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Samurai Shodown (some spell it "Showdown") was first created as a game by NeoGeo in Japan. The first game was released in the arcades in 1993. The game was so popular, 6 more games followed. (Although later on the gameplay was changed.) There are also 4 Samurai Shodown games for consoles. A manga was released, and a movie followed soon after. Unfortunately, the continuity between all the different releases is a little hazy. Only 5 characters appear in all of the game releases.

Main Characters:
Haohmaru : The samurai 'leader' of the group. He uses a katana (traditional samurai sword) and is a heavy drinker. His rival is Kibagami Genjuro.
Ukyo Tachibana: The skinny but deadly blue-haired samurai. His weapon is a drying pole, a small sword that is carried in a round sheath.
Nakoruru : An Ainu priestess that wields a deadly kodachi (short dagger). She is always accompanied by her eagle, Mamahaha.
Hattori Hanzo : A quiet and secretive ninja. He carries the sword of a ninja, the ninjato.
Galford : A knight in the video games, who also wields the ninjato. In the movie and manga, he is replaced with a female French knight named Charlotte.

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