Move/Techniques List by Justin Blade

Version: 1.2 | Updated: 12/03/01 | Printable Version

by Justin Blade
Copyright Paul D. Chee

This document is protected by international copyright law but may be 
reprinted, reproduced and displayed in public as long as credit is 
clearly given to the creator of this FAQ under both his real name, Paul 
D. Chee, and his alias, Justin Blade, in the media that it is 
published, distributed or presented and with the understanding that 
Paul D. Chee retains ownership of this FAQ and thus all rights of 
ownership. A notification to the FAQ creator at as 
to where the FAQ has been published or presented is also necessary from 
any individual, company or group this wishes to use it publicly.

The game ONIMUSHA: WARLORDS and all characters of the game are (c) 


  a. Samanosuke's Unique Techniques
  b. Kaede's Unique Techniques

Added the "deadly-parry-attack" from Aristotle Aquino
Added information of our gaming club.
Spent some time trying to make my FAQ more understandable and sane.
Hope it helps.


  This FAQ was born of the frustration of doing some spectacular moves 
by accident, wondering how the hell they were done and after going to 
GameFAQs I found little, vague or no information about these 
techniques! Even worse I found very little on, what I consider, the 
basic techniques of Onimusha. Needless to say I was nonplussed and also 
upset that many gamers would end up going through Onimusha experiencing 
only a fraction of the wonderful battle system. Not to mention they 
would have a lot harder time defeating enemies and powering up their 
items. I felt it was necessary to do something about this and so here 
is the product of my frustration, this FAQ. I hope it fixes that 
problem and helps everyone out. 
  Check out Advanced Techniques as that is the purpose to my FAQ and 
skim through the basics. By the way, if you find any techniques I have 
missed please be sure to let me know at Also I'm 
sorry if the language of FAQ may not be perfect, fun or witty but I was 
rushing, so hey, don't flame me! :)

If you're interested I am one of the group that runs a gaming club in 
Barbados (yes, the Caribbean). Our site is
Check it out.


  I am going to run through these fairly quickly as both the 
instruction manual and other FAQs cover these fairly well... with some 
exceptions. You should skim through these to see what's different if 
you believe you already know the basics.


DISPLAY MAP - R3 button (press down on right analog stick)
  This is pretty much self-explanatory.

TURN - Left/Right Directional buttons
  Turns your character around in the direction pointed.

RUN - Top Directional button
  Makes your character run forward.

DASH/WALK BACKWARD - Bottom Directional button - Makes your character 
dash backward when pressed, continue holding the button and he/she will 
walk backward. Each tap will make him/her dash back again. WARNING: 
Rapid tapping back is detrimental to your health. You will end up 
cutting off the last dash before it properly starts and have your 
character STAGGERING back slowly. If you haven't seen this happen, be 
thankful. Trust me one of my friends used to do this all the time and 
wonder why blood would drip down the screen in shape of the words 
"DIED" :). Not a good idea. Dashing back is good for dodging but if you 
must dash back repeatedly please let the animation finish before 
tapping the button again. It will save your hide in the long run.

BASIC ATTACK - Square Button
  This button initiates a hack or slash with any of your knives, swords 
or the double-bladed staff. It also fires your ranged weapons once they 
are "readied" with the R1 button. Pressing this multiple times in 
succession leads to a combination of basic attacks, meaning we get to 
delight as we watch our hero/heroine use the ginsu arts to hack enemies 
into gloriously... beautiful... chunky... little gibs, creating 
FOUNTAINS... of blood SPURTING... from EVERY... NEW... CAVITY... we 
carve and... umm, err... *embarrassed* right, what was I talking about? 
Yes, you'll get a combo of basic attacks, to which you can add various 
advanced attacks. By the way, of Samanosuke's normal swords, the fire 
sword is the most powerful, slowest and hardest to combo while the 
double-bladed staff is the weakest but fastest and easiest to combo.

  Pressing this button allows you to search an area for items, such as 
Fluorites, and other unusual things regardless of whether you are 
running or standing still. Of course if you are running you'll have to 
be jamming the button down with each step you take in order to search 
an area thoroughly.
  This button also allows you to talk to people/spirits, operate 
levers, open doors, search and open treasure chests etc.

  Holding this button down makes Samanosuke use his gauntlet to absorb 
souls from the environment around him. The speed at which he absorbs 
souls is determined by their distance from him, since they accelerate 
faster as they near him, and the current level of the gauntlet (Silver, 
Silver-Gold or Gold).

SPECIAL ATTACK - Triangle button (or the "green button")
  This allows you to use the special attack of that character. In 
Samanosuke's case that would be the magic in his current weapon if 
there is any and if you have enough magic power. In Kaede's situation 
she'll use her throwing knives, of which she has a limited supply.

BLOCK/PARRY - Press or hold down the L1 button
  The most overrated technique in the game. This allows you to deflect 
an enemy's attack without taking damage when an enemy strikes you. It's 
good, but it has its limitations. Note: Unfortunately in Onimusha when 
you equip any ranged weapons you cannot block or parry with them and 
you will take damage from the enemy's attack as if you were not holding 
block. This is not totally realistic but I suppose it does save your 
bow or gun from being damaged :p.

READY WEAPON/LOCK-ON - Hold down the R1 button
  The most underrated technique in the game. This allows you to "ready" 
any weapon such as your knives, swords, staff, bow or matchlock and 
lock on to an enemy. Unless you do this you cannot fire the matchlock 
or bow with the square button. This also this increases the accuracy of 
your melee weapons and special attacks. Most important of all this is 
the only stance in which you can dodge and strafe, read more about this 
in the advanced section.

QUICK TURN - R2 button
  This allows you to turn 180 degrees quickly, which is important when 
you want to save time turning to face an enemy behind you or just for 




BASIC KICK - Bottom Directional button and Square at the same time.
The kick knocks down lighter enemies and stuns heavier enemies. Also it 
seems that kicks are unblockable in Onimusha.

FOLLOW UP - If an enemy is knocked to the floor after a kick, or 
ANYTIME an enemy is on the floor for that matter, you can follow up and 
stab them on the ground by moving over their prone body and pressing 
square. If an enemy is "stunned" by your kick you can follow up with 
anything, be it a combo of basic attacks, a special attack or another 

*THRUST* (For those ecchi people, I DO NOT mean *THAT* sort of 
thrusting! ^_^)

THRUST - Top Directional button and Square at the same time, WHILE 

This does a running stab or thrust with Kaede's Knife or Samanosuke's 
swords or staff. This is a great way to cover a short distance to an 
enemy quickly, while attacking. A good example of its use is to dash 
back or backflip away from an enemy's attack and then come in quickly 
with the thrust, rather than running back in to attack. Also, this is a 
nifty attack to add into basic attack combos, especially if your basic 
attacks knock the enemy away a bit or if you want to finish up fancy. 
Also you can use this attack to knock an enemy back somewhat, or even 
to the floor if you use Samanosuke's heavy fire sword.


  This is the real way to play Onimusha, however it does take skill and 
timing. There are two basic types of dodging;

  Dashing Back / Backflipping works against almost all attacks once you 
gain enough distance from an enemy, although it is used best as a 
counter against swinging, horizontal attacks. The only problem with 
this type of dodging is that if you put too much distance between you 
and the enemy it may take too much time to rush back in to 
counterattack effectively. This is especially true with enemies with 
long weapons. Once you learn to judge it, however, it works very well. 
You can also dodge ranged weapons like arrows with this once they are 
coming from either somewhat above or below you or they have limited 
range, like the last boss's fire breath.

  Strafing / Sidestepping works best as a counter against vertical 
chops, thrusting and stabbing attacks. It also works well against all 
types of ranged attacks except those without spaces between shots; 
those that are continuous like the last boss's fire breath. The problem 
with this type of dodge is that you have to be more aware of the type 
of attack coming at you as it doesn't work against all attacks and it 
takes more timing than dashing back/backflipping.

  Dashing back can be done simply by pressing down on the d-pad (as 
mentioned in basic controls) or by holding R1 and pressing down on the 
d-pad. Be aware that holding R1 and pressing down on the d-pad does a 
backflip for Kaede that covers more distance (and looks more stylish 
^_^) than a dash back.
To use effectively, wait till the enemy is about to slash or fire at 
you and then press the button(s) to dash/backflip away from the attack. 
The attack should miss and you can dash back in by pressing/holding 
ONLY up on the d-pad (or by using the thrust technique instead). If you 
get into range quickly enough you can counter with basic attacks or 
anything else. If an enemy goes to attack again you can choose to 
repeat, block, use magic, try another dodge or use an instant death 
technique. There may be times that you face an enemy that has quite a 
bit of reach or you are really close to an enemy that is attacking you. 
In that case you may want to dash back/backflip multiple times. This is 
fine, but just remember to let the first dash/backflip almost finish 
before starting another one or you will get the "stagger" effect that I 
mentioned under "dash/walk backward" in basic controls. Or if the enemy 
has REALLY long reach you may want to sidestep or block the attack 
depending on if the attack is swinging and light (block) or not 
swinging and possibly heavy (sidestep).


  To strafe or sidestep hold down R1 and press left or right on the d-
pad. You will move very rapidly left or right and if you continue 
holding it you will continue to strafe fast but not quite fast enough 
to dodge the quicker enemy attacks. Just remember not to tap left or 
right too rapidly or you will STAGGER just like with the dash 
back/backflip (although I think it's more unlikely with 
strafe/sidestep). If you do this far from enemies you will 
strafe/sidestep left or right. If you do this close to an enemy you 
will circle strafe/step around that enemy. This is quite useful for 
getting behind enemies to strike them in the back since they can't seem 
to defend there.
  To be used as a dodge requires something more. You should to be in 
the "ready" stance (holding R1) and paying attention what attack the 
enemy is going to use. If it is a swinging horizontal attack you should 
dash back/backflip or block it. If it isn't but is rather a thrust or 
vertical chop then you can use the sidestep/strafe to avoid the attack 
and counterattack once the danger has passed. Works just beautifully, 
especially since this can get you behind an enemy. Works sweet against 
the first boss, particularly because you can't block some of his 
attacks! If the attack is an arrow, pulses of laser beams or something 
similar then you just wait till you hear it fire or see it coming and 
then strafe. It should miss you cleanly while you are ready to return 
fire with your bow, gun, kunai or to simply run up and attack with your 
melee weapons.

A final note on both types of dodging; Kaede is definitely faster and 
easier to dodge with.


  Alright, now although I think this is far too overrated in many of 
the FAQs out there it does have its purpose, and it's faults. First 
off, not all attacks can be blocked. Why? Usually because a really 
strong enemy can stagger you with one attack so much that you cannot 
stop its follow-up attack. Most attacks stagger you, but not much. Just 
be careful about blocking when you see many attacks flying at you and 
also be aware of what type of attack an enemy throws at you and what 
enemy is throwing it. Big enemies tend to stagger you more when you 
block due to their strength and mass. Another warning; Kaede gets 
staggered more than Samanosuke due to her small weapon and possibly 
less strength and mass. THE great thing about blocking is that it 
defends attacks from ALL directions, yes that includes your back. This 
means that although you can use block anytime it is best used when you 
do not have enough time to dodge an attack or when there are many 
enemies ganging up on you from all sides. Another good time is when you 
simply do not have the space to dodge either melee or ranged attacks 
and blocking is your only hope of deflecting them.



UPPERCUT SLASH(ES) - Top Directional button and Square, WHEN CLOSE TO 

This attack is devastating in its power keeping in mind it's a single 
hit (maybe two with the staff). It also knocks enemies away from you 
sending lighter ones to the ground. A beautiful move in itself, it can 
be followed up with a fatal ground stab or can be used in a combo, 
possibly as a finish.


  This is truly what this FAQ is about. Most people have accidentally 
pulled off the beginning of these and wondered how to do them again. I 
will tell you. First off, these techniques are counterattacks that kill 
either a single or several enemies around you instantly. Each blow is 
accompanied by a bright flash and an impressive noise. Enemies struck 
by this disintegrate as if hit by the Bishamon sword rather than dying 
in a normal fashion. An enemy killed by this also releases a lot more 
souls than normal. I don't know how much more exactly, but my guess 
would be 3 to 4 times as much and they almost always release health 
when you kill them with this technique. Possibly because the game 
designers know you've suffered being hacked to pieces trying to do 
these moves.

  The sure-fire way: Wait for an enemy to attack you and watch his 
attack carefully. You must dodge (using strafe/sidestep) an enemy 
attack just as he launches it or just as it is about to hit you, 
pressing the square button IMMEDIATELY after pressing the dodge button. 
In other words don't wait to see if the dodge was successful or even to 
see the dodge at all before counterattacking with square, just trust 
your timing. If you do it right the instant death attack will come out 
and take out the enemy or enemies in its range. Now here's another tip. 
If you continue to press square while doing an instant death technique 
you can sometimes extend the range of it and include more enemies in 
the attack(s). The instant death techniques are difficult but the 
easiest happen when dodging vertical chops or thrusts that come 
straight at you. You are not limited to these types of attacks however. 
You can do instant death attacks from an enemy's horizontal slash as 
well. How? Pay careful attention as to whether the enemy is slashing 
left to right or right to left. If the enemy were slashing say left to 
right MOVE WITH THE SLASH, meaning you would sidestep/strafe right in 
this case. In the case that the enemy was slashing right to left you 
would strafe/sidestep left. "BUT THE SLASH WOULD HIT ME!" You're 
probably saying. You know what, you're probably right, except you must 
remember that you are not really going for a true dodge. You are only 
dodging enough so that you can jam the square button down immediately 
after the dodge starts and counter with an instant death attack BEFORE 
you get cut open. Yes, this is very difficult but trust me, with 
practice you'll do it very often, taking only minor damage and that 
will be no problem with all the health you'll get from killing enemies 
this way.
  The hit-and-miss way: This way I do not trust but I put here so 
people DO NOT get the impression that you HAVE to dodge to get these 
techniques done. To do it this way just wait till the enemy attacks you 
and just as its attack is about to hit you or just as he launches an 
attack, hit the square button. If there is enough time before the enemy 
hits you (IMPOSSIBLE with some attacks, those NEED the dodge to give 
you that time) you'll do an instant death attack. You can continue this 
the same way as the sure-fire way, just hit square repeatedly.
  The chance kick: Also an untrustworthy method, one that I have not 
tried myself and I believe only works because enemies sometimes recover 
with an attack. To do this simply kick an enemy, preferably one that 
doesn't get knocked down, and press square immediately after.
  The chance pop-up death: Now I believe this is more reliable, though 
not by much. Thankfully it's far less dangerous than the other methods 
above. Do you know those enemies that roll towards you? You know how 
they appear in blue mist? Strike them while they're still teleporting 
in. That's it. End of technique. Sometimes you'll do an instant death 
attack. Why? I believe it's because they sometimes teleport in with an 
attack, their roll.
  The deadly-parry-attack: Lots of thanks to Aristotle Aquino for alerting me to this method. This method 
requires you to push the block button right before the you get hit by 
an attack then immediately push the attack button (do not wait to see 
the block). You will know if the "deadly-parry-attack" is successful 
when you stagger forward instead of backwards when you push the block
button (before you get hit) and he does the running slash when you push 
the attack button. Just a reminder from Aristotle Aquino "it will not 
work on some attacks, especially attacks of large opponents that 
staggers you crouching and far. It will always work on light enemies."
"I own all those dark demon knights with this killer parry move. I just 
go near them, hope they do their upward slash and BOOM! The next thing 
they know their dead! hehehe... i don't do it with the red ones though, 
they grab me by the neck and drain my life bar. Also it is impossible 
to do the "deadly-parry-attack" with the minotaurs. They attack very 
hard so i stick with your instant death method."
I believe his method is the safest of all and very reliable.
Thanks again Aristotle Aquino!
Please send your appreciation to him! ^_^
  Now to help out further I'm going to list specific instant death 
techniques that can be performed and how to do them for different 

OVERHEAD CHOP: Chops cleanly through an enemy. Common.
* Counter the swinging slashes of Zombies (peasant/samurai zombies with 
* Counter the overhead chops of the Zombies when they run at you.
* Counter the swinging slashes of the Spike Demons (creatures that roll 
at you)
* Chop the Spike Demons as they appear.
* Counter any strike of the Minotaurs.

AERIAL CHOP / UPPERCUT CHOP: Chops upward and cleanly through a 
descending enemy.
* Counter when a Ninja (masked, agile demons) jumps at you and is about 
to hit you.

RUNNING SLASH: Runs by multiple enemies (or a single enemy) and 
annihilates all of them. Needs only a single button press to take care 
of many enemies.
* Counter the running slash of the Ninjas with your own slash just as 
they start theirs.
* Counter the vertical slash of the Samurai Demons (large armoured 
demons), especially when one is clustered amongst more enemies.
* Counter the horizontal slashes of the Samurai Demons and any slashes 
of the Minotaurs.



  Simply a fancy, faster and more effective backwards dash. Use exactly 
the same way.


FLIP-OVER - Top Directional button and Square, WHILE CLOSE TO ENEMY.

  The flip-over is a beautiful technique both defensively and 
offensively since you can flip right over an enemy to dodge ANY attack 
made by that enemy. Also if the enemy is caught unaware (this usually 
happens when you use the flip-over to dodge an attack) and you press 
square upon landing from the flip, you will execute an instant death 
attack 100% of the time. Much easier than what you need to do to get 
Samanosuke's instant death moves. The cons are that it doesn't give 
Kaede anything, no extra souls, just an easier time killing. Also it 
leaves Kaede's back exposed to enemies behind her when she lands from 
the flip and the instant death attack will never affect more than a 
single enemy.



  Have you gone through Onimusha yet? If yes you've probably earned 
Samanosuke a very funny Panda outfit. What makes it funny? Just go 
through these scenes with the hood of the panda outfit in the positions 
mentioned and you'll see! ^_^
  Oh! Don't know how to put on or pull back the 'hood? No problem, man!
Simply press the L2 button.

Scene 1: Princess Yuki
  The hood should be down so we can see Samanosuke's face, make sure 
this is so from the beginning.
Awww... Ain't it adorable! Princess Yuki hugging this big, soft, 
fluffy, wuffy panda bear! And you know what I bet that EXACTLY how she 
thinks of Samanosuke! ^_~
Don't you think so? *Grin*

Scene 2: With the Power of This Gauntlet!
  Oh my! *Laughing hysterically* Ummm, no, I'm not going to spoil it. 
Look at that gauntlet yourself and tell me what's wrong here!? Man, 
Samanosuke, you're soooooooo dramatic!

Scene 3: Coming around the gate.
  Make sure the hood is up so we can see the psychotic panda face.
After we see these demons in their violence... Samanosuke comes around 
the corner... and the guard at the top screams and runs away.

Oh yeah, I thought Fortinbras was scary but no. Nothing compares to a 
sardonically grinning 8ft Panda coming around a corner! ^_^

Scene 4: Recognizing a human
  Make sure to pull down the hood immediately before going into the 
guard house. Also make sure to put it back up immediately after this 
scene, I mean DON'T WAIT! Put it up BEFORE you slash the zombies.

Scene 5: Opens doors "Holding breath"
  Make sure the hood is up so you are a scary panda and watch as the 
guards hold their breath in apprehension as they open the doors! 
*chuckle* We're really parodying Onimusha now!

Scene Later, Much Later: Scary Panda
When you go to fight the demon with the wind staff make sure you're 
hood is down and we can see Samanosuke's facial expressions for the 
initial part of the confrontation (that's just cool) and have the hood 
up before you defeat him so the Panda strikes a scary pose after the 
battle (funny).

Scene Yumemaru: Before going to open the door where Yumemaru is trapped 
pull down the hood so we get to see a cute (or gay as my friend calls 
it!) scene between Kaede, Samanosuke and Yumemaru.

Here's a fun technique when you wish to show off to a friend and look 
cool or something, not that we'd ever want to that of course *smirk*.
Just slash with the square button until you reach a slash you like and 
then hold back on the d-pad before the slash completes. Samanosuke will 
backtrack, holding his sword our in a cool sorta samurai way. Might 
work with Kaede too. Never tried.


Well, I hope this FAQ proved at least a little bit helpful to you. I 
had fun writing it, well sorta, *accusing glare* I know you guys just 
wanna leech information outta people who know! *joking* ^_^
Anyway, thanks for using it and if you have any questions or comments, 
like something relevant that I missed, please e-mail me at and forgive me that the english wasn't the best 
but I was in a rush. Also if you're interested I am one of the group 
that runs a gaming club in Barbados (yes, the Caribbean). Our site is
Check it out.
Well, Till next time!
Justin Blade