The English sailor who inspired Nioh's samurai star

William Adams helped shape the future of Japan.

Nioh, Koei Tecmo's excellent PlayStation 4 action game, stars William, a blonde-haired westerner who arrives in a fictionalised version of feudal Japan on the hunt for an enemy. There, he is trained in combat so that he can defeat Edward Kelley, another westerner who is driving the war in Japan using his dark abilities.


William Adams : Role in Games

William is the main protagonist of Nioh; growing up in a remote Irish village, he meets a guardian spirit called Saoirse who was born from human prayers. Saoirse saved him from death and now prevents him from dying and gifted him with the ability to see the normally invisible spirits. He was originally a pirate hired by Elizabeth I to find Amrita, powerful spiritual stones, to help fuel the war efforts to defeat Spain. William is held prisoner in the Tower of London. Escaping thanks to Saoirse, he confronts the alchemist Edward Kelley. Kelley captures Saoirse and flees to Japan, intending to gather the country's Amrita.

William pursues him and eventually lands in Japan. He encounters Hanzō, who explains the country's political situation and proposes an alliance - Hanzō will help William to track Kelley, if William will help with the fight against the Oni. William agrees and goes to Kyushu, where he saves Nagamasa from yokai. He is aided in this battle by Nekomata, a cat spirit. Soon, William's exploits are noticed by Ieyasu who then decides to meet the man.

Meanwhile, tensions between Ieyasu and Mitsunari continue to rise, leading to the battle at Sekigahara. During the battle, William confronts Yoshitsugu, Sakon, and Mitsunari himself, learning that Kelley seeks to resurrect Nobunaga. William pursues Kelley into the reconstructed Azuchi Castle, where he fights and defeats Yasuke.

When he reaches Kelley, Nobunaga has been brought back from the dead. After Nobunaga decides to spare William and die again, Kelley is incensed to use Saoirse's energy to summon Yamata no Orochi. William slays it and kills Kelley.

Before his death, the alchemist reveals that he was working for John Dee, the Queen's adviser. William travels back to the England and confronts the man. After defeating him, William receives a vision of Hanzō dying at Ōsaka Castle and decides to come back to Japan.