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Tadakatsu Honda

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Tadakatsu Honda
Character Information
Clan(s)/Alliance(s): Honda
Eastern Army
Weapon(s): Great spear
4th Weapon:
5th Weapon:
Demon's Tongue
Moveset Type:
Significant Battle(s):
Playable Debut: Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends
Historical Information
Real name:
Honda Tadakatsu
Japanese name:
September 18, 1548
December 3, 1610
Warriors Orochi Info
specially unlocked
initially available
Yang Ping Gate
Character Type:
Personal Item:
Deerhorn Helmet

Tadakatsu Honda is a one of Ieyasu Tokugawa's retainers who attended to his lord in several campaigns. He is Ina's father. After his death, Tadakatsu has been heralded as a mighty and intelligent warrior, said to have returned from all of his battles unscathed. People in the Edo period have lauded him with several honorary titles, one of which includes the Four Guardian Kings of Tokugawa.

Before his playable debut in the Samurai Warriors series, he served as the model character for generic generals in Samurai Warriors. He acts as the figurative Dynasty Warriors Lu Bu of the series. His incarnation's height for the series is 210 cm (6'11"). Fans voted him to twenty-ninth place in Gamecity's Samurai Warriors 3: Empires character popularity poll.

In Saihai no Yukue, his height is 200 cm (close to 6'7") and he is 45 years old. He reads and trains as a hobby and his favorite food is rice.

Role in Games

"Ieyasu owns two things that exceed his own worth: that unique helmet and that officer, Tadakatsu."
Shingen Takeda, Samurai Warriors

Samurai Warriors

When he was introduced in the first Samurai Warriors, Tadakatsu was but a generic officer fighting under Ieyasu. His defeat at Okehazama was required in order to get Tokugawa to join the Oda.

Tadakatsu is one of Ieyasu's formidable warriors who is famed for his strength in the field. He begins his story by advising his lord to attack the Imagawa at Okehazama. By obliterating Yoshimoto's forces, Ieyasu is able to declare independence and allies with Nobunaga. As a part of their alliance, Tadakatsu assists the Oda troop's escape from Kanegasaki. Years later, when Shingen marches into Mikawa, Tadakatsu vows to protect his allies and requests that Ieyasu escape from the overwhelming Takeda troops.

If an ally falls during their retreat, Tadakatsu is forced to use brute force for his lord's safety and slays Shingen, putting an end to the Takeda. Emphasizing strength over morals and patience, Ieyasu conquers the east with Tadakatsu's feats. Their remaining opposition is Kenshin, who is supported by Masamune and the remnant Takeda followers, Yukimura and Kunoichi. During the battle at Kawanakajima, Tadakatsu helps Hanzō through the eastern path to ambush Kenshin's camp at the mountain top. Waiting for them is Keiji, who eagerly challenges Tadakatsu. After the wild man's defeat, he declares that he will be waiting for a proper duel later. Upon their victory at Kawanakajima, Ieyasu rules the east. In a bid to rule the west, he breaks his alliance with the Oda and faces them at Yamazaki. Slaying Nobunaga and his followers makes Ieyasu the land's new ruler. As Ieyasu retreats back home to celebrate, Tadakatsu remembers his promise with Keiji and rides to duel him at Mt. Tennou. Striking Keiji down, the wild man ponders the purpose behind his rival's strength before he dies. Whilst training at another location, Tadakatsu reflects that the world needs more than might and loyalty and finally relaxes his guard.

Should Tadakatsu protect all of his allies, he remembers the importance of mercy and his duty. After Nobunaga is killed at Honnōji, Ieyasu is pursued by Mitsuhide's army at Iga. With Hanzō guiding their lord to safety, Tadakatsu is given the task of aiding all other allies on the field. Soon after their retreat, Hideyoshi avenges his master and stands as one of the two greatest men in the land. Although Hideyoshi's numbers greatly outnumber their own, Tadakatsu refuses to bow to any other leader and offers for his lord to fight back at Komaki-Nagakute. Routing Hideyoshi's army to defend his master's ambitions, Hideyoshi is able to escape and their dispute remains unsettled. As the Tokugawa army marches through the blackened ruins of the battlefield, Tadakatsu reaffirms his loyalty for his lord's desire for peace.

Samurai Warriors 2 has Tadakatsu support his master against the larger Asakura army at Anegawa. Tadakatsu is given the task of taking the central garrison to assist the rear attack on the Asakura's main camp. Due to his might, the battle is won and he earns the reputation of matching Zhang Fei's legendary strength in battle. When Shingen ambushes his lord and pins them at Mikatagahara, Ieyasu is willing to fight to the death with his men. Knowing the future of the land rests on his lord's shoulders, Tadakatsu advises his lord to retreat instead. As Ieyasu reaches the midway point, Shingen orders his army to charge and four brave Tokugawa followers pose as their lord to ensure Ieyasu's escape to Hamamatsu Castle. Defeating Sakon by the escape point, Tadakatsu orders a full scale retreat as their lord leaves the field. Tadakatsu has the option of defeating Shingen, but regardless of the result, Ieyasu mourns for the men who lost their lives for him. Encouraging his lord to realize the peace they will never see, Ieyasu decides to bare the burden for them.

After Shingen dies from illness and Nobunaga's death at Honnōji, his lord makes an alliance with the Hōjō and they attack the Sanada and Uesugi at Ueda Castle. While a great deal of their generals fall victim to the Sanada's water attack, Tadakatsu presses onward towards the main keep and defeats the zealous Yukimura. The defeat of the young general opens the gate and throws off Masayuki's plans. Whilst storming the main keep, Nobuyuki tries to stop him. His bold defiance impresses Tadakatsu to someday introducing the youth to his daughter. Years later, the power of the land is disputed between Mitsunari and Ieyasu, clashing their forces at Kusegawa. Sakon, who plans to use the setting to crush Ieyasu's men, directs the Eastern army into an ambush. Tadakatsu defies him by ordering the swift rescue of his isolated allies and leading an all-out attack. As the armies gather to end their differences, Tadakatsu decides to make Sekigahara his final battle for peace. With his duty fulfilled at last, he plants his beloved spear into the ground and bids a rest to the chaotic age.

In his dream mode, he participates in a tournament for champions. There, he faces Keiji, Musashi, Kotarō, Hideyoshi, Ieyasu, and Masamune to prove himself the mightiest warrior of the age.

Facing insurmountable odds from the Takeda army, Tadakatsu and his daughter proudly guards their lord at Mikatagahara in the third title. Scolding the Tokugawa men to live and not die for their lord, both he and his daughter have a small bout with Sakon and Yukimura. As Ieyasu pulls back from the disastrous battlefront, Shingen places his men in a pincer and traps their lord from the east and west. Protecting his daughter from danger and defeating Yukimura and Sakon, Tadakatsu then pulls back to protect his lord from Kunoichi and Shingen. Upon their defeat, the Takeda commander realizes that the tables have turned and orders his men to pull back. Soon after, Ieyasu's life is in danger when Mitsuhide assassinates Nobunaga at Honnōji. Crossing through Iga and placing his life in Tadakatsu's strength, the general clears a path by defeating Kotarō and Motochika for his master's safe return to Mikawa.

Hideyoshi rises to power afterwards and rivals Ieyasu for the land's ruler. As their forces confront one another at Komaki-Nagakute, Tadakatsu fights to swiftly bring victory for his lord and defeats Hideyoshi's "children" (Mitsunari, Kiyomasa and Masanori), Nene, and Toshiie. Bested by Tadakatsu, Hideyoshi admits defeat and asks Ieyasu if he can create a land worthy in Nobunaga's image. Ieyasu instead offers that they work together to create a land of prosperity. For now, Ieyasu is content to have Hideyoshi rule the land and decides to settle his differences with the Takeda loyalists at Ueda Castle. After Hideyoshi's death, Ieyasu pushes for his right to take control of the land, giving his personal apologies to his belated friend but remaining undaunted in his conquest. Similar to his previous counterpart, Tadakatsu decides to have his last battle at Sekigahara for the land's peace. Routing several generals on the west, including Ginchiyo and Muneshige, victory is declared once Mitsunari dies. Tadakatsu returns unscathed to the delight of his lord and comrades.

Warriors Orochi

During Orochi's story, Ieyasu laments sending Tadakatsu away to survey the terrain when his castle is invaded by the serpent king's forces. While he was away from his lord, Tadakatsu and his sons save innocents from Orochi's tyranny. On some occasions, he encounters his rival, Lu Bu.

By the time Warriors Orochi 2 takes place, Tadakatsu returns to his lord and joins the Shu army. At the Battle of Nagashino, he joins Zhang Fei in his mission to plow through Lu Bu's army, remarking that he is fighting with the true greats now. The two men also personally wish for their daughters' safety when the girls leave for a reconnaissance mission.

Tadakatsu appears in two dream stages in this title. He teams up with Zhang Fei and Musashi to demonstrate their expertise with their weapons. Tadakatsu personally volunteers to rescue his lord from danger and open a path for the main camp. In his second dream stage, he teams up with Lu Bu and Keiji to test their might against Orochi. When they near the main camp's gates, Xu Huang, Zhang Liao, Pang De, and others challenge them to prove their worth in battle. Tadakatsu agrees to their request.

Retaining his loyalties to Ieyasu in Warriors Orochi 3 Tadakatsu was one of the defenders stationed at Yang Ping Gate, a protective gate before Chengdu. Since Chengdu is overrun in the original timeline, it's implied that Tadakatsu either fled or died fighting the serpent forces. When the coalition from the future head towards the gate, Tadakatsu shares the belief that their visitors have blindly swore their allegiance to Da Ji and declare them their enemies. Once the coalition members prove their honest intentions to him, he lends his strength for their cause.

He and Zhang Fei later help the coalition fight against the Uesugi-Takeda army and join the search for his isolated daughter at Yiling.

Pokémon Conquest

In the main story of Pokémon Conquest, Tadakatsu does not hold the reputation of being the greatest warrior of the land. He is instead known as a general who is close to Ieyasu and acts as his lord's protector. When Ieyasu mourns for the beaten Pokémon partners in his battle with the protagonist, Tadakatsu is the one to encourage him to press onward for for them. His words inspire Ieyasu to see the battle to its end. He withdraws with his lord after the protagonist takes Fukutsu Castle.


In Kessen, Tadakatsu acts as one of Ieyasu's advisers and his most prized general on the field. His martial skills surpass his lord in the first title but he is given a smaller amount of troops to balance himself with the rest of the army. He continues to act as Ieyasu's aid until his son takes over his position.

He resumes this role to a lesser degree in Kessen III. He aids his lord at Nagashino with rifle troops, but he mainly appears with sturdy spear or cavalry units in battle.

Saihai no Yukue

In Saihai no Yukue, Tadakatsu resumes his role as Ieyasu's vassal. He admires his lord greatly and is sincerely trusted by his lord in turn. He bravely declares that he has never been injured in any battle and is often seen as an obstacle for Mitsunari to overcome. He has a minor rivalry with Yoshihiro as the two veterans are eager to test their skills against one another. Humorously, he drags his beaten body to his lord after their defeat at Sekigahara and promptly loses consciousness afterward.

Mōri Motonari: Chikai no Sanya

Once again seen as Ieyasu's steadfast general in Mouri Motonari: Chikai no Sanya, Tadakatsu trusts his lord and enthusiastically stays true to his duties. Despite being named one of the Four Guardian Kings, Tadakatsu is left mystified by his lord's actions and can't relate to Ieyasu in the slightest. Baffled yet undeterred, Tadakatsu at least serves his lord's purposes in battle as his might is feared by those in the Mōri army. He participates in all three battles against the Mōri and bravely dedicates the battle at Gifu Castle as his last. When defeated, he dies whilst expressing his loyalties to Ieyasu.

Character Information


Samurai Warriors 2 artwork.


A scrupulous and puissant individual who firmly believes in Ieyasu, Tadakatsu swears to be his master's undaunted blade in war. Revered for his might and uninjured reputation, he is seen as the ideal embodiment for a warrior on the battlefront. He doubles as Ieyasu's sound aide in earlier titles, but his importance as general is gradually put into the focus as the series develops. Proud of his perfect record, Tadakatsu boldly dares any challengers to try to best him in combat. If there are valorous fighters he deems worthy of praise, he won't hesitate to spare a few words for them.

Even though he is best known as a stern warrior of power, Tadakatsu is a formal and perceptive man who admires his venerable spear, Tonbo-giri. He equates his spear to be his comrade-in-arms, sometimes calling upon it to grant him victory in battle. In the Japanese script, he rarely calls himself by any conventional pronouns, replacing them with his full name, his samurai name (Heihachirō), or a combination of his name and samurai name. When he does use pronouns, he uses the humble terms common with samurai in fiction.

He cares for his daughter's safety and is her idol for conduct. Tadakatsu is proud of her accomplishments yet stresses that she mustn't falter to achieve their lord's vision with absolute focus. In his newest incarnation, he expresses similar concerns to the rest of Ieyasu's army and earns their respect when they are in dire straights. His serious composure is similar to Hanzō and they frequently coordinate their efforts for Ieyasu's beliefs. In the Warriors Orochi series, he respects Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, and Lu Bu.

Character Symbolism

Tadakatsu has three legendary trademarks known by history fans: his black body-wrap armor, his deer horn helmet, and Tonbogiri. The armor is often adorned with large prayer beads, said to be worn as a form of mourning those fallen in combat, by his hand or otherwise. Tadakatsu's armor aims to be easy to maneuver in when worn and isn't too heavy, thus making his unscathed record very momentous. Ieyasu is famed to have once remarked, "Manchiyo (Naomasa Ii) wears heavy protection and it's always marred with scratches; yet Heihachirō (Tadakatsu) remains completely intact even with such light armor."

His deer horn helmet is said to have its origins when Tadakatsu was fourteen years old and coming back after a battle. Stuck in dreadful weather, the waters of Yahagi River began to rise to a dangerous level and it looked impossible to cross. By chance, Tadakatsu happened to spot a deer treading through the river and watched it safely cross. He mimicked the deer's actions and was able to return home in one piece. Feeling forever grateful to the animal for saving his life, Tadakatsu later had his helmet fashioned in its honor.

Tonbogiri is Tadakatsu's legendary spear and one of the Three Great Spears of Japan. The creator of the spear is so far not known. According to traditional legend, it was made by Fujiwara no Masazane. If one is to investigate, however, there isn't much found regarding the swordsmith, making his existence unclear. However, Muramasa was said to have had a younger brother under the same given name who was taught Ise swordsmithing techniques. Since Masazane hasn't been found to have actually served Ieyasu, some people think the name is a typo, and that the weapon was actually forged by Muramasa himself. The spear is said to have been named once it was standing upright. A dragonfly happened to fly on the top of the spear's tip, instantly being sliced in two due to its sharpness. Its length is said to be about six meters, nearly double the length of a normal spear. Tadakatsu was said to have personally asked for the length, stating that it was best to have a longer spear for battle. After seeing his skill with the spear, Nobunaga was said to have praised him as "Our land's Zhang Fei". Although the original spear and his armor were lost from the Honda clan after the Osaka Campaign, a replica can be seen on display at Okazaki Castle. His spear is used in his various appearances in fiction, being his first weapon in Samurai Warriors 2 -or his second weapon for his debut. In the Samurai Warriors series, however, the particular weapon is simply called his personal spear of choice rather than by its full name.

In the Samurai Warriors series, he's symbolized by the character for "explosion" (轟), the character for "roar" (哮), and blue and yellow electric streaks. His trait of calling himself "Tadakatsu" in the series is tied to a legend regarding its creation. His given name was said to be a personification of the phrase, "only for victory" (ただ勝つのみ, Tada katsu nomi).

Tadakatsu's third weapon -fourth weapon in his debut- is originally named Ningen Mukō. It is a cross spear once wielded by Naritoshi's older brother, Mori Nagayoshi. Said to have been crafted by Izuminokami Kanesada, Nagayoshi wielded the spear during the Battle of Ise-Nagashima. Using it to gather twenty-seven heads from the battle, he was praised by Nobunaga for the deed. The characters found in its name, "ningen" and "mukō", were written on both sides of the spear's bladed tip. It means the spear can cut through people as if they had no bones, slicing through them effortlessly. Ningen Mukō ties into Nagayoshi's reputation for his "demon-like battle prowess": he was said to have had a rough exterior and was feared by many.

Arahabaki is a Japanese god known to be celebrated within the Tōhoku region; it forms the namesake for his fifth spear in the first title, fourth weapon in the second, and Unique in the third. Unlike several gods in Japanese mythology, Arahabaki isn't listed in Japanese mythological records and is highly believed to have been a manifestation devised and celebrated by locals. Arahabaki was first thought to have originated from India, was told to merchants or travelers in China, and then told through word of mouth in Japan. Since different regions have their own interpretation of Arahabaki, it has been accepted as a marōtogami or a god formed by travelers going to different prefectures. During the Yayoi period, Arahabaki was named as the highest rank god by tribes throughout the land. It continued to be known as such within the Kiki, but the introduction of Buddhism nearly eradicated the god's worship. With the several erected shrines left behind, the writings on them have been faded and, by the Edo Period, their purpose in mythology became largely unknown. Locals have accepted Arahabaki as a god of wood, a snake god, a dragon god, a god of highways or footpaths, a god of iron, a mountain god, and so on. Although a god of mystery, a statue has been seen nearby Shitennō-ji, leading many to believe it has some sort of ties with the Four Heavenly Kings in Buddhism.

His rarest spears all share the same name in the three games. They are named after Gōzanze Myō-oh, one of the wisdom kings in Buddhism. In Sanskrit, his name, Trailokya Vijaya, roughly translates to "the One who Defeated Sheva, Master of Three Thousand Worlds, and Triumphed". In Hinduism, he is known as a god who is dedicated to the three worlds of the past, present, and future. Japan recognizes him as a lord of divine fire in three worlds who mainly appears in the heavenly fire world, Kashōzanmai. He usually stays away from the human plane, but he can descend to burn away the lusts and griefs for non-believers of Buddha's teachings. Tadakatsu's spear is formed to be like Gōzanze Myō-oh's hand and its name implies it has the power to strike down Enma.

Voice Actors

  • Kirk Thornton - Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends (English-uncredited)
  • Nigel Stern - Samurai Warriors 2 (English)
  • Grant George - Warriors Orochi series, Samurai Warriors 3 (English-uncredited)
  • Eli Gabe - Kessen (English)
  • Akio Ohtsuka - Samurai Warriors and Warriors Orochi series (Japanese)
  • Yukimasa Kishino - Kessen (Japanese)
  • Takeshi Mori - Kessen III (Japanese)

Live Action Performer


  • "My might will crush the enemy."
  • "I am a man of peerless might!"
  • "My skill will be your last sight on this earth..."
  • "My blade thrists for enemy blood..."
  • "Tadakatsu Honda shall make orphans of your souls!"
  • "This battle will decide the greatest warrior of the land! I will not retreat!"
  • "Have no fear! I will turn the tide of this battle!"
  • "What can we gain from this?"
"What can be lost from this?"
~~Tadakatsu and Keiji; Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends
  • "Your strength is what threw off my calculation."
"War is fought by men not by some strategy in a book."
~~Masayuki and Tadakatsu; Samurai Warriors 2
  • "Your loyalty is unquestionable. Unfortunately, it is also misguided."
"So... I guess that means I'm not going to get a date with that sweet daughter of yours?"
~~Tadakatsu and Sakon; Samurai Warriors 2
  • "Lord Tadakatsu, I... um... Have you remembered my name yet?"
"Yes. You are Dōsetsu's daughter and the wife of Muneshige, the Greatest Warrior of the West. It was... Gi.. Kimuchiyo?"
"Ah... Just a little more. I must be really pathetic then..."
"Do not falter. I remember your hardships on the battlefield. Your name shall be engraved in my mind given time."
~~Ginchiyo and Tadakatsu; Samurai Warriors 3: Empires
  • "You shall feel the wrath of the greatest warrior of all time, I promise you!"
"This is what I wanted. Your promise pleases me."
~~Tadakatsu and Orochi; Warriors Orochi
  • "Kiyomori's a little busy right now. Can I take a message for him?"
"Yes, tell him that death is coming for him."
~~Sun Wukong and Tadakatsu; Warriors Orochi 2
  • "Tadakatsu! I hear you are known as the Zhang Fei of Japan."
"Master Zhang Fei, you are a great hero known for incomparable bravery. It is an honor to be called that."
"Then you better do my name proud on the battlefield! I'm expecting great things from you!"
~~Zhang Fei and Tadakatsu; Warriors Orochi 3
  • "Let my Tonbo-giri be a passage to hell!"
~~Honda before he fights; Kessen



Keys: Square Normal Attack • Tri Charge AttackCircle MusouX Jump/Mount

Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends

Ground Moveset
Mounted Moveset

Samurai Warriors 2

Moveset remains relatively the same except the ending charges of his normal attacks are omitted. Like the rest of the cast, his horse musou changes to a damaging stampede by his horse. He also gains a Level 3 Musou, R1 skills, and a new charge attack in the Xtreme Legends expansion.

Square,Square,Square,Square,Tri:(Xtreme Legends only) Howls and swings spear forward. Hurls five damaging balls of energy. If used properly, it can be one of the most damaging attacks in the game.
R1 + Square: Regain one division of musou gauge. The more enemies that get hit by this skill, the more Musou is gained.
R1 + Tri: Damage enemies simply by running into them.
Personal Skill : (Rebound) Knockback after guarding decreased when timed well.
Warriors Orochi

Does not possess C5 and Level 3 Musou. He has one R1 ability.

R1: A mighty slash with added elements. A few seconds after the slash, Tadakatsu is empowered by lightning, increasing his overall stats for a short amount of time.

Samurai Warriors 3

Circle (Ultimate/Kaiden): Jumps into the air and slams his spear into the ground, causing a massive shockwave.
Spirit Cancel:
Warriors Orochi

Ultimate Musou is now True Musou in Warriors Orochi 3. Gains the following addition.

  • R1: A mighty charge with his horns ended by a punch.

Fighting Style

Tadakatsu in Samurai Warriors is made to be a powerful fighter with good range dispite the fact he does not have good speed. His greatest strength is his defence. He has the best defence of anyone in the game, other then Keiji, so it is not easy to take him down. His C4 especially is a good move for crowds and for dueling officers as well. His first R1 ability becomes more effective the more targets it hits so it can be useful in a crowd.


Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends

Weapon Information
Iron Spear
This is Tadakatsu's starting weapon.
Base Attack: 17
Element and Stats: Random
Attacks: 4
Description: Spear made from Iron.
Great Spear
Base Attack: 27
Element and Stats: Random
Attacks: 6
Description: A powerful spear used by fierce warriors.
Tiger Slayer
Base Attack: 34
Element and Stats: Random
Attacks: 8
Description: A grand spear said to have quelled the fiercest tigers.
Base Attack: 45
Element and Stats: Random
Attacks: 8
Description: A great spear that can easily slice through bone.
Base Attack: 50
Description: A spear which possesses the war god Arahabaki's spirit.
Element: Fire
Stats: Musou +50
Attack +47
Defense +41
Speed +31
This is Tadakatsu's sixth and ultimate weapon. Its stats are as follows:
Base Attack: 60
Description: A spear said to be powerful enough to slay the mightiest of gods.
Element: Fire
Stats: Attack +72
Defense +75
Ranged Defense +71
Attack Range +59

Samurai Warriors 2

Weapon Information
Great Spear
This is Tadakatsu's starting weapon.
Base Attack: 23
Element and Stats: Random
Length: 280 cm (9'2")
Tiger Slayer
Base Attack: 33
Element and Stats: Random
Length: 300 cm (9'10")
War Trident
Base Attack: 41
Element and Stats: Random
Length: 320 cm (10'6")
This is Tadakatsu's fourth and ultimate weapon. Its stats are as follows:
Base Attack: 50
Element: Fire
Stats: Musou +15
Attack +37
Defense +53
Musou Charge +33
Length: 350 cm (11'6")

Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends

Weapon Information
Demon's Tongue
This is Tadakatsu's fifth weapon.
Base Attack: 50
Element: Demon
Stats: Life +38
Attack +55
Ride +52
Length: n/a

Samurai Warriors 3

Image Stage to Clear for Unique Weapon
  • Battle of Sekigahara

Historical Information


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