Is Ninja Gaiden’s Ryu coming to Smash Ultimate? Everything we know

Michael Gwilliam
Ryu from Ninja Gaiden in Smash Ultimate Fighters Pass Volume 2Koei Tecmo/Nintendo

Ninja Gaiden’s Ryu Hayabusa has been a possible candidate for Super Smash Bros Ultimate DLC for some time and with five slots remaining in Fighters Pass Volume 2, it’s getting likelier than he will be included.

Normally for a character to be added to Smash, the franchise the character is from needs some sort of history with Nintendo. Ninja Gaiden has just that, with the original trilogy of games released back on the NES.

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While we are quite far removed from the golden era of Nintendo back in the 80s, that hasn’t stopped the likes of Ice Climbers, ROB and Duck Hunt from being immortalized as fighters. Clearly having NES representation is enough to scratch the surface and Ninja Gaiden has that and then some.

More recently, Ninja Gaiden Trilogy has been leaked for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. The since-deleted listing stated that Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge would release in March 2021. Having more Ninja Gaiden games on Switch definitely helps Ryu’s case, but that’s not all.

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Ninja Gaiden Trilogy logoKoei Tecmo
Ninja Gaiden Trilogy was leaked for PS4 and Switch.

Ryu has been “leaked” before

Back in August of 2019, YouTuber ‘IAmShifty’ uploaded a video where he claimed that sources informed him Ryu Hayabusa would be the next Smash Ultimate DLC fighter.

While he was wrong and since then Terry Bogard, Byleth and Min Min have released instead, IAmShifty does have a good track record and has previously revealed that Isabelle, Incineroar and Ken would be coming to the game.

According to IAmShifty, his sources weren’t aware of Terry Bogard, but multiple people had still insisted that Ryu would be coming at some point. While there’s no telling who exactly the YouTuber’s sources are, the fact that at least two of them had claimed Ryu would be coming is quite interesting. Perhaps a sign that Nintendo was working on Ryu for a while now?

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Nintendo isn’t done with 2020

Games journalist Irman Khan, who had inside knowledge of Nintendo approaching Disney to use Kingdom Hearts’ Sora in Smash, has claimed that Nintendo has some additional things to announce this year.

“As a heads up, this is probably the last big thing coming from Nintendo this year,” he said, referencing the Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity reveal. “There’s still announcements in the form of smaller things and maybe another game or two, but they have likely shown their entire 2020 hand at this point. Make peace with that.”

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The “smaller things” in question could very well be Smash DLC. Even leaker Tiffany Treadmore claimed on September 8 that Smash Ultimate would be getting a reveal “soon.”

Ninja Gaiden lines up with M-Theory

As Dexerto has previously reported, there is a very plausible theory amongst Smash fans that Nintendo purposefully removes logos for M-rated games during presentations so they don’t have to display the E-M ESRB compilation rating.

This theory implies this is the reason why the Fallout Vault Boy Mii costume was changed to “Smash Ultimate X Vault Boy” in North America while the rest of the world saw “Smash Ultimate X Fallout.”

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Because Ninja Gaiden has M-rated titles, if Ryu was in fact in Fighters Pass Volume 2, it would make sense for Nintendo to remove all the game titles in the DLC screen for the sake of consistency.

With Tokyo Game Show fast approaching, it will be interesting to see if we get more news on September 26 during Koei Tecmo’s conference or if their TBA second half will be limited to Hyrule Warriors. We’ll have to wait and see.

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About The Author

Michael Gwilliam is a senior writer at Dexerto based in Ontario, Canada. He specializes in Overwatch, Smash, influencers, and Twitch culture. Gwilliam has written for sites across Canada including the Toronto Sun. You can contact him at or on Twitter @TheGwilliam