Score Attack Mode Guide by Hiryu_no_Ken

Version: 1.1 | Updated: 07/03/14 | Printable Version

Score Attack Mode Guide

by Hiryu no Ken / Kyle O'Brien

The information contained in this FAQ is intended to be free to read 
and use. However, please do not plagiarize my writing - if you need to
reproduce this information elsewhere, do it with your own words. If 
for some reason you still find it necessary to copy my words, please 
provide the proper credit.

Table of Contents

A. Opening
A1. Version History
A2. Thanks

B. Differences from Adventure Mode
B1. Goal
B2. System
B3. Scoring and Chaining
B4. Getting Hurt

C. Movement
C1. Falling
C2. Hit Stun

D. Using the Kusari
D1. Lift
D2. Speed
D3. Floating on Release
D4. Using Enemies

E. Power-Up
E1. Power-Up Canceling
E2. Collecting Scrolls

F. Hyper Power-Up
F1. Gaining and Losing
F2. Canceling Properties

This guide assumes some familiarity with the basics of the main part
of the game, the Adventure Mode. If you haven't completed that yet,
go do so - it teaches you fundamentals you'll need in this mode too.

Many of the principles mentioned here can also be helpful if you're
trying to reduce your stage times in Adventure Mode - just remember
the elements that don't apply in each (you have to worry about things
like spikes, switches, etc. in Adventure, but not here).

A. Opening

A1. Version History & Thanks

06/02/2014: Version 1.1
Almost two years after I first noticed I made a mistake, I'm finally
remembering to update this - F2. has been changed from "No Canceling"
to "Canceling Properties", as the Hyper Power-Up can actually be 
cancelled if you get hit by a reaper. Do not know how I overlooked 
this one. Nin2-Jump does have a Ver. 1.00 and a 1.01 after a patch, 
but it's the same in both.

02/12/2012: Version 1.0
I don't fancy myself to be any kind of expert at this game, but with
the lack of anything about how it works on GameFAQs or...anywhere,
for that matter, I felt compelled to get something out there.

Plus, I'm hoping that should there be someone out there that knows
of things I'm missing, perhaps my blindness to this or that will
encourage them to come forward and correct me.

A2. Thanks

- Zargon (Jean Rene Broe) - Being willing to double check some things
and not throttling me for laughing at him for forgetting to finish the
game at every opportunity.

B. Differences from Adventure Mode

The basics remain the same - jump, slow your jump by pressing the
button again, use the kusari to latch onto things and propel yourself,
kill enemies using Power-Up. The differences are big enough to
require a different mindset though:

B1. Goal

Survive for as long as possible and rack up a big score along the way.

Since the regular enemies are killable and as dumb and slow as ever,
your main enemy here are the reapers, who are still invincible no
matter what and will follow you around. They will appear periodically
and up to three can appear at a time.

(Although you can't kill them, you can push them away - see
E1. Power-Up Canceling)

B2. System

-Hyper Power-Up: There's now a counter below your power meter that, 
once it reaches 1,000 will say STANDBY - press the Power-Up button 
during this and Hyper Power-Up will activate instead (see: F. Hyper 
---It works exactly the same way as Power-Up does, only it can't be
canceled manually or by getting hit, and you get a more points.

-Scrolls are not finite - they will regenerate once all on the stage
have been collected (see: E2. Collecting Scrolls).

-There are also things you can do in Adventure Mode, but never really
needed to to get through it that are now essential here, chief among
them being Power-Up Canceling (see: E1.).

B3. Scoring and Chaining

-You now collect food when killing enemies - onigiri (rice balls) when
bumping into them while in super mode, shrimp tempura when attacking
them from the chain weapon, and sushi when in Hyper Mode.

At base, the groups of food you get are worth:
Onigiri = 100 Points
Shrimp Tempura = 300 Points
Sushi = 1000 Points

-Chaining: You now have a HIT counter whenever you kill an enemy. The
higher the HIT counter is when you kill an enemy, the more food (and
the more points) you get.
---It will slowly decrease when time passes between kills. 
---The chain will end instantly if you get hurt.

B3. Getting Hurt

You have three hearts just as in Adventure Mode, but getting hurt
sucks a lot more for reasons beyond the obvious:

-You lose a big chunk off your Hyper Power-Up counter. (About 200)
-Your HIT chain will end instantly.
-The damage animation you go into (see: C2. Hit Stun) may end up
getting you stuck in a situation difficult to recover from.

Most of your score comes from the Hyper Power-Up (how well you do 
revolves around how many times you get this activated) and amped up 
even further by Chaining. So whereas getting hit might be a "whatever"
situation in Adventure, you don't want to get hurt in this. At all.

C. Movement

C1. Falling

This is an important factor when you're running around. Consider:

-When you're falling, you go very fast. Important for getaways.

-Although there aren't any spikes, because you're going so fast, it's
easy to fall on top of an enemy without time to move away. You have
two basic options to deal with this:

1) Press the jump button (multiple times even) to slow your descent.
2) Activate Power-Up to kill anything you land on.

-Since you're not going to want to lose your speed and it's good
for keeping up a chain anyway, you'll almost always want to go with
the second option, save for situations where you have no Power-Up

-This does mean activating your Power-Up blind, which may seem like
a waste, but see E1. Power-Up Canceling - you can just turn it off
afterwards and not lose much meter.

-Because the game hints at the location of reapers with the little
cloud bubble, you'll always know where they are, so this scenario
shouldn't be happening with them.

C2. Hit Stun

When you get hurt, you'll switch into a stunned frame of animation,
during which you can move around. You'll also generally get bumped
in one direction or another somewhat (similar to D3. Floating on 
Release when using the kusari).

This will also happen if you try to use the kusari on a shield which
some enemies have or the shell enemy (see: D4. Using Enemies).

The difference between the situations is after being hurt, you'll be
invincible for the duration of the frame, but after a failed kusari
toss you'll remain vulnerable.

Things to keep in mind:

-All normal actions do work during this animation - you can activate
Power-Up, slow your descent with the jump button, and use the kusari.

-You lose any momentum you may have had, since you're getting
slightly bounced off the enemy instead.

-This makes getting cornered especially bad, as that speed reduction
coupled with getting bumped into a direction you may not want to go
in can result in you getting stuck.

-Post damage, although you're invincible for a time, it only last so
long, meaning you need to use this opportunity to move away from 
enemies so you won't just get hit again when it's finished.

-It's easy to get flustered and change your mind on which direction
you want to fall in, but not committing one way if you're right on top
of enemies might waste the invincibility time while you end up not far
from where you started.

D. Using the Kusari

Pressing X throws the kusari either forward or whatever of eight
directions you're pressing. It connects with walls and anchors and
sends you flying in that direction.

Normally, it ignores enemies and will pass right through them. When 
Power-Up or Hyper Power-Up are activated, it latches on to them, and
you will kill them on contact (resulting in Shrimp Tempura for more
points in Power-Up - you still get Sushi as expected in Hyper 

You move much faster than usual when flying around using the kusari,
making it an essential tool.

D1. Lift

Of course, you need this to lift yourself higher to navigate each
stage and to get away from enemies. Things to keep in mind:

-The anchor symbols all over the place may seem unnecessary, but
using them instead of walls when you can is much faster. This is
because you don't bounce off the wall once your body reaches it
(see also: D3. Floating on Release).

-In Adventure Mode, it often works fine just to mash the button to
send out the kusari multiple times in order to scale a wall without
having to go in any other direction. This is still sometimes handy in
a pinch, but you'll want to avoid doing this for the most part as it's
much slower than a clean swoop from a single wall/anchor connection.

-This means it's worth your while to explore stages and find more
efficient ways to lift yourself up in certain sections you'll need to.

For instance, from the bottom of the Winter stage, if you have to go
up and to the right, there's an anchor you can use, but then it seems 
the only way to go further up is to latch onto the walls, a bit awkward
and maybe requiring multiple throws. In fact, if you just throw it 
straight up, you'll latch onto the ceiling just off screen and go right

D2. Speed

-As mentioned before, you move a lot faster when using the kusari, so
remember you can use it not only to lift yourself up, but also 
forward and even down.

-Learning how much distance the kusari actually has is important for
this reason - you'll get the hang of it just by messing around, so
make sure to take the time learning the stages and don't be afraid
throw it out in different ways to see how it sticks.

-When you find yourself using it so often, it may seem like you're
just flipping out of control - remember you can keep using it over and
over to reposition yourself, but spamming it to scale a single wall
is slow (and once again, see D3. Floating on Release).

-Throwing it down is, of course, a great way to make quick escapes
and quickly crash into enemies below you while Power-Up is active
(often better than just letting gravity slowly drop you on them).
You also won't bounce off the floor, as mentioned below in D3.

D3. Floating on Release

-When a zip along the kusari ends with your body hitting a wall,
you'll bounce off the wall a little and briefly float.

-This is of course excellent for getting over walls, allowing you to
do so with only one throw. It also gives you some time to reposition
yourself for another throw if necessary.

-If you're just using it against a wall to move in that direction
rather than get over the top of that wall though, it's a different

-The time you're floating in the air, you're moving very slow and
generally staying in the same place. Potentially dangerous. This is
also why you'll usually want to use anchors instead of walls.

-Throwing out the kusari again can make up for this, but this is
another reason why anchors are preferable - they're positioned so
when you use them, you'll be going in the same direction rather than
having to reposition after a bounce. Plus, there's somewhere to go,
which may not be the case from any random solid wall.

-You'll still need to do single throws against walls to get around
of course, so try to figure out where you can go during that post
bounce float that'll get you moving faster.

-If you find you really need to scale a wall using multiple throws,
riding the bounce float between each throw will make it a bit faster.

-It actually does not happen when throwing down and latching a floor,
or throwing up an latching onto a ceiling. Something to keep in mind 
when you need to make a clean escape.

D4. Using Enemies

-While Power-Up is active, you can latch on to enemies - not only
effective for quicker killing, but also rushing around the screen
and making snappy escapes that normally aren't possible.

-Once again, remember, the reaper is invincible and the kusari will
not work on them for latching either.

-Three types of regular enemies cannot be latched on to: Ones with 
shields on their top and bottom, ones with shields on their left and 
right, and turtle shells. You cannot latch onto the shields on those
enemies, but you can latch on to their body from the open part.
Turtle shells cannot be latched onto at all.

-When attempting to latch onto ones of the above enemies and
failing, you won't take damage, but will go into a hit stun frame
(see: C2. Hit Stun). 

-Because of the shadow puppet aesthetic, every active sprite in the
game (characters and scrolls) have a little handle sticking out at
the bottom. In situations where you need to pop up quick, you may 
only be able to see a handle above you, expect an enemy, and try to
latch on to them. 

Since you can't determine what exactly you're going to
get, this can be risky should you be trying to make a desperate
escape and end up hitting a shell. Be prepared to correct yourself
and remember where the scrolls are. Otherwise, try to get a little
higher before committing to another throw at whatever it is or
rely on the stage itself and knowledge of it instead.

There's generally no risk of running into a repear this way though,
as after all the game hints where they are with the little cloud

E. Power-Up

When Power-Up is active, you will kill all regular enemies your body
comes in contact with, yielding Onigiri for points. When you make
contact while latching onto an enemy with the kusari, you get
Shrimp Tempura for more points. Once again, reapers are invincible.

Power-Up functions as it does when you have all your tools at the end
of the main game:

-Your power gauge slowly fills up on its own, but you get loads
more by collecting scrolls.
-Once active, the background will turn blue and the meter will 
decrease. The blue background, actually a circle, will decrease in
size around Nin-Ja as well to indicate you're running out of time.
-It does not have to be full to activate, although you need a 
minimum for it to turn on (and obviously it won't last long then).
-You can actually cancel it by pressing the button again (see E1.

You activate it two ways:

1) Pressing the Power-Up button.
2) Getting hit by a regular enemy who can be killed (not reapers)
while you have the minimum meter to turn it on. This will happen
instead of taking damage. It also carves off a huge chunk of the
meter if you had a decent amount, though.

Although it acts as a handy back up should you screw up, the meter
reduction is bad news, so you always want to activate it manually.

E1. Power-Up Canceling

There are three ways to turn off Power-Up:

1) Get hit by a reaper.
2) Run out of meter, as it depletes naturally when active.
3) Press the Power-Up button again to cancel it.

Number 3 is what this section is about - it's a hugely important tool.

-When canceling Power-Up manually, all enemies are pushed back away
from your position. That includes reapers.

-This can keep reapers away from you when they get too close to 
escape from or are otherwise difficult to escape from.
Very very very important.

-You will find situations where doing it multiple times will keep 
them at bay. However, they move fast enough that it will do that 
and no more, and you still need to come up with a way to increase 
the distance between you (usually by taking advantage of the kusari's
speed boost).

-It saves meter to turn it on to kill enemies, turn it off, then
turn it on again when you need it. Although you'll be constantly
pumped full of meter by scrolls (see: E2. Collecting Scrolls),
not having meter just when you need it to keep reapers away can
make all the difference in the world.

-Before you become too cancel happy, remember that this blowback 
works on all normal enemies. Although it's usually not far enough to
adversely effect your chaining ability, turning it on and off over
and over keeps them away from you, and may screw with perfectly
good enemy kusari latching situations. It will knock ground based 
enemies off of ledges.

E2. Collecting Scrolls

Although you do gain meter over time, it's very little, and so you
need to be collecting scrolls to keep it up.

-Scrolls do regenerate, but only after all in the stage have been
picked up. Miss even one and the others will not reappear.

-For this reason, you should be picking up all the scrolls you come

-In order for this to work, this means you'll end up making laps
around the stage in a big circle. This is also actually helpful in
avoiding the reapers, as this'll keep them in the center of that
big circle.

F. Hyper Power-Up

Exclusive to Score Attack Mode, you now have a Hyper Power-Up. Under
your Power-Up gauge is a counter you'll see is usually in the 
hundreds - when this reaches 1,000, it'll say STANDBY, and when you
press the Power-Up button, it will instead activate Hyper Power-Up.

This mode functions the same as Power-Up, except for the multi-color
background and how killed enemies now yield Sushi, which grant many
more points than usual. The bulk of your score will generally come
from when you've activated Hyper Power-Up.

Because of this, the game basically revolves around how often you're
able to activate Hyper Power while alive and how big of a chain you
have when you do.

F1. Gaining and Losing

-Your Hyper Power-Up counter increases when you kill enemies.

-You lose a big chunk of it if you get hit.

-When enough time passes and it's over, you will return to your
regular state with nothing activated. Do note that because you'll
actually still be gaining Power-Up meter during Hyper Power-Up,
you'll be able to activate a normal Power-Up immediately afterwards
should the situation call for it.

F2. Canceling Properties

-You cannot cancel Hyper Power-Up manually.  

-The lack of the Power-Up canceling push back option (see: E1. 
Power-Up Canceling) means you have to rely on other methods to
escape from reapers, making life that much more difficult.

-Since you can't control the rate you gain numbers on Hyper Power-Up's
counter (short of not killing enemies, which means you'll just be 
getting nowhere), this means you may find yourself in a situation 
where you want to do a cancel but can't because it'll just activate 
Hyper Power-Up instead. Be mindful to see how much you have on it and
look out for when it says STANDBY (which fortunately they make
hard to miss from the way it flashes).

-While active, if you get hit by a reaper, it'll be cancelled, and a
chunk of the Hyper Power-Up counter will be depleted (about 200-300).
The counter will still continue to go down all the same, however. If
you press to acivate it again while it's still going, the mode will
resume. That means regardless of whether you opt to continue it, the
counter will still deplete.

If you have any questions, comments, or possible additions, feel
free to e-mail me at Make sure to mention
the FAQ in the title.

Copyright 2012 Kyle O'Brien
All trademarks and copyrights referred to in this document are owned
by their respective trademark and copyright holders.