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"My quest will not end until I have perfected the way of the sword."
— Haohmaru

Haohmaru (覇王丸, Haōmaru; also can be written as "Haoumaru") is the titular protagonist of SNK's Samurai Shodown series and one of the series's most known characters, the other being Nakoruru.

Haohmaru was released in Soulcalibur VI as a DLC guest fighter for Season Pass 2 on March 31, 2020.

His nickname is Ronin Vagabond.

Biography

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 Caffeine and became one of his students alongside his rival Genjuro Kibagami, whom Haohmaru considered him as a friend, but Genjuro does not consider him one and the latter got expelled by their master when he almost killed Haohmaru during certain training sessions.

When Amakusa appeared back into the world, Haohmaru set out to kill him as he was a strong opponent. He would succeed in killing Amakusa with help from Nakoruru, Hanzo HattoriGalford D. WellerCharlotte, and Ukyo Tachibana. The same year, he ran into Shizumaru Hisame whose village was destroyed by the demon Zankuro Minazuki. He took care of Shizumaru and helped him find Zankuro.

Two years before his encounters with the two said supernatural villains, these aren’t the first times where Haohmaru encountered supernatural incidents, the first is helping Yoshitora Tokugawa to fulfill the fallen Gaoh’s last wish to lead Japan for better future, then gets involved with an incident caused by Shizuka Gōzen.

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 Rashojin but was saved by Amakusa. With help from Nakoruru, he was able to defeat Mizuki and seal off Makai, preventing Ambrosia from destroying the world.

Physical Appearance

Haohmaru is a muscular well-built man with wild long black hair tied into a large mane.

Personality

Confident in his abilities, Haohmaru enjoys the thrill of fighting against strong opponents. Seeking enlightenment with each encounter, he constantly journeys in order to improve himself. As he gets older, he feels less inclined to fight and will try to avoid it if possible.

Outside of battle, Haohmaru is a crude but easy-going man, caring only for sake and food. He has a romantic interest in a simple girl named Oshizu ("O" added as a honorific prefix).

Costumes

Haohmaru's first costume is his classic appearance in all of the Samurai Shodown games, sans from PlayStation Classic’s Warriors Rage. He wears a white sleeveless outfit with black trimmings and red tape around his wrists

His second outfit recolors his outfit red resembling one of his alternate color schemes from his home series.

His third outfit recolors his outfit blue, yet another color option from his series.

His fourth outfit gives him a black outfit and white hair, resembling a Malfested version of himself, possibly loosely based on his Bust variation, Rasetsumaru.

Fighting Style

Haohmaru was originally trained by the master swordsman Nicotine Caffeine, but Haohmaru eventually developed his own techniques to create a wholly unique and powerful fighting style that was his own. So strong were his blows that they warranted tales of his strength, some saying he could cut down the supernatural or even mountains in one fell swoop, which was complemented by the heavy weight and density of his sword, Fugudoku.

Haohmaru's fighting style is faithfully recreated from his original series, bringing forth mechanics such as his Power Slash, Max Rage and Rage Explosion, triggered when his health reaches critical and empowers his moves. His one stance allows him to fight bare handed and even parry attacks. He is also one of the few characters with a projectile and uniquely gains homing properties when Soul Charged. He also has a number of attacks that involve quick slaps from his gourd and in a few instances, can drink from it to regain a small bit of health. While often compared to Mitsurugi, the two could not be anymore different. Whereas Mitsurugi was fluid with multiple stances and described as a more standard character, Haohmaru is rigid but powerful with his single unorthodox style that works best countering and punishing attacks.

Critical Edge

  • Judgment Blast Slash: Delivers a series of five Kogetsu Zan slashes, before delivering a powerful Kogetsu Zan.
  • Flame of the Conqueror: Performs a powerful slash that knocks his opponent down. Can only be triggered when he's in Max Rage or Rage Explosion.
  • Lightning Blade: Performs a lighting fast slash right through his opponent, rendering the screen in a black and white filter with the background a pure white

Weapons

Stages

Quotes

Soulcalibur VI

  • "Got my sword and my sauce!" — Character Select, 1P
  • "Yeah, my time to shine!" — Character Select, 2P
  • "Let's cut right to it!"
  • "I'll show you true swordsmanship!"
  • "Come at me!"
  • "Wanna kill me...? Give it a try!"
  • "I know you! Heard you were tough!" — spoken when starting a fight against Mitsurugi
  • "Oh yeah! Demon slaying time!" — spoken when starting a fight against Nightmare, Inferno, Astaroth or Cervantes
  • "Yesss! You didn't stand a chance!"
  • "Remember the name Haohmaru in the afterlife!"
  • "I won't settle for anything less than number one!"
  • "Sorry, but holding back's not my thing."
  • "You fought well! Glad I'd came all the way out here!" — spoken after defeating Mitsurugi
  • "As long as there are fierce warriors, there's Haohmaru." — spoken after defeating Nightmare, Inferno, Astaroth or Cervantes
  • "Here's where... you'll lose!"
  • "Saw it coming!"
  • "Say hi to Death for me!"
  • "This is too much fun!"
  • "Show me what you've got!"
  • "What a letdown."
  • "Hell of a hairstyle you've got there!" — Reversal Edge against Maxi
  • "Time to go wild!"
  • "This is it!" — spoken before "Lightning Blade" Critical Edge
  • "This is what it means to be a warrior." — spoken after "Lightning Blade" Critical Edge KO's an opponent
  • "Zero-shiki!"
  • "Kogetsuzan!"
  • "Senpu!
  • "Retsuzan!"
  • "No getting away!"
  • "That's what I'm talking about!" — activating Soul Charge
  • "Woah! Now I'm fired up!" — activating Rage Explosion
  • "Hyaaa! No more games!" — activating Rage Explosion
  • "Think fast!" — spoken before Critical Edge
  • "Tenha...Fujin Zan!" — spoken during Critical Edge
  • "Yeah!" — spoken after Critical Edge doesn't KO an opponent
  • "Not good enough!" — spoken after Critical Edge doesn't KO an opponent
  • "Whew. Worked up a good sweat." — spoken after Critical Edge KO's an opponent
  • "Try some of this!" — spoken during "Flame of the Conqueror" Critical Edge
  • "Don't think so!" — spoken during Guard Impact
  • "It ends now!"
  • "Not even close."
  • "Not impressed."
  • "Not getting away!"
  • "Hey! Not half bad." — Taunt
  • "I've never seen weapons like that before." — taunting Azwel

Trivia

  • Haohmaru is the third guest character to be appearing in the Soulcalibur VI. And 13th overall licensed-guest character.
  • Haohmaru is the very first character hailing from SNK to be featured in Soulcalibur VI.
  • Much like his Bandai Namco counterpart, Mitsurugi, Haohmaru has always been a sole staple veteran fighter within his home series since debuting in the series' first game, and being a ronin as well.
  • This Haohmaru is mostly from the era prior to the storylines depicted in classic 3D arena fighting games: the Hyper Neo Geo 64 games and the PlayStation sequel, Warriors Rage.
  • He is both first known 2D fighting game guest character to appear and third-party fighting game guest character at the same time, and second original fighting game guest character since the now late-Heihachi Mishima.
  • With his appearance in Soulcalibur VI, it marks as the first time Haohmaru is voiced in English (though this is technically the second because of Samurai Shodown: The Motion Picture).
  • He is the first male guest who can customize his outfit, thus, becoming the second guest to do so since 2B.
  • His pack comes with Nakoruru costume set, allowing players to be able to re-create her as a pseudo-guest.
  • In Soul series, Haohmaru can gain his home series’ traditional extra rage boost and new attack(s) at 25% in the same time, similar case as 2B, Kilik and Siegfried.
  • Unlike other characters, Haohmaru's alternate weapons are all recolored variations of Fugudoku, making him the only character to appear in the Soul series whose weapons are mere palette swaps. To this end, only the original Fugudoku has an entry in the Weapon Gallery.
    • The Earth variation of Fugudoku however is based on the Yoto: Torikabuto used by Rasetsumaru, his Bust/heel variation from Samurai Shodown V.
  • Unlike the other two guests in Soulcalibur VI, Haohmaru has 4 costume colors in pre-selection.

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