Video Game / Samurai Warriors
Enjoy the ultimate battle for supremacy in the Warring States Era!
Samurai Warriors is a spinoff of Koei's Dynasty Warriors Hack and Slash, porting the gameplay elements to a new setting: the Sengoku period of Japanese history. The playable scenarios span fifty years of Japanese history, and playable characters include Nobunaga Oda, Ieyasu Tokugawa, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, Yukimura Sanada, Mitsunari Ishida, Musashi Miyamoto, Hanzo Hattori, Kotaro Fuma, and many more. It should be worth noting that each version loosely sticks to a certain time frame and focuses on specific moments: case in point, the first game is all over Nobunaga while the second game's primary focus are the events leading to Sekigahara, and the third appears to try to cover just about everything in-between. Chronicles covers the whole lot, however.

Some of the playable battles:
  • September 10, 1561: The Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima: Takeda vs Uesugi
  • January 25, 1573: Battle of Mikatagahara: Oda vs Takeda
  • June 28, 1575: Battle of Nagashino: Oda vs Takeda
  • June 21, 1582: The Incident at Honnoji; Nobunaga Oda vs Mitsuhide Akechi
  • July 4, 1582: The Battle of Yamazaki: Mitsuhide Akechi vs Toyotomi
  • October 21, 1600: The Battle of Sekigahara: East (Tokugawa) vs West (Ishida)
  • Winter 1614 - Summer 1615: Siege of Osaka Castle: Tokugawa vs Toyotomi
and many, many more

Some scenarios are "What if's," such as Nobunaga surviving Honnoji and uniting Japan, or Hideyoshi faking his death in 1598 and appearing at Sekigahara (both examples are their respective hidden "Dream Stage" battle). In other cases, some of the "Dream Stages" are just for fun, like Tadakatsu taking on all worthy warriors in a champion's tournament or Nohime and Oichi's beauty contest battle (made even funnier if played with the SW2: Xtreme Legends expansion).

The voice acting is goofy at times (witness Hideyoshi declare, "Let's make our enemies beg us for peace!" and badass Tadakatsu Honda's borderline lisp), and the difficulty encompasses downright stupid allied NPC's and enemy officers who love to gang up on you, but you'll learn something about Japanese history; just remember that Tokugawa Ieyasu did not actually fight the Battle of Sekigahara with a spear that shot cannon balls.

The series encompasses:

  • Samurai Warriors / Sengoku Musou (PS2, 2004)
  • Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends / Sengoku Musou Moushouden (PS2, 2004)
  • Samurai Warriors: State of War / Geki Sengoku Musou (PSP, 2005)
  • Samurai Warriors 2 / Sengoku Musou 2 (PS2, X360, 2006)
  • Samurai Warriors 2 Empires / Sengoku Musou 2 (PS2, X360, 2006)
  • Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends / Sengoku Musou 2 Moushouden (PS2, X360, 2006)
  • Samurai Warriors Katana / Sengoku Musou Katana (Wii, 2008)
  • Samurai Warriors 3 / Sengoku Musou 3 (Wii, 2009 [JPN], 2010 [US/EU]. PS3 version coming soon in 2011 [JPN], combining the contents of this and below.)
  • Samurai Warriors 3 Xtreme Legends / Sengoku Musou 3 Moushouden (Wii, 2010 [JPN])
  • Warriors Orochi / Musou Orochi (Dynasty Warriors Crossover; PC, PS2, PSP, X360, 2007)
  • Warriors Orochi 2 / Musou Orochi Maou Sairin (Dynasty Warriors crossover; PS2, X360, 2008)
  • Samurai Warriors Chronicles / Sengoku Musou Chronicle (Nintendo 3DS, 2011)
  • Sengoku Musou 3 Empires (PS3, 2011)
  • Warriors Orochi 3 / Musou Orochi 2 (Dynasty Warriors crossover; PS3, X360, 2012)
  • Sengoku Musou Chronicle 2nd (Nintendo 3DS, 2012)
  • Samurai Warriors 4 / Sengoku Musou 4 (PS3, PS Vita, PS4, 2014)
  • Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 / Sengoku Musou Chronicle 3 (3DS, PS Vita, 2014)
  • Samurai Warriors 4-II / Sengoku Musou 4-II (PS3, PS Vita, PS4, PC, 2015)
  • Samurai Warriors 4 Empires / Sengoku Musou 4 Empires (PS3, PS Vita, PS4 2016)
  • Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada / Sengoku Musou: Sanada-Maru (PS3, PS Vita, PS4, 2017)

See also Sengoku Basara - which is what many say these games would be like on drugs, and Pokémon Conquest which uses the character designs from Samurai Warriors 3. See also Nobunaga's Ambition, which uses the character designs from the series often and it's gameplay is the basis for Pokémon Conquest.

This franchise features the following tropes:

  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Western neophyte players in particular might just be surprised at how much of what's presented in these games is based closely on historical fact. For example, the "star-crossed lovers" arc for Oichi and Nagamasa Azai? Yep, that one's out of Japanese history, as is her death at Shizugatake, albeit the game has her fighting alongside Katsuie Shibata, who was her husband after Nagamasa, instead of committing seppuku with him.
  • Altar Diplomacy: Nagamasa-Oichi and Nobunaga-Noh. Other than them, it's pretty common for the era.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In Chronicles 3, you can have the protagonist wear another playable character's outfit once you get their friendship high enough.
  • Artificial Stupidity: In the 4 games, the horse tends to run circles around you instead of actually coming directly at you if you hold the Call Horse button, meaning you could get halfway to your destination before actually mounting your steed.
  • Artistic Age: For essentially the same reason as the parent series, most of the characters' designs are meant to be either at their prime or at the earliest age they could potentially appear with only a few being older than that. Spirit of Sanada avoids this because the plot actually follows Yukimura and others from infanthood to the day of his death.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Less Awesome but more fun, In SW2, Nene has a skill in which she can transform into any nearby character...even enemy ones. Yes, even those countless mooks you'll probably spend a lot of your time mercilessly butchering.
    • In SW2: Empires, custom characters using the sword, spear, naginata or Nene's moveset can use this skill too.
  • Badass Boast: Chock full of them, like any Warriors game.
    Tadakatsu Honda: I am a man of peerless might!
  • Badass Grandpa: Takeda Shingen, Shimazu Yoshihiro, Hojou Ujiyasu, Mouri Motonari (in 4, at least), and eventually Tokugawa Ieyasu himself at the end of Spirit of Sanada. There's even "elderly" type generic officer.
  • Bittersweet Ending: All throughout the series, but 4 in particular highlights it. Since in that iteration there are no "what-if" or "alternate history" scenarios, everyone meets their end accordingly. Playing the Western Army during Sekigahara is arguably the harshest of the moments.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Games that depict Yukimura Sanada taking part in the Siege of Osaka tend to end with him making a final headlong charge at Tokugawa's army, as he did according to legend.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • All of the gun-type weapons have unlimited ammunition and don't need to be reloaded manually by the player (but there is a token effort at animating reloads during combos). Generic NPC riflemen reload between shots, though.
    • It's worse with Masamune Date, because he can rapidfire his pistol, spraying waves with his Musou.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The DLC weapons in 4 are more powerful than the ultimate weapons and while those are difficult and often confusing to obtain all you have to do for the DLC ones is navigate a menu. The mounts, while not quite as strong as Matsukaze, also have better stats than the majority available otherwise.
  • Camera Abuse: In pre-rendered cutscenes, specially the first one of Oda or Noh, you can see blood splatter on the camera.
    • In the fourth game, Mitsuhide and Magoichi's True Musou attacks involves them slashing/shooting at the screen, shattering it.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: While it's understandable that a game that revolves around battles fought in feudal times would have an overwhelmingly male cast, there's no reason for so many of them to be so damn pretty. The first had a few pretty boys, but by the fourth game, it's taken to an extreme. On the other hand, unlike Dynasty Warriors characters, this might be justified with the fact that, some Samurai Warriors characters historically did gain fame when they're still considerably young, and this is sometimes stated in the game's story.
  • Catch Phrase: The characters' personal variations of "Enemy Officer Defeated".
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Starting from 2, scenarios about Nobunaga's conflict against the Ikko-Ikki sect in Ise Nagashima is removed altogether to tone down Nobunaga's former Evil Overlord looks. As a result, Honganji Kennyo is never mentioned or even be featured as an NPC again in future SW games.
  • Counter Attack:
    • The special move of several characters has them briefly enter a defensive stance from which they will automatically dodge and retaliate if hit.
    • The simplest way to trigger a Mighty Strike in 4 is to block the officer's attacks with perfect timing.
  • Crossover: Pokémon Conquest, in the sense that the character designs for the Warlord cast — Nobunaga, Oichi, Mitsuhide, Shingen, Kenshin, etc. — are all lifted directly from Samurai Warriors 3.
  • Critical Annoyance: Whenever an officer is just knocked down but barely took a scratch damage.
    Hideyoshi Toyotomi: Gah! Where are my reinforcements!
    Ginchyo Tachibana: Don't waver! The Tachibana will not be beaten!
  • Critical Existence Failure: Every CPU-controlled officer is this. It's even worse if your side's morale is too low or if they are generic officers.
  • Dark Reprise: The final stage of Chronicles, the Osaka Summer Campaign, features a melancholy remix of the main theme, fittingly titled "Grief".
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Chronicles depicts Kanetsugu joining Masamune Date as this, following the Battle of Hasedo. Expecting to be executed, Kanetsugu is instead surprised by an offer to join his enemy, who recognizes his great skill and potential.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Hideyoshi's 'One-day Castle' song back in the first game (in Siege of Inabayama) is this:
    ''Beeeehold the castle, that is built in just one day!
    What genius could have done this, you say?
    It's Hideyoshi, Hideyoshi we praise!
    Who built the castle in just one day, wheee!
    It's Hideyoshi, Hideyoshi we praise!
    He built a castle in just one day!!
  • Desperation Attack: In most games, the health bar changes colors depending on how much health is left, with red being the lowest and an indication the player will die soon if further damage is sustained. When a character's health bar reaches the "danger zone", they can use a "True Musou Attack", which is more powerful than a normal one and has the fire element attached. The Musou Gauge also charges gradually while HP is low.
  • Double Jump: The ninja characters have this ability. Since SW is hardly a platforming-oriented series, its main use is to allow the player access to certain "ninja paths" that are too high up for most characters, which can significantly aid mobility in a few missions.
  • Double Meaning Title: The 'II' in Samurai Warriors 4-II both refers to it being the second iteration of Samurai Warriors 4, and to Naomasa Ii (spelled with an upper case and lower case 'i'), the sole new character for the game.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The first game had castle stages where you play your character alone without allies. Depending on your perspective, this might not be a bad thing, and actually offer a fresh challenge, but as it proved divisive it was cut from subsequent entries although it's available in Challenge Mode for some later games.
    • The first game also gave all characters a ranged attack with unlimited ammunition. Most characters used bows while Goemon used his Backpack Cannon and Magoichi used his musket. Fulfilling certain conditions in the Edit Officer Training Mode granted Edit Officers the ability to use a musket too, but only for ranged attacks. This was completely dropped starting in Samurai Warriors 2 and replaced by the special stances.
    • The first Empires expansion, Samurai Warriors 2: Empires, is a meta example: while there's nothing especially strange within the game itself, it was released before 2's Xtreme Legends, which is the opposite of how it's usually been done.
    • In the first game, if you stayed on a certain stage for a while, you could see the stage gradually change from day to night. One good example of this is Okuni's stage Dance Of Ise.
  • Elaborate Equals Effective: Played straight with the various weapons.
  • Escort Mission: Hampered by bad AI, par for the course with any others.
    • Particularly noticeable in the first game if playing on the Oda side at Honnouji as anyone except Nobunaga, as when he's a NPC he absolutely insists on killing any and all enemy peons in the way instead of high-tailing it to the escape point.
    • Chronicles gives the player options for making these significantly easier or harder; when you can play as the character you're supposed to be escorting, you can avoid all enemies and run to the objective. The same applies when the objective is for the character to escape the battlefield, but this has the downside of giving you one less playable character for the rest of the mission.
  • Family Theme Naming: Many famous clans named their members with certain theme naming. 'Yuki' for Sanada (Masayuki, Yukimura, Nobuyuki), 'Tada' for Honda (Tadakatsu, Tadatomo), 'Hide' for Toyotomi (Hideyoshi, Hideyori), 'Nobu' for Oda (Nobunaga, Nobutada), 'Chika' for Chosokabe (Motochika, Morichika, Nobuchika), 'Moto' for Mouri (Motonari, Takamoto, Terumoto, Hidemoto), 'Kage' for Uesugi (Kagetoranote , Kagekatsu), 'Uji' for Hojou (Ujiyasu, Ujimasa, Ujinao), 'Mune' for Date (Masamune, Terumune, Hidemune), and the list goes on!
  • Fanservice: Since second game, almost every female character is attractive and many of them have revealing outfits.
  • Flanderization: Par for the course with Koei and expanding character rosters.
  • Gaiden Game: Following up with Sengoku Basara giving a Gaiden Game for Sanada Yukimura, Koei Tecmo did the same with Spirit of Sanada, even adding in Yukimura's father, Sanada Masayuki.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Playable characters can be unlocked for use as subofficers, albeit only useable one at a time. This makes it very possible to be say, fighting against Ranmaru Mori alongside Ranmaru Mori .
  • Grey and Grey Morality: A lot of the time. While some forces stand for loftier virtues than others, few, if any of them can be said to be squarely good or evil. The Oda vs Akechi incident is one of best ever-present examples; while Mitsuhide is presented as the more moral party, he commits his coup on the eve of unification and has to fight and slay his friends and comrades, including sympathetic characters such as Ranmaru and Oichi, in his quest to kill his lord. Particularly emphasized in the first game where Mitsuhide found himself having to suppress recalcitrant peasants by force - the same sort of behaviour he rebelled against Nobunaga for.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • Getting your ultimate weapons. All of them involve doing very difficult things at very specific points in the battle on Hard or greater difficulty. And there's no hint whatsoever in the game itself about what you're supposed to do.
    • 3 is a bit better about this: you just have to complete every (usually optional) tactical advantage objective in a certain battle on Hard or above. Which battle is still guesswork, however.
    • In Chronicles the fourth weapon will be granted after completion of a mission with a gold background. It will almost always be in a mission of particular significance to the character, such as "Chaos in Iga" for Hanzo and the Conquest of Odawara for Hideyoshi. If a character is only playable (prior to being unlocked) in a single mission, such as Okehazama for Oichi, that's probably where the weapon is. Sometimes the hidden requirements for the gold mission are obvious - if a mission pop up says "Don't let any allied officers die!" that's a helpful clue. Others - such as claiming all strongholds - are not.
  • Grapple Move: Some characters have grab moves in their movesets, like Nene's unblockable Spinning Pile Driver grab move (though it's pretty weak). The Grabs' main advantage is that they are unblockable, with the obvious disadvantage of being rather hard to aim due to the combat being done in three dimensions.
    • To note, this was no doubt carried over from its sister series Dynasty Warriors via its fourth installment, where it wasn't that refined (though it was revolutionary but soon removed). The second installment of Samurai Warriors managed to bring this mechanic back and improved upon it massively for the whole Musou Warriors franchise onwards.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: Mitsunari's last scene in 4.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Like in Dynasty Warriors, you get better weapon/item drops in all of the games and increased stat gain in the first game.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Most of the cast. Granted, some of those ancient warriors were actually pretty badass on their own....
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: A rather surprising treatment of Nobunaga Oda from the second game on (for certain values of hero, anyway).
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Kotaro Fuma may not have been a nice man, but he certainly wasn't a chaos-worshiping Troll in real life. It's averted, on the other hand, with Chronicle 2nd newcomer Munenori Yagyu. He's been a victim of the trope so many times (especially Onimusha), but for his debut, he's a willing supporter of the Tokugawa clan's efforts to end the war, and is all around a just, virtuous, badass swordsman. The fourth game, on the other hand, zig-zag this. Munenori is first seen hanging around with Matsunaga Hisahide, but only does so because he's bound by his code of honor to repay those who helped him, and apparently Hisahide did, so he became his Noble Top Enforcer. Once Hisahide bit the dust, eventually Munenori ended up in the services of Tokugawa and remains a helpful person to his fellow retainers. But considering Koei's tendencies to put the Tokugawa as the antagonists for their poster boy Yukimura, Munenori would eventually play an antagonistic role, but thankfully, right now he's at worst a Type IV Anti-Villain.
  • Hit Stop: The action slows significantly for dramatic reasons whenever an objective officer is defeated.
  • Holler Button: The ability to summon a horse. If you don't have one, a generic one will appear. This was originally exclusive to Keiji, Yukimura and Toshiie, but the third installment made it universal. In Chronicles, this ability is exclusive to the Green character, which is always the Player Character by default.
  • Hourglass Hottie: Like Dynasty Warriors, every female character is this.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • Yoshimoto Imagawa kicks a kemari (ancient oriental soccer ball) in almost all of his moves. His main weapon is a simple cutlass/sabre though. Oichi uses a Kendama (child's puzzle toy) in her first appearances, but from the third game on, she switches to a bunch of barbed chakrams. Shingen Takeda uses a fan. That one did actually occur historically, although only once, in a single incident.
    • Oichi's case is explained in the interlude, where it clearly states she took ahold of the first thing she could find to use as a weapon. And her weapon behaves like a MACE.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Surprisingly few characters use a katana, actually, but those who do wield them to great effect.
  • Key Stone Army: Scripted twists (such as body doubles and dramatic entrances) aside, as soon as the commander of the opposing force retreats clutching his side/keels over dramatically, the rest of his army beats it regardless of numbers. Of course, with how many of them you were likely cutting down before defeating the commander, it's amazing they wait that long to get out of your sight.
    • On a smaller scale, the defeat of an officer or captain prompts most of enemies around them to flee unless the difficulty is set on Chaos.
  • Limit Break: In 4, using a Musou Attack while Rage is active results in the devastating Musou Frenzy.
  • Leeroy Jenkins:
    • If you're not the one Leeroy-ing into the crowd, expect one or more of the AI-controlled officers to charge recklessly and then necessitate you bailing them out. There are even a few stages that penalize you for getting ahead of yourself. Chronicles has several missions that are only accessible through doing this, such as the mission to kill Asakura at the start of Kanegasaki (once he starts marching, killing him is the only requirement to complete the scenario, not any specific objective).
    • And a very unusual case of the game forcing you into one: at the end of Yukimura's story mode, he decides the final battle a lost cause, the game invalidates the defeat conditions and declares everyone but you expendable, a path straight to the enemy camp (but swimming in enemy soldiers) opens up, and in SW3 your items are disabled. Why push you down the road of a totally reckless charge? Because historically, he actually did that.
    • Nagamasa Azai, Battle of Anegawa. Even if he is exhausted, he will continue pressing the attack until he is forced to retreat or he forces nobunaga Oda to retreat.
    Nagamasa Azai: "This is it. This will be my final attack!"
    • Nene's Dream, Melee at Sekigahara. even with Okuni and Hideaki Kobayakawa on your side, you STILL end up doing most of the fighting.
  • Love Across Battlelines: Oichi and Nagamasa in some scenarios.
  • Morale Mechanic: The series eats and breathes morale. Morale determines who wins the battles when you're not in the area, and can make enemies harder to fight if they have a lot of it. You can reduce overall enemy morale and raise your own by killing troops, defeating enemies, and activating (or preventing) certain events. To take it even farther, individual troops have their own morale. Killing a troops leader causes him to run off. Defeating an officer has the potential of making everyone run.
  • Mood Whiplash: Two immediate cutscenes post-Odawara in 4. First cutscene has Lady Hayakawa and Kai mourning Ujiyasu's death. Second cutscene has... Hideyoshi celebrating his achievement in uniting Japan by throwing a lavish picnic, complete with silly dancing.
  • Mook Chivalry: Besides stat boosts to enemies: the intensity of this factor is what differentiates the various difficulty levels the most: on Easy groups of enemy soldiers will barely attack you for scratch damage and flee if you so much as look at them. in Chaos mode, not only do all of them rush you, but they can stagger you even when outside of the Power Zone.
  • Mook Maker: Strongholds serve this function, providing reinforcement troops to whoever holds them. They change hands whenever the other side kills the Guard Captain unit defending them.
  • Moving the Goalposts:
    • Tachibana (of all people) pulls this on you in the third-to-last normal mission in katana. Never mind that the part up to it is a bit of a Guide Dang It as to how you're supposed to strafe, no, she wants you to defeat 30-ish enemies without any attack successfully landing on you. The enemies do include Kunai-throwing ninjas. Fortunately, she doesn't make you fight her without taking damage, saving it from becoming That One Level.
    • More generally, this will sometimes happen in the main games, where you defeat the enemy commander only for reinforcements to arrive at that very moment and the stage's goal change to defeating their leader.
  • Multishot: Several characters have this capacity, such as Motonari Mori with his wrist-mounted crossbow.
  • Name Order Confusion: For some reason, the localized versions of the games use the Western name order (given name first, family name last), despite the game taking place BEFORE the Meiji Restoration. This is particularly jarring in the entries that aren't dubbed, as the way the name is presented in the dialogue box contradicts the voice track.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Justified as it's (mostly) based on historical events in 1500s Japan.
  • Ninja: Kunoichi, Hanzo, Kotaro, and Nene. There are also ninja mooks.
  • Off Model: A custom warrior using a moveset with a unique mounting animation can result in very obvious clipping into a horse's back if the models are of different size.
  • The Power of Friendship: Naoe Kanetsugu goes on at length about it. Several characters tell him to shut up.
  • Power Up Motif: In 4, when you use Ultimate Musou (a musou attack you use while you're in "Musou Gokui" or "Rage Attack" state), there's an audio motif that very briefly overrides the current stage's theme music for several seconds.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: As standard for a Warriors game, used for full effect during True Musou attacks.
  • Pretty in Mink: Some of the clothing options (at least for original characters) include a cape and hat trimmed with white fur.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: Samurai Warriors Katana for the Wii which is this but with a Kantana (or others).
  • Redshirt Army: Pretty much who you fight save for the occasional officers, most of which end up as merely Elite Mooks at best.
  • Relationship Values: In the Chronicles games and Chronicle Mode of 4, you grow closer to the various characters as you fight alongside them and view their relationship events.
  • Sarashi: SW3 provides this in the form of the female Create a Warrior model who can have half a kimono top and a sarashi.
  • Scary Impractical Armor: A staple somewhat given this is common with the Warriors series in general. Naomasa Ii in Samurai Warriors 4-II is notable in that, while his helmet contains very tall and impractical vertical spires, said spires are less ridiculous than most depictions of his helmet.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Many battles will have this occur when it turns against one side and the commander decides it's time to retreat. Once you beat the enemy commander, all remaining generic characters on that side will immediately panic and run for the nearest spawn area.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: Ginchiyo Tachibana. All her weapons are barbed katana with a lightning motif.
  • Shout-Out: In the first game, Mitsuhide is ambushed in his first path's penultimate level, Yamazaki, by a raid of peasant warriors seeking to avenge Nobunaga's murder; killing them fulfills an objective. The real-life Mitsuhide's generally accepted cause of death was being slain by a peasant warrior in the same battle.
  • Stat Grinding: In addition to the standard experience-based leveling system, 4 gives each character proficiency ranks in normal attacks, power attacks, hyper attacks, and special skills that rise as the character performs the actions in question and increase their effectiveness.
  • Straight for the Commander: Frequently a viable means of finishing a scenario immediately. In Chronicles it's the only practical means of getting all friendship events due to the sheer number of them available.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Hanzo wields a Kusarigama in battle. Other ninjas include Kunoichi and Nene (daggers) and Kotaro Fuuma (clawed gauntlets).
  • Super Mode: Rage mode in 4 gives the user a huge power boost and makes them completely invincible for the duration of the effect, at the cost of the entire Spirit Gauge.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: 3 features cut-in portraits for characters using True Musou attacks. 4 features more traditional zoom-ins for Musou and True Musou attacks while reserving the cut-in portraits for activating Rage Mode.
  • Sword and Gun: After 1, Masamune Date uses a pair of flintlock pistols in conjunction with a cutlass. In addition, the male player character in the Chronicles games uses a large katana in conjunction with a rifle. This moveset was carried over into 4 as one of the default weapons for custom characters.
  • Theme Music Power-Up:
    • Tadakatsu, following in Lu Bu's tradition.
    • That specific example aside, it's also common throughout the series for a Triumphant Reprise to kick in when victory is near.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • Some requests in Survival Mode contain stealth missions. Also, Sugoroku.
    • Magoichi occasionally has sniping missions.
    • Cannoneering sub-missions in the third game.
  • Variable Mix: Several stages in 4 have music that seamlessly fades from a low-key version to the full song and vice-versa. The game also features filters that are used according to the status of the player (Ex.: A low-pass at low health).
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: This fluctuates with each game, but it keeps certain points very much intact - namely the deaths of Nobunaga, Mitsuhide, and Hideyoshi are always kept at when they're supposed to be, unless you're playing as them.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Most games in the series allow the player to make their own custom Edit Characters. The options for them are rather restricted until SW4, which uses a similar character creation system to Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires, allowing players great control over the appearance of their characters and choice of whichever weapon they want (except for Kotaro's gauntlets).
  • Weaponized Ball: Oichi has her Epic Flail kendama, Kanbei's Energy Balls, and Yoshimoto's kemari ball.
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: Even though the loss condition in many stages is stated to be the defeat of another allied commander than yours, you also lose the battle if your own player character loses all their health. Justified for most of the series, since emptying your health bar is a standard for defeat and you make the most impact in a battle. However, this is played somewhat straight in 4 and 4-II, as you can use two playable characters instead of just one and lose automatically when only one of them loses all of their health, even if defeated units generally retreat rather than die.
  • What If?: Chronicles 3's story will branch into hypothetical scenarios if certain conditions are met, such as "What if Yoshimoto survived the Battle of Okehazama?", or "What if Shingen didn't die on the way to the capital?"
  • World of Badass: Par for the course for a Koei game.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: There are hundreds of generic NPC officers with nothing but names to differentiate them.