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Samurai Shodown
Box artwork for Samurai Shodown.
Japanese titleサムライスピリッツ (Samurai Spirits)
Release date(s)
Arcade icon.png Arcade
Neo Geo icon.png Neo Geo
Neo Geo CD icon.png Neo Geo CD
Wii icon.png Wii
System(s)Arcade, SNES, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Sega Game Gear, Sega CD, Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, Wii, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows
ModesSingle player, multiplayer
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
RSAC: RSAC V.gifRSAC L3.gifRSAC SN.gifRSAC L1.gifRSAC L.gifRSAC L1.gif V3S/N1L1 (1)
Followed bySamurai Shodown II
SeriesSamurai Shodown
Neoseeker Related Pages
TwitchSamurai Shodown Channel
This is the first game in the Samurai Shodown series. For other games in the series see the Samurai Shodown category.
For the 1998 Neo Geo Pocket game, see Samurai Shodown!. For the 2019 reboot, see Samurai Shodown (2019).

Samurai Shodown, known as Samurai Spirits (サムライスピリッツ) in Japan, is the first game in SNK'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. 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.

Table of Contents


Character Select[edit]

Portrait SS Gen-An.png Portrait SS Galford.png Portrait SS Haohmaru.png Portrait SS Ukyo.png Portrait SS Charlotte.png Portrait SS Tam Tam.png
Portrait SS Earthquake.png Portrait SS Nakoruru.png Portrait SS Wan-Fu.png Portrait SS Jubei.png Portrait SS Hanzo.png Portrait SS Kyoshiro.png