Ninja Master's Haoh Ninpou Chou was released in May 1996.
The subtitle of this game translates from Japanese as 'Supreme Ninja Arts Scroll'.
The main design, as well as some of the special moves of the character 'Karasu' seem to be quite inspired by the main character of the 1994 movie hit 'The Crow' which was in turn, based on the graphical novel of the same name by James O. Barr (Even the name 'Karasu' stands as the Japanese word for "crow"!). :)
The character 'Nobunaga' is based on the real Japanese warrior 'Nobunaga Oda' who, during Japan's medieval period, overthrew the Ashikaga shogunate and ended a long period of internal strife by uniting half of Japan's provinces under his rule. In doing so he paved the way for the reunification of the country under the Tokugawa shogunate in the following century. His merciless use of power as well as his skill as a military strategist made him one of the most powerful & feared leaders in Japan. The image of him in the game as a warrior who wields the demons power may have been some sort of a criticism to his eager embrace of Western culture, religion & technology.
The character 'Goemon' is based on Ishikawa Goemon, the most famous thief in Japan on the Edo era (about 400 years ago) known to steal large sums of money from bad people and give the money to the poor. In other words, he was Japan's very own version of Robin Hood!
The character 'Sasuke' seems inspired on Sarutobi Sasuke, a famous legendary ninja with a strong sense of justice created in Tachikawa literature at the end of the Meiji period. Another source of inspiration may have been 'Ninja Kamui' an old anime series whose main character Kamui was an incredibly skilled ninja who wanted to abandon his ways as a killer thus becoming a 'nukenin' (runaway ninja) and marked for death by his own clan that vows to pursue and eliminate him.
Sountrack releases :
Ninja Master's Haoh Ninpou Chou - G.S.M 1500 Series - PCCB-00209, March 21, 1996, Pony Canyon / Scitron