Samurai Shodown V Special (known in Japan as Samurai Spirits Zero Special) is a 2D historical-fantasy weapon-based fighting game developed by Yuki and released by SNK for arcades (running Neo Geo MVS hardware) exclusively in Japan on April 22, 2004, with a worldwide Neo Geo Advanced Entertainment System release on July 9, 2004.
An enhanced update of the original Samurai Shodown V, Samurai Shodown V Special is known as the last official game released for the Neo Geo hardware. Along with minor changes (such as tweaked commands for certain abilities), the game adds the final bosses from all main games as playable characters (Amakusa, Mizuki, Zankuro, and Gaoh), while removing two mid-bosses (Sankuro and Yumeji) and introducing new Fatality effects (including a new special move used to finish off opponents mid-battle).
Due to the intensity of the overall amount of Fatality effects, the game was censored for its home Neo Geo AES release. Because these changes added new glitches to the game, SNK allowed players to trade their cartridges back for a newer version (which still censored some effects, but fixed the added glitches).
Although the game was not ported to consoles at the time, nor was it included in the Samurai Shodown Anthology compilation, it was later included in some digital Humble NEO GEO Bundles starting in late 2015 for the PC, Mac, and Linux (both downloadable, with ROMs included, and on modern browsers).
An enhanced version of the game, known as Samurai Shodown V Perfect (or Samurai Spirits Zero Special Kanzen-han) received a limited location test during the development of Samurai Shodown VI. It was said that this was developed and tested without SNK's knowledge, and it was quickly pulled from location test and cancelled once they found out. It was later released in the Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection compilation in 2020.