The Revenge of Shinobi
Composed by Yuzo Koshiro
Yuzo Koshiro was one of Nihon Falcom's most recognizable composers, composing scores for games like Ys 1 and 2, games in the Dragon Slayer series, and Sorcerian. Koshiro left Falcom in 1988 to focus on being a freelancer for other companies and studios. Despite contributing to PC-Engine, and Super Nintendo games, he would arguably be best known for the scores he contributed to Sega. The Revenge of Shinobi would become Koshiro's first score for a Sega game.
Sega's Shinobi series started in 1987 with the arcade game, originally composed by Yasuhiro Kawakami, followed by Shadow Dancer in 1989, the same year that the Shinobi series made it's debut on the Genesis with Revenge of Shinobi. Before Sonic, Revenge of Shinobi was Sega's way of pushing the Genesis hardware to the limit, providing gameplay experiences that couldn't be replicated on any other platform. Because of the focus on console experience, the gameplay was different from the arcade games.
Koshiro was already a fan of the Shinobi arcade games. So he opted to compose an "extension" of the previous game's scores, while combining that extension with the kind of music he was listening to at the time of developing, citing Prince as a primary example of the kind of music that partially inspired the Revenge of Shinobi score.
Revenge of Shinobi would only mark the beginning of Yuzo Koshiro's impactful career with Sega. He would return to the Shinobi series, providing the scores for the Game Gear games The GG Shinobi, and The GG Shinobi II: The Silent Fury. With The Revenge of Shinobi, Koshiro was able to show the Sega audience the kind of innovative music he was capable of producing, and how well he was able to express his love for club and dance music in music form, something that up until the release of Streets of Rage, would be a huge, yet rewarding risk on the part of Koshiro.