Nakoruru Samurai Shodown
--The website dedicated to all Samurai Spirits fans--~ver5.0~

December Editorial

by Anthony Chau

It was the summer of 1993, and while I forget exactly what month it was, I'll never forget that day. Street Fighter 2 was still the unrivaled champion of fighting games despite SNK's numerous attempts to oust Capcom with sheer numbers of fighting games (Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury 2, Fatal Fury Special, World Heroes, Art of Fighting 1, and some others I tend to forget). And while I was an extremely, hardcore Street Fighter player at the time, I really needed a break from the "father" of all fighting games. Still, as stated above, it was summer, I had just got out of high school, and all of my arcade buddies were eager to check out Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo which was out at our local golfland (blessed are these golflands). Being the arcade head I was, I reluctantly tagged along with an odd feeling that SSF2 Turbo was going to be just more of the same. And sure enough, as we got into our golfland, a crowd of onlookers stared with awe (looking very zombie-like with the dim, florescent lighting of this place) at the very large SSF2 Turbo machine. As I got closer to the machine, I was unaware that the audience was simply watching a Ryu Vs Ryu fight. So, after one of the Ryu players wins (stay with my peoples...I'm almost at the good part), I was expecting a masterful Ken, or even a good Fei Long...instead, another guy jumps in and plays Ryu. After standing for about fifteen minutes watching Ryu Vs Ryu match, after Ryu Vs Ryu match, after Ryu Vs Ryu match, I was able to leave the hypnotized crowd disenchanted and disappointed. To this day many of my friends tell me that forsaking SSF2 Turbo is a heresy beyond measure of punishment, claiming it was the best of the Street Fighter series. Perhaps... but the Samurai Shodown gods had other things planned for me.

As I wandered around the golfland complex (and watched with dissatisfaction at the number of kids running to where the SSF2 Turbo machine was), a bright flash of light caught the corner of my eye. The source of this illumination was a monitor displaying a two-handed swordsman performing a spectacular uppercut move upon a ninja dressed and blue? Okay, now I had to check this out...not just for the cool looking move, but just to check if I'm going color blind. As I approached the machine, and let the former Galford-user pass to get more tokens, I noticed the name of the game...Samurai Shodown. My first thought? Why the heck can't these Japanese programmers learn how to spell?!? Knowing full well how long my pals would be spending their time playing SSF2 Turbo, I decided, "what the hell", plopped in the token, chose Jubei (I'm a Miyamoto Musashi fan), and became enraptured with the lush graphics, vivd colors, unique characters, wild special moves, and excellent music. I was thinking to myself, "I found an extremely fun and original fighting game that NO ONE ELSE KNOWS ABOUT?!?" I didn't know how popular Samurai Shodown would become, but for the next four hours, I spent oodles upon oodles of tokens figuring out Jubei's Nikkakuratoh Kai (Rising Sword Charge for those that don't remember), Tam Tam's Comet of Death (yeah, yeah...I couldn't remember the name to this one), getting Nak on her bird, and Ukyo's Tsumabe Gaeshi (Swallow Slice). And after that night, I was baptized into the Samurai Shodown light, forever becoming a devoted fan of the series, more so than Street Fighter (that is until Samurai Shodown 64 came along, but I'll leave that for another day).

I could ramble on about the glorious days of my college years as a freshman playing Samurai Shodown everyday against bigger football players that could move mountains, my discovery of the "Nakoruru Vs Wan Fu" bug, or the theory on how Haohmaru would whip Ryu's heiny if they ever fought. I could rant for weeks about the superiority of Samurai Shodown II, the discovery of "air-catching" with Jubei, my 52 Wins in a row, and my claim that Jubei IS better than Ukyo is SS2 ( I get these flights of fancy that border on insanity from time to t ime). I could go on and tell you about the wonders of Samurai Shodown 3, my match against Red Fox's Nakoruru at the SS3 tourney, and the knowledge of infinite combos that would destroy my interest in SS3. I could go on and on about the waiting and discovery of Samurai Shodown 4, the praise of the gaming gods for returning Jubei, and the theory that Sogetsu "could" be more powerful than SS2 Ukyo (Yes, I know... "INCONCEIVABLE!"). And don't get me started on Samurai Shodown 64, since I'm a solid believer that Samurai Shodown should remain a 2D fighting game. I have many things to write about the whole Samurai Shodown series, but it would all lead to the same point. The Samurai Shodown series is a fighting dynasty that should never be forgotten. While you may scoff at me and say " how could we ever forget Samurai Shodown?", it's very easy to be distracted from this memorable series with the techno wizardry that Namco, Capcom, and Sega display with their fighting games. I would also note that I never knew about the Samurai Shodown Forever website until about two months ago and it was only through pure luck that I found it. It's shocking how many Samurai Shodown websites have died (Red Fox's is gone, Damone's barely up, Ed Ju's page is gone... ) and an indication that many have lost their Samurai Shodown memories. So, to all you old Samurai Shodown players that don't play Samurai Shodown anymore, here's that imaginary "slap in the face"! Go back to those Samurai Shodown machines, hunt down old friends to play, and get "good" translations (anything this is opposite of the SS3 translation for the PS) for your consoles. And I'll bet you'll re-discover Samurai Shodown much like the way you did the first time around. It's funny that after my first time playing Samurai Shodown, my arcade buddies wondered what the hell I was playing for four hours. I didn't say, but a week later, one of them called me up to tell me about some great new fighting game with swords called Samurai something. And all I could do was smile for the rest of the day.

Good games should never die... and great games, like Samurai Shodown, should never be forgotten.

C.K.'s Note

The SS64 series nowadays maybe a bit on the down side, but the glorious days of the old SS games are unforgettable...... (sob, sob).

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