As a ninja, Zen uses the shadows to his advantage. Stealth plays a key role in achieving high rankings when completing difficult missions, and in some instances can make or break the success of certain contracts special requirements.
Many of the stealth mechanics in Shinobido 2 have been carried over from previous games in the franchise, and thus will feel instantly familiar to fans of Acquire's works.
Enemies have multiple levels of suspicion that affect their behavior, but Zen can find ways around this by using his movement abiliies, tools, and Mystic Arts.
Enemies have four stages of alertness, the have their initial position of none alert, the second level when their senses are keen, their third level when they have discovered your existence and will continue to look around to find and the final level when they will engage you in combat.
When alert of your presence enemies will begin to call out you position to their allies, Samurai may bring out their conch shell, yell out or run to ring the bell. In certain maps they may run to unleash a trapped bear to fight on their behalf.
Using his wide variety of movement options, Zen can avoid enemy detection. Shimmying against walls, hanging off of ledges, climbing onto rooftops and gliding with his Fukurou can be utilized in addition to his ninja tools to stealthily traverse each level.
Zen can employ the use of his ninja tools to distract or to subdue opponents. Additionally, many tools have dual purposes of both offense and utility such as the grappling hook that can be utilized for both stealthy and offensive movement. Through the use of alchemic production, Zen can craft more effective tools. These can come with drawbacks however, such as the most powerful spheres causing loud noises that attract attention.
Zen can also produce powerful Ninpo using his Alchemy, such as the Shadow Fade that makes Zen invisible until he attacks, or the Master's Approval that allows Zen to use Chimatsuri Sappo executions whenever he wants.
One of Zen's most powerful abilities is his Mystic Art - Zankoku. This ability allows him to freeze time as he executes one or multiple opponents with a series of flashy acrobatics. After finishing his attack, Zen lands right back where he first initiated Zankoku, letting him dispatch of multiple enemies without compromising his position.
Zankoku has its limitations however, as it relies upon a gauge that limits the amount of enemies Zen can attack in one usage. Additionally, Zen must have line of sight to his targets, as Zankoku only works on the foes that the player manually targets. Finally, Zankoku cannot be utlized against alerted opponents, limiting its usage.
Despite these drawbacks, Zankoku is a powerful stealth tool, allowing Zen to take care of groups of weak foes that otherwise would be difficult to stealth-kill. It is less effective against enemies with larger health bars, as it requires more energy to use against them - limiting the amount of enemies Zen can target.