|Aliases||Champion, The Severed, The Bearer of the Mark|
|Current status||Player-determined (read below for further information)|
|Weapon(s)||The Sword of Tetsuji, Darts, Grappling Hook, more...|
|Allies||Hisomu Clan, Ora|
|First appearance||Mark of the Ninja|
The Marked Ninja, or the Champion, is the chosen ninja to protect the Hisomu Clan and the main protagonist of Mark of the Ninja. The Ninja's real name and origins are never revealed in the game, but it was known that he was trained by Azai and made a deal with him to protect the clan. The Marked Ninja is often aided by a female ninja assassin named Ora.
Little is known of the Ninja's past, but it was known that he was a member of the Hisomu Clan and trained under its leader, Azai. Years later, having become a powerful warrior, The Ninja was chosen by Azai as a champion of the clan, and given cursed tattoo marks (by Dosan) that would enhance his senses and give him supernatural powers. Sworn to protect the clan, the marks were given with the understanding that they would eventually drive him insane, and he would have to kill himself before he could harm the Clan.
As the ninja was unconscious after recieving his marks, the Hisomu temple was attacked by Hessian mercenaries led by Corporal Kelly. The Ninja was awoken by a female ninja named Ora, and the two snuck across the temple grounds, the Ninja procuring a grappling hook, bamboo darts and a sword belonging to the clan's founder, Tetsuji.
After the attack, Azai announced the Marked Ninja would lead the attack against Hessian Services, with the objective of assassinating its leader, Count Karajan, before his organisation could attack them again. Azai then tended to the Marked Ninja, informing him of his mission and the lore of his marks.
Upon arriving in Oshi City, the Ninja and Ora made their way past the security of the complex surrounding Hessian Tower, and procured an emergency tracking device from a courier that would let them track Karajan's location. They then permeated Hessian Tower itself by setting a nearby building on fire, drawing the attention of Kelly's security forces.
Once inside, the Marked Ninja made his way through the floors and confronted Corporal Kelly, who was now actively hunting for him and Ora. Kelly was successfuly killed, but Karajan escaped on a chopper before he could be stopped.
After their return, the Ninja was given the second mark by Dosan, who voiced concerns over the freshness of the ink. Recently having resorted to begging Azai for the cursed pigment, he completed the mark and journeyed to the source in Tabriz, alone, in an attempt to procure higher quality ink and learn more about the holdup.
Later, the Ninja and Ora used the stolen device from earlier to track Karajan to a mansion castle in eastern Europe. The duo arrived, moving through the aboveground buildings before retreating into the catacombs to avoid detection. The catacombs presented many challenges to the Ninja, including unstable platforms, toxic gas and nightvision-equipped guards. After a narrow escape through a disused (and attention-drawing) hatch, the Ninja returned to the main castle and sabotaged Karajan's helicopter, preventing his escape. Karajan retreated to a panic room, but the defences were brought down with two stolen keycards. With nowhere to run, Karajan was executed with ease.
Returning to the Hisomu temple from what was supposed to be the Marked Ninja's final mission, he was expected to commit suicide to protect the Clan from himself. Upon arrival, the Ninja and Ora noticed technology stolen from the Hessians, and found a letter from Dosan stating Azai had sent the two ninjas on the mission not only to kill Karajan, but to enable the Clan to steal Hessian technology. Dosan also detailed his travels to Tabriz to uncover what Azai was hiding. Ora convinced the Ninja not to kill himself until they knew more.
In the main chamber, the Ninja played along with the ritual as Azai revealed the purpose of the stolen technology: the creation of fearsome, technologically-enhanced ninjas known as Stalkers. The Ninja then refused to kill himself, and he and Ora eluded capture and set out to find Dosan.
At the location of the sumi conservatory in a ruined Tabrizian stronghold, the Ninja found Dosan captured by bandits, trying to force him to give them the Mark and, by extension, its powers. The Ninja managed to procure the keys to his chains, some remaining sumi and his tool set, before returning to Dosan and being given the third and final mark, the Mark of Serenity, in secret. Dosan remarked that the sumi plants had been dead for a long while, but shortly after they were ambushed by stalkers, who killed Dosan during their escape. Ora and the Ninja buried him on-location, unable to return to the dojo, before using the new mark to escape.
After departing the desert, the Ninja and Ora returned to the Hisomu temple to confront Azai. At this point, the Marks were taking their toll, with the Ninja experiencing vivid hallucinations of monstrous faces, swirling figures, and seeing all his former clanmates as enemy guards. Struggling through Stalker forces and the Ninja's dangerous delusions, the duo finally confronted Azai in his garden.
Azai tried to convince him that Ora was a voice of temptation created by the Mark, and that he should commit seppuku to prevent further bloodshed and save the clan. Ora, however, claimed Azai and the Clan had lost all honour by stealing from the Hessians, and straying from traditional practices by creating the Stalkers. In the end, the Ninja was given the choice to either kill Azai, or Ora (and himself). The game ends in one of two ways:
- The Ninja spares Azai and stabs Ora in the chest, who quickly gives in to her wound and dies. Ora disappears in a flock of ravens, revealing the Ninja has stabbed himself as well, and he dies kneeling in his own blood.
- The Ninja spares Ora and stabs Azai through the heart. He collapses and dies, and the Ninja stands over him, before flickering into the demonic figure that represents a maddened Champion. He quickly disappears, leaving Azai's corpse.