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Tenchu 3
ReturnFromDarkness.jpg
Developer(s) Kei-Two (K2)
Publisher(s) From Software
Activision
Designer(s) Mitsuo Kodama (director)
Composer(s) Noriyuki Asakura
Platform(s) PS2, XBOX and PSP
Release date(s) JP April 24, 2003
NA March 11, 2003
EU March 7, 2003
Genre(s) Stealth and Fighting
Mode(s) Single-player and Multiplayer
Rating(s) BBFC: 15
CERO: 18+
ESRB: M
OFLC: MA15+
OFLC: R16
PEGI: 18+
Media DVD
Prev game (release) Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins
Next game (release) Tenchu: Fatal Shadows
Next game (canon) Tenchu 4

Tenchu 3 (天誅 参 Tenchū San?), released in North America as Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven on the PlayStation 2 and Tenchu: Return from Darkness on the Xbox. It is the third game in the Tenchu series and takes place a year after the events of Tenchu: Stealth Assassins, chronologically. It was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2003, first in the series to be published by From Software, who hired a new developer, K2. Unlike the first two Tenchu games, Tenchu 3's story and gameplay is focused heavily on sorcery and magic. K2 immediately created a followup game focused on realism, Tenchu: Fatal Shadows as a Sony exclusive.

Story

Tenchu 3 s composed of two main storylines with third centering on a unlockable character, much like Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins. Although the missions, characters and some mid-story plot points do overlap or agree, there are many differences. Unlike Tenchu 2, these storylines do not totally fit together an with key event contradictions making it impossible to determine the canonical sequence of events. These differences include, but are not limited to:

  • Who really killed Tokubei Echigoya
  • Character deaths and motivations (including side characters)
  • The exact motivations and Supernatural qualities of Tenrai (the final boss)

Synopsis and summary of the game's plot lines:

One year after the events of Tenchu: Stealth Assassins, Rikimaru appears to have returned. A sorcerer, Tenrai, surfaces with disciples he refers to as Lords of Darkness. Tenrai is after magical power. The Azuma Ninja overcome his servants and Rikimaru defeats Tenrai with a secret Ninja Skill. Meanwhile, a Muzen agent, Tesshu, is sent on missions to assassinate corrupt officials and frequently crosses paths with the Azuma Ninja.

Rikimaru

Rikimaru (later revealed as Rikimaru's Shadow, or body double, acting in his stead) is seen listening to Mei-Oh's mystical portal in the limestone caves. He is then seen walking through the forest and diving off of a waterfall. Rikimaru then continues working for Lord Gohda discovering a traitor, a plot to kill Lord Gohda, and the fact that Onikage is still alive. Onikage's double dies and Rikimaru's shadow is killed by the real Onikage. The true Rikimaru emerges from the portal and kills Onikage's current incarnation. After reconciling with Lord Gohda, Rikimaru goes on to save Princess Kiku and find that Tatsumaru has been resurrected as well. Under pain of death, Tatsumaru tells Rikimaru about Dohjutsu, a secret technique their master hid inside his right eye. Rikimaru then fights his way through the Lords of Darkness, kills Onikage once again, and finally faces their leader, Tenrai. After Tenrai is defeated the first time, he then takes up the powers of Lord Mei-Oh and attempts to blind Rikimaru. Rikimaru then remembers what Tatsumaru had told him, focuses on his right eye, and regains his sight for rounds 2 and possibly 3. With a little assistance from Ayame, Tenrai is defeated, and Lord Gohda and Naotada Sekiya arrive to congratulate them.

Ayame

Ayame begins her story by investigating human trafficking and the kidnap of girls from local villages. She learns from Tajima that Tokubei Echigoya is involved. After going to confront him, she witnesses him pass along the Jewel of Earth. He is later killed by an unseen foe (as opposed to Onikage in Rikimaru's campaign or Rikimaru in Tesshu's campaign). upon reporting this to Lord Gohda, she is told to ignore it. A month later Lord Gohda is taken hostage by a trator in an attempt to extort the Jewel of Virtue from the Gohda family. After thwarting the attempt, Ayame goes to retrieve spiritually blessed swords, and information on the final jewel, the Jewel of Heaven. She finds her contact, Zennosuke Otou, dead and subsequently fights off his subordinate Tesshu. Ayame is then confronted by Rikimaru, who she kills and reveals to be an impostor working for The Lords of Darkness. She is then captured, then escapes, then goes to retrieve the Jewel of Heaven from the Temple. At the temple, she is too late to get the jewel, and is taunted by the traitor, Tatsumaru, who has since been recently resurrected by Tenrai. Ayame then fights her way through the remaining Lords of Darkness, meets the real Rikimaru, and confronts Tenrai. Tenrai uses the power of the Jewels of Heaven and Earth to attack Ayame. Just when all seems lost Ayame's Sister's Bells start to glow. The bells weaken his power and allow Ayame to defeat him. Rikimaru later reveals that the bells were made from the Jewel of Virtue.

Tesshu

Tesshu Fujioka is a doctor by trade. He is also an agent of the Muzen, an organization of vigilantes and assassins, lead by Zennosuke Otou. One night he is tasked with killing Tokubei Echigoya and Nasu. However, he is too late to kill one of his targets, and witnesses Rikimaru escaping the scene. Contrary to Zennosuke's advice, Tesshu actively seeks out Rikimaru for a duel. Upon realizing that neither wants to kill the other, they both sheath their weapons and Tesshu leaves the ninja with a warning. After this Tesshu takes a job to execute another mark, Ganda at the Buddha temple, for his involvement in kidnapping young girls. When Tesshu attempts to get his pay for the job, he is captured by Ukyo Jinnai. Tesshu is given a job by Jinnai to assassinate the head of the Muzen, his boss, Zennosuke. Tesshu refuses, escapes imprisonment, and finds his main contact dead - obviously killed by Jinnai. He goes back to master Zennosuke and is given one final job to kill Jinnai. When Tesshu shows that he's worried, Zennosuke says that he cannot be killed. Tesshu says that he understands, walks away, and the camera pans to show his master has been stabbed in the back. Tesshu leaves (doesn't fight or rescue Ayame) and returns to the village entrance to fight Ukyo Jinnai. When he is defeated, Tesshu shouts for Sakyo Jinnai to show himself. Obviously, he had known about Ukyo's identical twin. Tesshu wins the fight, but is stabbed through the abdomen. The village explodes and Tesshu walks away. Not long after, Rikimaru is out on a job, but fails to reach his target before that target is killed. Then, he looks out into the courtyard, and sees Tesshu once again before Tesshu makes his escape.

Through the Portal

Through the Portal is a final unlock-able mission, wherein we get to see what happened to Rikimaru after the events of the first game. This mission is cannon to all future games. Apparently, Rikimaru dove into Mei-Oh's portal to escape being killed by a cave-in. He was transported far into the future to a modern city-scape. Rikimaru snuck through security guards into a pharmaceutical office to fight the future owner of Shichishito, Mr. D CEO. He was then pulled back to the time of feudal Japan after killing the cyborg.

Characters

Main Characters in Story Mode

Rikimaru

Rikimaru (力丸) who jumped and got trapped in Lord Mei-Oh's portal, and his "shadow" returns to the world before he actually does.

Ayame

Ayame (彩女) is also a Kunoichi of the Azuma Ninja Clan. She is faster, but weaker than Rikimaru.

Tesshu Fujioka

Tesshu Fujioka (鉄舟藤岡) is a new character, unlocked after completing Rikimaru and Ayame's story. He is a village doctor that also moonlights as an assassin for the Muzen. He is trying to eliminate Ukyo and Sakyo Jinnai before they kill his superior, Zennosuke.

Missions

Rikimaru

  1. Punish the Evil Merchant (悪代官を討て Aku daikan wo ute)
  2. Execute Hamada and Return to Lord Gohda (郷田城への帰還 Gōda-jō e no kikan)
  3. Find the Shichisto Sword (七支刀を探せ Shichishitō wo sagase)
  4. Cross the Ronin Village (城下町を突破せよ Jōkamachi wo toppa seyo)
  5. Rescue the Kidnapped Princess (尼飼城の虜 Amagai-jō no toriko)
  6. Retrieve the Steel for Ressai (十六夜再生 Izayoi saisei)
  7. Find Ayame's Impostor (あやかしの竹林 Ayakashi no chikurin)
  8. Infiltrate the Buddha Temple (大仏殿の死闘 Daibutsu-den no shitō)
  9. Assassinate the Evil Tenrai - Part 1 (決戦天来城塞・壱 Kessen Tenrai jōsai - ichi)
  10. Assassinate the Evil Tenrai - Part 2 (決戦天来城塞・弐 Kessen Tenrai jōsai - ni)

Ayame

  1. Rescue the Village Girls (娘達の行方を追え Musume-tachi no yukue wo oe)
  2. Execute the Evil Merchant (越後屋を成敗せよ Echigoya wo seibai seyo)
  3. Assassinate the Traitor Hamada (郷田城奪還 Gōda-jō dakkan)
  4. Retrieve the Yoto Swords (妖刀を手に入れろ Yōtō wo te ni irero)
  5. Go to the Red House of Zennosuke (生駒屋善之助を探せ Ikoma-ya Zennosuke wo sagase)
  6. Escape from Amagai Castle (からくりの城 Karakuri no shiro)
  7. Retrieve the Jewel of Heaven (宝玉を手に入れろ Hōgyoku wo te ni irero)
  8. Rescue Counsel Sekiya (関谷を救出せよ Sekiya wo kyūshutsu seyo)
  9. Assassinate the Evil Tenrai - Part 1 (決戦天来城塞・壱 Kessen Tenrai jōsai - ichi)
  10. Assassinate the Evil Tenrai - Part 2 (決戦天来城塞・弐 Kessen Tenrai jōsai - ni)

Tesshu

  1. Assassinate Nasu and Echigoya (賽の河原へお連れします Sai-no-kawara e o-tsure shimasu)
  2. Teach Rikimaru a Lesson (耳を揃えていただき候 Mimi wo soroete itadaki sōrō)
  3. Rendezvous with Senkichi by the Waterfalls (にわか信仰休むに似たり)
  4. Escape from the Limestone Cavern (逃げるが勝ちと申します)
  5. Go to the House in the Cemetary (右も左も侮りがたし)
  6. Return to Zennosuke (咲かせよう、曼珠沙華)
  • There is also a special "bonus" mission entitled "Through the Portal", where Rikimaru is transported to a modern cityscape. This mission is canon.

Multiplayer Mode

Tenchu 3 was the first Tenchu to have a Multiplayer Mode where players can either work together or fight each other. Multiplayer contains 6 different small maps and it allows players to use some of the characters you fought in Story Mode including bosses and guards, but only in Versus Mode. Co-op Mode on the other side will only allow players to pick one of the Main Characters.

Background Information and Notes

Development

  • The game has better graphics, fixed controller inputs and new items.
  • The ability to drag bodies has been removed. However, temporary weapons like bows and spears can be procured from guards
  • You cannot sheath your weapons for greater mobility, but an animation for drawing weapons exists for Ayame and Rikimaru, when they switch to procured weapons and alternative swords.
  • Tenchu 3' has some player choices, similar to a choose your own adventure text, that change future missions or the ending. If Rikimaru decides to use Mei-Oh's sword to repair his own, the final fight with Onikage will be harder and Tenrai will have a third round before he dies. If Ayame decides not to fight Onikage after escaping from the castle, Tenrai will attempt to use Mei-Oh's power against her, but he will be killed by Tatsumaru, and Princess Kiku will run to meet her in the ninja village.

Promotion

Tenchu_3_Opening

Tenchu 3 Opening

  • Kotobukiya manufactured and released action figures of the characters Rikimaru and Ayame in mid September 2003. Both figures were sculpted by Keiji Iwakure and made of PVC.

Trivia

  • At the time of receiving a new special art, Rikimaru and Ayame performs the kuji (九字), an esoteric technique used in Mikkyo Japanese Tantric Buddhism and said to be used by ninja. Though they recite the 9 stations of the Kuji-in, the classic hand motions are replaced for dramatic effect.
  • When facing the first boss in Rikimaru's and Ayame's stories, the enforcer Tajima will say the line "Looks like you chose the wrong party to crash". This is a reference to Hanbe Sasaki from the first game in the series.
  • "Wrath of Heaven" is also a rough translation of the title, "Tenchu".
  • Tokubei Echigoya is reference to the original game's first target. In this game, he is the son of the original Echigoya, but later games treat the ruthless family as a running gag or Easter Egg.
  • The Buddha's statue in the Temple does not appear to be the archetypal religious statue, but instead has many features in common with the true final boss, Mr. D CEO.
  • This is the first installement of Tenchu series where the enemy(Kunoichi) could stealth-kill player if unaware.
  • Getting the master rank in all of Rikimaru's and Ayame's missions unlocks the B-Side Track, a humorous voice track for the game

Updated ports

T3BodyDrag.png

Tenchu: Return from Darkness

See full article: Tenchu: Return from Darkness
In 2004 the Xbox saw the release of an expanded and enhanced edition of the game. Differences compared to the PS2 version are as follows:

● 2 new missions, with new items and abilities.

● The ability to drag bodies is added after much criticism for removing the feature

● Added new cutscenes and extended a few.

● The Black Kunoichi wears a mask like in the Japanese release of the PS2 version.

● Yugi and Mifuyu jare playablethe Multiplayer

● Online co-op and versus

● Guards will call for help when players are spotted.

● Ninja Mind Control forces a guard to commit suicide if there were no guards nearby.

● Fixed some glitches such as going through walls with Tatsumaru. Check: [1]

● A new option for the Multiplayer was added which allow the players to set the Time Limit of a match.

● Some cheats were removed/changed.

● All Multiplayer characters can pick up spears.

● New wallpaper for the menu.


Tenchu San: Portable

Tenchu 3 (XBOX) to the PlayStation Portable.

Links


Tenchu Series

Main Series

Stealth AssassinsTenchu 2Tenchu 3Tenchu 4

Portable Games

Time of the AssassinsDark Secret

Other Versions and Releases

Dimensional Ninja Action MovieShinobi GaisenShinobi HyakusenReturn from DarknessFatal ShadowsTenchu ZShadow Assault

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