Ninja Gaiden 3 is a series of video games by Tecmo featuring the ninja Ryu Hayabusa as its protagonist. The series was originally known as Ninja Ryukenden in Japan. The word "gaiden" in the North American Ninja Gaiden title means "side-story" in Japanese, even though the Ninja Gaiden series is not a spinoff of a previous series. The original arcade version and first two NES games were released as Shadow Warriors in PAL regions. The arcade version of Ninja Gaiden (released in 1988, in Japan, North America, and Europe) was a Double Dragon-style beat 'em up, in which the player controls a nameless blue ninja as he travels to various regions of the United States (such as San Francisco, New Jersey and Las Vegas) to defeat an evil cult led by a fictional descendant of Nostradamus, who is trying to personally fulfill his ancestor's prophecy of the rise of an evil king in 1999. The player has a variety of techniques, such as a flying neck throw and a back-flip. The player can obtain power-ups by throwing enemies into background objects, such as street lights and dumpsters. The player fights primarily with his bare hands, although a sword can also be used for a limited time as a power-up; he can also use environmental objects as a prop from which he can deliver more powerful kicking attacks. Although the game takes place in different environments, there are primarily only five kinds of enemies, all of which appear in every level (although some levels have extra enemy types). The game is mostly remembered for its infamous continue screen (where the player character is tied to the ground underneath a descending circular saw).