Ninja Gaiden for the Sega Mega Drive is one of three Ninja Gaiden games to be published by Sega with license from Tecmo. The Mega Drive version of Ninja Gaiden is modeled after the arcade version, which is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up, rather than opting for a frantic platforming action seen in the NES version. It is not a port of that game, however; as with the other titles, this game bears a "reprogrammed by Sega" line, but is a brand new work.
Whereas the Master System and Game Gear games were successfully released, the Mega Drive version was cancelled for mysterious reasons. The game was scheduled to be released sometime in 1992. As of 2011 no clean dumps of the prototype's ROM exist, only bad dumps and ROMs containing hacked headers.
Ninja Gaiden uses standard beat-'em-up controls and mechanics: A attacks, B jumps, and C uses a health-draining special move if the player has the health for it.