The Tenchu Z Speedrunning Resource

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Any% Hard Difficulty Ninja Five (Any%HN5)

Speedrun Category Definition & Route

    Any%HN5 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: Hard (3 Kunai Setting)
  • Mission Score Requirement: Finish each Mission with a Ninja 5 ranking (900 score minimum)
  • 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] (NEW!)

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 hard, 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: 90
  • Agility: 100

*Note: The last 10 points are intentionally left unspent.

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] Do not draw your sword until reaching the first guard in between the main house and the boss house. This is to allow a grab knockout, which attracts the attention of the walkway guard. He will walk towards the unconcious guard to wake him up, allowing a perfect Consecutive SK opportunity. You will draw your sword while you're adjacent to the boss room in order to put the boss into Purple Lantern Mode

[Show Tutorial Video]

Mission 02: Before the Wind BlowsBack to Top

[Comments] There is a slightly different strat for this mission that involves skipping the last guard kill in the CSK. This does not actually save time due to the setup for it being slow. The two strats actually end up being equally fast, so the strat shown is the most straight-forward of the two.

[Show Tutorial Video]

Mission 08: Stray Dog SlayingBack to Top

[Comments] For the first two guards of the mission, getting two Slash SKs or a Back SK then Slash/Dash SK are the acceptable means of eliminating them. Other combinations end up being too slow to make it to the boss area within the cycle necessary to complete the level quickly.

[Show Tutorial Video]

Mission 09: Eliminate the GangstersBack to Top

[Comments] There is an alternative strat to the one shown in the tutorial video, used by Jin, which utilizes Yellow Ki Meter strats. The two strats are both capable of finishing the level in sub-40s times, so I opted to show the one I feel is less finicky. See Jin's PB/WR video for the other strat.

[Show Tutorial Video]

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.

[Show Tutorial Video]

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.

[Show Tutorial Video]

Mission 26: Wind on a Moonlit NightBack to Top

[Comments] This mission requires at least 6 SK's due to it being yet another mission with no Boss SK bonus. However, due to getting a Consecutive Stealth Kill in the middle of the level, only four SKs are conducted.

[Show Tutorial Video]

Mission 27: Contorted NightBack to Top

[Comments] We've done away with the Interior/Exterior Route and consolidated to one safe route. This is a completely different strat than Jin's. His method is not only much more finicky, but also slower by 2-4 seconds.

[Show Tutorial Video]

Mission 36: Stealer from the ShadowsBack to Top

[Comments] This is the first mission in HN5 with a Visual-based CSK setup, courtesy of Jin. It can be tricky to execute, so definitely feel free to reach out if you're having trouble getting the strat down.

[Show Tutorial Video]

Mission 37: Dead Calm at DuskBack to Top

[Comments] This mission has been newly rerouted. We now use a Knockout + Yellow Meter CSK Setup, going through the Southwest quadrant to infiltrate the main building. There are two divergent paths based upon RNG (Exterior and Interior), but the time differential is only about two seconds. The greater problem is that there is a 7.5% chance of the Room Guard in the Interior route failing to cooperate, losing about five seconds. Even with this timeloss, the strat is competitive with the old strat.

Essentially, the new strat is 5-8 seconds faster than the old strat 92.5% of the time, and 3-5 seconds slower 7.5% of the time. Seems like a good tradeoff to me.

[Show Tutorial Video] (NEW!)

Mission 45: Requiem for FirefliesBack to Top

[Pre-Mission] Maximize Agility to 200 and raise Strength to 170 by reducing Vitality to 50. Additionally, purchase 11 Burst Arrows (press right once) and 21 Blowguns (press right twice), then equip 5 Blowguns for this mission.

[Comments] This is the only bomb retrieval mission in Any%. Bombs placement is restricted to eight specific spawning patterns, but the pattern used in each instance of the mission is RNG. The exception to this is the one bomb on the other side of the leftside wall of the sloped path, which is shown during the opening cutscene for the level. If you get detected, especially later in the mission, you can kill all eight guards on the map to get an extra 400 point bonus for All SK and recover Ninja 5 ranking, instead of retrying. Since the minimum amount of SK's required is 7 due to a lack of Boss bonus (assuming no detections or injuries), just kill the last remaining guard on the map instead of retrying a two-minute stage.

[Strat] To learn all 8 patterns, check out the newly reprogrammed Mission 45 Bomb Patterns tool!

GoTo M45 Patterns Tool

[Show Example Video]

Mission 46: Merciless DestructionBack to Top

[Pre-Mission] Equip five Blowguns and one Vanish.

[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 Detections: Detections don't usually prevent a Ninja 5 rank due to the sheer amount of points you get from 19 kills. They still waste alot of time, however.

Regarding the Route: 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.

[Strat] Begin by running forward-left, drawing sword, and switching to Blowguns. Run all the way past the tree, then run down to the left and Slash SK the Spear Guard. Jump up the sloped path behind the guard and run into the small cavern. Dash SK the guard standing in front of the water, then turn around and run back out of the cavern and down the path. Continue running forward up the slope and hook a left to Slash SK the Lantern Guard here.

Run towards the entrance and roll once you reach the torch. Check the Entrance Guard's pattern here and select the appropriate action based on his pattern. Afterward, run to the left and Back SK the Pirate, then Blowgun the Archer in the far nook. Turn around and run back by the entrance, then up the rightside slope to Dash SK the Purple Guard. Go left and Slash SK the Guard you encounter, then run forward and wait in front of the small stream. Once the Middle Guard appears, Dash SK him over the stream. Continue farther into the cavern with a Slash SK on the Spear Guard.

If the Tomikichi is nearby, roll to the left and around him, then Slash SK or Back SK him. To the North of the Spear Guard is another one down an embankment. Simply stand at the top and Blowgun him, then move to the left and jump up the wall. Roll right along the wall and turn left to Blowgun the guard behind the rock mass. Roll off the wall and run towards the center of the middle path. If you didn't get the Tomikichi ealier, he should be here; Dash SK him. Turn left and Blowgun the Spear Guard on the right of the building. Turn around and go back into the section with the large rock mass. Jump onto the Western wall and aim a Blowgun. Fire this at the guard to the far right down another embankment. Climb up the wall and drop down on the Hat Guard below to Back SK or Aerial SK. Use your Vanish here, then run around the wall and Dash SK the remaining Pirate and two other Guards.

[Show Example Video]

Mission 47: Hammer of JudgmentBack to Top

[Route Comments] The Consecutive SK in this level is to guarantee a successful mission regardless of boss RNG. It gives us enough points to get detected by the archer on the dirt path and not care in the case of bad boss RNG.

[Strat] Begin by running close to the leftside wall, drawing your sword along the way. A Button-Jump onto the wall, then L-Jump onto the outhouse roof. Roll down behind the guard here and into the main building, then roll around the left corner and turn right. Jump up and Aerial SK the guard standing in the hallway, comboing into a CSK. Depending on location, SK the purple kimono guard in the main hallway or standing in the smaller hallway in front of you. Run directly to the boss room and open the door by targeting, then run in and SK the boss. You may have to wait for him to turn in the case of bad RNG

[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.
  • 48-4 

[Strat] Begin by running forward-left and switching to Blowguns. Run along the lower path and run forward-right around the chime trap, then draw your sword as you run forward in the middle of the path. This sword draw should put the Kunoichi 48-1 above you in Purple Ki Mode. As the path becomes sloped, run adjacent to the wall to put the Ninja above you in Purple Ki Mode. Cut the corner and run around the log, then Slash SK the Ninja. Run left and position slightly in front of the building to the left of you, then Blowgun the Masked Ninja 48-2 in the middle. Run foward and past the front of the second building, then turn left and Aerial SK the Kunoichi on the side of the building. Run back around the building and Blowgun the Kunoichi to the far-left. Turn to the right and slash through the door, then Dash SK the Shack Ninja as he is yawning. Run out of the building and back around to the left where you just killed the Kunoichi. Jump up to the upper ledge, then L-Jump forward and slightly left to land behind the Lower Archer. Back SK him, then select an option depending on RNG:

  • If the Spear Guard 48-3 is outside and stationary, roll to the right and Yellow Ki Meter him, then Blowgun for the kill.
  • If the Spear Guard is coming out of the compound and does not see you, proceed to the Corner Kunoichi, then grab the wall and Blowgun the Spear Guard over the wall.
  • If the Spear Guard is somewhere in the compound, get the Corner Kunoichi first, then either Slash SK or Blowgun the Spear Guard, depending on which is more convenient.

WIP - Write-up will be completed Soon™. Check the temporary video below for an example of the current strat.

[Show Example Video]

Mission 49: Twilight DuelBack to Top

[Strat] Run towards the rightside of the embankment, lining up between the two trees of the upper path, drawning your sword along the way. R-Jump up the embankment, then run to the right of the shed in front of you. Run over the wagon and to the right of the log, then roll past the gap between the stables and the rock wall and wait for the ninja around the corner to turn around. When he does turn, run around the corner and Slash SK him. Run forward and R-Jump up the next embankment on the right of the sloped path, then roll into the walled boss area. Upon entering the walled area, stand behind the wall and watch the boss. Wait for him to turn around, then run in and Back SK the kneeling soldier, comboing into a Consecutive SK.

[Show Example Video]

Mission 50: Divine Punishment – TenchuBack to Top

[Pre-Mission] Equip three Burst Arrows. Optionally, you can equip a Blowgun.

[Comments]Brawling Nagayori gives you 1000 points and doesn't take particularly long, so do that instead of drowning strats. We do still drown Shigi.

[Strat] Recently Rerouted - Notes coming soon!

[Boss: Nagayori Ogawara]

Once the Boss Fight is triggered, just start brawling him with triple slashes (X Button). 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.

[Boss: Shigi 2]

After skipping the cutscene, jump out of the boss room onto the rear-side of the roof to lure out Shigi. Once Shigi shows up, as he is running towards the seam of the roof, fire a Burst Arrow at his feet as he passes you by. Shigi should fly off and land on the lower roof. As he gets up, fire the second Burst Arrow directly at him for the kill.

[Show Example Video]

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