A young boy is orphaned when his father is murdered. Years later, the boy has grown into a talented and deadly martial arts fighter, driven by a desire to avenge his father. To conceal his true identity, he calls himself “Snake Eyes”, a name inspired by watching his father’s murderer force him to roll a pair of dice to determine his fate; his father was killed when he rolled double ones.
Discovered in an underground Los Angeles fighting circuit, a wealthy Yakuza boss, Kenta, offers to find his father’s killer if Snake Eyes will work for him. When Snake Eyes is asked to prove his loyalty by shooting a man who betrayed Kenta’s trust, Snake Eyes refuses and instead helps the traitor escape. The traitor is Kenta’s cousin, Tommy. Tommy and Kenta were both in line to lead Clan Arashikage, an ancient ninja society devoted to preserving order and fighting evil. Kenta sought to kill his cousin, but failed and was banished.
Grateful to Snake Eyes, Tommy takes him to his ninja dojo in Japan and asks that he be initiated as a member. The current clan leader, Sen, Tommy’s grandmother, agrees to let Snake Eyes undergo three trials to determine if he is worthy. The clan’s head of security, Akiko, doesn’t trust Snake Eyes at first, but he wins her trust by revealing his father’s murder and explains that is why there is no recorded history of him. Unbeknownst to anyone, Snake Eyes plans to betray his new allies. Tommy’s attempted murder and escape is shown to have been staged by Kenta in order to get Snake Eyes close enough to steal the clan’s most sacred treasure, the “Jewel of the Sun”, which has magical powers.