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    Issen FAQ by Goldsickle

    Updated: 04/26/04 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    By: Goldsickle
    This guide may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, 
    private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed 
    publicly without my permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or 
    as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of 
    Hello, I've been contributing to FAQs before, but this is the first time I'm 
    posting one of my own. The purpose of this FAQ is to cover one of the 
    overlooked features of the Onimusha series; the Issen. This is the famous 
    'one-hit kill', 'timed attack', 'counterattack', etc. move which beginners 
    might've done by accident and wanted to know more about succesfully 
    performing it more frequently. There're even some players who think 
    that Issen occurs 'atrandom' and it's success is not in your hands. 
    This guide will help you get familiar with the technique, learn it's 
    tricks, glitches and eventually master it. 
    NOTE: Before I begin, let me explain that I might never cover the extra 
    enemies that appeared in "Genma Onimusha", the X-Box port-over of 
    "Onimusha: Warlords" for PS2.
    Q1: "What is Issen?"
    A: Issen is the counterattack move that kills most enemies in one strike.
    Q2: "How does it happen?"
    A: It happens when the enemy attacks you or is in a position that's 
    vulnerable to Issen. When pressed at the right time, your player 
    character will dodge the enemies' attacks like it was nothing and 
    strikes the enemy with his equipped weapon, killing it instantly.
    Q3: "Why should I Issen?"
    A: Not only does it kill enemies faster (if not instantly), enemies 
    killed by Issen will release more souls than usual (two to three 
    times more). Furthermore, there's almost always Yellow Souls 
    released from enemies killed from Issen, as if rewarding you from 
    the hits you might take from trying to Issen the enemy. If you 
    could master Issen without getting damaged too much, your health 
    will always be full from the large amounts of Yellow Souls obtained.
    Q4: "What is Hajiki Kaeshi and Hajiki Issen?"
    A: Hajiki Kaeshi is where you parry an enemy's attack by pressing 
    the block button (L1) the same time the enemy is about to hit you. 
    You will know that the parrying worked when you see a yellow/white 
    flash and your player character staggering forward. During this, 
    you can press the Square button to instantly perform the Hajiki 
    Issen, a variation of Issen that pretty much kills most enemies. 
    Note that Hajiki Issen is also unofficially known as 'Block Issen' 
    in some FAQs and forums.
    Q5: "Are there any diferrence between Issen & H.Issen (besides the 
    A: What makes H.Issen diferrent is that you'll get hit less by going into 
    guard mode in case your H.Kaeshi fails. I can't fully confirm it, but in 
    Onimusha 2, it seems that Yellow Souls comes out less often when you 
    perform Hajiki Issen. Also in Onimusha 2, there're some Issen attack 
    animations which you can only excecute using Hajiki Issen.
    Q6: "What is a Chain Issen?"
    A: Chain Issens are manual combination Issens where you can immediately 
    Issen enemy after enemy from your initial Issen attack.
    'Chain Issen' is an unofficial name that's used to describe this attack 
    in various FAQs and Forums.
    Q7: "How do you perform Chain Issen?"
    A: After excecuting Issen on an enemy, press Square again at the end 
    of the attack animation. When succesful, you'll follow-up another 
    Issen to the nearest enemy, with a random attack animation. You need 
    to time each strikes for the Issen to continue. It's gets harder due 
    to the randomized attack patterns and varying timing of each animation.
    There're others who have said that to continue the follow-up, you need 
    to press the same time the screen flashes. 
    Q8: "Issen can kill all enemies in one blow?"
    A: At least in this Onimusha game. In the sequels, there're stronger 
    enemies that will take more than one Issens to kill. In "Onimusha: 
    Warlords", I only confirmed one boss that you can Issen.
    M1: "If you want your Issen to succeed, you must lock-on with the 
    R1 Button."
    A: It's not true. You can pretty much stand there with your sword 
    down in front of an entire horde and press the Square button when 
    an enemy within range strikes. One thing I noticed about the first 
    Onimusha is that whenever you lock on to an enemy, for some reason 
    you can't Issen other enemies that're not locked-on. This is 
    diferrent in the second game where you can Issen anyone around you, 
    wether you're locking on or not. Lock on isn't needed all the time, 
    but it still makes Issen easier and it's the only way you can 
    perform combos.
    M2: "You must face the enemy for the Issen to work."
    A: Not 100% true. Most of the time, you can Issen any enemy around you 
    that's within range and if you got the timing right. There's only one attack 
    in the game where you actually have to face the enemy to Issen (the Bazuu's 
    Roll Attack).
    M3: "There's a timed Issen and a strafing Issen."
    A: There isn't much diferrence. Issen is all about pressing the Square 
    button when the enemy is in a middle of an animation frame that triggers 
    Issen. You can pretty much stand your ground and keep your thumb on the 
    Square button if your timing is fluent. I can now Issen all the enemies 
    in the first game without any unneccesary strafing.
    But even though strafing aside and sitting still when the enemy attacks 
    are hardly any different when it comes to Issen, it DOES help reduce 
    damage in case your timing fails.
    After being able to discard these myths, you'll find your character standing 
    stick-still in the middle of a room full of demons. You will have your thumb 
    only on the Square button and each enemy will die everytime you press it, 
    without having your character turning around or locking-on to them.
    G1: "Missing the enemy."
    E: It's possible to miss the enemy sometimes. It usually happens when 
    you're too close oryou're in a small area surrounded by walls and 
    obstructions. This can also happen if your character strikes high 
    when the enemy's crouching low, or hitting low when the enemy's flying 
    high, etc.
    G2: "Enemies die by just touching my weapon."
    E: There're some weapons with a few glitches that actually benefits 
    you. Due to the way they're shaped or the way your character handles 
    it during Issen, you might kill more enemies than you'd expect. 
    It will be explained with each weapons.
    -Before listing down the enemies and their attacks, I'll list down 
    attack attributes and symbols for easy referance.
    (H)- You can perform Hajiki Kaeshi & Hajiki Issen for this attack.
    (!)- This attack cannot be blocked.
    (?)- Unconfirmed wether you can Issen this move.
    - You control 2 playable characters, Samanosuke & Kaede. 
    - The bosses in this game cannot be Issened, except for the 2nd Marcellus.
    - Kaede has a unique Issen move that's performed diferrently and such 
    technique has not been seen used by other characters in later games. 
    She will have her own section.
    -Don't be confused. The strafing happens automatically. Samanosuke will 
    use this to counter most of the enemies' attacks, especially overhead 
    strikes. After quickly positioning himself besides/behind the enemy, 
    he will do an overhead slash with all the weapons, except for the 
    Shippu, where he swipes it horizontally from left to right.
    Type 2: RISING SLASH:
    -Samanosuke slashes upwards. He'll use this to counter ariel strikes. 
    He also uses this to counter horizontal attacks by crouching low, 
    followed by the rising strike.
    Type 3: DASH SLASH:
    -Samanosuke dashes forwards and slashes horizontally from right to 
    left. He uses this to counter some of the enemies' attacks, but he 
    will automatically excecute this if you did a Hajiki Issen. This is 
    the most favoured move to kill multiple enemies due to the way it's 
    - Unlike all the other Onimusha games, your Oni-weapons and it's 
    magical attacks are upgraded seperately.
    - Upgrading the Oni-weapons not only increases it's attack power, 
    but increases it's size, which raises the chances of hitting 
    multiple enemies.
    <Description> -The sword Samanosuke starts with, which is basically 
    a regular Japanese sword. It's fast, but very weak. You might stop 
    using it as soon as you aqquired your first Oni-weapon, but I 
    sometimes reequip this for fun, since you can still Issen with it. 
    <Glitches> -Nothing much, but despite it's size, it's still possible 
    to kill 4 demons in one Dash Slash.
    <Misc.> -Try going through all levels of the Dark Realm with this 
    sword. Despite how it sounds, it's actually very easy once you've 
    mastered Issen.
    <Description> -Your first Oni-weapon. It's a blue curved sword 
    with the power of lightning. Handling it is similiar to the Normal 
    Sword, only it's slightly slower. 
    <Glithces> -It's JUST like the Normal Sword, except that it has 
    magic power and it can grow bigger.
    <Misc> -N/A
    3. KOEN & ENRYUU
    <Description> -The second Oni-weapon you obtain after the first 
    boss. It resembles a Western broadsword with the power of fire. 
    It's more powerful, but it swings much slower than the Raizan.
    <Glitches> -If there's an enemy right behind Samanosuke when 
    he's performing the type 1 Issen, they'll get hit by the Koen 
    when Samanosuke is raising it over the back his head, ready to 
    <Misc> -It's wide and broad blade (especially at Max. level) 
    allows more enemies to be killed in one swipe.
    <Description> -The final Oni-weapon obtained after fighting the 
    1st Marcellus. It's a swallow with the power of wind. It can 
    perform multiple slashes and is faster than the Raizan.
    <Glitches> -The glitchiest weapon. Using this, Samanosuke can 
    kill enemies in front and behind him with the Rising Slash attack 
    due to how he swings it upwards in a circular pattern. Due to 
    it's dual blades, the Shippu can kill a lot with it's type 1 Issen 
    (strafing followed by a horizontal slash). I've killed as many 
    as 5 Bazuus at a time, once.
    <Misc> -N/A
    <Description> -A long bow and a 16th century firearm called a 
    Matchlock. Both require ammunition to use (Arrows and Bullets, 
    respectively). You can't use these to Issen any of the enemies 
    except for Gyarans (which can be Issened by any type of attack). 
    These weapons makes Issening them easier since they can be aimed 
    <Glitches> -N/A
    <Misc> -You can't block when you have these weapons equipped. 
    Strangely, you can't kick, either.
    <Description> -The ultimate weapon in the game. It resembles a 
    Western double-edged sword with flames eminating from the blade. 
    It's so powerful that it can kill most of the enemies in the game 
    in one slash, desintegrating them when destroyed. Despite it 
    looking more like the Koen, it's handling is like the Raizan/Normal 
    <Glitches> -N/A
    <Misc> -This sword can also be used for Issen despite it being 
    extremely powerful. The con is that if you mess up the Issen timing, 
    you might accidently kill the enemy instantly, losing the opportunity 
    to gain extra Red souls and Yellow souls.
    - I will list them down in order of appearance (not counting the 
    invincible Three-Eyes at the beginning). 
    - The enemies will be called by their official names (if available). 
    I'm trying to avoid the use of random names like "Zombie Soldier", 
    "Spiked Rollers", "Minatour", etc. that were made up in several 
    - Each of the enemy's attacks will be listed followed by Attack 
    Attribute symbols (See 04) followed by how to Issen them. 
    1. SOLDIER DEMONS (aka: "Zombies", "Skeletons", "Soldiers",)
    <Description> -The first enemy that you encounter (that can be killed) 
    in the game. They look like fleshy skeletons dressed in green uniforms 
    complete with a sword in their right hand.
    <Attack Patterns> 
    T: You will see them raising their swords above their heads before 
    slashing vertically downwards. There's no trick for this, you just 
    press Square the same time he slashes downwards. When succesful, 
    Samanosuke will counter with the type 1 Issen.
    T: There's one where swings from left to right, and one where swings 
    the opposite direction which is quicker. Press the Square button just 
    before the sword hits you and you'll counter with Issen type 1.
    T: The soldier turns his body clock-wise and slashes with his sword. 
    Since he rarely does this, I didn't really pay attention to the timing 
    required to Issen this move. Just remember to press the button a little 
    bit late. Samanosuke will counter with the strafing Issen.
    T: Whenever you absorb souls in front of them (wether there're souls 
    to absorb or not), you'll see them scream and run towards you, holding 
    their sword above their heads. Once within range, they'll do the 
    Overhead Slash attack above. This is the most predictable move in the 
    game and If you're new to Issen, I highly recommend getting the feeling 
    by learning to counter this move.
    <Misc> -The Demon Soldier has a final attack move where if you depleted 
    their life by slashing a lot, they might make one final attempt to 
    slash you before dying by falling forward with their sword extended. 
    You can't Issen this since they're already dead.
    <Note> -I can't confirm wether you can Issen the archer versions of 
    the Demon Soldiers.
    2. THREE-EYES (aka: "Ninja", "Blue Ninja",)
    <Description> -The first enemy you meet. They look like ninjas with 
    something that resembles night vision goggles from "Splinter Cell" 
    covering their eyes. They're armed with a foldable blade that's strapped 
    to their right arm. Their outfit are blue-coloured.
    <Attack Patterns>
    T: The Three-Eyes moves two steps forwards followed by a slash with 
    their blades. Press the Square button the same time the blade is about 
    to touch you and when you can hear the slashing sound. Samanosuke will 
    counter with Issen Type 1.
    T: After taking a few steps backwards, the Three-Eyes have this tendency 
    to do this jumping attack without warning. It jumps up with it's blade 
    raised, and slashes while falling down at the same time. You're to press 
    the Square Button when it's about to descend from it's jump, so that 
    Samanosuke will knock it away with a Rising Slash. If you have the Koen 
    equipped, Samanosuke will do a Strafing Strike instead.
    #3: DASH SLASH (H)
    T: While taking a few steps or flips back, he could either do the 
    Parabolic Jump or this attack. The tell-tale sign that he'll do this 
    is when you see him suddenly sitting still for a second. He'll then 
    dash forward, swiping his blade horizontally, from left to right. In 
    order to Issen this properly, I recommend standing from a distance 
    (but not too far away) and wait for him to attack. When he's dashing 
    towards you, press Square when he's right in front of you, the same 
    time he's swinging his blade. Your timing might fail if you're too 
    near and standing too far will put you out of Issen range. The hint 
    is to be standing at the right place when he swings his blade. When 
    succesful, you'll counter this attack with your own Dash Slash.
    <Misc> -When fighting more than one Three-Eyes, I recommend using 
    Hajiki Issen until there's one left. When fighting 3 at a time 
    (for example), keep your eyes peeled on who will attack first, 
    rather than targeting one and waiting for that one to attack. Hajiki 
    Issen is quite useful since you can do it on anyone around you 
    regardless wether you're locking on or not.
    3. BAZUU (aka: "Spiked Rollers", "Hogs", "Rolling Dinos",)
    <Description> -From a distance, they looked like anthromorphic wild 
    boars wearing armour with a few spikes growing along their spine and 
    are armed with a rusty/bloody cleaver on their right hand. Their 
    narrow mouth are restrained by a muzzle which comes off (disappear 
    actually,) when they roar.
    <Attack Patterns>
    #1: TRIPLE SLASH (H)
    T: The Bazuu slashes three times in a row. The slashes are not rapid, 
    but slightly delayed, allowing you to Issen from any of the 3 attacks. 
    When it raises it's blade, you're supposed to press Square the same 
    time it slashes you but remember not to press too early. Use the 
    slashing sounds as a hint. Succesfully timing the Issen will reward 
    you with Samanosuke evading the slash and killing the Bazuu in one 
    strike. If it approaches you with this attack from afar, time the 
    slashes so you can Issen the 2nd or 3rd slash. If your Issen fails 
    and you get slashed from the first strike, don't panic and block 
    immediately. Instead, press block the same time the next slash is 
    about to hit you and do a Hajiki Issen. 
    Note that the Bazuu might occasionally stop this attack halfway.
    #2: VERTICLE CUT (H)
    T: Easily confused with the Triple Slash above. This is a single 
    slash attack where he slashes vertically downwards. The timing is 
    slightly later than a swing from the Triple Slash attack, so if you 
    get confused, you might press too early and get chopped. Remember 
    that the Triple Slash begins with a slightly diagonal strike while 
    the Verticle Cut goes straight down. Defining these two attacks 
    properly will make countering them with Type 1 Issen easier.
    #3: QUICK SWING (H)
    T: Without warning, the Bazuu might do a quick horizontal swing from 
    right to left. The timing to press the Square button is a split-second 
    earlier than the Triple Slash. Counters with a Strafing Strike.
    T: This is where a Bazuu will crouch low, slowly moving it's blade 
    to the left and slashing horizontally to the right quickly. They 
    don't use this often but when they do, learn to not press Square 
    too early, only press it the same time they swing to counter with a 
    Strafing Strike. If you're not too fluent with countering slow, 
    delayed attacks like these, I'd recommend doing a Hajiki Issen instead.
    #5: LUNGE BITE
    T: Another rarely excecuted move where the Bazuu jumps forwards and 
    bites you. Since it hardly attacks using this, I didn't really pay 
    much attention regarding how to Issen it (since there're several 
    other attacks that you can Issen them with which are more frequent). 
    I think you press Square the same time they're jumping at you. Use 
    the crouching before jumping animation as hint. When pressed correctly, 
    Samanosuke will strafe behind the jumping Bazzu and slash them. 
    Sometimes, when this attack hits you, the Bazuu might tighten it's 
    grip on your hand with it's mouth. Mash the buttons to kick it away.
    T: Sometimes, the Bazuu will suddenly do a jumping summersault and 
    lands on you with it's feet. This is the only attack from the Bazuus 
    that I can't confirm if you can Issen. But one thing you should know 
    is that the Bazuu will ALWAYS follow-up with a Triple Slash after doing 
    this move. Make use of this predictable pattern.
    T: Usually from afar a Bazuu might roar, signalling that he'll be 
    excecuting the Roll Attack. Like the attack's name, it tucks it's body 
    into a ball and rolls towards you, slashing you with the spikes on it's 
    back. Issening this attack is a little bit manual compared with all the 
    other Issens. You will have to stand in front of the rolling Bazuu and 
    press Square when it's nearing you. How early/late you press depends on 
    the weapons you equipped. The Normal Sword, Raizan and Bishamon Sword's 
    handling is almost the same, so you have to time it late since the 
    strikes are fast and hitting too early will cause you to miss and get 
    As for the Koen, imagine Samanosuke laying the sword on the ground with 
    the blade pointing towards the Bazuu. That's how far between you and the 
    rolling Bazuu should be before you press Square. In other words, the 
    timing for Koen is a little earlier than the previous swords.
    The timing for the Shippu is the earliest because the Rising Strike 
    animation for it makes Samanosuke move forward a little before actually 
    slashing. Time it too late and Samanosuke will get spiked before he could 
    slash.Using the lock-on (R1) makes this Issen easier. However, I only 
    recommend actually trying to Issen this attack when you're fighting one 
    Bazuu. Sometimes, a Bazuu might teleport into the field doing a Roll 
    Attack. If you're near it during it's entrance, you can immediately 
    press Square to Issen it.
    This is probably the only move in the game where you actually have to 
    face the enemy to make it work.
    <Misc> -Bazuus are easily provoked into attacking you when you try to 
    absorb souls. If you're within close or medium range, they'll react with 
    any of the slash attacks above (usually the Triple Slash). At long range, 
    they will do the Roll Attack without the initial roaring.
    <Note> -One thing that makes Issening Bazuus fun is that they have a 
    special 'Issen Death' animation when they're killed with Issen. They 
    roll away from the force of the slash and their bodies twitch a little 
    before they crumble to dust. 
    3. BARABAZUU (aka: "Minatour", "Ogre", "Axe Monster", "Horned Demon")
    <Description> For SOME reason, they reminded me of Ogre from Tekken 3 at 
    first glance (which is probably why those who didn't know it's real name 
    called them 'Ogre'). Barabazuus are large humanoid creatures with bull-like 
    horns and wears a metal helmet that covers almost it's whole head, leaving 
    only the lower jaw exposed. 4 spikes can be seen protruding from the 
    helmet, where the eyes should be. They're cladded in armour that resembles 
    the ones worn by Bazuus. Barabazuus are equipped with a battle axe and are 
    carrying a spare cleaver (similar to the Bazuu's, only bigger) sheathed 
    behind their backs.
    <Attack Patterns>
    #1: SPLIT & THRUST
    T: Holding the axe with two hands the Barabazuu vertically slams it to 
    the ground followed by a thrust attack. The first strike is usually to 
    make you stagger backwards (if you blocked it) while the thrusting is 
    a follow-up to hit you while you're guard's open. Sometimes the thrust 
    is not excecuted especially if the initial attack hits you. You can 
    Issen the initial attack by pressing Square when the axe is at 45°. 
    Samanosuke will dodge it and do a Strafing Issen.
    T: It turns it's body counter clock-wise and does an overhead strike with 
    the axe, using it's right hand. Like the Split & Thrust's initial attack, 
    you press Square when the axe is at 45° to counter with the Strafing 
    T: The Barabazuu holds the axe parallel to the ground, bends it's upper 
    body to the right and swings the axe horizontally to the left with his 
    left hand while roaring. It then passes the axe to his right hand from 
    behind it's back to regain it's stance. To Issen this attack, stand right 
    in front of it and press the Square button when he's roaring and 
    Samanosuke will duck the swinging axe and counter with a Rising Slash.
    T: It's very similiar to the Encircling Axe, except that the Barabazuu 
    uses the momentum of the attack to turn around 180° when you're behind 
    it. The timing for it is very similiar, only slightly faster. Samanosuke 
    will also do a Rising Slash for this attack.
    #5: AXE THROW (?)
    T: When you're at a distance, the Barabazuu will throw it's initial 
    weapon towards you, sending it spinning through the air. It will then 
    switch to it's spare cleaver, completing it's cosplay as a Bazuu. 
    I have never Issened this attack.
    #6: CLEAVER SWINGS (When cleaver is equipped)
    T: With it's secondary weapon equipped, the Barabazuu will swing the 
    cleaver downwards and sometimes follow-up with a rising slash. For 
    100% of the time, I always Issen a Barabazuu while they're still 
    equipped with the axe, so just to complete the list, I had one throw 
    the axe just so I can write about Issening his cleaver strikes for 
    those who're curious. Since he hardly does the second slash, it's 
    best to Issen the first one by pressing Square when he's roaring 
    during the attack to counter it with a Rising Slash. 
    <Misc> -If you're unlucky enough to be fighting with more than one 
    Barabazuu, I recommend not locking on since you won't be able to 
    Issen the one who's attacking you when you're locked on to another. 
    If you must lock on to a Barabazuu to Issen them, I suggest moving 
    around until you are able to situate yourself near one while being 
    out of the other's attack range. Lock on to the nearby Barabazuu and 
    focus on Issening it's attacks.
    4. REYNALDO (aka "Didn't get a name change because Guildenstern said 
    it out loud")
    <Description> -Slimy, purple-coloured humanoid creature with 
    regeneratable tentacles for arms and sickle-like protrusions from 
    their backs, like wings. Knowing more about the difference between 
    the attacks done by it's left and right tentacle makes predicting their 
    attacks easier. Oh yeah, did I mention that everybody knows what they're 
    called because Guildenstern said it out loud?
    <Attack Patterns>
    #1: SAND WORM (?)
    T: This is almost like it's initial attack. At random, it plunges 
    either it's right or left tentacle into the floor, where it will 
    elongate and move underground towards you and either shoots out at 
    you or grab your leg, holding you still while other Reynaldos 
    attack you. You can severe the tentacle by either locking on to the 
    tentacle and slash it, or you can attack the Reynaldo with as much 
    as a kick to have the tentacle come off.
    After losing one limb, they're only limited to attacks that the 
    other tentacle does. Consider yourself lucky if you're able to 
    severe the left tentacle, because that's the one it used for three 
    out of four attacks.
    #2: WHIPLASH (Right tentacle)
    T: The Reynaldo pulls it's tentacle back and whips it at you. Counter 
    it with a Dash Slash by pressing Square when it swings it's tentacle 
    towards you, before it fully extends. You can use the whip sound as a 
    clue for a more accurate timing.
    #3: FAKE SWING (Left tentacle)
    T: It does a feign swing with it's right tentacle and horizontally 
    lashes you with it's left. Press Square when it's about to lash you 
    and emitting that slobbery noise at the same time and you'll kill 
    it with a Dash Slash.
    #4: TENTACLE LICK (Left tentacle),(!)
    T: Making that slobbery noise again, it slowly reaches out with it's 
    tentacle to 'lick' you. The timing is slightly delayed. Press Square 
    when tentacle is nearing you. Use that same slobbery noise as a hint 
    for the timing. Samanosuke will answer this hentai-inspired attack 
    with a Dash Slash.
    #5: SNATCHER (Left tentacle),(!),(?)
    T: The start-up is almost like the Tentacle Lick, except it's a little 
    bit more delayed and it looks like it's reaching out for you than licking 
    you. When you're hit, it automatically grabs your hand and pulls you 
    closer towards it. Mash the buttons to break free or it will double-stab 
    you with the sickle-like protrusions behind it's back.
    <Misc> -Reynaldos are a huge pain. Not only you can't Issen those who 
    you're not locked-on to, but you can't perform Hajiki Issen on any of 
    their attacks. I recommend not locking-on at all if you're fighting more 
    than one.
    5. GYARAN (aka: "Floating Skulls", "Blue Floating Skull Things")
    <Description> -Gyarans are floating balls made of blue human skulls all 
    stuck together, with a rectum-like opening that's supposed to be their 
    mouth. They appear to display their ability of sucking away valuable 
    souls with the absorbing power that outdoes the Gauntlet. Once they suck 
    enough, they'll spin very fast while making a lot of noise and disappear 
    with all your hard-earned souls. In "Onimusha: Warlords", Gyarans can be 
    Issened with just about anything, including your long-ranged weapons and 
    <Attack Patterns>
    #1: DIVING RAM (?)
    T: It dives down to ram you. I don't think you can Issen this.
    #2: VAMPIRIC RAM (!),(?)
    T: I can't tell the difference between this and the previous attack. They 
    both look the same, but the Vampiric Ram cannot be blocked and once hit, 
    it'll grab hold of you and suck souls from you.
    #3: ESCAPE
    T: After sucking enough souls, it will spin and spin until it vanishes. 
    During this time, you can use ANYTHING to Issen it, provided that you 
    can hit it. The souls the Gyarans are currently carrying will be 
    multiplied after they're Issened.
    <Misc> -It's risky, but you can make use of the Gyarans to multiply 
    your souls. You can try this if you have the Bow, Matchlock or some 
    Arashi magic to blow. Issen nearby enemies (usually Bazuus), and just 
    let them suck all the souls. After Issening one Gyaran, you can suck 
    the souls right now or let another one suck it, and you Issen that 
    one when it tries to escape; further multiplying your souls!
    <Note> -Gyarans enter the field with zero souls. But if you're 
    able to kill it with Issen by Issening another enemy and somehow 
    hitting the Gyaran in the process, they'll leave behind a small 
    Yellow Soul.
    6. LONG-ARMED DEMONS (aka: "Samurai Zombie", "Armoured Zombie")
    <Description> -Tall, skinny humanoid creatures with long arms, 
    cladded in red samurai armour. They're armed with a long, Japanese 
    sword in their right hand. They move about and attack slowly but 
    once within range, they'll display their namesake by grabbing you 
    by the throat and crushing 
    your larynx.
    <Attack Patterns>
    T: Think about the Overhead Slash made by the Demon Soldiers, only 
    slower. Waiting for him to actually attack you might make you lose 
    your patience and press Square too early. Wait for the sword to be 
    around at a 45° angle before pressing the button. Samanosuke will 
    rush forwards with a Dash Slash, as if telling the Demon that it's 
    too slow.
    T: When you're too close, it will attempt to create some distance by 
    using this light attack where he strikes upwards. There isn't much 
    trick to Issen this attack, just try to press Square the same time 
    he swings. If you side-stepped or somehow evaded the Long Divider, 
    stick around and it might follow-up with this attack, creating a 
    more predictable pattern. Samanosuke uses the Dash Slash to answer 
    to this. This the only attack from the Long-Armed Demons that you 
    can do Hajiki Issen.
    T: From afar, it might approach you with a barrage of horizontal swings, 
    left and right. He'll keep on doing this 6-8 times and will always stop 
    if it hits you or if you blocked it. It might do this attack at close 
    range, so you should Issen on the first swing. Since it's swinging 
    horizontally, let me explain the Issen method this way: press Square 
    when it's sword is facing around 2 to 3 'o' clock for a Dash Slash.
    #4: THROAT GRAB (!),(?)
    T: Some times, it'll do the Backhand Upper when you're too close. 
    But most of the time, it does this.... The Demon will grab you by the 
    throat and keeps strangling you until your life runs out. You need to 
    mash the buttons before that happens. I have never Issened this attack.
    <Misc> -I recommend always trying to Issen from the Long Divider and 
    the Wild Swings, because it'll always do the Throat Grab when you're 
    too close. Sometimes, when you expect it to do the Backhand Upper after 
    the Long Divider, it might do the Throat Grab instead. It's not that 
    predictable, it seems.
    7. OOWASSHA (aka: "Bull", "Yellow Bull", "Ogre", "Minatour")
    <Description> -They're basically JUST like the Barabazuu, except that 
    they're shirtless and are equipped with an axe that looks more like 
    it's meant to chop trees. They have chains around their torso and have 
    rings pireced into their arms. Maybe they just ran out of armours and 
    spare cleavers for these guys.
    <Attack Patterns>
    #1: SPLIT & THRUST
    T: See Barabazuu.
    T: Also another copy of the Barabzuu's attacks.
    T: Just like the Barabazuus.
    T: See Barabazuu *sigh*.
    #5: SPIN & SLAM
    T: Finally, a different kind of attack. They spin around 360°, and 
    use the spinning momentum to slam down their axe at you vertically. 
    The swinging of the axe is faster than all it's other overhead attacks, 
    so I suggest using the roaring sound as a clue if you want to try a 
    Starfing Strike Issen. They'll also use this attack to turn around 
    and attack you if you're behind it.
    T: Roaring, the Oowassha will lift it's axe over it's right shoulder, 
    with it's right hand and move towards you in, poised to strike. Once 
    within range, it will do a single hand overhead strike to nullify your 
    guard (if you blocked it), followed by a 360° spin with the axe. Even if 
    you dodged the first attack, the 360° spin can also nullify your guard, 
    giving it's comrades a free opening. The 360° attack won't happen 
    sometimes, if the first attack already hits you. You can try countering 
    the first attack by pressing Square when the axe is about 45°, the same 
    time it's roaring.
    <Misc> -You can't do Hajiki Issen on any of their attacks, so as usual, 
    avoid locking on when you're fighting more than one.
    <Note> -Why does everyone call Barabazuus and Oowasshas 'Ogres'? I 
    thought Ogres are the clan that gave Samanosuke his Gauntlet?
    8. SHARK (aka: "Mantis")
    <Decription> -Giant insects with large pincers protruding from their heads. 
    <Attack Patterns> 
    T: It'll pull it's head back and spring forwards while scissoring their 
    pincers together. You need to press Square when it's springing forwards, 
    around the same time you hear the lunging sound. Samanosuke will duck 
    and do a Rising Slash.
    T: They'll slash you with their right pincer. The timing is almost the 
    same as the Scissors Attack. You'll also counter this with a Rising Slash. 
    #3: PINCER RAM (H)
    T: This attack is quite long-ranged, so you might get surprised when it 
    suddenly covers a lot of ground and cutting you with it's pincers. The 
    timing is also slightly the same with the last two attacks (including 
    the Issen attack you counter with). 
    <Misc> -Once you've Issened one attack from Sharks, you've Issened them all.
    9. BLACK SPIDER (aka: "Black Ninjas")
    <Description> -They're merely a 'greater' version of the Three-Eyes, 
    decked in black, equipped with katars (the weapons Voldo used in Soul 
    Edge/Calibur) and they can throw shurikens. They can also do a 'shadow 
    split' technique to confuse players by splitting into 2 after getting hit. 
    <Attack Patterns>
    T: The same as Three-Eyes.
    T: Not much diferrent than the Three-Eyes.
    #3: DASH SLASH (H)
    T: The exact same move as the Three-Eyes.
    T: The Black Spider will advance slowly and swing their right arm 
    diagonally. You just have to wait and press the Square button the same 
    time it slashes with the swishing sound. Try not to press too early and 
    you'll do a Strafing Strike.
    #5: RAPID STABS (H)
    T: Fast, spontaneous and without warning, they'll suddenly stab at you 
    rapidly, three times. If you're not familiar with this attack, I suggest 
    trying to Issen it with Hajiki Issen first. When you see it pulling it's 
    right arm back, press block the same time it extends forwards. This move 
    is so quick that the biggest cause of failure is realizing it and pressing 
    Square too late. If you got the hang of the timing, do a regular Issen for 
    a Strafing Strike.
    #6: KUNAI THROW (?)
    T: The second they start scraping their katars together and creating 
    sparks, this is a warning that they'll be doing their Kunai Throw attack. 
    They'll flip backwards while throwing 3 kunais towards you. You can just 
    lock on to the one throwing and side-step left or right to dodge them 
    completely. You can block the kunais, but you can't block them if they're 
    thrown towards your flank or rear. I don't think you can Issen this attack, 
    but something I did makes me wonder. When they throw their kunais, you can 
    bounce them back at the Black Spiders with your sword. If they're hit by 
    those kunais, it usually kills the Black Spiders instantly, releasing the 
    same amount of souls that they leave behind when you Issened them (+130, 
    instead of +30 when you kill them normally).
    Note that they almost always follow up with a Parabolic Jump after the 
    Kunai Throw.
    <Misc> -If you're used to staying in the middle of the room, waiting to 
    Hajiki Issen the Three-Eyes, I recommend having your back againts the wall 
    for the Black Spiders to avoid a rear attack with the Kunai Throw.
    10. DARK ARMOUR DEMONS (aka: "Black Samurai")
    <Description> -A knock-off of the Long-Armed Demons, except their armours 
    are black and they have a shield strapped on their left hand.
    <Attack Patterns> -All their attacks are the same as Long-Armed Demons. 
    <Misc> -The only big difference between the Dark Armours and the Long-Armed 
    are the shields the former has. Unlike the Long-Armed, you can stay close 
    at all times in front of the Dark Armour because they won't grab you unless 
    you remove their shields. And you don't need to remove their shields if 
    you want to Issen them, so...
    11. VOLCHIMAN (aka: "Stealth Demons", "Invisible Stalker")
    <Description> -A humanoid demon that either looks like a bio-weapon from 
    some sci-fi flick or a villain from some sentai-themed show. They carry 
    a whip sword (similiar to the one used by Ivy in Soul Calibur) that can 
    straighten, curve and elongate at will. They can also turn invisible a la 
    "Predator", which can nullify your lock-on feature. While invisible, they 
    either approach you slowly to attack you, submerge themselves underground 
    to move closer while undetected or move away to create some distance.
    <Attack Patterns>
    #1: TORSO CUTTER (H)
    T: A variety of light horizontal swings, left and right. There aren't 
    any tricks here, you just press Square the same time it swings at you 
    and don't press too early. You'll counter with a Strafing Strike.
    T: Not to be confused with the Torso Cutter. It does this much faster, 
    and you can't Hajiki Issen it. Be prepared to press Square early for a 
    Strafing Strike.
    #3: HIGH IMPALER (?)
    T: A quick attack where it raises it's sword and thrusts downwards. I 
    have never Issened this attack.
    T: From afar, it'll curve it's sword into a ring and send it flying towards 
    you before it returns to it's hand. The spinning sword travels in a 
    clock-wise pattern. 
    #5: FLYING UPPER (?)
    T: This is one of the attacks it will use when it has submerged itself 
    underground. It'll suddenly fly out of the ground, while striking upwards 
    at the same time. The thing is, this move is short-ranged and yet most of 
    the time, it does this far, far away. 
    T: Another thing they might do while submerged. Usually after moving to your 
    rear while underground, they'll suddenly jump up high and come down at you 
    while slashing with their fully-elongated blade. Press Square the same time 
    they're just about to land for a Strafing Strike.
    T: This method is quite tedious, but for those not good at Issening them 
    face-to-face can try this. For some unknown reason, you can only excecute 
    this Issen when you have the Oni-Weapons equipped. They won't do the Near 
    Death Submerge if you're equipped with anything else. To get them to do the 
    NDS, you need to damage them a lot without killing them. Take the 
    opportunity to attack the Volchiman when it's doing the Boomerang Chakra 
    since it's unguarded without their weapon in their hand. After damaging 
    them enough, you'll notice a change; they will do their submerge as usual, 
    but they will stay in one place for while, making some heavy breathing 
    noises. When this happens, Samanosuke can actually lock on to them. Hurry 
    towards their current location before they resurface. Once on top of them, 
    press Square and Samanosuke will plunge his equipped weapon right into the 
    Volchiman's head, killing them instantly, complete with the Issen flash 
    and sound effect. To make it easier, I recommend locking on to pin-point 
    the submerged Volchiman's location but lock-off when you're approaching it.
    05.4 KAEDE'S ISSEN
    -Unlike all the playable characters in the Onimusha series, Kaede is the 
    odd-one-out, due to her unique way of Issen. She cannot excecute the 
    standard method of pressing Square the same time an enemy strikes. Instead, 
    while locking on, move in close to an enemy and press front+Square for 
    Kaede to flip over the enemy, landing behind them and press Square again 
    for Kaede to automatically grab the enemy from behind and slit their 
    throat, killing them instantly. 
    -If her unusual Issen method doesn't make her odd, Kaede also can't do 
    Hajiki Kaeshi (much less, Hajiki Issen) and she can't absorb souls, so 
    it's best to avoid enemies completely or you'll be wasting Herbs and 
    Medicines (since you can't absorb Yellow Souls) if you're careless. 
    But you can still mess around with her for fun and/or to rack up your 
    kill stats.
    -I will list down the enemies that Kaede meets and some tips on Issening 
    <Method> -You don't need to do much, just lock-on to one, flip over and 
    slit their throats. They're quite slow to react to Kaede's flipping. Just 
    remember that the Issen will fail if there is someone between you and the 
    locked-on enemy.
    <Method> -You can do the same to these guys, but it doesn't always work. 
    To make it easier, I recommend slashing or kicking them once to stun them 
    before flipping over.
    <Method> -It hardly works on these guys. Not impossible, but hard. You 
    can keep them still by slashing them once to stun them (kicking will 
    knock them to the ground) before flipping behind them. You can also flip 
    over the same time they do their Close-Range Slash or if their backs are 
    againts a wall.
    <Method> -The 'slash/kick before flipping over' method doesn't work well 
    here due to their quick recovery and their tendency of locking on to you 
    quickly even after you've flipped behind them. You must flip over them 
    while they're doing the Backhand Upper or the Long Divider. You should 
    avoid flipping over when they're doing the Wild Swings because they're 
    constantly locked-on to you while they're doing it.
    <Misc> -Kaede can't Issen the Volchiman and the Sharks that she encounters 
    in her scenario.
    -As mentioned a few times before, I can only confirm one boss you can Issen. 
    1. MARCELLUS 2 (aka: "Another demon named after a character from 'Hamlet'.")
    <Description> -A tall, humanoid demon, fully decked in armour, equipped with 
    it's own Gauntlet, a huge sword and a metal shield. The shield can be 
    destroyed after hitting it several times, and it'll change to a pair of dual 
    blades after you damaged Marcellus enough.
    <Attack Patterns> -I only know one attack that you can Issen during it's 
    second form, so I'll only cover it's second form's moves.
    T: After teleporting away, Marcellus will zoom towards you and slash at you 
    with it's two blades. I don't know if you can do a regular Issen, but I can 
    confirm that you can Hajiki Issen this attack. Think about the Three-Eyes' 
    Dash Slash, only faster.
    #2: PUMMEL & SPIN (?)
    T: Marcellus will jump up and come down with both it's blades slashing 
    downwards, followed by a 360° spin with both blades. The initial attack is 
    meant to break your guard while the 2nd one is to get a free hit while 
    you're staggering. It might seem like it's doing the Hi-Speed Dual Slash 
    but might cancel into a Pummel & Spin to catch you off-guard. You should 
    strafe the first attack and block the second. 
    Marcellus will also do the Pummel attack when you're lying on the ground.
    #3: SLASH & STAB (?)
    T: Marcellus releases a barrage of horizontal slashes followed by a thrust.
    <Misc> -Slash at him so that it'll evade and create some distance between 
    you and it. That will prompt Marcellus to do the Hi-Speed Dual Slash more 
    <Note> -I don't really feel like watching through the cutscenes all over 
    again to test more on Marcellus. It's unfortunate that you can't skip 
    cutscenes in "Onimusha: Warlords".
    All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by 
    their respective trademark and copyright holders.
    07. CONTACT
    You can contact me at goldsickle@hotmail.com 
    That about covers the enemies and Issening methods of "Onimsha: Warlords". 
    Please give me feedbacks about the FAQ, especially about how the format 
    works for you and if the informations are accurate. Also please inform me 
    of what I may miss or any mistakes I made.

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