Samurai Shodown (Samurai Spirits in Japan) is the name of a fighting game series by SNK.
Despite the name of the series, most of the characters are not samurai in the true sense of the word. In Japan, the name of the series is officially in katakana, but is often written in kanji (侍魂, samurai tamashii), with the second character pronounced supirittsu, “spirits”, to better reflect the game’s setting.
The earlier arcade games are also notorious for their poorly translated English, such as the word ‘victoly’ which appears at the end of each match. As with many game titles developed in Japan, Samurai Spirits had its name changed for other regions.
The stories in the series take place in 18th-century Japan, during the Sakoku or seclusion period of Japan, (the first four games run across 1788 and 1789) with great artistic license so that foreign-born characters (including some from places that didn’t exist as such in 1788) and fictional monsters can also be part of the story. The plot of each game is quite different, but they circle a central group of characters and a region in Japan.
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Official Site: SNK
Links: Wikipedia Samurai Games Wikia Samurai Shodown