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All men shall kneel before me... All shall hail me, Ashtar, as their new master! HA HA HA HA....
~ Ashtar

Ashtar the Emperor of Darkness (兇魔天帝 アシュター Kyōma Tentei Ashutā, lit. Cruel Demon God Emperor Ashtar) is a major antagonist in the classic Ninja Gaiden Series, having plotted the events of the first game and been the main antagonist from the second one.


Tall and Imposing, Ashtar wears a heavily armored warlord armor with a long cape, bulky shoulders, a samurai like helmet and similarly design kneepads and cod pieces with a giant red orb in his abdomen, depending on the image, Ashtar anatomy varies, in some, his limbs may be seemingly floating and not being connected to his hands and feet (sometimes demon other human like), while in others they will look more realistic, the in-game sprite seems to favor the latter, still, his primary color is always purple in all his depictions.

Abilities and Powers

Ashtar has an army of dark warriors from his World of Chaos.

He also possesses a variety of magic powers, such as the ability to fly, teleport, and throw fireballs.


His primary weapon is a dark sword grown from the bones of the demon itself, he seems to be able to extend the use of his abilities to it.

Pre-Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden I

Not much is known about Ashtar early life except that he has been alive for several centuries and has witnessed almost every event regarding the demon of destruction and the exploits of the shinobi clan, after the demon was defeated he along with his tribesmen created a powerful dark sword from the bones of the demon, made with the main purpose to open the gate of darkness.

Ashtar would need a special type of life force to fully activate his sword to achieve this he sent one of his stronger Liutenants mostly known as the Guardia de Mieux, Jaquio, in a fool's errand to retrieve the demon statues under the pretense of resurrecting the demon once again and using it to unleash darkness into the world.

Ashtar knew that Jaquio would most likely fail, this didn't concern him however, as his true goal was to draw out the Ninja Dragon into the open so he could steal his life force and truly open the gates, resurrect the demon, unleash darkness and rule the world.

His plan worked perfectly, Ryu Hayabusa defeated Jaquio and sealed the demon once again, unknown to Ashtar however, Jaquio had infact survived and fused himself with the spirit of the demon, still, he wouldn't interfere with Ashtar goals.

During this time, he amassed an even bigger army that would help him in his quest to open the Gate of Darkness, to unleash the powers of the demon tribe he ruled within the Chaos Dimension upon the world. While he has many agents, three lieutenants of note were stationed on earth who Ryu encountered. They give an insight to the power of Ashtar's research.


  • Dando the Cursed, an undead monster which Ashtar created by taking the souls of dead Viking warriors and giving him a body through his black magic.
  • Baron Spider, a former Xabil Laboratory researcher who was bitten by a new breed of spider, transforming him to a mutant with the ability to control giant tarantulas at will.
  • Funky Dynamite, a mechanized aerial cyborg created through Ashtar's experiments with bionic cyborg technology.

While operating on earth, Ashtar's true sanctum was in his Chaos Realm, only accessible by a portal he could create. He kept many of his strongest monsters there.


  • Naga Sotuva is a giant underwater dragon built into the caves, who guards Ashtar's sanctum within the chaos realm.
  • Kelbeross from the first game are resurrected to guard the path to Ashtar's inner sanctum.

Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos

1 year after the Jaquio's defeat, a foot soldier arrives and informs Ashtar of the Jaquio's demise. Ashtar is not that surprised and asks about Ninja. When the henchman replies that he "knows nothing," Ashtar orders him to "continue the plan," and that for the time being, Ryu is to be left alone for the time being.

He rejoices in the fact than once the Gate of Darkness is opened, all men will kneel before him, and claim Ashtar as their new master. He kidnaps Ryu's girlfriend, the C.I.A. operative Irene Lew and infest the world with his demonic forces to force him into action. It is after Ryu defeats Funky Dynamite inside the Tower of Lahja that Ashtar reveals himself, with Irene as a hostage.

The Dark Emperor easuly stuns the Ninja Dragon with an energy blast from his sword. After taunting the downed Ryu, rhetorically doubting that he could have defeated his old subordinate, the Jaquio, Ashtar raises his sword to deliver a killing blow, but Robert steps in, firing at Ashtar, distracting him, Robert tells him that he has the entire tower surrounded by the military and orders him to surrender.

An unintimidated Ashtar ignores Robert's demands to lower his weapon, and easily escapes, taking Irene with him, saying that "if you want the Sword, you'll have to follow me...into the Maze of Darkness." Ryu gives chase. Robert follows him and helps him by holding off some of the monster.

After Ryu defeats the underground water dragon, Naga Sotuva, a Ashtar apparition appears to Ryu, taunting him, threatening him to either face him in battle or Irene dies. While Ryu makes his way though the icefields, Ashtar recites the legend to himself: "To the one who releases Darkness with the immortal blood, he shall receive the Power of the Almighty Evil. The legend shall come true. This earth shall fall into shadow and the demons of evil shall rule forever."

Ryu then encounters Ashtar, who surprisingly hands Irene over to him without a fight. This move however isn't out of kindness however, as Ashtar impaled the helpless Irene in the back while she was trying to walk away from him wounding her and nearly killing her. Also severely injuring Robert, who was trying to sneak on him like before. Ryu tells Robert to look after the injured Irene as he faces off against Ashtar, who tells him that his sword can't even touch him, now that it is filled with hatred.

Regardless, The Ninja Dragon and the Dark Emperor fight. Ashtar uses the energy blasts he had demonstrated previously along with an ability to hover in the air, teleport, and shoot out a circle of flame to attack Ryu. Despite the emperor's great might Ryu manages to defeat Ashtar, having apparently overcome his rage in the battle, mortally injuring him.

With what seems to be his dying breath, Ashtar teleports his sword away before succumbing to his wounds. His wish would eventually become true for a short amount of time however, as the sword would be retrieved by a resurrected Jaquio whose blood was used to finally open the gates of darkness, turning his body into an even mor powerful demon.

Ryu would still defeat this new entity and close the gates again however, bringing an end to Ashtar ambitions once and for all.


           Ninja Gaiden logo.pngVillains

Classic Series
A. Foster | Ashtar | Barbarian | Baron Spider | Basaquer | Bladedamus | Bloody Malth | Bomberhead | Chaosium Sword | Cult of Nostradamus | Dando | Demon of Destruction | Emperor Garuda | Funky Dynamite | H.P. Clancy | Jaquio | Kelbeross | Naga Sotuva | Professor Bucky-Wise | Ryu Hayabusa's Doppelgänger | Shiragane | Shogun of Darkness

Modern Series
Alexei | Alma | Ashtear Higgins | Black Spider Ninja Clan | Cliff Higgins | Dagra Dai | Dark Dragon | Dark Dragon Blade | Doku | Elizébet | Gamov | Genshin | Lords of Alchemy | Lovelace | Marbus | Murai | Regent of the Mask | Tengu Brothers | Vazdah | Vigoor | Vigoor Empire | Volf | Zedonius