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You have dishonored this entire unit!
Soldier-sensei castigating a heisotsu (private)

The Half-Zatoichi is a community-created promotional melee weapon for the Soldier and Demoman. It is a katana with a circular crossguard with rounded notches, adorned with brown grip wrapping.

Upon killing an enemy, the blade becomes blood-stained and the wielder's health increases by 50% of their max health, potentially granting overheal (100 HP is granted to the Soldier, 110 HP to a Soldier with the Battalion's Backup equipped, 88 HP to a Demoman, and 100 HP to a Demoman with the Bootlegger or the Ali Baba's Wee Booties equipped). Like its description suggests, Soldiers and Demomen wielding a Half-Zatoichi can instantly kill each other in one hit. However, the weapon is Honorbound: attempting to switch away from the sword (when completely deployed) without killing another player results in a loss of 50 health. If the player's health falls and becomes less than or equal to 50 HP, the weapon cannot be holstered until the player gets a kill or recovers enough health. The Half-Zatoichi is also unable to deal random critical hits.

The Half-Zatoichi has a 50% larger melee range and a 75% longer deploy/holster time, like the other swords for the Demoman. This makes it the Soldier's only weapon with extended melee range other than the Disciplinary Action.

Taunting as a Demoman with the Half-Zatoichi equipped results in the Barbarian Swing kill taunt. Successfully killing someone with the taunt grants the healing, and allows the Demoman to sheath the weapon without taking damage.

This item was awarded in Genuine quality to players who pre-purchased Total War: Shogun 2 on Steam before March 15, 2011.

Damage and function times

See also: Damage
Damage and function times
Damage type Melee
Ranged or Melee damage? Melee
Base damage 100% 65 / 300%
Critical 195
Mini-crit 88
Self-healing 50%
Function times
Attack interval 0.8 s
Effect duration
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.



See also: Crafting


Eyelander Reclaimed Metal Half-Zatoichi
Item icon Eyelander.pngx2 + Item icon Reclaimed Metal.png = Item icon Half-Zatoichi.png
Class Token - Soldier Slot Token - Melee Scrap Metal Possible Results
Item icon Class Token - Soldier.png + Item icon Slot Token - Melee.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.png =
Item icon Equalizer.png Item icon Pain Train.png Item icon Half-Zatoichi.png Item icon Disciplinary Action.png
Item icon Market Gardener.png Item icon Escape Plan.png Item icon Freedom Staff.png Item icon Ham Shank.png
Item icon Bat Outta Hell.png Item icon Conscientious Objector.png
Class Token - Demoman Slot Token - Melee Scrap Metal Possible Results
Item icon Class Token - Demoman.png + Item icon Slot Token - Melee.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.png =
Item icon Eyelander.png Item icon Scotsman's Skullcutter.png Item icon Ullapool Caber.png Item icon Claidheamh Mòr.png
Item icon Pain Train.png Item icon Half-Zatoichi.png Item icon Persian Persuader.png Item icon Nessie's Nine Iron.png
Item icon Scottish Handshake.png Item icon Freedom Staff.png Item icon Ham Shank.png Item icon Bat Outta Hell.png
Item icon Conscientious Objector.png

As a crafting ingredient

Half-Zatoichi Scrap Metal Persian Persuader
Item icon Half-Zatoichi.pngx2 + Item icon Scrap Metal.png = Item icon Persian Persuader.png

Strange variant

Related achievements

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

Trench Warfare
Trench Warfare
Kill your nemesis with a shovel.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

Decapitate 50 enemy players.

Left 4 Heads
Left 4 Heads
Decapitate 4 players with only 10 seconds between each kill.

Scotch Tap
Scotch Tap
Glory in the slaughter of your enemies using the Eyelander.

Shorn Connery
Shorn Connery
Decapitate a cloaked Spy.
Slammy Slayvis Woundya
Slammy Slayvis Woundya
Decapitate an enemy Soldier who is brandishing the Equalizer.

The Scottish Play
The Scottish Play
Get a melee kill while sticky jumping.

There Can Be Only One
There Can Be Only One
Decapitate your nemesis.

Update history

March 10, 2011 Patch (Shogun Pack)
  • The Half-Zatoichi was added to the game.

March 11, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed players getting a health bonus based on the weapon they're currently holding instead of the weapon that dealt the killing blow.

March 15, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed a server crash caused by using the Half-Zatoichi to hit someone not holding a weapon.
  • Fixed the Soldier/Demoman taunts not working correctly when the Half-Zatoichi is the active weapon.
  • Fixed a bug where players could switch weapons after deploying the Half-Zatoichi before they killed someone with it.
  • The item became tradeable.
  • All Half-Zatoichis crafted before this patch have been upgraded to Vintage quality.
  • [Undocumented] The Half-Zatoichi was given a unique crafting recipe.

March 21, 2011 Patch

  • Updated honor-bound weapons so that they can be holstered within a second of touching a supply cabinet.

April 14, 2011 Patch (Hatless Update)

  • Fixed taunt kills made with a Katana not counting towards honorbound kills.
  • Fixed a bug where killing a Katana wielder with a Katana was incorrectly causing an increased crit chance.

June 3, 2011 Patch

  • Added community contributed response rules to the Half-Zatoichi.

June 10, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed a problem with honorbound weapons not allowing themselves to be holstered after killing a Spy using the Dead Ringer.

June 23, 2011 Patch (Über Update)

July 7, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed a bug with honorbound weapons allowing themselves to be holstered before getting a kill.

July 22, 2011 Patch

  • [Undocumented] The honorbound attribute wording was changed from "This weapon is Honorbound and once drawn cannot be sheathed until it kills" to "Honorbound: Once drawn cannot be sheathed until it kills".

October 13, 2011 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added Strange quality.

December 21, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed missing forces for Demoman swords.

February 14, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed the Half-Zatoichi using the wrong RED team arms skin while on the BLU team.

November 12, 2013 Patch

February 7, 2014 Patch #1

  • Fixed the Half-Zatoichi using the wrong animations for the Loadout screen and the HUD 3D Character.

February 7, 2014 Patch #2

  • Reverted the changes to the Half-Zatoichi until the effects on the Soldier can be investigated.

December 17, 2015 Patch (Tough Break Update)

  • Changed attributes:
    • Now considered a sword (increased holster and deploy time and increased range).
    • Honorbound changed. Deals 50 self-damage on holster if no kill was made. Cannot be holstered if player is below 50 life and no kill was made.
    • 100% life restore on kill changed to 50% health gain on kill that can result in overheal.
    • No random crits.

December 18, 2015 Patch

  • Fixed the Half-Zatoichi giving more overheal then(sic) intended. Max overheal is 1.5x base health.

Unused content

  • An unused kill icon exists for Half-Zatoichi duel kills.


  • The loadout screen shows the Demoman wielding the Half-Zatoichi with one hand instead of with both hands. A Spy disguised as a Demoman wields the Half-Zatoichi one-handed as well. It may also appear invisible when selected as the active weapon wielded by a Spy disguised as a Soldier or Demoman.
  • In Mannpower, the Grappling Hook can be used via the action key when below 50 Health, killing the player.
  • Taunting with Shred Alert, Fresh Brewed Victory, Rocket Jockey, or Spent Well Spirits while using the bloodied Half-Zatoichi taunts with the RED version of the weapon, irrespective of the player's team.


  • Zatoichi is a fictional blind swordsman who appears in many Japanese films. The term "Half-Zatoichi" is a reference to the Demoman having only one eye, and the Soldier having his helmet over his eyes as opposed to being completely blind.
  • When performing the Barbarian Swing taunt kill as Demoman, the swing that decapitates the victim is performed with the dull side of the sword.
  • In the censored version of Team Fortress 2, the weapon is not bloodied after a kill.
  • Even though the katana is a two-handed weapon, the Soldier wields it with only one hand.


  • Soldier
  • Demoman
  • Other

See also