Zeed is an evil crime syndicate that deals in kidnapping, terrorism and stealing weapons, and is the main antagonistic faction in the Shinobi series.
ZeedIn the original arcade game, Zeed was responsible for the kidnapping of children from the Oboro clan, and Joe Musashi was tasked with rescuing them from their evil captors and terminating the Masked Ninja that led Zeed from behind the scenes. After defeating the Masked Ninja, whose true identity is that of Musashi's original mentor Nakahara, it is explained that Zeed was formed with the goal to bring back the Feudal Era of Japan, in which ninja were at their most active during the constant civil wars that took place.
Neo ZeedIn The Revenge of Shinobi, which took place three years after the original events of Shinobi, Zeed regathered under a new name, Neo Zeed. Seeking to destroy those who would use the power of stealth against them, Neo Zeed attacked the Oboro clan and killed many of their numbers, including their current master. Joe Musashi was unable to prevent the attack and learned too late from his dying master that Neo Zeed had also kidnapped his fiancee Naoko. Musashi journeyed to avenge his fallen clan, destroy Neo Zeed, and reclaim Naoko from their leader, the Ninja Master. Neo Zeed returned once more in Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, seemingly more powerful than ever with high-tech weapons, deadly robots, and fearsome biological creatures at their fingertips. Most dangerous of all was their new leader, the Shadow Master, a cybernetic enhanced warrior with abilities equal to Musashi's and weapons of incredible power. Unstopped by the overwhelming odds, Musashi set out once more to destroy Neo Zeed forever.
ZEED Ninja Corps.In Kamakura Era Japan the ZEED Ninja Corps were the rivaling clan to the Oboro. While the Oboro proudly served the imperial family, ZEED defied them and attempted to rule on high from within the shadows. Lorded by shadowy Ninja, they held meetings in utmost secrecy, trying to not draw the emperor's attention. But Jiro Musashi, the young heir to the Obororyu Shinobi caught on to them, and under the emperor's decree he was sent to execute them for their defiance. Jiro infiltrated their castle base, but by the time he finished slaughtering the ZEED shinobi sent to intercept him, the leader was long gone. Jiro vowed to find him one day and complete his task at ending him. After Jiro became the official Shinobi Chief of the Oboro Clan, ZEED attacked the village but was repelled. However, Unknown to Jiro, ZEED's lord, who by cruel irony was the man who taught him the Shinobi Arts of the Oboro School, struck a bargain with the alien lifeform Orn. In exchange for power, they would serve as Orn's template and create the ultimate Space Army. With this Orn obliterated the Oboro clan of Kamakura Era. But that would not be the end of the Oboro as they once believed. It would soon be discovered that Jiro survived and escaped the onslaught, cocooned in a Barrier Ninjutsu when the energy of the blast that decimated the village and wiped out the Oboro reacted and sent him 800 years into the future, where ZEED had ruled unchallenged and have become a global superpower. The Shadow Master, leader of ZEED sent his best assassins and soldiers to end him and complete the purge of the Oboro clan, but each time Jiro outwitted him with the unexpected aid of Col. Sarah Krieger and her Anti-ZEED Forces. After seeing his best men and greatest technological creations outwitted by the young shinobi, Shadow Master would be challenged by Sarah herself, and nearly killed her when Jiro intervened. To his horror he learns the Shadow Master was not only the lord of ZEED he was sent to assassinate, but worst of all, his own teacher. Enraged by his betrayal, Jiro and the Shadow Master fought to the death. Jiro won, but couldn't bring himself to kill him. Seeing this as a sign of weakness, the Shadow Master attempted to kill Jiro along with himself by crashing the shuttle the two were on into the hanger of Orn's ship; the Sword of the Stars.
After fighting his way past the ship's crew and guards, Jiro tracked down Orn and defeated him, avenging his clan. With this defeat, ZEED's 800 year reign of terror ended.