiates Wind Run from a regular jump (aside
    from auto-homing) is its ability cancel its own landing.  If you precisely
    Wind Run after a complete Wind Run, you will Wind Run again without any
    landing animation whatsoever.  The timing is precise, though, as it will
    register as an attack in the air if done too early, and you will lose the
    benefit of the early jump if you do it too late.
    
    11. Second Wind - hWP[, hWP, hWP]~(6), iWR, etc.
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A]~(6), ...etc.
    
    This is a newly discovered way to reach iWR with any weapon.  This is EXTREMELY
    useful as on the harder difficulties, it is EXTREMELY difficult to generate WR
    outside of the initial strike of the encounter as you are running to meet the
    enemy.  This gives you the ability to gain iWR at any time.  There are too many
    variations to list as separate combos.  Needless to say, you have every WR
    option available to you at this point.  In this version, you can re-engage the
    enemy with 6.
    
    12. Third Wind - hWP[, hWP, hWP]~(4), iWR, etc.
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A]~(4), ...etc.
    
    This is a newly discovered way to reach iWR with any weapon.  This is EXTREMELY
    useful as on the harder difficulties, it is EXTREMELY difficult to generate WR
    outside of the initial strike of the encounter as you are running to meet the
    enemy.  This gives you the ability to gain iWR at any time.  There are too many
    variations to list as separate combos.  Needless to say, you have every WR
    option available to you at this point.  In this version, you can flee the
    encounter with 4 for spacing.
    
    12. Winding Riot (Heavy Two-Handed Melee Weapons) - Second Wind, Running Riot
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A]~(6), X, ...Y
    r6
    
    This is but one option available to you after a successful Second Wind.  The
    Earth Slide will knockdown and you can immediately follow up with the Y attack
    with all of the Heavy Two-Handed Melee Weapons.
    
    13. Red-Hot Rivet (Lunar) - Second Wind, Purgatory's Rivet
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A]~(6), X r6
    
    This is an extremely useful series as you get an extremely quick Crush move
    with almost no way for the enemy to retaliate.
    
    14. Twin Serpent Surprise (Lunar) - Second Wind, Purgatory's Rivet
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A]~(6), Y r6
    
    It is unfortunately that the Twin Serpent Strike is so powerful, but so hard to
    setup.  Using this series, you can get a Twin Serpent Strike much more
    assuredly than if you were going to simply setup a WR.
    
    15. Flash Flood (Shuriken) - Third Wind, Flood Waters, etc.
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A]~(4), B, etc.
    
    If you find yourself in a very bad placement such as a corner with three
    enemies on top of you (which happens frequently), you can use this series to
    distance yourself very reliably.  You have every option after the WR B as
    well, but it's more useful for distancing as Ryu continues to move in the
    direction he was going as he throws the Shuriken behind him.
    
    16. Stinging Circle (WarHammer, Shuriken) - Second Wind, ...Flood
    Waters~r6, Six Paths Spin
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A]~(6),
    ...B~r6, 360+Y
    
    This devastating Combo is unique to the War Hammer such that the 360+Y move is
    a Throw.  It's somewhat like bowling when you run back into the group, STUN
    one enemy with the Flood Waters (WR B) and then unleash the Six Paths Spin.
    This will CLEAR Away any enemies left standing.
    
    17. Circle Pusher (Kitetsu/Dabi/DDB/UF/Lunar, Shuriken) - Second Wind,
    ...Flood Waters~r6, Bassara/Hundred Man Slash/Raven Streams
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A]~(6),
    ...B~r6, 360+Y
    
    The 360+Y will flow nicely with the other weapons that have a 360 move as
    well.  It's just not as safe.  This will CLEAR Away any enemies left standing.
    
    18. Exploding Circle (DS, Shuriken) - Second Wind, ...Flood Waters~r6,
    Flying Crane/Gleaming Blade/Roaring Gleam/Annihilating Gleam/True Dragon Gleam
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A]~(6),
    ...B~r6, [Charge 1/2 Essences] 360+Y
    
    The 360+Y will flow nicely with the Dragon Sword, and you can Charge it if the
    Shuriken stun.  It's just not as safe.  This will Launch any enemies left
    standing.
    
    19. Divine Wind Path (DS/Kitetsu/Warhammer/Dabi/UF/DDB/Lunar) - hWP[, hWP,
    hWP], vWallRun/hWallRun~Flying Bird Flip, Divine Cicada Slash/Raging Thunder/
    Raging Thunderous Blade/Gibbous
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A]
    vWallRun/hWallrun~A, Y
    
    If Ryu has enemies clustered near a wall and can hWP into the group, then one
    of the most damaging options he has is to use a Flying Bird Flip off of the
    wall while the enemies are stunned and use the Y attack on the group.
    
    20. Hellish Wind Path (Nunchaku/Flail) - hWP[, hWP, hWP],
    vWallRun/hWallRun~Flying Bird Flip, Hell Drop/Mountain Crane
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A NEAR A, X+A/6+A NEAR A],
    vWallRun/hWallrun~A, Y[, Y]
    
    This is the same concept as Divine Wind Path, but with the Nunchaku and Flail,
    you have an option as to which Y attack to use.
    
    21. Fulcrum ("Shadowblade786", Guillotine) - vWP[, vWP, vWP], ...Guillotine
    Throw (JF)
    Actual Commands: A NEAR A[, A NEAR A, A NEAR A], NEAR Y
    
    Right after doing a successful vertical Wind Path, let Ryu fall.  But, right
    before he touches the ground, press Y Ryu will do Guillotine Throw w/o needing
    any forward momentum.
    
    22. Winding Wall Run ("Shadowblade786") - vWP/hWP[, vWP/hWP, vWP/hWP], NEARWALL,
    vWallRun/hWallRun, ...vWP/hWP[, vWP/hWP, vWP/hWP], repeat
    Actual Commands: X+A/6+A/A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A/A NEAR A, X+A/6+A/A NEAR A],
    NEARWALL, (6), X+A/6+A/A NEAR A[, X+A/6+A/A NEAR A, X+A/6+A/A NEAR A], repeat
    
    If you do nothing from a WallRun, and Ryu simply falls off of the wall or if
    you Flying Bird Flip off of it), you are granted IA status.  As such, you can
    continue Wind Pathing.
    
    23. Crowning Achievement - vWP, B, Y
    The nice thing about this series is that the B will place you out of range of
    almost every enemies' verticals attacks (even those that are designed to pluck
    Ryu out of the air).
    
    INTERCEPT FREE FORM COMBOS
    --------------------------
    You have almost every offensive and defensive option available to you after a
    successful Intercept.  Currently, the only limitation that I have found is that
    you cannot issue standard Y attacks.  This might be able to overridden.  A few
    of the more complicated techniques I will list below.
    
    1.  Sudden Gleam (INTER, DS) - INTER~5~Flying Crane/Gleaming Blade/Annihilating
    Gleam/True Dragon Gleam
    Actual Commands: INTER~5~[Charge, 1/2 Essence] 360+Y
    
    This is one of the most difficult techniques in the game.  The window is so
    small that you almost have to put in the 360 BEFORE you put in the L for the
    Intercept.  Also, it is necessary to return the stick to Neutral before putting
    in the 360 as otherwise you will simply get a Reverse Wind.
    
    2.  Sly Fox (INTER, Kitetsu) - INTER~5~Hundred Curses Slash
    Actual Commands:  INTER~5~360+Y
    
    This is one of the most difficult techniques in the game.  The window is so
    small that you almost have to put in the 360 BEFORE you put in the L for the
    Intercept.  Also, it is necessary to return the stick to Neutral before putting
    in the 360 as otherwise you will simply get a Reverse Wind.
    
    3.  Sudden Soul Bind (INTER, Kitetsu) - INTER~5~Soul Bind, etc.
    Actual Commands: INTER~5~6+X, etc.
    
    As with most of the Combos in this section, you will have to return the stick
    back to Neutral for this to come out without a Reverse Wind instead.
    
    4.  Eager Dragon (INTER, DS) - INTER~5~Azure/Scarlet Dragon, etc.
    Actual Commands: INTER~5~6+Y/(Y), etc.
    
    As with most of the Combos in this section, you will have to return the stick
    back to Neutral for this to come out without a Reverse Wind instead.
    Obviously, you can follow with any Azure/Scarlet Dragon series.
    
    5.  instant Charge Intercept (INTER, All) - INTER~Y~rY
    You are granted iC post Intercept (iCI).  As with any iC, you do not have to
    hold the Y.  Simply tapping it will suffice.
    
    6.  Unexpected Egress (INTER, All) - INTER~5~7/8/9
    Actual Commands: INTER~5~4+A/A/6+A
    
    You can instantly jump in any direction following a successful Intercept, given
    that you quickly return the stick to Neutral before issuing the command to
    jump.
    
    7.  Decisive Slash (INTER, DS) - INTER~5~Windmill Slash, etc.
    Actual Commands: INTER~5~6+X, etc.
    You have access to all Windmill Slash options after this as well.
    
    8.  Higher Ground (INTER, All) - INTER, WINDRUN, hWP, etc.
    Actual Commands: INTER~X+A, NEAR A, etc.
    
    You have all the options available to you from Wind Run immediately post INTER.
    This is frequently a better option, since you won't have the tendency to
    Reverse Wind by inputting a direction after the Intercept.
    
    9.  Doppelganger (INTER, Heavy Two-Handed Weapons) - INTER~5~6+Y
    
    This move will very closely mimic the functionality of a Counter Attack for the
    Two-Handed Melee Weapons.  The Counter is still more powerful, but if you're
    forced to use an INTER instead (i.e. the enemy is going to use a Guard Break),
    then this is a good alternative.
    
    10. Effed (INTER, Ninpo) - INTER~Ninpo
    Actual Commands: INTER~Y+B
    
    Woe is the enemy that gets hit with this.
    
    11. Six Ways From the Lord's Day (INTER, WarHammer) - INTER~5~Six Paths Spin
    Actual Commands:  INTER~5~360+Y
    
    This is one of the most difficult techniques in the game.  The window is so
    small that you almost have to put in the 360 BEFORE you put in the L for the
    Intercept.  Also, it is necessary to return the stick to Neutral before putting
    in the 360 as otherwise you will simply get a Reverse Wind.  This series is
    DEVASTATING to a pack of enemies as you are granted Invincible frames following
    the iCI.  Six Paths Spin is a throw, so if you are surrounded, all of the
    enemies will be Cleared Away or Grounded.
    
    12. Pincushion (INTER, Bow) - Inter~B
    This is just about the only way, you'll ever combo with a Bow.  It's extremely
    powerful, as those 10 or so frames of invincibility give you just enough time
    to get a shot off.
    
    13. Immolation (INTER, Explosive Arrows) - Inter~B
    This one is great for crowd control.  The arrow will go off point blank and
    incinerate everyone around you leaving you completely unharmed due to the INV
    frames.  It's very awesome looking.
    
    --LEGACY ADVANCED COMBAT--
    The entire Ninja Gaiden Trilogy is included with the Xbox game.  Given this
    fact and the continuous updates from the Hurricane Packs, there is more replay
    value in this disc than any other game I've ever owned.  Somebody coming into
    any of the three Ninja Gaiden games is in for a surprise as far as difficulty
    is concerned.  Any arguments about today's games is quickly stifled by
    statements like "Ghosts 'n Goblins" or "Ninja Gaiden."  So, for those of you
    that had the [mis]fortune of missing these games the first time around, I have
    compiled this section for you.  Veterans might find a few gems in this section
    as well, though.
    
    We will cover the combat tactics that Ryu can use in his later adventures.
    That is, the original trilogy of games takes place after the events of the Xbox
    Ninja Gaiden game.  However, in this timeline Ryu approaches combat in a very
    different way.  I've named the section Legacy Advanced Combat due to the fact
    that in most cases we've all played these games previous to this latest game.
    We'll include Ninja Ryukenden (the arcade/Atari Lynx game) in this discussion
    as well.  This section will touch briefly upon Ryu's hand-to-hand abilities,
    but there are plenty of guides available for his exploits during the DoA
    Tournaments.
    
    This section will cover the stories told in Ninja Ryukenden, Ninja Gaiden,
    Ninja Gaiden and the Dark Sword of Chaos and Ninja Gaiden and the Ancient Ship
    of Doom.
    
    Ninja Ryukenden
    ---------------
    Ninja Ryukenden sees Ryu traveling to the US to combat a gang of foes for
    some unknown reason.  For this adventure, Ryu forgoes all weaponry aside from
    the occasional use of the Dragon Sword.  He uses a very limited set of hand-to-
    hand combat maneuvers such as a three-hit combo using both punches and kicks,
    the Guillotine Throw, Wall Running and hanging kicks.  Once in a while, Ryu
    unsheathes his sword, and decimates his foes with it.
    
    Most likely, he does this as most of his enemies are very human and nature and
    don't necessitate the excessive use of the Dragon Sword.
    
    So, to successfully conquer this game, you need to destroy as much as the
    environment as possible as that is the only way to receive powerups.  The
    ability to use the sword is absolutely necessary to survival, so always be on
    the lookout for it.
    
    Ryu has a standard three strike combo, and he has a single slash with the
    Dragon Sword as well as a double Slash.  He can also do a Dragon Sword
    attack from a wall run in this game, so you should use this if cornered.
    
    Possibly, the most powerful technique in the game is actually the hanging
    kick.  Most foes will fall victim to this maneuver quite handily.  The
    exception to this rule is the tree swinging foes, as they will stay outside
    the range of your kick and swing their tree trunks instead.
    
    Ninja Gaiden Trilogy
    --------------------
    The original trilogy came originally on the NES.  It was reworked for the SNES
    system as a single Trilogy game.
    
    In the original Trilogy that follows Ryukenden, Ryu resorts to his younger ways
    and chooses a much less gentler way of dispatching his enemies.  He wields the
    Dragon Sword again, almost exclusively.  Whenever Ryu strikes a foe, not only
    does he kill them, but his strike also completely destroys their body.
    Given that some of the enemies Ryu encounters are actually regular humans and
    animals, this is a very powerful skill.  While the Malice Four, Kelbeross, the
    Masked Devil, Dando, Baron Spider, Funky Dynamite, Naga Sotuva, Ashtar, the
    Jaquio, the Demon, Mantis Warrior, Night Diver, Great Kogenai, Sandeater,
    Doppleganger, and Clancy all can take much more punishment than regular
    foes, their fates result in the same, cataclysmic annihilation.  Therefore, Ryu
    is MUCH more powerful later in life than he is in the events that take place in
    the span of the Xbox game.
    
    Ryu abandons almost all of his sword technique not to mention every other
    weapon aside from the Windmill Shuriken.  In retrospect, it really must have
    been a legendary weapon.  Regardless, he now holsters the Dragon Sword
    differently.  He arms it on his waist much like a Samurai would carry such a
    weapon.  He sheathes it after every strike much like in the Xbox Ninja Gaiden.
    However, Ryu utilizes it in a much more deadly way in his most efficient
    technique, the Windmill Slash.
    
    1. Ninja Gaiden - In the first game, once you find the Windmill Slash, you need
    to hold onto it as long as you can.  That means, you must keep from dying or
    picking up a different Ninja Art.  Unfortunately, the only way to do these
    things is to be extremely good and memorize the locations of the Windmill Slash.
    
    For the first Trilogy game, there is only one area where the Windmill Slash is
    unavailable, Stage 3.  Other than this level, you should keep the Windmill
    Slash in every scenario.  There are a couple of instances where 2 Windmill
    Slashes are available, and you can switch to Art of Firewheel or Fire Shield.
    Typically, you'll use Firewheel (not like in the Xbox Ninja Gaiden) to access
    hard to reach powerups or enemies, and Fire Shield will keep you from utilizing
    your Spiritual Strength in unneeded Windmill Slashes.  Of course, everyone's
    play style differs, so one may prefer one of the other Ninja Arts.  The
    importance of this attack is uncovered once you attempt to use it on a boss.
    You can kill every boss in the except Basaquer with 1-2 uses of this technique.
    The only reason Basaquer is excluded from this list is because there is no
    Windmill Slash found in all of Stage 3.  I doubt that he has any special
    immunity to it.
    
    That means, that every boss is a pushover if you've successfully saved the
    Windmill Slash for the confrontation.  This will allow you to skate through the
    game fairly easily.  Of course, this will only work if you are shooting for a
    good time.  You will miss killing MANY enemies along the way if you solely
    utilize Windmill Slash.  If you are going for an Angel of Death approach where
    you kill every single enemy, you will need to abandon the Windmill Slash
    strategy for the most part.  This also holds true if you want to accrue as many
    points as possible.
    
    Lastly, there are times when Ryu has the ability to halt the flow of time
    itself.  There is no reason to not partake of this ability in every scenario.
    
    2. Ninja Gaiden and the Dark Sword of Chaos - In the sequel, we are introduced
    to yet another foil of the Dragon Sword, The Dark Sword of Chaos.  There is an
    interesting symmetry to this in the real world as well.  Games are continuously
    compared to Ninja Gaiden, but then the Dragon Sword ultimately prevails.  At
    any rate, the wonderful Windmill Slash is no longer available in Ninja Gaiden.
    
    In exchange Ryu learns several more arts that are as useful if not moreso than
    the original Windmill Slash.  In this game, he acquires the ability to summon
    Fire Shield at will, and he can also conjure Phantom Doubles of himself and
    command them somewhat (even duplicating his use of Ninpo).  In Dark Sword of
    Chaos, one's primary concern should be the retrieval of Fire Shield and
    Phantom Doubles as much as possible.  In regards to movement, the Phantoms
    will mimic Ryu's movement in a queue fashion.  That is, wherever Ryu moves,
    the Phantoms will follow that movement sequentially.  This is useful because
    it allows Ryu to place Phantoms wherever he deems necessary, say right in the
    face of a certain boss.  However, Ryu controls their attacks at any time in
    real time, both melee and Ninpo.
    
    Couple this ability to keep Fire Shield with you at all times and the ability
    to stop time, Ryu is quite the bringer of death.
    
    3.  Ninja Gaiden and the Ancient Ship of Doom - Ryu abandons his ability to
    summon Phantoms in this story, but he gains the ability to increase the
    usefulness of the Dragon Sword tenfold.  He can acquire a powerful artifact
    that increases the width and breadth of his stroke.  He also retains the
    ability to summon Fire Shield at any time, once he acquires the Ninpo.  Moreso
    than with the other two games, though will you be juggling Ninpo.
    
    This time, Ryu's visual acuity and extra-sensory perception has developed
    enough so that he may see inside the powerup orbs before he releases their
    power.  This allows you to make the choice of what Ninpo to carry with you
    much easier.
    
    Summary
    -------
    The comparative difficulties of the three games is hotly debated.  In my
    opinion, Ninja Gaiden and the Dark Sword of Chaos is the hardest of the three.
    Ninja Gaiden 1, while difficult, is capable of being beaten by memorization
    aside from the Jaquio.  You can repeat your technique per level ad infinitum,
    and it will always work.  Additionally, you can keep Windmill Slash with you
    on all levels save one and guarantee a one hit kill on every enemy in the game.
    
    Ninja Gaiden and the Ancient Ship of Doom gave Ryu the ability to cling to the
    underside of surfaces and the Dragon Sword improvement greatly assuages the
    frustration you can feel with this game.  However, the reason I find Ninja
    Gaiden and the Dark Sword of Chaos to be so difficult is the fact that
    randomness is implemented in this game moreso than the other two.  The wind
    stages, much more effective ice, lightning and improved Jaquio force you to
    abandon memorization almost entirely.
    
    Whichever you personally feel is the most difficult, it cannot be argued that
    the Xbox Ninja Gaiden game complete with the entire Trilogy and Hurricane Packs
    is one of the best gaming experiences of all time.
    
    --CREDITS--
    All of the official move lists were compiled from the game itself.  The Rolling
    Techniques and Essence Avoidance sections are of my own invention and come from
    my previous FAQs.  All of the Free Form Combos information was compiled in a
    thread entitled Free Form Combos.  If you wish to contribute, please create a
    new thread.  There are plenty of instances to be uncovered.
    
    Contributors include: goatism, Psychotic Kiske, Refreshment, ivansverdlov,
    level 99 babe, Dark Falz213, endevin, asdf0fdsa, holyvision, Ninja99,
    primetime2121, primetime2123, wintersquall, Adair (for fact checking), JynxShot,
    sn33k33,zidaneff9, Sour_Tofu (for accurate Fiend names), Shadowblade786, Vidd,
    UltimateMasterChief, kkkkkk_1, VampireHorde, Fedzmonkey, timebomb13rob,
    darthvader06, Lupin Roamer, oasisbeyond, cjh87, fizzguy47, Lupin Roamer,
    Weibull, Sabier and Shinobier
    
    Tecmo
    Team Ninja
    Microsoft
    GameFAQ's
    

    FAQ Display Options: Printable Version