The stories in the series take place in 18th century Japan, during the Sakoku or seclusion period of Japan (the first four games run from 1788 and 1789) with great artistic license, so foreign-born characters (including those from places that do not exist as such in 1788), so fictional monsters may also be part of the story. The plot of each game is quite different, but their circle is the central group of characters and the region in Japan.
The Samurai Shodown therefore depicts fragments of Japanese culture and language in the world with minor edits. For example, unlike most fighting games made in Japan, the characters in the series (including the host) tend to only speak Japanese, with dialects ranging from archaic formalities and theatrics to modern slang, something that has survived for foreign releases. . Win quotes and other cut scenes provide subtitles in multiple languages, including but not limited to English, Portuguese and German. Most of the music consists of traditional Japanese instruments (mainly shakuhachi, shamisen, koto and taiko) and later enke. Some of the characters are based on real people from Japanese history.
There are two main people responsible for character design and illustration. To start the game (Part 1 to 4), the characters are created and illustrated by Eiji Shiroi. His illustrations show the characteristic, traditional Japanese style of calligraphy. While he continues to design for some of the later games, they are illustrated by another artist named senri from Kita to the fifth title.
The Samurai Shodown games are best known for their "anger"(?) gauge, a counter that only increases as the player takes damage, and when fully activated has numerous effects depending on the game. Earlier games also have a referee in the background officiating the match.
The series begins with a Tenmei famine in Japan that has led to severe depression and near mayhem throughout the country. Upset by his country's men's lamentations and the shogun's indifference to their plight, the former General Tokugawa, while Russia's Hinowanokami Gaoh, stages an uprising in his country, Hinowa, against the reigning dynasty. He also hoped that his rebellion would make the next shogun in the line, Yoshitora Tokugawa, aware of his responsibility to his country. Wars resulting from conflict gains interest from several warriors. At the end of the war, Gaoh is defeated and Yoshitora is made the next shogun.
Over a decade before the series begins, Amakusa Shiro Tokisada (based on a historical figure), once the leader of a Christian rebellion, made a pact with an evil entity named Ambrosia moments before his execution. Using the body of Shinzo, one of the Hanzo Hattoris sons, he resurrects himself two years after the events of Hinowa. He plans revenge on those who reigned against him, intending to resurrect Ambrosia into the mortal world upon his release. He steals a sacred item, the Palenke stone, from Green Hell (a fictional country in South America) to obtain the necessary power he needs for the ritual.
The activity of the sorcerer causes evil phenomena throughout the world, stretching from Japan to China in Europe and America, attracting a few brave warriors to the source of their calamities. Among these warriors are Haohmaru, and Ronin, who recently left him under the tutelage of his master, caffeine, nicotine. He sees the enemy as a chance to sharpen him with his sword. The Ainu priestess, Nakoruru, albeit a pacifist, takes her blade to save Mother Nature from further pain. Although several fighters attempted to kill the fiend, the two successfully defeated him, seemingly killing him in the process.
Months later, another "demon" rises in Japan. However, it does not refer to Amakusa or Ambrosia. He is a man named Zankuro minazuki, a powerful warrior who has earned the label "demon" for his merciless massacre of innocent people, village after village. Zankuro eventually finds his bugs and leaves for the Hermitage, agreeing only to kill the skilled warriors in duels. One of the victims, he was not a child, which Haohmaru finds and raises. The name of the child is Shizumaru Hisame, who seeks revenge for the murder of her family under Zankuro's hands. He sets up with Haohmaru to test his strength against Zankuro, challenging other fighters along the way. In the end, they meet and duel, Shizumaru being the winner. Although Zankuro was badly injured, he tries to deliver the final blow, only to be hit by heaven.
The graves are not long. The Amakusa revives its efforts to avenge and destroy the fallen warrior as a weapon of destruction. This time, his spirit split into two halves, one good and simple; the rest are corrupt and ambitious. As an evil half brings destruction to Japan from Shimabara, the good half tries to restore it. The evil Amakusa kidnaps a young kunoichi named Hazuki from the Kazama ninja clan. Hazuki, adapted with ki and welding a special life force within her, is used by the sorcerer to control Zankuro's bloodlust. Her brothers, Kazuki and Sougetsu, race to save her. Although several outcomes of this battle are interpreted, Kazuki was officially successful in killing the evil Amakusa and Zankuro was finally done with Sougetsu. Labeled nukenin, or rogue ninja, by their clan, Hazuki and Kazuki hide until Sougetsu allows them to escape.
Six months after this conflict, the priestess is possessed by an evil demon, Mizuki Rashojin, who will resurface again to send the world into chaos. Mizuki, as a faithful servant of Ambrosia from 1000 years ago, awakened the Amakusa's evil forces. Her awakening causes several global catastrophes, and although her spirit is awake, she has not yet risen to the human world. She hunts the hapless Soul Warrior and uses the fallen to strengthen her and Pergu's powers. The good Amakusa saves Haohmaru and the other virtuous souls, but he too ends up in her bathhouse. Warriors go to hell to fight their soul before it crap. Haohmaru and Nakoruru are able to make the journey to Hell and stop Mizuki by sealing her in the Makai (Demon World) after her defeat.
Yuga's destroyer, while still hailing from the Makai Kingdom, is on her way to conquering the world a year after Mizuki's defeat. Twenty years before the resurrection of the Amakusa, she enters the human world and steals various babies from their mother's womb and uses her power to imbue them with superpowers. She silently re-inserts the unborn children and waits for them to grow into superhuman warriors. On their adult lives, she appears before all of them and brains them all out to become her faithful slaves through a magical puppet show. One of her victims is a mysterious woman named Shiki, the perfect woman for Yugi's vessel. Yuga orders Shiki to find the perfect male counterpart, intending to combine the two for her later resurrection. Haohmaru is selected, but Yugi underestimates him in his battle. Haohmaru defeats her and frees Shiki from her mind control.
A year passes, and Yuga, better prepared, revives himself. From her second appearance, Asura, a destructive being (who wreaks havoc in order to bring about the "unity of this world and the world of the dead...") escapes from the prison of the underworld. Yugi, realizing Asura's power, clones him and creates her faithful servant Hanmen no Asura. His orders are to retrieve Shiki and return to the south with her. However, he falls in love with Shiki and turns against his master. How to defeat the Asuras of the South completely and merge, leaving Shiki with the child. She leaves the baby to Haohmaru's care, feeling unworthy of motherhood.
Twenty years would pass, with the age of Samurai and Mechnikov coming to an end. Those who are at odds with the peaceful change of era are banned from the island of prisoners. The zealous inhabitants rise up and try to create a "new world exclusively for the elite" who sought to destroy the shogunate. The group they form is called “Three Blade Domination League” and the island becomes known as Ritenkyo. Their leader is an old man named Oboro. A member of the Shinsengumi, Kuki Seishiro, ordered his superiors to kill those responsible for the rebellion. Old Haohmaru goes to find his "niece", Mikoto, and to free her from her last tear.