Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Samurai Shodown / Samurai Spirits (set 1)

Samurai Shodown (c) 07/1993 SNK.

The game that put the Neo-Geo on the map! Superb weapons-based fighter featuring twelve characters, bonus rounds and one end boss.


SNK Neo-Geo MVS hardware

Game ID : 0045

Main CPU : 68000 (@ 12 Mhz)

Sound CPU : Z80 (@ 4 Mhz)

Sound Chips : YM2610 (@ 8 Mhz)

Screen orientation : Horizontal

Video resolution : 320 x 224 pixels

Screen refresh : 59.19 Hz

Palette colors : 4096

Players : 2

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 4

=> With weapon : [A] Light attack, [B] Medium attack

=> Without weapon : [A] Light punch, [B] Medium punch, [C] Light kick, [D] Medium kick


The game is known in Japan as "Samurai Spirits (SNK)".

Samurai Shodown is the first game that introduced weapon fighting into the fighting game genre. The game used an upgraded version of the scaling graphics engine that was originally featured in "Art of Fighting".

Samurai Shodown also started SNK's reputation for their unique style of Engrish, known as SNKgrish in their games.

Unlike "Mortal Kombat", the usage of blood in this game is generally accepted, and the decision to replace blood with 'white blood' remains a sore point among fans of this series.

Samurai Shodown is considered by some to portray Japanese culture and language effectively. Unlike most American versions of Japanese video games, the characters in this game (including the announcer) generally speak fluent Japanese with subtitles, and traditional Japanese music is often heard during gameplay. Samurai Shodown takes most of its characters from either historical sources or characters from the Ninja Scroll anime. In fact, a few designers that worked on Samurai Shodown also worked on the Ninja Scroll anime...

Haohmaru is based on the legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), whose fighting philosophy heavily influenced that of the Haohmaru character.

Ukyo Tachibana is Based on Sasaki Kojiro Genryu (1572-1612), Musashi's skilled rival.

Jubei Yagyu is based on the historical Yagyu Jubei Mitsuyoshi (1606-1644), who was a sword instructor to the Tokugawa shogunate. The Yagyu clan was a famous clan of samurai.

Hattori Hanzo Masashige (1541-1596) was the most famous of the Iga Ninja clan. He was a genius at leading night raids on forts and fiefs and became a feared assassin. Under his leadership, Iga Ninja became so notorious that Nobunaga felt it necessary to obliterate the Iga Ninja clan.

Wan-Fu seems to be a combination of two famous Chinese warriors. The first is a famous Chinese swordsman who was a rebel during the Ch'ing Dynasty. His name was Wang Ts-bin Wu, but he became known as Da Dao Wang Wu ('Big Scimitar Wang Wu'). The second lead bases Wan Fu upon the ancient, almost legendary, founder of the Chou Dynasty, King Wu Wang.

Kyoshiro Senryo is based on Nemuri Kyoshiro, a fictional character created by Shibata Tosaburo. 'Kyoshiro' translates to something like 'deranged fellow'. Tosaburo's Kyoshiro had nothing to do with kabuki theater as does Samurai Shodown Kyoshiro. Kyoshiro's weapon is called a naginata.

Charlotte is based on a character in the manga 'The Rose of Versailles' by Riyoko Ikeda (1972).

Gen-an Shiranui looks much like Mushizo, the hunchback demon of Ninja Scroll. Gen-an's weapon is modeled after the weapon wielded by Shijima, the shadow demon, from Ninja Scroll. Although they share a surname, Gen-an is not a relative of Mai Shiranui of the Fatal Fury/King of Fighters series.

Amakusa Shiro Tokisada (1622-1638) led a Christian uprising against the Tokugawa shogunate in the Shimabara region of Japan.

Nakoruru is a homage to Sailor Moon.

A 'Kuroko' is a traditional Kabuki theater stagehand. They are traditionally dressed in black and took care of scenery and other behind-the-scenes needs during a Kabuki performance, just like modern theater stagehands. In the case of Samurai Shodown, Kuroko is the referee for each match in Samurai Shodown I and II. The black strip of fabric hanging over a Kuroko's face is to signify that they are not part of the Kabuki performance, just helping with the props. The red and white flags that Kuroko has are used in traditional martial arts matches, where each successful hit gets the corresponding fighter's flag raised.

Mai Shiranui (of Fatal Fury) appears in Haohmaru's and Gen-An's endings.

Pony Canyon / Scitron released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Samurai Spirits - PCCB-00135) on 17/09/1993.


* Alternate Costume Colors : Highlight a fighter at the character selection screen and press D.

* Sleeping Mamahaha : This is just hilarious! To see this while playing as Nakoruru simply stand still, after a 8 secs or so Mamahaha will land on Nakoruru's shoulder, start yawning and then it will fall asleep! :)

* Poppy's Puppies : To see a truly cool & funny secret pose with Galford, Get a PERFECT against an opponent while unarmed. You must finish the battle with anything except a throw though!

* Tam Tam's Broken Ending : If you use continues while beating the game with Tam Tam, you will miss a part of the whole ending (You can't see his real face). Beat the game with one credit in order to see his face.

* Wan-fu's Sword Explosion Bug : While playing as Wan-fu trap an enemy against the edge of the screen then perform the Explosive Sword Drop with the B button (HCB + B) to throw the sword and land next to the opponent. Since most players as well as the CPU are likely to block the move, crouch and hit them with the C button (a short kick). This will make the move unblockable and causes tons of damage!!!

* Cut-proof Characters? : Sometimes a finishing slash will cut most opponents in half, however some characters (these being Kyoshiro & Amakusa) cannot be cut in half!


1. Samurai Shodown (1993)

2. Samurai Shodown II (1994)

3. Samurai Shodown III (1995)

4. Samurai Shodown IV - Amakusa's Revenge (1996)

5. Samurai Shodown 64 (1997)

6. Samurai Shodown 64 - Warrior's Rage (1998)

7. Samurai Shodown V (2003)

8. Samurai Shodown V Special (2004)

9. Samurai Shodown - Tenkaichi Kenkakuden (2005)


Executive producer : Eikichi Kawasaki

Main producer : Rocket Queen

Producers : Bonehead Ken, Satoppe-, Tomi Yan, Fukui Tomoaki

Front designers : Violetche Nakamoto, Miki, Masami Tanaka, K.Shintani-F91, Go-Go (Dave Bros), Kazu, The.Fool, Ryu! (Dave Bros), Erina.Makino

Back designers : Fukui Tomoaki, AAA, Keisen (as Oshioki-Keisen), Yasupuu, N. Azumi (as N. Azumichan), Okap-, Mayu K., Erina.Makino

Programmers : Nishidon, K2, Zombi Abe, Cyber Kondo, Z'N

Music : Tate Norio, Papaya

Submissions : Ryu! (Dave Bros), AAA, Miki, Okap-, The.Fool, Mayu K., Erina.Makino

* Character designers :

Jubei Yagyu : Masami Tanaka, Miki, Kuma.Bee, Kazu

Earthquake : Go-Go (Dave Bros), K.Shintani-F91, Kazu

Hanzo Hattori : Violetche Nakamoto, Keisen (as Oshioki.Keisen), K.Shintani-F91, N. Azumi (as N. Azumichan), The.Fool, Erina.Makino

Ukyo Tachibana : Kazu, The.Fool

Wan-fu : Go-Go (Dave Bros), K.Shintani-F91, The.Fool, Ryu! (Dave Bross)

Gen-an Shiranui : K.Shintani-F91, Keisen (as Oshioki-Keisen), N. Azumi (as N. Azumichan), Ryu! (Dave Bross), The.Fool

Galford : Violetche Nakamoto, Keisen (as Oshioki-Keisen), K.Shintani-F91, N. Azumi (as N. Azumichan), The.Fool, Erina.Makino

Kyoshiro Senryo : Kazu, Erina.Makino

Tam Tam : Miki, Masami Tanaka, Go-Go (Dave Bros)

Haohmaru : K.Shintani-F91, Erina.Makino

Nakoruru : Violetche Nakamoto, Keisen (as Oshioki-Keisen), The.Fool

Shirou Tokisada : Miki

Charlotte : Kuwa.Bee

Poppy : Kuwa.Bee

Mamahaha : Erina.Makino

* Voice actors :

Haomaru : Masaki Usui

Jubei Yagyu : Takayuki Sakai

Ukyo Tachibana : Eiji Yano

Hanzo Hattori : Masaki Usui

Wan-Fu : Takayuki Sakai

Gen-an Shiranui : Eiji Yano

Galford : Masaki Usui

Kyoshiro Senryo : Kazuhiro Inage

Tam Tam : Kazuhiro Inage

Nakoruru : Harumi Ikoma

Earthquake : Masaki Usui

Charlotte : Harumi Ikoma

Shiro Tokisada Amakusa : Eiji Yano


* Consoles :

Sega Mega CD (1993)

Nintendo Super Famicom (1994)

Nintendo Game Boy (1994)

Sega Mega Drive (1994)

Sega Game Gear (1994)

SNK Neo-Geo CD (1994)

Panasonic 3DO (1995)

Sony PlayStation (1998, "Samurai Spirits - Kenkaku Yubinan Pack")

FM Town Marty

* Others :

Mobile Phones (2004)