Samurai Shodown (known in Japan as Samurai Spirits, and not to be confused with the 1993 game of the same name) is a 2.5D historical-fantasy weapon-based fighting game developed by SNK and published by both SNK (in Japan) and Athlon (worldwide) for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on June 25, 2019.
A reboot of the series of the same name, Samurai Shodown is the first mainline entry in the series in 11 years (after Samurai Shodown: Edge of Destiny) and brings the series to its traditional 2D gameplay roots.
The story takes place in 1787, between the events of Samurai Shodown V and the original Samurai Shodown. The lands of Japan are overrun with a mysterious sinister force (leaving ruin, famine, and chaos in its wake) and several warriors are dispatched to investigate it.
Along with numerous fighters from previous games in the series, the game features three new playable characters: main protagonist Yashamaru, hulking shipwright Darli, and "feng shui" fighter Ruixiang. Additional characters were later added as DLC (with a seasonal pass system), with some of them being guest characters from other series (such as The Last Blade and For Honor).
The game was later released for Google Stadia (as a launch title) on November 19, 2019, for the Nintendo Switch in Japan on December 12, 2019 (with a later worldwide release in February 25, 2020), and for the PC digitally on June 11, 2020 (Epic Games Store) and June 14, 2021 (Steam). It also received port to Japanese arcades, digitally released via NESiCAxLive2 for PC-based Taito Type X3 hardware on October 24, 2019.
- Yashamaru Kurama - The game's main protagonist. A ronin who stalks the shadows as the phantom thief "Karasu Tengu". Fights with a heirloom nagamaki and ancestral tengu powers.
- Darli Dagger - A shipwright of African descent who learned how to build from carpenters and how to fight from pirates. Fights with a large saw-tooth blade (which she calls "Libertalia").
- Wu-Ruixiang - A servant of the Chinese Qing dynasty. Fights with a large luopan and ancestral feng shui powers.
- Shizuka Gozen (final boss, unplayable) - A deceased woman whose bitterness over her death corrupted her soul and caused her to return as the demonic force plaguing Japan.
- Haohmaru (has a an alternate retro low-poly costume as DLC)
- Nakoruru (has a an alternate retro low-poly costume as DLC)
- Genjuro Kibagami (has a an alternate retro low-poly costume as DLC)
- Yoshitora Tokugawa
- Ukyo Tachibana
- Hanzo Hattori
- Kyoshiro Senryo
- Jubei Yagyu
- Tam Tam
Season 1 Pass
Also includes the alternate retro Nakoruru costume.
- Rimururu (added on August 7, 2019)
- Basara (added on October 15, 2019)
- Kazuki Kazama (added on November 18, 2019)
- Wan-Fu (added on December 18, 2019)
Season 2 Pass
- Mina Majikina (added on February 26, 2020)
- Sogetsu Kazama (added on April 1, 2020)
- Iroha (added on May 13, 2020)
- Warden (guest character from For Honor, added on June 24, 2020)
Season 3 Pass
- Cham Cham (added on March 15, 2021)
- Hibiki Takane (guest character from The Last Blade, added on April 28, 2021)
- Shiro Tokisada Amakusa (added on June 15, 2021)
- Baiken (guest character from Guilty Gear, added on August 19, 2021)