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Haohmaru is the original protagonist of the Samurai Shodown series and rival of Genjuro. He uses the traditional katana in battles, and always carries a canteen of sake with him. His "mentor" is none other than Nicotine. Haohmaru is based on a real samurai, Miyamoto Musashi, who lived from 1584 to 1645.

Haohmaru is a lone samurai who travels to perfect his skills. Back when he was much younger, he challenged Jubei and got defeated badly. Since then, he left his village to challenge strong opponents to refine his skills. During his travels, he met Nicotine and became one of his students. When Amakusa appeared back into the world, Haohmaru set out to kill Amakusa as he was a strong opponent. He killed Amakusa with help from Nakoruru, Hanzo, Galford, Charlotte and Ukyo.

The same year, he ran into Shizumaru who's village was destroyed by the demon Zankuro. He took care of Shizumaru and helped him find Zankuro. A year later, he was attacked by a demon possessed man during his sleep. Haohmaru easily kills the attacker and tells Nicotine about the attack. Nicotine warns Haohmaru that he must not get involved with the demons. But Haohmaru ignores the warning and sets out to kill the source of the attack. During his travel, he was attacked by Mizuki but was saved by Amakusa. With help from Nakoruru, he was able to defeat Mizuki and seal off Makai.

  A year later, he is the target of demons once again. Haohmaru's body is half of what is needed to restore power to the "Dark god" of Makai. Shiki is the other half. In the end, Haohmaru with help from Nakoruru and Rimururu kills Yuga and free's Shiki's soul from Yuga's hands. But shortly after, Yuga revives herself and captures both Haohmaru and Shiki. Haohmaru became Yuga's slave and guarded the entrance to Yuga's cave. He was freed from Yuga's hands when the two Asura's defeated Yuga. He settled into Nicotine's temple and adopted Shiki and Asura's daughter. Mikoto is Haohmaru's niece.
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Samurai Shodown

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Samurai Shodown 2, Samurai Shodown 3, Samurai Shodown 4, Samurai Shodown 5, Samurai Shodown 5 Special, Samurai Shodown 6, Samurai Shodown: Warrior's Rage, Samurai Shodown 64, Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage, Samurai Shodown Sen, Samurai Shodown (2019), Samurai Shodown: Pocket, Samurai Shodown 2! Pocket, Card Fighters Clash, Card Fighters Clash 2, Card Fighters Clash DS, SNK Vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, Capcom Vs. SNK 2, NeoGeo Battle Coliseum, Soul Calibur VI, The King of Fighters XV


Page Updated:  Nov. 8th, 2023

Haohmaru is a badass portrayal of Mayamoto Mushashi, making him an instant classic fighting game character and charismatic hero for the Samurai Shodown series. He shares an obvious likeness to Ryu in a few ways, most notably how his moves are performed, which in itself is another interesting aspect about his design. However, Haoh's moveset was fleshed out nicely over the years, as he is a fun character to use in nearly every game he appeared in (like Ryu)! He also gives Goku's hairstyle a run for its money. Haohmaru's hair game is top tier. His hair seemed to get longer and crazier with each sequel.

As a design, Haohmaru's cocky, over-confident personality was always entertaining in the series... especially since he has the skills to back it up. (Nobody can throw and catch a sword in its sheath like Haohmaru!) No doubt Haohmaru was the inspiration of Mitsurugi's 2nd player outfit in SoulCalibur 2 - an what an awesome thing to see him become a SoulCalibur character in SC6. Namco did an amazing job there, rivaling Capcom's badass CVS2 incarnation of him. In closing, Haohmaru is simply a badass samurai, and he knows it. A classic and timeless fighting game hero right here!

Fighting  Style  /  Moveset
Personality  /  Charisma
Outfit(s)  /  Appearance
Effectiveness  in  series
Overall Score






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