Ninja - A ninja is a fighter, spy and/or assassin trained in the mysterious, unconventional arts of ninjutsu. They often use weapons and tools from the time of the ninja arts' creation, including shuriken (throwing blades), ninjato (ninja sword with a larger-than-normal guard), katana, kunai and kusarigama (chained sickle). They usually wear some or all of the ninja uniform (shinobi shozoku) no matter what time period they're in to visually inform the player that the character is indeed a ninja and to expect some sort of ninja-ness to be afoot.

The abilities of the ninja are a blend of reality and fantasy due to their use in folklore, but that's possibly because ninjas have always been sneaky and have no good reason to tell anyone what they can really do. Most video games use powers such as invisibility, enhanced jumping, control over the elements, the ability to temporarily split into multiple ninjas, and short bursts of super-speed.

Ninjas in games with more than one playable character usually have low health and low attack power that is compensated with enough speed and/or special techniques to avoid being damaged by the enemy or to defeat them quickly or at a distance. Guy in Final Fight has the Off-the-wall jump and Kazan is able to jump multiple times in Brawl Brothers/Rushing Beat Ran.

Related terms:
shinobi shozoku, kunoichi

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