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That One Level / Nintendo Wars

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Nintendo Wars is a fun series, but these levels will test your abilities to see if you know what you're doing.


Game Boy Wars 3
  • Bissum Desert (Campaign 36), although potentially managing healthy difficulty, may give players grief even if they do manage to get past the Do Well, but Not Perfect issues of the Campaign Mode in general. The gist is that the game's overly Glass Cannon mechanics generally work in White Moon's favor on this map. This isn't a bad thing in and of itself, even though the mechanics generally favor the player in plenty of maps in Campaign. However, the later part of the map does have its annoyance factor.
    • To elaborate on the difficulty of the map, it starts with White Moon having a bunch of planes deployed, among them 2 Interceptors, which can snipe your air units and can be very hard to get at safely on Day 2. The simple solution would be to not send out your air units right away, but navy is unavailable and since White Moon also has a bunch of tough land units predeployed to the east, you will need air units to help handle those buggers. This isn't so bad on its own, you just need to use any Interceptor units you have to hammer the enemy's, and set up an anti-air perimeter to keep your units safe from flanking. However, as soon as you try storming White Moon's HQ, things get truly irksome as you have to deal with crossing a most likely Artillery-covered area with a lot of Desert terrain—yes, you read right, not the terrain template you would know in Dual Strike or Days of Ruin, but terrain tiles that are similar to the Desert terrain in Fire Emblem. And unlike the Plains and Forests and stuff like that (which in this game actually have some Movement Costs at 1.5), the Desert gives off painfully high Movement Costs to the point where your land units being able to move more than one space at a time is the only reason why it's not a surprise that they're likely to get slaughtered.
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Advance Wars
  • Kanbei's Error?. The normal Campaign version of it is quite easy, with the biggest challenge being if you're trying to unlock an optional series of missions that requires you to finish this mission and the two previous in a certain number of turns (and even that's not too hard). The Advance Campaign version, though, cranks the difficulty way, way up by giving Kanbei an assload of air units close to your starting position, which means he's likely to take out most of your units on Day 1 (especially given his boosted firepower). One might think you could just wait out the airstrike and take out his air force one by one... but this is also a capture-based mission, and because of the way Kanbei's infantry is deployed, you automatically lose on Day 6 if you can't damage one of his infantry before then. Naturally, his infantry units are halfway across the map, and the aforementioned airforce makes rushing his infantry impossible. And because it just wasn't difficult enough even at this point, you've also got Fog of War to contend with as well. All of this makes this mission borderline impossible without a day-by-day guide, exploiting the enemy AInote , or lots of trial and error.
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  • Unless you have a grasp on the Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors, any naval-based Drake mission can be really frustrating. And even some of the land ones; in Captain Drake, Andy has to capture X amount of cities before Drake does. Except Drake has more units than you to start with. Oh, and he already has infantry on the center island. And you have to make infantry from factories. And both you and Drake have only one lander and no way to make more. And Drake has a submarine with his battleship. And... You know what? Let's just say Drake is one tough son of a bitch to beat. It's even worse if you choose Sami as she starts with no factories under her control and she has to contend with Fog of War, which the AI cheats in regards to seeing your units unless they are in forests or reefs.
  • However, the level that stands head and shoulders above all is Rivals. Merely accessing the level requires a Guide Dang It! by defeating all 4 Green Earth Missions as Sami, one level of which, Wings of Victory, is a That One Level unto itself. Proceed to defeat Sturm in the final mission, after which Eagle will challenge Andy to a "friendly" showdown. The map is wide, traversed by narrow bridges and islands, and you are given three foot soldiers, a small base, and are a long way off from the nearest neutral bases, which will not be neutral by the time you reach them. You are forced to play as Andy. Your foe starts with foot soldiers and a very strong base. The normal campaign version is harder than the majority of the advance campaign missions because Eagle owns more cities to build an army from at the start. The advanced mode of this mission? Your foe starts by owning the nuetral bases. And forward infantry. And an air force. In Fog of War. And both times, but much more pronounced here, he is using Lightning Strike, the best CO Power in the game. And with all those expensive air units you need to destroy, he will have very liberal use of that Power. It gets to the point that the only way to defeat him is days (literal, 24-hour segment DAYS) of trial and error. And then you will still be crying as the mass of unstoppable Bombers, Fighters, Medium Tanks, Battle Copters, and Rockets roll over your base. Again. And again. And again.
    • There is a guide. It shows you exactly how to defeat the mission, by exactly, tile-by-tile, day-by-day, telling you how to fend off his attack in such a way, that allows you to escape with a few transport copters and infantry, while he overruns your base so thoroughly that you are actually depending on him saturating your properties, hoping that his own units block his infatry from taking your HQ. You then must execute a perfect suicide run for his HQ. If everything goes well, you triumphantly stand upon a shattered Green Earth HQ, a half-damaged infantry your unit on the map, and 30-some game-days of anguish behind. However, Even this exhaustive strategy guide doesn't work 100% of the time. Sometimes, Eagle will move his Battle Copter in a way that makes the entire strategy futile. Many, if not most, of the games have a randomized AI routine that is set when you first enter the Advance Campaign 22 levels earlier. This determines whether Eagle in Rivals sports a minuscule Achilles' Heel, or if he is quite simply unbeatable.
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    • The only other way to have any hope of surviving this ordeal involves exploiting the AI, specifically attacking a specific unit at a specific place with a mech and hoping it does exactly 7 damage (less and it'll try to attack again, more and it'll retreat) so that it just stays where it is forever, completely negating one of the two land fronts. You'll still have to deal with Eagle's aerial onslaught and a land assault from the other side of the map, but all in all it takes the mission from "flat-out impossible" to "extremely difficult, but doable". However, if the Random Number God hates your guts, you're screwed.
Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising
  • "Sea Fortress": This is a highly tactical mission with limited resources and an emphasis on unit placement and management. Your opponent is Hawke, who has a bunch of units with Anti-Air capability pre-deployed AND his Super CO power drains 2 health from all your units and heals all his by 2. That enemy you thought was almost dead? Nope, it's good to go. This forces you to be extremely cautious with your units and use what would normally be considered overkill, since they'll have to be able to sponge Hawke's attacks even after he uses either of his CO powers.
  • "Sinking Feeling": Sinking 9 battleships in 17 days is tough on its own, but your units will spend half that time just getting within firing range, meaning that one mistake can doom you and reinforcements will need to be built a few days before you actually need them. Lash will throw Bombers and Battle Copters at you fairly regularly, so you need to be extremely careful with positioning your Artillery and Rockets to keep them alive, while being equally cautious with your Anti-Air so they're still strong enough to kill Bombers. To make matters worse, you also need to send a unit to the other side of the map if you want to unlock the Neotanks mission for Green Earth. Oh, and don't let her capture the Easternmost Base, because if she gets an APC to those Battleships, well... have fun.
  • "Rain Of Fire" is not as bad as the other aforementioned levels until you remember that you're fighting HAWKE next to an active Volcano. Memorizing the Volcano's fall pattern and exploiting that to your tastes against the AI is usually the difference between victory and waiting your ass out for a couple of In-game days.
  • "Danger x9", the Neotank mission of Green Earth. As the title says, you have a nine-turn limit to either defeat Black Hole's troops or capture the lab and this is a very tall order if you try to do the latter. Not only do you have to face Hawke and his powerful CO powers, his troops will usually shut down the easternmost base unless you are very strategic about things.
  • "Great Sea Battle", the last mission in the Green Earth campaign, will leave experienced players picking their teeth out of the gutter. Hawke has access to a factory, i.e. 3 free units per turn, while you're stuck with 3 meager bases. While you're still capturing cities and churning out your first Tank or Bomber, Hawke will be sending a few dozen units towards you, all while he gets covering fire from Cannons. Since you're managing 3 armies in this mission, you also have to move fast with your Green Earth troops to keep Orange Star from being overrun.
    • The CO select somehow makes the mission harder: You get to pick all 3 Commanding Officers in the battle, but Sami and Drake are next to useless, and Jess and Andy aren't very useful either, not that the map layout lets you know. Players who don't like Max or Eagle are out of luck.
    • Yellow Comet is basically dead weight in this mission: They start with a tiny base, take forever to capture the nearby Airport since it's protected by a Minicannon, and are far away from the rest of the fighting. It doesn't help that none of their COs are a good fit: Sonja doesn't help when there's no Fog of War, Sensei isn't much use since Infantry won't encounter much resistance and B Copters will get thrashed by Hawke's Cruisers, and Kanbei's just impractical due to the low number of cities available. The only way to get some use out of them, cutting along the side of the map and destroying the pipe seam with Rockets, will complete the mission but result in a very low score. Paradoxically, this is also a good way to a high score, but you need to tightly coordinate Orange Star as a wall (since their losses don't hurt Technique), Green Earth to get one turn with multiple kills (for power), and Yellow Comet to end the map quickly for a Speed score, which requires far more forethought and choreography than even the most drawn out slug-fest.
  • Any map with Sturm is a qualifier, because you're shoehorned into battle against a Purposely Overpowered Game-Breaker. All of his units get a 20% bonus to offense AND defense and are unimpaired by all terrain, and his Super CO Power (Meteor Strike) will severely damage a patch of your best units and throw another substantial boost.
  • "Liberation" becomes this on the Hard Campaign. Even though it's only mission 8, even though you're facing Flak. Having a factory with Hard Campaign production orders on such a small map with only one army and a few bases at your disposal is brutal on its own. He also now has a base plonked down right in front of the pipe seam, which means that unless you've got enough of an overwhelming force to destroy the units he produces from it and block the base from making more (while also fending off the units swarming you from the factory), you're not getting anywhere near that seam, ever. Even if you can reach the seam, it's likely that, by that point, your HQ will be getting overrun. Hard Campaign doesn't get anywhere near this difficult again until Green Earth, close to the endgame, so that on its own should give you a good idea of just what kind of nonsense you're up against.
Advance Wars: Dual Strike
  • Verdant Hills is the first of many teeth gnashing missions. The AI just loves to Tag Break ending on Javier's turn. Since Javier ensures control of at least one tower, he will have so much defense that he pretty much prevents you from retaliating against your reduced control over the choke-point. The only "easy" way to win: ignore the top half of the map, which Javier and Jess will swarm over, and sneak a Mech to take the HQ once all of their units have left. Of course, this will destroy your Technique score. Getting an S Rank on this level will cause baldness, especially on Hard Campaign where there's MULTIPLE MEGATANKS.
  • Crystal Calamity. Your first objective in the level is to fire off all nine Silos in the level whilst operating under a real time timer in an otherwise turn based game. The Timed Mission is one thing, but if the enemy secures even ONE Silo, you lose. What's worse than that is that if you spend too much time fighting and do too much damage to the enemy forces you charge their special moves, leading to the very definite possibility of an enemy tag break that grants Black Hole two turns for each unit meaning they'll almost certainly reach at least one silo. Talk about Fake Difficulty. Plus on Normal Campaign, Black Hole could send the Black Bomb toward red team and screw you over that way if you didn't cheap out a Day 1 T-Copter. And it doesn't even end there, as there's a second objective once the first one is done, and if you mess up there, you have to repeat the whole thing again. The level is so bad that Totally Flaked mocked it mercilessly.
  • Dark Ambition is a boring piece of garbage thanks to Olaf's Winter Fury power that makes pushing through the defense of the HQ so annoying. In fact, if it weren't for that Stealth you get, you probably would lose thanks to the Megatank. (Yeah, what were you thinking, Allied Nations? You regarded the reverse engineering possibility and they actually would be causing you to lose if they actually had a Stealth of their own.) Hard Campaign makes it even worse by giving a Black Bomb to the enemy so you can't even use Orange Star's extra units to Hold the Line at the pipe seams in addition to more enemy troops.
  • Pincer Strike. So many units, so many indirects, so much forest, so much fog, so much possibility of a Tag Break involving Drake, whose Super CO power does 2 damage to all your units and cuts their fuel in half. Not good for you. You're mostly better off barely bothering to tackle the enemy's naval force, believe it or not. Making it even more annoying is that Drake will occasionally decide to just spam his regular CO power instead of saving up for a Dual Strike, making you slog through the fuel-halving even more often. Unless you brought along Jess to counter Drake's power with her own (though it only helps her army: the other is SOL) and/or Sasha to shut down Drake's power with Market Crash, this fight becomes a literal stall-fest (for your side, anyway) in short order.
  • Ring of Fire has difficulty dissonance on its fronts. How does the top front manage to be so very difficult but the bottom one which is the one that matters manage to be so very easy? Part of it has to do with facing Kanbei with a very good pre-deployed team, letting him get his units' boosts without having to worry about shelling out his high costs for them.
  • Surrounded, especially the Hard version. It's made even worse that you don't automatically win by routing the enemy force, and only win by capturing the towers with your ever so slow Infantry, so Kindle looks like a big time cutscene abuser.
  • Neverending War on Hard Campaign involves having the map flooded with enemy Neotanks while you can't deploy anything better than a normal Tank. Some suggest to get the airport, but that's still a dragged out war. And the 100 Speed limit is how many Days again?
  • Victory Or Death! is fairly annoying on normal mode, and gets even worse in the Hard Campaign. It's mostly due to just how many things the game throws at you at once: there's sandstorms to nerf your indirect units; the Black Arc is introduced, and it shells the center base every turn with a 9 HP bomb, making it practically worthless at first (and since it doesn't affect Black Hole units, Koal is free to capture it at his leisure); the Black Crystal provides free healing; and it's the first two-front battle. Hard Mode gives Koal a few extra air units, including a Bomber, and they will gun it for your troops immediately. The second front isn't too hard to win, and you get your second CO back once you do, but the bottom front will be a huge slog until then.
  • Snow Hunters is a forgettable map on the normal campaign, but Hard Campaign amps up the difficulty considerably. Black Hole's pre-deployed forces now include a full-fledged navy, an additional Bomber for his air forces, and a Megatank and Rocket Launcher on the ground. Not helping the situation is that one of the neutral cities on the map will unlock the Piperunner laboratory mission once you capture it and you're fighting against Hawke once again, so you're in for a long slog no matter what you do.
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
  • Greyfield Strikes. It's not exactly hard, per se, but the game itself actively sabotaging your efforts by disabling your most critical units every fourth day will quickly grate on your nerves. Got a killer fleet of battleships wrecking the enemy ground forces? Nope, gotta take 'em offline. Mechs in range of an HQ capture? Can't have that; we're shuttin' 'em down. The mission can still be won (and even S-ranked) easily enough with a little coordination, but the unit shutdown gimmick just makes the battle drag on for far longer than it has to.
  • A Hero's Farewell. The sea throws a Battleship and an Aircraft Carrier at you and the rough seas and lack of your own predeployed Battleship keeps you from doing much about either one quickly enough to avoid letting your Cruiser get shot, and if you don't kill the Battleship in one turn, your Submarine will inevitably get hit by the enemy Cruiser. The Aircraft Carrier, meanwhile, sends out Seaplanes. As for the land front, you're not going far quickly because of a terrain-covered Rocket Launcher, which allows Forsythe to build up.
    • The best part: if you go into the Tactics Room, instead of Lin, Forsythe himself tells you how to go about the mission. He's an Anti-Villain, yes, but still... the enemy CO takes pity on you!
  • Waylon Flies Again is considered one of the hardest non-boss missions in the entire series. You start off with NO factories or airfields - which your opponent DOES have - while the enemy has a HUGE air force ready to attack. The AI has an inadequate amount of anti air only to slow them down while your one Anti-Air in the center - and, inevitably, your infantry surrounding the center - get bombed to Hell. And if the AI loses all its units, you lose. The one redeeming factor is Will's Shut Up, Hannibal! to Waylon on the 2nd or 3rd day, his second Momentof Awesome in the game.
    • What's that? Look for a day-by-day guide? Thanks to how Waylon's programmed in this stage, there aren't any. Waylon's actions are completely random, making a day-by-day guide impossible to consistently follow; even the best FAQ can only plot his actions up to about Day 4 before they have to give up.
  • Sunrise: The Nest provides explosive bombs to rip apart your units at the most inconvenient times, infinite free units which can whatever Caulder damn well pleases, and lasers covering rough terrain to keep your forces spread thin and repeatedly suffer the abuse. And it's made worse that Caulder, with daily healing and ridiculous combat boosts to anything near enough his unit or just his unit itself, makes Sturm look like a Joke Character. Watch as a Duster with him loaded effortlessly destroys your Fighter. It's amazing how the level has a consistent Day-To-Day guide on YouTube that makes it so easy to beat. Oh, and here's the best part: you have to repeat the level 10 times to get a certain medal.
    • Said Day-To-Day guide is pretty much the only way to complete it, and even then only if Caulder feels like following it. For instance, if he uses a Fighter instead of a Duster, you're screwed because he's only able to target your precious bombers instead of being distracted by other units. Also, said guide completes the mission in around 10 days at most. If you don't win by Day 13, Caulder pretty much tells you to give up. Now that's nothing uncommon for video game villains, but unlike most others, he's not bluffing. It's possible to beat it after 13 days, but good luck getting a half-decent rank.
    • This completes the mission in six Days.
  • Several non-campaign maps are an absolute terror. Comb Map casts you as a small force away from your own base, with powerful enemies bearing down on that base from all sides. It's guaranteed to be one of your longest missions ever.
    • Jay Islands is a four-way marine battle of attrition in Fog of War where you're constantly taking one step forward and two steps back. There doesn't appear to be any comprehensive day-to-day guide for Jay Islands online, probably because winning it takes equal parts patience and blind luck.
    • Tatter River, a massive 4-CO map, the largest map in the whole game. The sheer size alone makes it daunting, but the biggest challenge comes from establishing aerial supremacy on a map where everybody has a few airports and plenty of money. Oh, and all the HQs are surrounded by rivers, which only infantry and air units can cross. When you cross any of those rivers, there will be loads of Anti-Air units (which are also the most effective anti-infantry units) waiting for you on the other side. The turn limit for a 100-point Time score on this map is 50 days, by the way.
    • Wedding Ring is a copter-and-infantry focused race to capture as many cities as possible where the AI will punish you severely for the slightest misstep. As in many of the smaller Trial Maps, you're meant to go right for the opponent's HQ rather than actually try to fight them.
    • Metro Map. The blue team not only starts with a property advantage, but get to work with a nasty forest clump that is even more bothersome to the player. It desperately needs a Day-To-Day guide, but the sole one available is for the high score that requires too much luck, even with Save Scumming.
    • Triangle Lake is another pretty hard Trial map despite being the first one unlocked through the campaign. The enemy outnumbers you two to one and has several indirect units, including an Anti-Tank parked on the HQ. While you do control the only factory on the map, it still requires a lot of strategizing in order to get a good score.
    • Time Map. It's a very small map and, similar to "Waylon Flies Again" above, the actions of the three AI players are totally random, and two of them have armies consisting solely of TEN WAR TANKS. The idea is to weaken them with constant barrages from missile silos, but there's no guarantee that the third AI won't attack you with them (because their army, like yours, is seven Mechs). Not only this, but if you want a high score, you can't just sit back and let the armies destroy each other because that causes the Power score to tank. There's also no comprehensive guide to this one, due to its highly random nature.
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