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A Ninji in Super Mario Run.
A Ninji, as seen in Super Mario Run
First appearance Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988)
(Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic)
Latest appearance Mario Golf: Super Rush (version 3.0.0) (2021)
Big Ninji
Ninji (toy)
Paper Ninji
Notable members
The caretakers of Starborn Valley
“I am the darkness!”
Ninji, Paper Mario: Color Splash

Ninjis are black and star-shaped devil-like creatures that first appeared as enemies in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, whose manual states they are said to haunt the dreams of NES players.[1][2] Their appearance in the international release, Super Mario Bros. 2, marked their main series debut.

Ninjis were originally portrayed with red teeth and clawed feet in artwork, but later appearances remove their claws and replace their teeth with round buttons. Their large eyes are also made rectangular, closer resembling eyeholes in a stereotypical ninja costume. Current depictions, such as their Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam appearance, show their "pupils" blinking, implying they are now the true eyes, and the sclerae are white skin under a black costume, though this may also be a cartoon effect.


Super Mario series[edit]

Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic / Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

A Big Ninji from Super Mario Advance.
Nintendo Power artwork of a Ninji for Super Mario Bros. 2.

Ninjis first appear in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic and Super Mario Bros. 2. In this game, Ninjis serve Wart, a mischievous frog-like monster who had seized control of the dream world known as Subcon. There are two types of Ninji: the first type charges at the player, suddenly jumping as it approaches;[1][2] the second type remains in one place and jumps up and down.[3][4] Ninjis are depicted as purple instead of black in Super Mario All-Stars, BS Super Mario USA and Super Mario Advance. Big Ninjis also appear as somewhat rare enemies in Super Mario Advance. Big Ninjis only jump in place. Like most enemies in Super Mario Bros. 2 and its remakes, all variations of Ninjis can be picked up and thrown at other enemies to defeat them. Big Ninjis yield a Heart if they are thrown to the ground or defeated.

In Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, the type of Ninji that hops in place has three jump heights; in Super Mario Bros. 2, the middle jump height was removed.

Super Mario World[edit]

Ninjis also appear in Super Mario World, where they are known as Mini-Ninjas and are said to have been driven mad by their isolation in Bowser's Castle.[5] They only appear in the Front Door and Back Door courses, where they blend in the darkness and are difficult to see unless the searchlight is activated; to accomplish this effect, they reuse their tri-color Super Mario Bros. 2 sprites rather than receiving new sprites. They jump in place and can be defeated with stomps, fireballs, or a cape attack. Like in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, they have three jump heights, though the difference is more pronounced. They are one of the few enemies not seen in the credits.

Despite using their previous 8-bit sprites, the artwork for this game reinterprets their red spots as buttons, while previously they had been depicted as parts of the creature's mouth. This interpretation is used for all further depictions, including reissues of Super Mario Bros. 2, despite not looking like the sprites in that game.

Super Mario Run[edit]

Ninjis appear as an enemy in Super Mario Run for mobile devices, acting similarly to how they did in Super Mario Bros. 2; jumping periodically in one place. Their running variants do not appear. They appear in the levels Airship Cannons...Fire!, Firing the Airship's Burners, Throwing It All Overboard, and Airship Armada. Their design in this game is similar to their Super Mario Bros. 2 or Super Mario World sprites, but with a chubbier body similar to their Super Mario Advance artwork.

Super Mario Maker 2[edit]

A Ninji Ghost in Super Mario Maker 2

While Ninjis do not appear as usable enemies in Super Mario Maker 2, the Ninji Speedruns mode introduced in version 2.0 uses Ninji Ghosts to represent other players in speedrun competitions of uploaded levels. If the player representing the Ninji is riding a Yoshi, it will appear to ride a green car. Beating the levels rewards the player's Mii with Ninji-themed clothing. Additionally, during the initial playthrough of a level, a Ninji labeled Ninji Recon gives the player advice. Several Ninji Ghosts can also occasionally be seen in the background on the main Course World menu. Starting in version 3.0, Ninji Ghosts also represent other players’ progress in a Super World.

DIC cartoons[edit]

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show![edit]

A Ninji from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!.

Despite appearing prominently in its opening sequence, Ninjis only appear once in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, in the episode "Karate Koopa", where they aid Karate Koopa in his plan to capture Princess Toadstool and sell her into slavery for a fortune. Somewhat parodying their namesake, they are skilled in hand-to-hand combat and speak in thick Japanese accents.

Super Mario World television series[edit]

In the Super Mario World animated series, Ninjis appear only in the episode "The Yoshi Shuffle" as spectators to Yoshi and Mario's football game against Bully, Big Mouth and Cheatsy and several Koopa Football Players in the Neon Castle. Here, they are brown in color, have red teeth, distinct fingered hands, and stubby feet without claws.

Super Mario-Kun[edit]

Ninji from Super Mario-kun. Page 170, volume 4.

Ninjis make a few appearances throughout Super Mario-Kun. Not only are they in arcs dealing with Super Mario Bros. 2, they have appeared in the first few volumes, which deal mostly with Super Mario World. Their depiction in this appearance is used in some later artwork.

Nintendo Comics System[edit]

In Nintendo Comics System, Ninjis only make minor appearances, with one appearing in the background of the story The Legend, while several, having been beaten senseless by a sleepwalking Mario who believes himself to be Dirk Drain-Head, appear in Bedtime for Drain-Head.

Nintendo Adventure Books[edit]

In Doors to Doom, a couple of Ninjis, calling themselves the 'Right & Wrong Brothers', can be found serving as the guardians to the first gates to Wart's lair, where one of them always tells the truth and one always lies. They are guarding two doors; Mario and Luigi must figure out the right question to ask them in order to find out which of the two doors is the correct one that leads to Wart. Also, there are other Ninjis mentioned when the brothers are journeying through Subcon.

In Unjust Desserts, some Ninji are shrunk by Magikoopa and eaten by Yoshi, though Mario never encounters any in the dinosaur's body, only in the palace garden.

In Brain Drain, if Luigi (who has had his mind switched with a Koopa Troopa's due to the Synapse Switcher) gets a serving of gooey rations in the cafeteria of Iggy Koopa's base, a Ninji he sits beside tells him that the gray gunk is better than the blue. Some Ninjis are also spotted loitering around the WMUSH radio station when Iggy takes it over.

Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up[edit]

Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up

A Ninji makes a small cameo in the coloring book game Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up, on the Veterinarian page.

Super Mario Adventures[edit]

In Super Mario Adventures, spear-wielding Ninjis make several appearances, first appearing in the siege of Princess Toadstool's castle. Ninjis also appear when Princess Toadstool attempts to escape her confinement in the Koopalings' tower, aiding Wendy O. Koopa and a brigade of Koopa Troopas in stopping her escape. Later, a Ninji, apparently buying a camera from Friendly Floyd, appears at Bowser's wedding to Princess Toadstool.

Hotel Mario[edit]

Mini Ninja

The Ninjis in Hotel Mario are called Mini Ninjas[6]. They routinely look left and right before hopping in one direction.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong[edit]

In Mario vs. Donkey Kong, a toy version of the Ninji appears, based on the second type in its debut appearance.

Mario Party Advance[edit]

In Mario Party Advance, an individual Ninji lives on the first floor of Horror Condo.

Mario Golf: Super Rush[edit]

Ninji in Mario Golf: Super Rush

As of the 3.0.0 Update, a Ninji appears as a playable character in Mario Golf: Super Rush, marking the first time a Ninji is a stand-alone playable character. He has the highest speed which is tied with Yoshi and average stamina. His special shot is the Hop Skipper, which bounces multiple times on the ground depending on the distance traveled, and his special dash is the Glide Dash, which allows Ninji to glide with his cloak.

Paper Mario series[edit]

Paper Mario[edit]

A Ninji, as it appears in Paper Mario

In Paper Mario, several Ninjis live in Starborn Valley and act as the caretakers of the Star Kids. After Chapter 6, there is a Ninji at Merlon's house waiting for Mario. When Mario visits Merlon, the Ninji informs him that Merle, Merlon's son, wishes for Mario to come see him in Starborn Valley.

Individual Tattles[edit]
  • "He's one of the Ninjis. Because the Ninjis are so small, it must be hard for 'em to keep the Star Kids in line."
  • "He's one of the Ninjis. The Ninjis are excellent baby-sitters for the Star Kids. Of course, they have to run around constantly, but hey. They're working really hard."
  • "He's one of the Ninjis. The Ninjis take care of the Star Kids. I hear that they're great cooks."
  • "He's one of the Ninjis. The Ninjis are taking care of the Star Kids. Merle is in charge. He seems really busy, though."

Paper Mario: Sticker Star[edit]

After a long absence, Ninjis appear again in Paper Mario: Sticker Star. They only appear in World 3, and are the weakest enemy that can be encountered in the forest, being only slightly stronger than Goombas. Despite this, Ninjis are still aggressive and chase Mario if they should see him. In the overworld, Ninjis tend to hide in the poisoned waters or trees of the forest levels, much like the Bzzaps! in Paper Mario.

In battle, a Ninji can either turn itself into a throwing star and hurl itself at Mario, or it can just run up to Mario and slam him. Mario must watch the positions of Ninjis, as they are one of the few enemies that can dodge Mario's attacks (the others being Paragoombas, Shiny Paragoombas and the Wiggler Segments). If they are jumping, they cannot be hammered, and if they are standing still, they cannot be jumped on. If Ninjis are hit with the 'wrong' attacks, they disappear in a cloud of smoke and leave a log (also known as a decoy) behind, causing the attack to miss; they then run back into battle while falling from the top screen. This may cause Mario to fall on his face. Ninjis can be hit with the Hurlhammer sticker even when they're jumping, but this means that the player has to have good timing for the hit to land. They can also dodge Shell sticker attacks if they are jumping. If Ninjis are sleeping, crumpled, stopped or dizzy, they are not able to dodge Mario's jump attacks. Sometimes after battle, a Ninji may occasionally drop a Throwing Star sticker when defeated.

Paper Mario: Color Splash[edit]

Ninjis in Paper Mario: Color Splash

Ninjis return in Paper Mario: Color Splash keeping their appearance from the previous game. Unlike in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Ninjis cannot dodge jump attacks, though they still dodge hammer attacks. When approached by Mario outside of battle, they disappear briefly, and then reappear in front of him.

Ninji are primarily found in Fort Cobalt, where they are found in a corridor filled with crates that is entered if Mario fails the last fence puzzle. One Ninji can be found sleeping, and wakes up if Mario hits his hammer nearby. Ninjis make a brief appearance among the minions causing havoc at the Toad Trainworks when the Sunset Express needs repairs. The Ninjis fought in Toad Trainworks are unavoidable. A Ninji is the third-round opponent in Roshambo Temple #5, although after Larry Koopa is defeated, it will be replaced by the Rock Paper Wizard until beaten.

Paper Mario: The Origami King[edit]

An origami Ninji holding branches
Paper Ninjis

Both normal paper and origami Folded Soldier versions of Ninjis appear in Paper Mario: The Origami King, predominantly in Shogun Studios. Origami Ninji first appear as enemies in the Ninja Attraction. They appear in a mostly empty room and emerge from square panels of the floor. Near the end of the level, Mario is ambushed by a swarm of Ninji that jump at him from the ceiling in front of the Thwomp picture. A variant of Ninji that holds tree branches is battled at the Spring of Jungle Mist.

Ninjis are completely immune to hammer strikes even when going for a first strike; the Ninji turns into a log and appears above Mario for a surprise attack.

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam[edit]

Ninjis make their first Mario & Luigi appearance in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam as enemies in Gloomy Woods, and one is fought in Neo Bowser Castle alongside a Paper Ninji, a Spiny and a Paper Spiny as one of Bowser's last lines of defense. They now act more like how actual ninjas would, even using camouflage sheets to hide themselves in the overworld. In battle, regular Ninjis use ninjitsu-styled attacks, such as creating shadow clones of themselves to attack the trio. The fake Ninjis can be told apart from the real one by their blue-colored buttons, as opposed to the genuine one's red buttons. Jump or Hammer attacks also cannot be used consecutively against them, as they avoid taking damage via substitution with a log. If there is a Paper Ninji present, a regular Ninji can fold it into a shuriken and throw it at a bro, who must hammer it back.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey[edit]

Sprite of a Ninji from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey.

Ninjis reappear in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey, as allies and enemies in the Bowser Jr.'s Journey mode. They are ranged troopers, their Special Skill is Hurt or Heal, and they are strong against Tail Boos and Big Tail Goombas.

Profiles and statistics[edit]

Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

  • Ninji - 1
  • Instruction booklet bio: "He is a little devil who appears in the dreams of NES players. He moves fast and will persistently chase you."
  • Ninji - 2
  • Instruction booklet bio: "He stays in one spot and jumps repeatedly. A strange guy."

Super Mario Run[edit]

  • Notebook bio: "This enemy leaps and jumps like a ninja. Oddly, these guys are also pretty good at operating airships..."

Paper Mario series[edit]

Paper Mario: Sticker Star[edit]

Paper Mario: Sticker Star Enemy
A Ninji from Paper Mario: Sticker Star Max HP 9 Location(s) Leaflitter Path, Strike Lake, Loop Loop River, Tree Branch Trail, Gauntlet Pond
Attack 5 Moves Throwing Star Transformation (5), Slam (3)
Defense 0 Stickers Ice Flower, Shiny Jump, Throwing Star

Paper Mario: Color Splash[edit]

Paper Mario: Color Splash Enemy
Ninji from Paper Mario: Color Splash HP 23 Type Normal 3
A Ninji card from Paper Mario: Color Splash
Strong None Weak None
Moves Jump Attack (5), Knife Attack (15), Group Attack (15), Blowback Attack (12)
Location(s) Fort Cobalt, Toad Trainworks
Quotes Usual: "Ninji shield!" ~ "See ya!" ~ "I am the darkness!" ~ "Ninja double!"
Enemy Class
Dropped Items
Hammer Scraps 10 Red Paint 16 Yellow Paint 16 Blue Paint 16 Orange Paint 8 Green Paint 8 Purple Paint 8

Paper Mario: The Origami King[edit]

Paper Mario: The Origami King Enemy
An origami Ninji from Paper Mario: The Origami King. HP 20 Moves Location(s)
Type Normal Ninja Drop (?), Shuriken Toss (?), Ninja Strike (?), Ninja Decoy (?), Sure-They-Can (?), Clone Sure-They-Can (?), Tower Attack (?), Clone Tower Attack (?) Ninja Attraction, Shogun Studios, Origami Castle
Item Drops None
If they spot a hammer coming, they'll use their Ninji Vanish ability to turn things around. Stomp 'em instead!
Paper Mario: The Origami King Enemy
(Grass) Ninji
An origami (Grass) Ninji from Paper Mario: The Origami King. HP 30 Moves Location(s)
Type Normal Ninja Drop (?), Shuriken Toss (?), Ninja Strike (?), Ninja Decoy (?), Sure-They-Can (?), Clone Sure-They-Can (?), Tower Attack (?), Clone Tower Attack (?) Spring of Jungle Mist
Item Drops None
Ninjis who like to lurk in tall grass. If you hit one with a hammer, expect an angry counterattack.

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Enemy
A Ninji, in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam HP 70 POW 60 (55) Defense 79 (71) Type Normal Item Drop Refreshing Herb - 8%
1-Up Mushroom - 4%
Experience 44 (39) Coins 30 Speed 92 Weakness None Location(s) Gloomy Woods, Neo Bowser Castle
Level           13 Notice: Stats in parentheses are from the game's Easy Mode.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey[edit]

  • Bowser Jr.'s Journey profile: They're ever ready for battle, with shuriken in hand. They supposedly like to discipline foes with a tail.


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Ninji.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ハックン
Possibly based on the real-life ninja 「服部半蔵」(Hattori Hanzō), with the「くん」 (-kun) suffix appended
Chinese (Simplified) 哈库[7]
From the Japanese name ハックン Hakkun
Chinese (Traditional) 哈庫
From the Japanese name ハックン Hakkun
Dutch Ninji -
French Ninji -
German Ninji -
Italian Ninji -
Korean 닌군
Nin-kun; The portmanteau of "Ninja" and -gun, the Korean translation of the -kun suffix.
Portuguese Ninji -
Russian Ниндзик
From "ниндзя" (ninja) in the diminutive form.
Spanish Ninji -


  1. ^ a b 「ファミコン少年悪夢せる小悪魔きがく、しつこくいかけてくる。」 ("They are lesser demons who manifest as nightmares in the dreams of Famicom boys. They move fast and will persistently chase you.") - Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic instruction booklet, page 31 (ハックンA).
  2. ^ a b "He is a little devil who appears in the dreams of NES players. He moves fast and will persistently chase you." - Super Mario Bros. 2 instruction booklet, page 24 (Ninji - 1 description).
  3. ^ 場所移動しないで、そのでジャンプをすだけのヘンなヤツ。」 ("They do not stray from their spot and jump repeatedly like strange guys.") - Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic instruction booklet, page 31 (ハックンB).
  4. ^ "He stays in one spot and jumps repeatedly. A strange guy." - Super Mario Bros. 2 instruction booklet, page 24 (Ninji - 2 description).
  5. ^ "Being cooped up in Bowser's Castle has driven the Mini-Ninja batty. He bounces up and down, waiting for a hapless hero to use for a punching bag." - Nintendo Mario Mania Player's Guide. Page 52.
  6. ^ Hotel Mario instruction book, page 15.
  7. ^ From the ending scenes of Super Mario Advance as localized by iQue. Reference: 无敌阿尔宙斯 (August 28, 2013). 神游 超级马力欧2敌人官译 (Official names for iQue Super Mario 2 enemies). Baidu Tieba. Retrieved February 2, 2017.