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.
: The samurai
'leader' of the group. He uses a katana
(traditional samurai sword) and is a heavy drinker. His rival is Kibagami Genjuro.
: 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
: 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.