The following strategy guide to Ninjas! was kindly provided by the author of the game, PironGames.
The core gameplay is centered around the "5 elements"/"wu-xing" far-east philosophy. In short:
- fire destroys metal
- earth destroys water
- metal destroys wood
- water destroys fire
- wood destroys earth
In game terms, "fire" will do double damage to "metal" while "metal" will do half-damage to "fire".
Also, there is the changing cycle, which is: fire->earth->metal->water->wood. Changing the elemental form costs a fixed amount of HP; changing into wood or from the wood cost 0 HP.
Each elemental form has a special ability:
- fire attacks all surrounding enemies
- earth has increased defense
- metal has increased attack
- water does leech HP (a percent of the damage you cause to the enemy returns to your HP), but, in return, the damage you make is rather dissipated
- wood wont cost you HP when changing form to/from it
Collecting essences restore you a fixed HP amount and also will increase abilities for that specific elemental form:
- fire essence: your fire damage increase a bit
- water essence: your max HP increases a bit and you will also restore a bit of HP
- earth essence: damage and defense increases a bit
- metal essence: attack increases a bit more, the critical chance increases a bit
- wood essence: max HP increases a bit, damage increases
Collecting 4 essences of the same type will get you a special ability for that elemental form:
- 4 fire essences: you get the "burn" ability; a succesful check will put the burning buff on an enemy
- 4 water essences: your water attack gets the "stun" ability; a succesful check will freeze the enemy for a number of turns
- 4 earth essences: you get critical immune in earth form and you also get "thorns": damage will return as a percent to your attacker
- 4 metal essences: you chance to instant kill increases a bit (take care that bosses are always immune to instant kill; special characters may have this ability)
- 4 wood essences: you get the "venom" ability; a succesful check will place a "venom" buff on the enemy; the venom will start on a value and it will wear in time (turns)
You also get bonuses for killing multiple enemies in one turn or for dodging multiple attacks in one turn. There are also other random drops and some other hidden ways for improving your abilities.
Finishing the first 20 levels will give you Elemental Mastery: you may change the elemental form during your attack or during the enemy attack; this way, you may perform attack and defense combos. One example: if you start the attack in fire form, you may change to metal while the missile is flying, thus you will attack all the surrounding enemies but with metal damage.
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