Bushido Blade Player's Guide
Leif Powers
Stock e-mail address: LEPmf@yahoo.com
Version 3.2
May 16, 2003

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This guide should help you cope with some of the issues that
a beginner could very well face in this game. It may also enlighten
you extremely in certain areas of play. However,
this isn't a guide to teach you to play at an expert level: given
my lack of local competition (I know, it's not my fault...:), and
thus, my relative lack of experience, I don't want to tell you
something terribly wrong.

1. Where do I begin?
2. Now that I can see past my face...
3. Bushido Blade Damage and Rules of Fighting
4. My General Fighting Strategies
5. My Weapon Tactics
6. Stance Properties
7. Crippled/Ground Fighting
8. Stages
9. Totally Subjective Observations
10. Hints for Hunting
11. Slash (Chambara) Mode
12. Secrets and Other Stuff (Including the Katze mess)
13. Credits for all Involved Parties
14. Heretofore and forthwith, the obligatory Disclaimer
15. Guide Questions and Feedback
16. How To Get And How To Use
17. New Stuff In Current Version

1.Where do I begin?

	Well, whatever character you choose, you will be in a half-cage (Yahiro
Road), with a path leading to trees. One opponent will be before you. Now, you've
got 2 options. Kill all these people who come one at a time, or run to the well.
If you wish to spill blood ASAP, just defeat all these opponents here and
you will advance to fight more and, if you complete this quest with honor, you
get the first ending. To get the second ending...

2.Now that I can see past my face...

<Get out the manual and open to the map, if you have a manual. It helps here>

	Hit L1 and start running like no tomorrow in the direction of the trees
(cropped for cleanliness). Eventually, you will hit a passage that seems like a
dead end. Go on, for it is a) a way for the game to load data about the next
section and b) a cheap way for a dumb computer player to catch up with you. You
should keep running against the "dead end" until the enemy catches up with you,
at which point the game should load the next section, a bridge. Another dilemma.
Run across it, and you may access the hole which leads around the waterfall into
the bamboo (Hint: you can hold the climb button while running and automatically
ascend.). If you like extreme sports, take a fall off the bridge or the ledge,
and you end up on ground level. Now, for purposes of orientation, look directly
in the direction of the passage you just went through. On your right is a loop
which leads you back up to the ledge and the waterfall bypass. On the left, a
route which leads to a waterfall and thence to the Bamboo Thicket. When one
reaches the thicket, move towards the narrowing passage until it meets the next
scene, the front of the castle. Now, there are two ways to go, AGAIN:

1. Jump off the wall and end up in a pile of mud. This has 2 effects:

	a) you lose your opponent
	b) your clothes get muddy.

	After you run out of the muck, drop into the frozen Dozaemon Moat and
	pass through to the procession of steps to the top.

2. Go through the gate and run past the Cherry Blossoms to the steps until
you reach the top.

This top step leads into a massive yard (Yagura Point), the exit of which is at
the corner opposite your entrance. If you have Mikado or Red Shadow or Tatsumi, a
slower character, you may have major problems getting past the wind here.
For Mikado especially, you may need to change weapons to the Rapier to get past
this point. Experiment for your character, what kinds of weapons are both good
for battle and let your character run fast. The key way to cross Yagura Point to
jump into the pit and let it shield you from the wind. Then you can jump out on
the other side and struggle into the exit.

 This passes into the construction yard, where not only a ton of scrap but also
the well is located, fenced off by yellow barricades. Now, for the second ending
to work properly, you must injure your first opponent's knee and then fall in.
Stuart Kushon e-mailed me with a tip, saying that you can jump straight into the
well without injuring your opponent to get the second ending. However, if you do
this, you will have to fight your first opponent the whole way through. In my
opinion though, that's no big deal, given that if you are able to hit his knee and
knock him down, you should be able to whip him after that if you are careful and
don't allow him in your bloodlust to hit you (so you won't get the second ending).
Amazingly, after the fall into a muddy Grotto, your clothes are clean once again.
After this, you must defeat all comers from here on out, save (except for) the VERY
last boss (Hanzaki is NOT the last boss), flawlessly (no scratches, even). The rest
of the navigation is automatic once you arrive in the Grotto. You will be rewarded
with the second ending for your character if you manage to achieve this.

<Note: The Grotto is not the thing that you land in when you jump off the railing
at the castle with a inscribed stone on it. It is the level which you fall into
after jumping into the well. That caused some confusion.>

3. Bushido Blade Damage and Rules of Fighting

	Whatever weapon you pick, it is governed by certain rules of collision,
determining the results: successful parry, parry with stagger, weapon deflection,
struggle, light hit, kill. Most all attacks may be classified into roughly 1 of 4

Strike: an attack which originates from above or below along in a vertical change
of direction. Usually targeting either the head or the knees. Blocking this will
often allow your opponent to stagger you, particularly with the heavier weapons,
and that will get you killed pronto. Sidestepping is mildly effective. The
disadvantage here is that they usually take a while to wind up, and you can come
inside them with a thrust or lash or some such quickly, and kill them before they
can get you.

Lash: an attack coming from the left or right side of the body and moving in a
horizontal direction. Usually targets body and knees. Usually blocked pretty easily,
but are treacherous when inside a combo. The knee strikes particularly are evil,
oftentimes they can't be effectively blocked. These have some of both of the 
and the thrusts: they come out faster than strikes, but can deal with blocks better
than thrusts. These can wallop on sidesteppers going to the wind-up side.

Thrust: an attack which moves straight at the opponent blade first. Usually
targets body. Tends to leave you open if the opponent blocks, and if he sidesteps,
you are probably toast.

Sidearm: doesn't do anything but a light hit, but a strike afterwards can kill.
You can block this attack very easily.

<This system may look familiar. It's straight from Uncharted Waters: New Horizons.>

Now, the game makes attacks end in a weapon deflection if the two weapons collide
with each other, even if that Nodachi was sitting on your opponent's head. If the
power of the strikes or the power of the weapons is mismatched, one opponent may
stagger, and that usually results in death. A good winning strategy is to get in
close to your opponent and use a stagger attack and then kill them before they can

A clash is the result of both players using the same attack motion (most likely
using single button presses from the same stance) and colliding. The outcome of
the clash is determined in this way (I think):

	Pressing toward your opponent: Opponents are pushed off their feet if you 
      them in the struggle.
	Pressing away from your opponent: You fall to your knees. Consider a prayer.
	T: \
	X:  These buttons make you struggle harder. It's a button mash!

When your opponent scores a light hit, its damage depends on the region hit:

	Legs: Fall down and enable kneeling commands.
 	Non-weapon arm: lose the use of sidearm and dirt throwing techniques.
              Also, you lose some strength so your attacks come out slower
              and your recovery time grows.

Anywhere else is a negligible hit, except if you're trying to get the second
ending and you get cut up.

Killing hits are determined by two criteria:

	1. Hit must go through head/torso/upper legs to a significant degree.
	2. The edge (usually tip) or foremost part of the weapon must be the
	point of impact. All other hits are light hits.

<Japanese games do not spout blood like the U.S. port. They use yellow
ejaculations to signify a kill.>

Speed: Listed below is a ranking of moves based on average connection time for a
kill (fastest to slowest).

1. Thrusts	1. Single Button Presses
2. Slashes	2. Stationary Special Moves
3. Strikes	3. Dashing or Sidestepping Moves

Honor: Honor, which is necessary to get endings, is violated by these actions:

	1. Hitting opponents before they are in ready stance.
	<To be safe, let them make a move before you start hitting them.>
	2. Hitting opponents while they are on the ground or getting up.
	3. Hitting opponents in the back when their backs are turned.

Hitting an opponent in the back while they are facing you does not dishonor you
in most instances. However, the game has been known to declare you dishonored if
you hit an opponent in the back:
	1. During an opponent's attack
	2. If you do a dodging lash and you chop the opponent in two, back

4. My General Fighting Strategies

	There are, IMHO, 4 kinds of effective fighting strategies.

1. The Running Game

	This strategy involves running around your opponent until you are in
position to strike a vital area, at which point you attack with a running
O or X move. Elicits comments like, "You cheap son of a spoony bard" and,
"That doesn't count." Ha Ha Ha. This strategy is why I have no friends anymore.

2. Noble Swordsmanship

	Go straight for the kill using head and body shots and combos. The
hardest way to play this game. The only way to settle which player is better.

3. Mercenary

	Use anything and everything. Throw dirt, sidearms, and insults at your
opponent. Thrust incessantly. Hit them in the knees, then run away. Sidestep
until you vomit. Jump like an astronaut. If possible, hit opponents in the back
with a running lash. After death, mutilate the body.

4. The Masochist's Dream

	This is hard, but it sure pays off in "Boo-Yah" points. Get right next
to your opponent and start defending from middle stance. When your opponent
hits you in the knee, roll back and wait for the opponent to move in. Then start
striking, throwing dirt, and laying down like a severed frog's leg plugged into
the wall. The Sidearm Throw into High Strike is a great attack from here.

5. My Weapon Tactics

For these weapons, I would strongly recommend going through a move list and
seeing which characters have extra moves for these weapons. Those characters
will typically be the best handlers of that weapon. You can use other ones,
but if you're playing for money or some such, you should always try out the
character/weapon combination first. Otherwise, you may get stuck with something
like Mikado with the Broadsword; not a good combination.

Stance Ratio: 20-35-35

	The Katana is the most diverse weapon in the game. So make use of it.
Don't sit in one stance or do one attack. Those are for other weapons, with
skewed strengths. Katana players need to keep their opponent guessing, because
not only is this the most familiar weapon in the game, but its attacks are
formulaic, and most have simple counters.

		Oddly enough, this does low shots the best. With about
	half the decent moves targeted there, High Stance is one to put your
	opponent off guard with. The T-O and O-T combos work well against
	incorrigible turtles. This stance is geared more towards quick,
	one-time strikes than anything else.

		You can do almost anything from here. This is just a plain
	decent stance to return to. Use thrusts to pester opponents' defenses.
	Just use dashing attacks sparingly. The thrusts are the strength of
	this stance, but you can also use some of your quick game here. Don't
	use the combos too much, they'll get you killed. O-O is a little
	effective, but watch out for it, it can be trouble if your opponent
	blocks it.

		The attacks from this stance are actually better than most from
	Middle Stance. The only gripes here: speed and lack of diversity. This is
	the stance that makes your opponent turtle because of its range. Do
	not be doing a whole lot of moves with wind-up time, because that's what
	your opponent wants you to do: start getting greedy, coming with big
	powerful moves, and then they just stab you quickly and you die. Don't
	stay in this one too long, your opponent can begin to read your movements
	since there are only a few fundamentally strong moves from here. O-O is
	a great stagger move if you can get your opponent into it. X-O is pretty
	useful against an opponent with a wind-up strike, you can get them pretty
	well if you time it properly.

	Utsusemi: Against a running opponent, and especially the computer, use
	the four quick strikes. It's too risky in close, and only useful when
	your opponent is at a medium distance and incapacitated.

	Against: Go through Slash mode. Devise your own tactics for countering and
	handling different attacks. Use the strengths of your weapon. No weapon
	can out-average a Katana. These tactics will also help with all fights.

Stance Ratio: 25-5-70

	This weapon is one of the most off-balanced in Bushido Blade. With most
of the power in its Low Stance, players must strike first and strike true. Kills
are just a thrust away, so put thought into your tactics. Try some lashes every
so often to let sidesteppers know you're onto them. Do what your opponent does.
The Rapier is best in a side-to-side fight, so convince your opponent there is
no other option.

		When your opponent tags you, knocking you out of Low Stance, and
	tries to get in close, switch here. This has the most
	slices, which can knock your opponent away just a bit, perfect for Low
	Stance, the best one by far. Just don't switch if he is there, because
	that is the best way to die. Make it clear with mad strikes and a couple
	follow-up thrusts that you are not to be messed with in the inside game.

		Why, o why does the game start you here? This position is a good
	contender for Worst Stance. Only a novice will fall for the cheap tricks
	here. Get into Low Stance IMMEDIATELY!

		The thrusts are quick and effective. Even button mashers can win
	consistently from here. Get in range and let a fusillade of attacks put
	your opponent on the retreat. That means you, Black Lotus! T-T, T-T,
	T-T...also try the off-tempo thrusts and slashes as well.

	Against: Sidestep. No other option is as effective against the might of
	Low Stance. Never sit in one place. The T-T thrusts are a flood that
	keeps on coming. Watch out for his sidestepping thrusts and lashes from
	all stances, these have deceptive range and can certainly kill you if you
	don't watch out and protect your backside. One thing you
	should try and do is work him by trying to hit his weapon. It's all the
	way out there even in Low Stance so keep your distance at first and use
	quick hits to bang on his weapon. This will get him away from just hitting
	T-T immediately whenever you try and wind up a stagger hit. Then you use
	your slower stagger now that you have him thinking block or sidestep instead
	of standing in there and coming up underneath you with a thrust.
	You can try and use the defensive posture, blocking his thrusts then
	quickly retaliating, but you have to remember that even the Rapier has
	enough juice to make you stagger for a little bit and that can be enough to
	kill you. Also especially in Low Stance, if you whiff that block he can
	thrust away at you low, then eventually get in close enough on your third
	or fourth backpedal to take out your legs. It is workable to block, but
	don't rely on it as the sole means of defense.

Stance Ratio: 5-30-65

	Your opponent's distance is your power. The farther away you are, the
more options and therefore strength you have. If there's even an off chance that
your adversary will get inside, run. Thrusting is the only out in many of your
fights. Impatience plays into your hands. When you think your opponent is
boiling over, strike. Make sure not to be hasty about changing stances, you can
very easily get killed by quick players with fast weapons if you are in too close.

		Long range fighting is this stance's forte. The wind-up on these
	attacks, however, is almost unbearable. The O-O series is pretty effective
	if you have your opponent up against a wall, you don't move towards the

		Thrust when close with ruthless timing. Prediction of incoming
	attacks is critical to effective fighting here.

	Mikado: The combo with a jump should be abused.

		Two hit combos from this stance can knock off a hasty opponent.
	Close fighting is easiest here. Knock opponents into thrust range for
	rapid disposal with triple jabs (four for Mikado).

	Against: Use weapon deflection: since the Naginata is heavy and
	so slow to recover, you can stagger without a powerful weapon if you
	just bang it at the right time. Use fast combos to put the opponent on the
	defensive and harass with running strikes to take off some of the
	aggressive thrusting action. Get in closer than you think possible by
	sidestepping and then advancing with an attack.

Stance Ratio: 30-5-65

	Fighting with a weapon like the Hammer depends on first strikes. So play
easy. Tease your opponents. Deceive them into believing your assault is over.
Then show them who's boss. You can use this weapon with a character like
Kannuki to put on a defensive show - it's tough to stagger a Hammer character
if they block, but if the opponent knocks away your weapon, you could be in
trouble since its recovery time isn't great.

		The Hammer flurry is half your strength. Move close, and let 'em
	have it. If you miss, go for a longer range single move. Always be ready
	to whack unsuspecting opponents with low hits, because the mentality is,
	"High stance! Get ready for a pounding!"

		Not a good stance. The problem here is that other stances do a lot
	better than this, and the Hammer is a weapon for which you need to get
	close and then let loose with. There are too many single strikes here
	which makes it very difficult to get a kill.

		When opponents get in your face, Hammerspin till you barf. There
	is also a unique X-T attack that changes levels, for confusing opponents
	used to the big head swings. Even though the High Stance hammer salvo is
	most famous, the Low Stance T-T is definitely capable of killing so don't
	forget about it. Just make sure you aim properly because you can often miss
	with the Low Stance T-T.

	Kannuki: Use that Hammerspin combo constantly.

	Against: Time attacks so that they will collide with the Hammer. What you
	don't need is a Hammer blocking attacks. That's the Hammer that comes
	crashing down on your head. And keep your fighting short and sweet. The
	Hammer has good deflection. Either fight or flee. Also, try to keep your
	distance from the Hammer man when you fight. It makes it a lot harder for
	the opponent to kill you if he has to come all the way to you and do a ton
	of stagger attacks to get into the killing zone. That gives you opportunities
	for him to whiff an attack or for you to come out with a key block, which
	you can then capitalize on.
	Also, if you have one, try to use a stance that keeps you upright. Being in
	a stance where you are below the Hammer man's shoulders makes you very easy
	prey for the big hammer strikes.

Stance Ratio: 30-30-40

	You MUST take the imitative. Your weapon is lethargic in close. Plan on
taking your range and leveraging it for the battle pace. Fighting with a Saber
in close should not be a priority. Make a fight a series of trading blows.
Stance changes should be premeditated to give yourself time. Consider running
and then changing strategy. You, however, need to also see to it that runners
going for you be punished for their follies. One last note: Conserve your energy.
Don't try to make the other person pay for every mistake - you'll just make one
of your own. Your goal here is to make the other person defensive and reactive
to your attacks, setting up the staggers and giving you more chances for lucky
kills. Another thing that you need to do to win is to beat on your opponent when
you think he is starting something to try and get in close. If he begins to wind
up at the end of your range, smack him.
Low attacks are very effective with this weapon. Don't get caught up in the
stagger and trapping game so much that you don't throw out a few low shots every
Your defense isn't great with this weapon, recovery time can be awful.

		You want to mix it up in this stance. It has good attacking range
	but the attacks aren't terribly effective, except for f+X. That is as
	quick an attack as you can mount with this weapon.

		Make a quick blow every so often at the beginning of the fight.
	It pays dividends in a cautious opponent who will fall easily to a
	brutal onslaught from a long range later in the fight, even if the first
	strike fails. O-O-T should not be left aside. It can make mincemeat of
	even a cautious opponent in a bad position. This stance also has very
	good distance: if you are trying to just tag your opponent when he begins
	a pattern of his, this is a good stance to do it in.

		This stance pulls its weight in its O-O slashes. The other moves from
	here are decent as well but that is the great offensive power of this stance.
	Watch out defensively though, it's easy to get overextended.

	Utsusemi: See Katana, Low Stance.

	Against: Trying to block this thing is "interesting". Get your opponent
	first. Even if you don't do much with your first attack, you've probably got
	better position. Turn that into an inconvenient strike to the body or knees.
	Another good strategy is to lure the opponent into attacking you on the
	outside of his range, then closing the distance on a miss. Never go into
	the middle of his range because he can start to stagger you from there and
	all you will be able to do is sit back and watch him beat the gizzards out
	of you. It also puts you dead center into his killing spots, so get close or
	get out of the way.

Long Sword
Stance Ratio: ? (adjust to opponent)

	Use sparingly. That's the mantra for the Long Sword. Most attacks are
short range. The ones that aren't become abused because they are easy avenues
to a kill. One important aspect is to lure your opponent in. How? By using quick
strikes to provoke a hasty strike or lunge. Sidestep or back away, and now a
swift end is near. Only the Saber can fight with a Long Sword in close, so making
use of your speed is essential.
I can't make much sense of this weapon, what I guess would be most effective
is to use the different stances depending on what is the most effective
counterattack for your opponent. If you want to thrust him underneath, go high,
and if you want to try sidestepping go middle. In general, Low Stance is something
that can be used well if you want to go on the offense, but use timing to avoid
getting blocked, because this weapon doesn't stagger well at all.

		This is a thrusting stance. Use a strike to set things up and then
	stick 'em to death with this. You can also attack low pretty effectively.

		This is a lashing stance.

		This one seems to have a little bit of everything. I don't know
	what this is best for or how often one would use it. It has good range
	but a lot of the attacks whiff if your opponent is sidestepping and
	moving around a lot. I tend to use this one a lot, but remember, the
	defense of the Long Sword isn't going to do much in this Low Stance.

	Against: Block. Then show what a nuisance you can be with knee attacks
	and sidestepping hits. Using a heavy weapon for stagger and just pure
	overwhelming power is also a good idea.

Stance Ratio: 30-10-60

	This sword, unlike the Long Sword, has the diversity and the speed to
take the fight to the opponent. From every stance, advancing and fast combo moves
give the Saber a wider scope. But the range is still a problem. Instead of
focusing on yourself, you must look at the adversary for victory. Mistakes are
just cause for retaliation. You are a piranha, and the opponents are meat. Chop
them up. Just don't get too aggressive when the opponent isn't compromised. They
can hit you and beat you until you are black and blue because your style of
fighting won't leave much between you and death. All you need to do is beat your
opponent before he can do anything about your attack series.

            This stance tends to be more of a lashing stance than any other.
	It has its uses, particularly if your opponent's best attacks wind up
	over the top: you can really carve them up in close.

	Tatsumi, Red Shadow & Mikado: Work those combos! They really really
	enhance your killing power.

	Tatsumi & Black Lotus: The five thrusts are finishers, not lead-ins.
	When you can see the whites of their eyes, let this one loose.

		Not too much here, but the combos can give you some breathing room.

		T-T is a really tricky move. If you have it lined up, no one can
	stop it. But if you miss, pray that your opponent is as freaked as you.
	Perform advancing strikes when your opponent is aligned properly. If your
	adversary is in a strange place, it's more than likely that attack will
	whiff. Your recovery time will probably be fast enough to start another
	attack that your opponent will not be ready for. This stance has
	everything you want except low attacks, there isn't much
	here of that and if your game depends on those, don't use this weapon.
	However, this stance's range is excellent and its speed is no worse.

	Against: Block it, but don't hit right away, especially if you have an
	unwieldy weapon. Instead, maneuver for better position and fight on your
	own terms. The position game is the one you must win because this weapon
	doesn't yield its bearer much defense. If you can get into a position of
	strength, you can beat him down. However, if he gets close, especially in
	Low Stance, he can start attack series that stagger you for more than ten
	seconds, and he can dance all around you hitting you even if you started
	by blocking. Then he just has to cut your legs out and you are toast.
	Fortunately this isn't much more of a problem in Low Stance, but there, he
	can get around your backside and stick you from behind if you let him go.
	Get him in front of you and keep him advancing towards you, so that his
	defense will be compromised while he dashes to try a quick attack.

Broad Sword
Stance Ratio: 40-10-50

	This weapon, used improperly, is the worst in the game. This weapon, used
properly, is something that if the opponent makes one mistake, he can be killed
right then and there. Its moves are very powerful, and their radii of death is
probably the best in the game. However, it can be very slow, and certain
characters like Mikado (especially Mikado) have major trouble handling it, even
moreso than the Hammer. But if you know what you are doing, you can cause major
problems for your opponent no matter what they try to do to you.
One major characteristic of this weapon is that, while there is delay on almost
every single move, it isn't horrendous and you don't have big wind-up animations
like you will oftentimes with the Nodachi or Naginata. Also, these moves, if
they hit the opponent, usually stagger, making for an easy recovery. However,
this weapon's recovery time makes it difficult to capitalize on a general stagger
as is the case with all the heavier weapons (generally speaking).
Get your opponent near a wall to keep them from running and then beat them into
submission. Don't forget that your blocking is effective with this weapon.

		O-O and X-X are your big weapons here. O-O is an absolutely
	devastating canned combo. If you make contact (blocked or hit) with the
	first one, then the second one is a kill in more than half the cases, unless
	your opponent rolls away. O-O is what you want to try and open up. You have
	some other things here but they don't set up too well. Try and come in with
	one of the dashing moves and then let them counterattack (it won't kill you
	because you should have staggered them), block it, and now you have them
	where you want them. O-O and watch the blood flow.

	Mikado: Use that special combo, it has good reach and it stays out
	for a while, so it's good for putting it out there when you know the
	opponent is coming in at you.

		This is a stance, surprisingly, that is best for low attacking.
	O-O isn't that good in this one, but Up+O and Down+O can hit low a lot
	of the time. This stance also has some good distance covering moves
	to get you back close to your opponent.

		This stance is the all-around best stance for this weapon. You have
	striking ability in the medium and long range with T-T, your low attack is
	also decent at range, and what a medium attack. It spins you around and
	makes life painful for your opponent if they try to use motion and get
	around your strikes and low thrusts.

	Kannuki: Use the O-O combination to beat down your opponent. That
	finishing thrust will often get them, provided they aren't moving laterally.

	Black Lotus: Few canned combos in this game are better than the one
	you have for this weapon. Don't forget about it.

	Against: Sidestep like a top. Nearly all the moves are vertical. The ones
	that aren't can be easily outrun with a dash. In any stance but Low
	Stance, take the fight to him before he can start smashing you with
	his distance moves or trying to work you with O-O or T-T. The initiative,
	against a weapon this good at destroying defenses, is your Holy Grail and
	you cannot allow him to sit there and pound on you, and if he beats on you
	enough, even if you are blocking him most of the time, sooner or later
	he will get an opening and he can kill you right then and there if you
	whiff the block. If your opponent goes into Low Stance, keep your distance
	and let him make the first move. If you have a big weapon, try to bait him
	into T-T when you are playing off him - if you can dash away or get a
	recovery time advantage, he is ripe for the picking in his Low Stance.

6. Stance Defensive Properties

This is not intended to point out specifics of each stance for each weapon, but
rather to raise some general points about the majority of stances.

When one starts the fight in Middle Stance, most general attacks are blocked, by
nature that the weapon is stuck out in front of you. Is that a good thing? The
extended weapon serves as easy prey for quick deflections and death. Putting your
weapon out for your opponent to manipulate must therefore hand over the initiative
and possibly the fight. What are your alternatives? High Stance? High Stance puts
your weapon in the middle of your head. Now all of your front leg protection is
gone, and all that stands between your leg and your opponent's weapon are your
reflexes and the mercies of collision detection. That puts you, in a bad way,
out of the fight. The pluses? More head and body protection. Low Stance. When you
stick your weapon down here, you either have it in front or back. If you have it
in front, it guards against crippling, but most of the weapons have it in back,
providing little protection against anything! Furthermore, by going down this low,
you expose yourself to a lot of strikes that would not come close to killing you
otherwise. Of course, the moves of each stance have to be considered to paint a
complete picture of which stances are proper to assume, and you can definitely
block in a large number of cases, but this is just a little thought exercise.

7. Crippled/Ground Fighting (In Chronological Order)

1.Knee Hit

	These are the considerations: a) Is my opponent crippled? (Let's assume
no for the time being.) b) Where is my opponent? 

	1. Medium or Long range
		a) Roll back.
			1. Distance closes. *Starting Position A*
		b) Get up.
			1. Distance closes. *Starting Position A*
		c) Lay down/roll around and get dirty.			
			1. Wait for the opponent to get close.
				1. What are you thinking?
				2. Suicidal.
	2. Short range, In Front Of Legs
		a) X press. Fall over. 
			This is a bad position because if the strike is blocked,
			you are dead. 
		b) Roll back.
			1. You escape. 
				1. You attack. *Starting Position B*
				2. You sit. *Starting Position A*
			2. You get hit. 
				1. Fatal.
				2. Minor.	
					1. Back to #2.
		c) Roll over.
			1. Increases your chances of escaping.
			2. Roll until your opponent is on your side.
				1. Refer to #3.
	3. Short range, On Side
		a) Roll away/back.
			1. Escape. 
				1. Attack. *Starting Position B*
				2. Sit. *Starting Position A*	
			2. Do nothing. *Lying Position*
	4. Short range, Head At Opponent's Feet
		a) Roll back/forward.
			1. You get hit.
				1. Fatal.
				2. Minor.
			2. Escape.
				1.Turn around.	*Starting Position A*
		b) Roll over.
			1. Increases your chances of escaping.
			2. Roll until your opponent is on your side.
				1.Refer to #3. 

*Lying Position* Now, you've decided to fight your opponent while on the ground.
There are certain criteria for this need to be met before a lying attack is mad:
	1. Is your opponent lined up?
	2. Where is the weapon?
		If your attack will just hit the weapon, it's more than likely
	that your opponent will recover fast enough to make you a grave man.
	3. What happens if it does hit?
		The attack, if successful, will either cripple or knock your 
	opponent away. Most of the time, it will be to your advantage to roll
	back and set yourself for the next attack. Be ready to fight when you get
	up and not a second before.
      4. Is he waiting to try and block you?
            If so, do not go for this. There is a fatal strike waiting with your
      name on it since you will be incapacitated at his feet.

*Starting Position A* Your opponent is now in front of you. How does one fight 
this adversary? Unless you have a quick weapon, blocking is probably not going to
be a stellar choice because your adversary has the edge on you in almost anything.
Strike first, and a little luck might win you the day. Throwing your sidearm and
then striking often proves an effective move, but predictable. One can fall
down, but there are risks in that, as outlined above. Not every strategy will work
against every opponent. Be prepared to lose, and don't freak about it, either.
It happens. Using your O move is often the best way to go, but if you see an 
for X to take out his legs, do that first and get him on even terms.

*Starting Position B* Same as above, but blocking takes on more urgency, because 
an attack will almost unfailingly come from the ruffled opponent. If you have a
slow weapon, it might not be such a good idea to end up here as opposed to A.

When fighting a crippled opponent from one's knee, the same rules apply, but the 
speed and consequences often vary. For instance, a miss on a dashing strike might
not prove as fatal as it would if one's opponent were standing. All that changes 
here are one's odds. 

8. Stages

	Here is outlined some basic stage strategy as well as specific stuff.

		In every stage, there are walls. So? You can get your opponent
next to a wall, but how does that help? Well, obviously, your opponent's strikes 
will be limited from a wall, reducing the possible attacks. What that means to an 
experienced player is that, more often than not, an opponent will try a thrust or
a short attack. From that viewpoint, a sidestep or moving backward will put you in
a great kill position. Now, there are some considerations to be made. Try to make
opponents come to you, rather than attacking them on the wall. That's because, 
with the exception of thrusting, the barrier will deflect your hits too. Don't
use the wall as your weapon. Use it to move your opponent. How does one, then, get 
people to the wall to perform all this fancy-schmancy mumbo-jumbo? Well, the 
quickest way is simply to run to the wall, not too close, and also not with the 
wall to one's back. The purpose in this is to get the opponent not to think "Hey, 
I'm not going there!" but rather to get your opponent fighting so that then your
opponent will not actively avoid the wall, but focus on killing you, and thus fall
into easy patterns and traps. One way to avoid getting your bluff called on
this is to move towards a different object like a tree in order to make your
opponent believe that's all you're really going for.

When a stage has different levels, this aids a smart person with a long range
weapon or one who is quick and exacting. Why? The different levels offer outs for
a person who is in a bad spot and needs somewhere to regroup without getting one's
opponent in one's face. When moving to low ground, run and jump off as far away
from the wall as possible. When moving to high ground, jump onto the wall rather
than climbing. Then pursue one's opponent ruthlessly, not letting one's opponent
onto your level, and attack only when the strike is sure to kill. Don't needlessly
squander a height advantage with wild swings.

On obstacles, practice on your own finding attacks and combos that will bypass the
obstacle and still score a hit. Any obstacle in the game can and should be used
for a sort of wall effect, whereby your opponent may feel trapped against it and
attack rashly, to your advantage. To the best of my knowledge, the bamboo is the
only thing that can be chopped down (consequently, the only effects it has are
visual). Here are some I like:

Trees: Thrust in any way possible. Running near one of these is a great way to
stop a relentless runner, by sidestepping around the tree and attacking. Running
around the tree yourself can change the camera movement so fast that a human
opponent may feel discomfort, at which point you strike. This strategy has also
been known to reset one's Playstation (by your human opponent).

Tombstones and Tablets: Higher slashes work, as well as strikes, but your opponent
must be very close to the stone to die. Try sidestepping around and slashing to
move your opponent away from the stone in a direction better suited to your weapon
(such as in Yahiro Road, try getting your opponent trapped behind the tombstones,
then jump over and thrust).

Here are also some locational strategies:

	Yahiro Road: For most weapons, fighting in the default area usually works.
But if you're using a slower weapon, try moving the fight over to the trees. This
allows you to retreat to the trees if the fight gets too rough. Now, onto running.
If you're playing with a fast runner, or a skilled one, try running in between the
trees and the walls to gain better position. For laughs, you might try to get your
opponent to run very close to you, at which point you enter the tombstone corridor
and turn out of them very quickly. At that point, a human opponent might lose
sense of their position due to the camera movement and bump into the tombstones.

	Bridge and Ledge: Just like fighting on a concrete block. No barriers.
Just fighting. If you like to gamble, jump off the bridge and try to hit your
opponent while your opponent is falling off. If you fall off, use the bridge
supports as though they were trees.

	Long Passage to Ledge (Right way from facing Yahiro Road): Nothing of note

	Waterfall Passage to Bamboo: Nothing of note here either that hasn't been
said before, save the fact that one's opponent can be driven more easily to the
wall if you move them in a pattern around the frozen pool.

	Ledge Passage to Bamboo Forest: Try putting yourself behind the panels
protruding from the castle and thrusting when your opponent comes past.

	Bamboo Forest: Nothing of note.

	Castle Front: Jump into the mud pit once, just for fun.

	Cherry Blossoms: Jump up into the trees if you feel threatened as per
Yahiro Road.

	Dozaemon Moat: Use the levels to your advantage. Jump back and forth.
Don't get too close to the tree. It can often cause more harm than good.

	Steps to Yagura Point: Jump, never climb up steps.

	Yagura Point: Only a fool dares step into the pit. A person can jump and
kill a person inside there very easily, much more than usual.

	Construction Yard: One may jump in the well, but take note of the visual
obstructions. Climbing onto the small platform is a good idea.

	Grotto: Nothing of note.

	Helipad: Run around Katze (the Gunman) until he loses all his bullets
(10, to be precise), then hit him.

	Executioner's Cove: The sea is not a wall. I repeat, the sea is not a
wall. Trying to treat it as such limits your thinking. With the sea, you may do
any move, but so can your opponent. Trying to pen opponents back there is a
needless waste of time. The rock just keeps one's shorter attacks from connecting.
Most attacks still work, so don't be complacent and don't strike without cause.

	Graveyard: Nothing of note.

	Meikyokan: The two pillars may be treated as the trees in Yahiro Road, but
don't let yourself be pushed to the corners. The shrine should not even be
approached. The deflection makes it as if it were a wall.

	(after the Meikyokan, the last battle takes place in Yagura Point)

9. Totally Subjective Observations

That tree in the Dozaemon Moat is a paradox. Most of the time it works for whoever
is defending it, but the attacker always seems to hit the tree.

Black Lotus is a good character, but his size is what balances him off from other
characters like Tatsumi. Since he is good with a lot of small weapons and he has
some strength that's his weakness.

Kannuki always kicks in the Character Select Screen, but he can't kick in a real

Odd, while you could just go inside the castle through the window, that doesn't
seem to be an option.

There's no sake for weary warriors!

10. Hints for Hunting

More often than not, a flurry of attacks will work, even against a blocking
fighter. Being passive makes you very vulnerable to having your weapon hit
and getting staggered, you want to make your opponent work for his kill and
risk a lot in order to get you dead.

Look for ways to knock your opponent's weapon away and stagger him, such as the
Katana low stance O-O. It's easier to fight and win consistently when you know
the outcome of your attack before it even lands.

Block. It works a lot more than you think. Not against Hammer High Stance T-T-T-T,
but against generic stuff that turns into nasty hits. Also, blocking gives you an
speed edge on the next attack if you don't stagger, and its effectiveness really
improves at range.

Jumping and attacking is not really that much good at all. It can be sidestepped,
and most of the time it doesn't even hit. It takes lots of practice and a good
dose of humor to use that attack (as you will be hit many times).

On the other hand, running then lashing is a great attack...provided your opponent
is lulled into not blocking it. You have to set it up and use it as a surprise
move, but it can really work for you.

If your opponent has a linear move, just simple walking in and out of the screen
will make your opponent betray the motion when he wants to attack you. However,
remember that you can't block if you are holding a direction, so be on your
guard when you try this.

Thrusting is consistently fatal. If you have to abuse a move, use these. Just
don't do it too close to your opponent.

Honor is no virtue in VS Mode. Hit 'em in the back!!!

Throwing dirt is a good way to make your opponent frustrated. It doesn't help
your position, however.

11. Slash (Chambara) Mode

	Fight 100 ninjas, geishas, and old men with only a Katana. What fun.
The characters come ten at a time, each with their own attack that they do for no
apparent reason. When you kill nine stock enemies, you fight a boss and move on
to the next level. Now, here's the deal. All the enemies will come at you,
probably running. Let them run around. Sidestep or block if they get too close.
When they are not too far from you, they start doing the attack shown in the chart
below. It's up to you to kill them, using anything. No damage is healed, ever.
The bosses are unpredictable. It's better to just kill them than figure out their
strategy du jour. Most of the time (that is to say, when you're not close) the
enemies will assume middle stance.

If you beat this without getting scratched (same as Story Mode) when the
difficulty setting is set to Hard, you will get Katze, supposedly (more
on that below in the next section).

Enemy Numbers and Attacks

91-97:Anything goes.
98-100:Boss: You're done!

Helpful methods to beat them:

1. Thrust repeatedly until they die.
2. Block their attacks, then waste them with a convenient attack. This
   is definitely a good method that others have come up with for dealing
   with boss characters, because no matter how unpredictable they will be,
   sooner or later they will "lock-on" to you if you are far away from
   them. Then, you can block their attack. However, it is also pretty
   effective against a lot of the normal ninjas.
3. Low Stance O-O until they cry.
4. Use Low Stance T-X to hit them and take their legs out.
5. Sidestep their attack then waste them with a quick lash.
6. Run around them and wait until they run up against a wall or some such,
   then go in and smack them.

I have beaten this one without getting touched - once. A very taxing, very
difficult process. The sheer randomness of it is insane. However, I did not
get Katze to appear. I have heard of this happening before. Read on for more
info about this if you are having problems.

12. Secrets and Other Stuff (Including the Katze mess)

To summarize what I know and have heard:

1st ending: Beat the game without being disgraced.

2nd ending: Run to the well as described above, then injure your opponent's leg,
and fight all the other opponents (save (except) the last last one) without an 
injury of any sort.

Some hints on this:

(from Stuart Kushon)

"Uh, also . . . you can get the second ending without injuring a leg and
jumping into the well.  You can jump into the well, kill the first person
you fight, then kill your characters "Well opponent", and proceed without a
scratch.  And when I mean without a scratch I mean W/O a scratch.  Even
blows that don't mark up your costume.  Like a shot from Katze that just
nicks you, but doesn't kill or even appear as a wound.  If you see orange
you are done.  If you still haven't beaten it. . . here is an easy way.
Pick who ever you like (preferably Mikado, Utsusemi, or Black Lotus) and
run to the well, jump in. From there the fighting tactic is to just run
away.  The computer will run around for a while and then "lock onto you"
and run at you from a distance (you'll be able to tell that they are locked
on).  At that point just wait and press T,X.  The first hit will crack them
in the head for a kill generally, if that doesn't kill them the second will
put them on their knees.  It generally kills though."

(from Kayin Amoh)

"The way my brother has done it 5 times already (with Mikado soon to
come) is to use katana, go into Low Stance, and when the time is right
just hit Square, Square for those 2 mid swipes. It usually kills if
repeated enough times, but sometimes you'll get offed by the guy on the
beach or the girl before Meikyokan."

Another tip I would add, is that you want to try and play some 2P action,
this will give you some sense about blocking timing, and also what good
strategy and tactics for your weapon are, against certain tactics. One
note is that Mikado is REALLY slow, she is sometimes faster with certain
large weapons than with small ones.

Enable Katze (the Gunman) in VS Mode: This is an absolute mess. I have beaten
Slash Mode in Hard mode, without getting touched, and not received Katze.
Furthermore, I have done the same thing using a cheat device (like Code Breaker)
to get my kills high and automatically kill the rest of the fighters, but even
that did not unlock Katze (I later unlocked him manually with another code).
However, some people have been able to get Katze. Here are some conditions for
doing so:

1. You MUST beat all 100 fighters without dying or getting hit. Honor is 
   probably involved as well, but I don't know about that.
2. You MUST be doing it on the "Hard" level of difficulty.
3. You _may_ have to unlock all the movies (i.e. get the first and second endings
for all the characters). It _may_ also be that you had to have gotten
at least one second ending.
4. You _may_ have to start from a fresh slash mode, i.e. not continue from the
beginning without going to the main menu first.

Katze will be next to Kannuki on the right of the selection bar if you manage
to unlock him. Here is what SlickRick had to say about the issue:

"I've gotten Katze twice myself in the Bushido Blade slash mode.  The first
time I carved my way through all 100 mutha's and nothing happened!  I wrote
off the whole 'Katze' thing as bullshit too, then found out the problem that
several other people seem to have had.  You do not have to have all the
movies to get him, but you DO have to have the difficulty level set to Hard
before you start the Slash mode.  Most people probably set this to Easy
before attempting it, but you can only earn Katze on the Hard setting.

Once you have beaten the 100th opponent, Katze appears on the screen and
shakes hands with whatever character you used (I use Black Lotus due to his
speed/power balance).  The words "KATZE IS NOW CONTRACTED", or something
like that appears, and you can then select him on the VS mode."

There you have it. I hope this all proves useful.

Play VS in the entire Story Mode level (donated by Paul Barney): "Start a story
mode game, then have the second player press R1+R2+L1+L2+select+start on the 
second controller. The game will go to the character selection screen and both
players will be able to play on the entire island."

I'd also like to add to that that if you execute the code properly, it will
flash a message on the screen "Here Goes!" and a guy will do the funny yell
in the background.

Physical Insults

Standing next to your dead opponent in VS mode so that, when you strike a pose,
you will stick your weapon into them, spurting fountains of blood.
Hitting a dead opponent until the replay starts.
Throw your weapon at a kneeling opponent.
Running into and knocking over your opponent.

Verbal Insults

I couldn't think of anything funny for this section. Sorry.

13. Credits for all Involved Parties

I hereby give credit to:

All the people, institutions, and other stuff I have ever heard about in my life:

And more relevantly:

Square, Lightweight, all those people for making this game


	Barney, Paul 'OO (pbarney@derryfield.com)
	For the two-player story mode code.

	Stuart Kushon (skushon@andrew.cmu.edu)
	For the tip on second endings.

	Kayin Amoh (darshu@hotmail.com)
	For the tip on second endings.

	SlickRick (nzslickrick@hotmail.com)
	For info on getting Katze.

Whoever is posting this:

	CJayC at gamefaqs.com

	Kakiru (Iced Square)

	ashe.mckee@ukonline.co.uk (The Bushido Codes)

	Draco (Draco's Bushido Blade Page)

	Al Amaloo (http://gamewinners.com/)

	The Game Masta (Bushido Blade HQ)

	The Krazy Elf

All those FAQ writers (in the order that I typed their names)

	Andy Chien-ranmas@netcom.com
	Mike Lee-mikelee@icomsim.com
	Mark Blanco-mark.blanco@comm.hq.af.mil

My Playtesters, Steven, Mike (T.), and Cody

You, for reading this

14. Disclaimer

	I do solemnly swear, that the purpose of this Guide is to inform. It is
not to deride, nor is it to defame. It is not intended to make money. All
trademarks, names, etc. mentioned are probably protected by various legal
devices and are property of their respective owners. Thanks for not suing me. Your
cooperation is appreciated (seriously). All rights reserved. This Guide has been
a total waste of time. And most of all:


15. Guide Questions and Feedback

Q: Where can I get the move lists?
A: Try http://www.gamefaqs.com/ for most of them. I don't know where Drblasfemy's
Katana FAQ is, though. Nor do I know of a place to get Katze's moves other than
the official Bushido Blade printed strategy guide. Perhaps if I am really bored
with nothing to do one day, I may type up a movelist, but don't get your hopes up.

Q: What's Uncharted Waters: New Horizons?
A: Go to http://www.gamefaqs.com/ and look under the SNES section to find out more.

Q: Is your real name Ivan Hoe?
A: Yes, it is.

16. How To Get And How To Use

How To Get

Gamestop pretty much has a stranglehold over national used-game sales,
but they do have some games there. However, their ordering system is messed
both online and in-store, so sometimes shopping around their stores works.

eBay has always been a place where you can get used games but beware,
sometimes people will rip you off, so look for good feedback.

The phone book is also a place you can look for used-game outlets in your

There are obviously other places, these are just the notorious/general ones.

How To Use

For basics of the moves, consult a movelist at a place like gamefaqs.com.
One note I would add, YOU CANNOT BLOCK if you are holding a direction as
you block. Beware. Another move is "the Impaler", b-f+X, a very bizarre,
easily blocked, but sometimes effective move, especially against people
on the ground.

The "POV Mode" controls are as if you were on the left of your opponent,
I believe.

The "Link Mode" requires 2 Bushido Blade CDs, and two PSXs linked together
with the Link Cable.

If you earn Katze, use him in Versus Mode, he is only available there. Beware,
he is not that good. I don't know if I will make a movelist ever, but Katze
does have some different moves with R1, etc.

17. New Stuff In Current Version

3.2: Added "How To Get, How To Use" in response to people's e-mails, and also
added some miscellaneous tips here and there about certain moves that are good for 
Added some things to Hints For Hunting.