Ghost Fish
Race: Fiend
Rank: Swarming Minion
Debut: Ninja Gaiden

Ghost Fish are the iconic "cheap" enemies in the current Ninja Gaiden series. They have appeared in every instalment of the current series except Ninja Gaiden 3 and Razor's Edge.


Fish skeletons with a blue tinge, they are also transparent at times like a ghost. Ghost Fish can range in size from as small as a trout to as large as a man.  In NG2 some ghost fish, such as the ones seen in Mentor or Master difficulties, humorously wear white Hannya masks.  

Abilities and PowersEdit

Swarm: Like piranhas Ghost Fish swarm their prey biting viciously. Alone one Ghost Fish isn't too much of a threat, but in swarms they can quickly finish anyone unlucky enough to cross paths with their schools. These swarms are unblockable, they will bite on regardless if you're blocking or not.

Unlike living fish Ghost Fish swim through the air, usually appearing out of thin air. Ghost Fish have also been known to lurk in treasure chests, preying on those who unsuspectingly open these chests and catching them by surprise.


In Ninja Gaiden/Black/Sigma they are first encountered in Labyrinth area of Chapter 14. They appear much earlier on higher difficulties. Later in Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword, they are encountered on the beaches of the Isle of Destiny in Chapter 9. Then in Ninja Gaiden II/Sigma 2 they make another appearance in Chapter 5, in the Underground Cavern right before the Water Dragon boss. Also appearing in later chapters like the rest of the series.


  • Ghost Fish take 1 hit to kill, you can kill multiple small Ghost Fish with one strike, large Ghost Fish however can only be killed one at a time.
  • In Ninja Gaiden II, at the Underground Cave during Chapter 5, killing the underwater Ghost Fish is extremely easy by using the Lunar Staff's strong attack, where Ryu spins around hitting all enemies surrounding him while propelling him forward; this allows Ryu to hit multiple fish at once as they charge to him, and the Lunar's long range keeps him safe.
  • A safe, though time consuming method is to use the single katana (Dragon Sword or Kitetsu). You can jump back and forth while pressing the light attack to peform a air-spin attack, giving you plenty of Invincibility Frames so that you won't get hurt.
  • Ninpo is a good defence for giving you a few seconds to catch your breath, the Art of Fire Wheels will also keep them at bay but there is a rare chance one or two could get through the spinning fireballs.
  • You won't be able to move when they bite you, so it's best to shake them off as quickly as possible by mashing the controller. A large group of Ghost Fish could easily kill you in a few seconds if you don't react fast enough.
  • When they're far away and not showing aggressive behaviour, using long range Ultimate Techniques such as the Dabilahro's, Eclipse Scythe's or the Windmill Shuriken's is useful to take down many at once.
NG1 Ghost Fish

NG1: Ghost Fish visual guide

  • The best strategy is to keep jumping while slashing a fast light attack (jump cancelling attack) without going in to a combo, or finishing it, since it leaves Ryu vulnerable by the end of the animation (see gif below).
    • Fast weapons like the Vigoorian Flails or the Lunar Staff also work well, but you have to stay out of frames that leave you open, such as by not completing a combo.


  • In Ninja Gaiden, killing ghost fish can be an excellent source of yellow essence, provided Ryu does not take damage.  This is because the larger one's combo, the more yellow essence is dropped by an enemy.
  • According to the interview with series creator Tomonobu Itagaki at this website , the ghost fish were originally not aggressive but just ornamental, which he promptly changed when he found out. "When I first saw the ghost fish that were in the game, they just kind of floated around near Ryu and they didn't do anything. I looked at the guy who worked on this and I said, "What is this; what's the point?" And he said it was "for atmosphere." I said, "This is an action game. You can't just put something in there for atmosphere that is taking up memory and disc space. You either take it out or make it an enemy and do what I say because this is an action game." That's how that enemy came into being. I felt it was ridiculous to have an object in an area where there are no other enemies."

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