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Samurai Shodown
Box artwork for Samurai Shodown.
Japanese title サムライスピリッツ (Samurai Spirits)
Developer(s) SNK
Publisher(s) SNK
Distributor(s) Wii Virtual Console, GameTap
Release date(s)
Wii Virtual Console icon.png
Wii Virtual Console
Genre(s) Fighting
System(s) Arcade, SNES, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Sega Game Gear, Sega CD, Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, Wii
Players 1-2
Mode(s) Arcade, Versus
Rating(s)
CERO: CERO B.jpg Ages 12 and up
ESRB: ESRB T.png Teen
PEGI: PEGI 12.png Ages 12+
USK: USK 12.png Ages 12+
OFLC: OFLC MA15.svg Mature Accompanied & Restricted
OFLC: OFLC M15 old.png Mature
OFLC/NZ: OFLC-NZ R15.jpg R15
ELSPA: Ages 12+
RSAC: RSAC V.gifRSAC L3.gifRSAC SN.gifRSAC L1.gifRSAC L.gifRSAC L1.gif V3S/N1L1 (1)
Media Cartridge, CD
Website snkplaymore.co.uk
Input Controller, Arcade Stick
Followed by Samurai Shodown II
Series Samurai Shodown
Neoseeker Related Pages
This is the first game in the Samurai Shodown series. For other games in the series see the Samurai Shodown category.
For the Neo Geo Pocket version, see Samurai Shodown!.

Samurai Shodown, known as Samurai Spirits (サムライスピリッツ) in Japan, is the first game in SNK Playmore's popular series of fighting games.

It is set in the late 18th century and all of its characters wield weapons. It also bears comparatively authentic music from the time period and a refined version of the camera zoom first found in Art of Fighting. True to its use of bladed weapons, the game also includes copious amounts of blood.

The game was set in the late 18th century and all of its characters wielded weapons. It also bore comparatively authentic music from the time period and a refined version of the camera zoom first found in Art of Fighting. True to its use of bladed weapons, the game also included copious amounts of blood. Its overall aesthetic drew in the curious, and made SNK many fans.

Samurai Shodown quickly became renowned for its fast pace, focused more on quick, powerful strikes than combos. As to emphasize the distinction of this gameplay system, slow motion was added to intensify damage dealt from hard hits. Also during a match, a referee held flags representing each player (player 1 was white; player 2 red). When a player landed a successful hit, the referee would lift the corresponding flag, letting everyone watching know who dealt the blow. To lessen the repetition of fights, a delivery man running in the background threw items such as chicken (that healed) or bombs, which could significantly change the outcome of a play.

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