So before getting into the meat of the stealth in this game, I do think it’s worth talking about two… questionable elements of this game: the portrayal of Japanese culture, and the ending. Keep in mind that it’s been a couple of years since I played it.
Mark of the Ninja is about ninjas, so it’s going to dabble with Japanese culture. I don’t think this is necessarily always problematic, but I feel a little uneasy about some of the themes in this game. I mean, the game starts off by talking about seppuku, and you collect a bunch of ancient scrolls with death poems on them. I recollect a lot of talk of honor and clans and etc., etc. Again, I don’t think this was doomed from the get-go, and honestly some of this stuff works, but a lot of it just feels a little… fetishistic.
I’m also concerned about the implications of the “insanity” caused by the ink. Regarding the ending: It’s revealed that Ora is actually a hallucination caused by the ink. My concern here is about the trope of “madness” and “insanity”. I think I would have been fine if Ora was shown as the ink incarnate, or that the “madness” is the ink more of a corrupting force, but from my recollection, it’s treated as a case of psychosis. I think this becomes even worse when what is often considered the “good” ending is where the player character chooses to go through with harakiri oath to stop that “madness”, which… has some bad connotations.