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by CyricZ

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Guide and Walkthrough by CyricZ

Version: 1.1 | Updated: 12/02/2018
FAQ of the Month Winner: November 2018 | Highest Rated Guide

Combat and Abilities

Secret Techniques

Or as I like to call it "probably the reason you bought this game". Hokuto Shinken's secret techniques are some of the most recognizable aspects of the series. They are many in number, so I've taken the opportunity here to provide each of the techniques, how you perform them, and just for fun, their original Japanese names and their use in the original work, if I know it.

Secret Techniques also have a "level", which can increase through frequent use. There's no completion reason to get a technique to the maximum level of three stars, but it can be useful for increasing damage the technique can do. It should be noted that at an increased level, there are additional button presses required for the technique.

Reminder that in the case of many techniques, you have to get the opponent in "Chance" state, which requires hitting them until their skull meter fills and they enter Meridian Shock, then pressing Circle on them.

The list below is as it appears in the Log, not on the Abilities list. Ergo, if you're seeing question marks on that list and wondering how to fill it, search this list to fill in the gaps.

NameJapanese Name and TransliterationHow to Perform
Hokuto Hundred-Fist RushHokuto Hyakuretsu-ken
(North Dipper Hundred Crack Fist)
Press Circle next to a Common or Large opponent in Tremor Chance.
This is Kenshiro's signature technique, a series of 100 blows striking as many of the opponents pressure points as possible. He has used it multiple times in the original work and he always punctuates it with the "ATATATATATA" cry.
Hokuto Hundred-Fist Rush (Onslaught)Same as above

During Burst Mode, press Square five times to invoke the rush, then continue to mash Square until the Technique happens.

See above. This is mostly a more extreme version of the original. This and the previous version both count for the Hundred-Fist Rush entry in the Log.
Stone Mountain Splitting SlashGanzan Ryouzen Ha
(Rocky Mountain Splitting Wave)
Press Circle next to an opponent in Kneel Chance.
The first time Ken used this technique was against one of Shin's men. It's an open-handed chop to the top of the foe's head, caving in their skull. It's kind of notable in that it's not really a Hokuto Shinken move: it's an external strike on an enemy as opposed to a pressure point strike.
Hokuto Fist of PenitenceHokuto Zankai Ken
(North Dipper Remorse Fist)
Press Circle next to a Common Thug in Stun Chance.
A technique where Ken inserts his thumbs into either side of the enemy's head. He used this technique against Spade to finish him.
Hokuto Fist of Penitence (Weapon Counter)Same as aboveHold L1 to block and wait for someone with a one-handed weapon to wind up and strike, and press Circle before the attack lands.
See above.
Two-Finger InterceptionNishi Shinkuu Ha
(Two-Finger Void Grasp)
Hold L1 to block and wait for a crossbow-wielding enemy to line up and fire. Press Circle just before they fire.
Ken catches an arrow fired at him in mid-flight, and tosses it back at the shooter. This technique was used against Spade in the original work, except it caught him in the eye instead of the forehead.
Hangman's Skull CrusherKoushu Hagan Ken
(Neck Twisting Face Breaking Fist)
In Burst Mode, press Circle after you knock an enemy into the air, face-down. To get someone face-down, use Square-Square-Triangle-Triangle to launch them.
This is a flying knee kick to the face. It's used against Diamond in the original work, and it split his face in half.
Hangman's Skull Crusher (Counter)Same as aboveHold L1 to block and wait for a Small Thug to jump up towards you, and press Circle before the attack lands.
See above.
Exploding Five Finger StrikeGo Shi Retsudan (Five Finger Fury Bullets)Hold L1 to block and wait for someone with a two-handed weapon to wind up and strike, and press Circle before the attack lands.
Ken used this technique against Club in the original work, which caused his fingers to explode.
Hokuto Bone Crusher StrikeHokuto Kaikotsu Ken
(North Dipper Bone Crushing Fist)
Press Circle near an Common Thug in Blind Chance.
In the original work, Ken uses this attack against a character known as "Colonel", a former solider for the military prior to the last war. The attack causes the victim's skeleton to leap out the back of their body. Probably one of the more gruesome attacks in the series.
Hokuto Bone Demolisher (Counter)Hokuto Dan Kotsukin
(North Dipper Cutting Bone and Tendon)
Hold L1 to block and wait for someone unarmed to wind up and strike, and press Circle before the attack lands. Doesn't work on every fist attack, but many of them.
This technique strikes the opponents arm, starting the "death explosion" from the tendons there instead of the head or chest. Ken used it in the original work against Scorpio, a member of Jackal's gang. In fact, Scorpio was the one who originally cried "ABESHI!" upon death.
Hokuto Rising Thunder KickHokuto Sho Rai Kyaku
(North Dipper Rising Thunder Kick)
Press Circle while a Giant Thug is in Migraine Chance. Remember you can invoke Migraine Chance by charging your Channeling up to the third state once you unlock it.
I can't find any instance of this being used in the original work, but it's pretty much a flying vertical kick kind of attack
Hokuto Rising ForceHokuto Tensei Geki
(North Dipper Heavenly Force Strike)
Press Circle while a Giant Thug is in Tremor Chance.
I can't find any instance of this being used in the original work, but it knocks the enemy up and pounds them from underneath on their way down.
Hokuto Steel Shredding ClenchHokuto Kouretsu Ha
(Steel-Rending Grasp)
Press Circle while an enemy is in Freeze Chance. If you hold R1 while hitting Circle, you'll do this instead of Hordebreaker.
While normally Ken uses this on people's faces in the game, in the original work, it was used against Uighur to destroy his shoulder.
Hokuto Merciful ExecutionHokuto Ujou Hagan Ken (North Dipper Humane Face Breaking Fist)Press Circle as you dodge between two enemies.
This technique was only ever used by Toki, while he was calmly meditating in prison. He raises both his arms and emits ki from them, striking his two foes. His foes then experience incredible delight and happiness as their bodies twist and explode.
Seven Star Points of SpiritShichisei Tenshin (Seven Star Point Spirit)Use Ryuken's Destiny Talisman near any one enemy.
This move was performed by Ken's master, Ryuken, when he attempted to seal Raoh's power. It's a move that strikes from seven different directions which are blind spots to the human body. Ryuken, unfortunately, failed in this attack due to his age and lack of resolve, allowing Raoh to turn the tables and kill him.
Hokuto WingbreakerHokuto Gosho Ha (North Dipper Iron Palm Wave)In Burst Mode, knock a foe into the air face-up, then press Circle. Easiest way to set up that is with a Sway Attack (X towards them and Triangle).
So, this move is misnamed in the Japanese version. The "Gosho Ha" is actually Raoh's aura beam move, and this is not that. Wingbreaker makes a lot more sense.
Celestial Hundred-Fist RushTenshou Hyakuretsu Ken (Heaven Soaring Hundred Crack Fist)During a fight against a boss or Duel enemy, when their health gets low, they'll use an evasive jump that slows down time. While they jump, press Circle.
Toki's take on the Hyakuretsu. He soars through the air as he hammers his foes. He used this on Raoh during their second fight.
Celestial King's AssaultTenshou Honretsu (Heaven's Command Charge)Use Raoh's Destiny Talisman near any enemies.
Raoh uses this ki wave technique against Ken during their final fight.
Hokuto Eight Pains Nine HellsHokuto Hachimon Kudan
(North Dipper Eight Agonies Nine Breaks)
In Burst Mode, press Circle next to an enemy fallen on the ground. It's sometimes difficult to execute this if the enemy is getting back up, but keep trying as you knock foes down.
A strike to the head of a prone foe on the ground. Saying Ken "uses" this attack in the series is a bit misleading. During his very first fight with Jagi in a flashback, Ken subdues Jagi and calls out this attack as Jagi is lying on the ground, but stops short of executing it to spare his adopted brother's life.
Hokuto SpinebreakerHokuto Houhai Geki (North Dipper Back Breaking Strike)Press Circle while a Large Thug is in Blind Chance.
I've never seen this one used by name, but it could be somewhere in the work and I can't find it.
Phantom Channeling PointHikou Yusen (Hidden Cavity Dark Source)Press Circle next to a Common Thug in Stun Chance.
Another one that I haven't seen specifically, but I imagine it's probably used as an off-hand strike to a thug somewhere.
Hokuto Crucifying StrikeHokuto Keshi Sou (North Dipper Crucifixion Funeral)Press Circle near an enemy in Stun Chance while they're near a wall.
Ken slams the guy against the wall and stabs him to death. Not one I'm familiar with.
Hokuto Twin ExecutionHokuto Soukai Satsu (North Dipper Twin Person Murder)Stand near an enemy in Meridian Shock (not necessarily stunned) and press Circle while another enemy attacks.
Ken grabs two guys by either side of the head and slams them together.
Hokuto Hordebreaker Strike

Hokuto Hajin Teki

Press Circle near an enemy in Freeze Chance while you're near other enemies. Make sure you're not using R1.
Don't think one's been in the original work. Most of the time if Ken's facing multiple guys, he individually kills them instead of swinging them into each other.
Time to Take Out the TrashGobutsu wa shodoku subeki da (Time to take out the trash)Hold L1 to block near a flamethrower enemy and once they ready their weapon, press Circle before the attack lands.
This move is based on the actual Flamethrower Man who was a part of Thouzer's crew. While he never had a proper name, he's remarkable due to his weapon and the fact that Ken is able to disarm and incinerate him in the same way as this technique does. He's actually received a bit of a reputation for this, and merchandise has been made of him.
CyricZ started writing to get all the thoughts in his head about video games onto paper and it got out of hand.

If you're looking for other guides by him, you can search the Yakuza series or the LEGO series on GameFAQs.