The Protagonists/The Shogun's Men
HayatoVoiced by: Adam Longworth (English) / Yousuke Iwazaki (Japanese)
The lead protagonist and classical ninja of the party. Hayato is a no-nonsense professional mercenary who's initially only in the story for the paycheck.
His color is blue, reflecting his nature as The Stoic. Hayato is good at infiltrating: he's excellent at getting in and out of areas and creating distractions to allow himself to slip by. His Shuriken is also a useful alternative to matchlock pistols (available from the mid-game), as it has more range and only produces noise around the target. He lacks any kind of major distraction however- he can't draw a guards attention for long, and he's only good for taking out one guard at a time.
- Boring, but Practical: Compared to the other characters' more flashy and elaborate diversionary skills, his ability to divert enemy attention away by throwing stones feels awfully mundane. But hey, it works.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: His actual model color is grey-looking, but his associated color is blue.
- Decoy Protagonist: While we begin the game as Hayato, Mugen is the one who drives most of the plot and leads the group. Subverted when Mugen ends his own life, thrusting the mantle of The Protagonist back onto Hayato.
- Fragile Speedster: He's only fragile insofar as, except for Mugen, on Normal difficulty he and everyone else has 4 HP. He, Yuki and Aiko are all three also capable of jumping off buildings and ledges, with the option of landing a jumping attack on someone if needed.
- Highly Visible Ninja: To the player, perhaps, but not to anyone else.
- It Has Been an Honor: Delivers this to Mugen just before the latter takes his own life at Mount Tsuru for failing to keep the Shogun's son safe.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he's in it for the money at first, he begins to care for his comrades and appreciates Yuki more over the course of the game. He also takes Mugens suicide poorly.
- Ninja: Natch.
- Only in It for the Money: Hayato doesn't really care about anyone he meets throughout his journey, though he eventually warms up to his team. Until Mount Tsuru, when he witnesses Mugen's seppuku.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Decidedly the Blue Oni to Yuki and Mugen's Red Onis. When paired up with Aiko, however, he's the red oni, since she has a better hold on her emotions and is a more meticulous planner.
- Stock Ninja Weaponry: Well... yes. Hayato's full range of gear is a dark outfit, a ninjato, exactly 1 shuriken, and rocks from the environment. Part of the game's difficulty is you have to be careful with where you use your 1 shuriken, as it is noisier than the ninjato and the shuriken has to be retrieved with use.
- The Stoic: Not much for small talk at all, preferring to stick with topics relevant to the assignment at hand. But after seeing Mugen commit seppuku, his lines change radically.
- Throwing the Distraction: Hayato's way of distracting enemies is to toss a rock, which will briefly redirect their gaze in that direction. He can also toss it at cattle and oxen to cause them to kill enemies that stand too close with a kick.
- Tranquil Fury: He spends the entirety of Mission 11 stewing in quiet rage because of Kage-sama's hand in Mugen's death.
Oshirō MugenVoiced by: Toby Longworth (English) / Naofumi Ichihashi (Japanese)
His color is reddish-orange, reflecting his nature as a Blood Knight and is the same colors as the Shogun's forces. Mugen is good at crowd control: he is excellent at taking out numerous guards at once, and his sake can take apart some tricky patrols. His large health pool and ability to lift two bodies at once are useful, but Mugen has no innate long-range abilities (though he gets a hand cannon in the mid-game), leaving him at the mercy of getting guards to come to him.
- Badass Beard: And mustache.
- Blood Knight: While Mugen spends most of the game sneaking around, he has no problem with being in the center of the fray.
- Boisterous Bruiser: His Japanese voice is very loud and excitable, and it's clear he's having the time of his life while in the heat of battle.
- Driven to Suicide: Happens at the end of mission 10.
- Dual Wielding: Whips out both his swords when he executes his Sword Wind technique.
- Hand Cannon: A gift from Takuma when he rejoins the team. Like everyone else's matchlock pistols, it grants him a limited use ranged attack. Unlike the pistols, it pierces samurai armour, killing them outright instead of stunning them.
- Heroic BSoD: From which he never recovers. Happens after he's forced to give up the Shogun's sons identity, and ends with him killing himself.
- Knight in Shining Armor: He's the Japanese equivalent anyway, being both a kind and very honorable Samurai.
- The Leader: As the one who answers directly to the Shogun, Mugen leads the group, strategizes most of the missions, and is largely the one responsible for bringing everyone together.
- Nice Guy: Next to Takuma, he's easily the nicest and friendliest character of the group- while they all get along for the most part, everyone loves Mugen, which makes his suicide sting.
- Master Swordsman: The best Samurai in the Shogun's army. It's notable in that he doesn't sneak attack enemy Samurai when he dispatches them, he clashes swords with them and wins.
- Person of Mass Destruction: By game standards, anyways. He's the only person who can kill an infinite amount of guards at once- no matter how many base guards are in the circle of Sword Wind Technique, they will all die. Unless they're Samurai, in which case they'll just shrug it off cause of how badass they are.
- Red Is Heroic: He wears red armor, which makes him stand out from all the enemy Samurai you'll be otherwise facing, who all wear blue. And his honor and loyalty definitely make him a hero.
YukiVoiced by: Martha Mackintosh (English) / Yume Maihara (Japanese)
Her color is yellow to demonstrate her happy-go-lucky nature. Yuki is good at distraction: her Little Trap and Bird Whistle combination is invaluably useful, and while her slow body-carrying speed may seem a detriment, it allows her to carry bodies into green-striped guard vision cones. Yuki suffers from the problems of both Mugen and Hayato in less severity- while she can easily distract guards and assassinate them one by one, she has no innate ranged options (though she gets a matchlock pistol like the others do in the mid-game) and must pick her Little Trap back up in order to reuse it. She is also the only character capable of pick-pocketing items from living enemies.
- Cheerful Child: Eager, enthusiastic and surprisingly bright.
- Creepy Child: Her surprising aptitude for murder can make some of her comments quite creepy.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Downplayed. While she does make some manic comments here and there and she names all her tools after animal actions, she's very lucid.
- Dark and Troubled Past: The game reveals few specifics about where and how she got the skills she has, but her dialogue has implied that she had to improvise to protect herself from those who tried to harm her on the street. Furthermore, in Mission 7, when rebels are systematically massacring the inhabitants of Suganuma Village, her remarks suggest she lost her mother under similar circumstances).
- Friend to All Living Things: She likes animals much more than she likes people. She really doesn't like hurting animals and can often be seen playing with Kuma.
- Groin Attack: Her trap works by shooting a spike up into whoever steps on it. Logic follows what the most likely part of the anatomy to be hit will be.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: An active exploiter of this. Her whistle will distract guards without fail, leaving them easy fodder for Little Trap.
- Knife Nut: Her primary weapon is a dagger. She's just as capable of killing adult men as the rest of the crew are with their blades, but since she needs to stab them a few times, it takes longer than usual.
- Little Miss Badass: She's young, but a capable and self-taught killer.
- Street Urchin: Used to be one.
- Trap Master: Her talent lies in setting up lethal traps.
AikoVoiced by: Alix Dunmore (English) / Tamari Hinata (Japanese)
A shinobi fascinated by order and beauty, and the lover of Mugen who assists him in the freeing of Takuma. A Sugar-and-Ice Personality individual who can blend in with crowds using disguises.
Her color is purple, reflecting her calm, orderly personality. Aiko is good at disruption: using her sneeze powder to limit guard viewcones allows her and her allies to slip by at near point-blank range, and if she is disguised then she can keep a guards attention- even Straw Hats- fixed on her perpetually. Both of these skills allow her to poke holes in guard patrol routes that the others can dutifully exploit. Samurai see right through her disguises however, and while the ability to distract guards is useful, she needs to take it off to perform actions like climbing and swimming and takes a while to change into her disguise.
- Combat Haircomb: Her weapons are her hairpins, explaining how she's able to conceal them when disguised. Notably, this also means they're not taken away from her in the No-Gear Level, although it's of limited value since she herself is separated from your party until halfway through.
- Face Death with Dignity: When Kage-sama's men point their rifles at Aiko in an effort to force Mugen to talk, she calmly taunts the traitor that she will face death with open eyes.
- Femme Fatale: Aiko can kill guards by dressing up all pretty, getting into a conversation with them, and stabbing them with her hairpin, all without raising an alarm.
- Improbable Weapon User: Uses hairpins as her melee weapon.
- In the Hood: Typically wears a hood when not disguised.
- Mugged for Disguise: She's able to knock female NPCs (such as geishas and shrine priestesses) unconscious and steal their clothes to use as a disguise.
- Number Two: She serves as Mugen's closest confidante in the team. When he dies, she takes up the slack and becomes the de facto leader of the group.
- Rapunzel Hair: It's tied into two braids that go all the way down to her waist. And when she puts on a disguise, Aiko typically puts her hair up into some very large and elaborate buns.
- The Rival: With Hayato. Their separate methods of infiltration clash frequently, but they learn to get over it by the end.
- The Smart Guy: Is able to provide some pretty good infiltration methods in the missions she's playable.
- Someone to Remember Him By: She's heavily implied to be pregnant with Mugen's child; it's further implied that it's a boy who ends up adopted by the Shogun as his new heir.
- Pregnant Badass: This does nothing to slow her down.
- Shout-Out: If you command her to distract enemy guards, sometimes she will utter "Guten Tag".
- The Stoic: She's much more cool-headed than Hayato, which is notable in that she remains in control of herself after Mugen dies, even though she knew the Samurai longer and was his lover.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: A heroic version. Aiko is able to blend into enemy encampments if she manages to get her hands on a disguise, and can assassinate guards without anyone noticing.
TakumaVoiced by: Terry Wilton (English) / Tadashi Hirabayashi (Japanese)
A friendly old man with a penchant for guns. A Friendly Sniper who uses long-range weaponry to take out his foes.
His colour is green, representing his Nice Guy nature and Cool Old Guy status. Takuma is good at assassination: Takuma's rifle is invaluable to killing targets from long range and his grenades can take out groups of enemies from a distance. He is also the only one who can use the rifle, making him very useful for dealing with faraway targets. Due to this, Takuma has perhaps the most difficulties for any character- his run makes noise, he's very slow, he's immobile while shooting, he can't pick up bodies, swim or climb vines, his ammo and grenades come in short supply and he has no means of melee attacking meaning if a guard bumps into him he has to risk a shot with the matchlock pistol or run.
- An Arm and a Leg: He loses a leg to cannon fire after the first mission and has to get by on a pegleg from that point on.
- Bald of Awesome: Very bald, and a crack shot.
- Badass Beard: The classic long, white kind.
- Badass Grandpa: He may be old, but he's dangerous.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Friendly, easygoing, and very vengeful. Lord Yabu learns this the hard way when Takuma gives him some overdue payback either in the form of a well-aimed bullet or a poisonous concoction of his own design.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Almost literally. While his long-range gunfire is really dangerous, he has a lot of downsides to make it so he isn't a Game-Breaker.
- Handicapped Badass: He may have lost a leg, but he's still a master sniper.
- The Load: Can unfortunately be this at times, as he can't swim, climb anything except ladders, drag bodies or perform melee attacks, and he can't run without creating a lot of noise. Highlighted by the final mission, where he's completely stuck in his starting position and the rest of your party has to slowly clear the guards watching the narrow path he has to take, a path that they themselves fairly easily skip altogether, before he can catch up.
- Friendly Sniper: Frequently cracks jokes and is very easygoing.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He fashioned all of his guns himself, and they're more advanced than anything else in the game. The matchlock pistols Takuma designed for the party are smaller than most, but just as powerful, and his extremely accurate rifle is assembled from his cane and pegleg.
- Gun Nut: Loves his weaponry- upon rejoining the group, he gifts everyone in the team with matchlock weaponry to help at close range and deal with samurai. Hayato, Yuki and Aiko receive matchlock pistols- capable of stunning samurai. Mugen receives a hand cannon- which can kill samurai outright.
- The Pollyanna: He always looks on the bright side. In particular, he's not too bothered that he lost his leg, since it's a miracle he survived in the first place.
Though not a separate character in himself, Kuma is exceptional at distraction: As Takuma is the least mobile member of the team, and relies on his arsenal of ranged weapons, Kuma both compensates for Takuma's immobility and can assist Takuma in lining up shots thanks to the hybrid nature of his luring ability. Firstly, guards normally ignore his movements completely, allowing Kuma to move about freely. However, he cannot be deployed too far from Takuma himself. On Takuma's command, Kuma will trill and dance, luring any guards within noise range without making them suspicious (compare Yuki's whistle). Upon seeing Kuma, guards will walk right up to him but do not pick him up (compare Mugen's sake bottle). Upon reaching Kuma, guards will direct their viewcones towards Kuma and be stationary, but will eventually return to their posts (compare Aiko in disguise). To see Kuma's fullest potential, quickly cycle between his luring call, and repositioning to pull guards away from their positions. Used properly, Kuma can lure guards farther than any other character.
- Beneath Notice: As an animal, and a very common one in the Japanese countryside, no guards (not even samurai) give Kuma a second glance when he moves around. No other character the player controls can completely ignore enemy sightcones. Feel free to move Kuma around knowing that he can only be spotted when the player wishes him to be.
- Cuteness Proximity: Exploited to distract guards and do terrible things when their backs are turned. When Kuma's luring call is active, he trills, rolls around, and even does handstands on occasion, much to the amusement of any guards watching.
- Loyal Animal Companion: In gameplay, Kuma obeys Takuma's commands to move and distract without hesitation. This is narratively highlighted at the start of Mission 7. When Takuma is too immobile to escape the massacre of Suganuma Village, Kuma leaves Takuma behind to search for help. Running into Yuki, he leads her back to Takuma's hiding spot in the village. United, Yuki and Takuma then go on to save both Mugen and the villagers over the course of the mission. Happens again in Mission 10, where the little tanuki follows Takuma all the way to his prison cell in Mount Tsuru...with a full sack of ammunition!
- Non-Human Sidekick: To Takuma.
- Spanner in the Works: Potentially. Kage-sama might have won if not for Kuma. The tanuki escapes his notice however, trails Takuma to his prison cell, and delivers some bullets to the old man, which can be used to commence the heroes' escape.
- Team Pet: For the the rest of the team.