Shiro Tokisada Amakusa, slain in Japan of 1638 by the forces of the Tokugawa Shogunate for his part in the Shimabara Rebellion, was resurrected in 1787 as an akuma from making a deal with the dark god Ambrosia by bringing the evil entity into the world by using the Palenke stone and its energy. Driven by hatred for the Shogunate and having a nihilistic streak towards the world, he unleashes his dark powers to bring chaos to all of existence in 1788. A variety of warriors — some historic, some fictional — converge upon the source of the chaos, each driven by their own reasons.
The game is set in the late 18th century, and all the characters wield weapons. The game uses music from the time period, with sounds of traditional Japanese instruments, such as the shakuhachi and shamisen. A refined version of the camera zoom first found in Art of Fighting is used in Samurai Shodown. The game includes the portrayal of blood.
The game became renowned for its fast pace. Focusing more on quick, powerful strikes than combos, the slow motion was added to intensify the damage dealt from hard hits. During a match, a referee holds flags representing each player (Player 1 is white; Player 2 is red). When a player lands a successful hit, the referee lifts the corresponding flag, indicating who dealt the blow.
A delivery man occasionally appears in the background and throws items such as bombs or health-restoring chicken, which can change the outcome.
PLAYERS: 1-2 Players
RELEASE YEAR: 1994