Samurai Shodown RPG
Image: SNK

Update [Thu 30th Nov, 2023 10:00 GMT]: The English translation for Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits Bushidō Retsuden is now available.

Translator Jeff Nussbaum has issued the following statement on the project:

Here it is... version 1.0 of the long-awaited English translation of Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits Bushido Retsuden, better known outside of Japan as "Samurai Shodown RPG," with its new localized title of "Samurai Shodown: Tales of the Bushido." My white whale has finally been slain.

The translation features:

  • 100% complete translation to English
  • Bug fixes from the original Japanese, like some character portraits not being displayed
  • A healthy amount of original art, including a new font & title screen by combustocrat
  • Quality of Life improvements, which can be toggled via soft DIPs, but are enabled by default in US/EU mode, or disabled for JP mode.
  • Choose between the Neo*Geo CD or the PS1/Saturn version of the elements system
  • Improved potency of permanent stat boost items
  • Improved potency of Repellent item (lowers encounter rate)
  • Selectable alternate palettes. Hold D while pressing A when confirming any character selection until you hear a chime!

Original Story [Mon 27th Mar, 2023 09:30 BST]: SNK's Samurai Shodown series has been thrilling fighting game fans for decades, but the company also tried to branch out the franchise into the world of RPGs, resulting in 1997's Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits Bushidō Retsuden.

Initially announced in 1995 as a Neo Geo CD exclusive, when it launched two years later, it was also made available on the PlayStation and Saturn. Each version is slightly different, but all have one thing in common: they never made it out of Japan (despite apparent plans to localise for a North American release).

There have been attempts by fans over the years to translate the game unofficially, but these have come to nothing. However, this particular stab (no pun intended) might fare much better. The person doing the heavy lifting here is The Price of Reason, a Samurai Shodown fan and historian. "Yes, I am translating Samurai Shodown RPG," reads his Twitter bio. "It'll be done when it's done."

He adds that this isn't a 'new' project, as such, but one which has been in the works for 15 years:

Are you looking forward to finally getting to play this slice (again, no pun intended) of Samurai Shodown history? Let us know with a comment below.