Nakoruru (ナコルル) is a character in the Samurai Shodown series. 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, The 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.
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 D. Weller. 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.” 
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.
- 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 Actors
- Reiko Chiba - Samurai Shodown II commercials
- Harumi Ikoma - Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushidou Retsuden commercials (image character)
- 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." 
- 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.
- 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.
- In an interview with one of series composers, Tate Norio, he replies that Nakoruru is his favorite character from the series.
- SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy Artbook, p.36
- "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)
- 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.
- Official character profile from Samurai Shodown anniversary website.
- 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.