Announced in December 2011, released on March 17th, 2012 in Japan, June 18th, 2012 in North America, June 21st, 2012 in Australia and July 27th, 2012 in Europe, franchise giant Pokémoncrosses over with, of all things, Nobunaga's Ambition, a real-time strategy series known to Japan more than America—and yet, it still got a release there.The game is set in the fictional region of Ransei, where warriors fight alongside Pokémon. You play as a young person who befriends an Eevee and has recently become the Warlord (leader) of a kingdom named Aurora. Legend states that he (or she) who conquers all of Ransei will unleash the Legendary Pokemon that created it. You must race to conquer all the other kingdoms before a Warlord named Nobunaga can, or else he will destroy the region.There is a six-chapter manga adaptation named Pokémon + Nobunaga's Ambition: Ranse Picture Scroll that began on March 16, 2012 and is hosted on Niconico Seiga.Has a character sheet
This game provides examples of:
Adaptation Dye Job: Mori Motonari was given green hair, fitting to the Grass theme he was also given.
Anachronism Stew: Is this Feudal Japan with things from the more modern Pokémon games, or modern times with an inexplicably Feudal culture? The game seems to imply the latter, but either way, it's a baffling mix.
Mewtwo's a genetic experiment. What's he doing in feudal Japan?
The clothing style of some of the Warlords. Sun visors probably weren't a standard in Japanese fashion back then. Ditto Masanori with his KaminaShades, and Gracia's top hat.
Violight, period. It's practically a feudal Japanese power plant.
Valora, best described as a feudal Japanese assembly line. With security cameras and automated cranes.
Oh, and if you command a Warlord to move to a non-adjacent nation, they travel by blimp.
There are also several obvious computer monitors in the Bank, seen in the background when interacting with its shopkeeper.
When Keiji's Warrior Skill is activated his dialogue comes up 'Set your faces to stunned!' Pretty funny, but then you realise that this samurai warrior from Sengoku Period pre-unification Japan has just made a Star Trek reference.
Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Although each Warrior can form Links with multiple Pokemon, you can only take one Mon (per Warrior) into battle at a time.
Artificial Brilliance: The AI makes some smart tactical moves, including going after weaker Pokémon first, exploiting super-effective elements, hitting multiple targets simultaneously (and/or avoiding friendly-fire), and good use of Warlord Powers. It also knows to utilize/avoid certain arena elements like warp portals, the wandering ghost flames in Spectra or the elemental nodes in Dragnor. On the other hand....
Artificial Stupidity: The AI's strategic game isn't so impressive. It doesn't seem able to plan out an overall battle strategy or combat formation (e.g. setting up defensive choke points to limit who can attack whom) or reposition its Mons if they become trapped in a cluster.
Except for the initial castle battles against Motochika and Nobunaga (who wait for you to approach them before they start doing anything), enemy AI will never attempt to play defensively or run out the clock if they have Pokemon capable of inflicting some damage on you. This may be justified, however, since otherwise certain nations (Avia with its jump pads and Nixtorm with its Frictionless Ice) could be nearly impossible to defeat.
During banner battles, the AI will usually refuse to move away from a banner it has claimed, even if doing so can allow it to KO a nearby opponent with a supereffective move. Even if it's the only Pokemon remaining on the field, it will usually stay underneath the banner rather than try to move about and claim the rest.
The AI doesn't seem able to navigate the large Frictionless Ice field in Nixtorm; if one of its Pokemon can't cross it in a few turns, it will generally just sit in place rather than attempting to find an alternate path around.
When the AI does launch an attack, it does so based on having an overall "strength" number greater than the defending nation's, rather than such factors as mobility or typing. This can lead to situations where a Kingdom defended by Steel types will be attack by a force of almost nothing but Poison Types, which cannot damage them.
Pokemon will continue to use moves that have no affect on their target due to abilities. This can lead to a Rhydon continually using Bulldoze on a Misdreavus with levitate or a Emolga using Volt Switch on a Blitzle with Lighteningrod.
Awesome, but Impractical: Much like the main series, many powerful moves have lower accuracy or negative side effects when compared to weaker moves. For example, Rhyperior's "Rock Wrecker" cannot be used two consecutive turns in a row but the game doesn't explain whynote (It's the Rock version of "Hyper Beam", which requires a turn for the user to recharge). Many of these show up after Pokemon evolution - see Power-Up Letdown for more examples.
100% Link. Reaching 100% link with a Pokémon (which is only possible with each Warlord's Perfect Link Pokémon) removes any negative effects of their Pokémon's move. However, getting to 100% link requires an awful lot of level grinding, and unless you purposefully drag on the campaign for years, the enemy will never get strong enough to make your perfect Pokémon actually required.
Perfect links, on several cases. Since getting to max link percentage is never required, you're actually better getting a good pokémon with type affinity with the Warlord than getting their perfect link. A very good example is Yoshimoto, who is a useless Joke Character with his perfect link Forretress, but is surprisingly strong if given a Scizor.
Bag of Spilling: Your link level and finances are reset to the default in every post-game episode; likewise with any upgraded locations in your kingdoms. You do at least get to keep your actual Pokemon (including evolved Pokemon), though (see Disc One Nuke below).
You actually lose any item that is not sold by the traveling merchant upon completing a campaign.
Among the Warlords accompanying Nobunaga in the final battle is his wife No.
Ginchiyo and Muneshige Tachibana defend Violight much earlier.
Nene and Hideyoshi in Viperia too.
The male protagonist and Oichi, if you subscribe to the theory that he's Azai Nagamasa.
Belligerent Sexual Tension: Despite being together, Ginchiyo and Muneshige have shown signs of this, especially during Ginchiyo's story.
To get either of them to promote to their higher rank, you need to have both of them in your army, but they can't even be in adjoining nations, much less the same nation. Make of this what you will.
Big Fun: Takeda Shingen and his two Pokémon of choice.
Blessed with Suck: Ranged attacks can hit multiple enemies at once and from far away, but inevitably the problem is going to come up that you can't attack because you'll hit someone you don't want to hit, like an enemy Warlord's Pokémon you want to knock out with your own Warlord's Pokémon to recruit them, or even one of your own team. There's also two types of moves, some hit all squares in front, some hit one square one or two tiles away. In the case of the latter, this can result in situations where the opponent is too close to be hit and the terrain won't allow you to move in such a way to get them in range, and also allows the possibility of being surrounded and dying by Death of a Thousand Cuts as they're unable to fight back against weaker enemies solely due to their range being too high.
Blinding Bangs: Motochika and one of the generic ninja warrior designs. Subverted with Masamune, who has the eye-covering bangs, but they cover an Eyepatch of Power rather than an eye.
Blown Across the Room: There are moves that knock a Pokemon back one square when hit with them. There's an ability, Thrust, which causes all moves to knock the target back a square. If you get both on the same Pokemon, this trope is often the result.
Boring, but Practical: Overlapping with one of the game's Disc One Nuke options as described below, the unevolved Dragon-types all have Dragon Rage which always does 40 damage, but is very inaccurate. Enter the many Warriors with Marksman or Eagle Eye as their ability, giving them three turns of raised accuracy. Get such a Warrior a Dragon-type, and in any story where you're fortunate enough to be able to recruit them early-on, they can obliterate a lot of the competition by just firing off their ability and attacking with 100% accurate Dragon Rages.
Bragging Rights Reward: The hero's final form. You have to finish everything in the game that involves him or her before you unlock it, although it does make repeat runs through the final scenario a little easier.
Most Warlord evolutions. With the time you would have to drag on the campaigns to evolve them, you could clear several episodes.
Brutal Bonus Level: Some of the special episodes are significantly harder than the main game. For example, the fact that Mitsunari starts out with a powerful Scizor makes his episode fairly easy ... but it also means Kiyomasa and Masanori's episodes (where Mitsunari is an opponent) are that much more difficult.
If you don't use the Game Breaker exploit with Guardian Charms, the final episode qualifies. The enemy Warlords are in their evolved forms, with their Perfect Link pokémon at a much higher level than the rest of the army. If you do use the Guardian Charms, however, the final episode is actually easier than the first chapter.
Each Warlord has their own color on the map screen.
Color-Coded Elements: Each "element" is assigned a different color, and you can which Pokémon has which element(s) from a glance at their small status window. It also comes in handy identifying the element of the nodes in Dragnor.
Convection Schmonvection: Non-Fire-type Pokémon, and humans for that matter, are certainly pretty fine with battling in the middle of a volcano.
Cowboy Bebop At His Computer: The official site for Pokémon Conquest gets details wrong, especially concerning the names of some nations. For example, Aurora gets called Primus, and Greenleaf gets called both Arbora and Sylvan. This may be the result of localized names being changed and the website's usage being left and forgotten.
Critical Status Buff: Several abilities (Blaze, Overgrow, etc.) from the main series up attack power when the user is low on HP, but there are new abilities that do the same here, such as "Spirit" which restores HP and increases Attack when the user's HP runs low (but only once), and "Last Bastion" which increases Attack and Defense if the user is the last Mon standing.
The Guardian Charm item increases your stats by 250% and increase your move range by 1, provided the pokémon equipping the item is the last survivor of your army. Of course, this doesn't stop you from bringing only one pokémon to the battle and having the massive boost from the start.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: During the main story, when you challenge either Kenshin or Shingen to battle, they claim you are not strong enough and send you back home disappointed ... only to send their subordinates to attack you! To be fair, this is part test-of-character and part Level Grinding for your upcoming battle in their home turf. Surprisingly enough, it's also based on historical fact (for Kenshin at least, who anticipated Shingen drawing his army out of his forward base into an ambush, so he abandoned the base and counterattacked Shingen's undefended headquarters.)
And on that note, when you conquer a new kingdom, this tends to leave your previous kingdom sparsely defended (if at all), making it easy pickings for other Warlords. Expect to see the same territory changing hands a lot during postgame episodes because of this.
Darker and Edgier: To the Pokémon side of the crossover's usual fare, anyway. Not as much as one would expect of such a crossover, though.
A Day in the Limelight: Most of the Warlords get special episodes focusing on them after the main story is completed.
Defector from Decadence: Averted; Warlords loyal to Nobunaga's army cannot be recruited in the main story. You'll have to wait for the special episodes before you can recruit or play them.
This also applies, to a lesser extent, in the postgame episodes: If your opponent posesses more than one territory, they will simply retreat and/or dismiss their warriors after you take the castle from them. Only when you conquer their last territory do you get the opportunity to recruit them.
Note that any Warrior with a Magikarp, Abra, or Munna is incapable of actually damaging you, automatically fulfilling the second requirement when you KO them.
Designated Girl Fight: The majority of the female Warriors' special episodes center around a contest to determine "Ransei's Greatest Beauty", where the only available Warriors (generic warriors included) are females. And Ranmaru.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Every battle is a Timed Mission (10 turns for generic field battles, 15-25 turns for castle battles), and if the clock expires the "defender" wins by default. This may feel like The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard during the main story ... until you have to defend a nation, where the time limit is imposed on your attackers. Even if you can't actually KO your opponents, you may be able to Hold the Line until the clock runs out and win by default. (However, note that just as you always moved first when attacking a castle, when defending a castle, your opponents move first.)
And they knew people would screw up mid-battle and want to retry halfway through, so you can go straight to the title screen from the battle pause menu!
Difficulty Spike: Right after Fontaine. Another one on reaching Valora, Spectra, and Nixtorm.
In the side stories, once you conquer about half of the available territories, your opponents will take notice, and their armies will recevie a sudden jump in experience to match yours, usually with them attacking you on the following turn.
Disc One Nuke: All unevolved Dragon-type Pokemon (Dratini, Gible, Axew, Deino) feature "Dragon Rage", which like the main series always inflicts exactly 40 damage regardless of target, making it a One-Hit Kill for low level Pokemon. And with the high number of post-game chapters, you will have a lot of chances to use it.
Nagayasa and his Bidoof. Yes, Bidoof. It has Simple, but his Warrior Ability boosts attack power. Combined, that Bidoof can hit for 60 HP easily for three turns.
Although your Link level with your Pokemon is reset when starting any of the postgame side stories, Pokemon/Warrior evolution is not, meaning that you typically start side stories with fully-evolved Pokemon at your disposal while your opponents must start from scratch. This is maintained with every warrior you recruit in the side stories: They may be using one Pokemon on the field, but once you recruit them, all their old Pokemon are intact.
Beedrill comes pre-evolved on several wandering Warriors. It has Twinneedle, which hits two squares in front of it, does decent damage, might inflict poison, and they often have the Vanguard ability for a power boost if they move first on your turn. Once your other Pokémon start evolving, just like in the main series, Beedrill will quickly be outclassed and left at home.
Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: All 17 types from the main series and the interactions between them are faithfully reproduced here, including immunities (e.g. Electric vs. Ground) and double weaknesses/resistances (e.g. Grass vs. Water/Ground).
You get to use Arceus for the final battle with Nobunaga.
The hero's ultimate form isn't available until all of the senior warlord episodes are complete, thus unlocking his or her own special episode, making this something like a five minutes to midnight super power.
Another example is choosing to evolve your Eevee into Glaceon. To do so, you need to use it in Nixtorm... the last nation before the final battle. As a tradeoff, you'll be super-effective against all of Nobunaga's Dragon-type Pokémon.
Empathy Pet: Pokémon owned by important characters tend to mimic their Warlord's animations in cutscenes.
Excuse Plot: A rare in-universe example! There's an old legend in Ransei that the Legendary Pokémon will appear to whoever owns all 17 castles. Thus, all the nations have an excuse to invade each other....
Expy: Sorin, one of the Warriors that accompanies Ginchiyo when you first battle Violight bears a certain resemblance to C. Viper: They both have a similar appearance (although Viper wears tinted shades rather than Sorin's Meganekko glasses), both have a 'Stop wasting my time, loser' demeanour in battle and both have a very similar pose with their gloves. One of Viper's Special Attacks is an electrified punch - Sorin comes from Violight, Ransei's Electric-type district.
The warrior design in question is a generic one and appears in other places as other Warriors - Sorin is just a good example.
Extended Gameplay: Zigzagged. You're typically locked out of playing your hero again after finishing the main game because the episodes star other Warlords.
Extreme Omnivore: Bug Bite will eat ANY consumable item in this game, not just Berries. This includes Potions, status healers and some headbands...
For Massive Damage: Unlike the main series, this game shows the actual damage numbers for every attack that hits in battle, so you can tell exactly how badly your supereffective attacks KO an opponent.
Four is Death: Referenced and invoked, during post-main game stories, once you have more than four Warlords aside from your leader in your army, there will be a cutscene where you appoint four of them as the Guardians of your army, assigning each of them a title from Power, Wisdom, Charisma, and Intelligence. As a bonus for this, the four will never abandon your army no matter what.
Free-Range Children: Mitsunari, Kiyomasa and Masanori basically go where they like and do what they want.
Frictionless Ice: Present in the Nixtorm castle battlefield, as well as any Level 3 Icy Mountain field. Any non-Ice Pokémon who steps onto it will slide clear across to the other side.
Note: The ice doesn't effect Flying-types and Pokemon with Levitate.
Friendly Enemy: Shingen and Kenshin, just like in history. Especially noticeable in their postgame episodes.
Friendly Fireproof: Pokemon with the "Perception" ability are immune to damage from allies' attacks. Otherwise averted; you need to be careful how you position your Pokemon before using an attack that strikes multiple squares if you don't want to hit them. (On the flipside, this enables certain combos, like using an Electric-type move on a Pokemon with "Volt Absorb" to heal it.)
Get Back Here Boss: Any enemy Pokemon with a move that hits from exactly 2 or 3 squares away will always run away from a Pokemon whose move strikes adjacent tiles only in order to get them in its attack range — for example, Chimchar, Charmander, and Tepig can only strike from exactly 2 squares with "Ember", while Ralts and Gothita can only strike from exactly 3 squares with "Confusion". The early castle battle for Ignis, where you face Hideyoshi's Chimchar (and a Tepig) on a lava-filled arena, is your first experience of this: Hideyoshi is perfectly comfortable standing back in the lava and peppering you from a distance if you can't find some way to corner him on solid ground.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Ranmaru's devotion to Nobunaga becomes this when you realize that in real life, they were in a sexual relationship and the only way to imply it is for Ranmaru to stick close to Nobunaga no matter what.
Graceful Loser: Just about everyone. Notably, Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin will throw a party for you after defeating one or the other.
Gratuitous English: One of the generic classes speaks this way (with katakana) in the Japanese version.
To recruit a Warrior, you either need to beat them within the first four turns of battle, defeat them with a super-effective attack, or defeat them without taking damage from them. You'll liable to figure this out fairly easily, fortunately. A bit trickier is recruiting enemy Warlords, you have to do one of the mentioned conditions with a Warlord of your own, and depending on which Warlords you're discussing, this might not be possible.
A gold Link icon above a wild Pokemon doesn't guarantee that this one is Perfect Link - especially with the Warlords (special Warriors) who have a gold rating with almost any Pokemon matching their specialty. On the other hand, it is true that most generic Warriors can only Perfect Link with one specific family of Mons... (so if they have a gold Link icon, chances are it really is the perfect one.)
While some Warlords transform to their upgraded ranks simply by level-grinding their Perfect Link partner, other Warriors have additional conditions that must be met, and the game gives no hints about how. For example, Magoichi also needs 3 female Warlords in the same kingdom as himself and Masamune somewhere else in order to transform.
While most Pokemon evolve in methods similar to the main series (e.g. level-grinding or evolutionary stones), the exact details are different..
Want to get Kotaro's special link with Zorua? Good luck trying to even find Zorua in the first place. The only hint you get is that Zorua will show up if Kotaro is in your army...
Special passwords that cause a swarm of rare Pokemon to appear can only be used once per game. You cannot reuse a password to cause another swarm.
Though they'll only catch you the first time, you cannot check what the arena features do in each arena, so try a practice run first to find out because your opponents do know, and they will exploit them.
Handsome Lech: Magoichi. Hits on Oichi in the pre-battle dialogue, and needs to have 3 female Warlords in his nation in order to evolve.
Heroic Mime: A subversion; while the main character does not speak during cutscenes except for surprised expressions and reactions, outside of cutscenes and during battle, s/he has contextual stock phrases just the same as any other Warrior.
I Let You Win/Xanatos Gambit: Pulled by Nobunaga. He claims that he allowed you to unify the 17 nations and make Arceus appear, so that he can capture it himself. This is somewhat evident in gameplay, since the initial battle with the character is fairly easy, and the character's remarkably level-headed about losing to you.
Improbable Age: Motonari certainly seems to think so about the protagonist, to the point where he worries he's the old guard on his way out, much to the dismay of his retainers.
Incurable Cough of Death: Hanbei starts coughing up a storm at the end of his episode. When Hideyoshi asks if he's sick, Hanbei's response was that he got too excited. Kanbei doesn't buy it one bit causing Hanbei to tell him not to say anything.
Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Used by Oda Nobunaga no less! A few other characters, including Oichi, are also capable of effective links with Dragon-types, but none quite as notable as Nobunaga. Except, perhaps, for Hideyoshi and Tadakatsu, who can link with Reshiram and Dialga, respectively.
When Nene organizes a ninja battle between herself, Hanzo, and other ninja warriors, she insists that they should only use the Poison, Dark, and Ghost types ("like a good ninja should!"), but notes that their contest really needs a fourth type to even the field ... so she randomly tosses Dragon in to the mix.
Instant-Win Condition: Banner battles are won by capturing all the flag banners on the field, regardless of whether you can defeat the opposing Mons or not. Be careful though — if the enemy does this first, they win too!
Interface Spoiler: Averted. There are 199 Pokémon on the Pokédex-esque list at the start of the game. Encountered legendaries raise that number to a maximum of 211.
The map of Ransei (and the shape of Ransei itself) is one regarding the identity of the legendary Pokemon.
Joke Character: One of the random Warlords you can get is a man by the name of Ujizane. He has really low Power, really low Wisdom, decent Charisma... and can only carry ONE POKEMON on him. Worse, his Best Link Pokemon (Pineco and Forretress) can't even use his Warlord Ability! (It makes inflicting status conditions easier).
Justified Tutorial: The nations surrounding the starting one specialize in Fire, Water and Grass types, so fighting them serves as an indirect tutorial on type matchups. Oichi even recommends which one you should challenge next.
The game's advertised 200 warriors are comprised primarily of a little over three dozen different generic character designs re-used several times each with different names, type preferences, and abilities. Altogether, there's only around 70 unique designs for the generals, or about 107 if you're feeling generous enough to include the evolved designs.
It's averted to varying degrees with the Pokémon, however. All 211 (more than advertised, curiously) Pokémon have at least one unique portrait, and those associated with special Warlords tend to have more.
Lethal Joke Character: Gracia has poor Power, subpar Wisdom and decent Charisma and comes with a Munna, which can't do any damage and whose evolved form can only attack sleeping opponents, but her Perfect link is actually with Gothitelle, a powerful Psychic type. Of course, you still have to actually train up a Gothita into its third form.
Loophole Abuse: As covered under Unwinnable by Design, Terrara is easy to conquer due to how the sandstorm feature of the stage works. The player can use this to their advantage by retreating their army from Terrara when attacked, then moving in next turn to take it back, and in only three rounds if their Pokémon have enough range and they know how to position them right. And because you don't need to fight, just to seize the banners, you can send over a team of weaklings to do it and get them a pretty significant power boost. Rinse and repeat next month ad infinitum for quick and easy level grinding.
In Kotarō's chapter, as per the rules of the ninja between him and his enemies, only Ghost, Poison, Dark and Dragon-types are to be used, and the Warriors and wild Pokémon you fight in fields will use those four types. However, if any of the Warriors have acquired Pokémon in other tales, as usual they'll bring them along when you recruit them, regardless of type.
As covered throughout the rest of the page, some of the evolved Pokémon are not as effective as their unevolved forms, which creates problems when you need a high link level with that Pokémon for a Warlord to transform. Link level does not change upon evolution, so there's nothing that says you can't, for example in the case of Shingen, get him a Rhydon, raise his link with it, and then evolve it, instead of raising his link with his initial Rhyperior.
The trope-naming Magikarp appears in rank and file attendance here. Much like its incarnation in the main series, it's completely useless in battle until it evolves into the offensive powerhouse Gyarados. Abra, another example from the main series, shows up as well — all it can do is "Teleport" randomly about the battlefield. Unlike the main series, though, they can still be occasionally useful, able to grab prizes and banners. Dragon-types are also in prime form, starting with low stats and the very inaccurate Dragon Rage, then evolving into the powerhouses they are in the main series.
Your starting Eevee, as an unevolved Pokemon, has somewhat low stats and a medium-power "Quick Attack" (its pluses being a fast movement range and "Celebrate" ability which gives a free turn every time it lands a KO) and may start lagging behind other Mons once you get the ability to befriend (stronger) wild Pokemon. Its evolutions on the other hand are quite powerful, but aside from one free set of fire/thunder/water stones for its original three forms, the game doesn't explain how to acquire the other four.
The Medic: Oichi's Warlord Power heals your whole team, so she could be considered one.
Combat Medic: However, after evolution her Wigglytuff and its Hyper Voice attack is actually a force to reckoned with.
Mighty Glacier: Most fully-evolved Pokémon have lower movement ranges to prevent them from becoming totally broken. Shingen's Rhyperior is a notable case: low movement and a long-range-only move makes it difficult to position, but once it uses Rock Wrecker, it will certainly leave a mark... and you won't be able to use it next turn.
Olympus Mons: A Legendary Pokemon is said to appear if Ransei is united. Of course! And that's not the only one in the game.
One Mon Army: As always, the assorted pseudo-legendaries and legendaries, along with numerous other fully evolved Pokémon.
A hold item, the Guardian Charm, increases the holder's stats when they're the last member of their team in the fight. It still activates though at the start of a fight when the holder is the only member sent in, creating this trope. Though it depends on exactly which Pokémon it is, you can solo an entire six-against-one battlefield this way, and at higher link levels it's the best way to train.
Peek-A-Bangs: Masamune as in real life is because he's blind in said eye.
Pokémon Motif: Several Warlords transform into wearing armor that resembles their Perfect Link (The only Pokémon they can reach 100% synchronization with), for example Kotaro's Zoroark claws and boa or Masamune's Braviary helmet.
The Power of Friendship: A Pokémon's strength is determined by how well synchronized it is with its Warlord, in lieu of a more traditional experience system. This even translates into the story, as your rival military commanders don't start putting up a challenge until their Pokémon are visibly synchronized with them.
Power-Up Letdown: Some of the fully evolved Pokemon are actually much more difficult to use effectively than their lesser counterparts due to changes in their movement range, attack move or special ability. Examples include:
Unevolved Charmander has a 4-square movement range and its Ember strikes exactly two squares away, but after evolving to Charmeleon, has only a 3-square range and Fire Fang (which only hits adjacent squares). Its fully evolved form, Charizard, can hit up to 3 squares away with Flamethrower, but has only a 2-square movement range, the lowest of any Flying type. Since it has Last Bastion and can fly, though, it still has it a lot better than the other examples.
Luxio and Flaaffy have Discharge, which strikes all eight tiles adjacent to the user (with 4-star power and 100% base accuracy), but when evolving to Luxray and Ampharos, they get Thunder which strikes only one tile exactly three squares away (making them incapable of short-range combat) and with a 70% base accuracy.
Any Pokémon with the ability "Celebrate" gets a free turn every time it knocks out an opponent ... but loses the ability upon evolution. This is especially noticeable with Braviary, whose powerful "Sky Drop" move requires two turns to inflict damage (meaning that in the time it takes Braviary to knock out one opponent, its prior evolution could possibly knock out four.)
Rhyhorn has a movement range of 3 and attacks with "Bulldoze", a Ground-type move that hits four squares adjacent to the user. Rhydon only has a movement range of 2, but it attacks with "Drill Run", which moves it a tile forward to attack and is much more powerful. Furthermore the two are some of the few Ground-type attackers in the game (the only other feasible ones are Excadrill's Drill Run and Quagsire's Mud Bomb). Fully-evolved Rhyperior gets "Rock Wrecker" which hits three squares away and is strong enough to One-Hit Kill almost anything, but has a base accuracy of 80% and cannot be used two turns in a row. All three have low Speed stats, which means a reduction in their accuracy and evasion when in combat. Short version, Rhyperior's low range makes it difficult to move into position to hit opponents, and it will often miss when it does get into position, and when it connects can't attack next turn, while Rhydon can attack every turn, and has an attack with much more reliable accuracy and a hitbox much easier to work with.
Munna has "Hypnosis" which can put opponents to sleep for a few turns but has low accuracy and can't actually inflict damage. Its evolution, Musharna, has "Dream Eater" which does inflict damage, but only if the opponent is already asleep, so it's virtually useless on the battlefield if there's no Munna nearby to put enemies asleep for it, as its abilities (which put nearby enemies to sleep) rarely activate.
Psychotic Smirk: This is Kotaro's only 'emotive' sprite. Kanbei has one too, but it's more of a smug "just as planned" look, him being a master strategist and all.
Puzzle Boss: Mitsuhide, mostly due to the terrain. Ieyasu in Valora too, as he requires you to have Pokémon run on gears to open/close gates.
Random Encounter: Among the many random events that can occur in postgame episodes are a group of bandits stealing some item, and you are given a choice to face them in combat or just ignore it. Additionally, if you take Kotaro into a field battle, there's a random chance that a Zorua will spontaneously appear in addition to the known enemy party. (There's also a similar chance for finding another Eevee, if taking the Hero into battle.)
Recurring Boss: Hideyoshi. First shows up in Ignis, then later appears to help Nene defend Viperia. And then he assists Nobunaga in the final battle. His Chimchar evolves each time.
Required Party Member: In the main story, you must send your hero and Oichi into battle every time you challenge a new territory (for story reasons). This is not the case in the side stories, where you can send in any Warriors you choose to any battle.
7th Episode Twist: Not counting your starting castle Aurora, the 7th castle you attempt to capture will be either Terrera or Illusio. Your army heads there just like your first six conquests... but are turned away at the gates, forcing you to march back to the castle you came from, right into an enemy counterattack. And then after you manage to capture the 7th castle, the warlord of the castle you didn't attack decides to join your army without a fight. And after that, not only do you meet Nobunaga in person for the first time, you find out he's Oichi's brother.
Rubberband AI: When the AI invades a territory, it will generally only send in enough Mons to slightly overpower the defenders' collective strength. If you only have one or two Warriors defending a kingdom, it may only send two or three invaders to challenge you, rather than a full army of six to curb-stomp you out of your kingdom. After all, if they did send a massive unbeatable army that would be violating the Rule of Fun, wouldn't it?
Secret Art: Since each species of Pokemon only gets to use one fixed move, many Pokemon have moves unique among other Mons in the region. Likewise, while there is a wide variety of generic Warrior abilities, upgraded Warlords receive Warrior abilities unique to them (in name if not effect).
Spell My Name with an S: The region's name — "Ranse" is the Japanese spelling, while Ransei is the English variant. This could be to prevent mispronunciation, most English speakers would read the Japanese spelling as "rans" instead of "ran-se"*
The Starscream: Mitsuhide to Nobunaga in his postgame scenario, in reference to real world Mitsuhide's ambush of Nobunaga.
Standard Status Effects: All major status ailments (poison, burn, paralyze, freeze, sleep, and confusion) from the main series are present here, although mostly as secondary effects of damage-dealing moves rather than status-ailing moves directly. (Munna is the only Pokémon in the region to have a status move — "Hypnosis" — rather than a damaging attack.)
Taking the Bullet: Pokemon with the "Bodyguard" ability will swap positions with an adjacent ally to protect them from enemy attacks, without regard to whether the attack will do more or less damage to them than the intended ally.
The Stoic: Hattori Hanzo... doesn't show much emotion. His dialogue generally consists of brief, matter-of-fact statements such as "I linked with [Pokemon Name]." or "Victory." Borders on The Comically Serious at times.
Stripperific: Kai when upgraded. Kunoichi always, but even more so upgraded.
Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Despite fighting alongside Masamune, it's obvious Magoichi doesn't like him very much. In fact, one of the requirements for his evolution is for Masamune to not be in the same nation!
The Thing That Goes Doink: One appears in Chrysalia, and tips over to signal a new Pokémari ball dropping down onto the field.
Third-Person Person: Nobunaga. It's carried over from his way of speaking in Japanese, but in English it just sounds pretentious.
Masamune also refers to himself in the third person when delegated a task.
This Is Gonna Suck: Early in the game, one nation you must conquer is "Pugilis," full of Fighting-Type Pokemon users, which are supereffective against your and Oichi's Normal-type Mons. She points out that this is going to be an agonizing battle unless you send in a lot of other warlords and/or Pokemon that are better against Fighting-Types.
Timed Mission: With the exception of a few special fights at the end of storylines, all battles have a turn limit. If you're the aggressor, it's a turn limit to win or be defeated, when defending, you just have to hold out for that many turns to hold off the enemy. Mitsuhide and Motochika's episodes also have a 3-year (36 turn) time limit to achieve the stated objective.
Title Drop: In the Japanese version, Nobunaga's Warlord Powers are titled Great Ambition and Extreme Ambition.
Even though it's not in the English title, after conquering Dragnor in the main story Kenshin will say 'Nobunaga's ambition has been thwarted'.
Took a Level in Badass: As in Pokémon, the monsters can evolve to more powerful forms. Unlike either home series, the Warlords can also "evolve"... more impressive looking armor (though mechanically and even visibly it's no different from a Pokémon's evolution).
Yoshimoto goes from Samurai Warrior's Joke Character and flat-out worst character to coming with a Pineco, the best Bug type available at that point without grinding a Pokemon to evolution.
Sadly, this is only temporary, as Yoshimoto and Pineco both become joke characters after they evolve. Yoshimoto's ability restores all allies to full health... at the cost of putting them all to sleep. Meanwhile, Forretress attacks with Gyro Ball, an attack that gets stronger the slower the user is. Unless he's paralyzed, don't expect Forretress to inflict more than 1 damage per attack, not even against enemies weak to Steel type attacks.
Tron Lines: Tadakatsu and Ina both have these on their armor at Rank 2.
Uncatty Resemblance: Most of the Warlords' upgraded designs (And some default ones) strongly resemble their Pokémon of choice. Kotaro in particular looks nearly identical to his Zoroark. Other Warlords include No, who's witches attire resembles her best link, Mismagius.
Kenshin looks similar to his legendary best link, Mewtwo, when evolved.
Aya's evolution design bears striking resemblance to her perfect link, Froslass.
Okuni looks somewhat similar to her perfect links, Larvesta/Volcarona.
Unwinnable by Design: Some of the maps are heavily slanted to either the defender or attacker and so can be much more difficult to win depending on your role.
Cragspur, the attackers begin clustered together at the bottom of three hills, while the defenders begin at the top of those hills behind boulders, which they can attack to send rolling down at units below the hill to damage them. This can result in the attacking team losing a significant amount of HP, depending on their position and typing, by the second turn.
Terrara, a sandstorm comes to blow away any Pokémon on the towers every few turns, and this happens between the defender and attacker turns. This can lead to situations where you the defender end your turn, your Pokémon are blown off the towers, and your opponent takes their turn and moves their Pokémon onto all three lifts. You cannot board the lift while another Pokémon is on the landing spot at the top of the tower, so at that point the battle is lost on the next turn, simply because they take their turn before you.'
Avia, the Flying-type kingdom, is a series of floating islands. Grounded Pokémon have to rely on springboards to jump between islands, but Flying Pokémon can move between them freely. While the AI isn't foolish enough to go for running out the clock, if their flying units start to flee it can take several turns to track them down because of this. And if you're defending and have flyers, you can just stall until time runs out.
Verbal Tic: Yoshimoto tends to end his sentences with の.
Wake Up Call Boss: Shingen and Kenshin. Their armies are much stronger than you're used to, and they're the first opponents to use fully-evolved Pokémon (Rhyperior and Gallade). Oh, and they add a variety of different type users to avert Poor Predictable Rock.
Weaksauce Weakness: Crossing with Power Up Letdown, many of the fully evolved Pokémon have attacks that hit several tiles ahead, like Rock Wrecker, Thunder, Psyshock, Dragon Rush, etc. This means though they are unable to attack Pokémon directly in front of them, they have to back up. If they're near the edge of a map this can result in them having to waste a turn moving around to where they can bring the opponent in range, and allows the possibility for four weaklings to surround it and Cherry Tap it to death because it can't run away and can't fight back.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Nobunaga. His reason for trying to conquer Ransei and, later, for destroying Arceus? To bring peace back to the land and restore affection between warrior and pokémon.