Currently Ryu doesn't get a bonus from the Super Mushroom like other characters. I suggest he gets the Sword Extension, since it's his only item not related to sub-weapons. Also, if Ryu doesn't have a sub-weapon (or runs out of ammo), and there's no platform over Bowser, it's practically impossible to get past him. Either climbing on ceilings (as in NG3) or crawling (as in the Master System NG) would be helpful here. EDIT: I originally requested something else too, only to realize it already worked that way. I must have taken leave of my senses. EDIT 2: As noted below, Ryu should also start with the Shuriken as his sub-weapon, like he does in NG2.