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

May Editorial

If it Wasn't for Samurai Shodown
by Shawn Holmes

If I told you Samurai Shodown was an incredibly fun fighting game, you probably wouldn't have any reason to doubt me (especially if you'd played it). But if I told you that Samurai Shodown single-handedly changed my life forever, you probably be dumbstruck.

Well, it's true.

And it's quite an amazing story, if you want to hear it. It began in 1992 when I first plopped down $500 Canadian for a used Neo*Geo and a copy of World Heroes 2. I ordered the system from DieHard games, which would go on to be my focal game-ordering company for Neo*Geo titles. It was costly, but I was addicted... I couldn't afford to drive 30+ kilometeres it was to the nearest arcade every day (I lived in Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada, and the closest arcade was in Nanaimo), so I figured this was the best use I could put my money to. I was 18.

It wasn't long before Samurai Shodown was released, and I immediately bonded with the character of Hattori Hanzo. I had soon purchased it for my home system, and began eagerly anticipating the release of 2. This was at the same time I was attending Malaspina College in Nanaimo. A friend of mine ran up to me in the library and said "Hey, check this out... it's the complete movelist for that new Samurai game". Sure, he opened up about 30 pages of printed paper... all detailing the moves. I asked him where he got it and he said, "Off the 'Net! You have to get an account!". It turned out that our computer lab had a simple VAX VMS connection to the 'Net. Limited email and a small Usenet was about all there was access to. But I found my way on, and found, and sure enough, found the Samurai Shodown FAQ. The author, Galen Komatsu, was a resident of Hawaii, and was the very first person I ever sent an email to.

He taught me a lot about getting used to the 'Net at first, and after talking with him for several months, I offered to do the SS2 FAQ. Soon, SS2 was out, plugged into my home system, and within 24 hours, the TAPFAQ was released at v1.0. I continued on with my love for SS, and wrote up the TAPFAQ for SS3 when it came along.

By this time, I had spent so much time on the 'Net, that I had been given a lot of opportunities to meet people. One of the people was Dave Kirsch (who is credited in both FAQs). He approached me, asking if he could hosts my FAQs on his Gaming FTP site. I obliged, and we struck up another friendship. He soon invited me over to his home in Vancouver for Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat and, of course, Samurai Shodown.

Well, it turned out that Dave was more than a game fanatic... he was, by trade, a computer programmer/network administrator for a Vancouver ISP. It was Dave that really saw my computer skills and potential, and suggested I try out for various computing jobs where I lived. I did, and scored a technical support position at an ISP in Nanaimo. It was September of 1995, and of course, the new version of Windows had just been released, and it was difficult to find well-versed users of it. Luckily, Dave had shown me a thing or two, and that's what secured my position.

At the same time, Netscape 2.0 had just been released, and I made my first attempts at web development. Although pretty sad at first, I quickly learned the tricks, and was putting out some nice pages. It was long before I felt pretty confident at web page design. By this time, I had met a "girlfriend" on the 'Net, who just happened to live in Denver, Colorado. I took a plunge and moved down to be with her. We were soon married and had a child. We expect our 2nd any day now. I worked another Technical Support position in Denver for a short time, until an ISP took me on as a professional Internet Systems Developer. I got a lot of experience which I then turned around and applied to an even greater position as Webmaster for a Software Development company in Boulder. I remain at that position to this day.

I don't get the chance to play SS too much anymore; most of my time is dedicated to the computer game Quake/Quake II. Galen Komatsu is still living in Hawaii, and is still a regular poster to Dave Kirsch now works for id Software, the developers of Quake. But sometimes I will pull out the ol' game and have a match or two with my friends. It certainly brings back memories. I'm excited about where SS64 has gone and what may come with SS5. And my fellow peers still recognize and acknowledge me by my original nickname: "Hanzo".

"Samurai Shodown Forever" is a non-profit fan site. Samurai Shodown, Samurai Showdown, Samurai Spirits are Copyrights of SNK. Most of the images here are taken from SNK homepage. No part of this webpage may be reproduced in any form or by any means, without permission from C.K. Gan. This page is best view with I.E. 5 or Netscape 4 at 800*600