The flagship RPG series of Chunsoft, the Japanese publisher/developer who are most famous worldwide for ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeon''. ''Shiren the Wanderer'' features [[RogueLike roguelike]] gameplay, which is set against a fantasy version of feudal Japan. Most of the games have you control Shiren, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a wandering adventurer]] who wears a distinct 'kasa' hat. [[NoExportForYou Only two games in the series have been released to Western audiences.]]

The series so far:
* ''Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer'' (1995, {{SNES}}) (2006, NintendoDS) (titled Mystery Dungeon 2 in Japan; Mystery Dungeon 1 was the Super Famicom game based around Torneko from VideoGame/DragonQuestIV) -- Shiren journeys to the Golden City on Table Mountain, where the Golden Condor resides.
* ''Shiren the Wanderer 2: Oni Raid on Ft. Shiren!'' (2000, [[NintendoSixtyFour N64]]) -- Natane Village keeps getting invaded by [[{{Youkai}} Onis]], and the townfolk beseech Shiren to build them a fortress.
* ''Shiren the Wanderer 3: The Sleeping Princess of Karakuri Mansion'' (2008, {{Wii}}) -- Shiren and friends seek the Karakuri Mansion. [[GambitRoulette Things get complicated]].
* ''Shiren the Wanderer 4: The Deity's Eye and the Devil's Navel'' (2010, NintendoDS) -- An island adventure, complete with monkeys and bananas and tiger people.
* ''Shiren the Wanderer 5: Fortune Tower and the Dice of Fate'' (2010, NintendoDS) -- Utilizes the ''Shiren 4'' engine.

Along with the main installments, there have been a few [[GaidenGame gaiden games]]:
* ''BS Shiren the Wanderer: Save Surara'' (1996, Satellaview)
* ''Shiren the Wanderer GB: The Monsters of Moonlight Village'' (1996, [[GameBoy GB]]) -- Shiren encounters the Dragon's Maw and a seemingly quaint village. [[spoiler: The villagers transform into monsters at night]].
* ''Shiren the Wanderer [=GB2=]: The Bedeviled Castle'' (2000, [[GameBoy GBC]]) (2008, NintendoDS) -- This time, there's a creepy desert castle and some kind of SealedEvilInACan.
* ''Shiren the Wanderer [[GaidenGame Gaiden]]: The Swordswoman Asuka!'' (2002, DreamCast, {{PC}}) -- Asuka, from "Shiren 2", and Koppa have their own little adventure in Tenrin County, where they encounter ninjas and some sort of plant demon. Also, there's a massive post-game. This is notable for being the only Shiren game where he isn't the player avatar.

One notable thing about ''Shiren The Wanderer'' is that it's the only ''Mystery Dungeon'' game that uses original Chunsoft characters, as opposed to characters from ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' or ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''.

For the first in the series, there is a SNES version (which was never released outside of Japan) and a DS version. [[http://agtp.romhack.net/project.php?id=shiren Aeon Genesis has been kind enough to provide a translation patch for the SNES version.]] The lone Wii installment was most recent ''Shiren'' to be released outside Japan, [[NoExportForYou so don't hold your breath for more]]. Meanwhile, ''Shiren 5'' had a December 2010 release, less than a year after the previous game. It was the first ''Shiren'' in a while to be published directly by Chunsoft themselves.

MasatoKato is the scenario writer for the third game and was also involved in the fourth.

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!!The games provide examples of:

* ActionBomb: Spike Bombs and their higher-level forms. If a Spike Bomb's health goes low enough, it explodes. Items adjacent to it are destroyed, and if you're next to it you'll be knocked down to 1 HP, unless you have a Blast Shield equipped. It doesn't even give you experience points if it blows up. In the case of regular Spike Bombs, they stop moving when they're down to 23 HP or less (out of 50), and they go boom at 10 HP or less.
* AerithAndBob: In the third game, one of the villagers' names is Catherine. [[spoiler:Justified because her father was a foreigner. In the TournamentArc it is also revealed that Eagle's name was Johnny, and he has a friend named Carl.]]
* AntiGrinding: A big gust of wind will blow you back to the starting town if you take too long to complete a floor, which is effectively the same as manually restarting to get back to the starting town.
* BalefulPolymorph:
** If you step on a Riceball Trap or get breathed on by a Rice Boss, you'll turn into a riceball. In this form your equipment has no effect, you can't use items, and if you hit a Rotten Trap before it wears off, you're dead.
** By throwing meat at an enemy, they will transform into the the type of enemy you got the meat from. In the first game, and the first game only, [[GameBreaker this even works on bosses]].
** The Change Staff transforms the target into a random monster on that floor. The Skull Wizard family can do this to you as well, but you can revert with the push of a button.
** In Shiren 3, a shield with the "Chef" seal can turn an attacking enemy into a riceball!
* BananaPeel: Bananas replace riceballs as food in "Shiren 4". When Shiren consumes a banana, it gets replaced by a banana peel in your inventory. Guess what you can do with them.
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:Kaguya and her guardians]] in the third game.
* BizarreSexualDimorphism: Male moon people are {{Moon Rabbit}}s, and the female are PlayboyBunnies.
* BonusDungeon: Cave of the Food God, Cave Behind the Wall Scroll, and Fei's Final Problem. The DS version extends the main dungeon beyond the original 30 levels.
** The {{Wii}} Shiren has a dungeon with 1000 floors!
* ChainmailBikini: Oboro. While her body is quite covered, what she is wearing does a lot to show off her assets. [[spoiler: Soboro, too.]]
* TheChessmaster: In the third game, [[spoiler:Jofuku.]]
* CivilWarcraft: Sensei in the third game.
* ContinuingIsPainful: Everything except for the stuff you put into warehouses are lost once you return to the starting town, unless you fully complete the dungeon. Even then, your level, stats, and cash are reset.
** Keep in mind, that this is considered NICE [[RogueLike for the genre.]]
** In "Shiren 3", there's an optional Easy mode that lets you backtrack to a recent save instead of losing everything. "Shiren 4" also introduces some kind of insurance system for gear and items.
* ContinuityNod: Asuka and the Hyottoko Gang in the third game. [[spoiler: Also, the bosses of previous games, Curas, (from Shiren GB2) Ragoon, (from Asuka's GaidenGame) and Tainted Insect, (from the original) all fight you at once in the TournamentArc.]]
* DualBoss: Many of them in the third game.
* DualWielding: In the third game, Shiren and Sensei can do this. Shiren would usually be better off equipping a shield, but Sensei is unable to do so.
* DummiedOut: The Sending and Receiving Jar in the English release. In the Japanese versions, it was used to send and receive items to and from other players, but Atlus removed all Wi-Fi functionality things. The items' descriptions actually say, "Hacks! This item is not supposed to appear!"
* EleventhHourSuperpower: Shiren is invincible during his first journey through Yomotsu Hirasaka in the third game.
* EscortMission: One sidequest requires you to locate a small girl and get her to the next resting point alive before you can use the warehouse there.
** At the end of "Shiren GB", you have to escort a girl through the entire dungeon back to the starting village.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: An odd example in the third game: the bamboo harvester Taketori is always referred to by the townspeople as Old Man Taketori, but whenever you actually meet him, he is known as Bamboo Harvester.
* ExcusePlot: All you need to know is that you have to get through 30 levels of dungeon to finish the first game. Complete mastery of the game is another matter...
* FireBreathingDiner: Dragon Herbs will let you breath fire. Also, Dragon meats will allow you to turn into a dragon and breath fire on command.
* FriendInTheBlackMarket: Tao, the part-time guide in Shiren 5. If you have her in the party, whenever you find yourself in any kind of trouble (strength down, zero food meter, etc), talk to her and she'll sell you the proper recovery item. Just be prepared to shell out 3x-5x the standard price.
* FusionDance: In the third game: Kotodama + Kodama = Kotodamakodama.
* FailOSuckyname: Master X and [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Mobile Mamel ZZ]], according to Koppa.
* FightingYourFriend: Asuka in the third game.
* GuideDangIt: In the first game, the scrolls of [[spoiler: Sanctuary and Destruction]] can only be obtained by writing them on blank scrolls. Since you can't read them, the game gives you alternate methods of unlocking this ability. [[spoiler: Sanctuary]] is simple enough, just [[spoiler: free the Golden Condor]]. You don't know that it unlocks anything even after you've accomplished it, but it's something you're pretty much guaranteed to do eventually. But [[spoiler: Destruction]]? You have to [[spoiler: get from Canyon Hamlet to the Golden Condor's room without entering any storehouses, putting anything in a storehouse jar, or talking to any storehouse guys.]] You get ''one'' hint that accomplishing this ''does anything at all'', in the form of an NPC proclaiming his intention to do it himself.
** On a much larger scale, the entirety of Shiren 3 outside of Japan. There is literally no guide to this game on ''any'' website, and the only resource available only describes some of the equipment. Especially frustrating when fighting a PuzzleBoss.
* {{Hammerspace}}: The treasures of Karakuri Palace's Treasury. {{Lampshaded}} by Sensei:
-->'''Sensei''': When you've been a Wanderer for as long as I have, you learn some tricks.
* HaveANiceDeath: The game records your stats and what you had equipped at the time of your death, as well as the cause of death.
** You can also earn "achievements" for dying in unique or stupid ways.
* HeroicMime: The reason why we have Koppa, who does all the talking.
** Except in one part of "Shiren 3", but [[spoiler: that's because a dragon god possesses Shiren and speaks through him]]. Later in Shiren 3, for the game-loading narration post-game, Koppa tries to get Shiren to talk, fails, and then pretends Shiren is talking and complimenting him.
* {{Highly Visible Ninja}}: However, Oboro makes up for it by transforming into someone you would never expect; like a shopkeeper. Of course, when she's not disguising herself, she is ''quite'' visible.
* HypocriticalHumor: After Sensei lectures Koppa not to take any treasure from the Karakuri Treasury lest they become corrupted [[spoiler: like Jurouta and the Hyottoko Gang]], it is revealed at the end that ''both'' Sensei and Asuka took a bunch of treasure.
* ItsAllUpstairsFromHere: Subverted except for the final part of the main dungeon, where you're trying to scale Table Mountain.
* ImportGaming: The only way you'll get to play any of the games besides the first and third if you're not Japanese. But it is surprisingly easier to import this particular game, as even if you understand Japanese, it's mostly just trial and error; and most of the games are on the region-free DS. (And there are translations on [[http://shiren.wetpaint.com/ this website]].)
* InfinityPlusOneSword: In the first game, there are two swords and a shield that must be upgraded to their maximum possible level before you can upgrade them AGAIN to create the better equipment. Only one of the swords is derived from a common weapon, and that one is the PenultimateWeapon. Also, there is a special pot that can combine items together to get a new item that has the properties of all the items put into it.
** The best possible weapon in the first game is a [[spoiler: [[LongList [gold] [dragon] [crit] [sickle] [homing] [x3] [cyclops] [drain] [meat] [*] [air] [kigny] [unbreakable dig]]] Kabra Reborn+99.]] The best possible shield is a [[spoiler: [gold] [dragon] [hide] [spiked] [evade] [*] [walrus] [prism] [gaze] [kigny] Stormward+99.]] It takes some doing to get all that, and there's nothing you can do to stop it from being turned into a riceball or thrown into an unreachable place, during or after the process of making it.
* IzchaksWrath: If you steal from the shopkeepers, you'll have supertough sheriffs and watchdogs down your back until you leave the floor. Even the shopkeepers themselves can kill you in one hit. You're not even safe at max level. And Escape Scrolls won't work after you've stolen.
* KabukiSounds: They're everywhere!
* KillerRabbit / LethalJokeCharacter / ThatOneBoss: Mobile Mamel ZZ. It tells {{Incredibly Lame Pun}}s until you fall asleep, then proceeds to fire nanoparticle cannons at you. [[spoiler:It turns out to be a literal KillerRabbit as it's really a MoonRabbit in disguise.]]
* {{Kunoichi}}: Oboro in the third game, [[spoiler:as well as her older sister Soboro.]]
* LevelDrain: Bitter Herbs. The Staff of Misfortune. The Seed of Ill Luck [[spoiler:only appears in the second half of the [[MarathonLevel 99-floor]] BonusDungeon and drains ''all'' of your levels.]]
* LoopholeAbuse: The abovementioned GuideDangIt for unlocking [[spoiler: the ability to write Scrolls of Destruction]]? You can circumvent it by [[spoiler: grabbing your Infinity Plus One equipment from the storehouse, leaving Canyon Hamlet, and then going right back in before starting your no-storehouse run.]]
* MonsterArena: In the third game.
* MookPromotion: Most monsters you will find have [[UndergroundMonkey different-level versions]]. When they level up (either by killing another monster, throwing a Happy Herb/using a Happy Staff at them, or have a Ghost Musha/Dead Soldier possess them), they get promoted to a stronger variant. This might be useful if you're farming for monster meat.
* MoonRabbit: Usakichi.
* {{Nerf}}: If removing something from the game entirely counts as a nerf, the pot that duplicates any item put into it and the scroll that enlarges pots were nerfed in the DS port of the first game, almost certainly because they could be used together (with two Extraction scrolls and a Melding Jar, which were left untouched) in an infinite GameBreaker loop.
** Also, Bufu's Cleaver in the third game. It was nerfed to have a chance of breaking outside of Bufu Cave, which ends in BonusFeatureFailure after you meld it to your InfinityPlusOneSword. (At least until you discover that the Sturdy seal from the Adamant Pickaxe and Iron Hammer can be used to fix this as well.) Several aspects of the game, like Gitan Mamel and Ultra Gaze's Gitan yields, were nerfed in the PSP version.
* OneWingedAngel: [[spoiler: In the third game, there's the fake Princess Kaguya, Jofuku and his dragon monster form Ikazuchikami, and Izanami Complete.]]
* PaintingTheMedium: [[spoiler:Tainted Insect in the third game says to "fire the [[TranslationConvention insect translator]]" after being beaten. Koppa also notices when the music in Karakuri Inn changes.]]
* PaperThinDisguise: Master X. The only difference is a "ridiculous mask", as Koppa calls it, calling him drunk. [[spoiler:Later it parodies it by making it actually be two different people, but even later, subverts that as the real Sensei that appeared then was someone that Sensei used a Change Staff on.]]
* PeninsulaOfPowerLeveling: In the third game, Sanuki Thicket and Ochimizu Pass get longer post-game, and have great items that you can now actually keep. The only downside is that you have to get to the end, but that can be easily circumvented if you befriend the Jizo, find him, and ask him to help you escape. Perhaps the best part is that you can access them as soon as you beat the game.
** Floors with Dragon Orbs are designed to be these as they can upgrade your items and you can map floors with them. Not surprisingly, there is an entire post-game dungeon filled with Dragon Orbs: Dragon Veins. This is a real PeninsulaOfPowerLeveling: in other levels you had to use Dragon Orbs sparingly because of hunger, the winds of Kron, and the fact that you had other things to do. Here, however, you can actually backtrack to earlier floors. The wisest strategy to use Dragon Orbs are rooms with as many exits as you have party members. This was so much of a GameBreaker that it was {{Nerf}}ed in the PSP version so that the Winds of Kron blow sooner where there are Dragon Orbs.
* PlayboyBunny: In the third game: Ichi-Bunny. She is the only reason that Sensei decided to help the {{Moon Rabbit}}s. Apparently she can use "Bunny Wave Fist Motion"...
* PuzzleBoss: The battle against Jurouta and co. at the top of Karakuri Mansion. Shiren must have all of the special tiles pressed, and one of them has to be pressed by a fainted Hyottoko Gang member. Jurouta will revive them with a Kiai Kick if he's close enough to them, however. The Karakuri Rose also looks like it would be one, but not really; you only have to attack it.
* RareCandy: Life Herbs, Power Herbs, Expansion Herbs, and Happy Herbs. You could also probably find some way to turn a Happy Staff on yourself, though this would require the assistance of certain monsters (specifically, Air Devils, invisible ghosts that reflect staff magic). Since this is a Roguelike, expect to see the [[LevelDrain negative versions]] as well.
* RefugeInAudacity: If you break a Bottomless Jar in a dungeon shop, you can jump down the Pitfall Traps it creates to steal effortlessly. At no point will any shopkeeper attempt to stop you from doing this, or even yell at you for having done it in the past. The same goes for standing outside the shop and grabbing their merch with a Walrus Jar. The former no longer works as of the third game.
* ReviveKillsZombie
* {{Roguelike}}
* SelfDestructMechanism: According to [[MoonRabbit Usakichi]], "A real man puts a self-destruct button on their inventions!" [[spoiler: Including the Moon Recombobulator...]]
* SimulationGame: Most of "Shiren 2" is spent gathering building materials from Shyuuten Mountain, to build a fortress. The fort also gets invaded periodically. Parts built from low-grade materials break easily during invasions.
* StrongFamilyResemblance: Shiren and his ancestor in the third game. [[spoiler:Also, Oboro and her older sister Soboro look exactly alike. And they even wear the same ChainmailBikini!]]
* TakeThat: Koppa makes one to MobileSuitGundam: After beating Mobile Mamel ZZ he goes on to state that NewMediaAreEvil... [[OrphanedEtymology despite the new media in question not even having been invented yet]], [[HypocriticalHumor and the fact that this is a video game...]]
* TalkingAnimal: Koppa, a talking weasel/ferret.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: It does the same amount of damage as swinging it, at the cost of ''destroying it forever''. Best saved for extreme emergencies where you don't have a Scroll of Need. The Kappa enemies will abuse this if they find a sword on the ground.
** In some games, you can meld your weapon with a "Throwing Sword". This prevents it from breaking when thrown/disarmed.
* TimeTravel: In the third game Shiren goes back in time and is his ancestor. Koppa is a raccoon, much to his chagrin. [[spoiler: Turns out it's not really time travel, it's just the memories of the Karakuri Mansion. But post-game, Otsutsuki Village's well lets you actually time travel.]]
* TournamentArc: Post-game in the third game.
* UnexpectedGameplayChange
** Shiren 2: A lot of importers get thrown off by the fortress-building aspect.
** Shiren 4: There's a day/night system. Weapons become practically useless at night, so you either have to rely on skills/magic or avoid mosters completely. One Famitsu reviewer described this mechanic as a "cat and mouse game."
* UnidentifiedItems: The game has scrolls of identify (which have a small chance to identify every item in your inventory) as well as ''jars'' of identify which can identify any item you put into them.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Various monster meat you can eat to turn into the monster that the meat comes from, gaining their special abilities.
* WeBuyAnything: Shopkeepers will take anything you leave in their rooms, but worthless items like Poison Herbs will sell for little cash. Even things that are cursed will still net you some cash.
* WeaselMascot: Koppa does most of Shiren's talking for him, and often narrates.
* WeirdMoon: In the third game, [[spoiler: it is the Rock of Chibiki, and after the events of the game, it looks like it has a bite taken out of it. The {{Moon Rabbit}}s are not pleased and have you embark on a sidequest to find 99 moon bits.]]
* WizardNeedsFoodBadly: If your satiation meter drops to 0%, you will lose a bit of health every turn.
* WolfPackBoss: The last floor of the Ceremonial Cave has the Kigny Chief, who starts out surrounded by EliteMooks. There's also a MookMaker in the center of the room for good measure.
* YouAllMeetInAnInn: In the third game, it is revealed that in a random coincidence, [[spoiler:Curas, Ragoon, and Tainted Insect met in a tea house in Yomi.]]
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