The Tenchu Z Speedrunning Resource

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Any% Speedrun Category

Definition & Route

    Any% Speedrun Category Definition

  • Timing Type: Real Time Attack (RTA)
  • Timing Start: Mode Select (Solo Mission) of a new game file
  • Timing End: Final cutscene start (upon killing Shigi in Mission 50)
  • Difficulty: Any (Any Kunai Setting)
  • Mission Score Requirement: None
  • Game Completion Requirement: Complete Mission 50 (beat the game). Completion percentage is irrelevant

    Known Route Issues

  • None Currently!

-Mission Quick Select-

  • 01
  • 02
  • 08
  • 09
  • 16
  • 17
  • 26
  • 27
  • 36
  • 37
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50


|Vitality|Strength|Agility|Stealth Kill|Item|

Pre-Run Preparations

[Show Tutorial Video] (June 16, 2021)

First of all, make sure to install Tenchu Z onto the Hard Disk Drive of the system. This is done on XBox Home. Hover over the Tenchu Z box and press X for 'Game Details'. To the right of the Play Now, there should be an option to Install. This installation will take about 4 and a half gigs and a bit of time, but it has pretty huge effects on the run. It cuts the load times of each level from 30 to 40 seconds down to 15 to 20! Over the course of the 16 levels played in the speedrun, that really adds up.

In order to prevent the game from prompting you to save after every mission, an RTA should be done without being signed into an Xbox profile. If you aren't signed into an Xbox 360 profile, Tenchu Z will not prompt you to save the game EVER. The screen never comes up; for example, upon beating a level and mashing through the results screen, it will immediately start loading the ninja village instead of asking to save the game. This is pretty big, since it'll save an estimated 3-5 seconds per level (aka 48s-1m20s per run). To not be signed into an account, you can turn off auto sign-in and press B when selecting a profile, or press the Xbox button and press X while in the dashboard, then just exit the dashboard.

The only downsides are that the game defaults mission difficulty to normal (this can be fixed by loading a profile with the difficulty set at easy, then signing out. It will only carry over difficulty setting; you have to reset the volumes and brightness, etc) and that you cannot disable controller rumble if you're not signed into an account for some unknown reason.

Since timing starts on selecting Solo Mission of a new file, you can adjust your starting stat spread before the run begins. It should be set to:

  • Vitality: 10
  • Strength: 100
  • Agility: 100

You can also change the various settings and controller configurations, as well as the aesthetics of your character if desired.

Mission 01: Path of the NinjaBack to Top

[Comments] 9 Dashes at the start allows for the maximum possible before auto-targeting an enemy. Trying another dash will force the camera to face the first guard we alert, making further dashes impossible.

Also, it's important to not alert the guard standing outside of the boss room. Doing so will yield a Ninja 1 rank (losing 5 seconds) and can cause the boss to enter an alerted state before being able to secure the SK.

[Show Tutorial Video] (June 18, 2021)

Mission 02: Before the Wind BlowsBack to Top

[Comments] The movement in this mission, especially the two dash sequences, need to be quite clean in order to get to the hallway guard before he turns completely. If you don't get there in time, you'll have to run to the boss door instead of dashing. The additional alerts can also cascade to the boss himself, potentially making the SK impossible.

[Show Tutorial Video] (June 20, 2021)

Mission 08: Stray Dog SlayingBack to Top

[Comments] Getting detected by a guard before reaching the first wall is completely irrelevant. It can happen if your dashes are too far to the right, but it doesn't really affect anything.

For the Boss SK, err on the side of caution. Going for the SK too early can fail quite easily. The longer you delay the SK, the easier it will be, with diminishing returns and a corresponding timeloss. Find an appropriate middle ground between going fast and being consistent.

[Show Tutorial Video] (June 24, 2021)

Mission 09: Eliminate the GangstersBack to Top

[Comments] Try to aim your L-Jump before the Stairs Guard in such a way that you can keep the same angle when dashing past him.

[Show Tutorial Video] (June 28, 2021)

Mission 16: Pursuit of EchigoyaBack to Top

[Comments] All the items used in the mission are picked up along the way, so don't bother equipping any before starting. We use a modified HN5 strat, with the Shuriken throws being slightly sped up due to leveraging Easy difficulty. There is a possible alternative strat involving pre-equipping the 5 default Shuriken and spamming them throughout the level, but it doesn't save RTA time over the method shown.

[Show Tutorial Video]  (June 30, 2021)

Mission 17: Daylight Battle on DeckBack to Top

[Comments] Killing Shigi does not count for any points due to him drowning. Also, your Agility will automatically increase to 130 after this mission, but dashing is still faster over longer distances. This will remain the case until maxing out Agility after Mission 37.

If you get spotted by any of the guards as you approach the boat, you'll have to ignore them and hope they don't interfere with the Shigi setup. On Easy difficulty, this tends to work out, as they are surprisingly docile.

[Show Tutorial Video]  (July 05, 2021)

Mission 26: Wind on a Moonlit NightBack to Top

[Comments] Ah yes... the return of the Gorge Jump. If you fail it, you'll have to either go to the right and jump up the various rocks back up or Grapple Hook up. It's techically possible to DRJ over the gap, but it is absurdly precise and not recommended.

The Lantern Guard is RNG and can be facing in your direction when you jump across. Jam a couple rolls to avoid the detection.

[Show Tutorial Video]  (July 07, 2021)

Mission 27: Contorted NightBack to Top

[Comments] Sadly, we return to Grapple Hook strats for Mission 27. It's about 2 seconds faster than an adapted HN5 method, so do your best to land the hook quickly at the start of the stage.

[Show Tutorial Video]  (July 11, 2021)

Mission 36: Stealer from the ShadowsBack to Top

[Comments] Just like the HN5 strat, we have to dash a bajillion times over to the boss area. Unlike HN5, we can just draw sword and immediately go for the Boss SK once we get there.

The Revision 1 strat opts to get detected by a ninja in exchange for a DRJ onto the fence. Oddly enough, going for an L-Jump to Aerial SK the boss is equally as fast as running up to the boss at best, usually ending up slower.

[Show Tutorial Video]  (July 15, 2021)

Mission 37: Dead Calm at DuskBack to Top

[Comments] This is the platonic ideal of an Any% mission. Relying strictly on movement tech to get through the mission quickly and without detections, we can leverage a DRJ and a gigantic L-Jump to breeze through.

[Show Tutorial Video]  (July 18, 2021)

Mission 45: Requiem for FirefliesBack to Top

[Pre-Mission] Maximize Agility and Strength to 200 by reducing Vitality to 20. Unlike HN5, we defer the shopping component of this menuing to the next mission, since we don't bother with Blowguns for Mission 45's Any%.

[Comments] The key to Mission 45's Any%, as with HN5, is learning each of the 8 patterns. For Any%, we avoid killing the guards, only doing so if they get in the way. Dancing around them and using tactical Purple Meters ends up being faster than attempting to Slash them. The common exceptions to this are with bad Tomikichi RNG and if we have to get a bomb in the alley, such as in Patterns 3 and 6. With the Alley Guard, we can typically rush him without issue, especially if the sword is sheathed.

[Strat] To learn all 8 patterns, check out the Mission 45 Bomb Patterns tool! Currently, the tool is HN5-focused, but the pickup sequence is the same between Any% and HN5. Until it is updated with Any%-specific elements, simply ignore the information about SKs on enemies for the purposes of Any%.

GoTo M45 Patterns Tool

[Show Example Video]

Mission 46: Merciless DestructionBack to Top

[Pre-Mission] Here's where we purchase items in Any%. Buy 11 Blowguns by pressing Right once as well as 3 Burst Boxes by tapping Up 3 times. Then, equip five Blowguns

[Comments] The Entrance Guard in this level has three possible patterns determined by RNG. The action to take depends on which cycle he is on.

  • If he is walking up the left or right slopes, rush behind him and Slash SK.
  • If he is walking in the middle, wait for him to stop. Then, Dash SK him.

Regarding the Route: This is the exact same as the HN5 strat, but with more leeway from the guards due to the Easy difficulty setting. If you aren't fast enough/get delayed somewhere in the eariler sections of the level, the remaining guards will be at different spots in their cycles. Be wary of this; even something like a Left-Side SK can delay you enough to miss a cycle. Be prepared to wing it if your early sections aren't clean.

[Show Example Video]

Mission 47: Hammer of JudgmentBack to Top

[Comments] This strat is completely RNG-agnostic. Regardless of what the Purple Guard and/or the boss decide to do, the strat is the exact same.

[Show Example Video]

Mission 48: Purging the FlamesBack to Top

[Pre-Mission] Equip another five Blowguns

[Comments] Same situation as Mission 46 regarding detections and routing. This mission specifically has a few key RNG guards: an RNG Ninja in the first section, an RNG Brown Guard in the middle, a Spear Guard at the entrance of the compound section, and a Brown Ninja in the lower section. All of these RNG breakpoints have been routed around and noted, but be aware that they are random.

[RNG Notes]

  • 48-1 The Kunoichi above the lower path sometimes is yawning, which prevents her from hearing the sword draw. The yawn is fine, but failing to Purple Ki her and getting the closest Masked Ninja RNG can result in a tricky setup when trying to kill the Kunoichi.
  • 48-2 The Masked Ninja is the first of the RNG enemies in this level with three different possible positions. He can be at the far away and stationary, mid-distance away and walking towards you, or close and facing you. If he is in either of the latter two positions, be sure to Yellow Ki Meter him to ensure the Blowgun does not miss.
  • 48-3 The Spear Guard can be in one of three different positions. He can be stationary outside of the compound, be walking out of the compound, or somewhere in the compound. Different actions must be taken depending on which position he is in.

[Show Example Video]

Mission 49: Twilight DuelBack to Top

[Comments] With the new Revision 1 strat, we kinda just blast through most of the level. It's important to go to the left of the wagon just before the boss area, as going to the right will cause a third detection and force a Boss CSK to avoid the Ninja 1 cutscene.

[Show Example Video]

Mission 50: Divine Punishment – TenchuBack to Top

[Pre-Mission] Equip three Burst Boxes and the Vanishing picked up way back in Mission 16.

[Comments]Brawling Nagayori with 3-Strike Combos can stunlock him if you leverage the Vanishing to start attacking his back, so do that instead of drowning strats (See Example Video). We do still drown Shigi though.

[Boss: Nagayori Ogawara]

Once the Boss Fight is triggered, run behind him and use 3-Strike Combos (X Button). If he breaks out of the stunlock, you'll have to just brawl him. He has a jab attack, a stomp and stab combo, a counter, and a gunshot attack. Everything but the gunshot can be blocked. His shot can't aim vertically, so jumping can dodge the hit. He goes down in five 3-Strike Combos + one or two additional slashes, so you can use a Burst Box as a finisher after five combos. Note that if he's towards the back of the room when you do this, there's a chance that a lower rooftop ninja will find you while waiting for Shigi in the next section, which can be a huge problem.

[Boss: Shigi 2]

We use a Burst Box to knock Shigi off the high roof, but he lands on the lower roof. This is why we wait for him on the lower roof: strafe him off, roll down after him, then roll cancel the landing and strafe him into the moat. If you're not quick enough, he can get back up and/or ledge grab. You can try to slash him in or use a Burst Box to blast him into the moat.

[Show Example Video]

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