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The main hero of Advance Wars and Black Hole Rising. Often considered the mascot character of the series by fans, he is well known among the fanbase for his naivety and frequent lapses in intelligence. His units are well rounded, while his CO Powers, Hyper Repair and Hyper Upgrade, revolve around healing his units.Tropes exhibited by Andy:
- Bash Brothers: With Max.
- Boring, but Practical: Absolutely no day-to-day bonus, yet his powers are among the most cost-effective and versatile in the game.
- Cloning Blues: Black Hole is oddly fond of cloning Andy, and the Andy clone in Dual Strike has a brief tearjerker moment reflecting on this.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's an Idiot Hero and a Jack-of-All-Stats, but his Super CO power is very good and very cost effective.
- Demoted to Extra: He does not appear at all in the Dual Strike campaign. His clone, however, does.
- Friendly Enemy: To Hawke. You would think that after hanging out with Lash for so long, he would be... reluctant to ally himself with the energetic and excitable Andy. On the other hand, Hawke is a very practical man, and presumably realizes how well Andy's powers complement his own.
- Genius Ditz: He's an all-around talented commanding officer and a Gadgeteer Genius... who once had to be reminded of the existence of continents.
- Idiot Ball: "What's an airport?" indeed.
- Idiot Hero: He always has to be reminded about the fundamentals of tactical warfare.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Aside from his unit-healing powers. He can be fielded in any map because of his versatility, though his units may lose head-to-head skirmishes with specialist COs.
- Keet: His enthusiasm annoys the hell out of his fellow COs at first, but it grows on them in time.
- Mr. Fixit: His Powers repair everything, from Recons to Aircraft Carriers. (It even somehow repairs infantry.)
- Not a Morning Person: Andy's miss is waking up too early.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Time to roll up my sleeves!"
- The Rival: To Eagle.
- Spanner in the Works: Ohohohohoho!
- Verbal Tic: The fandom's Evil Andy, who says "I'm Andy!" at the end of every sentence.
- Video Game Caring Potential: It's beneficial to keep heavily damaged units around instead of using them as cannon fodder since Hyper Upgrade will bring them back to fighting effectiveness again for no charge.
- White Magician Girl: A rare male example, due to his healing powers and general innocence.
Orange Star's bruiser, notable for his brash spirit and ridiculous muscle growth throughout the games. He specializes in smashing things with his super powered tanks, and as a result, slept though Indirect Units 101. His CO Powers, Max Force, and Max Blast, further ramp up the firepower on his direct units.Tropes exhibited by Max:
- Balance Buff: To offset the constant nerfing Max has been subjected to, Dual Strike gave his indirect units a power boost, so they hit just as hard as more average COs. Their range still stinks, though.
- Bash Brothers: With Andy.
- Book Dumb: Even in the present day, Nell is reminding him of basic things, just like at the academy.
- The Big Guy: He's the heavy of the Orange Star officers.
- Close-Range Combatant: His direct combat units are some of the toughest around, but his indirect units are close to useless.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Not so bad in Advance Wars 1, when his direct units had 150/100 stats daily, but as his powers have gotten nerfed, his horrible indirects (-1 range to all of them, with reduced firepower) make him tougher and tougher to use. (His indirects actually have normal firepower in Dual Strike. Their reduced range still sucks, though, especially in a sandstormnote .)
- Dumb Muscle: To a degree. He is at least somewhat smarter by Dual Strike, as he at least knows how stupid it is to walk into battle without planning first.
- Heroic Build: Complete with a Lantern Jaw of Justice.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Just look at his CO Powers.
- Lightning Bruiser: At least until Dual Strike, where he lost his movement boost during his CO powers.
- Love Triangle: He was hinted to be in one with Grit and Nell. Grit, not wanting to have it ruin his friendship with Max, left Orange Star.
- Meaningful Name: At least in the original, his direct units had maximum firepower day-to-day.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: In each AW game, his character design has gotten more and more muscular, while his units and CO Powers have gotten worse and worse. A popular fanon joke blames steroid use.
- Nerf: Took an enormous one in the second game to his direct firepower (120% from 150%), knocking him down from Game-Breaker status. He received another one for the third, losing the movement bonus his Powers used to give.
- Odd Couple: Max used to be best friends with indirect specialist, and polar opposite, Grit, before the latter defected for Blue Moon. One of their Tag Victory quotes in Dual Strike lampshades this.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Check out these cannons!"
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Literally.
The head of Orange Star's Special Forces, Sami is an infantry specialist. Day-to-day, her Infantry and Mechs are tougher to kill and hit harder, at the expense of
- Action Girl: In addition to being a very capable CO, she's a fully-trained commando.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her tank top leaves her belly fully exposed.
- Book Dumb: Unrivaled in knowledge of skirmish tactics and capturing properties, not so great at military academy homework, to Sonja's annoyance.
- Boring, but Practical: Her transport and capture rate boosts sound lame compared to others' day-to-day bonuses, but it means that it's much more difficult to stop her from gaining a property advantage (wounding Infantry mid-capture doesn't work, it'll finish regardless), which means she can start rolling out Medium Tanks when her opponents are still limited to light Tanks.
- Difficult, but Awesome: At the same time as Boring, but Practical, no less. Her infantry boosts aren't as easy to exploit as others' once the match reaches its mid-to-end phase (for one, steamrolling with tanks isn't an option) note , and capturing the enemy HQ in one shot with her SCOP is pretty damn difficult. If she pulls it off, however...
- Fragile Speedster: Because she's weak in direct combat, she relies on using her superior infantry to gain control of the map as quickly as possible. Half of mainstream Sami tactics involve blitzing the map as early as possible with her insane infantry and transports to seize mid-way bases as quickly as possible and controlling the map before her opponent gets the chance to.
- Instant-Win Condition: Sami's superior property-capturing skill make players of her particularly fond of this. Her Super CO Power gives +2 movement for infantry and mechs, and allows them to capture any property that turn, regardless of health. An infantry on 1 HP can walk 5 spaces and capture a 20 HP HQ in one turn!
- Only Sane Man: Sort of. Unlike Andy and Max (and many other COs), Sami is a career soldier who takes her work very seriously. We need a trope for the inverse of Military Maverick, a serious character in a Mildly Military game. Although even she is Mildly Military compared to Real Life, especially in regards to her outfit.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Move out, grunts!"
- The Strategist: In some stages when she's not the playable CO.
- The Rival: Was this to Sonja when they were in the academy. Nowadays, they are good friends.
- Ship Tease: With Eagle.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: In the first game, she toted around a machine gun in one hand. Later installments dialed it back to an SMG and an assault rifle.
- Super Soldier: Her infantry may as well all be super, thanks to their astonishing capture skills. A SINGLE GRUNT can capture a WHOLE CITY in a SINGLE DAY during her SCO Power. WOW.
- Tempting Fate: Defied.Eagle: "I want you to promise me something, Sami. Promise that if we both return from this battle alive..."Sami: "Oh no you don't! Stop it right there! If two people make a promise like that, one of them is going to end up dead! You may as well tell me that you're two days away from retirement! Save the promises for later, OK? We'll talk when we get back in one piece."
- Tomboy: Keeps her hair short-ish and definitely acts like a special forces leader in her aggressiveness sometimes.
Commander-In-Chief of Orange Star. She got the top job after Olaf left for Blue Moon, and the first game dropped some pretty heavy hints that they were father and daughter, but this was never resolved and subsequently dropped, mostly because that was nothing more than a joke started with a pun Andy made in the first mission of AW1. She's normally a super-secret unlockable with the day-to-day ability to randomly do extra damage with any attack. Her powers only exacerbate this.
- Big Good: In the first two games. At least for Orange Star.
- Beauty Mark: It seems to switch which eye it's under depending on the game.
- Born Lucky: Her special abilities involve boosting her Critical Hit power. In the comedy sketches, she's well renowned for never losing a coin toss. If that isn't luck, I don't know WHAT is.
- Bragging Rights Reward: She would make a good Crutch Character, except you obviously don't need one by the time you can unlock her.
- Demoted to Extra: In Dual Strike, her sister Rachel is the leader of the Allied Nations. She has to stay back in Macro Land and clean up the mess Black Hole made in the last war. She does talk to Rachel briefly in the beginning and at the end of the campaign.
- Hotter and Sexier: Compare her AW1 and 2 appearances with her Dual Strike look.
- Lady of War: Despite her looks, she's a very scary opponent to face.
- Love Triangle: With Max and Grit while the three were at military school together.
- Mission Control: She speaks a lot in the first two games but is never present to the battle. She gives advice to the COs in the tutorial of those games.
- One-Hit Kill: If you get her Super power off, you'll be seeing a lot of these, because the luck boost increases her damage output by exactly 100%.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "It's Payback time!"
- Voice with an Internet Connection: She plays this role in the first two games, although her face is visible as well.
- Winds of Destiny, Change: Her CO powers.
Former Orange Star Commander-In-Chief, now runs the Battle Maps game shop. Selling... people and maps. Another game-breaking secret unlock, he buys things cheaper than everyone but Colin, but with no decrease in effectiveness. His powers make everything EVEN CHEAPER and allow deployment from ANY CONTROLLED BUILDING. If he's facing someone that isn't himself, Nell, or Sturm, the battle's already decided.
- Bragging Rights Reward: You can unlock him after purchasing everything else in the store, though at that point, you probably don't need an over-powered CO.
- Cool Old Guy: He was a former head of Orange Star .
- Dirty Old Man: Not quite, yet he does mention wanting to spend time with various, younger, female COs.
- Discount Card: He makes everything cheaper and allows you to deploy from anywhere that you control.
- Hypocritical Humour: One of his winquotes is "Rematches are free!" and yet another of his winquotes is "Battles cost too much!" Maybe he's senile.
- Purposely Overpowered: The fact that he's one of the last COs to unlock in the series and has one of the most powerful CO powers in the game... yeah, he's purposely overpowered.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "To heck with this!"
- Retired Badass: He's rumored to be the former commander-in-chief of Orange Star and was a former rival to Sensei. It's really hard to deny it though when he's in battle.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Ignoring the fact he's able to deploy units for a cheaper price (not as cheap as Colin's, but then again Hachi's units aren't weaker either), his Super CO Power allows him to deploy units directly from cities rather than just factories, something no other CO is capable of.
- Shopkeeper: Having retired from active duty, Hachi runs Battle Maps, the in-game shop.
- Shoplift and Die: Doesn't actually happen (you can't attempt to steal anything anyway). But given how powerful a CO he is, you probably don't want it to happen...
- Shout-Out: Thank you, come again!"
- We Sell Everything: COs! Maps! Palettes! Menu items! Blobs of goo!
Leader of the OS forces in Omega Land, she's Nell's little sister and leads the Allied Nations in Dual Strike. Day to day, she can heal units by 3HP instead of 2. Her powers allow her to summon three missiles against her opponents and to become her sister for the day.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Her standard CO skill gives one more HP for units to heal, but it still costs money.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her uniform is open at the top and bottom, revealing a shirt that leaves her middle exposed.
- Big Good: In Dual Strike, she is the head of the Allied Nations.
- Born Lucky: Just like her sister, Nell, though this only occurs on her standard CO Power.
- Inverse Military Maverick: She's arguably more serious than Sami.
- Like Brother and Sister: In the final mission, if you choose Rachel and Jake, both start to talk about the war and how important they are for each other. Jake tries to confess his love to Rachel, and this backfires insanely when she says he is like a brother for her.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Her SCO power launches missiles at groups of enemy units. If all three missiles land on the same group of enemies, this does a bit more damage than Sturm's CO Power.
- The Medic: Can heal her units 1 HP extra on bases.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Finally, some real competition!"
- Supporting Leader: It depends on whether or not you consider her or Jake the main character of Dual Strike. If not, she is this.
A recent CO graduate, Jake excels on the plains. He fights better on them, but this means the player has to choose between the attack bonus from this open terrain or the defense from places like cities and forests. He uses 'hip' lingo and is always listening to music through his headphones. He's (arguably) the real hero of Dual Strike out of him and Rachel.
- The Comically Serious: In the NA version he spouts totally rad lingo with a totally deadpan expression.
- Cruel Mercy: If you choose to have him shoot Von Bolt. He shoots Von Bolt's chair — that is, his life-support system — instead.
- The Generic Guy (in the JP version)
- Headphones Equal Isolation: He averts this, as he is one of the most outgoing and sociable of all the Allied Nations.
- The Hero: Might be this in Dual Strike, or it could be Rachel.
- Hipster (in the NA version; you know it's bad when the villain calls you as such.)
- Hopeless Suitor: Implied in the final mission when Rachel says he is like a brother to her.
- Naïve Newcomer: Has a little bit of this.
- Nice Guy: In the Japanese version, this is his only stand out trait. Internationally, it's hidden a bit deeper underneath his Jive Turkey characterization.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Prepare to get served!"
Prepare yourself for a subpeona of pain! Yeah... That's lawyer style!
- He gets a really good one to Von Bolt for the final mission:
- Ship Tease: With Sasha.
- Totally Radical (in the NA translation)
He left the top job at Orange Star to take the one at Blue Moon. He's then stated in the next game to be a local to there, though. He's a Papa Wolf to his men and takes his duties as head of BM seriously. In the first game, he seemed to be the villain, but this was later proven to be false. He's grown from his more cowardly persona into a Father Christmas look-alike. Seriously, one of his palette swaps makes him look like Santa Claus! Strong in snow, but weak in rain.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: His hair and beard is changed from white to brown in the international versions of the games.
- Armchair Military: In the first game. His portrait even had a big chair for him to slouch in.
- Badass Beard: It's pretty impressive. Ironically, it was bigger in AW1, when he was a far less capable CO.
- Canada, Eh?: "Ohhhhhhh Blue Moon!!! My home and native land!!!"
- Character Development: One of the more prominent examples. Olaf gets fleshed out into a responsible leader who cares for his men (despite being grouchy) from the cowardly blowhard that was concerned only with more power and land that he was in the first game.
- Cool Old Guy: At his best.
- Demoted to Extra: Not present in the Dual Strike campaign. The game handwaves it by saying he is busy rebuilding his hometown which got destroyed in the previous game. However, a clone of him fights the Allied Nations later on.
- Doomed Hometown: Courtesy of Lash.
- Fat Bastard: In the first game.
- Grumpy Old Man: At his worst.
- Harmless Villain: In the first game, prior to being revealed to not be the villain, he's such a bumbling General Failure that it would likely lead one to wonder why he's in charge of Blue Moon.
- An Ice Person: Olaf's units are unaffected by snow, which gives him a great advantage when he taps his snow-causing CO powers. Especially in Dual Strike, where his CO power makes it last two turns, and it gives all his units a 20% firepower boost (though this is offset by snow being nowhere near as much of a hindrance as it was in the prior gamesnote ). But in the former two, rain devastates his movement range worse than anyone else, pretty much making him the reverse of Drake. While most other CO Powers could be explained by the CO's actions on their troops, one wonders how Olaf manages to make snowstorms appear at will wherever he goes.
- Idiot Ball: A major case. Considering how he's a competent (if stubborn) CO from the second game on, this is the only way to explain his blatant stupidity in the first game. To wit: forgetting to fuel air units, moving units right past convenient cover in Fog of War, using nothing but Battleships with no Cruisers to fend off Submarine attacks, leaving his HQ unguarded and focusing entirely on offense, and so on.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Weather aside, all of his units are average.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Really does care about his fellow COs.
- Kill It with Ice: His SCO Power smacks all enemy units for 2 HP of damage.
- Kill It with Water: And by "It", I mean Olaf.
- Leave Him to Me: Insists on being the one to defeat Lash for wrecking his hometown, even ignoring Grit's (correct) suggestion that he or Colin would be better suited to take on that mission.
- It's Personal: Even after whupping Lash's ass, Olaf does not forgive or forget this incident. In Dual Strike, pairing him with Lash reduces their combat effectiveness.
- The Load: Olaf's immunity to snow effects does not apply to his Tag partner or his ally in co-op matches, meaning that his CO Powers will definitely hinder his allies. Olaf's just not a great team player, both in and out of universe.
- Patriotic Fervor: Really, REALLY loves Blue Moon.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Your weapons are powerless before the might of nature!"
- Redemption Promotion: He was a pretty sucky CO in the first game. Then in Black Hole Rising, his mass damage SCO Power made him a lot more useful, and his powers improved again in Dual Strike, even overcoming his weakness in rain. He's also an example in story terms: he was a bumbling villain in the first game, but became a lot more competent in the sequels.
- Retcon: In the original Advance Wars, he was originally an Orange Star CO and Nell's superior who betrayed them for Blue Moon. Yet strangely in the sequel, he was born and raised in Blue Moon, meaning he was always native to Blue Moon despite the original implying he's from Orange Star.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When he finds out that Lash leveled his hometown, then rearranged it because she found it funny.
- Shout-Out: To Real Life General Winter.
- Slouch of Villainy: Seemed this way at first in AW1, as he would always slouch in his chair, and he seemed to be the game's villain at first. However, this was subverted later, as he isn't actually a villain, and he doesn't have the chair in later games.
- Small Name, Big Ego: In the first game, he's hardly a nuisance compared to the Yellow Comet or Green Earth COs (or even his own subordinate Grit). Later on, his ego is still there, but as the leader of a major nation's military that doesn't screw everything up, he can get away with it.
- Starter Villain: While not a villain, he's the first antagonist in the first game, and the easiest.
Another CO formerly of Orange Star that moved to Blue Moon. He was Max's best friend, despite there being a love triangle between the two of them and Nell. He's very laid-back and takes no particular joy in fighting, though he's very good at it. His abilities are to hit better and further with indirects and suck with everything else (except for infantry). It's a surprisingly effective tactic, though, and he's often high tier.
- American Accents: A varying blend of the South, to emphasize his gunslinger theme and that he's an Orange Star native.
- Apologetic Attacker: In the first game. It's pretty obvious that he doesn't have any ill will toward the Power Trio, Olaf is just making him fight them.
- Badass Beard: A pointed goatee. It's a bit thicker in Dual Strike, and serves to make him look even more like Daisuke Jigen.
- Berserk Button: He doesn't care which territory belongs to which country, but when he hears that Adder has been destroying cities and abusing civilians... hoo boy. Still Tranquil Fury when he carries out his threats, though.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's a swell guy and doesn't care much for this war business. Brag about abusing civilians in front of him, however, and you best hope you stay out of his crosshairs.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The only reason Olaf hasn't disciplined him for his attitude already is because he's just too good at indirect warfare to demote.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: He could've been a top student at academy or top-ranking leader if he really tried. He's just content to work on his marksmanship and leave it at that.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Daisuke Jigen.
- Dissonant Serenity: He has a very calm demeanor, even during times of war and chaos, which is seemingly all the time, given the game's title. Even his theme reflects this.
- Friendly Sniper: He's laid-back and dislikes fighting. He's also friendly with other COs, including Max and Colin.
- The Gunslinger: He's always holding a revolver in Advance Wars 1 and 2.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Actually, he wants his best friend to be happy.
- Long-Range Fighter: Indirect units like Artilleries, Rockets, and Battleships are his specialty. Not only do they hit harder, they can hit from further away — especially under his CO Powers.
- Love Triangle: With Nell and Max. Not wanting to ruin his friendship with Max, Grit left Orange Star.
- Squishy Wizard: Absolutely devastating indirects, to the point that his Missiles are guaranteed to One-Hit Kill any air unit at full health. Naturally, attacking them is a huge priority for his opponents, necessitating care in protecting them.
- Military Maverick: He's really lax about the whole "chain-of-command" thing, shows absolutely no respect to his superior Olaf, and slacks any time he thinks he can get away with it. But he's very good at what he does, so Olaf keeps him around.
- Mighty Glacier: Grit's only real weakness is that he can't win things quickly: the fact that long-range units can't move and fire on the same turn means that he's slow to advance. This can be exploited if you play as a CO that can mobilize rapidly, such as Colin, Sami, or Sensei, as they have a chance to control the center of the map before he can and gain an economic advantage.
- Nerf: The increased speed of the game in Dual Strike hit him really hard, so much that he goes from considered as one of the Top 5 COs from the previous installments into the single worst CO in the game. (Holds true as a solo CO, but if you pair him with Max...) Then again, as part of a pair, you can have the other CO help him get into position. It still takes more effort than just setting up a meatscreen and letting his indirects do their work like he did before.
- Nice Guy: He will not tolerate those who ruin innocent people's lives, though.
- Nice Hat: An odd, vaguely Russian-style cowboy hat, to be exact. It's an actual cowboy hat in Japan, but for some reason the international versions lose the brim.
- Not a Morning Person: He grumbles more about being awoken in the middle of the night than the fact they're under attack.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Let's do us some target practice!"
- The Rival: to Adder.
New boy and rich kid of the Blue Moon army. He's unsure of himself, but seems to have good business acumen. He buys units cheaper, but they're not as good as standard units. The cheapness of units means you can roll out the advanced ones quicker and more frequently, putting him firmly in the top tier if not higher.
- Artificial Stupidity: It doesn't appear they were paying attention when coding his AI in Dual Strike, because unless his team has their Tag Power ready, he's content to spam Gold Rush until the cows come home."YOUR MONEY IS MAXED OUT!"
- Cowardly Lion: Always insecure of his own ability and nervous most of the time, but he pulls through when it counts.
- Discount Card: 20% off unit cost in exchange for 10% less firepower.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation Puts himself down in spite of his competence.
- Fiction 500: ...Just how much money does he have, anyway?
- Naïve Newcomer: When Black Hole invaded Blue Moon, he got the position for CO, and Olaf and Grit clearly have much to tell of being a CO.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "I'll give it everything I've got!"
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The more money Colin has in reserve, the more powerful his units get when he uses his Super CO power. If you're feeling particularly miserly, this can lead to Colin one-shotting a Megatank... with a Mech unit.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With Sasha.
- Tagalong Kid: At first, it's hard to imagine why Olaf and Grit drag him around. He proves his worth later.
- Zerg Rush: Weaker units? Check. Faster production rate for numbers? Check. Rushing to control the map before anyone else? Double check.
Older and more confident sister of Colin. Her powers are similarly money-based, in that she takes cash from her trust fund to fuel her army. This contribution to the war efforts is worth 100G extra for every city. Doesn't sound like much, but it adds up. She may not be as innately powerful as her brother, but together they make an incredibly powerful tag team. It is in fact widely regarded as one of the deadliest in the game. They buy units cheaper and faster, you can never get your powers out, and they always have more money...
- The Chick: She plays this role to the initial group.
- Fiction500: It's not really clear where all of the extra money is coming from, but she's got it.
- Informed Flaw: She claims to not do well in Fog of War, but she performs no worse under such conditions than any other CO.
- Lady of War: A bit younger and less experienced than other examples, but still elegant, classy, and very lethal.
- Mana Burn: Her first tier CO power drains her opponent's CO Gauge. Can come in very handy, especially as a hard counter to Power-reliant COs like Olaf.
- Money Spider: Her Super CO Power turns her opponent's entire army into this; while it's active, she gains money proportional to the damage she deals. (Which helps to fuel her brother's Super CO Power...)
- Mutual Disadvantage: She might not have a "real" CO Power (that benefits her units directlynote ), though using it liberally means that her opponent(s) will rarely get to use theirs either.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "You've made me very, very... upset."
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: To an even greater extent than Colin; no one else can drain the enemy's CO Power meter, yet she gets it done with money.
- Seer: Gets gut feelings that let her know trouble's afoot.
- Ship Tease: With Jake.
- Tough Love: She is very strict with Colin.
In the first game, he was a slightly slimy and unlikeable generic emperor guy (mostly due to his quick judgements and third-person speeches), but in subsequent games, he's become a strong and honorable Father to His Men. He insists on the best for his army, and has MUCH more powerful troops for a big cost boost. He's another Game-Breaker on his own and makes an even better one with his young daughter, Sonja.
- Awesome, but Impractical: His most expensive units are truly a sight to behold, but with a prohibitive price tag and the fact that his Medium Tanks will do the same job as another CO's Neotanks (minus a bit of movement), why bother?
- Bumbling Dad: He's not exactly a bad CO, and he's extremely skilled and competent when it comes to actual combat, but his grasp of tactics and gathering intelligence is laughable compared to Sonja's.
- Character Development: In AW2, he's not as stupid or honor-bound as he was in the first game, as he at least recognizes that he's doing something risky and going through with it anyways in most cases. It helps that he reserves his wrath for actual enemies instead of lashing out at anything that dares step foot in his country, as well.
- Characterization Marches On: Much like Olaf, he got fleshed out more in the second installment. He goes from being a complete buffoon and an overly gung-ho Samurai to a responsible and competent leader who agonizes over doing both the smart thing and the honorable thing.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Not in terms of units — his are awesome all around. In general, he's an excellent warrior but lacks a sense of tactics or common sense in many other things like sock drawer basics...
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: In AW2 at least, he acts with honor and is more than able to defend his country. He's also considered one of the strongest COs on the roster. Not bad for a guy who has trouble finding his socks.
- Demoted to Extra: Does not appear in the Dual Strike campaign. Perhaps he was looking for his sock. His clone, however, does.
- Discount Card: Inverted. He's Colin's polar opposite, and when the two are fighting each other, it creates interesting situations like Kanbei having Tanks around the same time Colin has Medium Tanks, but the two are roughly equal in power.
- Early Installment Character-Design Difference: His design in the Japanese version of AW1 has him dressed like a feudal Japan samurai◊, complete with armor. The localization makes him a World War 2 era Japanese general and removes his ponytail. The other games retained this outfit, but adds back the ponytail.
- Elite Mooks: His army is this. He's one of the few COs to have stronger-than-normal defenses, which is a very powerful quality to have.
- Honor Before Reason: He actually sort of admitted to this in one of the battles in Black Hole Rising where he fought for a cluster of cities that held little strategic value (this has happened a lot in real life wars). Unlike most examples, this example is placed in a positive light: just because something isn't militarily valuable doesn't mean it's not worth fighting to protect (assuming that the player didn't get annihilated by the Lasers). Also happens before "Fowl Play", where he insists on meeting with Adder, even though Sonja points out that it might be a trap. He exemplifies this the first game, where he goes to extreme lengths to defend his country... including trying to beat the crap out of a Power Trio that really meant it no harm.
- Large Ham: Much more so in the first game. He tones it down a little bit later on, but he's still pretty over the top.
- Leeroy Jenkins: In Advance Wars, he jumps at the opportunity to attack anyone near his borders without much planning or organization, to his daughter's exasperation. He gets better about this, though Black Hole tries to exploit this trait by laying several traps, since they know that Kanbei will rush in.
- Lord Error-Prone: In Advance Wars, certainly. One mission is even named "Kanbei's Error?" This is the one where he decides bases close to the enemy are valuable, and so he captures a base right next to you!...which is on a completely isolated island and thus useless, since he doesn't have any ports or airports to get the units it can make off the island.
- Mighty Glacier: In a sense: his units have superior offense and defense, but they're more expensive to deploy, so he takes longer to build up his forces.
- Nigh Invulnerable: His units get a touch of this during Morale Boost (140% offense and defense) and are very this during Samurai Spirit (170% offense and defense, plus double counterattack damage). Don't bother engaging him during his CO Powers, just regroup and hope he doesn't inflict too much damage in that one day.
- Overprotective Dad: Once he got panicked over Sonja getting a paper cut. Another time, he panicked because she tripped and scraped her knee. And when Sturm kidnapped her... It did NOT end well.
- Papa Wolf: Do NOT endanger or threaten his daughter. Seriously, if you thought (apparently) threatening his country made him go berserk... look, if you value your life, for the love of God, don't mess with Sonja. Sturm had to learn this the hard way.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "I hope you thoroughly enjoy the taste of my sword!"
- Power at a Price: Literally, in this case. His units have superior attack and defense, but cost more to make. The inverse of Colin, although both are effective COs.
- Samurai: Embraces this to its fullest.
- Third-Person Person: In the first game. Seems to come to his senses later, but still cannot find his socks.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gives one to his daughter of all people. When Sonja recommends giving up several cities of no strategic value, Kanbei reprimands her and reminds her that it's their duty as COs to defend the people.
Daughter of Kanbei and head of his intelligence service. Her powers let her see further in Fog of War, making her dominate these maps. She also has the secondary ability to hide her units' HP from enemies. At other times, she's of little use, though.
- Born Unlucky: Sonja is one of three COs who has negative luck, giving her units the chance to deal less damage than expected. Made worse in that Flak and Jugger (the other two) still have a positive luck percentage by default but Sonja doesn't.
- Counter Attack: Her SCO power, which gives her the first attack even when the enemy attacks her. She also has better counterattacks as a day-to-day power in Black Hole Rising.
- Damsel in Distress: At the end of the first Advance Wars, Sturm kidnaps her in a last-ditch effort to keep her from exposing his plans. (This backfires spectacularly.)
- Defog of War: Sonja's main strength is that she has an increased vision range in the fog.
- Difficult, but Awesome: An unusual tactic as Sonja is to deliberately confuse enemies with her hidden HP by switching units around so that enemies think that they're engaging a low-health Medium Tank unit and annihilated by a full-health one instead. Risky, but satisfying to pull off.
- Geo Effects: In Dual Strike, Sonja reduces enemy terrain by 1 star. This makes her a perfect counter to Lash, and also a surprisingly good tag team partner.
- Girlish Pigtails: She seems to be trying to defy this trope in Dual Strike, pulling them back to make her look more professional.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: to Kanbei.
- Lady of War: A bit younger than most examples, but still qualifies as the Emperor's daughter.
- Not So Different: Lash makes her realize that she enjoys war just as much as Lash does (or at the very least the strategy part).
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Just like I planned..."
- The Rival: To Lash, somewhat.
- Situational Sword: Very powerful on fog of war maps against human opponents. Very underwhelming otherwise, except against Lash in Dual Strike.
- Stone Wall: During her SCO power. Watch as your attacking full HP mech is decimated by her defending Recon.
- The Smart Girl: The smartest of all the COs in the series, the second being Lash. She was also the only one who realizes that something was wrong in the first Advance Wars.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: In the Japanese version, she wears rounded glasses to signify her intelligence.
- The Strategist: She is the intelligence officer of Yellow Comet, and her powers show as her units get better vision in Fog of War and can reduce the enemy's terrain bonuses.
- Teen Genius: She's a strategic genius on par with Nell, and she's only about as old as Sami.
- Took a Level in Badass: Sonja got consistently better across the three games. In addition to her SCOP, she gained a 50% damage bonus while counterattacking in Black Hole Rising, and in Dual Strike she reduced terrain stars by 1 (2 with her COP and 3 with her SCOP).
- We Work Well Together: To Sonja's bewilderment, with Lash. Even more bewildering in Dual Strike, where the former's day-to-day actually servers to hinder the latter's.
Hinted to be the ultimate badass from the old series, he's Kanbei's increasingly senile mentor. He's a paratrooper master, meaning his copters and infantry are beastly. He's definitely a mid to Top (or even God) ranker tier wise, and a Cool Old Guy to boot.
- Badass Grandpa: Even Black Hole's intel includes rumors of a certain unstoppable paratrooper commander in his past years. Adder promptly books it once he realizes who he's dealing with.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Old, and calm, if a bit eccentric. You do not want to make him angry, though, as Adder found out the hard way.
- Big Damn Heroes: One of his Black Hole Rising missions, Foul Play, requires him to somehow get through several layers of pipes and pipe seams to bail out his own HQ.
- Boring, but Practical: There are so many uses for a sudden wave of 9-HP footsoldiers.
- Cool Old Guy: Wise, competent, and just a bit eccentric to keep him interesting. He's just an old soldier looking for some peace.
- Difficult, but Awesome: True of him generally, but especially with B-Copters. It's tricky specialism in a unit that can be so easily countered, but with enough of them, you will just take everything apart.
- Glass Cannon: His ability boosts a unit that is basically from this category Up to Eleven, especially in Black Hole Rising, where his B. Copters can shred even Eagle's and his infantry hit shockingly hard. Slightly less in Dual Strike.
- It's Raining Men: Copter Command paradrops 9-HP infantry units on all the cities Sensei owns. Airborne Assault drops 9HP mechs.
- Lethal Joke Character: In Black Hole Rising, all of his vehicles and ships take a 10% attack penalty and his strongest units, his battle copters, can still be taken down in one hit by any anti-air vehicle. But a combination of the aforementioned Goddamned Bats and the fact that his copters are truly deadly once he's on a roll can make him almost as bad as Grit.
- Eccentric Mentor: He's a bit of an oddball, particularly in Dual Strike where he's gotten a little more senile. But he's still Kanbei's revered teacher.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Presumably "Sensei" is a title, though everyone (including the emperor) calls him by it and not his name.
- Mugging the Monster: The first time Adder faces Sensei, he belittles him as nothing more than an old fart. Once he gets trounced, he realizes he just picked on a legendary CO with quite the reputation from his past.
- Nerf: Copped a huge one in Dual Strike. His vehicles got stronger, but his infantry lost 30% of their attack power. On the other hand, the faster CO power charge make him capable of spamming his absurdly useful CO power, making him a far more annoying CO to play against. There's a good reason he's considered broken.
- Older and Wiser: Sensei is implied to have been the CO Mr. Yamamoto from Super Famicom Wars.
- Old Master: Why do you think he's called Sensei? He even starts to go a little senile in Dual Strike.
- Old Soldier: Exactly how old is not clear, but way too old to be jumping out of helicopters.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Ha ha! I didn't get old for nothing!"
- Talk to the Hand: Adder has a bad habit of laughing Sensei off from a seemingly rosy position of strength and paying for it.
- Those Two Guys: Has a bit of this going on with Grimm.
- Underestimating Badassery: Not him; Black Hole has a bad habit of thinking that he's just a washed-out geezer.
- You Won't Like Me When I'm Angry: All but says this at the end of Sensei Returns. Needless to say, Adder books it out of there.
- Zerg Rush: His best units, Mechs and B. Copters, are torn apart by anti-air fire. The solution? Quantity on top of quality.
A former wrestler who loves eating and brawling. He hits harder and takes hits harder. Though pretty two dimensional, he's high tier.
- Bald of Awesome: He takes great pride in that pate of his. The scar at the top only makes it more awesome.
- Big Eater: "Believe it or not, I ain't hungry!"
- Boisterous Bruiser: If not this trope, then Grimm's a close relative.
- Catch-Phrase: "Oooh yeah!"
- Expy: Gameplay-wise, he's one of AW1!Sturm, without the terrain movement bypass.
- Glass Cannon: His boosted offense is offset by a loss to defense. His CO abilities further emphasize his "hit them fast and hard before they hit you" approach to war, altering each of those stats accordingly.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "Things are looking Grimm for you!"
- Min Maxers Delight: He's probably the best CO for taking down Oozium note .
- Stout Strength: He's all muscle underneath that thick outer layer.
- Those Two Guys: With Sensei.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Donuts.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Used to be one and references this sometimes.
Arrogant but virtuous. He leads Green Earth, has spats with Jess and romantic hints towards Sami. He's an Ace Pilot that gets boosts to his air force.
- Ace Pilot: He's the leader of Green Earth's air force for a reason.
- Animal Motifs: An eagle, as if that needed explaining.
- Bonus Boss: In the original game, where he can be fought on an optional map that's set after Sturm's defeat.
- The Chains of Commanding: Briefly frets to himself whether or not to continue an air attack on a Black Hole Fortress littered with anti-air units, seeing it as a choice between massive losses and losing face with his men. His pilots' encouragement to bomb the thing to hell gives him all the confidence he needs.
- The Dulcinea Effect: It's unclear how much of his rescue of Sami's forces was this and how much it was just him aiding an allied CO bringing his country supplies. Adder seems to count on him walking into his trap one way or another.
- Extra Turn: His CO Power Lightning Strike (and Lightning Drive in Dual Strike) allows his non-infantry units to move again. Lightning Drive reduces his firepower on the second move, but Lightning Strike doesn't.
- Fragile Speedster: in Advance Wars, Lightning Strike lets Eagle move his units twice in one turn, but the second time around, they have nerfed defense.
- Goggles Do Nothing: Justified since they're pilot's goggles, though hopefully he uses them when he's actually in the air.
- Hot-Blooded: The main reason he clashes with Jess, who'd rather think things through first.
- Insufferable Genius: Very much so in the first game, where he's haughty and arrogant. He gets somewhat better about this, though he doesn't let anyone forget whose the best fighter pilot around.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: On maps without air or naval units, as his ground troops are average. Ground vehicles do, however, benefit from his CO Powers.
- Jerkass: In the first game, he comes out of nowhere and attacks Andy several times, blaming him for things he wasn't even responsible for. Black Hole had started a war with Green Earth using a clone of Andy for their CO, essentially impersonating Orange Star. Eagle was justifiably pissed and had no reason to trust the real deal when they encountered one another, given that this was Black Hole's first use of clones.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Eventually, he becomes this, though he retains that massive vendetta against Andy. Later on, he's brash but perfectly willing to work with others.
- Land, Sea, Sky: As an airforce specialist, Eagle is the Sky to Drake's Sea and Jess' Land.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Not quite, but compared to Drake (who takes things slow) and Jess (who plans carefully), his general strategy of "strike fast before they do" is this.
- Scarf of Asskicking: Like a real flying ace. He loses it in Dual Strike, however.
- Ship Tease: Lots and lots with Sami.
A nice, laid-back guy who often mediates between Eagle and Jess. He's a naval buff, meaning his abilities in that area are boosted. He's also immune to the effects of rain, which he can cause too.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Tag team Drake with Olaf. The ensuing dual strike will put all enemy units down 4 HP, halve their fuel, and double their fuel usage for the next three turns while you get a +20% attack boost. Practical? Heck no. Fun? Heck yes.
- Animal Motif: Contrasting Eagle's more obvious bird theme, a drake is the name for a male duck.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Drake's energy-draining CO powers contrast with a relaxed, gentle nature
- Boring, but Practical: Halving fuel as an ability should definitely not be underestimated in large air and/or sea battles.
- Demoted to Extra: Does not appear in the Dual Strike Campaign. His clone, however, does, in an utterly hellish stage.
- Early Installment Character-Design Difference: His design in the Japanese version of AW1 has him dressed like a classic pirate◊. The localization makes him a look like a modern naval captain, which was retained in all versions of the other games.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Doesn't give himself nearly as much credit as he deserves.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: On maps without naval or air units, as his ground troops are average. That said, his CO Powers are still quite devastating under these circumstances.
- Land, Sea, Sky: As a navy specialist, Drake is the Sea to Eagle's Sky and Jess' Land.
- Making a Splash: Drake's CO Power causes a tsunami to hit all enemy units on the map for 1 HP of damage (and halving their fuel). His Super CO Power summons a typhoon instead, which deals 2 HP of damage to all enemy units and makes it start raining.
- Meaningful Name: See Animal Motif above.
- Nerf: Received an indirect one in Dual Strike with the introduction of the Black Boat, making it easy for an opposing CO to just refuel and repair mid-battle (as opposed to rushing back to a friendly Airport/Port or APC).
- Situational Sword: He doesn't have much going for him in navy-less maps besides his CO Powers, even less so if he's forced to use air units.
- Talk Like a Pirate: In the first game, though it becomes more like "talk like a sailor".
- Team Mom: Drake is essentially the reason why Eagle and Jess haven't killed each other yet.
- Understatement: Green Earth is liberated from Black Hole tyranny towards the end of Black Hole Rising. Drake's response? "Whew... that's nice."
Ground Specialist of Green Earth. She's got some undisclosed beef with Eagle.
- Bifauxnen: When first introduced, a not small population assumed she was male.
- Boyish Short Hair: She could be mistaken for a male by her AW2 headshot alone if it wasn't for her thin face.
- Closer to Earth: She's probably one of the more level-headed and realistic commanders in the game. Which, given the tone of the original Advance Wars, isn't really saying that much. Also, the fact that she specializes in ground units...
- Easy Logistics: Easier than the other characters, anyway, as her CO Powers resupply all units with fuel and ammo. This ironically makes her pretty useful in air and naval battles, even though her planes, copters, and ships take an attack penalty.
- Fiery Redhead: Usually averted, as she is quite level-headed. But she can be very passionate at times.
- Improbable Weapon User: Her portrait in Black Hole Rising shows her hoisting a tank shell over her shoulder. Cue fan jokes about Jess and her comically oversized crayon.
- Lady of War: She's well in the running for the top CO in Green Earth, and the only lady among them.
- Land, Sea, Sky: As a military vehicle specialist, Jess is the Land to Eagle's Sky and Drake's Sea.
- Lightning Bruiser: All her units refuel/refill their ammo, then her vehicles gain a good firepower and movement speed bonus when she uses her CO Powers.
- Odd Couple: She is pretty much the complete opposite of Javier, but they work well together.
- Tank Goodness: Her specialty is tanks, and all of her land-based vehicles also have superior firepower. Once her CO Powers are factored in, she is quite possibly the best at swarming heavy tanks in the game, being able to supply and keep otherwise logistically-hindered Medium Tanks, Neotanks, and Megatanks on the move indefinitely.
- Try and Follow: Hawke marches his forces by an active volcano to prevent Drake or Eagle from reaching him and thinking that Jess will know better than to try to pursue. She does and succeeds anyway.
- Tsundere: Type B. Eagle brings out her Tsuntsun side.
A CO styled on a Knight. He uses antiquated language and gets bonuses from Comm Towers.
- Antiquated Linguistics: "Allow me to slap the foe with extreme prejudice!"
- Coat Cape: As depicted in his artwork.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Easily a Game-Breaker if he's captured enough communications towers, but without them, he's just a Jack-of-All-Stats with added defense against indirect attacks and ridiculously situational CO powers.
- Badass Mustache: A very impressive Dali-esque one.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's basically Lord Error-Prone, but competent.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Not one, but certainly has the look and theme. He boasts about righteousness and chivalry often enough too. And then there's his breastplate.
- Large Ham: "Look at these rockets! Like shining lances of justice!"
- Men Use Violence, Women Use Communication: Javier uses both.
- Situational Sword: And how. He depends heavily on Comm towers to excel, other than that his indirect defenses are only noticeable in games versus a Grit or heavy turtling games. Of course, partnering him up with Jess means that their Tag Breaks let her smash through the enemy frontline then end with Javier mopping up so that enemy retaliatory fire will be soaked up better than normal. This is a large part of why the level "Verdant Green" is so difficult — you're fighting the two of them, and he starts with a tower.
- Stone Wall: Defense is already a specialty of his, but after capturing only a few control towers, any of his units are Nigh Invulnerable. His Super CO power compounds this intensely.
- Verbal Ticked: "Ho, Sir Clone of Sir Kanbei! I challenge your honor on the... er... field of honor!"
Big Bad. Evil. Looks like Darth Vader. Gamebreakingly powerful opponent. Banned from tournament usage in Black Hole Rising since he improves all of his units' movement, power, and defensenote , with no drawbacks. His only weakness is that he has no regular CO Power and his Super CO Power has the longest wait in the game before he gets enough charge to use it, but given its damage and that it buffs his units caught in it, that's not an issue.
- Autobots, Rock Out!: He is fought only in the final levels of the first two games, and thus you get to hear a lot of electric guitar solos to mark the occasion.
- Badass Cape: A big heavy one that hangs over his shoulders.
- Big Bad: of the first two Advance Wars games.
- Bragging Rights Reward: He's broken, but by the time you can unlock him, you've proven you don't even need him.
- Colony Drop: His SCOP drops a meteor onto the battlefield for 8 HP damage in a 5x5 pattern.
- Commissar Cap: He's got one.
- Darth Vader Clone: He's got the mask, the cloak, the authority, the ruthlessness, and the badass theme music.
- Despotism Justifies the Means: His apparent motivation.
- The Faceless: Never takes his mask off.
- Final Boss: Fought at the end of the first two games.
- Glass Cannon: In AW1's Campaign, where he has 120/80 stats and no movement penalties.
- It's All About Me: When things aren't going his way in Black Hole Rising, he tries to cause an Apocalypse How with giant missiles.
- Killed Off for Real: By Hawke in AW2. (And, yes, he's completely absent from Dual Strike. Not just the campaign, either.)
- Lightning Bruiser: In AW2, where he has 120/120 stats and no movement penalties or increase in cost.
- Manipulative Bastard: In AW1, he manages to pit every other nation against each other.
- Meaningful Name: "Sturm," the German word for "storm," fitting in with his treatment as a destructive force of nature and fitting in with his general Nazi undertones. His Japanese name is Herr Böse, which happens to be German for "Mr. Evil".
- Purposely Overpowered: In AW2.
- Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: Meteor Strike has no other effects on the map besides damaging units.
- SNK Boss: He is blatantly broken in both games where you fight him, on top of having a massive map advantage.
- Stone Wall: In AW1 VS, where he has 80/120 stats. The offense loss is likely to prevent him from dealing heavy damage with his lack of movement penalties.
- Taking You with Me: Averted, thanks to Hawke's last-second Heel–Face Turn.
Imagine Max without his few restraints or glimpses of intelligence. You get Flak, but instead of a permanent power boost, he can hit stronger or weaker than usual, with his powers exacerbating this tendency and its effect.
- Angrish: Pretty common with him.
- Animal Motif: Gorilla. Somewhat Lost in Translation, although he's equated with one in dialogue a few times.
- The Brute: Of the second game's Quirky Miniboss Squad.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He is completely absent from the campaign of Dual Strike, only appearing in the War Room and Skirmish. At least the other COs are excused with rebuilding Macro Land and cloned by Black Hole to fight against the Allied Nations in Omega Land; he doesn't get one mention.
- Dumb Muscle: A textbook case. His CO Powers are even named "Brute Force" and "Barbaric Blow."
- Evil Counterpart: To Max.
- Goggles Do Nothing: It may be that Flak is concerned with protecting his head, as he always wears a helmet and goggles, even though it isn't necessary.
- Joke Character: When picked in multiplayer, he's basically this; every battle becomes a Luck-Based Mission and your only real hope is Confusion Fu and the blessings of the Random Number God. This is not helped by the fact that Nell is basically just him but better. note On the other hand, he is the comedy moron of the game, so you'll at least get some great lines out of it.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: In Black Hole Rising, not a heroic example.
- Meaningful Name: Especially in Japanese, where his name is "Kong".
- Starter Villain: The first Black Hole CO fought (not counting the Andy clone and Sturm in the first game), and he's clearly the least competent.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Too bad he looks like a failed sketch of Butthead...
- Incredibly Lame Pun: The European release renames him as "Helmut". Welp, he wears a helmet.
Very thin, pale, and gaunt. Obsessed with himself. He's quite the Smug Snake, and revels in his paper-thin evilness. His meter fills up faster (according to the game) and lets him move faster when it does. In actuality, his meter charges up no faster than anybody else's, but his powers have a reduced cost considering their effectiveness.
- Ambiguously Gay: The way he fawns over Hawke gives off this vibe. The eyeliner certainly doesn't help.
- Animal Motif: Snakes. Sometimes, he even hisses like a snake.
- Adaptation Name Change: In the European version, his Super CO Power is called Snakebite. In the American one, it's Sidewinder (which references a species of snake).
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Has a really bad habit of baiting his foes into making Sadistic Choices even though it's obvious that they will just Take a Third Option.
- Boring, but Practical: A fast-charging Power that gives movement boosts is far more versatile and useful than you might think.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Like Flak, he is completely absent in the campaign of Dual Strike.
- Dark Chick: In the second game's Quirky Miniboss Squad.
- Evil Counterpart: to Grit.
- Fragile Speedster: Adder's CO Powers give him movement boosts. The "fragile" part comes from the fact that while his units are average, average tends to lose out to specialized in Advance Wars.
- Before you write Adder off as an inferior version of Koal, you should note that Adder's regular CO Power costs less than Koal's, so Adder can use it sooner and he can use it twice in a row rather than use his Super CO Power (something that Koal can't do). In other words, Adder may be weaker than Koal, but he's also faster.
- I Surrender, Suckers: In one Black Hole Rising mission, he claims to offer peace terms to Yellow Comet in order to lure them to a decoy holding a bomb. The mission is even called "Foul Play".
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Like Andy, his units are completely average day to day.
- Meaningful Name: An adder is a type of snake.
- Narcissist: He is described as "a self-absorbed CO who believes his skills are matchless". His Hit is also "his own face".
- Never My Fault: Naturally, being a narcissist with a big ego, every time he loses, he will say this.
- Sadistic Choice: Really seems to like giving these. In no less than 2 separate instances in Black Hole Rising he forces them to choose between walking into a Death Laser trap or watch a group of civilians or allies get crushed.
- Sissy Villain: It really says something when he's prissier than all of the female COs.
- Smug Snake: Come on. His name is Adder, for crying out loud (Snake in the Japanese original).
- Small Name, Big Ego: He believes his skills are matchless.
- We Can Rule Together: Delivers one to Grit in Black Hole Rising, observing that Grit (who originally defected from Orange Star to Blue Moon) never really cared much about loyalty to a cause, and invites him to join Black Hole. Grit notes that he has a point, but the deal-breaker is Black Hole's barbaric treatment of civilians.
Evil genius who thinks nothing of maiming, murdering, experimenting, and building new death toys. Her powers are terrain-based; standing in terrain boosts her units' attack as much as their defense.
- Animal Motif: Cats. This gets into Lost in Translation territory except for the Japanese and German versions. In Dual Strike, Kindle refers to her as kitten in several missions. Although given Kindle, it is a demeaning nickname to Lash, and she quickly grows to hate it.
- Arch-Enemy: To Olaf. She turned his hometown into her personal playground, and the two have a really bad tag in the third game as a result.
- Bare Your Midriff: She wears a very small top and short shorts.
- Because I'm Good at It: She builds all manner of terrible weapons because she needs some outlet for her genius and because she can.
- Dark Chick: Has elements of this in the third game.
- Evil Counterpart: Seems to be one for Sonja; both are intelligent, youthful, and based on terrain and defensive warfare in a manner that makes them map-dependent, but Sonja is mature and reserved while Lash is a cracking goofball. In Dual Strike, many of Sonja's abilities even seem designed to counter Lash's.
- Evil Genius: In the Quirky Miniboss Squad of both Black Hole Rising and Dual Strike, where she's responsible for much of the technology Black Hole uses.
- Evil Counterpart: to Sonja.
- For the Evulz: Doesn't care about the agenda of Black Hole as long as they are causing fun destruction.
- Funny Afro: One bigger than her head.
- Giggling Villain: Becomes recognizable enough for poor Max to start cringing the moment he hears it.
- Heel–Face Turn: It happens strictly out of necessity, and she is somewhat reluctant to help out the good guys at first, but by the end, she has turned all the way. One picture shows her standing up eating popcorn in the back of Jess's car!
- Karma Houdini: Aside from being on the losing side of the war in AW2, Lash never faces any sort of punishment for her actions towards Olaf's hometown. In Dual Strike, she even joins the heroes! It probably helps that Olaf doesn't appear in that game aside from a clone.
- Meaningful Name: And in case you were wondering, it's "Kat" in Japanese and German. Which makes her referring to herself as a "kitty" in Advance Wars Dual Strike make quite a bit more sense.
- Military Maverick: Except she never wins any battles.
- Nerf: Her attack bonus from terrain was halved from the second to third game, terrain was made slightly less powerful overall, and she got a Kryptonite Factor in Sonja.
- Not So Different: To Sonja.
- Perky Goth: Black clothes, black hair, pale skin, and constantly grinning.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Game over, freak!"
- Psychopathic Manchild: She treats the entire proceedings as being more like a goofy game of checkers.
- Shout-Out: One of her CO power quotes is "Whatever! I do what I want!"
- Stripperiffic: The heroes can't match her -- when it comes to being stripperiffic, that is.
- Stone Wall: Attacking her troops when Lash has unleashed her Super CO Power is meaningless, since it doubles terrain defense bonusesnote when her troops are in it.
- Teen Genius: She's built every single one of Black Hole's superweapons, though in Dual Strike she just built the machinery around the crystals, not the crystals themselves.
- Token Evil Teammate: To the Allied Nations in Dual Strike.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Von Bolt doesn't hesitate to have her murdered when Hawke discovers him. Luckily for her, the heroes just happen to find her and thwart the execution.
A man of few words. He leads his men very competently and nearly destroys Green Earth in the process. All his units are naturally more powerful than everyone else's for no cost (though not as much as Sturm's), but his high-powered Powers are extremely expensive, even considering how strong they are.
- Ambiguously Brown: Figuring out his ethnicity is pretty tricky.
- Animal Motifs: Hawks.
- Arch-Enemy: To Eagle. The two have one of the worst tags in Dual Strike due to Hawke humiliating him in the second game.
- Badass Longcoat: A pretty bulky one.
- Bastard Understudy: Pulls one on both Sturm and Von Bolt.
- The Comically Serious: He becomes this when forced to work with Lash.
- The Dragon: Of the Quirky Miniboss Squad in the second game. In the third game, he's closer to The Sixth Ranger on team evil, until they try to kill him.
- Dragon with an Agenda: He's betrayed his boss in some manner at least twice, claiming that his loyalty is simply to Black Hole as a nation, not to the leader.
- Enigmatic Minion: In the third game especially, where nobody is entirely sure why he's thrown in his lot with the Bolt Guard.
- Evil Counterpart: Noticing a trend? In his case, he's one to Andy, being an all-around talented and very active CO with abilities based on healing (but where Andy simply heals, Hawke drains, and his units are all-around better instead of all-around good). Several times, he refers to Andy as a Worthy Opponent and Andy seems to remind him of himself.
- Expy: Hawke eerily resembles Scar in Fullmetal Alchemist, both in appearance and personality.
- A Father to His Men: Solely towards Lash. His first priority when Kindle betrays them is to save her, even though the delay gets them surrounded by Oozium.
- Heel–Face Turn: In Dual Strike.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Has 110% universal attack in return for a CO Power priced one star higher than it should be balance-wise, making him usable on most maps and situations (although he is stronger in larger battles than smaller ones).
- Knight of Cerebus: Is much more effective as a villain than the COs fought before him and lacks any of their comedic quirks. In "Drake's Dilemna", once he hears that Yellow Comet has arrived to bail out Drake's encircled navy, he doesn't screw around like the previous COs and basically says "Oh, they have no units deployed? Excellent. Attack immediately."
- A Lighter Shade of Black: Stands out as the one member of Black Hole to object to fighting when there's nothing clear to gain and show respect for his allies and foes.
- Meaningful Name: The Evil Counterpart of 'Eagle'.
- Must Have Caffeine: According to his character profile, anyway.
- The Starscream: To Sturm in Black Hole Rising.
- The Stoic: He almost never even jokes, and his design in Dual Strike is perpetually frowning.
- Token Evil Teammate: To the Allied Nations in Dual Strike. He becomes a little less evil due to Jake befriending him (notably showing the same Cruel Mercy to Von Bolt that Jake would if Jake can't go through with it), but then he fakes his death in an apparent Stupid Sacrifice to claim Von Bolt's chair for himself, and due to an unresolved Sequel Hook, it's not clear what happens after that.
- Worthy Opponent: To Andy, who even gets a Tag with him in the third game. Most of the heroes treat him as one in the third game's story as well.
Old man trying to live forever by sucking Omega Land dry.
- Big Bad: of Dual Strike.
- Bowdlerize: His Japanese name is 'Hell Volt'.
- Dark Lord on Life Support: Von Bolt is a decrepit old man in a super-wheelchair who wants to gain immortality.
- Evil Old Folks: Just look at the guy.
- Expy: Just as Sturm resembles Darth Vader with a Nice Hat, Von Bolt resembles the Emperor with additional headgear.
- Immortality Immorality: If everyone else on the planet must die so that he can live on, so be it.
- It's All About Me: This guy starts an entire war and nearly wipes out Omega Land just so he can gain eternal life. Once the energy runs out, he'll likely die, but he doesn't care as long as he lives now.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: His opinion.
- Meaningful Name: Boy, Black Hole really likes this trope, don't they?
- Static Stun Gun: His CO power hits a group of enemies with lightning, doing 3 HP of damage to them and leaving them immobile for a turn.
- The Von Trope Family: Well, duh!
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Von Bolt doesn't hesitate to dispose of Hawke and Lash once Hawke finds him.
Possibly a robot, or a weirdo who likes to dress like one. He's basically Flak, only with an even more erratic luck spread and much cooler dialogue.
- Bald of Evil: "Jugger has no need of hair."
- The Brute: In Dual Strike.
- Expy: of Flak.
- Expospeak Gag: "Smack-laying in a downward direction."
- The Juggernaut: It's in his name, and he can be this if the Random Number God really likes him. Otherwise, it's subverted.
- Robo Speak: Read the quotes.
- Tron Lines: Covered in them.
- Third-Person Person: Does this a lot when talking about his greatness.
Called Zak in the EU version. A short, arrogant man painted like a kabuki actor and using very flowery language, his special power grants him attack bonuses on roads and makes him a mixture of Adder and Jake. Also has the notably lowest Tag Break in the game: A whopping 35% attack penalty to team-ups with Rachel due to having called her ugly.
- Badass Bookworm: He refers to himself as a "warrior and a scholar." Given that he's designed to evoke Sun Tzu or Zhuge Liang, this trope is probably in play.
- The Dark Chick: In Dual Strike.
- Deadpan Snarker: On occasion, mainly when dealing with people like Rachel:"I'd say that I care, but I'd be lying. And that would be wrong."
- Expy: of Adder. Gets a bonus on roads, but his CO meter is redistributed to make his standard CO power more expensive (preventing back-to-back CO power use).
- Glass Cannon: Not inherently — his units are average — but the fact that he gets an attack bonus when fighting on roads — which have a defense bonus of 0 — means that he has to leave himself wide open in order to fight at peak potential.
- The Napoleon: He's about half the size of Kindle, but every bit as arrogant.
- Smug Snake: As the Adder Expy.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Regarding his low tag power with Rachel. Yes, he called her ugly... and sucked the life out of her beloved homeland, dictated exactly how, and openly said he doesn't give a rat's ass about the moral ramifications.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: The second time you fight him in turn survival takes a lot of turns, until you realize various ways to beat him in just 1 - 2 turns.
- Warrior Poet: According to him. He's clearly modeled after the Confucian ideal, however.
An approximate character tier list for the Wars World series (please note that these games are the kind of games that force people to reconsider what "overpowered" is, since most COs are stronger than average):
Candy in the EU, she's an upper class socialite. Her powers revolve around controlling urban territory to gain boosts and inflict nasty wounds.
- The Dragon: To Von Bolt in Dual Strike.
- Expy: Not in personality, but in terms of gameplay. Like mentioned above, her CO power is a combination of Lash and Hawke's.
- Flat Character: Other than being a Rich Bitch stereotype, there's... really very little of note to Kindle.
- Graceful Loser: As she herself puts it..."Congratulations, Allied Nations. I'll raise a glass to your victory!"
- Rich Bitch: Pretty much her.
- Smug Snake: and she knows it.
- Worthy Opponent: Finally considers the Allied Nations to be such in the end.
- Violation of Common Sense: Normally, parking units on allied properties has many benefits. You do not want to do this against Kindle...
- Purposely Overpowered: Sturm, Hachi
- Lethal Joke Character: Sensei, Colin
- Powerful, but not quite game-breaking: Jess, Hawke, Grit, Nell, Eagle, Sonja (in Fog of War), Kanbei, Grimm, Kindle, Von Bolt, Lash, Sasha, Javier (when controlling just one communications tower)
- Balanced: Andy, Max, Sami, Olaf, Adder, Sonja (out of Fog of War), Koal, Rachel, Jake
- Underpowered: Drake, Javier (without a communications tower)
- Joke Character: Flak, Jugger (though both can lean towards Lethal Joke Character if luck swings your way)
Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict (American name/European name)
Brenner's Wolves/12th Independent Legion
A former Rubinelle military cadet who joined the 12th Battalion after being rescued by Captain Brenner — whom he idolizes.
- Book Dumb: He's earnest, but from his sessions with Lin, it's clear he didn't get top marks at his academy.
- Butt-Monkey: Basically all of the Tactics sessions before missions have someone abusing Will for laughs.
- Conveniently an Orphan: While he is sure to be parentless post end of the world, they take until the final chapter to reveal he lost them earlier to the war. He also mentioned this to Greyfield at the end of chapter 12.
- Decoy Protagonist: He's the first character introduced, but Brenner recieves considerably more face time up until his death. Will then properly fills the void.
- Determinator: "Never give up!"
- Expy: His CO abilities and power work best on the plains, similar to Jake.
- Hell, his theme, while not the same song, does sound rather similar to Jake's.
- Being able to advance two spaces with his CO power are also reminiscent of Max's, before Dual Strike.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: After Brenner's death. Temporary, though.
- Heroic Willpower: It's in his name, even.
- Lightning Bruiser: +2 movement to all land units during his CO Power (on top of the attack boosts from his CO Zone) is very, very good at breaking a stalemate and usually leaves quite a mark.
- Meaningful Name: His US name, compounded by his leitmotif, "We Will Prevail". Annoyingly subverted by the EU version.
- No One Gets Left Behind: Brenner drilled this into him quite convincingly.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: Justified, since it's a cadet jacket from a military academy and he likely doesn't have another uniform.
Captain of the 12th Battalion. He has an unshakable faith in humanity's goodness, and will aid any in need.
- Animal Motifs: His brigade has a wolf as their nickname and on their insignia, plus his European leitmotif is called "Indomitable Wolf".
- Catch-Phrase: "Where there's life, there's hope."
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: "The survivors need our help."
- Doomed Moral Victor: Waylon foreshadows it to his face twice; Brenner doesn't care, and goes down with a clean conscience.
- Expy: Gameplay-wise, of Andy, due to being able to repair units with his CO power.
- Father to His Men: To the point where one LP makes his tone of voice generally patient.
- The Good Captain: Easily the most compassionate person in the game.
- Killed Off for Real: Might come as quite a surprise to those used to the previous games, too.
- No One Gets Left Behind: As his quote is any indication.
- Stone Wall: Favors this style, with his large Zone giving only defense boosts and his Power restoring HP.
- Video Game Caring Potential: It's beneficial to keep wounded units around instead of sacrificing them as meatshields, since his CO Power can reinforce their HP. Sound like a certain captain to you?
- You Killed My Father: Subverted. He shows no hatred towards Forsythe for being the one responsible for his father's defeat, and therefore his death. It helps that Forsythe thought very highly of his father and clearly did not relish his death.
The 12th Battalion's unflappable second in command. She has tremendous respect for Captain Brenner, although they disagree often.
- Anti-Hero: Is willing to Shoot the Dog and play devil's advocate, but is still firmly on the side of wanting to help everyone.
- Cool Big Sis: Becomes one of sorts to Will and Isabella. Especially Isabella.
- Deadpan Snarker: Par excellence.Dr. Morris: Honestly! Where is your sense of humor?Lin: It was shot off in the war. Very sad.
- Defog of War: Her CO Power, though the vision range increase is small.
- Expy: A darker, more cynical twist on Sonja.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Lyn apparently hates flying, according to her dialogue aboard The Great Owl, which makes sense for a ground unit specialist.
- Good Is Not Nice: Compared to the other idealist heroes, Lin is a lot more cynically pragmatic.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: She's actually the one who comes up with the army's tactics, not Brenner. Played with in the tactics session for Fear Experiment.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Had she done it to almost anyone else, Lin's Vigilante Execution of the unarmed Greyfield would have been morally questionable at the very best. However, as it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy...
- The Lancer: to Brenner and Will once he inherits the mantle.
- Shoot the Dog: Knew full well Greyfield wouldn't stop unless he died. Also knew Will couldn't do the job himself.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Greyfield says that Lin can't kill him because she's one of the good guys. Wrong!
- Situational Sword: Not to the extent that Sonja was, since her CO Power gives her Zone attack boosts to all her units, but on the whole she's still outclassed by the other COs without fog present. Thankfully, you don't have to use her CO power, and in this game there's actually an advantage to not using it, that being keeping a large CO zone.
- Smart People Play Chess: As befitting the Wolves' strategist, she's overheard playing chess in her head while tutoring Will. Her shining moment in the campaign is titled "Lin's Gambit" to reference her daring ploy to get through Greyfield's navy.
- The Spock: She is the tactician of the Brenner's Wolves, but she thinks more highly of tactical decisions, rather than emotional and ideal decisions (which Brenner or Will usually make).
- The Stoic: "Keep a cool head."
Isabella/Catleia / Lutaria/Lutia
Has no memory of her past. Rescued by Will, she has joined the 12th Battalion — where she dreams of living in peace.
- Awful Truth: She's one of Caulder's clones.
- Damsel in Distress: Repeatedly. Will/Ed saves her no less than three times across the campaign, four times if you include 'giving her a reason to live'.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: After surrendering herself to Caulder to protect Will, and being subjected to the Awful Truth of her origins, she's practically catatonic until Will charges to the rescue.
- Human Hard Drive: Her original purpose, which helps out the heroes on several occasions.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: As far as her CO Zone abilities go, yes. Otherwise....
- Lightning Bruiser: Her CO power, which gives all units +2 movement and +2 range for all indirects. This gets almost ridiculous for battleships, which can both move and fire at once, which gives it a range of up to 14. This is the main reason she is considered overpowered.
- Meaningful Name: In both the PAL and US versions, she names herself after the (plastic, imitation) flower Will gives her early in the game, the Cattleya Isabella, and calls herself Catleia. In the US version, however, Will suggests she goes with the second part of the flower's name, most likely because it's an actual name.
- Ms. Exposition: Fills this role in the campaign, as she is never a playable CO outside the Trial Maps. Her status in multiplayer as an uber CO really places this in perspective, though...
- Mysterious Waif: When she first appears, she is very mysterious and was found by Will. Then she spoke and revealed rather large amount of information, meaning that she is very important in the story and has a connection with Caulder.
- Neutral Female: In the campaign, where she is a CO in exactly none of the maps. Which is a pity, since she'd rock any maps you'd deploy her in.
- Rei Ayanami Expy: Especially noticeable in the JP/EU version, where her language is a lot like Rei's.
- Rescue Romance: With Will.
- Satellite Love Interest: To Will, whom she supports emotionally, and with her broad array of military intelligence on the various forces they encounter, including the IDS. Lin sarcastically lampshades it at one point.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: An early hint that she's connected to Caulder.
The Lazurian Army commander. He was called out of retirement to defend his nation.
- A Day in the Limelight: Makes a brief dialogue appearance in chapter 12, followed in chapter 14 by the one and only time you engage him directly. Killed Off for Real quickly afterwards.
- A Father to His Men: Despises the idea of sacrificing his own troops.
- Climax Boss: Of the campaign's first half.
- Friendly Enemy: Had a very high regard for both Brenner and his father, who he fought and defeated years ago when he was still on active duty. He speaks so highly of him, in fact, that Brenner, somewhat bitterly, notes that, since his own country's higher-ups blamed him for the defeat, apparently "only his enemies saw him for the good man he was."
- Taken Up to Eleven if you enter the tactics screen for Chapter 14 — he gives you advice on beating him.
- Honor Before Reason: Such that when he faced Brenner's father in a notoriously bloody battle in the past, the both of them agreed to a 1-day armistice to bury each side's dead. He also refused to use any of Caulder's weapons.
- Graceful Loser: Surrenders himself and his men peacefully when the time comes. Brenner's superiors, however, are not swayed by this gesture in the slightest.
- Hero Antagonist: It's implied that Rubinelle/Laurenthia actually started the war, so he's only defending his people. He would have been on the protagonists' side if they didn't decide to work with Greyfield (a decision they learn was a mistake).
- Jack-of-All-Stats: No CO Power or specialties, just the biggest damn CO Zone in the game. This in itself is his weakness, as the boosts aren't very strong.
- Quintessential British Gentleman: His American incarnation. The European/Japanese one is just generically honourable.
- Unusual Euphemism: "Good chowder, man!"
- Worthy Opponent: Forsythe refuses to use Caulder's weapons or dishonorable tactics, including those that involve sacrificing his own soldiers, to prevail, and treats his enemies civilly. Greyfield and Waylon have no such reservations.
A Lazurian soldier. He is a man of few words, but a consummate professional.
- Expy: Plays like a mixture of Grit and Drake with focus on artillery and naval units, and has a relationship with Tasha much like Drake/Eagle and Grit/Olaf in AW2.
- Just Following Orders:Gage: Soldiers follow orders, not their hearts. If soldiers acted as they pleased, armies would collapse. We're tools of the government. They tell us what to do, and we—Will: But there IS no government now! I mean, not a real one!Gage: Not my problem.
- The Lancer: To Forsythe and Tasha. Later ends up joining Lin on the 'pragmatic' side of team good.
- Shoot the Dog: Leads the defense against the attacking Worm cultists, since he knows his idealistic comrades might hesitate when it comes to shooting armed "civilians."
- The Stoic: The conversation the above is a snippet from, incidentally, is about as talkative as he is for the whole game.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He never does close that jacket.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Notable for being the only character with odd hair not connected to Caulder.
A Lazurian soldier who burns with the desire to avenge her late brother.
- Ace Pilot: Where Waylon enhances plane defense, she enhances offense.
- Expy: Plays and acts much like Eagle, but with more rage and less arrogance. She's even introduced the same way: flying out of nowhere determined to crush you for unspecified revenge, before eventually realizing that her real target is someone else.
- Fiery Redhead: Redheaded and extremely aggressive.
- It's Personal: She despises New Rubinelle for killing her brother. She has a brief breakdown when she first sees Will, who apparently looks like him.
- Lightning Bruiser: The airborne equivalent of Will, with even higher attack boosts.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Her and Gage are even color-coded.
- Zettai Ryouiki: The rarer version with shorts.
New Rubinelle/New Laurentia
Ambitious and power hungry, he wants to destroy the Lazurian Army and rule the world as its new king.
- Asshole Victim: Once he's defeated for the last time, he's cornered by Lin. Greyfield attempts to surrender to her. Given that he executed Forsythe when the latter was at his mercy, it was fitting for Lin to shoot him in cold blood in the same manner.
- Catch-Phrase: "I'll see you hanged for this!" in the American version.
- Also has a penchant for calling his enemies dogs in the European version.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Most of his boosts are only useful for naval units or aircraft, rendering him one of the less effective COs.
- Devil in Plain Sight: It becomes obvious very fast that he's a bad guy, but everyone picks up on it too late.
- Expy: His CO Power is similar to Jess's in replenishing fuels and ammo, his day to day CO stats are reminiscent of Drake's naval boosts, and character-wise, he's a far crueler Olaf.
- General Ripper: You do not want to get on this guy's bad side. Given that he is more than willing to use his new superweapon when it will kill his own men, staying off his good side might also be recommended. Seriously, if you even come in contact with him, you're screwed.
- Hypocrite: He's a Social Darwinist commander claiming to be the strongest man in the world. In C21, Lin implies that Greyfield actually was a mediocre commander at best and faked the results. And let's not forget himself having the Creeper virus while executing soldiers for having it, something Caulder has fun with by asking if Greyfield will order his own men to execute him as well.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Attempts to use this to defend himself from a pissed-off Lin gunning for him. It doesn't work.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Prior to almost every chapter where he commands the enemy forces, before the protagonists inevitably turn the tables.
- Jerkass: Even when you're on his side, he's this. During Greyfield Strikes, as he fights alongside Brenner against the Lazurian army, he randomly disables a type of unit for a day for seemingly no reason at all.
- Karmic Death: Protip: Trying to pull I Surrender, Suckers on the Anti-Hero you are fighting because you yourself killed people who had surrendered is a bad idea.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- He looks quite a bit like Joseph Stalin, and given his war crimes, this is no doubt intentional.
- He also bears a resemblance to Hermann Goering, and given his massive ego, this was also probably intentional.
- He looks pretty similar to Nicolás Maduro.
- Meaningful Name: The Japanese/European version is named after an almost equally megalomaniac Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire who once famously described himself as "King of the Romans and above grammar" when criticized for speaking poor Latin.
- The Neidermeyer: See above. The guy executes his troops for losing battles.
- Social Darwinist: Believes that the meteors were a test for humanity's strength, and takes advantage of it to prove his power.
- Stone Wall: Provides big defense boosts for naval units and copters, and his CO Power restores all his units to max fuel and ammo. It even restores materials to rigs and aircraft carriers, which is otherwise not possible.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: He used a frakkin' NUKE to take out ONE MAN!!!
- We Have Reserves: Nukes a good part of his own army just to finish off Brenner/O'Brian.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Believes that the good guys would never kill a surrendering foe. He's right in the case of Will and Brenner... but not Lin.
A member of the Rubinelle Army who seeks only to fulfill his own pleasures and desires.
- Ace Pilot: As part of being a foil to Tasha. He focuses more on defense.
- Cool Shades: Never seen without them.
- Dirty Coward: His theme song is titled "Flight of the Coward". It shows in his stats.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Is repeatedly confused by Brenner and Will's desire to help people. He accuses Will that he only helps people because he wants to feel good about himself and get off on feeling better than other people, which backfires.
- Hot-Blooded: "Now hit me! Whooooo!"
- His thrill-seeking antics are so over-the-top that the men in his unit were happy to ditch him in favor of going with Brenner.
- Jerkass: He is very unpleasant and think little of others, only himself. Will is disgusted that he is a soldier like Brenner or the 12th Battalion.
- Jive Turkey: "Why are these Lazurians up in my business?"
- Try to imagine all of Waylon's dialogue in a Good Ol' Boy southerner accent and he becomes even more hilarious. Slightly less so after Forsythe's death.
- This only applies to the American version.
- Laughably Evil: He's initially a Jive Turkey who hams it up in every scene he's in, who doesn't really contribute much to the story. Then this trope is absolutely destroyed once he kills Forsythe in Greyfield's name.
- Mighty Glacier: Tasha's opposite. He boosts the defense of aircraft, which are usually Glass Cannon units.
- Not So Different: Makes this argument to Will, saying that both of them only do things because they want to. Will admits he's right; Waylon acts like a jerk because he wants to, and Will saves lives because he wants to. This wasn't the reaction Waylon desired.
- Only in It for the Money: He wants no part of what he calls Brenner's "charity work", but he's all for living in (relative) luxury as a mercenary for Greyfield.
- Rich Bastard: "One more mission and I can retire to my burned-out mansion!" (This could possibly be a case of Retirony; see What Happened to the Mouse? below.)
- Smug Snake: A total asshole who ducks out whenever his own life is threatened.
- Token Evil Teammate: For a couple of chapters, though in his first appearance, he just sits there and lets Brenner do the dirty work.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After C20, his fate is never revealed. Considering what happens to Greyfield one chapter later, though, the implications are obvious.
Intelligent Defense Systems
The head of the private military contractor IDS. He seeks a world where he is free to carry out his terrible experiments.
- Arms Dealer: Supplies the Beast with his armaments. Also tries to sell some to Forsythe, but gets turned down due to the sheer brutality they'd inflict.
- Big Bad: Of Days of Ruin, supplying and enabling the other villains when not personally confronting the heroes.
- Breaking Speech: About his reasons being "pure", as he wasn't driven by money. He delivers a special one that's almost an Easter Egg if you lose chapter 23:Will: Aaargh... I refuse to...Caulder: Yes, yes. You refuse to abandon anyone. I know this story well. You suffer from a regrettable human affliction...the concern for others. You think this is an admirable trait, but you are mistaken. Excessive empathy is an illness. And I am afraid that both you and Captain Brenner were terminal cases.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: His responsibility in killing Brenner was something normal for him.
- Catch-Phrase: "Fascinating..." in the American version, and to a lesser degree "I am merely curious" in his European incarnation.
- The Chessmaster: His Leitmotif (in both versions) is called "Puppet Master", just in case it wasn't clear. Although it may also be a reference to his heavy use of clones.
- Clone Degeneration: His "children"; also, he himself is a clone of the original... that might explain a few things.
- Dystopia Justifies the Means: He wasn't responsible for the meteors destroying civilization, but he is very happy to see humanity reduced to savagery. He also destroys food production, supplies warmongers, and unleashes the Creeper, which he upgrades to kill even more horrifyingly to make things worse. All For Science!.
- Evil Albino: He has very pale skin, white hair, and pink eyes. Although these traits could be the result of cloning.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Well, he does on some level, but he clearly doesn't regard morality as being important.
- Expendable Clone: "Do you know what it is like to watch yourself die? ...It is FASCINATING!"
- Expy: Caulder resembles Orochimaru a lot. Both are albino mad scientists who enjoy using humans for testing their new experiments and are pursuing eternal life using science (Caulder with cloning and Orochimaru with body switching).
- Final Boss: The last CO to fight in the campaign and one of the hardest COs — he's possibly even more broken than AW2!Sturm.
- For Science!: "Your curiosity comes at the cost of people's lives!"
- Really, he isn't so much motivated by science as he is desiring to come up with ways to cause as much death and suffering as he can, so his motive is For the Evulz.
- Grand Theft Me: His plan for Cyrus.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Original Caulder was killed by his own clone.
- I Lied: A double helping.The Mayor: "Ho there! Where do you think you're going?"Caulder: "I'm sorry. I have an experiment that's about to begin. It involves those remaining soldiers from your battalion."The Mayor: "Wait a second! What do you mean by that!? You said that if we handed over the girl, you would give us what we needed!"Caulder: "Hmm? Oh yes, that. I'm afraid I was lying."The Mayor: B-but...you promised! We gave you the girl! You have to help us! Help me at least! This will not... Not... UUUURRRGGGGHHHH!Caulder: Oh, and that medicine you took was not the antidote. Hello? Can you hear me? Mr. Mayor?" *smirk* ...Fascinating.
- Immortality Seeker: Wants to live forever by cloning himself. His plan eventually backfires on him.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: A white labcoat with a stylized silk collar worn over black form-fitting combat armor.
- Kick the Dog: He created the Creeper.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Him killing the Mayor. It was a double-cross, and the fact that the Mayor didn't see it coming made him all the more deserving of it.
- Knight of Cerebus: Despite his comedic traits, the game does get much more serious the more involved he becomes.
- Lack of Empathy: "What is life? Merely a protein-based mechanism for energy consumption. It is really nothing special."
- He also calls life a "waste of energy".
- Large Ham: He's so cartoony in retrospect that for all that he's actually even crueler than Greyfield, he at least is actually amusing to watch.
- In the PAL version, his hamminess is toned down a lot, making him a much more serious villain.
- Mad Scientist: So much so that the rest of the scientific community cast him out.
- Meaningful Name: Japanese/Europe only. Stolos is an alternate name of Stolas, a demon from the Ars Goetia said to be a keeper of wisdom. Its appearance? An owl◊.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: His CO-Zone gives the largest buff to offense and defense in the game, plus major healing, making allies in it this.
- Obviously Evil: He couldn't more evil if he tried.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: For someone "kicked out of the medical academy", he doesn't exactly limit himself to medicine.
- Purposely Overpowered: In a game where CO powers have been nerfed, he's the one character who's probably stronger than most of the original COs. His only power is his CO-Zone, and that's all he needs. It's 3 by 3 and never changes, and gives any units in it a 60% increase to attack and defense, and heals them by 5 HP (50% max health) every turn.
- They Called Me Mad!: ...and they were right.
- Shoot the Medic First: The main reason why he's such a Game-Breaker is that all units in his (large) CO zone are healed by 5 HP at the beginning of his turn, plus he has Tabitha's monstrous Zone boosts. This, of course, means that destroying the unit he has boarded is a top priority. Considering that it has 180% attack and defense, this is easier said than done.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: "Are you done yet?" (took a bit, though.) Caulder is so proud of his monolouging that at one point he shouts "Do not interrupt!"
- SNK Boss: In addition to his standard CO stats, the one mission he's faced in during the Campaign (and the final mission at that), there are also five deadly laser beams that greatly weaken (but can't kill) anything they aim at, with two cannons that deal the same damage to clusters of troops (that can't be disabled), plus two doors that constantly spit out extra troops. It puts Sturm's last stand in Advance Wars 2 to shame.
- Suspicious Videogame Generosity: In the beginning of the final battle, you have a rather large advantage. Do not be fooled, Caulder is not an Anti-Climax Boss. He's Nintendo Hard.
- Turned Against Their Masters: His backstory that he reveals in the final mission; he's actually one of a unspecified number of clones created by the original Caulder, and he killed his creator and all the others.
- What Is Evil?: Tries it on Will. Given his nature, nobody's fooled.
- Xanatos Gambit: He does a few of these. Justified in that his main motive is curiosity about how humans will behave when thrust into adverse conditions; whatever way they react, he still wins.
The youngest child of Dr. Caulder. Numerous experiments have left her mind permanently shattered.
- Break the Cutie: It is implied that Penny's "slightly" psychotic personality is due to Caulder's experiments on her.
- Companion Cube: Mr. Bear, though this is only present in the NA version.
- Consulting Mister Puppet: Penny does this constantly to Mr. Bear.
- Creepy Child: Lili's leitmotif in the JP/EU version, "Cold-Hearted Doll", lampshades this.
- Expy: Her CO Power makes her similar to Olaf or Drake, as their power can change the weather. The only difference is that she can summon sandstorms as well and she is immune to all weather.
- Giggling Villain: Going along with her Creepy Child vibe.
- Hive Mind: In the epilogue, Penny eerily implies this is somewhat the case with all of her "siblings", as they are "one big system". When each member of her family dies, she exclaims "boom"... except Tabitha, for whom she hesitates.
- Heel–Face Turn: Caulder orders her to crash the Great Owl, which would kill Penny as well as the heroes. Isabella (and according to Penny, Mr. Bear) convince her to not do so.
- Lethal Joke Character: Do not be fooled by her large but weak CO Zone. Her day-to-day power (the only CO with one in this game) is complete immunity to weather effects, regardless of if the units are in her Zone or not. Rain severely limits your vision and brings fog of war, sandstorms reduce attack signficantly, and snow reduces movement. Penny gets three turns of having a huge advantage over you, especially if it rains. And that large Zone helps the CO Gauge build up very quickly, especially while she's still benefiting from the previous use.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's left ambiguous as to how she is able to exploit the weather and interface with Caulder's technology. She could be a Psychic Child, or she may be tied to Caulder's networks through Electronic Telepathy, or she could simply be a broken Child Prodigy able to rapidly calculate projections and manipulate technology by sheer brainpower. Whatever combination of these it is, it's probably a big factor in her strangeness.
- Weather Manipulation: Somehow, as previously mentioned.
Belongs to the private military company IDS. A daughter of Dr. Caulder, she is extremely cruel and vindictive.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Brenner was even more of a random person to her than he was to Caulder himself.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Her abilities are even watered-down versions of her "father's".
- Dark Action Girl: "If you reach for your weapon, she will kill you."
- Death from Above: Her CO Power calls in the Great Owl for an airstrike. In other words, it's Sturm's power. However, with the massive destruction you can already wreak by keeping the gauge full, this attack is more often used as a humiliating Finishing Move.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Her CO Zone is 0, meaning it only applies to the unit she gets into. The fun part? +180% attack and defense to that one unit, making it really damn hard to kill. If you do not smash this unit to bits quickly, and allow Tabitha to build up her gauge (and thus increase the size of her Zone), kiss your tucus goodbye. The only two things keeping Tabitha in check are a glitch that prevents her CO meter from charging when a unit in her zone takes damage, and that outside of her CO boosts she's nothing special.
- The Dragon: The dangerous one of Caulder's children and one of the strongest COs that stands between you and Caulder.
- Karma Houdini: She disappears after her defeat, and some characters speculate she's still around years later, but it's very likely that she is having trouble with being out in the wasteland by herself with none of her "toys" to play with.
- Lack of Empathy: Pretty bad about it.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Her whole game revolves around this.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Disappears after she's defeated in the penultimate mission. Penny claims she can feel what the rest of her family feels, so while she's aware of her father and Cyrus dying, she doesn't know what, if anything, happened to Tabitha.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Verging on white.
The son of Dr. Caulder. He is shown to be most reluctant of Caulder's children.
- Beta Test Baddie: Inverted. He helps the heroes because of the motivation of this trope.
- Redemption Equals Death: Caulder catches him helping the heroes, and he is poisoned for his trouble.
- Token Good Teammate: When Caulder and his children first appear, he tells his father that attacking the 12th Battalion was meaningless. He's the first of Caulder's clones to bite his hand, the second being Penny.
A former soldier, now a leader of Raiders who prey upon the survivors of the now-ruined world. He is the first adversary of the 12th Battalion.
- Blood Knight: As this is any indication.The Beast: Ungaah..my head...so dizzy...Must be the medicine that freak gave me... But it feels good! My blood's on fire. The rage is burning me up! YESSSSS! I am reborn! The Beast will not denied! GRAAAARRR!!! The Beast will hunt! Prepare...to...DIE!
- The Brute: A monster of a man with a preference for frontal assault.
- Climax Boss: Pretty good for only being a Starter Villain and an unplayable CO.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": In the US version, as he's called "The Beast". He forgot his real name, anyway.
- Evil Laugh: "Gwar har har!"
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Like a beast, he preys upon those that cannot defend themselves and he doesn't care. The NA name for his theme is "Wasteland Scourge".
- Sociopathic Soldier: Caulder refers to him as "Sergeant" at one point in the American version, and in the European version, he's Sgt. Drakov. One assumes that the only thing keeping him from being a full-on monster before the world ended was the threat of court martial.
- Starter Villain: However, he lasts 10 missions before finally being killed off.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:Caulder: You served your purpose well, my savage beast. I am quite satisfied. But you are no longer of any use to me. You may continue dying...
Doctor Morris/Doctor Moritz
A doctor and leader of New Wolfington when the 12th Battalion were passing-by. After they defeated the Beast in their raid, he joined the 12th Battalion.
- Hurricane of Puns: Pretty much every time he speaks is this in the American version.
- Lame Pun Reaction: Not many people are amused by his jokes; even his own citizens think his jokes are terrible. He does crack a decent one in the end, or at least to Will.
- Magic Versus Science: Science, all the way. He is baffled that people were gullible enough to believe that they could be cured in Salvation through magic.
- Pungeon Master: The fact that he does it in the worst situations possible doesn't help.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: After a bit (roughly, the post Lin's Gambit difficulty spike), he really only shows up to make others comment that it isn't the right time to make jokes, or to do something scientific.
- The Smart Guy: Aside from Lin, he provides scientific intelligence to the 12th Battalion. He also has some knowledge of the Creeper and the mysterious Dr. Caulder.
A CO from the New Rubinelle Army.
- Bootstrapped Leitmotif: The one time he appears as a CO, he's stuck with The Beast's theme.
- Butt-Monkey: Gets stuck with Greyfield, and trying to prevent Greyfield from nuking his own men to kill Brenner could very well have earned him a Senseless Sacrifice. Finally leaves Greyfield's service due to Greyfield executing troops for having the Creeper, only to have been hit by the Creeper himself. The one time he's involved in battle, he doesn't even get neutral music — he gets stuck with the Beast's theme.
- Dirty Coward: He is a coward who "fights for the winning side."
- Madness Mantra: "Idon'twannadieIdon'twannadieIdon'twannadie!", spoken when he sees symptoms of the Creeper virus on himself during Salvation.
- Token Good Teammate: The only non-Mook in the room where nuking Brenner was planned who didn't cross the Moral Event Horizon at best for it, and is never really involved in any atrocities.
The mayor of a village who is encountered early in the game.
- Asshole Victim: Caulder poisons him.
- Dirty Coward: In a rare non-humorous example.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He is only ever referred to as Mayor.
- Entitled Bastard: Having set himself over the other survivors, he feels it's his right to just feed off the work of others.
- Genre Blindness: He trusts Caulder to keep his word; it goes as well as you'd expect.
- Hate Sink: He is not a very likable guy, as after the Beast was finished, he proposes the soldiers to leave the shelter so his people could live in peace, but even they disagree with it.
- Jerkass: So much so that if Caulder weren't so evil, one might thank him for killing him.
- Karmic Death: He attempts to guarantee his own survival at the cost of everyone else's death by hoarding an antidote instead of letting it be mass-produced. It is very nice to see that the antidote was actually a poison.
- The Quisling: He forces Isabella to go to Caulder in order to save his own skin.
- Slimeball: Everything he does is for personal gain, notably exploiting his position as Mayor to be well-fed and do nothing.
- Straw Civilian: Always blames things on the soldiers helping him, thinking they're responsible for the violence that puts him in danger.
- Too Dumb to Live: That idiot trusts Caulder to give an antidote for the Creeper, displaying both Genre Blindness and a lack of common sense given Caulder's ruthlessness and that he has no reason to keep his word.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Subverted; after meeting Greyfield, he isn't seen for quite a few chapters (players will most likely assume that he stayed at the shelter, given that is pretty much what he wanted), then he pops out of nowhere, apparently having never left.
A strange man who founded a cult in the town of Salvation to worship "The Worm" that may "cure" the Creeper.
- Filler Villain: He has no other role in the story other than to illustrate the fact that many people are desperate for "salvation."
- Human Sacrifice: He claims that The Worm require sacrifices and order a mob to attack the 12th Battalion.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Surprisingly, he is this. The reason why he lied about the Worm was because he wanted to give the infected hope and not let them die in despair. When Will called him out on it, he exclaims that Will is wrong for making them face the reality of the situation.
Unnamed IDS Agent
An interesting IDS agent who appears in Chapter 24.