completed the game on Normal difficulty.
Completed all levels with all characters with Grand Master rank
After taking a look at my savegame, I see that I have completed all layouts of all missions on Grand Master with Rikimaru, Grand Mastered 23/30 layouts with Ayame, and Master of Assasin...ated 15/18 layouts with Tesshu, leaving 10 layouts still to be played before there is truly no progress to be had in this, my favourite ninja game...
Completed Ronin Village layout 3 with Ayame, getting 590 points and a Grand Master ranking. This game still retains the Tenchu magic, mostly through the slow pacing, the cool stealth kills, the wonderful gallery of completely ridiculous characters, and the excellent atmospheric music. However, the controls feel decidedly unpleasant, having to hold R1 almost throughout the entire game is a literal pain, and the camera controls are awkward to say the least. Also, the sound effects are poorly designed throughout, my main complaint being that the ninjas make far too much noise, which seems stupid with them being ninjas and all. A bit of subtlety would have been great. But after getting into the correct mindset, Tenchu is a great experience.
By the way, I'm using the score cheat, pressing right,right,left,left on a controller plugged into the second controller port (not really a cheat, since it just displays the score on the screen, removing the mystery of that particular feature).
Damn stupid flipping walls! When I went through one - at the end of an almost perfect run - the camera just showed the wall flipping with Ayame disappeared. The camera later caught up to her, being in Skybox-and-no-geometry Land, and being murdered by a particularly vicious Chibot.
Right, you press and hold L1+R1+L2+R2+Select+Start to quit to title screen without losing items. A fast retry button would have been nice.
Completed Amagai Castle layout 3 with Ayame in 10:47, getting 555 points and Grand Master rank. Holy shizzle! I just fell through the same Flipping Wall of Death again, but this time Ayame randomly grabbed some invisible collision geometry on her way down, and I managed to pull myself up. I was in a wall, and there were Minecraft-looking blocks of lava right next to me. I shot my Ninja Rope into the wall, and appeared on the lowest part of the level, close to the exit. After a few fancy ninja maneuvers, I was at the end of the level, being spotted once, and without being touched throughout the level (including the boss fight with dr. Kimaira).
Man, after playing through the first two Tenchu games again, this game looks and feels like a million bucks. I played through the first mission with Rikimaru emulated on PCSX2, which ran perfectly, as far as I can tell.