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Shogun: Total War is the first game in the Creative Assembly'sTotal War strategy franchise. The player takes control of a Japanese clan during the Sengoku Period attempting to conquer the nation and claim the position of shogun.

An Expansion Pack called Mongol Invasion was released in 2001 which allowed players to control either side of the Mongol invasions of Japan.


Shogun: Total War provides examples of:

  • Alternate History The whole premise of Mongol Invasion is that the storm that destroyed the real-life invasion fleet never happened.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The AI will never create Geisha houses outside of glitches and bugs. Note the word "House".
  • Artistic License – Religion: In one geisha assassination cutscene, a Catholic priest seems to be wearing a rosary as a necklace. Even today, most Catholics consider that a very inappropriate use for one.
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  • Battle Thralls: The Mongol's basic, cheap infantry units from the Mongol Invasion expansion are basically Korean captives/vassals pressed into service.
  • Cannon Fodder: Ashigaru are fairly capable as cannon fodder goes. While weaker than the samurai and best used in overwhelming numbers, they are still definitely worth recruiting, especially since samurai units tend to be much more expensive and harder to recruit. Good tactics can also allow them to beat samurai units with relatively few casualties.
  • Church Militant: The militant Buddhist, and later Christian, samurai, who would rise up if upset at your daimyo's religious policy, be it conversion to Christianity or refusal to give up Shintoism if said daimyo conquers a territory that has been converted to Christianity.
  • Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: There is one such near-future Japan in the game's victory cinematic.
  • Distant Finale:
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    • After your clan achieves victory, the final cutscene jumps forward into the far future. It show your daimyo's statue being displayed in a public square in high-tec, Cyber Punk style Tokyo, with the narrator saying how legends of your courage and cunning still lives on to this very day.
    • In the Mongol Invasion expansion pack, if you fail to defeat the Mongolian invasion of Japan, the ending skips forward to the future. It shows the same cutscene as mentioned above with the modern day Tokyo in the future, seemingly suggesting that history goes on same as before... except then narrator reveals that you are looking at the province of Japan, which is now part of Mongolia. With its cultural heritage and legends of the samurai being long since forgotten by history. The final shot of the ending being a giant statue of Kubla Khan standing proudly in a public park at the city center.
  • Dummied Out: The game had text and sound files that remained unused, including:
    • Material related to the Chosokabe clan, which was used later in Shogun 2.
    • Sound files mentioning the birth of a daughter, a concept which was later used in Medieval.
    • Unused text lines stating Christian Excommunication, which was later used in Medieval.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Or close to it, anyway. When a major clan is destroyed (and thus the daimyo dies), he recites a historical "death poem", written by samurai before they either committed seppuku or went off to a Last Stand.
  • Faction-Specific Endings: The ending cutscene changes slightly depending on what clan you played as.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Until it was patched, The Mongol Invasion expansion caused the original campaign to treat the "Rebels and Ronin" garrisons that control the majority of the map at the beginning to act like a full hostile faction. The resulting tsunami of rebel armies would quickly overwhelm all the playable sides in the first few turns. Amusingly enough it did not count as a faction for victory conditions, meaning the last side standing wins by default.
  • Instrument of Murder: There is a brief cutscene that shows a ninja assassinating his target with a poison dart blown out of a flute. The Geishas also have several fairly brutal instrumental kills. Special mention goes to the assassination scene where a Geisha kills a room full of enemies, armed only with a violin-type instrument.
  • One-Man Army: The Kensai unit, a master swordsman capable of tearing through entire units or holding a choke point all by his lonesome.
  • Shoot the Messenger: If the rival faction you're sending an emissary to really hates your guts, your emissary may come back to you missing everything from the neck down.
  • Stock Footage: Kind of, in that the opening cinematic of the Warlord Edition is an actual scene from Ran.
  • Tutorial Failure:
    • The optional tutorial has one scenario where you get a unit of archers perched on a hillside and are tasked with taking out a unit of spearmen marching up the hill. Supposedly, this was to demonstrate the importance of high ground... except the spearmen take piss-all damage for some reason and WILL reach your archers with minimal casualties. What you are actually supposed to do is to retreat to the nearby hilltop, shoot from there until the spearmen get close, then assume wedge formation and counter-charge them. Even so, it's a Luck-Based Mission due to the two sides being evenly matched until one side's general is killed.
    • Later, the tutorial makes you the attackers and tasks you with driving arquebusiers off a hill. Thing is, the enemy is completely unable to shoot due to the rain, making the whole thing a zero-risk endeavor.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Cathedrals. They provide the owner income from all churches, not just yours- but the AI will never make churches enough to make a sizable profit.
    • Gunpowder units. A clever player can just zerg rush them and immediately cause them to rout. The AI is aware of this, making battles such as Nagashino impossible.

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