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Video Game / Kessen

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Kessen is a 2000 video game developed by Koei, and is one of the first games released for the PlayStation 2. Taking place in Feudal Japan, players live out the last days of the Sengoku Era with the rivarly between The Toyotomi and Tokugawa clans to see who would rule over Japan beginning at Sekigahara and climaxing (possibly) at Osaka Castle. Unlike the sequels Kessen II and Kessen III gameplay is very different from them. Each character has a number of troops at his disposal and can issue special attacks.

The game starts out as Ieyasu Tokugawa in control of the Eastern Army, after beating it the first time the players can then play the other side in control of Mitsunari Ishida and The Western Army. Alternate routes and battles can take place depending on victories and defeats.

Kessen provides examples of:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe example. Everyone gets these depending on which side you play as. In The East Ishida is reviled as a tyrant and Tokugawa a man who seeks to bring Nobunaga Oda's dreams of a united Japan to reality. In The West Ishida is a Hero who has sworn to protect The Toyotomi whilst Ieyasu is seen as a man who seeks to steal the land and hard earned peace.
  • Cue the Sun: The ending for both sides show the sun raising up and each side standing on a cliff overlooking it symbolizing the new era that has been brought.
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  • Dirty Coward: Kobayakawa. Kikkawa is one as well
  • The Dragon: Sakon for Ishida, Tadakatsu for Tokugawa
  • Dragon-in-Chief: The Eastern Army leaders for Toyotomi Hideyori.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Fukushima does this on The Eastern Side realizing he may have doomed The Toyotomi by helping Ieyasu win.
  • Evil Old Folks: Josui Kuroda, heck his music should tell you that he's up to no good.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Officers can pull this if you perform poorly as they can defect.
  • Heel–Face Turn: And they can also do this as well if the battle goes right. Notables are Kobayakawa, Masanori Fukushima, Josui Kuroda, Takatora Todo, and Masamune Date.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted, everyone in this game wears one like they did in real life. Though doubtful they had the designs they do in the game.
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  • Here We Go Again!: If certain routes are taken (such as The Toyotomis winning at Osaka Castle and driving Ieyasu out of the capital) The final battle of the game will take place at Sekigahara where it began
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Retreat from Hakone for The Eastern Army: while the main army retreats, warriors and volunteers stay behind to hold off the pursuring Western Army to the last man. Ieyasu is one of them refusing to abandon his men
  • Hidden Badass: Shimazu is older and has less troops but doesn't mean he can't hold his own against larger armies.
  • Last Stand: Osaka Castle for The Toyotomis and Edo for Tokugawa.
  • Manly Tears: Naomasa and Yasumasa shed them when Ieyasu stays behind as well during the retreat at Hakone as part of the rearguard.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Sakon pulls this off at Kusegawa when he attacks Ieyasu.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Guys who are in your army in the first couple of battles won't be in later stages. Makes sense since Tadakatsu and Naomasa had died by that time and their sons had replaced them.
  • The Load: Kobayakawa and a number of officers for The Western Side. Heck no matter how many times you win, Kikkawa will never follow your orders. Hidetada Tokugawa for the East is one as well. Despite having large number of troops (almost as much as his father has) he can be defeated by much smaller armies and not a whole lot of use in battle.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: While The Eastern army is loyal to Tokugawa, The Western army in contrast struggles to work together and follow Mitsunari's orders at the beginning with some of them planning on not doing anything or betraying him.
  • What If?: This happens through the Western Side, with Mitsunari winning at Sekigahara and him (or Yukimura) going on to establish a reign ruled by The Toyotomis
  • You Are in Command Now: If defeated on their side, Mitsunari and Josui Kuroda pass on command of The Western Army to Yukimura Sanada before they die
  • You Killed My Father: Yukimura vows revenge against Tokugawa when he discovers his father Masayuki Sanada has been slain by assassins. Similarly Naotaka, the son of Naomasa Li swears to avenge his father's death as well in one of the possible routes.