The Kunai (クナイ) is a Japanese weapon that originated as a farming tool occasionally modified into an improvised stabbing weapon. In popular media it has become deeply associated with the modern depiction of ninja, most commonly (and erroneously) used as throwing weapons. Kunai appear in both the Strider Hiryu manga and the 2014 Strider sequel.

Often likened to knives, Kunai are short pointed blades with a pommel ending in a ring. Hiryu is seen using them as throwing weapons, employing three at a time and throwing them in a spread pattern.[1]


Kunai manga

Hiryu's kunai

Hiryu carries a set of kunai with him during his mission to rescue (and kill) Kain. During the battle against a brainwashed Kain, Hiryu throws three kunai at him after he fatally injures Sheena. One of the kunai grazes Kain's neck, after which he loses control and passes out.

While inspecting Kain's unconscious body, Hiryu learns the kunai had struck the area in Kain's neck where he had the implant that made him susceptible to the ZAIN Project's mind control.

Strider (2014)Edit

Hiryu kunai throw

Kunai in use

Hiryu carries a set of kunai in a sheath strapped to his right shoulder, opposite of his Climb Sickle. They are used to quickly strike at enemies at long distance or who are otherwise difficult to approach, as well as to activate special door locks shaped like cubes. They can be thrown at any position, even climbing, and can be aimed at any of direction and angle at will.

Hiryu is given the Kunai by the Black Marketer after he saved the refugees in the Black Market from the Millipede and an horde of Insect Troopers. At its basic, Hiryu can throw three at a time in a spread pattern a short distance in front of him. Finding different upgrades throughout Kazakh City increases their strength further.

Kunai UpgradesEdit

There are four plasma forms that can be unlocked in the 2014 Strider, which mirror the four Cypher upgrades. There are also Number and Range upgrades to collect.

Kunai Enhanced Forms
Name Location Information
Reflect Kunai Military Headquarters
Command Center (Upper HQ)
Requirements: Slide Assault
A few steps past the room with two Magnetic Doors, there's a grate in the ground. Swing down and go through a few vent shafts to reach the Reflect Kunai.
Explosive Kunai Military Headquarters
Hangar Bay Zeta
Requirements: Explosive Cypher
In the long three-tiered room near the east entrance to the Research Facility, there's a second Explosive Door in the bottom floor. Break through and follow the path to the upgrade.
Ultra-Cold Kunai Military Headquarters
Hangar Bay Zeta
Requirements: Down Strike, Ultra-Cold Cypher
After defeating Ouroboros Mk.III for the second and final time, move to the bottom floor in the area and go west. Break through the Ultra-Cold Door and the breakable grate in the center to reach the upgrade.
Magnetic Kunai Military Headquarters
Command Center (Upper HQ)
Requirements: Magnetic Cypher
Right at the west entrance of the area, in the room locked with two Magnetic Doors. You must defeat a set of enemy turrets in order to make the upgrade appear.

Reflect KunaiEdit

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Reflect Kunai

Reflect Kunai (リフレクトクナイ) is the first upgrade found, sharing the deep red color from the Cypher of the same name. Sporting a coating of plasma, the Kunai will bounce off surfaces and enemies several times when thrown, expanding their area of effect and increasing damage through repeatedly hitting targets[2]. While at first somewhat useless, the form becomes more effective after expanding the Kunai's range and numbers.

Explosive KunaiEdit

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Explosive Kunai

Explosive Kunai, or Burst Kunai (バーストクナイ) in Japanese, is the second upgrade found, sharing the same orange color as the Explosive Cypher. In this form, the Kunai become timed sticky bombs, attaching to any surface or enemy they are thrown against[2]. Once attached to something, they blink red shortly before exploding in a fiery blast. These are a very useful weapon in boss fights and when facing difficult enemies such as the Brainwalker.

Ultra-Cold KunaiEdit

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Ultra-Cold Kunai

Ultra-Cold Kunai (コールドクナイ, lit. Cold Kunai) in Japanese, is the third upgrade, using the same icy blue color of the Ultra-Cold Cypher. This form acts identical to the Ultra-Cold Cypher, freezing enemies into solid blocks of ice upon contact, which can be used as temporary platforms[2]. They are the weakest of the four forms in terms of damage, but its greater range can be useful in a few situations which require freezing enemies in mid-air.

Magnetic KunaiEdit

StrHD magnetickunai

Magnetic Kunai

Magnetic Kunai (マグネティッククナイ) is the final update, recognized by the same purple color used by its Cypher homonymous. When active, the special magnetic field generated by the Kunai attracts them to any nearby enemy, flying in circles around targets until the target is destroyed.[2]

Kunai Number UpgradesEdit

Kunai Number Upgrades increases the amount of Kunai thrown with each command. There are four total upgrades, increasing the number of Kunai from 3 to 7.

Kunai Number Upgrades
Name Location Information
Kunai Number Upgrade 1/4 Processing
Lower Black Market
Requirements: Kunai
Inside the Kunai-locked door next to one of the conveyor belts. Once inside, there's a short obstacle course where one has to avoid spikes and spinning buzzsaws by jumping and sliding around, to reach the upgrade at the end of the area.
Kunai Number Upgrade 2/4 Processing
Central Processing
Requirements: Kunai
Within the sewer shaft found above the three water valves. Right at its bottom there's a Kunai-locked door with the upgrade behind it.
Kunai Number Upgrade 3/4 Research Facility
Specimen Storage
Requirements: Explosive Kunai
In the southeast part of this large area, there's a chamber with a Kunai Door and a small opening in the wall. In the other side there's a vertical conveyor belt and the Kunai Lock that opens the door. Throw Explosive Kunais at the belt so they'd explode next to the lock, then enter the room and climb up to find the upgrade.
Kunai Number Upgrade 4/4 Underground
Juroung's Chambers
Requirements: Charged Cypher
In the long room following Juroung's boss chamber. The upgrade is found at the top of the room, behind a Novo-locked door.

Kunai Range UpgradesEdit

Kunai Range Upgrades increases the effective range of thrown Kunai. There are a total of 3 upgrades to be found, allowing Kunai to reach fully across the screen.

Finding all Range and Number upgrades unlocks the Achievement/Trophy "Cuts Like A Knife".

Kunai Range Upgrades
Name Location Information
Kunai Range Upgrade 1/3 Processing
Lower Black Market
Requirements: None
Drop below the weak floorboard (the one next to the Hiyou unlock item) into a sewage area. Walk west to a series of small platforms surrounded with acid and go through them to reach the upgrade at the end.
Kunai Range Upgrade 2/3 Processing
Organics Repurposing Center
Requirements: Kunai
In the room with the spawning PNUT enemies, there's a small room in its west corner with a Kunai lock. Open it to claim the upgrade.
Kunai Range Upgrade 3/3 Military Headquarters
Hangar Bay Zeta
Requirements: Explosive Cypher
In the room with the rotating Sovkhoz tank in the background there's an Explosive Door. Break through it adn follow the path to the upgrade.



  1. Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 2, Pg. 66. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Capcom (2013). "Action: Kunai". Capcom's official Strider site. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
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