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Tenchu Z is a stealth action game set in medeval Japan. It centers around you (The player) and his sidekick preforming stealth based missions for the head of the Azuma ninja clan, Rikimaru. The games 50 missions all start in the lobby which consists of a small house (in which rikimaru lives) where you choose missions from and a small shack from which you go through character customization options such as abilities clothing and items.
The level structure is loosely linear consisting of 50 missions released in groups of 5-6 unrelated missions with a "BOSS" mission appearing only after you've beat the last mission in the group. you are allowed to simply beat the last mission to unlock the "BOSS" mission and don't have to complete the missions you do have unlocked in any order. Missions come in 5 flavors 'Assassination' which you are sent to kill a specific character, 'Wipe out' which you must kill all of the enemy characters on the level, 'Retrieval' where the goal is to recover a item, and 'Crossing the Boarder' in which you must get to a specific area. while doing a mission you gain points by killing enemies and lose points for being seen being noticed and killing innocents.the missions are based purely on stealth and forethought normally forcing the player to use his acquired skills sparingly until you've gained enough experience. If you die in the level you lose all your points except 100 which will be rewarded at the end of a mission in which you lose and you are sent back to the lobby. All of the missions grade you at the end on you Ninja rating 1-5. 5 being best. Your score is added up and then multiplied depending on the hardness of the mission. You can play online, but it reduces certain aspects of the game and can cause glitches in which both your enemies and fellow ninjas can zip to the other end of where they're going in a blink causing NPCs with complex routes to seem to disappear. Cutscenes and various 'Extra' missions are cut also.
You are a faceless warrior who has joined the Azuma ninja of Goda and perform jobs such as killing cities full of spies, assassinating foreign slave traders, local bandits, and drug lords.On a mission to assassinate a drug lord you arrive aboard his ship to find him being killed by a mysterious ninja known as Sigi whom after you beat him decides to leave in a puff of crow feathers. Sigi appears again after you assassinate a ninja master from his nation he used as bait, he attempts to kill you and your partner, you pass out as your partner is left standing their paralysed by the poison darts he shot at you both. you awaken to discover him and your partner gone. later in a video Sigi's lord tells him to begin torturing your partner via cutting off body parts. after a few more missions Rikimaru tells you that they have found where they are keeping your partner. you find them dying only holding on to see you, after which they die. this all culminates in the last mission in which after a heated battle with Sigi's lord you see Sigi kill him only to challenge you himself. after the battle you see your character dragging his sword across the floor while limping creating sparks preparing to hack Sigi down the middle when Rikimaru comes from the shadows and tells you to stop. your character obeys as Rikimaru begins asking him questions. Sigi uses the moment to escape all the while burning down the castle.
You start off with a basic character, You choose the face and skin color. Along with your clothing type. All pretty basic. You can then buy a multitude of clothing and extra gear, and skills as your completion percentage goes up. there are three main abilities strength, agility, endurance, which are changeable at any time. There are dozens of upgradable skills corresponding to one of the three.