Nakoruru (ナコルル Nakoruru ) is a character in the Samurai Shodown series of fighting games. She is also a common mascot for SNK's social action programs for children and nature awareness campaigns, sometimes being paired with Terry Bogard for such events. Her official nickname is Mother Nature's Guardian.
Aside from the main series, Nakoruru also has several figurines made in her image from various game appearances and is a featured character in several of the series's drama CDs. She stars in her own character image CD and is also a member in SNK's character image band, Band of Fighters.
Although she has no particular model for her character, Hilda from The Great Adventure of Horus, Prince of the Sun and The Dagger of Kamui helped her conception process. Also developers admit that her famous "This is nature's punishment" quote is based on Sailor Moon's "In the name of moon, I punish you" line. Her character is based upon the Ainu people of Hokkaido, Japan. As the Japanese perceive the Ainu as living closer to nature, Nakoruru's role in the game is of a defender of Mother Nature; in some material Nakoruru has been referred to as a priestess.
In the Neo Geo Freak's 1997 Volume 8 character poll, she was voted as the second favourite character with a total of 1,732 votes.  And in Neo Geo Freak's August 1998 issue, she was ranked as the 5th best character.  In the character popularity poll on Neo Geo Freak's website, she was voted as the seventh favorite character with a total of 1,252 votes.
Garou: Mark of the Wolves planner and The King of Fighters XIV producer Yasuyuki Oda states that Nakoruru's popularity surprised even the company as no one at SNK had "expected that Nakoruru would become a popular character to that extent."  Oda recalls being surprised that one of the series’ characters, became a fan-favorite despite her modest, non-sexualized appearance. “A lot of characters at that time were popular because of their sexiness,” he says. “But Nakoruru doesn’t show a lot of skin.”  Old developers in the Neo Geo era had no plans to add Nakoruru in The King of Fighters as they felt that she didn't fit into the game very well, but admit that they probably wanted to add her in regardless but was unable to due to the systems limitations.  A "Samurai Spirits Team" was originally scheduled to participate in The King of Fighters '95 and The King of Fighters '96. This idea was eventually dropped due to time constraints as KOF was released every year. Nakoruru was originally intended to team up with Haohmaru and Galford.  Nakoruru was later included to KOF XIV due to her immense popularity. 
During Samurai Shodown (2019) development, someone on the team pointed out that Nakoruru’s disposition had gradually changed over the years in other ways, going from sad and stoic to a bit cheery. So the team decided to depict her closer to the character’s original ’93 incarnation. “So for this one, I don’t think you’ll ever see her smile.” 
At 15, she and Rimururu are playing in the forest when Mamahaha flies in holding her father's sword. Sensing her father was in danger, she apologized to Rimururu and leaves. Upon reaching Hinowa, Nakoruru tells Gaoh that his war is hurting the planet. Gaoh proclaims he will build a new country and will destroy any who would stand in his way. At his defeat, Kamui appears before her, asking Nakoruru to follow her father's footsteps as he was killed. Nakoruru asks what would happen if she declined and is told another maiden would be asked to be the successor. Not wanting Rimururu to be put at risk, Nakoruru accepts to become the new Kamui warrior of Kamui Kotan.
She continues to fulfill this role throughout the series protecting nature and defeating villains often alongside Haohmaru. However, after overthrowing Mizuki Rashojin, she sacrifices herself to restore nature's balance and becomes one with the spirit of Nature. In Samurai Shodown 64, her apparent death is retconned. Instead of sacrificing herself, she slept within Kamui Kotan's forests and was protected by the spirits of nature. At nature's beckoning, she awakens to fight the disturbing presence caused by Yuga the Destroyer. Sometime after Yuga's second defeat, she eventually returns to her slumber.
Later in Warriors Rage, she transcends even further and melds her soul with Gaia to become a Divine Spirit in nature's service. As one of the "Maidens of Light", she travels across space and time to prevent the disasters of the world from occurring. However, she is stopped in her quest by a magical spell cast by Jigen Taishi in Ritenkyo. This leaves Nakoruru unable to assume her original form, and she can only battle evil through the strength of her fellow forest sprits. Weakened, she knows she must stop Oboro's evil plan, but cannot without the Maiden of Light Rimururu, who has been sealed by Oboro. Nakoruru informs Haohmaru of the threat and sets out on a quest to free her sister and together combine their powers to defeat evil. 
In Sen, she follows the runaway Rimururu, hoping to protect her younger sister from the danger that she sensed. She also left her home to tell Rimururu the reason why she is in her current predicament.
In this game, Nakoruru is living peacefully at her home as the village's priestess. At the behest of the village's elder, she adopts a protege named Mikato and teaches the young girl about Kamui and her society's culture. However, Nakoruru remains distant due to her other half, Rera, who constantly warns her about an incoming evil. Wanting to continue her life of serenity, Nakoruru doesn't talk about this to anyone. She is also afraid of losing her own identity if she accepts Rera completely.
When Mikato discovers the truth about her reluctant nature, the priestess has already lost her powers due to her selfish nature. Despite this, she takes action once her home is attacked by demons and sets out alone to somehow deal with the threat peacefully. Eventually, Nakoruru accepts Rera and fights Mizuki. Unfortunately, while protecting Mikato from being hurt, she is badly injured. She succeeds in dealing a mighty blow against Mizuki but succumbs to her wounds and dies. Mikato, who was destined to carry out the priestess' prophecy, uses Nakoruru's sword to avenge her. It's implied that Nakoruru is happily reunited with Yantamu in the afterlife.
The King of Fighters Edit
Sometime after her ascension as a spirit of Nature, Nakoruru sensed terrible malice coming from a crack in spacetime. To prevent the disaster of its potential release and to find its source, Nakoruru traveled to the present day; The King of Fighters universe and enters the tournament in The King of Fighters XIV with Mui Mui and Love Heart.
After Verse's defeat, Nakoruru senses that it may one day return. She decides that she and her comrades should stay in this universe, declaring her wishes to visit modern day Hokkaido and China.
Nakoruru is calm and gentle. She seems to be shy toward people. Yet, to others, her mannerisms and appearance make her seem rather "doll-like", a term that somewhat displeases her. She is also maternal, chiding her sister as she would a child. She believes that Nature can be protected without killing others and often vies for non-violent solutions if she thinks it's possible and, thus, has a will to protect the weak, fearful, and innocent. She also knows that true power must not be misused. Although she is dedicated in her mission, she also desires to be a normal girl with selfish desires, which sometimes sets her apart from her friends and peers.
- Listening to Nature: Nakoruru can hear and sense nature's voice. In other media, this power also includes sensing the spirits of people or nature.
- Energy Slash: Nakoruru's weapon can be fueled with ki energy.
- Reflector: With the power of her cloak, Nakoruru can reflect a projectile back to its sender.
- Healing: With the power of nature, Nakoruru can heal wounds.
Nakoruru fights with a kodachi, and, depending on the form, a hawk named Mamahaha (in "Shura/Slash") or a wolf named Shikuru (in "Rasetsu/Bust" form and later Rera). To compensate for her short weapon range, players must rely on her speed to punish her opponents' mistakes. She can also recover from her moves a little quicker than other characters, making it easier for her to hit-and-run during fights. To balance her out with the rest of the cast, her attack strength is slightly weaker than most fighters. Her move set usually incorporates slightly longer ranged attacks that project her or her animal companions to her foes so her attack range isn't limited to her sword. She can also reflect projectiles with the move, Kamui Ryusei.
The names of her moves are in the Ainu language.
From Samurai Shodown V Special and beyond, fatality-styled attacks can be done on Nakoruru, a feature that was previously not possible in earlier titles. When done to her, she has a different and audibly terrified death scream.
- Shizen no Utage (Nature Party) - Samurai Shodown, Warriors Rage, SNK Gals' Fighters, SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium
- Shizen no Utage -Haru- (Nature Party -Spring-) - Samurai Shodown II
- Shizen no Ibuki (Breath of Nature) - Samurai Shodown III
- Shizen no Utage -So no ni (Nature Party -Lighthearted) - Samurai Shodown IV, V
- Waltz of Nature - Samurai Shodown (2019)
- Banquet Invitation - Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushidou Retsuden
- Four Seasons - Samurai Shodown 64
- Wind - Samurai Shodown 64-2
- Forest Spirit - Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage
- Banquet of Nature - Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage
- Purification - Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage
- Shizen no Uta ~ Jiai no Kaze (Song of Nature ~ Wind of Kindness) - Nakoruru ADV
- Summer is Gone, Winter is Here - Samurai Remix VA
- Nakoruru - Samurai Spirits 2: Asura-Zanmaden (OVA)
- Shizen no Uta (Song of Nature) - 100 Mega Shock!
- Banquet of Nature ROF version - THE RHYTHM OF FIGHTERS
- Magical Sky - The King of Fighters XIV (Another World Team Theme)
- Banquet of Nature ~SNK Heroines Edit~ - SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy
- Koko ni Oide - Brand-New Spirits song; performed by Reiko Chiba; also collected in Neo Geo Gals Vocal Collection
- Koe o Kikasaete... - Neo Geo DJ Station Image Song
- Kokoro wo Tsunaide - Neo Geo DJ Station Duet Image Song with Rimururu
- Heavy Baby's 1, 2, 3 - Neo Geo DJ Station shared image song
- Miko no Densho Uta - Nakoruru ADV song
- Ashita no Hate - Nakoruru ADV Duet Image Song with Manari
- Harumi Ikoma - until Samurai Shodown V Special/Neo Geo Battle Coliseum
- Mikako Takahashi - Samurai Shodown VI
- Reiko Chiba - Samurai Shodown: The Motion Picture, Koko ni Oide image song
- Mai Nakahara - Samurai Spirits Oni, Samurai Spirits Kengou, Samurai Shodown (2019); The King of Fighters XIV, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, The King of Fighters: All Star
- Carol Amerson - Samurai Shodown: The Motion Picture (English voice)
- Mariko Kouda - Samurai Shodown Dengeki drama CD series
Live Action ActorsEdit
- Reiko Chiba - Samurai Shodown II commercials
- Harumi Ikoma - Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushidou Retsuden commercials (image character)
- Samurai Shodown
- Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushidou Retsuden
- Samurai Shodown II
- Samurai Shodown III
- Samurai Shodown IV
- Samurai Shodown V
- Samurai Shodown V Special
- Samurai Shodown VI
- Samurai Shodown!
- Samurai Shodown 64
- Samurai Shodown! 2
- Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage - players will not meet her Bust form as a CPU opponent
- Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage - as unplayable story character; also stars in pocket station extras
- Samurai Shodown Sen
- Samurai Spirits (pachinko)
- Samurai Spirits Oni
- Samurai Spirits ~Kengou Hachiban Shoubu~
- CR Samurai Spirits
- Capcom vs SNK - unlockable
- Capcom vs SNK 2
- SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium
- SNK Gals' Fighters
- Nakoruru: Ano Hito kara no Okurimono
- Neo Geo Battle Coliseum
- Quiz King of Fighters
- The King of Fighters '95 - Gameboy port only
- The King of Fighters 2000 - As a Striker for Yuri
- The King of Fighters (pachinko) - hidden versus character
- The King of Fighters XIV (also in Kamui Kotan Girls' Uniform DLC Costume)
- SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy
- Samurai Shodown (2019) (also in SS 64 3D graphics)
- Days of Memories (third, seventh, eighth and ninth titles) - unplayable
- NeoGeo Tennis Coliseum
- Samurai Spirits - Shimensouka
- SNK Gals Fighters
- SNK Dream Battle
- KOF x Fatal Fury
- The Rhythm of Fighters
- RPG Sister Quest
- The King of Fighters i-2012 - unplayable, narrator for Tutorial
- King of Glory - Guest Character
- Granblue Fantasy
- Yamato Chronicle
- The SAMURAI Kingdom
- If World
- Samurai Shodown Online
- The King of Fighters '98 UM Online
- Kingdom Story
- Kimi wa Hero
- Samurai Shodown: Oborozuki Densetsu
- Samurai Shodown Tenkadaiichi Kenkakuden
- The King of Fighters: Destiny (Game)
- Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians
- SNK All Star
- Clash of Kings
- Dark Avenger X
- The King of Fighters: All Star
- The King of Fighters '94: Rebout - background cameo in the Women Fighters Team and Kim Team stages
- The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match - in the Neo Geo World stage
- The King of Fighters XIII - in the Japan stage
- Maid by Iroha
- The King of Fighters 2
- Samurai Spirits Gaiden: Cham Cham
- Sister Quest
- SNK Gals Island Techu Typing Omigotodesu
- SNK Gals Island Astro Quest Hoshi☆wa Nigashimasen!
- Samurai Shodown: The Motion Picture
- Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture (as a cosplay)
- Nakoruru ~Ano hito kara no okurimono~ (OVA)
- Samurai Spirits 2: Asura-Zanmaden (OVA)
- Hyouka (as a cosplay)
- Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii (passing mention)
- The dish that Nakoruru can cook best is Lateshikepu (okayu), a type of rice porridge.
- Her ribbon is handmade by Rimururu.
- Nakoruru and Galford are the first fighting game characters who fight alongside their pets in battle.
- When asked "The path of the sword is?", Nakoruru's response is "Something I learned from my father as a means of self defense." 
- When asked what her favourite type of mate is her response is "I haven't really given it much thought." 
- ↑ SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy Artbook, p.36
- ↑ Neo Geo Freak 1997-08 archive Neo Geo Freak character popularity poll results.
- ↑ Neo Geo Freak 1998-08 archive Neo Geo Freak 10 best character set original image collection.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "新生SNKのモノ作りはここから始まる。「餓狼MOW2」の話題も飛び出した，「THE KING OF FIGHTERS XIV」開発陣インタビュー". 4Gamer.net (in Japanese)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The making of Samurai Shodown (2019) interview from Polygon.com.
- ↑ At the SNK heyday development scene, the creators of those days look back. Roundtable discussion for the 40th anniversary laughter Interview from denfaminicogamer.
- ↑ "【インタビュー】中国で人気爆発！ 「KOF XIV」プロデューサー小田泰之氏インタビュー - GAME Watch". Game.watch.impress.co.jp.
- ↑ Samurai Shodown Warriors Rage character profiles from the anniversary website.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Official character profile from Samurai Shodown anniversary website.