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 and Valora. The former is essentially a feudal Japanese power plant, and the latter is a feudal Japanese factory with security cameras and automated cranes.
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.
Anti-Frustration Feature: After a time you'll notice that in regards to flinching - whether naturally from moves, or forced by Warrior/Warlord abilities - the game will never let any pokemon note on either side flinch twice in a row. As flinch effectively forces you to skip your turn completely, it's a welcome relief.
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.
Arbitrary Minimum Range: Moves do not have a minimum range per se but merely differing areas of effect. Nonetheless, moves which can only hit two or three tiles away do mean the user cannot defend against an enemy engaging them at point blank, and must take a step back first.
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: Most of the time the AI is completely incompetent. 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.
You can move your team's Pokémon in any order you like, but there is a natural order the game cycles through if you just give them commands as the computer moves your cursor to them. The AI follows this order rather than move Pokémon individually, resulting in them skipping a Pokémon's turn if it can't move or attack. Even if it could move an ally out of the way to allow this, it will not do so because it's out of the automated turn order.
The AI seems entirely unaware of the various level gimmicks beyond the initial campaign. They will never use arena features like the boulders in Cragspur or the nodes in Dragnor, and gimmicks that affect movement like ice and springboards mystify them. Valora, which has entire sections of the stage blocked by gates that need to be lowered by gears, is practically impossible for them to win when attacking you on it because the AI spends most of its time doubling back corridors after closing the gate they were running for by accident. Similarly Terrera has the AI always runs for the lifts to the towers and uses them on its second turn, ignorant that every single time you play the map the sandstorm comes at the end of the second turn to blow any Pokemon on the towers off, making their efforts wasted.
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.
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, or a force of six mid-level mons attack your kingdom with two or three high-level defenders because their total strength is higher.
The AI takes type advantages and immunities when attacking. However, they do not take abilities that affect type into account, resulting in the AI having a Pokemon with a Ground attack trying to hit a Pokemon with Levitate, using Fire attacks on something with Flash Fire, etc. In an universal manner, Pokemon with Bodyguard will randomly intercept attacks on an adjacent ally. Even if the attack would do little damage to that ally and is super-effective against the intercepting Pokemon.
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.
There are several Crystal held items that enhance all of a certain Warlord's stats and cause a Legendary Pokémon to appear in a given kingdom, allowing that Warlord to Link with it, obtained by transforming that certain Warlord to Rank II. Under normal circumstances, this is practical; however, Nobunaga Rank II has a 96-100-100 stat distribution out of 100-100-100, meaning that its only use is under that spoiler tag; after that, it's really just sentimental.
Actually, if his stats exceed the maximum, the overflow goes DIRECTLY to his Pokemon's Defense and Speed, raising them each by at least 80 points and making this far from useless.
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.
Note that in multiplayer mode, your Warlords are all at the highest Link you have raised them to for the purposes of multiplayer mode. This is a Pokémon game, after all.
Battle Couple: Note that none of the below couples are noted in-game (in the English version, at least), but rather can be logically assumed through historical fact.
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 Pokémon of choice, Rhyperior and later, Groudon.
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.
It's very possible that, at the end of the Legend of Ransei story, your best pokemon on your hero/heroine is more powerful than Arceus, who you are forced to use.
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.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Once you control nine of the seventeen castles (five of eight in the ninja stories) the opposing warlords will jump the levels of it's mons to yours. Except it doesn't work correctly: the level jump is affected by how strong you are in your stronest nation (regardless of how many people are in there) and how many nation you have adjacent to their territories and how strong their allies get. Which means if say you have someone surrounded on all sides with 6 warriors in your strongest nation with a strength of 1500 and they have 4 people their levels will jump up to match yours but because it's split between 4 instead of 6, they're a hell of a lot harder to beat. Of course this can fail spectacularly if it messes up and instead they'll be at half your strength instead.
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.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: This is the first DS Pokémon game (and one of very few DS games altogether) wherein the X button is not used to open the menu; it is instead used to advance to the next month (overworld turn). A player used to hitting X-Upx-A to save their game can very easily end up advancing a wasted month if they're not careful, especially if your text speed is set to anything less than fast.
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. AndRanmaru.
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 - many of which are only disc one in length - 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.
Dragons Up the Yin Yang: Generation V makes this mandatory. Nobunaga introduces himself with Zekrom hanging off the top of your screen, and when you get to Dragnor he's ready to Bolt Strike your ass back to the Sengoku period. Though not as prominent, his ally Hideyoshi can pick up Reshiram - if you got the Wi-Fi event. Oh, and before you start protesting that those dragons aren't Eastern enough for you: Come forth! Rayquaza, black as night!
Dub Name Change: Aside from the Pokémon due to Grandfather Clause, the names of the kingdoms, and the title itself, this is the first localized Pokémon game to largely avert this, thanks to the basis on actual historical figures.
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; then you have to get your link with the Eeveelution of your choice up to 90%, making this more of 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. Kanbei, Ieyasu, Keiji, Ujiyasu, and Yoshimoto all get episodes that take place after the main game; this allows you to recruit the player character and rain Judgment down on the difficulty curve.
Extreme Omnivore: Bug Bite will eat ANY consumable item in this game, not just Berries. This includes Potions, status healers and some headbands...
Fake Longevity: Once you complete the main quest, you unlock more, and there's 37 stories in total to play. However, fourteen of those have the objective to conquer Ransei, and another eleven require you to conquer seven or eight kingdoms. This results in you playing essentially the same story with the same objectives over and over, the only differences being your starting country and Warriors.
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. As a result, they're tell you where to go and snark at you for it for the first half of the game or so.
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.
It is implied all of Ransei has become this in the post-main quest episodes, if one assumes all the episodes occur in story canon. With the legend of the Legendary Pokemon disproven, it seems the Warlords of Ransei are happy to spend the rest of their days battling each other and conquering enemy nations for sport, with territories given back freely afterwards and being loaned out to other Warlords for various tournaments and contests being held.
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.)
Gameplay and Story Segregation: In Ransei, you never capture a Pokemon using Pokeballs or equivalent items, you form an empathic bond with them and convince them to come along with you willingly. This gets odd when the time comes to actually link with something; you play a mini-game that involves filling a link meter to 100%, at which point the Pokemon is yours. This link meter resets if you attack the Pokemon, but not if you fail linking to it, you can finish filling the meter next turn. Or, you can have a second Warrior finish the link a first Warrior started. The idea of linking to Pokemon emotionally is thus reduced to having an ally fill the link meter almost all the way full, then let them fail so the ally you want to actually have the Pokemon can finish the job.
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.
And Ranmaru can only evolve if you play in Nobunaga's story and his lord is within the same nation during a battle. Don't go thinking his Special Episode is the true way to do that.
After Ranmaru's plot, he muses if it's really important to tell people that he's a man. Nobunaga shows up and tells him that it isn't.
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.
Prepubescent-looking Hanbei is stated to be older than the middle-aged looking Kanbei.
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, Kotaro and Kunoichi, 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. This backfires, considering she's the only one who doesn't start with an unevolved Dragon-type in her army.
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.
Also, Abilities activating. Grass Guard doesn't activate on grass? The attack misses. Stealth - activates only when it makes attack miss. Sturdy activates despite that attack shouldn't OHKO it? You likely got a crit.
Most Warlords have an unevolved Pokémon as their only Perfect Link at Rank I. If you evolve it before they transform, they will only achieve a 90% Link (although they can still transform via required Link percentage with that Pokémon; i.e. Nene requires a 60% Link with Golbat, but if you evolve it into Crobat before she transforms, she can still transform via 60% Link); you have to get them to transform and achieve Rank II in order to get the Perfect Link with the evolution. If a Warlord's Perfect Link at Rank I is with a fully-evolved Pokémon, be prepared to Mulch your pants when you find out the Perfect Link added at Rank II is with a freakin' legendary Pokémon (assuming, of course, you can find them). Somewhat averted by Hideyoshi, who defaults to Monferno at Rank I and adds Infernape at Rank II via 60% Link, but also gets Reshiram via Wi-Fi, with a 70% Link required to achieve Rank III and thus Perfect Link status with the dragon. Rank III on his Gallery page will only appear when you download the Wi-Fi event.
Joke Character: The generic Warrior Ujizane (who historically is the son of Yoshimoto, himself a Joke Character). He has 6 Power, 8 Wisdom, 62 Charisma, he can only have one Pokemon, his perfect link is Forretress, and his ability, which increases the chances of inflicting status ailments, doesn't work on Forretress since it attacks with Gyro Ball. His Bug specialty lets him get other Bug-types with status attacks and put his ability to good use with them, but he's still the worst character in the game bar none.
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. Mitsunari, Masanori, and Kiyomasa even recommend which one you should challenge next.
Also, each of those introduces another gameplay mechanic; Ignis shows you about terrain, Greenleaf gives you banner battles, and Motochika's taunt at the start is accompanied by the notice about running out the clock automatically giving the defender victory.
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.
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.
Yoshimoto has unspectacular stats for a Warlord, mostly useless abilities, a bad Perfect Link line (Pineco and Forretress, the latter of which will only do one point of damage to most enemies), and a silly design and personality. But he can get 90% link with a variety of types. Load him up with a diverse group beforehand, recruit him in a later episode, and he'll more than likely have a Pokemon on hand that you can use as a sweeper, no matter what your neighbors have.
There is one other thing that makes Yoshimoto usable. While his ability and his Forretress both don't seem very good to the average player, someone who takes a bit to think about it realizes that Forretress's high defense combined with an instant healing ability that makes it UNABLE TO MOVE suddenly makes it an impenetrable Stone Wall that no enemy can hope to get past, so long asthey don't bringa fire type along. This means that for any mission where you have to Hold the Line (which is every mission you are the one getting attacked for, as well as to an extent every mission with banners), he's a very powerful Warlord, only outclassed by the likes of Ieyasu and his Registeel - and if you use both of them together...
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.
Lost Forever: Two in-game events and three Warlord episodes were available over Wi-Fi note for the curious:Motochika and Motonari show up during the main game, Hideyoshi gets frickin' Reshiram, as well as Keiji, Okuni, and Ranmaru's chapters until New Year's Eve of 2012. Unless you're in Japan, in which case those suckers are never gonna stop transmitting.
Averted in the end. Unknown to many people, said Wi-Fi downloadable missions turned out to have hidden passwords within the game code that anybody can use without the use of hacks. This is a grave case of Guide Dang It as this was never officially stated to the public.
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.
Mid-Season 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.
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.
Ms. Exposition: During the main story, Oichi fills this role, not only running the tutorial at the beginning but also informing the player on the ideal type matchups for every kingdom in the game. She also warns that Shingen and Kenshin have more diverse teams and are not prone to Poor, Predictable Rock.
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.
OneMonArmy: 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.
Peninsula of Power Linking: Terrara and Pugilis. Both of them are banner battles with gimmicks that make them insanely easy, given the proper team. Since they're right next to each other, this means that you can capture one, leave the other completely empty and ripe for the taking, and let the AI overtake it. Retake it, then let the AI overtake the other one. Rinse and repeat until transformation.
Terrara has three banners high atop massive towers. The first turn a Pokémon ends up at the top of a tower, and every few turns after that, the wind gusts knock whoever might be at the banners. The AI (if defending) will always be the first to get a Pokémon to the top of a tower - which means that when the gust blows, they're knocked off. The wind will never blow two turns in a row, which means that if you have Pokémon ready to ascend, it's as good as won.
Pugilis has four banners on the edges of a ring. If a Pokémon is attacked at the edge of the ring, they fall into the pit below. Though the hold-banners-for-five-turns gimmick may get on someone's nerves, a properly levelled team will have no trouble eliminating the opposing team before claiming the banners - and victory is as good as yours.
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.
Psychic Powers: Naoe Kanetsugu levitates his ofuda around him - regardless of who his presently selected Pokémon is.
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:
Pineco has a pretty decent attack which steals the opponents item and (if it's a healing item) uses it, though its stats aren't anything to shout home about. Enter Forretress, pretty good stats but it has Gyro-ball, a move that does more damage the slower the user. It rarely does more than 2 points of damage.
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. However, there are circumstances still when Thunder is preferable, since Discharge allows for friendly fire and Thunder has superior range.
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. There is also the very crippling problem that Sky Drop can't damage Flying-types, making Braviary completely helpless against enemy birds.
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 ability (which puts 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.
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?
Scare Chord: Mewtwo and Arceus are both present, and they've still got pretty freaky cries. Failing a story's mission will also land you with a very dark, absolutely out-of-nowhere depression chord as the story leader laments their failure. Even worse when the failure is for a reason that no one anticipated and might even have you not looking at your DS when it happens. Someone else pick up 100 Pokémon? Turns out that reason enough for Keiji to get upset.
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).
Shock and Awe: Tachibana Ginchiyo can generate electricity around her gauntlet during her offensive pose. Hitmonlee, eat your heart out!
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"note technically "ra-n-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.)
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Enemies will normally not attack Mons they can't damage, ie. Ground against Flying types or levitating mons. Yet they can tell a Zorua/Zoroark disguised by its Illusion ability and will attack it accordingly. This makes Illusion worse than useless, since it might confuse the player, especially if it's disguised as a Lillicant or Haxorus, who both have the same attack pattern as Zoroark.
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.
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.
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.
In Valora, it's possible to position your Pokémon and the gates in such a way that, without Flying-types or Levitate, the enemy cannot get to your Pokémon at all without having to pass by at least one camera, possibly two, which are likely going to detect them and warp them randomly around the arena. If you're defending and pull this stunt, all that's left is to wait out the clock.
It's also fully possible, and highly unlucky, for a Pokémon to get teleported by the cameras into an area where all the passageways out are blocked by gates. Better hope they have an ally that can get them out soon, or they're going to be sitting out for most of the battle, and if they're the only Pokémon left on their team, they just lost.
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.
Though Kenshin will ALWAYS keep his Gallade on a flag, and his army will attack you one at a time mostly, so it's fairly easy to pick off the mons one by one, before ganging up on Gallade.
Yoshihiro servers as one too: you have to be present in the fight and so does Oichi, both of you use normal types against a fighting type castle. Only by abusing the stage can you safely beat and recruit him (and gain a powerhouse as a result
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.