Each Ninjala battle establishes its winners and losers based on their points tallies. Knocking out opponents earns you many points, but knocking them out with an Ippon is worth even more points.
So, to help you stack up more points and score more Ippons in Ninjala, this guide details what an Ippon is, how you score an Ippon, and some other bits that are useful to know.
What is an Ippon?
An Ippon is a form of knockout in Ninjala which occurs when you bind your opponent in gum and then deplete their health bar with attacks.
There are a few ways to go about this, including binding foes in gum, winning a parry, and using some of the powerful Ninjala moves known as Gum Ninjutsu.
Ippon scores are worth more than regular knockouts, but you can get even more points for landing multiple Ippons.
If you manage to score the most Ippons in a match, you’ll get the ‘IPPON Master bonus!’ which adds a massive 1000 points to your tally.
How do you score an Ippon?
There are three methods of scoring an Ippon, two of which will work every time, one of which is more of an experimental finding which only works with certain moves.
The gum bind method of scoring an Ippon
Binding your opponent in gum before striking them until their health is depleted will score you an Ippon.
To bind them in gum, hit them with the Gum Shoot move until you can see them with a blob of gum stuck around their torso. Then, rain down attacks with your weapon.
If you happen to see an opponent bound in gum and struggling to move, strike them until they’re defeated.
If the gum is broken before you can knock them out, hit them with another Gum Shoot, and then attack again.
To bind your foes in gum faster, you’ll want to destroy Drones to have more S-Energy. With more S-Energy, you can blow bigger bubbles that do more gum damage.
You can also bind your enemies in gum by performing a Gum Break, or ‘Break Attack.’
If an opposing ninja is blocking with a gum bubble, you can use the Break (by pressing R on Control Type A) to effectively burst their bubble and gum bind the defensive ninja.
Follow up with strikes from your weapon, and you could defeat them via Ippon.
The parry method of scoring an Ippon
In Ninjala, a parry will occur when two players attack each other at the same time. The weapons connect and cause what the developers termed a “trilemma,” in which you have to pick one of three options.
Each of the three options is weak to one but strong against the other, as shown below:
- (L) up beats (L) down;
- (L) down beats (L) sideways;
- (L) sideways beats (L) up.
If both players pick the same option, another of these rock-paper-scissors options will show until one beats the other. At this point, the loser will be stunned, allowing the winner to strike them as much as they want.
However, winning a parry doesn’t guarantee an Ippon: the loser could recover from the stun before their health is depleted.
Having a big weapon allows your ninja to deal more damage when you win a parry, which increases your chances of scoring an Ippon to capitalise on your victory in said parry.
The Ninjutsu method of scoring an Ippon
Every weapon has a Ninjutsu move, but two of the best weapons in Ninjala have Ninjutsu moves that appear to greatly enhance your ability to score an Ippon – especially if you have a big weapon equipped.
The Drill Beast’s Punishing Blade is particularly good at scoring Ippons, with the gum blade not only shooting gum around when you attack, but dealing a great deal of damage up close.
A big Punishing Blade appears to allow you to score near-one-hit Ippons at will, but it needs to be tested further to make that a guarantee.
Another strong Ninjutsu move for scoring an Ippon is that of the Shinobi Spinner. The Ninja Tornado, as it’s known, turns you into a spinning whirlwind of gum, which inflicts a lot of damage to those in its path.
As with the Punishing Blade, using the Ninja Tornado when you have a big weapon appears to allow you to score an Ippon when you use the Ninjutsu to KO an opponent.
Tenchi Muyo is also a good – but a bit tricky to master – Ninjutsu, which can result in an instant Ippon.
Does the Ippon Katana increase your chances of scoring an Ippon?
Despite its name, the Ippon Katana does not increase your chances of scoring an Ippon in Ninjala. The basic katana weapon is just as likely to win a parry or allow you to gum bind a foe as any other weapon.
The Ippon Katana does, however, offer the benefit of its Gum Shoot being a straight-shot, homing bubble, as well as its Ninjutsu move being the Ninja Tornado noted above.
While there isn’t a sure-fire strategy to get you more Ippons, you can increase your chances of capitalising on a gum bind or a parry win by having a big weapon.