Samurai Spirits [Model NGM-045]

SNK Neo-Geo MVS cart. published 28 years ago by SNK

Samurai Spirits [Model NGM-045] screenshot

Listed and emulated in MAME.

Samurai Spirits © 1993 SNK.

The game that put the Neo-Geo on the map! Superb weapons-based fighter featuring 12 characters, bonus rounds and one end boss.


Runs on the SNK "Neo-Geo MVS" hardware.
Game ID : NGM-045

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


Samurai Spirits was released in July 1993 in Japan.

The game is known outside Japan as 'Samurai Shodown'

Samurai Spirits 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 Spirits 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 Spirits 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 Spirits [Model NGM-045] (1993)
2. Shin Samurai Spirits - Haohmaru Jigoku Hen [Model NGM-063] (1994)
3. Samurai Spirits - Zankurou Musouken [Model NGM-087] (1995)
4. Samurai Spirits - Amakusa Kourin [Model NGM-222] (1996)
5. Samurai Spirits 64 (1997)
6. Samurai Spirits 2 - Asura Zanmaden (1998)
7. Kenkaku Ibunroku Yomigaerishi Soukou no Ha - Samurai Spirits Shinshou (1999, PSX)
8. Samurai Spirits Zero [Model NGM-270] (2003)
9. Samurai Spirits Zero Special [Model NGM-272] (2004)
10. Samurai Spirits - Tenkaichi Kenkakuden (2005)
11. Samurai Shodown - Edge of Destiny (2008)


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, Masahiko Hataya (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, Poppy : Kuwa.Bee
Mamahaha : Erina.Makino

* Voice actors :
Haomaru, Hanzo Hattori, Galford, Earthquake : Masaki Usui
Jubei Yagyu, Wan-Fu : Takayuki Sakai
Ukyo Tachibana, Gen-an Shiranui, Shiro Tokisada Amakusa : Eiji Yano
Kyoshiro Senryo, Tam Tam : Kazuhiro Inage (Key Inage)
Nakoruru, Charlotte : Harumi Ikoma

Special thanks : M.Mioshi, Yama.O, Yama.R, Yama.P, Honda.NR, Sk, Yokosuka. Boy, Morioka, Chika2, J.Mikami, Miyakami, Atsushi, Iwata Kun, Y.Yoshida, Yoshi.Kaneko, Speaker.R, Magi2spapa, Ma2, D.S.K


[JP] SNK Neo-Geo AES Aug. 11, 1993 "Samurai Spirits [Model NGH-045]"
[US] SNK Neo-Geo AES Aug. 11, 1993 "Samurai Shodown [Model NGH-045]"
[JP] Nintendo Game Boy june.30, 1994 "Nettou Samurai Spirits [Model DMG-X4J]"
[JP] SNK Neo-Geo CD Sep. 09, 1994 "Samurai Spirits [Model NGCD-045]"
[JP] Nintendo Super Famicom Sep. 22, 1994 "Samurai Spirits [Model SHVC-A7SJ-JPN]"
Nintendo Super NES [US] Nov. ??, 1994 "Samurai Shodown [Model SNS-P-A7SE]"
Nintendo Super NES [EU] ???. ??, 1994 "Samurai Shodown [Model SNS-P-A7SP]"
[US] Nintendo Game Boy Nov. ??, 1994 "Samurai Shodown [Model DMG-X4]"
[JP] Sega Mega Drive Nov. 19, 1994 "Samurai Spirits [Model G-4127]"
[EU] Sega Mega Drive ???. ??, 1994 "Samurai Shodown [Model 670-6282-50]"
[US] Sega Genesis ???. ??, 1994 "Samurai Shodown [Model T-103066]"
[JP] Sega Game Gear Dec. 16, 1994 "Samurai Spirits [Model T-103027]"
Sega Game Gear [US] ???. ??, 1994 "Samurai Shodown"
Panasonic 3DO [JP] Feb. 10, 1995 "Samurai Shodown [Model FZ-SJ3155]"
[US] Sega CD ???. ??, 1995 "Samurai Shodown [Model T-60175]"
Sega Mega-CD [EU] ???. ??, 1995 Samurai Shodown
[JP] Sony PlayStation Mar. 26, 1998 "Samurai Spirits - Kenkaku Yubinan Pack [Model SLPS-00647]"
[JP] Sony PS2 jul.24, 2008 "Samurai Spirits - Rokuban Shobu [NeoGeo Online Collection Vol.12] [Model SLPS-25839]"
[JP] Nintendo Wii jul.24, 2008 "Samurai Spirits - Rokuban Shobu [Model RVL-RSSJ-JPN]"
[US] Sony PS2 may.05, 2008 "SNK Arcade Classics Vol.1 [Model SLUS-21724]"
[US] Sony PSP may.05, 2008 "SNK Arcade Classics Vol.1 [Model ULUS-10338]"
[KO] Sony PS2 may.29, 2008 "SNK Arcade Classics Vol.1 [Model SLKA-25424]"
[US] Nintendo Wii jul.29, 2008 "SNK Arcade Classics Vol.1 [Model RVL-P-RNCE]"
[EU] Sony PSP Oct. 17, 2008 "SNK Arcade Classics Vol.1 [Model ULES-01105]"
[EU] Nintendo Wii Oct. 31, 2008 "SNK Arcade Classics Vol.1 [Model RVL-P-RJZP]"
[EU] Sony PS2 Nov. 21, 2008 "SNK Arcade Classics Vol.1 [Model SLES-55232]"
[KO] Nintendo Wii Feb. 24, 2009 "Samurai Spirits - Rokuban Shobu [Model RVL-RSSK-KOR]"
[US] Sony PS2 Mar. 24, 2009 "Samurai Shodown Anthology [Model SLUS-21629]"
[US] Sony PSP Mar. 24, 2009 "Samurai Shodown Anthology [Model ULUS-10401]"
[EU] Sony PSP Mar. 27, 2009 "Samurai Shodown Anthology [Model ULES-01211]"
[EU] Nintendo Wii Apr. 04, 2009 "Samurai Shodown Anthology [Model RVL-RSSE]"
[JP] Sony PSP May. 21, 2009 "SNK Arcade Classics Vol.1 [Model ULJS-193]"
[JP] Sony PS2 june.18, 2009 "Samurai Spirits - Rokuban Shobu [NeoGeo Online Collection The Best] [Model SLPS-25934]"
[JP] Sony PSP june.24, 2010 "SNK Arcade Classics Vol.1 [SNK Best Collection] [Model ULJS-00297]"
Sony PS3 [PlayStation Store] Dec. ??, 2010

FM Towns [JP] ???. ??, 1995 "Samurai Spirits [Model JH-012]"

Mobile Phones [US] jul.15, 2004 Samurai Shodown


Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.