Basara, who is also known as "Basara the Executioner" (首切り 破沙羅, Kubikiri Basara), is a character who was first introduced in Samurai Shodown III. He continues to appear in other titles of the series. Creator and composer, Yasushi Adachi and Tate Norio reply in one of their interviews that Basara is their most favorite character from the series.
He is a type of yūrei "reborn" due to an extreme hatred he harbored before his death. In his previous life, Basara lived in peace with his lover, Kagaribi, until the monstrous demonic swordsman Zankuro came through and slaughtered everyone. He blames "the demon" for Kagaribi's demise but, in Samurai Shodown V, it is revealed that Basara himself killed her.
In Samurai Shodown III, he remembers how he died and thus aimlessly seeks to take revenge on Zankuro. In Samurai Shodown IV, he discovers that his "rebirth" is caused by Amakusa, so he heads for Shimabara to kill him. In his ending, Amakusa seals him away by using a vision of Kagaribi to lure him into a pillar. He is not expected to be released anytime in the future.
Basara was a man happy with his life of peace. All that remained from his previous life, however, was his love for Kagaribi and his hatred for Zankuro. Aside from these attributes, he is a left-handed mindless killer who doesn't discriminate among the victims he murders.
- Soul of Nue - Basara can release a Will-o'-the-wisp (a ghost light) from his chest that tracks his opponents. Nue is a Japanese chimera that causes nightmares.
- Shadow Powers - Basara can disappear and reappear into his own shadow, using this ability for transportation and unexpected attacks. He also can drag others with him.
- Illusions - Basara can emit a mirror image of himself for a short time, which eventually dissipates into a swarm of bats.
Although Basara's powers are explained mainly through his ghost abilities, they also resemble powers usually identified with ninja. This is complimented by Basara's weaponry and design which are also associated with ninja.
Some of his powers are based in the use of his shuriken, as well as demonic powers like moving and disappearing into the shadows or release balls of energy. His normal attacks are adaptable to execute, easily ranging from close to mid-screen and often hitting for several hits upon impact. His distinguishing features are his shrill laugh and claiming life to be "a beautiful nightmare".
- Lament of Sanzu River (三途の嘆き, sanzu no nageki) - Samurai Shodown III (Occasionally is translated as "Lament of Styx").
- Shrieking Abyss - Samurai Shodown (2019)
- Masahiro Nonaka - Samurai Shodown III~Samurai Shodown V Special
- Motoki Takagi - Samurai Shodown VI
- Yuji Murai - Samurai Shodown (2019)
- Samurai Shodown III
- Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushidou Retsuden - as an optional boss and guest character
- Samurai Shodown IV
- Samurai Shodown!
- Samurai Shodown V
- Samurai Shodown V Special
- Samurai Shodown V Perfect
- Samurai Shodown VI
- Samurai Shodown (2019) - DLC character (also in Retro 3D graphics)
- Samurai Spirits - Shimensouka (enemy character)
- Samurai Shodown Tenkadaiichi Kenkakuden
- Samurai Shodown: Oborozuki Densetsu
- SNK Fighting Age
- Samurai Shodown! - cameo in background of bamboo forest arena, together with Nicotine and Gaira
- Samurai Spirits (pachinko)
- Samurai Spirits Oni