Hanzo Hattori (服部 半蔵, Hattori Hanzō) is one of the few characters introduced in Samurai Shodown that appears in every title of the series. He is based on the historical figure of the same name, who was a Tokugawa ninja and head of a clan in Iga in various fictional mediums.
Like several other mythical incarnations, he is an old friend to Jubei Yagyu due to their ties to the Tokugawa clan. He married a Koga ninja, Kaede, quelling a long feud between the two ninja clans that is often romanticized in the historical novel, The Kouga Ninja Scrolls. He appears as a secret character in KOF: Maximum Impact 2.
He was the development team's third favorite character in Samurai Shodown II. In Gamest's 1997 Heroes Collection, Hanzo ranked 46 of the staff's favorite characters. He shared the spot with seven other characters, including Art of Fighting character, Robert Garcia and Darkstalkers character, Demitri Maximoff. He has one known action figure, based on his appearance in Samurai Shodown 64.
He is the mightiest of the Iga ninja, employed under the Tokugawa shogunate. Leading his band of ninja, he specializes in assassination attacks against their enemies. For instance, in Samurai Shodown V, Hanzo is given the task to execute the traitor to Yoshitora Tokugawa's father. In Samurai Shodown, he discovers his son, Shinzo, exhibiting mysterious mannerisms due to Shiro Tokisada Amakusa's possession. He fights to save his son but only succeeds in recovering Shinzo's body. Eventually, Hanzo learns that Shinzo's soul is still in the demon world so he sets out with his wife and his second son, Kanzo, to retrieve it. In his ending to Samurai Shodown II, they succeed but Kaede sacrifices herself to unite her son's soul to his body. Despite the hardship, he continues to serve his lord with his sons by his side.
Hanzo is a serious and condescending man. He is often seen laughing at his enemies in a superior manner. He wants to fight worthy opponents and knows that his fate is to die in battle.
Aside from these powers, he has all the skills perceived to be had by ninja (stealth, swimming, climbing, ect.)
- Use of Shurikens - Hanzo is only character in series to use shuriken projectiles.
- Pyrotechnical Attacks - Hanzo uses a variety of fire-based ninja attacks, such as ground fire waves, various applications of normal and flash bombs.
- Koppojutsu - Hanzo can use specific hand-to-hand fighting skills, grabs and acrobatic moves to break the bones of his opponents.
- Invisibility - Hanzo can become invisible at will, in some cases it requires use of flash bomb.
- Teleportation - Hanzo can teleport to short distances.
Comparable to other ninja in fiction, Hanzo's ninjutsu focuses on the mystical properties of the style rather than its physical fighting techniques. He possesses the ability to teleport and trick his attackers with a dummy when hit. He can also create multiple illusions of himself in hopes of misleading his opponents for an open strike. He later integrates a heavy emphasis on bone-breaking grappling, a trait that follows him in his newer appearances. When first introduced, he and Galford nearly mirrored each other in most aspects. As the series progresses, however, Hanzo becomes the slightly slower but more powerful of the two ninja. His projectile element is fire, whereas his counterpart, Galford, is lightning. He can throw shuriken and use a variety of bombs to stun or damage his enemies.
In addition to above, in Sen his fighting style emphasizes kicks, featuring different kinds such as somersault kicks or aerial spin kicks.
- Shadow (影, Kage) - Samurai Shodown
- True Shadow (真影, Shinkage) - Samurai Shodown II
- Prison (獄, Hitoya) - Samurai Shodown III
- Darkness (闇, Yami) - Samurai Shodown 64
- Masaki Usui - Samurai Shodown, Sen, KOF Maximum Impact 2, Samurai Shodown VI (re-dub voice)
- Toshimitsu Arai - Samurai Shodown II ~ 64 series
- Hiroyuki Koga - Samurai Shodown VI
- Liou Johnson - KOF Maximum Impact 2 (English voice)
- Takeshi Aono - Samurai Shodown: The Motion Picture
- Mungle Roberts - Samurai Shodown: The Motion Picture (English voice)
- Yūsaku Yara - Samurai Shodown Dengeki drama CD series
- Samurai Shodown
- Samurai Shodown II
- Samurai Shodown III
- Samurai Shodown IV
- Samurai Shodown!
- Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushidou Retsuden - as a guest member
- Samurai Shodown 64
- Samurai Shodown! 2
- Samurai Shodown 64-2 - his Bust form will not appear as a CPU opponent
- Samurai Shodown V
- Samurai Shodown V Special
- Samurai Shodown VI
- KOF: Maximum Impact 2 - unlockable
- KOF: Maximum Impact Regulation A
- Samurai Shodown Sen
- Samurai Spirits ~Kengou Hachiban Shoubu~
- Samurai Shodown (2019)
- Samurai Spirits - Shimensouka (enemy character)
- Samurai Spirits - Makai Rineki
- Wizardry Online
- Kingdom Story
- Kimi wa Hero
- Samurai Shodown Tenkadaiichi Kenkakuden
- Samurai Shodown: Oborozuki Densetsu
- The King of Fighters M《格鬥天王M》
- Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage - in his son's ending
- Days of Memories (third title) - in-text cameo; seen in various stories
- Maid by Iroha
- Samurai Spirits (pachinko)
- Samurai Spirits Gaiden: Cham Cham
- Samurai Spirits Oni
- The King of Fighters XIII - in the Stadium Rooftop stage
- Both the "Tenma Fukumetsu!" quote and Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage Rasetsu/Bust Hanzo costume design are identical to the ones portrayed in Shadow Warriors, a jidaigeki TV show that is known for one of the most popular portrayals of Hanzo (played by Sonny Chiba). The show's version of the costume can be seen in this video.