Musashi - The protagonist of the game. Son of the legendary Miyamoto Musashi. He is out to defeat his father's rival, Kojiro, who has risen from the grave.
Kojiro - The rival of Musashi's father, and the main bad guy of the game. Apparently he has risen from the dead and is wreaking havoc...*yawn*
Tanuki - A raccoon that Musashi rescues. He is Musashi's traveling companion. You can't control him, and he only attacks when HE feels like it, so don't count on him to help much.
Otsu - The girl of Musashi's dreams. I guess he's betrothed to her or something. Regardless, she does absolutely nothing in the game, so who cares?
Arima Village Elder - He wishes you luck and tells you to recruit Tanuki. I wish the leader of MY village was that cool.
Soothsayer - You can find this guy in various towns and whatnot. Give him money and he'll give you helpful hints that aren't too helpful. His only redeeming quality is the two groupies...er...I mean...Shrine Maidens...dancing behind him.
Shrine Maidens - These two just aimlessly spend their lives dancing behind the Soothsayer. Apparently they're holding Spirit Staffs that destroy evil spirits and ward off monsters...I'm not sure how they work, but I think dancing back in forth isn't doing much to ward off evil... Anywho...One of them seems to have a speech impediment and the other is infactuated with a certain spoony bard...
The Shoya - Uh...this guy's like...a guy. And he lives in a house west of Arima. He gets attacked by demons with the Lapis Key (well, the demons didn't attack him WITH the key...I mean they didn't literally take the key and jam it in his eye or anything...erm...I'm getting off-topic...). I guess that's about it.
Nikaido - The master of his own dojo, so he might be good at doing stuff, right? Wrong. When his son is in trouble, all he can do is wiggle his mustache and ask Musashi for help.
Shinosuke - Nikaido's son who has fallen under a terrible spell that makes him drunk. Although some might debate exactly how "terrible" this spell is, the fact remains that you must save him.
Hag - She cast the spell on Nikaido. She then went into her cave and sat on her ass waiting for somebody to kill her and lift the curse.
High Priest - This happy guy lives in his hut west of Mt. Karakasa, and when you get the Sand of Ebb Tide, he'll tell you to find his Amulet. But by the time you get it, he doesn't even care. I guess it's your Amulet now...
Kakukoshin - He's a cloth seller who hangs out in the High Priest's House. He apparently lost his Inro (whatever the hell that is) in Mt. Karakasa. Retrieve it for him to receive the Sand of Ebb Tide.
Princess Kimo - She basically hangs around Hinoki and makes a nuisance of herself. Talk to her and she'll run off to Suigetsu Tower. Bring proof of her "ghostiality" and you can fight her. Kill her for the Idol.
Yosaku - He sits in his house in Ukyo all day bragging about how good a swimmer he is. He finds a girl's comb that you must retrieve to get one of the scrolls.
Gennai - He's a doctor who can make a pill that will cure Mermaid Princess Koi's illness, but will only do so if you bring him a Kinpo Flower. Even after you do, the selfish bastard charges you 10000 Ryo! If the princess wasn't so hot, I'd just as soon let the princess die...
The Turtle - The Turtle is a turtle who sits around all day asking people if they got any pills. He claims that he needs them to cure Mermaid Princess Koi. RIIIIIIGHT...Anyway, bring the Pill and he'll take you to the Mermaid's Eternal Palace, and you can cure the princess.
Mermaid Princess Koi - (First thing's first, if you're male, you may want to see what Koi looks like by clicking here...) She gets sick, and instead of doing something useful about it, she just sends a turtle to town to ask for pills. Anyway, give her a pill and she'll hook you up with the Ogrebox.
Sekishuusai - I guess he traveled the world trying to do all the stuff that Musashi's doing, and he died in the process. Go to Will-of-the-Wisp Cave and he'll tell you that his wife is a ghost and has stolen his prized sword. Talk about paranoid...even though he speaks the truth.
Okiku - Sekishuusai's wife. Talk to her after talking to him and she'll attack you. Kill her and get the Raiten.
Chie - The daughter of Sekishuusai. She does absolutely nothing in the game. Even after you defeat Okiku, she'll just sit in her corner of the house and stare at the wall endlessly. She oughtta be a secret character that does Musashi's dishes or laundry or something...you know, so she wouldn't be COMPLETELY useless...
Unkai - Victim of a nasty translation error, he's stuck in Uzuki Tower when the game says he's in Yougetsu Tower. Anyway, he's an old man that lives alone locked in a prison cell in a monster-infested tower. Even after unlocking the door with the Jade Key, he just sits there in his cell waiting to die. Bring him the Ogrebox and he'll open it, revealing the Sunball.
Iori - Reusing Musashi's sprite? Have they no shame!? Anyway...Iori lives in Tatsuno and tells Musashi to collect all the scrolls and stuff. He doesn't do anything cool like join your party or explain why the hell he looks like you though...