Samurai Shodown VI/FAQ
Samurai Shodown VI (2005) is the sequel to Samurai Shodown V Special (2004). Both games were developed by SNK Playmore and Yuki Enterprise. With minor exceptions, Samurai Shodown VI has made an effort to clean up much of the jank from the previous entry, with many deceptive properties of moves being tweaked out, defense values modified to be less extreme and hoption selects being gone for good. Along with other major changes like milder damage output and looser execution requirements, particularly for certain cancel windows and special inputs, these changes make the game less volatile and allow for much cleaner play.
The most notable addition to Samurai Shodown VI is its Spirit selection. This was informed by the Groove system of Capcom vs. SNK 2 (2001), insofar that the features of each Spirit have been informed by the mechanics of prior entries, and would later inspire the Arcana system of Arcana Heart (2006) as a means of balancing characters through selectable subsystems. The most effective Spirits overall are IV Spirit for its reliable hit confirms into high damage and VI Spirit for its offensive meter build and unlimited Rage duration. However, some characters benefit more from the perks of other Spirits. For characters who take a while to build Rage and who often find themselves far away from the opponent, V Spirit is usually preferred so that Rage can be meditated away for State Of Nothingness instead of going to waste. For close-range characters with good supers, II Spirit is a fine choice for its roll cancels, weapon-breaking WFTs and access to Secret Moves once per match. I Spirit trades WFT usage and extra movement options for raw power, which can be viable for bruisers who don't need their WFTs. III Spirit is the most situational, as its air parry and manual Rage build can come in handy but Rage not carrying over between rounds restricts its use for characters who take a long time to build it.
Samurai Shodown VI is a non-canonical entry, with the premise being that Yoshitora has organised a tournament to find the strongest fighter in the world. The game has spurred controversy for its removal of gore, with blood effects being replaced with fireworks to match the festival theme, dismemberments being removed entirely and Kusaregedo's armed win pose being censored. The formerly-unreleased Samurai Shodown V Perfect (2020) was intended as a prequel to Samurai Shodown VI, with the ending dialogue for each character alluding to their appearance in the next game. Some V Perfect-exclusive colors for characters have been reused for VI.
If you are reading this, chances are you've spent a decent amount of time playing Samurai Shodown V Special, Samurai Shodown (2019) or some other similar entry. You may be interested in what makes Samurai Shodown VI unique from other entries, or may be confused by aspects of the game which feel weird or off. Below is a list of general system changes from Samurai Shodown V Special to Samurai Shodown VI:
- The game has throw techs. Furthermore throw followups are automatic, even when unarmed.
- You may tech command throws using B+C, but not with a command throw of your own. Player 2 will always win a command throw exchange.
- WFTs and Secret Moves both have a super flash and a brief pause before the attack commences.
- Your time in Rage is marked by a visible timer where your meter usually is, similar to Samurai Shodown (2019) in its current state.
- In the event of a weapon clash, both characters are sent into a recovery animation which lasts quickly. This cannot be recoil cancelled.
- Similar to Samurai Shodown (1993) and Samurai Shodown (2019), disarmed weapons stay where they are on the ground and do not move with the screen.
- Damage has been toned down significantly. Even Enja's Heaven's Glow only does about 40% on average. This theoretically gives the defendent more opportunities to escape pressure.
- Plenty of standing and crouching slashes that couldn't recoil on block before will now do so, while there is no running slash in the game which will recoil on block anymore.
- The Weapon Gauge takes longer to fully refill, but attacks such as Zankuro's heavy slashes will drain less of it.
- Chip damage still only does about one pixel per hit, but because your lifebar is longer this means chip damage is generally less threatening. You still take chip damage when blocking weapon attacks unarmed.
- Moves with guard points such as Yoshitora's 421S and Suija's j623S will no longer bypass chip damage.
- You will automatically block the next hit(s) of a true blockstring if you had blocked the first hit. This will also protect you from mid-string crossups.
- Certain characters do not run, but instead have step dashes when one inputs 66. These include Amakusa, Gaira, Gen-An, Iroha, Kusaregedo, Kyoshiro and Tam Tam. Curiously, Gaira's console-only headswap Kim Ung Che has a run instead of a step dash. Just like backdashes, these step dashes are aerial and are thus susceptible to air throws, but they can not be cancelled into air specials.
- Runstop can be cancelled instantly into a jump, making special moves with up inputs impossible to buffer through a runstop. Additionally, touching an opponent will not end your run.
- Your input directions do not change at any point in your jump, even if you have crossed over an opponent.
- There is a new movement option available to some characters: Triangle Get Off, which is essentially a wall jump but your character falls instead of jumps. Everyone with a Triangle Jump has access to this new manuever.
- Crossups are now possible in the corner, though certain matchups may make this difficult with interference from wide collision boxes.
- You are unable to delay your wakeup (unless you are running VII Spirit, which is console-exclusive), and there is no holding left or right to control where you roll. Instead of the traditional wakeup roll system, Samurai Shodown VI adopts tech rolls where one must tap the E button right as they hit the ground, or 4E if they wish to roll back a greater distance. The timing is rather precise so you would do well to get it down. There is a bit of strike vulnerability after recovering from a short roll, which can be exploited easily by strong meaty attacks such as Sieger's Vulcan Weinen. Long rolls are vulnerable to throws and command throws and will send you a great distance back from the opponent, which may be good or bad depending on your character and how close you are to the wall behind you. The presence of tech rolls means that guaranteed pursuit followups are very, very rare.
- There are no high/low pursuits anymore. Instead, there is only one type of pursuit (3C), which is mainly used to counter opponents who won't tech roll. These can be performed even when you're unarmed. There are very few situations where pursuits are guaranteed, usually against hard knockdowns. In the arcade version, there is a glitch where Iroha, Gaira and Mizuki can combo from their pursuits into their command grabs. This was fixed in the console releases but may be re-enabled by setting the game mode to Arcade.
- Universal overheads are gone, but some characters retain their old ones as command normals.
- Certain attacks have greater juggle potential. Mina's 6C, for instance, will launch the opponent and allow for realistic followups.
- A deflected slash attack will yield the exact same amount of time to punish no matter the strength of attack, and furthermore deflecting an opponent's heavy slash will not disarm them. However, deflecting the I Spirit-exclusive Hyper Slash will disarm the opponent.
- Aerial slashes can no longer be deflected.
- Counter hits will reward you with extra frame advantage, but no extra damage.
- Deephits can still be earned by hitting a crouching opponent, but no longer through hitting the opponent deep into your jump, though aerial heavy slashes generally have enough hitstun that they can link into a close medium slash or something similarly fast. Instead, deephits can be achieved through hitting an opponent while they're vulnerable to counter hits.
- You will be stuck in blockstun for longer if you are crouching - typically for five extra frames, or ten against Hyper Slash. Hitstun will not change. Nakoruru, Rimururu and Sankuro have their crouching blockstun lessened by three frames.
- After recovering, there is one frame where you are only able to block, but are immune to throws. After this, you are completely actionable. As this leaves you vulnerable to meaty unblockables, the only way to escape them is to tech roll if possible.
- You are no longer able to Hara-Kiri.
- 41 playable characters.
- Six selectable Spirits: I, II, III, IV, V and VI.
- Murasaki Nakoruru is a hidden character who requires a code to be unlocked.
- Sugoroku is the only sub-boss one may encounter in Arcade Mode.
- 0 Spirit is exclusive to Makai Gaoh who is unplayable.
- The OTG command grab glitch is present. During the game's run at Tougeki '06, Gaira and Mizuki players were forbidden from following up their command grabs with any OTG attack.
- Seven extra characters.
- EX versions of Yoshitora, Mina, Yunfei and Kusaregedo.
- Three extra Spirits: 0, VII and VIII.
- Murasaki Nakoruru and the console-exclusive characters are unlockable in the standalone Japanese PS2 version, but are available by default in every other release.
- Kuroko may also appear as a sub-boss in Arcade Mode with different requirements to Sugoroku.
- The OTG command grab glitch is disabled by default but can be toggled by setting the game mode to Arcade.
- Options for both original and arranged soundtracks and voices. Most characters have received new voices in the shift from arcade to console.
- The descriptions for each Spirit have been given new translations. Notably, the typo of Spesial to denote E-button actions has been corrected to Special.
- Each release contains a training mode, a survival mode, a Spirit editor for use with VIII Spirit, a color editor and a gallery which contains all endings, a sound test and illustrations. Curiously, Iroha's themes come with an option to display lyrics, complete with a tracker.
The most common console release of Samurai Shodown VI is that which is included in Samurai Shodown Anthology, available on the Wii, PS2 and PSP. In addition to Samurai Shodown VI, each version contains emulated versions of Samurai Shodown I, II, III, IV and V, which have received bug fixes such as Jubei's unarmed high pursuit in Samurai Shodown V no longer crashing the game. As Samurai Shodown V Special was originally intended to be a send-off for the Neo Geo, it was not included in this release. Censorship measures taken in wake of the then-recent Sasebo slashing may have also been a factor, given the various glitches introduced as a result of their implementation.
The Wii version features an additional minigame featuring Shikuru, Poppy, Pak Pak and Chample. Hikyaku and Mamahaha will throw random items onto the stage, which you can collect by tilting the Wiimote left and right and jumping with the 1 and 2 buttons. Food will restore health, money will give points and everything else will subtract health or hinder you in some way. The objective is to raise your character's health to 100% within the time limit. Each successive stage will decrease the time limit and the amount of life you start with while adjusting the frequency of item tosses. Each character represents a separate difficulty setting, having successively smaller hitboxes for item collection while being more unwieldly to control. This minigame features a scoring system and a leaderboard.
Modern Tier Lists
The following tier lists are the most up-to-date:
- S: Shizumaru, Kazuki
- A+: Cham Cham, Rera, Iroha
- A: Ukyo, Sieger, Nicotine, Basara, Mina, Amakusa
- B+: Haohmaru, Galford, Gen-An, Wan-Fu, Sogetsu, Gaira, Suija, Enja, Yumeji, Mizuki, Zankuro
- B: Nakoruru, Hanzo, Charlotte, Earthquake, Rimururu, Rasetsumaru, Yoshitora, Yunfei, Sankuro, Andrew, Sugoroku, Gaoh, Ocha-Maro (↑)
- C: Kyoshiro, Genjuro, Kusaregedo (↑)
- D: Jubei, Tam Tam (↓)
- S: Mina, Amakusa, Iroha, Kazuki, Shizumaru, Kuroko, EX Yunfei, Rera
- S-: Cham Cham, Zankuro, Charlotte, Basara, Ukyo, Mizuki, EX Yoshitora
- A: Sogetsu, Sieger, Andrew, Rasetsumaru, Rimururu, Suija, Enja, Gaoh, Sankuro, Nicotine, Yumeji, Rasetsu Galford, Hanzo, Galford, Gen-An, EX Mina, Yoshitora, Yunfei
- B: Haohmaru, Kyoshiro, Sugoroku, Ocha-Maro, Wan-Fu, Nakoruru, Earthquake, Genjuro, Gaira
- D: Jubei, Kusaregedo, EX Kusaregedo, Tam Tam, Pak Pak, Poppy, Shikuru Mamahaha, Chample, Kim Ung Che
Old Tier Lists
The following tier lists are old, but are here for archival purposes:
- S: Mina, Shizumaru, Amakusa, Iroha
- A: Galford, Mizuki, Cham Cham, Kazuki, Sogetsu, Gaoh, Zankuro, Haohmaru, Ukyo
- B: Rera, Sieger, Hanzo, Yumeji, Rasetsumaru, Enja, Gen-An
- C: Andrew, Ocha-Maro, Yunfei, Kusaregedo, Sankuro, Suija, Nicotine, Rimururu, Gaira, Basara
- D: Charlotte, Sugoroku, Kyoshiro, Jubei, Tam Tam
- E: Genjuro, Earthquake, Nakoruru, Wan-Fu, Yoshitora
- S++: Kuroko
- S+: Mina, Amakusa, EX Yoshitora, EX Yunfei
- S: Mizuki, EX Mina, Rera, Shizumaru, Yunfei, Kazuki
- A: Everyone else
- D: Murasaki Nakoruru (she is slightly faster), Tam Tam
- E: Genjuro, Nakoruru, Wan-Fu
- Basically everyone else in the game falls in A Class (Zankuro, Gaoh, Haohmaru, Galford, Hanzo, Yumeji, Ukyo, Charlotte, Sieger etc). You have a few discussions changing from A Class downwards, but for the most part it is a pretty well balanced game. All the A Class can certainly compete against the S Class in this game
Tier List #1
- S: Mina, Shizumaru, Amakusa, Iroha
- A: Kazuki, Sogetsu, Cham Cham, Gaoh, Zankuro, Haohmaru, Ukyo, Galford, Mizuki
- B: Hanzo, Yumeji, Rasetsumaru, Enja, Gen-An, Rera, Sieger
- C: Suija, Nicotine, Sankuro, Basara, Andrew, Ocha-Maro, Gaira
- D: Rimururu, Sugoroku, Jubei, Yunfei, Tam Tam, Kyoshiro, Charlotte
- E: Genjuro, Yoshitora, Wan-Fu, Kusaregedo, Earthquake, Nakoruru
Tier List #2
- S+: Mina
- S: Amakusa, Iroha, Shizumaru, Kazuki
- A: Galford, Mizuki, Cham Cham, Sogetsu, Gaoh, Zankuro, Haohmaru, Ukyo, Yunfei, Enja
- B: Rera, Sieger, Hanzo, Yumeji, Rasetsumaru, Andrew, Rimururu
- C: Ocha-Maro, Kusaregedo, Gen-An, Sankuro, Suija, Nicotine, Gaira, Basara
- D: Charlotte, Sugoroku, Kyoshiro, Jubei
- E: Genjuro, Earthquake, Nakoruru, Tam Tam, Wan-Fu, Yoshitora
- S: Mina (V), Kazuki (IV), Amakusa (VI), Iroha (IV)
- A: Shizumaru (V), Sogetsu (IV), Ukyo (IV), Mizuki (VI), Andrew (V), Gen-An (V)
- B: Rasetsumaru (VI), Rera (V), Galford (IV/V), Rimururu (IV), Gaoh (IV), Wan-Fu (IV/VI), Sieger (IV)
- C: Suija (V), Nicotine (IV/V), Sankuro (IV), Enja (I), Ocha-Maro (III), Zankuro (V), Yunfei (V), Hanzo (IV/VI), Nakoruru (V), Charlotte (I/IV)
- D: Gaira (III), Jubei (V), Yumeji (IV/V), Basara (V), Genjuro (IV), Yoshitora (IV/V), Sugoroku (IV)
- E: Tam Tam (V), Kusaregedo (III), Earthquake (IV/VI), Haohmaru (V/VI), Cham Cham (IV/V), Kyoshiro (IV)
- Notes: Characters are listed in their best grooves.
- Purple Nakoruru shares spot with Nakoruru, being a palette swap.
- Not included are all the console-exclusive characters (Rasetsu Galford, Kim Ung Che, Poppy, Shikuru & Mamahaha, Paku Paku, Champuru)
- Rasetsu Galford is broken so he would be in God Tier obviously; and the animals seems to be all weak since they're unable to block.