A ravaged Earth struggles to survive after the nuclear holocaust has left the world in ruins. Pitiful survivors band together in communities and villages, trying to live on what little resources they have left. In the wastelands beyond, vicious gangs prey on the survivors for their resources, or sometimes just for fun. A mysterious martial artist named Kenshiro, a man with seven scars on his chest and the chosen successor of the legendary assassin's art Hokuto Shinken (????, The Divine Fist of the North Star) has sworn to protect the weak and innocent from the malicious gangs that roam the scorched planet.