* AnnoyingVideoGameHelper: Olaf's snow powers can screw over allies as badly as they do enemies.
** He also EXERTS this personality several times, notably the T-Minus 15 mission in [=AW2=].
* AntiClimaxBoss: Borderline -- whereas his predecessor Sturm was horribly overpowered, Von Bolt from ''Advance Wars: Dual Strike'' is ''barely'' above average at best and up against a roster full of new overpowered [=COs=]. Not to mention that the maps you battle him on are rather... pathetic, to the point where the last mission should have been called ''Mean To The End'' instead. Intelligent Systems learned from this and made doubly sure Caulder/Stolos from ''Days of Ruin'' didn't fall into the same pit trap.
* AwesomeMusic: Has its own page [[AwesomeMusic/{{NintendoWars}} here.]]
* BreatherLevel: Kanbei's Error in the first game, compared to the last two. Kanbei has a factory, but it's useless and his other troops are spread out far enough to be taken care of one at a time. It's not even that hard to control the required properties (unless it's on the [[ThatOneLevel Advanced Difficulty]]).
** Sinking Feeling tends to be this compared to the rest of the Green Earth missions in the second game. The strategy is more freeform than the rest, and while there's a time limit, it's manageable. Lash's abilities aren't too useful to her since she only has immediate access to an airport (which don't benefit from terrain effects), making her a much easier opponent than [[ThatOneBoss Hawke]].
* BrokenBase:
** Whether or not the tone shift in Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict was a good idea or not. Opponents say it turned its back on the entire series' lighthearted spirit in favor of a DarkerAndEdgier retool, while proponents say that the change in tone, namely the fact that death and the horrors of war get taken seriously now, means that the new characters are far more relatable and interesting than the shallow, vaguely creepy [[WarHasNeverBeenSoMuchFun implied sociopaths]] of the original series, and the proponents who have the American ''Days of Ruin'' specifically will often argue that, despite the DarkerAndEdgier tone, it's often a lot funnier than the original games.
** Over which of the American ''Days of Ruin'' or European ''Dark Conflict'' translation is better. Some people prefer the {{Woolseyism}}[=-=]filled script of ''Days of Ruin'', while others prefer the more straight translation of ''Dark Conflict''.
* CompleteMonster: From ''Advance Wars: Days of Ruin'':
** [[BigBad Caulder]] is a wicked MadScientist extraordinaire who is the sole survivor of a series of clones who killed each other off, before Caulder murdered his own creator. Caulder's only drive is [[ForTheEvulz his passion for immoral experiments]], and he happily perpetuates the strife caused by the world's ravaging, supplying weapons for Greyfield's conquest. One of these experiments is the Creeper Derangea, a virus which [[BodyHorror causes plant life to burst through the infected's skin]], resulting in a CruelAndUnusualDeath. Among Caulder's other [[KickTheDog pointlessly cruel actions]] are leaving the Beast to die for his failure; and poisoning the mayor and listening to him die over the phone. Caulder is also [[AbusiveParents hideously abusive to his own cloned children]]: he attempted to [[GrandTheftMe body-jack Cyrus]] in an attempt to gain immortality and poisons Cyrus with something meant to kill him as slowly as possible once he betrays him; drove Penny insane with his experiments, before trying to have her to die on the Great Owl; intends to dissect his "haywire" daughter, Isabella, and ultimately rules all of them "abject failures." Caulder considers life itself as irrelevant, and commits every atrocity he does [[ForScience purely to sate his own twisted curiosity]].
** The aforementioned [[InsaneAdmiral Admiral]] [[GeneralRipper Greyfield]] is a megalomaniacal SocialDarwinist who desires to rule through fear. After the world is plunged into ruin after a meteor storm, Greyfield takes what he sees as a perfect opportunity, codifying the New Rubinelle Army and leading a conquest to dominate the world. Greyfield wages war on the country of Lazuria, considering their people weak, intending to wipe out their populace in totality and causing dozens of innocent casualties along the way. [[BadBoss Treating his own allies and army as disposable if he doesn't consider them up to his standards, Greyfield threatens everyone who so much as upsets him with execution, mass-executing his own soldiers once they catch the Creeper virus, and having Forsythe shot after he surrenders on account of being "Lazurian trash."]] After Brenner turns against him, Greyfield swears to have him and his entire battalion executed and sinks to his ultimate low when he has an entire city--with his own troops within--nuked for the purpose of killing Brenner, succeeding in causing Brenner's death. Considering everyone else utterly beneath him and convinced of his own indomitable superiority, Greyfield was at heart an incompetent, domineering coward whose greatest wish was to put the world under his foot.
* ContestedSequel: Days of Ruin completely changed the setting and tone of the previous games, as well as how the CO powers work, causing quite a division. Many people [[{{Sequelphobic}} declared that it would be garbage, despite not knowing anything else about it]].
** ''Dual Strike'' comes off as one to ''Black Hole Rising'', mostly due to the new characters being pretty scattershot and the gameplay a lot more broken.
* DemonicSpiders: Anti-Tanks in ''Days of Ruin''[[note]]Doesn't help that their only real weakness after they're in position is infantry which get picked off by everything else.[[/note]], Pillboxes in the first ''Battalion Wars'', Fighters and Strato Destroyers in the ''Battalion Wars 2''.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Lash is insanely popular among ''Advance Wars'' fans. Her trademark EvilLaugh and ComedicSociopathy might be a contributing factor. Also, as [[http://lparchive.org/Advance-Wars-Dual-Strike/ this]] LetsPlay points out, she averts the series' MildlyMilitary and MoralDissonance tropes by being [[CardCarryingVillain openly and unapologetically evil]].
** Hawke is this for his comparatively [[KnightOfCerebus serious portrayal and demeanor]], thus also avoiding MildlyMilitary like Lash. He's also perhaps the only villain with depth, showing NobleDemon traits in objecting to conflict with no clear gain, caring about his subordinates, and [[WorthyOpponent showing genuine respect for his foes]]. He also makes a great {{Foil}} to lash in ''Dual Strike''.
* FandomBerserkButton: Here's a tip for being taken seriously in the Advance Wars communities: never ever suggest a sniper unit. Something about such a thing being impossible to balance right or something.
* FridgeLogic: Orange Star is based on the USA. Nell is the Commander-in-Chief of OS. The Commander-In-Chief of the USA is the President...
* GameBreaker: The series has [[GameBreaker/NintendoWars its own page]].
* GoddamnedBats:
** The 'Mech Rush' tactic from ''Advance Wars'' is based on this trope. In particular, Sensei's CO Powers - spawning Infantry or Mechs on every city he owns - can quickly drive opponents insane.
** Colin, with his power to increase his funds by half every couple of turns on top of normal income and having cheaper units, can out Mech-Swamp even Sensei, and when partnered with Hachi or Sensei in Dual Strike, this is made even worse.
* HilariousInHindsight: One CO in Advance Wars Dual Strike, released in 2005, is first seen trying (and failing, because of the approaching battle) to catch up on her reading. Her name? Kindle.
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Eagle and Hawke.
* MoralEventHorizon: They probably crossed it a long time beforehand, but in-story, [[spoiler:Waylon (on Greyfield's orders) crosses it by murdering Forsythe execution-style, in front of just about everybody, and keeps his smug-ass attitude rolling the whole time. Greyfield and Caulder followed by using a implied nuke to kill Brenner, not giving damn about it killing their own men in the area]].
* MostAnnoyingSound: The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bky5upn5Ilo Black Hole Coming]] theme, which has microphone feedback sound in the track.
* NamesTheSame: Yamamoto may refer to Mr. Yamamoto from ''Super Famicom Wars'' or Sensei's name in the Japanese versions of the ''Advance Wars'' games.
** Although it ''is'' strongly suggested that Sensei was once an unbeatable CO, so it's not that much of a stretch to assume it was an intentional ShoutOut.
* NightmareFuel:
** [[spoiler:The Creeper]] in Days of Ruin. Lin, being how she is, makes it worse by theorizing whether [[spoiler:the infected feel the roots moving just beneath their skin.]] Knowing the [[MadScientist guy]] who created it, the answer is most likely yes.
** Speaking of that guy, how about the extreme close up of him that shows up midway through the final mission, with him sporting an ''incredibly'' disturbing SlasherSmile? Worse, the Sound Room randomly cycles through the game's CG artwork, meaning it could show up again there when you least expect it! It's practically a Screamer.
* ReplacementScrappy:
** Von Bolt, who replaced Sturm.
** Jake replacing Andy as the main character. While Andy wasn't exactly the most interesting character in the world, a lot of people would prefer him over Jake's JiveTurkey routine any day.
* TakeThatScrappy: Though Von Bolt's considered a ReplacementScrappy for Sturm, those who hate Jake will probably love him for this remark to Jake in the final battle:
-->'''Jake''': Dude. You couldn't be more of a loser! You only care about yourself! You're not thinking about the land or anyone else. That kind of thing will only lead to your own destruction!
-->'''Von Bolt''': [[ShutUpKirk Whaaa haa haa haaa! Shut it, boy! Your inane hipster slang is an affront to my ears and a waste of my time. Slink home while you can still walk!]]
* ThatOneLevel
** Crystal Calamity in ''Dual Strike''. A DifficultySpike of the highest order. Your primary objective is to destroy the Black Obelisk, a large crystal that serves as the enemy HQ and heals enemy units within a radius of four tiles. Problem? It's protected by an [[DeflectorShields impenetrable energy shield]] projected by an orbiting satellite. To counter this, there are nine anti-satellite missile silos scattered about the battlefield. Using infantry, you must claim and fire ALL of these silos. If Black Hole claims a single one, you lose. The timing is tight enough that if the enemy gets a single movement bonus from their powers, you lose. Finally, if (IF) you succeed in toppling the satellite and exposing the obelisk, your forces are likely scattered and weak, requiring you to consolidate your forces and push back before Black Hole's forces steamroll you.
** Their Finest Hour in ''Battalion Wars 2''.
** [[BrutalBonusLevel Bonus Mission 3]] in ''Battalion Wars''. Lots of heavy tanks under your command? Check. A LOT of enemy bombers? Check. Your tanks being [[EscortMission mission-critical]]? Check. [[OhCrap Not a single]] [[AntiAir AA unit]] [[OhCrap to save you?]] '''[[ThisIsGonnaSuck OH SHI--]]'''
** Sea Fortress and Danger x9 from ''Black Hole Rising''. Given Sea Fortress is a highly tactical mission with limited resources and an emphasis on unit placement and management, while Danger x9 has a very short time limit with loads of FakeBalance and GameplayDerailment, it's easy to see where this comes from.
** Sunrise is the [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon last mission]] in ''Days of Ruin'', where you finally face [[FinalBoss Caulder]]. It's supposed to be frustrating and difficult... and the fact that Caulder is arguably more broken than Sturm makes it even more fun. Not that you're likely to think that way after Caulder exterminates you. It's impossible to beat him in a straight fight. Your only hope is to punch straight to the objective, clog up his production center, and hold him off until you can destroy his fortress. Take too long, and Caulder will tell you straight out that [[YouHaveNoChanceToSurviveMakeYourTime you should give up...]] and he's most likely right.
** Greyfield Strikes from "Days of Ruin" can be very frustrating, [[LuckBasedMission depending on which units get sabotaged.]] Having landers and gunboats unusable in the first few turns will make the mission much harder and longer than it actually is.
** Waylon Flies Again from "Days of Ruin" has caused some players to give up the game entirely. The hard part isn't Waylon so much as the terrain. The map is divided by a pair of huge mountain ranges with only a few ways through, one directly in front of your base that requires you to take a long road around, another in front of his with more passes but no roads AND movement reducing terrain. It's stupid hard to get units to the front and easy to get bogged down trying to push through since Waylon's air units are not affected by the terrain.
** Trial 7, known as Tatter River, looks like a modestly challenging trial map - 4 Commanders and plenty of Airports and Factories. But upon closer look, all of the headquarters are next to four Factories and are surrounded by rivers. Rivers can only be traversed by Infantry, Mechs, and Air Units - all of which extremely weak against Anti-Air unit attacks. Guess what the unit will be greeting you in large numbers when you try to capture a base in large numbers?
* TastesLikeDiabetes: Isabella's theme in ''Days of Ruin'', [[SoundtrackDissonance despite the]] DarkerAndEdgier setting. That doesn't mean the song isn't good. As it's a song from Advance Wars, it pretty much has to be [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome really good]].
** Sasha's theme from Dual Strike is very similar, though this time it doesn't clash with the setting.
* TierInducedScrappy: Missiles in Advance Wars are powerful AntiAir units, but the high mobility of air units and their limited range meant one is better served building Fighters (excellent range) and/or Anti-Air Tanks (cheaper, nearly as powerful, [[CripplingOverspecialization not limited to fighting aircraft]]). ''Days of Ruin'' gave them increased range, making them much more viable.
** Non-B-copter aircraft and navies (and by extension, characters who use those mechanics) can get this, due to being perceived as way too expensive and way too easy to counter.
* {{Woolseyism}}:
** Most of the [=CO=] names in the English localizations.
** Particularly ''Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict'': Nearly every name (and themes), many missions, several units (sometimes contradicting the same unit name in earlier games) and the entirety of the script differ due to an independent European localization. The European version is closer to the original Japanese, for the better or worse.
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